BMW K1200R (2005 - 2008) Review

Highlights

  • Bonkers naked capable of 170mph
  • Strong BMW reliability backed up by owners' reviews
  • More sports touring stance than early super naked

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 167 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Medium (465 lbs / 211 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The BMW K1200R is another from the latest-generation Beemers that blow away the firm’s reputation for dull motorcycles. A 170mph naked motorcycle with looks that fuse sci-fi and retro with plenty of brawn.

It's basically a stripped down but modified BMW K1200S and BMW offer small fairings for the R model so you can occasionally use all the 163bhp this motorcycle offers.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The BMW K1200R is a long, stable and heavy motorcycle. Forget the flighty, fast steering naked motorcycles of the time, like Kawasaki’s 2004 Z1000 or the 2005 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 the BMW K1200R is more a touring bike than a back lane hooning motorcycle.

Innovative Duolever forks use a single central shock and linkage and it works well but can feel odd if you're used to conventional forks. The seat is similar to that on the faired K1200S but is slightly narrower at the front to encourage a forward riding position. This was also intended to improve comfort for shorter riders.

The steering bridge is also shaped so that the rider sits in a slightly more upright position. New designs for the speedometer and rev counter feature white dials with black figures.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The BMW K1200R has huge power - using a transverse in-line four borrowed from the BMW K1200S hyper sports touring motorcycle – but with lower gearing and less wind protection. For the R's engine, the routing of the air intake is changed. Maximum performance is slightly lower than that of the S but still above 160bhp - making it the claimed most powerful production naked of the day.

With no fairing, the BMW K1200R feels even faster than the S. Other nakeds have engines with more character but this much shove is never boring. The torque curve is almost identical to the K1200S too but the rear axle ratio is a little shorter, offering even sharper acceleration.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Build quality seems pretty good on the BMW K1200R and this is reflected by MCN owners' reviews, which score the bike an average of 4.9 out of a possible five for reliability.

That said, a handful of early motorcycles vibrated and oil consumption can be high too. To combat this, the BMW K1200R could be specified with a special low oil warning system as part of the optional on-board computer.

Away from this, BMW issued a recall affecting 300,000 R and K series models built between 2003 and 2011 for a replacement rear wheel flange. The global recall related to around 300,000 bikes in total with approximately 23,000 bikes in the UK (the K1200S included), with the part replaced free of charge. Make sure this has been done when looking at a used buy.

The bike was also initially delayed while BMW addressed a fault with the camshaft. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Nearly £10K means the BMW K1200R is competing with exotica like Benelli’s TNT. Aprilia’s Tuono 1000 R and Triumph's Speed Triple 1050 are both excellent motorcycles and were much less at the time. Plus BMW K1200Rs were almost never sold at a discount – with early bikes on the used market still fetching around £3000.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

Naked motorcycles didn't come much better kitted out at the time. Comfort is good on the BMW K1200R, too - especially if you get the screen.

Factory extras for this motorcycle include ABS, electronic suspension adjustment, sports wheels with fat 190/55 x 17 rear tyre, sports pack (sports suspension and six, inch rim with  190/55 x 17 front tyre), low seat, cockpit fairing, white indicator lense, rack, computer and alarm.

Specs

Engine size 1157cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 211kg
Front suspension Compression damping (only on ESA model)
Rear suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Front brake Twin 320 mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/50 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £300
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 16 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 167 bhp
Max torque 94 ft-lb
Top speed 170 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 10.9 secs
Tank range 165 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2005: Original BMW K1200R motorcycle released
  • 2008: BMW K1200R discontinued

Other versions

The 2004-2008 BMW K1200S is a fully-faired, hyper sports version of the BMW K1200R.

2007-2009 BMW K1200R Sport - A mix of super-naked-meets-sports-tourer. Basically a K1200R with a half fairing, it is now capable of touring, too.


BMW K1200R Resident Evil special

The special edition BMW K1200R

In 2007, BMW also created this one-off K1200R to celebrate the launch of the new Resident Evil: Extinction movie. The special bike was painted by German airbrush artist Georg Huber, and prepared by a team of engineers at BMW in Munich. The paintwork alone took three weeks to complete.

Owners' reviews for the BMW K1200R (2005 - 2008)

15 owners have reviewed their BMW K1200R (2005 - 2008) 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 K1200R (2005 - 2008)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
2 out of 5 Gear Shifting Issue
17 May 2021 by Shawn011

Year: 2006

This is very comfortable to ride. However, it has a gear shifting issue that is shifting gear to 2nd gear.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This bike has nice power and Very comfortable ride.

Engine 5 out of 5

Nice Power.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

This bike made to 80k miles which is great. However, again K1200R has gear shifting issue to 2nd.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

This bike has auto suspension adjustment. I do not need tools to adjust the suspension.

