BMW R1200ST (2005-2007) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Sprint ST and Honda's superb VFR800 VTEC are both faster, sharper and cheaper"

BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding

"Sprint ST and Honda's superb VFR800 VTEC are both faster, sharper and cheaper"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  110 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Medium seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 3 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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 & Running Costs 3 out of 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 group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

6 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200ST (2005-2007) 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 3.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.8 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.7 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

R1200ST

16 March 2011 by bzac

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... Read more 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.

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

Three months on

13 August 2009 by jcbenbow

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. Read more

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

Good bike

12 May 2009 by jcbenbow

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... Read more a RT1200}.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 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
3 out of 5

Could be more inspiring

01 June 2007 by crossharp

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 3 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 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

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

04 August 2006 by mike760

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... Read more 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.

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

1 Year and 6000 miles later...

30 March 2006 by wwdph02

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... Read more 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!

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
Read all 6 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2007
Original price £9,095
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

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  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding