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BMW K1200RS Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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BMW K1200RS motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The BMW K1200RS is almost an ultra-sports tourer but lacking a few bhp and a carrying too much weight. The K1200RS carved its own niche as a superb high-speed distance bike that could carry a pillion and luggage too without breaking a sweat. Radical Telelever front suspension’s no longer novel but still works and build quality remains a strong point so big mileages are very possible.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Loads of torque and plenty of power from the BMW K1200RS's flat four. Unfortunately Japanese competition like Honda’s BlackBird make 30-odd bhp more and the K1200RS seems slow by comparison. Low down torque is plentiful, acing the BlackBird, although the RS’s weight negates some of it. Gearbox somewhat reluctant.

 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Weighing so much this motorcycle was never going to be nimble and the BMW K1200RS isn’t. The upside, though, is that stability is superb even with 160mph on the clock. The suspension’s a bit bouncy but you can tune it out. Adding a passenger and luggage doesn’t upset the bike at all. Brakes work ok and ABS is a bonus.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The BMW K1200RS delivers long range comfort to match many full tourers. The riding position’s adjustable and the ergonomics well thought out and if you spend all day in the saddle this pays off. High level of equipment. Mirrors mounted on the bars look like an afterthought – surely they were meant to be in the indicator pods? At least they work well.

 

BMW K1200RS (1997-2005)

Detail Value
Used price range View BMW K1200RS bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1171 cc
Power 130 bhp
Top speed 155 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Like so many BMWs the K1200RS is a quality motorcycle with a few minor glitches. Electrics and small areas of corrosion are the most common complaints. Fortunately the excellent dealer network know how to avoid or cure these. The K1200RS also seems to resist winter better than most machines.

 

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The BMW K1200RS is now only available used and at last, prices have dropped to a reasonable level, even at main dealers. Still do your research and don’t pay OTT prices no matter how clean / low mileage a motorcycle is. There are cheaper, faster machines, including the Blackbird but the K1200RS  beats it on quality and distance-ability. Find a BMW K1200RS for sale.

 

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

1997: BMW K1200RS launched.
1999: Non-ABS BMW K1200RS launched.
2001: Minor updates.

 

Other Versions

BMW K1200RS Non-ABS: version available from November 1998.
BMW K1200RS ABS: when the non-ABS version was introduced this was the name for the regular ABS equipped motorcycle.
BMW K1200RS SE: Special Equipment model with ABS, luggage rack, heated grips and cruise control.

Specifications

Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.6 secs
Max power 130 bhp
Max torque 86 ft-lb
Weight 266 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 205 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 1171 cc
Engine specification 16v flat four, 6 gears
Frame Cast aluminium
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 285mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

See all BMW K1200RS motorcycles for sale

BMW
K1200RS

48000 miles

£2,250

BMW
K1200RS

19500 miles

£2,950

BMW
K1200RS

14000 miles

£3,750

BMW
K1200RS

52785 miles

£1,700

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(9 reviews)

  • 2000 miles later

    melsbikes

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    I didnt use the K much over the worst of the winter - maybe I'm getting old and soft! But I have managed to add 200 miles of commuting between Oxford and the city and this bike eats it for breakfast. Really comfy at 80 in the traffic -and gets to seriously illegal speeds in an eyeblink without grumbling. A couple of times I've twsited the grip and been caught out as I caught the car in front - good job the brakes are top notch! It's cofy - I have adopted a riding position which includes lying forward almost when manouvering - this is where the bike becomes scary - slow sppeed parking stuff and I confess I have dropped it at almost 0mph on a u-turn. £100 body shop job later and it looks like new but was p*ssed off with myself for trying to be too sharp with a bike that is so heavy. The crazy thing is that as soon as it's moving (and you;re not trying to turn a tight circle) it's superlight! No niggles so far - biggish ride coming up |London to Newcastle and back at a weekend - should test my age again!

    18 June 2013

  • Forgot to say...

    melsbikes

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    ...it's beautiful on the eye...someone really though this through - whatever you say about BMW bikes it's not usually that they are beautiful - but this on is a stunner.