Buying experience: This bike is already old. It should cost you having repair the gear issue.

5 out of 5 Mind blowing machine
23 May 2020 by Sparky

Year: 2005

Very very happy, owed zzr14, tuono gen 1, tl1000r before, this bike is comfy over long distances(5'11)300 miles a day aint a problem, power is delivered very smoothly from 3k all the way up, ESA does amazing job, ypu will get your knee dow no problem. Very good round twisties, dualever fork is amazing.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Comfy, all day riding, 2up perfect.......did i mention comfy???

Engine 5 out of 5

It aint v twin so dont expect torque arount 2k, but you open it up aything above 3k and she pulls like a train. Been riding zx14 for 2 years and after changing to k12 im not disappointed at all.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Never had any issues, make sure all recalls are done befor you buy.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Aint the cheapest to maintain, but hey its a BMW right?

Equipment 5 out of 5

Bmw soft bag, 150£ worth. Would be enough to get you around spain for 3 weeks

5 out of 5
27 December 2019 by Brent

Version: Naked

Year: 2005

good

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Rare and underrated :)
09 November 2015 by Azog

Year: 2005

Annual servicing cost: £300

I was very skeptical at first, having been a sports bike and sports touring biker for 25 years or so. I decided I'd had enough of the MotoGP riding positions, and for me (me being tall) I needed some real comfort. These are relatively rare on the roads, and it seems underrated too! Many don't realise how powerful these bikes are - and I like that! Mine has a top yoke conversion which makes it even better! A taller screen with adjustable angle make this usable at motorway speeds ;) Without it, like all naked type's, it sucks. The power is awesome, and the speed consistent with said power. I ride with many sports bikes and I'm never left behind. It handles well considering its size, and behaves well in the twisties. The ESA suspension is a great addition. It works too! Comfort for a lazy bimble, or sport for more serious velocities. Great for two-up too. It's a big bike, and has awesome styling! It works for me anyway... I love this bike, and of course I recommend it :)

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Linear power delivery. I have a Power Commander 3 and an unbaffled Remus, and it throws flames! No real "power band", but it has seemingly endless bags of torque... Shaft drive does makes its presence felt in torque-reaction, which is well known of all shaft drive bikes. Bundles of power, can wheelie with ease (I don't of course ;)...

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Mine has 20k and has zero corrosion. It's never let me down, and is always "on the button". I do look after it though, and it won't see a salty road ever...

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Can become a money-pit if not well cared for...

Equipment 5 out of 5

Love the built-in din socket for powering the sat-nav. ESA suspension is worth seeking out. Heated grips are awesome. Seat is a bit hard I find.

Buying experience: Dealer bought

5 out of 5 Go, go, go .......... gone!
14 November 2014 by BartonBiker

Recently bought a 2006 K1200R after many years of riding Boxer BMWs, and although I wouldn't want to be without my flat twins, this in-line four brings a whole new meaning to grunt. It will go like stink in top with only 2,000 revs on the clock, and will out-accelerate most other bikes which try to take it on. The only down side is I should have bought one years ago, but really enjoying it now! Excellent, and a real crowd puller too.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Great Machine!
25 August 2014 by RogerRSV

After sports bikes, I made the move to a Tuono a number of years ago and loved it. I always said it would be a special bike that moved me on from the Aprilia and this is it! I was seeking better comfort but with added attitude and power - and found it. The duolever suspension works brilliantly, the power band is amazing. At 6ft 3" the machine size is perfect for me - went for the silver bodywork with black engine and shaft drive - looks great - the headlights are an oddity but as with the Tuono, unconventionality is a winner for me. Great bike - love it!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 My best choice!
03 August 2009 by Petaar

I've had lots of different bikes and I usually change bike every year. This year I sold my K1200R and hoped to find something new and fresh to ride. Now the summer is about to end and I still have not found a worthy replacement to the K1200R. The K1200R has so many positives sides like the never ending power and torgue, it's so comfortable for the longer trips and so fun to ride on a race track. The only issue is the price but it's worth saving for. For me this means that I will start looking for a K1200R again and start a long relationship.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 k12100r
30 March 2009 by partyarty

i bought k1200r model and i had many bikes in my time,but ive never be so blown away with this bikes performace and handling. personally speaking and dont think i would ever get bored with this machine. i recommend anyone to buy one you will be amazed. arty.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Machs mit qualitat!
10 April 2008 by tamlin23

