BMW R1200R (2006 - 2014) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,000|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
By now the world knows BMWs can be fun: the 180bhp K1200S and R models are simply riotous. But somehow the Boxer-engine range has always maintained a straight-faced attitude – diligent, hard-working and hard wearing. Then some bright spark decides the R1200R should be fashionably naked, have sporting pretensions with half decent handling and agility, and a touch of midrange grunt. It lives, master…
Watch the BMW R1200R up against Moto Guzzi's 1200 Sport
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Telever front suspension (relies on a single main spring under the steering head) is unique to BMW, as is the Paralever shaft arm. Used on its touring models the whole system is a testament to stability and a role model for coping with UK roads. Now lighten the steel-based frame, add sports-like steering and you get a bike, the BMW R1200R, that rolls over quicker than a nervous spaniel. Traffic dodging and A-road blasts are simple and fun, which sums the motorcycle up completely
EngineNext up: Reliability
With the BMW R1200R famed reliability meets the tuning fingers of a joker. There’s a fair wallop of bottom end grunt and top end kick – more than any naked bike has a right to have. Even though the old flat-twin is very old design-wise, modern internals, electronics and injected fuelling ensure the Boxer motor lives on for a while longer to keep BMW purists happy. Shaft drive is a god-send for the less mechanically minded.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
With an engine design that can be traced back to before most of us were born, and a rolling chassis that has tried and trusted components, the reliability of the BMW R1200R is never going to be an issue. However, modern electronics suffer on all bikes because of vibrations and hostile weather, so no one can guarantee a bike to be free from problems. If it helps, BMW has one of the strongest ‘faithful’ group of riders because it seems its motorcycles just keep going and BMW aftercare is a committed one.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
If the Japanese manufacturers produced an £8300 bum-basic naked with the R1200R’s performance then sales-wise it’d fall flat on its arse. So how comes BMW can get away with it? Simple really, because it is a BMW and with BMW motorcycles comes high resale values. Value for money? Not if you’re into bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1000, or Bandit Suzukis, but then they don’t have shaft drive and will never command a good resale value. Find a BMW R1200R for sale.
With the exception of a three-way height adjustable seat as standard, the R1200R is bum-basic for a BMW, and that’s why the price is kept low (for a BMW). But as it is a BMW the list of optional riding equipment is long (and pricey): Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), ABS, tyre pressure monitoring, soon-to-come traction control etc. There’s also a growing list of bolt-on accessories, from fly screen to panniers, to chrome bits ‘n’ bobs. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200R in the MCN Shop.
|Engine type||8v flat-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs, 4-pot calipers|
|Rear brake||265mm disc, 2-pot caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 17 in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||47 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£1,000|
|Used price||£4,200 - £7,000|
13 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||109 bhp|
|Max torque||85 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.3 secs|
|Tank range||155 miles|
Model history & versions
2006: BMW R1200R launched.
Owners' reviews for the BMW R1200R (2006 - 2014)
15 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200R (2006 - 2014) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,000|
A perfect example of the sum being greater than the parts. Looked at individually, the elements may seem ho hum in today's world of superlative stats. However, the balance of qualities and real world riding styles makes this the perfect all rounder. Pleasant, fun, capable, quality machine.
Very easy to ride. Super low center of gravity makes low speed handling a piece of cake. The machine is completely unflustered on the highway. It's not tuned like a sport bike. However, the telelever suspension makes it relatively easy to send the shocks in to be custom tuned if you really want to dial the bike in.
The 2013 and 2014 models have the "cam head" dual overhead cam version of the 1200. I would strongly recommend you buy one of these. The engine breathes better and spins up just a little higher. It is the last air cooled engine made by BMW- so in a way it is a perfected technology. Straightforward to work on. Spins up without fuss. Plenty of torque. Smooth at speed with no vibes (quite unlike the F800 series). This is the last of the legendary BMW boxers- and everyone should own one at some point in their life.
