BMW R1200ST (2005-2007) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Sprint ST and Honda's superb VFR800 VTEC are both faster, sharper and cheaper"

BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding

"Sprint ST and Honda's superb VFR800 VTEC are both faster, sharper and cheaper"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  110 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Insurance group: 15 of 17
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  • Medium seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The R1200ST is BMW’s Boxer-twin sports-tourer, now that the old R1100S has been supplanted by the newer, more sports-oriented R1200S. The problem is that the ST is on well-contested ground here – lining up against machines like Triumph’s excellent Sprint ST and Honda’s superb VFR800 VTEC, both of which are faster, sharper and cheaper.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Riders are impressed by the stability and composure of the BMW R1200ST, but the downside to that is the sense of heaviness in corners. It simply doesn’t carry its weight well. The Telelever front end feels remote until you get used to it – but it’s as safe as houses in reality.

Engine 3 out of 5

The BMW R1200ST's 1170cc, twin spark, SOHC Boxer twin is from BMW’s best-selling R1200GS. But in this package it feels slightly underwhelming. No matter how hard you wring the throttle the R1200ST always feels a little lacking in urgency. There are some intrusive vibes, despite the balancer shaft, which further spoils the show. The gearbox lacks smoothness, too.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

BMW enjoy an excellent reputation for quality and reliability. Not only that but the R1200ST has service intervals widely spaced at 6000 miles apart – with prices ranging from £155-£175, which is very reasonable indeed. The shaft drive means there’s no chain to wear out or clean, either.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

It is a lot of money for a machine that’s out-handled and out-paced by its rivals and on those terms the BMW R1200ST doesn’t represent terrific value. But depreciation is less of a factor since BMW values are as stable as they come, thanks to a high brand image and that reputation for reliability, almost regardless of mileage. Find a BMW R1200ST for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The R1200ST has the usual optional BMW items available – sat nav, heated grips, ABS, hard and soft luggage, a range of clothing and an alarm/immobiliser. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200ST in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200ST (2005-2007) 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 R1200ST (2005-2007)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

2005 BMW R1200ST

08 July 2016 by Aaron Kilen

The BMW R1200ST is a fantastic bike. I bought mine used with 44k miles on it. Solid bike. Drive Shaft makes it a bit tourquey in first gear and the front suspension is amazing at damping out the road but takes a while to really trust. The Servo... Read more Assisted brakes are the best brakes I have ever had on a bike. The headlight is brighter than most LED head lights that are coming on the newer bikes and I really like the bags and heated grips that came with it stock.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
This bike enjoys everything. Stop and go traffic is comfortable because of the seat and the light clutch. High Speeds is comfortable because of how quite the bike is. This bike absolutely loves to turn, I've taken 2 riders courses with this bike and have leaned the bike over far enough to rip the saddle bag off before. Very fun and well balance bike. Doesn't really have any issues except with how quite the bike is it makes it easy to be going faster than you think you are going. The servo Assisted brakes with ABS make this bike stop insanely fast if used correctly (If done right the ABS wont even kick in) But when you need the ABS it works well.
Engine
3 out of 5
The boxer twin is a great engine. BMW has been making them since the early 1900's, But it's not an inline four. It has tons of torque which makes it fun in the twisties and is very very smooth pulling strong all the way to redline. It's an engine that loves to rev and with a 7k redline it comes up fast. You shift a lot when hard on the gas and it's plenty to pull the front wheel up unintentionally. But it's not exceptionally fast. It'll pull hard well into the 130 range, but you can tell that it's at the top of it's abilities. It's a boxer twin. It's not meant to pull into the hundreds. The engine is built to be absolutely smooth and has no real surprises anywhere. Very solid and when paired with the driveshaft turns out to be a very fun, reliable combination.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Purchased at 44k miles and have literally only done the scheduled maintenance (BMW Schedules their maintenance on their bikes past 100k miles.) and Tires on this bike. This bike has no issues and will constantly take whatever you throw at it. Weather it's High Speed Twisties, or Stop and go traffic while it's 105 Degrees out it does it all. And very comfortably.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The only real running cost is tires and insurance and gas. I spend about 4-500 on tires since I buy the best tires I can get. And Insurance costs me 80/mo. Gas runs about 60mpg for me when I ride gently. But I can also empty the tank in an hour if I get on it.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The Bike comes standard with Auto Lighting for the instrument cluster, Heated Grips, Adjustable Clip On Handlebars, Manually Adjustable Windscreen, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Shocks, and Hazard lights. The headlight is probably the brightest of any bike for that year and brighter than the BiXenon Headlights on the 2012 Mazda Speed 3. The bike also came optionally with Side Bags and Top Luggage. My bike has all 3 and you can really get groceries with it. It is quite a lot of space. The onboard charging system is enough when revving to power an electric tire pump and will charge your phone whenever you need as long as you buy the $9 adapter from BMW. Highly Recommend getting a taller windscreen in the colder months. The Stock windscreen is fantastic when it's above 60 degrees. But when cooler than 50ish and raining you'll want a taller windscreen to get rid of the buffeting (And push the rain around you) and for those colder months the heated grips really do get quite hot. Hot enough to burn your hands in summer gloves actually.
Buying experience

Bought my bike used in 2015 with 46,134mi on it. It now has 58,800mi. I paid $5000 for mine. Prices have started going back up from the bottom which was ~$3000 due to the lack of them being around. Only about 1200 were imported and around 500 of them are left in the states. And this bike will really run into the 200k miles realm if taken care of.

