Bavaria is lighting the way.
Back in October, 2020, the folks at BMW Motorrad first introduced the shiny new 2021 R 1250 RT. While there was an entire redesign and plenty of upgrades to get excited about, the new feature stealing all the headlines was surely its Dynamic Cruise Control. If you’ll recall, Ducati didn’t launch the new Multistrada V4 until a couple of weeks later, on November 4. Who says Germans don’t like a good joke?
Fast forward to January, 2020, and BMW just introduced its R 1250 RT-P authority version. This police model is the one you can expect to see on patrol in various countries—or probably in at least one chase sequence in a random upcoming action movie. It has the same goodies as the regular R 1250 RT, including that dynamic cruise control and 10.25-inch TFT display, but there’s even more going on here.
For those unaware, BMW has an entire separate production line dedicated to crafting its authority bikes. In this video, Torsten Löhner shows us around the highlights of the R 1250 RT-P, with the first section dedicated to the regular RT, and the second section dedicated to authority-specific features.
Now, some of those authority-specific features serve extremely specific purposes. LED electronic flashing lights positioned at various points on the bike, for example, automatically tell traffic that this is an official vehicle. Protection bars including loudspeakers serve to protect the bike and allow its rider to amplify their instructions to surrounding vehicles and people.
There’s also a single seat with a radio box, which you’ve probably noticed before on police motorcycles. Special duty side cases come in vehicle colors and have additional protection bars mounted to protect them in case of a crash. LED stop signaller lights flash mirrored instructions in 10 different languages, and are mounted on both the front and the rear of the bike. Controls for these lights are located in the handlebar-mounted control clusters, as you’d expect.
Here’s where it gets interesting even if you’re not in law enforcement, though. This is the point where Löhner says that a very useful new feature is coming. It’s one that I’m certain that all R 1250 RT riders could benefit if it’s offered on more than just the RT-P bikes. You see, BMW apparently has plans to illuminate those handlebar switches at some yet-to-be-announced point in the future. The fact that they’re mentioning it in a video like this makes it seem like it will happen sooner rather than later. If you’re an R 1250 RT owner, how much do you want this to happen? I’m guessing a lot, especially if you ride at night.
Löhner goes on to talk about the new LED Sputnik flashing lights positioned all around the RT-P, as well as ambient lighting that self-cancels if you set off on a journey and forget to manually switch it off first. That’s all well and good if you’re involved with a police fleet in any way—but we’re still thinking about the beauty of backlit handlebar switches.