The overall construction is very good. If I'm going to be perfectly honest, it is not up to Honda detailing. There are a few rough edges. However, you are buying this bike for the engine and drive train, and that is very well engineered. Reliability wise, the bike has been excellent.
I do my own service. This bike is very easy to work on and you should have no issues keeping on top of it yourself.
This is a bare bones bike, but what you get is decent quality. The factory bags and top box are quality, but heavy. Finding a screen that doesn't create some turbulence can be an issue. I have a California Scientific screen to fit the factory bracket. It's a good compromise. However, if the weather is nice, Go Naked!
Excellent, comfortable bike. Fuel tank sender strip failed at 4k and failed again 650 miles later. Not good. BMW said not a common problem, but 3rd mechanic admitted a common fault. Fault also appears on GSs, and RT s as well!!
Electronic suspension excellent. Brakes superb.
Very flexible and fast enough for all your needs.
Apart from above fuel tank and gauge problem, no problems at all.
£60. Self serviced. Easy.
Good clear dials, heated grips, excellent BMW luggage.
Buying experience: Dealer. £6500. Got good trade-in.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Ideal bike for the non mechanic who wants to ride with the minimum fuss
Not paid for service yet so have guessed
No longer interested in power or speed , will cruise at 80 + all day
My first shaft drive , absolutely love it , no cack covered bike
Factory fit heated grips are amazing
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer locally . 11 year old 16 k miles £5500
Version: R1200R with sports package
Annual servicing cost: £2,700
comfortable, grunty, sounds awesome, goes very well, still light on fuel and has an awesome pull away. Remove some of the extra "unused" bits. I would recommend this to anyone. Just go and ride and feel for yourself.
comfortable. Had the S1000R previously and for daily use, commuting, longer distances or touring I do not think there is a better bike currently. Brakes are excellent, but takes a bit longer to grip like the S1000R. Still works well and does not fade through mountain passes. By the way-it loves mountain passes and the higher revving. Seat is comfortable, but BMW should manufacture so that it can be raised a bit. A must have for the bike is the Gearshift Assist Pro for up and down shift. It is fantastic and pops nicely.
Love the hp and torque. For me it is gruntier and faster 0-140 than my previous S1000R. Smooth fueling and the modes (custom, rain, road, dynamic) are great. Sometimes uses rain when there is a heavy down pour and feel much "safer." Mostly I ride in Dynamic and secondly in Road mode.
no issues with build quality after just over 31 000 kilometres. No issues with reliability and is backed by excellent service from BMW in South Africa.
normal costs according to me for servicing. When one gets to the higher kilometres then opening of the shaft for service and possibly the front shocks then it could be more expensive.
Dynamic suspension settings works well with one up or with pillion. I prefer all the road modes, LED lighting and the Gearshift Assist Pro. The shifter up and down really transforms the bike totally. I ride on Pilot Road 4 and will "upgrade" to Pilot Road 5 when these are finished. Good grip, mileage and wet weather control. I recommend removing the center stand, side frames for panniers as well as the top box extension at the back. The "dash" have been upgraded for 2019 with a full 6.5 inc screen, but the older dash on my 2016 model reads a bit difficult for me. I imported and fitted a Fuel Exhaust and it sounds fantastic.
Buying experience: I bought a demo model from BMW Motorrad in Cape Town and received a good "reduced" price on the model.
If you only have one bike this should be the one. It's nearly as pretty as a nineT and as capable as a GS
Brakes are very strong
An utterly brilliant bike that does absolutely everything
Very quick and feels like it would go to the moon and back without any issues
Annual servicing cost: £130
Best bike I have ever owed, handles extremely well mine has all the electric gadgets except keyless and they are outstanding. The gear shift assist is superb it makes you wonder how you managed without it. The added bonus of the traction control and ABS inspires confidence knowing if you are to heavy handed the electric wizardry keeps everything in line. I traded my S1000RR in for the R1200R LC and I have no regrets it has more than enough usable power for road riding compared to the insane almost 200 bhp monster S1000RR. I found the gearbox and quick shifter lumpy at first but with miles this disappeared and is excellent now also the engine after about 1.5k is an absolute peach.
