BMW R1200S (2006-2007) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"As an oddball track motorcycle it works, but as an accomplished all-rounder it falls short"

BMW R1200S  (2006-2007)

"As an oddball track motorcycle it works, but as an accomplished all-rounder it falls short"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  122 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  170 miles range
  • Medium seat height (830mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Somehow you already know if you want the BMW R1200S. The looks divide opinions, but only half as much as the Boxer engine and the Telelever/Paralever suspension do. BMW has strained the limits of these design parameters – and it only just comes off. As an oddball track motorcycle it works, but as an accomplished all-rounder it falls short of the standards set by the R1100S that preceded it.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The BMW R1200S is very vibey – enough to leave your hands tingling after a long (200+ mile) journey – a character trait not shared by its older R1100S sibling. The R1200S is slow to turn in, but once over it holds a great line, though the optional Ohlins suspension package is a worthwhile extra. The (optional) ABS maybe reassuring on the road, but it’s rubbish for track action; losing composure braking over bumps.

Engine 3 out of 5

Boxer twins (where the two pistons horizontally oppose one another) are historically all about torque. But the R1200S's DOHC, 1170cc item loves to rev, building as it does to a second powerband at around 6500rpm. There is massive torque too, enough to rival Suzuki’s GSX-R1000, but because of this the engineers have built an eccentric pulley into the throttle twistgrip. This means that the delivery in the first few millimetres of travel doesn’t correspond to the expected shove – only becoming more linear later.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Excellent. BMW’s build quality and customer service is second to none.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

Poor. The R1200S is very pricey and very much a niche motorcycle. It will hold its value though as so few of these machines are released onto the market. Find a BMW R1200S for sale.

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

Equipment 2 out of 5

You get few extras on the BMW R1200S and what factory options there are (heated grips, wider rear wheel, Ohlins suspension) are very expensive. You do get an immobiliser as standard, though. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200S in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200S (2006-2007) 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 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Not accurate

25 March 2012 by sjb51

I've just sold my R1200S, which I owned for nearly 4 years. I traded in for for my next bike and got 67% of the value I originally paid for it back. Now that is value for money. Its by far and away the best bike I've ever owned and I've had 1 Honda,... Read more 2 Suzuki's, 2 Yamahas and 4 Triumphs over the years. No stupid oily chain to deal with and character galore. MCN have got it wrong on this one.

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

JTSinssi

25 August 2008 by JTSinssi

Real bike, sporty and comfy in one package. Suspension is excellent, especially on twisty roads. Has torque enough to challenge japan made plastic risepots. Sound is only poor thing. I've have ridden silver one this summer, with great pleasure. Read more

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

JTSinssi

25 August 2008 by JTSinssi

Real bike, sporty and comfy in one package. Suspension is excellent, especially on twisty roads. Has torque enough to challenge japan made plastic risepots. Sound is only poor thing. I've have ridden silver one this summer, with great pleasure. Read more

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Excellent Real World Sports Bike with the charm of a twin and the handling of a 600!

15 July 2006 by zardon

BMW are attemping to lure owners away from the boring and somewhat overcrowded Japanese inline 4 market by offering a "Real World" sportsbike with the proven reliability of the most powerful (122hp) boxer engine they have ever made. The looks... Read more certainly aren't in Ducati 996 territory, but it's without a doubt the most beautiful twin they have made, especially in plain black. I would recommend the alt drive option and the "sports" back wheel (190 from standard 180). Ohlins shock doesnt really make much difference on the road and is a rather expensive option. Vibrations are noticeable however I found after fitting a full remus system it not only improved the look of the back end, but helped the engine to rev more freely - all backed up by a thumping note. Highly recommended if you want a performance bike with ample torque and the charm of a twin. 0-100 it will keep up with most bikes out there. Strengths: Lightweight, well balanced bike with a somewhat "classic ducati" look in many regards. Without a doubt the prettiest "boxer" BMW especially in the gorgeous black paint they offer. Engine has plenty of torque and revs better than a standard boxer BMW. Fast bike from 0-100. Weaknesses: The standard version without the alternative drive has a tall first gear making fast take offs a little more difficult than they should be. Standard exhaust system is ugly and muted, a remus system is recommended. Also there is no real need for the lack of fuel gauge on the bike. Vibrations are noticeable over 5k revs.

Overall Rating 4 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 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Sports Twin for the Road

04 July 2006 by djohnwill

Saw the picture early in the year and fell in love immediately. Ordered it just from the photos and was not disappointed. It's still early days, and have just had the first service so not yet fully used its potential (probably never will!), but the... Read more power is very usable, and performance and handling gives lots of confidence. Strengths: In the flesh the looks are fantastic, I love the rear end. The handling inspires lots of confidence with loads of usalble power. Weaknesses: Some people will not like the look of the old style boxer twin engine, and if you are after something for track days, there are more focused performance machines out their, otherwise for a usable real world sports bike it's fantastic!

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

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued 2007
Original price £8,955
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 122 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 148 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel and ally trellis
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 190kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 280mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2006: BMW R1200S launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200S  (2006-2007)
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Brakes
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Top view
  • BMW R1200S  (2006-2007)
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S  (2006-2007)
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S  (2006-2007)
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Brakes
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Top view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW R1200S motorcycle review - Riding