BMW R1200RS (2015-on) Review

Published: 01 June 2015

Much more than the naked bike with an added fairing

BMW R1200RS  (2015-on)

Much more than the naked bike with an added fairing

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  125 bhp
  • 40.5 mpg  -  180 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)
  • New: £12,915
    Used: £9,300 to £14,000 See all BMW R1200RSs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Much more than just a half-faired R1200R, the R1200RS brings a new level of handling and technical sophistication to its class, with long- distance comfort as well as the performance to boogie in the corners.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

On fast, twisty roads the set-up generates an intuitive level of grip confidence rarely felt this side of warmed-up racing tyres. Initially softly sprung, but magically (or electronically) stiffening up as you push harder, the chassis encourages the taking of greater and greater liberties until the bike starts to sway around on its exceptional Brembos, chattering and chirping under braking, rear end sliding and twitching under power. Push too hard and limited ground clearance means hero blobs call time long before the chassis runs out of ability. But up ’til then, steering is neutral and the RS glides with satisfyingly serene ease through bends.

Engine 4 out of 5

Remarkably, it wasn’t long ago a BMW litre flat twin would barely chuff its way to 70bhp if it was lucky and pointing downhill, yet the RS is cheerfully slinging a claimed 92ftlb of torque at the tarmac, which is more than Aprilia claim for their 1100cc V4 Tuono, more than Yamaha’s new R1 actually makes, and not a million miles from Ducati’s 105ftlb 1299 Panigale. Clearly the RS doesn’t feel as hedonistic as those machines, but its on-the-road pace is a pulsating mix of long-legged galloping with just enough thudding character. It’s grown-up speed rather than thrashing lunacy; holding 80 to 100mph at 4000rpm in top come what may, using the bike’s momentum to preserve velocity and its seamless gearbox to show everyone following how rarely you use the brakes. 

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

It's a BMW so there should be little to worry about. As with the R1200R the RS is put together well and BMW dealer care is top notch.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The bog standard RS comes in at a price of £10,835, but the price quickly rises if you want all the goodies. The top of the range Sport SE, seen here, is priced at £12,915, while the mid-level Sport comes in at £11,870.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The standard R1200RS is pretty basic, only featuring ABS, Automatic Stability Control, and Road & Rain riding modes as standard. The Sport SE mode, tested here, also comes with Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment, cruise control. centrestand, rear rack, pannier fastenings, chrome exhaust and GPS mount.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200RS (2015-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.

Review your BMW R1200RS (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.9 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.9 out of 5
4 out of 5

LT to RS SPORT SE, EASY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT 😜

29 August 2016 by E2OTT

After 8 years on K1200LT THIS FEELS LIKE A MOPED (a very quick moped!) It's featherweight in comparison and unbelievably easy to ride. It really inspires confidence when cornering and braking is superb. Comfort is OK to good.... After the... Read more luxury of the LT this is still high praise. Gear shift assist is very smooth, keyless ride is great (except when someone rides off with them in his pocket). Gearbox is the customary BMW clunker at low speeds. All in all a great bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Superb all round. Brakes outstanding
Engine
5 out of 5
Pulls great throughout range. Quick shift very smooth at high revs.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
It's only 6 weeks old with 1200 miles on - so time will tell .......... My old LT was reliable until 6 yrs and 25,000 miles - then turned into a money pit for repairs.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Only service to date was 600 mile running in service at £80.00
Equipment
4 out of 5
ESA ABS CRUISE CONTROL. Ride mode. Should really come with sat nav unit. Fitted Givi Blade 47 top box, fits two Full Face helmets. The bm box is ridiculously small and expensive.
Buying experience

Coopers Sunderland. Traded in my 8 yr old LT against this. (Which I also bought new from them) Quality dealer

4 out of 5

The journalists did not oversell

23 July 2016 by PSST

Sophisticated and practical. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Smooth and secure, brakes powerful and progressive.
Engine
4 out of 5
Torque loads.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Premium piece of kit
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
Quality.
Buying experience

Good.

