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BMW R1200ST Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The R1200ST is BMW’s Boxer-twin sports-tourer, now that the old R1100S has been supplanted by the newer, more sports-oriented R1200S. The problem is that the ST is on well-contested ground here – lining up against machines like Triumph’s excellent Sprint ST and Honda’s superb VFR800 VTEC, both of which are faster, sharper and cheaper.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The BMW R1200ST's 1170cc, twin spark, SOHC Boxer twin is from BMW’s best-selling R1200GS. But in this package it feels slightly underwhelming. No matter how hard you wring the throttle the R1200ST always feels a little lacking in urgency. There are some intrusive vibes, despite the balancer shaft, which further spoils the show. The gearbox lacks smoothness, too.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Riders are impressed by the stability and composure of the BMW R1200ST, but the downside to that is the sense of heaviness in corners. It simply doesn’t carry its weight well. The Telelever front end feels remote until you get used to it – but it’s as safe as houses in reality.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The R1200ST has the usual optional BMW items available – sat nav, heated grips, ABS, hard and soft luggage, a range of clothing and an alarm/immobiliser. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200ST in the MCN Shop.

BMW R1200ST (2005-2007)

Detail Value
New price £9,095
Dealer used prices
£4,280 (2005) - £4,860 (2005)
Private used prices
£3,890 (2005) - £4,420 (2005)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1170 cc
Power 110 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

BMW enjoy an excellent reputation for quality and reliability. Not only that but the R1200ST has service intervals widely spaced at 6000 miles apart – with prices ranging from £155-£175, which is very reasonable indeed. The shaft drive means there’s no chain to wear out or clean, either.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

It is a lot of money for a machine that’s out-handled and out-paced by its rivals and on those terms the BMW R1200ST doesn’t represent terrific value. But depreciation is less of a factor since BMW values are as stable as they come, thanks to a high brand image and that reputation for reliability, almost regardless of mileage. Find a BMW R1200ST for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2005: BMW R1200ST introduced.

Other Versions

BMW R1200ST ABS: This version comes with Advanced Braking System, which was a £795 premium over the non-ABS version when new.

Specifications

Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.3 secs
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Weight 205 kg
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 1170 cc
Engine specification 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all BMW R1200ST motorcycles for sale

BMW
R1200ST

18842 miles

£3,900

BMW
R1200ST

16500 miles

£5,955

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(6 reviews)

  • R1200ST

    bzac

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I see this bike as more of competition for BMWs RT than the VFR or Sprint (both of which I've owned) as the BMW St is for someone considering a BMW RT but wanting something a little lighter and sportier. IE if rideing across america, and its big highways get the RT , crossing Europe , ST is your ticket. The VFR and Sprint are more for keeping up with your sport bike friends and having some hard luggage along while you do it. With no shaft drive and cramped ergonomics for those over 5'10" a Sprint or VFR is not a serious long range tourer , probably the rational behind Honda coming out with the VFR1200. the VFR and Sprint are not great two up on any ride over an hour , where as the BMW is something you could take your pillion friend on for weeks abroad. New the BMW St was expensive , but used its 2K cheaper than an RT or a VFR. I paid 3900 pounds for mine with 25K on it , ABS panniers heated grips and every option . Bargin as VFRs and Sprints go for more than that. and the BMW is much much better built than either of those.

    16 March 2011

  • Three months on

    jcbenbow

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Done 3000 miles on the bike now, loads of grunt out the bends and for overtaking, great fun real world bike. Sorted the slow turn, tweaked the rear shock and my technique, dont even notice now the bike just goes where I want it to.

    13 August 2009

  • Good bike

    jcbenbow

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought second hand, owned for one month, £2000 cheaper than 1200RT of same age,this bike is such great value, handles well, goes well, over priced new but a great used buy. My only fault with the bike, a bit slow to turn in on the bends (slower than a RT1200}.

    12 May 2009

  • Could be more inspiring

    crossharp

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Not very inspiring. Like the engine but not as much fun as my old 1150 Adventure. However, good cross between sports & touring for myself an wife at our age (50s). Brakes are excellent as is weather protection. Its a little bit heavy on the arms in traffis but perfect at about 80mph+. Superb finish even after 4000 winter miles. Service on 1150 very good so expect the same with ST. Very easy to own - doesn't rot - which the journalists often (always) overlook. Dood bike butt probably it was the wrong choice after an 1150 Adventure. KTM was nearly bought but service costs, lack of dealers and reliability concerns ruled it out. Good tourer.

    01 June 2007

  • Chose this bike as it's light, caters for short riders and is reasonable on servicing costs.

    mike760

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Have only done 1300 miles on the bike so it hasn't loosened up properly yet. The bike is expensive for what you get and the dry clutch certainly takes a while to get used to - nowhere near as smooth as a wet! After a week the bike was recalled for a clutch re-fit. An identical clutch was fitted which makes me wonder why? Especially as it came back with 4 faults after the fit. Needless to say, Cannon BMW's technical ability leaves a lot to be desired. After taking the older R1150RT out for a day while the clutch was being fitted, yes, it takes a whole day as the bike has to be dismantled, I am thinking about trading the ST in for an RT as the handling is far superior. Strengths: Reported reliability - will have to see, if I keep the bike. Weaknesses: Indicators - why?! Economy, am unimpressed so far.

    04 August 2006

  • 1 Year and 6000 miles later...

    Dave Herbert

    Newton Abbot ,

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Good job I read the reviews last year as this model seems to have disappeared from any follow-up reports. One thing I do agree with, is that BMW indicators still need thought and using the horn in an emergency could still result in a left turn being indicated. Still very happy with the bike, power abs brakes are superb and comfort/weather protection, especially against headwinds is excellent. First year service next week but nothing else has been required, used 1ltr. of oil which I am advised is normal with a new Beemer. 58-60 mpg and tyres will probably last beyond 8/9000 miles. Came with Michelin Pilot's which have compared well against my previous BT02 Bridgestones. Would still like to see a test where they use the correct 98octane fuel (Shell optimax is the only 98 otc available) and what a dyno run is like on 95 unleaded. Back-up and service from Ocean Plymouth has been as good as the BMW car support my son gets. Strengths: Power brakes, comfort two up, and reliability. Weaknesses: BMW switchgear for indicators, if only you could fit standard kit as supplied on every other Kawasaki/Yamaha I have owned!

    30 March 2006

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mike760

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mike760says

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Had this bike for 5000 miles now and now starting to get good. Excellent reliablility, good fuel economy 2 up (55mpg) on recent trip to France. Top speed is much higher than stated here, will exceed 135mph!

26 March 2007 16:38

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