BMW R1200R (2015 - 2019) Review


  • A boxer for the modern motorcycling age
  • As tech heavy as any sportsbike from the era
  • Classic roadster with a 21st century twist

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £170
Power: 125 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: High (509 lbs / 231 kg)


New N/A
Used £6,800 - £8,500

Overall rating

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

With its silky, new-generation boxer engine, telescopic upside down forks and a host of standard and optional electronic rider aids the 2015 BMW R1200R enters the modern motorcycling age.

Fully-loaded, it’s as techno-packed as any sportsbike, with all the safety and performance advantages that brings, but it’s still simple and friendly to ride. It’s a classic sports tourer with a 21st century twist.

This bike replaced the 2006-2014 BMW R1200R. It was replaced itself by the BMW R1250R in 2019.

There's a popular enthusiasts' scene for this bike. Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, why not head to the R1200R Forum?

Watch: 2015 BMW R1200R video review

Ride quality & brakes

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

It’s friendly, easy to manage and supremely comfortable, although being a roadster, wind protection isn’t great at high speeds.

Conventional 45mm non-adjustable upside forks replace the Televeler system from the previous model, giving the R1200R more feel going into corners, especially in the wet and at the limit in the dry.

The rear end’s ‘EVO Paralever’ offers decent feel and stability, but still rises slightly on and off the power, but on the plus side, you’ll never need to clean or adjust your chain again. Wet and dry grip from the Metzeler Z8 Roadtec tyres are superb and the ABS-assisted radial front calipers never lack bite or power.

Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) gives the R1200R semi-active suspension, like the DDC-equipped HP4, but has electronically-adjustable preload as well. It adds an extra layer and plushness to an already sweet-handling chassis.

BMW R1200R on the road left bend


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

The R’s old 109bhp old air/oil-cooled engine makes way for the same 1170cc, 125bhp air/liquid-cooled DOHC flat-twin unit that powers the ‘13 R1200GS, ’14 R1200GS Adventure and R1200RT, but with a revised airbox and exhaust design.

The ride-by-wire-controlled engine has a beautifully-smooth power delivery, a snatch-free throttle, lots of usable torque and a decent kick at the top end. Although more refined than ever, the boxer motor still has bags of character.

BMW R1200R on the road in a city centre

Reliability & build quality

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

It’s built like a Tonka toy, has a deep paint finish and all the controls work smoothly and easily.

Our BMW R1200R owners' reviews show a few issues with reliability, particularly for older bikes. There are reports of corrosion and also mechanical issues.

BMW R1200R action tracking shot on road

Value vs rivals

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

Ten grand is a lot to pay for a basic roadster, but load it up with the optional electronics extras and suddenly the R1200R becomes excellent value for money and it will hold its value more when it’s time to sell.

As a more relaxed naked bike or roadster, the BMW's natural rivals include the Triumph Speed Twin, Ducati Monster 1200 and Kawasaki Z900.

BMW R1200R tank decal


3 out of 5 (3/5)

BMW are a bit mean with their toys as standard, but the R does come with two riding modes, a basic traction control system and ABS.

But there are some incredible electronics available as options, such as: two extra riding modes, full Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), semi-active suspension, a quickshifter/auto-blipper, cruise control, heated grips, keyless ignition and on-board computer.

The BMW R1200R Exclusive gets electronically adjustable suspension, cruise control, centre stand, luggage rack, panier fastners, on-board computer and LED indicators.

Then, there’s an almost endless selection of performance, design and touring goodies to choose from BMW’s vast parts and accessory catalogue.

BMW R1200R dash


Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v, flat twin
Frame type Steel tubular bridge frame
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 231kg
Front suspension 45mm non-adjustable Sachs forks (Dynamic ESA optional)
Rear suspension Preload adjustable rear shock (Dynamic ESA optional)
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial calipers.
Rear brake 276mm single disc with twin-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £170
New price -
Used price £6,800 - £8,500
Insurance group 12 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 92 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 178 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2006 – R1200R takes over from R1150R.
  • 2015 - R1200R replaced with updated model.
  • 2019 - R1250R replaces R1200R.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the BMW R1200R (2015 - 2019)

11 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200R (2015 - 2019) 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 R1200R (2015 - 2019)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £170
5 out of 5 Very Over Looked Bike
16 May 2023 by Keith Bellringer

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £120

The low down weight distribution leaves the bike feeling light, Super Torque throughout the power range offering great response - Being a naked bike it does get a little windy but far less buffeting than with fairings The best bike, by such a long way, I've ever owned

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Twin Bembo callipers at the front and single to the rear - Says it all really - Fantastic

Engine 5 out of 5

Everything to like and nothing to dislike - Brings such a smile to your face - With Shift Assist Pro and Blip it is so quick and very quiet

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

The quality runs through the bike like a stick of rock

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

Like any BMW you can rack up the cost if you start to add any extras - Mine is basic but doesn't feel like I'm missing out on anything except a screen - Should be standard

4 out of 5 Underrated bike thats far better than a GS
18 October 2022 by StateOne

Version: Exclusive

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £200

It is more than the sum of its parts. Power is great, handling is excellent. Brembo brakes are everything you'd expect. Electronic suspension adjustme ts and engine modes work well and the bike is great on fuel.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I don't have a pillion. It is important to have the right seat as BMW do them in different sizes. The bike manages full panniers , top box and a seat stacked with bags with effortless aplomb.

