Okay we’ve owned the new BMW R1200RT for a couple of months now. It’s still an awesome motorcycle. It also came with the whole list of options. I had always looked at and priced motorcycles of interest. I mean who among us hasn’t done that? The R1200RT has quite a list of options and like buying a car, buying a package of options is often the best way to go, price-wise. The motorcycle has a few options that I always figured that if I were to purchase the motorcycle that I’d “opt out” of a few of the options. But now that I’ve been riding it a while some of them are really nice, a few are even things that I’d probably get again. So this post is about some of the more major and innovative options.
- Dynamic ESA electronic suspension adjustment: This is one that I had always figured that I could do without. Boy was I wrong! I figured that I would just continue to adjust the suspension just like I had been doing (and the way the R1200RT does without this option) and just turn the shock pre-load adjuster. With ESA I just scroll through the menu and select the suspension setting for that ride. It’s simple to do. I select one helmet if it’s just me, two helmets if we’re riding 2 up or one helmet with luggage if riding one or 2 up with the side cases loaded. While the suspension adjusts you can actually feel the motorcycle move slightly underneath you. Then additionally you get to pick one of 3 setting of soft (comfortable damping), normal (normal damping) and hard (sporty performance-oriented damping). It’s so easy to do and no more cranking an adjuster in or out. And it really does make a difference in the ride and performance of the motorcycle.
- Ride Mode Pro: This sets the Automatic Stability Control and throttle to one of 3 modes; Rain, Road or Dynamic (with the Pro option). The easiest way to describe it is from the throttle response section on the modes in the Rider’s Manual.
- In rain the throttle response is restrained and ASC intervenes early to prevent rear wheel slipping on wet roads.
- In road the throttle response in and stability is what you would normally expect.
- All I can say about Dynamic is WOW! It’s a sports performance mode. The throttle response is in no way restrained and is even quicker than normal mode. The ASC would intervene at the latest time and power transfer to the rear wheel is QUICK. The motorcycle was in dynamic mode when I picked it up and it flat-out took off. I pulled to the side of the road and figured out how to put it in normal mode.
- Gearshift Assistant Pro: This is nice to have but I’m not so sure I’d pay to get it added. What Gearshift Assistant Pro does is allow you to shift gears both up and down without using the clutch. That’s right, just shift. It’s made for performance oriented riding. I’ve used it when pulling out onto a highway from a stop. It works and it does shift quick. To shift gears up, just keep the throttle constant and shift. The trick is to relieve any pressure on the shifter between gear changes. To shift down, just be below the maximum RPM for that gear or let the throttle close a bit and shift down, again taking any pressure off the shifter between changes. It’s fun to play with but definitely not a “must have”
- Hill Start Control is another that is not a “must have” to me. I’ve used it to see how it works. It’s designed to do just what it says, to start on a hill. Or more precisely to start a fully loaded motorcycle from a stop on a hill. While stopped you shift to neutral, squeeze the front brake lever quickly and firmly and it will set the rear brake. The motorcycle will not roll. To release it, just squeezed the front brake lever again or when driving off, just use a little more throttle than normal. It does work. I’ve found that I’ll use it when Donna is getting on or off the motorcycle or when fumbling for the garage door opener in the left glove compartment. While it’s convenient to have I wouldn’t miss it.
The list goes on but those are some of the major options or the newer ones available. I’ll go over some of the others in future posts. Now I just wish it would warm up a bit for a pleasurable ride. Here in the south we can often ride year round but you don’t really want to do that when you wake up and it’s 7º F.