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BMW R1200S Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.

BMW R1200S (2006-2007)

Detail Value
New price £8,955
Dealer used prices
£5,420 (2007) - £6,220 (2006)
Private used prices
£4,880 (2007) - £5,600 (2006)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1170 cc
Power 122 bhp
Top speed 148 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 2 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

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

Value

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

2006: BMW R1200S launched.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 148 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Max power 122 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Weight 190 kg
Seat height 830 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1170 cc
Engine specification 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel and ally trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 280mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(5 reviews)

  • Not accurate

    sjb51

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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, 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.

    25 March 2012

  • JTSinssi

    JTSinssi

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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.

    25 August 2008

  • JTSinssi

    JTSinssi

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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.

    25 August 2008

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

    zardon

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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.

    15 July 2006

  • Great Sports Twin for the Road

    djohnwill

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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!

    04 July 2006

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quint

quintsays

BMW R1200s

I cant agree more with mobit. I have been riding for over 40yrs mostly sportsbikes starting with a le-mans then various others Ducati, Benelli, Mv, Triumph,KTM, Buell etc. End of September due to age and health issue I decided to try and get a bike which was more suitable to me. Having had an early bmw that I didnt like the last thing I thought was that a bmw would suit me. However I bought a r1200s (07) with 12000mls on it full sport pack, have already done 6000mls and the more I ride it the more impressed I am with its all round ability it will keep up with most bikes and even leave others behind if ridden smoothly. It is in y opinion a bike that grows on you as you learn to gell with it best overall bike yet.

15 December 2010 15:02

mobit

mobitsays

Daft Review

In the "Ride & Handling" section of the review, we are told that the optional ABS is rubbish for track action; losing composure braking over bumps. The reviewer obviously didn't notice the ABS on/off switch on the left handlebar. I also disagree with the reviewer that factory options are very expensive. If bought together, the (2007) cost of the Ohlins suspension upgrade together with the wider 6 inch rear wheel and a 190 section tyre is £510. Overall I consider the Owners' ratings to be a more accurate review of the R1200S. In my opinion it is an extremely capable road bike

21 July 2007 06:15

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