Engine 5 out of 5

Grunty, slightly noisy but it's a Boxer not an inline four. Can surprise sportsbikes on twisty roads due to the effortless low down torque.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Corrosion on engine is annoying I'd expect better. The bodywork paint finish is good but the wheels also have some corrosion.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The dealership I have used do not inspire me with confidence. In future I shall probably travel further and try another. When the staff all seem stressed and grumpy it is not a good sign.

Equipment 5 out of 5

I fitted Shad luggage, better than BMWs own. I like the NAV and heated grips. More than enough toys for someone who started riding bikes in the mid eighties.

Buying experience: Bought privately.

5 out of 5 BMW R1200R - A very underrated Bike
16 August 2022 by Graham Hardman

Year: 2016

This is a great bike. I’ve had 2 R1200GS and, for anyone who uses them as road bikes, I think this is a better fit. The pillion provision on the GS is a little more roomy, but it’s not bad at all, on the R. I find that it’s very similar to the GS, when moving, but it’s lower height gets rid of the anxiety about loose surfaces and adverse slopes, when coming to a stop. The gearing is a little higher than the GS, which translates into a bit better fuel economy.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

This bike is all day comfortable, subject to the usual (old man’s?) problems of stiff knees etc. I usually have to fit aftermarket seats to my bikes, but this is still on the standard seat. i did fit some bar risers. But, again, that s an ‘old man’ thing. I’ve regularly ridden for around 8 hours with breaks for fuel, toilets, coffee etc.

Engine 5 out of 5

BMW 1200lc boxer engines are nice, torquey motors and, although you have to rev them, to get the most from the torque, 3-5 thousand revs are adequate for all but the fastest take offs.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

My bike is now almost 6 years old, and still looks like new, when it’s been cleaned properly. It’s lost 1 star as I had to replace the brake discs at 28,000 miles, due to the front ones being slightly warped. This is the first time I’ve had to replace discs at such a low mileage.My quick shifter works well but is a bit stiff. The newer ones (on the R1250R) are much smoother.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

These bikes are not cheap to buy, but depreciation is then quite low. Servicing could probably be a little cheaper, if I didn’t use the main dealer, but the warranty on used bikes is excellent.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The electronic suspension makes all the big BMs a pleasure to ride, and this is no different. I had to change the silencer, as the standard one is massive. This is understandable, due to current type approval. But BMW then added insult to injury by chroming it, so you can’t ignore it.

Buying experience: I’ve bought all my BMWs from Wollaston Motorrad, in Northamptoon. Their attention to customers, and aftersales service, are second to none. They aren’t cheap, as with all BMW main dealers, but the service cushions the effect considerably.

5 out of 5 Bmw r1200r flys under the radar
08 October 2021 by Dip

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £300

Having grown up on Lc's and cbr's through the eighties I've had a fair few bikes. I absolutely love this bike. It is the perfect all rounder. Effortless riding with great handling made with quality components.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

At it's best Rolling through twisties or slicing through traffic. 2 hours easily without a stretch

Engine 5 out of 5

Love the boxer engine. Loads of torque and effortless riding without wringing it's neck.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Bmw quality, no complaints.

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

Has all I need, fuel gauge, gear indicator, riding modes, heated grips.

Buying experience: Great service from Hythe Hill Motorcycles in Colchester. Did a deal on a z1000sx (which I hated)

5 out of 5 r1200r
28 May 2021 by Spells

Version: Naked

Year: 2015

Yes without a doubt

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

All the time and great all-rounder around 2- 2 1/2 hours

Engine 5 out of 5

Power great

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Super build and totally reliable

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

Exhaust after market

Buying experience: Good dealer good value and good ox

5 out of 5 Great bike that is too often overlooked but I would recommend anyone to try for themselves.
23 April 2021 by Bob J

Version: R1200R Sport

Year: 2017

Excellent bike that is often overlooked in favour of the GS and RT. The bike does not suffer the bulk or high seat height of its family and is a joy to ride. handles beautifully and very economical. It is a definite road bike so does not have the off road capability of the GS but unless you need that capability this is a great bike to own and ride. Esthetics are a personal thing and the R1200R is not a visual thing of beauty but having said that what lies beneath the surface is a great surprise.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes are excellent with plenty of feel to them. The suspension however is a little too firm when on its softest setting. I weigh only 67kgs and find that on the softest setting I get bounced around on badly surfaced roads, which let's be honest account for at least 50% of UK roads. There are plenty of adjustment possibilities in the ESA options and fully loaded it probably rides with less bounce.

