BMW R1200C (1997-2005) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"Like most cruisers, it sells on looks; this one had a part in a Bond movie too"

BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding

"Like most cruisers, it sells on looks; this one had a part in a Bond movie too"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  61 bhp
  • 46 mpg  -  180 miles range
  • Medium seat height (740mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The BMW R1200C is a Harley-Davidson rival with German engineering. Like most cruisers, it sells on looks – this one had a part in a Bond movie too. Power is pretty modest considering the 1200cc engine but it’s enough. Dynamically it’s better than many cruisers thanks to quality engineering and light(ish) weight.

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The BMW R1200C is much more capable than most cruisers although the latest water cooled Harley has moved the game on somewhat. The 1200C’s less bounce than many custom style bikes and has better ground clearance too. Steering is slow but stable. Excellent brakes.

Engine 3 out of 5

The BMW R1200C's engine is not to be confused with more recent 1200cc boxer flat twins seen in 2004 onwards BMWs. This is a low-tech lump producing just 61bhp – more isn’t really needed. It delivers it in a relaxed, style though with plenty of low down drive. Gearbox is pretty clunky like all BMW boxers.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The R1200C's story is the same as so many BMWs – better than most motorcycles but still not perfect. Some early bikes had patchy finish – chrome, especially on spoked wheels proved to be of variable quality. BMW dealers are excellent though and most problems get sorted. Reliability issues almost non-existant.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

New prices of the BMW R1200C varied from £8500 to £10,500 depending on year and spec – the CL model was always nearer £11k. Used prices are slowly dropping – there’s no such thing as a nice, cheap example but depreciation remains low so you shouldn’t lose much when you sell the motorcycle on. Find a BMW R1200C for sale.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

The BMW R1200C doesn't have much as standard – some models didn’t even have a pillion seat. But plenty of accessories are available, BMW and unofficial. The CL variant is a full-dress touring version with a massive fairing with twin headlights, a huge stepped seat and hard luggage. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200C in the MCN Shop.

 

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their BMW R1200C (1997-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Better than HD 1200

24 April 2007 by flyingdragons9999

Engine capacity is still too small to qualify as a real road cruiser. The pipe sound is not outstanding enough. Sex appeal not enough! Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 1 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1997
Year discontinued 2005
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 61 bhp
Max torque 72 ft-lb
Top speed 105 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 15.9 secs
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v flat twin, 5 gears
Frame type Hybrid with stressed engine
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 236kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 305mm discs
Rear brake 285mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 18
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1997: Original BMW R1200C launched.
1998: Available now without ABS.

Other versions

BMW R1200C Classic: Rebadged R1200C sold from 2003.
BMW R1200C Avantgarde: Less chrome, medium height bars, ABS a cost option.
BMW R1200C Independent: Single seat, new aluminium wheels, windshield, foglamps, white indicator lenses, BMW rondel on alternator cover.
BMW R1200C Montauk: Overall ‘beefier’ design. Extra wide front end and wheels from the R1200CL, braided brake hoses, additional vertically stacked headlight.
BMW R1200CL: Full dress touring model based on the R1200C.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Brakes
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Suspension
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Brakes
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Suspension
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200C motorcycle review - Side view