I guess it was only a matter of time before the day came around that my buddies and I used to joke about, the day one of us would be the first to buy an RT. Twenty years ago we saw RT riders as old farts, guys that valued comfort over performance, that “needed” to carry too much stuff, and that typically marched to the BMW party line, keeping their machines bone stock and dealer maintained. These guys would show up at club camp outs a day or two early, and when we were all scrambling on Sunday morning to get home, they’d lounge around drinking coffee and fixing themselves a nice breakfast, in no hurry to go anywhere. After all, most of them were retired and pretty much did things on their own schedules. All of them were well traveled, and would tell us stories of trips through the Alps, or down into Baja, or maybe a transcontinental ride or three.
Fast forward thirty years and guess what? I’d accumulated enough moss to join the old farts club. The reach to the ground on the GS bikes was getting longer, the heave it took to get one onto the center stand more straining, and my appetite for bad dirt roads had pretty much been quenched, at least when riding overweight “adventure” bikes. I was also really starting to appreciate the large windscreen on the R1200GS, which kept me dry and warm in even the worst weather, but I wanted something simpler and easier to maintain than the recall prone 1200. I’d piled over a hundred thousand miles onto the R100GS, and felt comfortable maintaining and modifying most of the systems and components on that bike. About that time it hit me that I was looking for a touring equivalent of that R100GS, that BMW had made one back in the day, and it was called the RT.