Top notch brakes as mentioned before. Brake lever seems to have lots of travel before initial bite but you soon adapt and the stopping power is superb. The wife has only been out twice but she said comfort was just average, I mainly ride solo so I can live with that or you could always get a comfort seat. Rider comfort is the best I have ever had no problem 4 hours riding with minimal brakes.
Lots of instant grunt from zero revs more so than my S1000RR low down. It has enough power for road riding, however it does not have that insane speed especially that top end rush but a usable rev range right up to the limiter try hitting that on a 200 bhp bike and you are doing warp speed in the blink of an eye! It will still accelerate to 60mph faster than most things on the road and can certainly give a sports bike a bloody nose on the roads in the right hands.
So far so good. Nothing to report in 5 months and 2.5k miles
Too early to say about servicing, however fuel consumption is excellent at 48-51 mpg on a new engine with reasonable spirited riding. Check your BMW dealer does the first run in service correctly, check what there are going to do I read up on the internet about this and it happened to me. Two dealers near me did different things, one was £50 more expensive and (from memory) didn't include the shaft drive oil! Obviously I went to the cheaper dealer as they changed the shaft drive oil.
Everything bar keyless ignition, standard tyres (Z8) can't fault them so far
Buying experience: Main dealer
Annual servicing cost: £500
Soft suspension... But very pleasant to ride. Not a sport bike but all around nice motorcycle. Easy to do maintenance.
Overall soft suspension if you're used to a sport bike. It reminds me of when I first started riding .. Just a simple standard bike. Seat is ok but for all day need a Airhawk etc. il'll easy go over 200 miles on tank of fuel.. I average 47 mpg . The BMW luggage is first rate ... Easy on & off. you can go to the local store or as I have done ride it all day!!! It's light ,handles great, doesn't feel heavy like the BMW 1200 RT.
Lots of low end torque... You don't have to rev it out... Has 110hp !!! Valve ck with allen wrench , 10 mm open end & feeler gage's. Very quiet muffler. Gearbox is R model normal ... long throw , clunky but positive and also easy to change oil.
Maintenance like air filer & valve check easy to do...
I do my own maintenance.. No telling how much I really save.
Bike is very light , short sport windshield keeps wind off your chest but kinda noisy ...the touring windshield is a little taller but noisier !!! It's a standard so what do you expect!!! Heated grips & luggage rack standard !! The panniers are big & kinda make it hard to get off the bike . Has ABS & ASC standard along with dual trip meters , tire pressure monitors TPS are nice . Computer tells (estimates) how many miles to go on fuel & has air temperature read out .
Buying experience: Buy a used one like I did !!!
brilliant bike does everything well, wind protection ok up to 80mph, only glitch is factory sat nav poor position most of the time sun obscures screen .Also good pillion bike .
ticked all the options boxes made a brilliant bike, but at a price
Annual servicing cost: £1,500
Versatile machine. With an overdrive gear, it would be perfect. Needs better shocks.
Great on all roads and on highways up to 110 kmh. Ditch the stock seat. Excellent city machine.
Needs a controller to smoothen out the power delivery. Runs lean.
Broken bearings in the final drive were promptly changed, twice, at no cost in 2014 along with brake flange plate, from aluminium to steel.
1500 cdn for 15000 km
Buying experience: Dealer assisted private buy. 9000 cdn +15% tax in 2013 at 19600 km
Version: Sport with ESA suspension upgrade
Fantastic package but you need to spend more for the toys. I felt immediately at home throwing it into bends two up and my pillion said lets buy it when we got back from the ride.
Fabulous ride quality even two up. Great brakes and the ESA fork really inspires confidence on turn in. Very easy to tip the bike into bends and it holds the line when cracking open coming out.
