BMW R 1200 RT Liquid-cooled (2014-2018) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the BMW R 1200 RT made between model years 2014 and 2018 with the liquid-cooled 1170cc boxer engine, a.k.a. the “Wethead”.

The BMW R 1200 RT is powered by the same famed boxer engine that powers the rest of the R 1200 line, including the same generation BMW R 1200 GS. The engine is an 1170cc horizontally-opposed boxer twin with strategic liquid cooling, minimising the use of the radiator.

The engine is of a modern design with four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams. In the RT, it’s tuned to make peak power of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7750 rpm, and peak torque of 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6500 rpm.

From 2019, the BMW R 1200 RT was replaced by the BMW R 1250 RT with more standard rider tech and the upgraded 1254 cc “ShiftCam” VVT motor.

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Service intervals for the BMW R 1200 RT (liquid-cooled)

Overall, the BMW R 1200 RT (liquid-cooled) has 10000 km / 6000 mile service intervals at which you have to change the oil and filter.

The major service is every 20000 km / 12000 miles, in which you change the shaft drive lubricant, spark plugs, and air filter, and check the valve clearances.

BMW doesn’t specify a fixed interval for changing the coolant in the rider’s manual. The liquid-cooled boxers come with a “lifetime” OAT-based coolant. A BMW service technician checks the coolant’s anti-freeze properties, correct corrosion inhibitor level, and ph level, and only changes it if necessary.

What you need to service your Liquid-Cooled BMW R 1200 RT

Servicing the “Wethead” BMW R 1200 RT is a little easier than servicing the air/oil-cooled previous models in some ways. The valve clearance adjustment procedure has changed to a shim-and-bucket style, but it’s also less frequent.

So here’s what you need to service your big sport touring bike.

PartBMW R 1200 RT (liquid-cooled) spec
Engine oilThe manual calls for “SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2” without additives, preferably BMW Motorrad oils from the dealer. A well-respected alternative is Castrol Power RS 5W-40.
Oil filterBMW part number for the oil filter is 11427721779. The HF160RC is a drop-in replacement from Hiflofiltro.
Rear drive oilUse a high-quality API GL-5 synthetic 75W-90 gear oil. BMW recommends Castrol 75W-90.
Spark plugStandard spark plug is an NGK LMAR8D-J with an 0.8 mm gap.
Air filterBMW part number for the air filter is 13727726799. The K&N BM-1113 is an aftermarket alternative.
Gear oilBMW Synthetic gear oil part number is 83222445460.
CoolantThe manual doesn’t mention what type, but get long-life BMW coolant from a dealer or online.
General lubricantUse lithium soap-based grease to regularly lube external pivot points.
Brake fluidSpecified fluid must be DOT 4, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.
Brake pads (front)Part number for front brake pads is 34118548028 (you need two pairs). An EBC alternative is FA630HH (double sintered, long-life).
Brake pads (rear)Part number for rear brake pads is 34218562163. An EBC alternative is FA209/2HH (double sintered, long-life pads).
Maintenance parts for the liquid-cooled BMW R 1200 RT (liquid-cooled, 2014-2018)

Maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1200 RT

Below is the BMW R 1200 RT maintenance schedule, adapted from the manual.

It’s simplified and consolidated into one easy-to-read table. The one in the manual has all these footnotes and even a couple of corrections from errors in the manual (which we clarified between manuals and with BMW directly).