There is no denying BMW build quality. As soon as I first saw the K12, I knew it had been the subject of many many hours of carefully though out design. The look devides opinions as they say, but I believe a belly pan fitted as standard, would be enough to turn the tide for those who would declare it is not pleasing to the eye. The K12 is not a light bike, but its weight is carried low, so the only time its noticable, is when you try to walk it backward up a hill (yes my garage is on a bit of a hill!). The engine is responsive and linear, but if you want to see what the bike can do, you must relieve yourself of any mechanical sympathy you may have, as the K12's 4 pot makes the strangest noises I have experienced from a bike, especially when winding on from low revs. The K12 is a very fast bike, but it never really feels it. The ESP suspension, with its para - duolever set up works wonderfully well. The rear swing arm is also a marvel, single sided with a shaft drive, in a slim and sculpted arm keeping it all together, how do they do it?! The front wont dive like normal forks, and with ESP set up being WP units and braided lines all round, you wont ever want to upgrade these parts. ABS is good for resale value, but not so good for riding. Sure it could save you someday.. possibly... but for the rest of the time its just awkward. Don't get me wrong, the brakes are good and stop the bike very well. At national limit speeds they offer all you need in power and 'feel'. But enter a town riding environment and they become snatchy and over sensitive up front, and have a dead feel too the rear. I believe it is due to the servo's assisting the brakes. But then if ABS were not installed, I'm sure the situation would swith on its head, and the brakes would be great round town, and awful for higher speed. The choice is yours... The K12 is comfortable and can tour or scratch easily, why buy its ugly sister (the K1200S), when you could have a mean looking naked, and still be comfortable at speed. I would recommend the bike, it will serve owners well, and it will always devide opinion, making it the subject of attention at almost any bike gathering.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Awesome Bike
15 January 2008 by adventureman

I've been running my K1200R for 5 months now and I'm just as impressed with it as the day I bought it. Once you get used to the front end its a very planted and suprisingly quick steering bike for its size. Comfort is excellent, there's been a lot of thought given to the riding position which is all day comfortable, I purchased the sport screen but to be honest I can't tell any real benefit to having it fitted and I think it tends to soften the aggressive look of the bike too much, want a faired bike? buy the Sport or S instead. The best thing about the bike is the engine, it is immense! the torque it generates is something else it will pull from 6th even from a walking a pace and over 6000 rpm you really need to hang on because this thing is FAST! Downsides? cleaning it, tyre life and price (with the extras), although you do get a bike which turns plenty of heads as people can't comprehend it's actually a BMW, if buying used make sure you check the cylinder head for corrosion underneath the powder coat, this is a problem that has affected my bike but the dealer response has fantastic thus far in relation tot he problem.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Truly awesome bike
23 August 2007 by ostrye

Having covered 13k miles, am still happy I chose K12R. No problems with jerky fuel injection, so I probably got lucky :D

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Awesome bike
02 May 2007 by robpendle

Awesome engine and stunning looking bike. Riding position very comfortable once you get used to it. Wind protection surprisingly good. Needs a hugger (have fitted one) and not sure about the Bridgstone tyres.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 BMW K1200r Fully Loaded!
13 October 2006 by bozr

Had test ride just for intriuge and was impressed with everything - torque, stability, safety and it'll go like fuck when asked. Wind resistance is so good for a naked roadster compared to other bikes I've had - Ducati Monster Z1000 and CB1300. Strengths: Power, stability, comfort, fuel. Weaknesses: Electric everything, waiting for problem!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 My Review
02 September 2006 by garywarren

Bought my K1200R 5 months ago, 2 days after I took one out for a test ride. Only test rode one to pass the time. WOW! You gotta try it to believe it, always had supersport bikes for last 22 years & this is the most eye popping fun I have ever had! Not only is it very fast & suprisingly nimble & agile it is comfy, been Europe twice on it already, once with wife on the back, very focused & stable on the bends, no sign of wobble even on the dreaded white lines, brakes brilliant (non ABS) no dive at all, suspension brilliant (ESA). Just totaly Mad! Strengths: Power & Torque, Handling, Brakes, Comfort & did I mention the power & torque! Weaknesses: After Market Parts rare as rocking horse S..t.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Fast, Stable and Fun!
15 January 2006 by aja1972

<p>Done 300 miles, first impressions. Amazing! This bike will pull your arms off from 2000 rpms, when you think the power in the revs are about to die at 8000 rpm, you get another dollop of torque. Round the twistys &amp; corners that I used to slow down for (previous bike FZS 600) now I&nbsp;just ride around. Stable in all situations. No dive when braking. Comfy for over 2 hours, had to stop for petrol before I had any aches or pains. The BMW pannier bags are a class act as well&nbsp;&amp; complement the bike well. I test drove several bikes&nbsp;&amp; the K1200r just felt the best bike for me. Don't take my word for it,&nbsp;get down to a BMW dealer for a test drive.&nbsp; Strengths: Fun, speed, stability, well made, comfy, carries a pillion in it's stride&nbsp;&amp; I for one like the looks. Weaknesses: Price, centre stand and alarm should be standard.</p>

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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