    03 December 2012

  • A fine machine....

    melsbikes

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Just acquired a 2001 SE version. First K1200RS for me. Rode it back to London from Somerset. Ive owned and ridden several BMs and covered too many miles! I know that the first trip on a new bike will highlight all sorts of 'issues' associated with fit and comfort and reach and son on...bit like taking a walk in new shoes - feels weird - and the trap is to think weird is wrong - when its just different. SO ...the K1200rs is different from other BMs I've owned. And with just one longish rifde under my belt I can only comment on first impressions...and they are - very comfortable - easy to ride - I can reach everything easily - I stayed warm (it wasn't raining - and I stayed comfortable - ie not buffeted. I was ready to stretch my legs after a couple of hours which coincided with a refill. Quick coffee and back on - couldnt wait. It's super responsive in any gear with more power and punch than I will ever need. I got it on and off the stand easily - rode 150 miles on the A303 and spent an hour tootling around London inc very slow stuff around Chelseas ground when a home game tipped spectators out onto the pavements and roads! Easy - not wide - even with panniers - ie I was able to shoot around stationary traffic without worrying about clipping others. Climeebd off after about 4 hours total riding and felt very comfortable. I'm 5'8" - and it fits me! Didnt adjust anything. It could turn out to be a beautiful relationship - I had one of those with a GS and with a K1100rs. Thsi looks like the best value bike I ever bought - but its early days. In summary I've read a lot about how difficult these bikes are to ride - and I found it easy.....

    03 December 2012

  • My first BMW

    Bryanpowell33

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    My K1200RS is my first BMW Motorcycle. Brilliant build quality, exceeds Hondas best by miles. Has everything possible fitted with the exception of a Kitchen Sink. Would be perfect if the engine had the same level of Clout as my 1991 C1 ZZR 1100 or my Blackbird XXY or 2001. The performance doesn't seem to be any greater than a Varadero or a VFR750FN. A very good bike though !

    20 September 2011

  • I miss you Darling!

    sma11fry

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What ever possesed me? I traded in a 1997 k12rs for a 2002 abs VFR800vtec. The Honda goes round corners faster, the ABS is better, and the back doesn't lock up like the BMW, but I never ever felt scared on the BM, it stopped, it went and it scraped the bottom of its pegs on request, and in any gear....not forever up and down the box like the Honda. The most surefooted tractor in christendom.

    12 June 2011

  • set her up and she does what she was made to do very well

    sportsboyuk

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Handles far better than a Pan ST1300 i know ive had two new ones, gearbox is smooth, hunts a bit at tick over but power commander sorts it or remus exhaust. weather protection is good, small amount of bufferting at speed, sensertive to tyre pressures. very stable, point to point crusie missile,not as fast as My Hyabusa but then thats new and so mental. But the bmw is very well built and fun.

    05 June 2011

  • Seized Lump !!!

    ThirstyIan

    Average rating rating is 2

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    Engine

    nice run down to Turkey from Aberdeen & back again though the rain from Italy to UK then the bludy UK roads.... speed really drops then. The thing went ok. But back home the lump seized & the backup support from BMW in Aberdeen was a waste of time !!! I shall be getting a Kwacker GTR1400 & forget BMW. I am still furious with them & the support I did not get from them. By the way where is the complaints site for them ?? or are they too good for that ?!Had an old Kawasaki Z1100 & it is still running , I shall be putting it back on the road & scrapping the beemer before I get the GTR.Really not impressed with BMW.

    21 January 2009

  • Best bike I've every owned

    pmconnau

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I'm not sure what MCN was thinking when they wrote the review on this engine but it sells this bike way short. For someone lookiing for a sport tourer with serious speed this is the perfect bike. I've ridden both the Ducati ST4s and Honda ST1300s and this is a better bike. 147HP with new pipes and Ohlin suspension means i can take to the twisties with most sport bikes.

    14 November 2008

  • 2003 K1200 RS

    mcyclenz

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Second Hand and in good condition, these bikes offer great value for money versus some new rivals.... I've clocked up 10,000 miles in the last year on mine (mainly 2 - up touring) purchased with only 2,500 miles on the clock, and rate it very highly. It is not a 'sports bike' and a tab heavy in the tight tights - but in all other circumstances it is magic - loves sweeping corners, great power, great brakes, good instruments, compliant suspension good economy and a 200 mile range on a tank plus all the luggage we need. I strongly recommend this bike.

    11 April 2008

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stephen107

stephen107says

My first BMW

I have had my K12rs for about 8 months now, it is a 2004 model with 20k on the clock and a stunning blue colour.

I went to look at an fjr which was gone when I got to the shop but he showed me the KRS. I took it for a brief ride and found it to much heavier than I was used to, my weight seemed to be pushed forward on to the bars making it difficult to steer at low speeds. I put a lot of this down to the tyres which reminded me of 50p pieces.

On the ride home I was sure I had make a terrible mistake. Long story short - new tyres with higher than recomended pressure, and learning to bend from the waist with a straight back made life easier, still got tingly and numb hands on longer rides though. I got bar (30mm) risers from the US last week, what a difference no more wrecked hands, I now have a very fast comfortable bike which is a pleasure to ride.

 

26 September 2012 16:20

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