Photographer : Jeff Allen
You sharp-eyed readers are probably thinking, “Wow, you guys must not ride a lot. Only 1,148 miles in seven months on a ‘long-term’ R1200RT? You need to un-ass your office chairs and hit the road!”
Hey, we have a legit excuse: For more than five of those months, the bike was not in our possession. A couple of weeks after we introduced the 1200 (with 3,102 miles on the clock) to our long-term fleet in the August 2014 issue, BMW announced a recall for all 2014 R1200RTs with Dynamic ESA suspension and retrieved our test unit. The manufacturer of the bike’s ESA shock, Marzocchi, informed BMW that the shock’s piston shaft could snap right where a threaded portion ends, causing complete collapse of the rear suspension. “Only a very few shafts had broken, none in the US,” BMW North America’s Roy Oliemuller said, “and there were no reports of injuries. But we immediately issued a Stop Ride directive instructing owners not to ride their RTs until a remedy could be implemented.”
Because the recall took place in the middle of the peak riding season and no one knew when retrofit shocks might be available, BMW offered affected R1200RT owners four unprecedented options. Anyone willing to park their 1200 until the problem was remedied would receive $2,500 as compensation. Those who required the use of a motorcycle while they waited would be provided with one from BMW, along with $1,000 to use for BMW accessories or making payments on their RT. Owners wanting to trade for another 2014 BMW would be given fair value for their bike plus $1,000 credit. And for others who no longer wished to keep their RTs, BMW would buy the bikes back at their full purchase price.
Altogether it took several months for redesigned shocks to be tested, manufactured, and delivered to dealers for installation. “With a single exception, all affected units have now had the recall performed,” Oliemuller said, “whether it was customer owned or processed through a buy-back and then repaired.”
Of the 832 owners who were impacted, 540 parked their bikes, while 30 used a provided loaner. The trade-in option was the preference of 102 owners, and 159 went for the buy-back. Because R1200RT owners were the highest priority, testbikes that had been snatched from the media were among the last to be retrofitted. Our RT finally was returned in mid-November, and I’ve put more than 1,100 miles on it since.
And enjoying every moment. Many of those miles have been spent dancing through endless curves in the mountains near my home, sometimes solo, sometimes with wife Rosanne as copilot. Whether alone with empty saddlebags or two-up with bags and optional top case loaded, the torquey, 1,171cc boxer never ceases to amaze at how much it loves to arc through turns. Yet on the open road, it’s as calm and stable as a parked bus.
Comfy, too. For me, all-day rides on the 1200 are no more tiring than they are in my deluxe Ford F-150 pickup, and Rosanne says the pillion is among the most pleasant she’s ever experienced.
Now that Stop Ride is history, I’ve penciled my calendar with some long trips on the R-RT and issued my own directive. I call it “Keep Riding.”
This article was created by Cycle World. This is a repost of the article