4 out of 5

R1200ST

16 March 2011 by bzac

I see this bike as more of competition for BMWs RT than the VFR or Sprint (both of which I've owned) as the BMW St is for someone considering a BMW RT but wanting something a little lighter and sportier. IE if rideing across america, and its big... Read more highways get the RT , crossing Europe , ST is your ticket. The VFR and Sprint are more for keeping up with your sport bike friends and having some hard luggage along while you do it. With no shaft drive and cramped ergonomics for those over 5'10" a Sprint or VFR is not a serious long range tourer , probably the rational behind Honda coming out with the VFR1200. the VFR and Sprint are not great two up on any ride over an hour , where as the BMW is something you could take your pillion friend on for weeks abroad. New the BMW St was expensive , but used its 2K cheaper than an RT or a VFR. I paid 3900 pounds for mine with 25K on it , ABS panniers heated grips and every option . Bargin as VFRs and Sprints go for more than that. and the BMW is much much better built than either of those.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Three months on

13 August 2009 by jcbenbow

Done 3000 miles on the bike now, loads of grunt out the bends and for overtaking, great fun real world bike. Sorted the slow turn, tweaked the rear shock and my technique, dont even notice now the bike just goes where I want it to. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Good bike

12 May 2009 by jcbenbow

Bought second hand, owned for one month, £2000 cheaper than 1200RT of same age,this bike is such great value, handles well, goes well, over priced new but a great used buy. My only fault with the bike, a bit slow to turn in on the bends (slower than... Read more a RT1200}.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Could be more inspiring

01 June 2007 by crossharp

Not very inspiring. Like the engine but not as much fun as my old 1150 Adventure. However, good cross between sports & touring for myself an wife at our age (50s). Brakes are excellent as is weather protection. Its a little bit heavy on the arms in... Read more traffis but perfect at about 80mph+. Superb finish even after 4000 winter miles. Service on 1150 very good so expect the same with ST. Very easy to own - doesn't rot - which the journalists often (always) overlook. Dood bike butt probably it was the wrong choice after an 1150 Adventure. KTM was nearly bought but service costs, lack of dealers and reliability concerns ruled it out. Good tourer.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Chose this bike as it's light, caters for short riders and is reasonable on servicing costs.

04 August 2006 by mike760

Have only done 1300 miles on the bike so it hasn't loosened up properly yet. The bike is expensive for what you get and the dry clutch certainly takes a while to get used to - nowhere near as smooth as a wet! After a week the bike was recalled for a... Read more clutch re-fit. An identical clutch was fitted which makes me wonder why? Especially as it came back with 4 faults after the fit. Needless to say, Cannon BMW's technical ability leaves a lot to be desired. After taking the older R1150RT out for a day while the clutch was being fitted, yes, it takes a whole day as the bike has to be dismantled, I am thinking about trading the ST in for an RT as the handling is far superior. Strengths: Reported reliability - will have to see, if I keep the bike. Weaknesses: Indicators - why?! Economy, am unimpressed so far.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

1 Year and 6000 miles later...

30 March 2006 by wwdph02

Good job I read the reviews last year as this model seems to have disappeared from any follow-up reports. One thing I do agree with, is that BMW indicators still need thought and using the horn in an emergency could still result in a left turn... Read more being indicated. Still very happy with the bike, power abs brakes are superb and comfort/weather protection, especially against headwinds is excellent. First year service next week but nothing else has been required, used 1ltr. of oil which I am advised is normal with a new Beemer. 58-60 mpg and tyres will probably last beyond 8/9000 miles. Came with Michelin Pilot's which have compared well against my previous BT02 Bridgestones. Would still like to see a test where they use the correct 98octane fuel (Shell optimax is the only 98 otc available) and what a dyno run is like on 95 unleaded. Back-up and service from Ocean Plymouth has been as good as the BMW car support my son gets. Strengths: Power brakes, comfort two up, and reliability. Weaknesses: BMW switchgear for indicators, if only you could fit standard kit as supplied on every other Kawasaki/Yamaha I have owned!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2007
Original price £9,095
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £500
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: BMW R1200ST introduced.

Other versions

BMW R1200ST ABS: This version comes with Advanced Braking System, which was a £795 premium over the non-ABS version when new.

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  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Front view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1200ST motorcycle review - Riding
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