BMW R1200R (2006-on) Review

Published: 01 January 2006

"Half decent handling and agility and a touch of midrange grunt"

BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding

"Half decent handling and agility and a touch of midrange grunt"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  109 bhp
  • 47 mpg  -  155 miles range
  • Low seat height (795mm)
  • £10,075

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

By now the world knows BMWs can be fun: the 180bhp K1200S and R models are simply riotous. But somehow the Boxer-engine range has always maintained a straight-faced attitude – diligent, hard-working and hard wearing. Then some bright spark decides the R1200R should be fashionably naked, have sporting pretensions with half decent handling and agility, and a touch of midrange grunt. It lives, master…

 

Watch the BMW R1200R up against Moto Guzzi's 1200 Sport

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Telever front suspension (relies on a single main spring under the steering head) is unique to BMW, as is the Paralever shaft arm. Used on its touring models the whole system is a testament to stability and a role model for coping with UK roads. Now lighten the steel-based frame, add sports-like steering and you get a bike, the BMW R1200R, that rolls over quicker than a nervous spaniel. Traffic dodging and A-road blasts are simple and fun, which sums the motorcycle up completely

Engine 3 out of 5

With the BMW R1200R famed reliability meets the tuning fingers of a joker. There’s a fair wallop of bottom end grunt and top end kick – more than any naked bike has a right to have. Even though the old flat-twin is very old design-wise, modern internals, electronics and injected fuelling ensure the Boxer motor lives on for a while longer to keep BMW purists happy. Shaft drive is a god-send for the less mechanically minded.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

With an engine design that can be traced back to before most of us were born, and a rolling chassis that has tried and trusted components, the reliability of the BMW R1200R is never going to be an issue. However, modern electronics suffer on all bikes because of vibrations and hostile weather, so no one can guarantee a bike to be free from problems. If it helps, BMW has one of the strongest ‘faithful’ group of riders because it seems its motorcycles just keep going and BMW aftercare is a committed one.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

If the Japanese manufacturers produced an £8300 bum-basic naked with the R1200R’s performance then sales-wise it’d fall flat on its arse. So how comes BMW can get away with it? Simple really, because it is a BMW and with BMW motorcycles comes high resale values. Value for money? Not if you’re into bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1000, or Bandit Suzukis, but then they don’t have shaft drive and will never command a good resale value. Find a BMW R1200R for sale.

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

Equipment 3 out of 5

With the exception of a three-way height adjustable seat as standard, the R1200R is bum-basic for a BMW, and that’s why the price is kept low (for a BMW). But as it is a BMW the list of optional riding equipment is long (and pricey): Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), ABS, tyre pressure monitoring, soon-to-come traction control etc. There’s also a growing list of bolt-on accessories, from fly screen to panniers, to chrome bits ‘n’ bobs. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200R in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200R (2006-on) 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 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

super tourer

22 July 2014 by davetheboilerman

had this bike for 17 months done 91/5k miles bike has been faultless. have added v stream tall windshield givi luggage hugger bar risers. regurlarly get 63 mpg cruising at 70-75 tank actually holds 22 litres inc reserve so 250 miles to tankfull. use... Read more the bike for short trips at home but been to italy austria etc with no problems. even fully loaded its substantially lighter than the rt and does the same job, but in my opinion better ! these boxers like a drink of oil as they are running in, 1L/1k miles approx but by 10k they all but stop their thirst. excellent machine thats underrated and plenty quick enough for the real world.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

My best bike yet

25 December 2011 by censuwine

This bike cost me more than my previous four put together, and three of those were new! With the kind of money I paid for this bike, it is difficult to speak of any value for money. If you want value for money, buy one of the Japanese marques where... Read more you are likely to get quality at an affordable price. But if the badge is important for you, if you simply must own a BMW, if you want to buy a bike as God intended it, then look no further. This naked is simply perfect. You either love or hate the protruding boxer engine. I happen to love it and I don't like the way it is hidden in the fairing of the RT models. It is nimble, manoueverable and quite comfortable. The only drawback is that I simply can't just leave it out parked anywhere without worrying that someone might damage it. Maybe this will wear off in a few months when it is not so new and eye-catching.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

PHEW!

14 June 2011 by denislj

Brilliant, brilliant bike. It is comfy, rare (in London), powerful, nimble, reactive, light, and feels like quality throughout. Drinks quite a bit in town but outside is pretty reasonable. 2-up is also quite thirsty. One (petty) so-so thing: the... Read more sound of the horn, only thing that doesn't exude quality. It's my first BMW and the two-sided indicator switches took some getting used to, but 2 weeks will sort you out. No big deal at all. The sports screen is quite useless at speeds over 60mph. BMW topbox and panniers are excellent, fitting included. A doddle to stick on and off, but heavy. I find that the ABS does often come on when using the rear brake. I'm amazed at how competent it is at anything you ask of it; it's never fussy, always responsive and a beautiful machine too. I'd call it understated class.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

I love my bike

13 January 2010 by hellojoao

I have one.. I really like it. Because it´s the naked allround! you can do everything wit this machine.. it can be sporty or relaxed, drive alone or with someone! And it´s beautifull!! I´m from Portugal and I don´t understand why here are so few... Read more r1200r and so many r1200gs! For me r1200r it´s better... for what I do.. working... commuting.. and it´s cheaper! hugs to all!! hooray motorcyclists

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

A fantastic fun allrounder!

08 February 2008 by hass

I had no intention of buying a new bike (especially a naked one) when I parked my K1200S to testride the R12R one sunny afternoon. However three days later I had one parked in my garage! My two previous bikes were a BMW K1200S and an Aprilia... Read more RSV1000R Factory. The R12R doesn't have the insane warp-speed accelleration of the K1200S and is down on power compared to the Aprilia - but on my local backroads I am faster on the R12R than on either of these bikes! The R12R is an incredibly fun ride with great handling, perfect fueling, and a wonderful new servo-free braking system. The ESA (electronic suspension adjustment) is not just a gimmick but really usefull when faced with changing road conditions. I ride this bike to work, take it wout for weekend runs on my local backroads and plan a longer trip with my wife this summer. It really is like having three bikes in one! Finally, the fuel economy (if you care about that sort of thing on a bike) is amazing: On my daily commute it gets 5,1L/100km = about 55 MPG (uk)!!! And on the open road it gets about 4,7L/100km or 60MPG (uk)!!! I strongly recommend a testride on this bike but have two pieces of advice: 1. Test ride one with ESA. 2. Take your wallet with you!

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

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued -
New price £10,075
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 109 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 155 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v flat-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 198kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs, 4-pot calipers
Rear brake 265mm disc, 2-pot caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2006: BMW R1200R launched.

Other versions

None.

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  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Side view
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  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200R motorcycle review - Riding
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