5 out of 5

Great 1-up eurpean tourer, fantastic on Alpine twisties, comfortable on M-ways

26 April 2016 by Tuco

Great touring bike, with fantastic performance in terms of power and handling. does well on M-ways too, important to get you the twisties. Extras well worth the money, especially the Dynamic suspension and quick shifter. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Good all rounder, not quite as comfortable as the K1600GT on M-ways, I needed an aftermarket screen, which made a huge difference. Fantastic on Alpine like roads. I use it for 1-up touring, with the overall bike size and available luggage space 2 would be a squeeze. Hard to beat R1200RT or K1600GT for 2-up.
Engine
5 out of 5
Great power, quick shifter makes for even quicker corner entry/exits and over-takes.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems so far. Runs well in hot climates had it up to 42C in cities and no issues. Can't say the same for my K1600GT.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Annual servicing cost (euros) reasonable, plus tyre wear not bad ~7000km/set.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Went for everything except the Alarm, immobiliser fitted as standard. Also allows extra room under pillion seat. Fitted HID lights, along with the driving/fog lights excellent visibility on the road, plus, on the rare occasions good visibility at night. Recommend Givi or similar top box, BMW top box way too small and expensive.
Buying experience

Bought from main Dealer. I thought the initial launch price, with all extras, was very good. Price increases since then :-(

5 out of 5

Aj

31 March 2016 by Aj

I had the R1200GS (new version) but the GS was lost in a sea of bikes. The R1200RS gets loads of admirers. Love everything about the new bike. You are inclined to push it on faster than the GS, so don't expect the same MPG. Being a BMW, it has a very... Read more high quality finish. I would highly recommend this bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ride quality is great. The RS is more suitable to motorways/good road surfaces etc. The suspension is a tad firm for back roads, having changed from the GS. The missus much prefers the new bike.
Engine
5 out of 5
Again, the engine is supposed to be same as the GS, but I find that the new engine is far smoother. The slipper clutch is brilliant
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems with Quality and reliability.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The GS was giving 60 MPG overall. The RS is returning 57 MPG. Very good consumption
Equipment
5 out of 5
More than enough equipment on the R1200RS SE
Buying experience

Bought direct from BMW - no issues here. Prices are non-negotiable

5 out of 5

Mr

10 November 2015 by Cliff Hall

Gearbox a bit "clunky" going into first when engine at operating temp. No other issues. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Had my first BMW in 1980, (R100CS), loved that one and love this one. Traded in a GS and love the lower COG, makes cornering a more enjoyable experience, for me. Brembos are superb and really progressive.
Engine
5 out of 5
My last boxer was the air/oil cooled GS, the LC has just so much more usable power.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Only had it 3 months, so don't expect it to fall apart just yet. Quality: Outstanding.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
£190 for initial service, (600 miles). Met expectations
Equipment
5 out of 5
I have the SE, so can't think of anything i would like to add to it.
Buying experience

Chester motorad made the trade in and buying experience seamless and hassle free. Nothing was too much trouble. I had multiple test rides on the new GS, the XR and on the RS, i also had more test rides on the RS after ordering, "just to make sure" Chester Motored staff indulged me happily. I know from where i am buying my next bike.

5 out of 5

31 August 2015 by BJ

Ride quality and comfort superb the Brembos are brilliant Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
love the power delivery real world for the road not the race track
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
its a bmw boxer so should be first class
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
electronic suspension with pro mode is a must
Buying experience

BENHAM BMW GOOD FRIENDLEY SERVICE

5 out of 5

08 August 2015 by Ollydog

After three yearson a sports bike and looking for something a little more comfortable for pillion riding and predominantly commuting into central London, I was overwhelmed by this bike. It's light and nimble in traffic, ok it's a bit wide for... Read more filtering sometimes, but still a great commuter bike. On the open roads though, the handling is sublime.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
The electronics on the suspension are excellent and the brakes, well they are Brembos!
Engine
5 out of 5
Soooooo much torque, it will pull in any gear.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only had it two weeks, just had first service done, the quality is good, but it's a BMW. I certainly don't envisage any reliability issues.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
600 mile service done, not too painful.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Being the SE Sport model, it has all the bells and whistles.
Buying experience

Bahnstormer Alton can't fault them, shocked that they were even able to cut a good deal.

5 out of 5

R1200RS Sport SE - Just WOW

19 July 2015 by Tallbiker

Outstanding Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Came off a GSA onto this and it it sooooo much more comfortable, brakes at least as good
Engine
5 out of 5
Wow.....
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
It's a BMW so you'll pay high for the servicing but then again, you paid high for the bike and you didn't buy it because it was cheap!
Equipment
5 out of 5
This model comes with all the toys so all good
Buying experience

Traded the GSA into a dealer for this, costs some but makes the experience easy and stress free

Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £12,915
Used price £9,300 to £14,000
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 92 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 40.5 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type liquid cooled, DOHC, 8v flat twin
Frame type Aluminium twin spa
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 236kg
Front suspension Telescopic Upside-Down fork
Rear suspension BMW Motorrad Paralever
Front brake 320mm dual disc brake, floating brake discs, 4-piston radial calipers
Rear brake Single 276mm disc brake, double-piston floating caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 ZR 17

History & Versions

Model history

2015: Model introduced

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200RS  (2015-on)
  • BMW R1200RS  (2015-on)
  • BMW R1200RS  (2015-on)
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