Engine 5 out of 5

Engine is a peach with plenty of usable torque low down the rev range so no need to play tunes on the gearbox unless you are in the mood. The engine gets a little vibey above 4-5k but it's a boxer and that's its character.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Having only the bike for 9 months and covered only 2,500 miles (Covid restricted) I cannot really comment on reliability but no issue to date and finish is very good if you accept that there are probably too many plastic body parts that could have been finished to a higher standard

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I have yet to pay for an annual service but being a BMW I do not expect it to be cheap. Fuel costs however are very reasonable with the bike returning 60+ mpg on average providing you do not ride like a WSB rider.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Being the Sport model my bike, purchased as a used model, had loads of electronic toys, whether they are all really required is debatable but they are convenient and work. I even find the cruise control and heated grips great for long journeys. You don't get a rear hugger on the bike and the front mudguard is too short but that's common to the majority of modern bikes so I am not going to downgrade the score on these items,

Buying experience: Bought used from a BMW dealer at a great price (just after the first Covid lockdown) and the whole experience was straight forward with the bike exactly as described and fully prepared upon collection. The super price even included a 2 year BMW warranty.

5 out of 5 Great bike would buy again and I’ve had loads of different bikes and if you want fast safe gritty bike great for scottish roads and touring. Heavy though
09 January 2021 by Andrew Hendry.

Year: 2016

Fuel consumption even when hammeringIt its great, maybe suspension dips a bit more than I’d like hard braking but ok. I ive some of these sports bike riders who buy bike talk shit then get left on windy roads bu a heavy naked bike love it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Done several 2500 mile trips pillion no gripes.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I bought this bike primarily because had both hips done GSXR had to go. Didn’t particularly like the style but wanted to go to continent. Still prefer sports bikes for looks. But what can I say bike is superb. Fuel consumption amazing for a bike with fair bit of grunt semi active suspension great. No chain to lube or adjust, and for its size it’s got a decent price of power. Weak points not a lot, I feel the brembo could maybe have better master cylinder, cruise control amazing but getting more common. Forgotten bike in bmw range. But shouldn’t be.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Shitty lightweight front wheel bearings other than that nothing negative. Quickshifter auto blipped work well.

Equipment 2 out of 5

My bikes got every option apart from keyless ignition. Top box it to small other than that I think needs all the options. Typical BMW they don’t come cheap. Navigator v1 amazing

Buying experience: Dealer list price plus extras £14200

4 out of 5 Best bike I’ve ever owned in c 60 years
31 October 2020 by Bill the Biker

Year: 2017

Great handling very comfortable Over 60 mpg easy to service but requires dealer reset for service reminder. ....ignore!

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

Quite powerful but manageable and econoy

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Very well built nutlike most bikes these days doesn’t have a proper rear mudguard

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

Comfort and handling

Buying experience: Dealer 9k but traded in a tiger 1050 against the BMW

4 out of 5 The bike that 80 percent of GS riders would be better suited to.
28 October 2019 by christopher scott

Version: exclusive

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £50

Great all rounder, carries pillion and luggage for the european tours that other grunty roadster twins fail to do. Ticked all the boxes and bought pre registered, so far no issues with 3 spanish tours under the belt. Bike has been nowhere near a dealer so costs in use are low. Routine maintenance is a doddle. Covered 11.5k miles. Good fun solo and handles really well. Massive improvement over the telelever shod BMW`s old and new. I reckon if you are under 6ft tall and do not want to ride off road this is the boxer for you. Better handling than the GS loads more character than the SXR. If you are pushing on and have a full days riding ahead of you then you will feel the effects of the smaller screen. Can not see me chopping it in for the Shift cam any time soon.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Back brake is very good, great engine braking, quick shift works a treat when you get used to it, especially the down shifts. The front headlight is not much cop in the dark. Lovely two up bike . We ride in general from a full tank till the fuel light comes on. 2hrs and we are ready for a break. Bike has a centre stand which is great for tyre changing and servicing but can be a bit disconcerting for the missus when it starts to scrape. It really is a great looking bike with muscle presence, retro appeal and a lovely soundtrack even with the standard exhaust. Why anyone would change it is beyond me.

