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:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 roadster with a 21st century twist.
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 that it's worse value than its rivals, but everall buyers are happy.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||8v, flat twin|
|Frame type||Steel tubular bridge frame|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|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||£96|
|Annual service cost||£140|
|Used price||£6,200 - £10,000|
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
Owners' reviews for the BMW R1200R (2015 - 2019)
7 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Yes without a doubt
All the time and great all-rounder around 2- 2 1/2 hours
Super build and totally reliable
Exhaust after market
Buying experience: Good dealer good value and good ox
Version: R1200R Sport
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Done several 2500 mile trips pillion no gripes.
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.
Shitty lightweight front wheel bearings other than that nothing negative. Quickshifter auto blipped work well.
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
Great handling very comfortable Over 60 mpg easy to service but requires dealer reset for service reminder. ....ignore!
Quite powerful but manageable and econoy
Very well built nutlike most bikes these days doesn’t have a proper rear mudguard
Comfort and handling
Buying experience: Dealer 9k but traded in a tiger 1050 against the BMW
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.
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.
I dislike nothing about the engine. Great acceleration, well mannered in all gears.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ballistic... what a peach of an engine. Grab a test ride to experience it for yourself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.