Notes on the maintenance schedule:

  • At the end of the maintenance schedule, continue the maintenance schedule in the pattern indicated, doing service items every 10, 20, or 30000 km (6, 12, or 18000 miles).
  • The break-in service is omitted (BMW dealers usually do this during the warranty period)
  • Follow the earlier of each distance or time-based service interval. E.g. regardless of distance, do the annual service and change the oil.
‘000 km10203040
‘000 miles6121824Every
Conduct BMW standard annual service (see below)Year
Change engine oil (Castrol Power RS 5W-40) and filter (HF160RC)XXXXYear or 10K km (6K mi)
Change oil in rear bevel gears (Castrol 75W-90)XX2 years or 20K km (12K mi)
Check/adjust valve clearanceXX
Replace spark plugs (LMAR8D-J)XX
Replace air cleaner insert (BM-1113)XX
Change oil in telescopic forksX
Change brake fluid, front and rear (Castrol DOT 4)After 1 year, then every 2 years
BMW R 1200 RT maintenance schedule

BMW R 1200 RT standard annual service

The above standard annual service needs to be done every year or 10000 km (6000 mi), whichever comes earlier.

BMW R 1200 RT standard service
[D] Perform vehicle test with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
Visually inspect hydraulic clutch system
Visually inspect brake lines, brake hoses and connections
Check front brake pads and discs for wear
Check rear brake pads and disc for wear
Check front brake fluid level
Check rear brake fluid level
Check steering head bearing
Check coolant level
Check ease of movement of side and center stand (if fitted)
Check tire pressures and tread depth
Check lights and signaling equipment
Function test, engine start suppression
Final inspection and roadworthiness check
Check battery charge state
[D] Set service due date and countdown distance
[D] Confirm BMW Service in on-board documentation
BMW R 1200 RT standard annual service

BMW R 1200 RT tire sizes and pressures

The BMW R 1200 RT is a sport touring bike, even though it does have a touring bias, and is best suited for sport touring type tyres for a balance of high speed ability and longevity.

WheelTyre sizeTyre pressure
Front120/70 ZR 172.5 bar / 36 psi
Rear180/55 ZR 172.9 bar / 42 psi
BMW R 1200 RT tyre sizes

About the BMW R 1200 RT

BMW R 1200 RT Press 1 leaning in curve

The BMW R 1200 RT is an iconic touring bike and a natural replacement for the BMW R 1150 RT that preceded it.

Like its RT predecessors, it’s extremely comfortable and capable in a wide variety of situations. Small wonder that it’s a popular option for police forces around the world (and a tough competitor in that regard to the Yamaha FJR1300).

The BMW R 1200 RT is powered by the (partially) liquid-cooled twin-cam boxer twin of the same generation of R 1200 motorcycles. It’s an 1170 cc twin that produces a lot of torque across the rev range, and can take the big tourer easily in excess of 200 km/h — necessary for those high-speed chases.

What makes the RT special is that it plays in both the worlds of sport and tourer with equal aplomb.

On the one hand, the BMW R 1200 RT has a quickshifter (as an ex-works option; in more recent models it’s standard). And on the other, it has cruise control.

The engine and drivetrain is equally good at plodding about at city speeds as it is at flinging the motorcycle across the country at Autobahn speeds. While the headline is that peak torque of 125 Nm comes on at 6500 rpm, the engine makes more than 95% of that between 4500 and 7500 rpm. Even from as low as 2000 rpm it’s making 80% of peak torque — a pretty incredible torque curve.

The BMW R 1200 RT (from 2014-2018) comes with loads of safety equipment, too. It of course comes with ABS, but also with ASC (Automatic Stability Control), and riding modes that can be set depending on prevailing conditions.

The BMW R 1200 RT’s brakes are twin 320mm discs with four-piston radially mounted monobloc calipers. And suspension is via a BMW Telelever, which is electronically adjustable for decompression and compression damping, if you spring for Dynamic ESA.

Maintaining the BMW R 1200 RT is much as it is with many liquid-cooled boxers with a shaft drive. You change the oil and give it a once-over every 10000 km / 6000 miles, and check/adjust the valve clearance every two services.

The final drive is a cardan shaft which only needs infrequent maintenance — change the oil every two years or 20000 km (12000 miles), which is much more convenient than a chain.

Reference — BMW R 1200 RT Manual

The above maintenance schedule came from the manual for the 2018 BMW R 1200 RT, also consulting parts diagrams for replacement items.

You can download the manual for the R 1200 RT from BMW Motorrad here.

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