Engine 5 out of 5

I dislike nothing about the engine. Great acceleration, well mannered in all gears.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Still looks like new. Never been near a salted road though. It really does have a premium bike feel. Everything works as it should. Bought a grp hugger for it to protect the fancy esa shock, a fenda extenda and inexpensive chinese lower front casing and zorst crossover protector. The paint system on the rims is a bit shallow. So extra care needed when changing tyres.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I am a diy enthusiast so in the main, lubricants, coolant, hydraulics filters, plugs,pads and valve clearances only cost me the materials. A Haynes or Clymer is a must.

Equipment 5 out of 5

sat nav 5 , wonder wheel, esa, quick shift pro, auto lights, brembo`s, cornering abs, dash, riding modes all work well, tyre pressure sensors work, even tell you pressure. I swear by Maxxis tyres, and try not to dick about with expensive after market tat other than bits previously mentioned. The bike is great from the factory and the after market crap that gets fitted might not be the next would be owners choice.

Buying experience: Dealer purchased. Pre Reg. Xmas time 2016. Got a good deal , bought full BMW luggage. Forgot what i paid for it. I do not entertain PCP cos I like to own not rent my vehicles.

5 out of 5 Great All-rounder!
09 March 2016 by PaulH

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £200

Grunt is the one word I'd use to sum this bike up! It really pulls from any gear, in fact in normal everyday use I'd say it's quicker 'point to point' than my S1000R was. Not only that but it does it with such ease, comfort and sweet handling.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Breaks are very strong although they don't bite immediately and take a small amount of lever travel before they engage. But once there... they are very strong. Ride quality is very smooth and comfortable. Wind protection is not good as would be expected from a naked bike so an after market screen (BMW touring screen) was necessary and has made it much more bearable in the winter.

Engine 5 out of 5

Ballistic... what a peach of an engine. Grab a test ride to experience it for yourself.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far perfect. The bike is beautifully put together with quality components and switch gear. I know the servicing will be a bit pricey... but it's a BMW after all.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I'm getting 50 mpg pretty consistently. Hooligan mode riding will reduce it to 45 mpg but motorway riding will see 55+ mpg. I bought mine as an ex-demo bike with 1500 miles and saved about £1500 from the retail price. At that level it was great value.

Equipment 4 out of 5

BMW are never terribly generous with spec and you have to pay for it. That said you do get ABS and two riding modes as standard and the bike is very comfy straight out of the box. Personally I don't think the dynamic suspension is worth paying for unless you're going to do lots of two-up riding. The one must-have item which is not fitted by BMW is a rear hugger or 'mudsling'. The rear wheel does throw a lot of water onto the back of the riders legs, so this (for most) will need to be an immediate fit.

Buying experience: Professional and hassle free.

4 out of 5 BMW R1200R 2015, Amazing piece of kit
22 January 2016 by BigAl

Version: Sport

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £170

Great comfort and speed, the riding modes are great and the settings for the pillion/luggage has helped loads. Very heavy when not moving or stopping on a hill/slope, can be very worrying at time.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes: are great but take their time to kick in, on my last bike the bite was straight away and it stopped on the stop, but with this big, they take longer to engage and it seems to like stopping over a longer distance, should be ok, but have had a couple of hairy moments. Pillion: Happy to ride for a couple of hours in the saddle, very enjoyable, no issues with the suspension and set up. You pillion will get very wet from the spray from the back wheel.

Engine 5 out of 5

Amazing motor, pulls like a truck on steroids. Love leaving it in a high gear and then giving it some beans, and hearing the noise from the Remus can I had installed. Just love not having to worry about being in the right gear or the speed, as with the 800cc BMW's. Engine modes are very good, have loved using the rain mode to help in the wet and when by myself, putting it in User and seeing what the bike can do.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Rear or the bike has small scratches on it already from pillions getting on and off. Everything else is amazing, starts every time and no issues with double starts.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Only had it for a month so far, so hoping this doesn't run into millions, but so far the bike seems no more expensive than my triumph street triple R. Not looking forward to the 12,000 miles service, as I have been told it going to be an average of £400.00.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Made sure I got the sports version (red and white) and it had every single option added to it. The bike is the most advanced thing I have every owned and I love playing with the toys on it. The blipper and gear assist are not important and you can do without, but are fun when used. The modes and setting are worth the money and having the day running light is a good option too. I also brought the side luggage and SatNav 5, as I have decided to be a weekend tourer, both are a good buy, but the SatNav 5 is bloody amazing (expensive) just easy to use and gives you some much information about your journeys and the bike stats.

Buying experience: Brough from a dealer, the price was £11,495.00 with all the extra bits on so it would have cost £14,080.00 (ex Demo) but after adding the boxes, Remus and SatNav it came to about £13,200.00. The experience so far hasn't been the best as I waited an extra 2 weeks for the bike and it was still dirty when picked up, bolt missing from under the rear pillion seat and no tool kit under the seat. Have discussed problems with dealer and hoping to get sorted soon.

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