Very smooth very refined, still has character but it's lost some of the crackle and pop of the old boxers. Can't fault the fueling from low speed and it does deliver torque by the bucket load.
Previous BMWs have tended to look a bit scabby after 3 years of wet riding. So buying a new one on PCP.
Very expensive once you add the ESA and a few options on.
Hmm pay for the Sport and the ESA fork is over £700 more. Still the Gear shift assist Pro is fantastic and standard on the Sport. The higher screen on the test bike seemed to just add to the wind noise, It's better without one.
Buying experience: Riders in Cardiff. Don't expect much discount from the retail price.
had this bike for 17 months done 91/5k miles bike has been faultless. have added v stream tall windshield givi luggage hugger bar risers. regurlarly get 63 mpg cruising at 70-75 tank actually holds 22 litres inc reserve so 250 miles to tankfull. use the bike for short trips at home but been to italy austria etc with no problems. even fully loaded its substantially lighter than the rt and does the same job, but in my opinion better ! these boxers like a drink of oil as they are running in, 1L/1k miles approx but by 10k they all but stop their thirst. excellent machine thats underrated and plenty quick enough for the real world.
This bike cost me more than my previous four put together, and three of those were new! With the kind of money I paid for this bike, it is difficult to speak of any value for money. If you want value for money, buy one of the Japanese marques where you are likely to get quality at an affordable price. But if the badge is important for you, if you simply must own a BMW, if you want to buy a bike as God intended it, then look no further. This naked is simply perfect. You either love or hate the protruding boxer engine. I happen to love it and I don't like the way it is hidden in the fairing of the RT models. It is nimble, manoueverable and quite comfortable. The only drawback is that I simply can't just leave it out parked anywhere without worrying that someone might damage it. Maybe this will wear off in a few months when it is not so new and eye-catching.
Brilliant, brilliant bike. It is comfy, rare (in London), powerful, nimble, reactive, light, and feels like quality throughout. Drinks quite a bit in town but outside is pretty reasonable. 2-up is also quite thirsty. One (petty) so-so thing: the sound of the horn, only thing that doesn't exude quality. It's my first BMW and the two-sided indicator switches took some getting used to, but 2 weeks will sort you out. No big deal at all. The sports screen is quite useless at speeds over 60mph. BMW topbox and panniers are excellent, fitting included. A doddle to stick on and off, but heavy. I find that the ABS does often come on when using the rear brake. I'm amazed at how competent it is at anything you ask of it; it's never fussy, always responsive and a beautiful machine too. I'd call it understated class.
I have one.. I really like it. Because it´s the naked allround! you can do everything wit this machine.. it can be sporty or relaxed, drive alone or with someone! And it´s beautifull!! I´m from Portugal and I don´t understand why here are so few r1200r and so many r1200gs! For me r1200r it´s better... for what I do.. working... commuting.. and it´s cheaper! hugs to all!! hooray motorcyclists
I had no intention of buying a new bike (especially a naked one) when I parked my K1200S to testride the R12R one sunny afternoon. However three days later I had one parked in my garage! My two previous bikes were a BMW K1200S and an Aprilia RSV1000R Factory. The R12R doesn't have the insane warp-speed accelleration of the K1200S and is down on power compared to the Aprilia - but on my local backroads I am faster on the R12R than on either of these bikes! The R12R is an incredibly fun ride with great handling, perfect fueling, and a wonderful new servo-free braking system. The ESA (electronic suspension adjustment) is not just a gimmick but really usefull when faced with changing road conditions. I ride this bike to work, take it wout for weekend runs on my local backroads and plan a longer trip with my wife this summer. It really is like having three bikes in one! Finally, the fuel economy (if you care about that sort of thing on a bike) is amazing: On my daily commute it gets 5,1L/100km = about 55 MPG (uk)!!! And on the open road it gets about 4,7L/100km or 60MPG (uk)!!! I strongly recommend a testride on this bike but have two pieces of advice: 1. Test ride one with ESA. 2. Take your wallet with you!