I’ve always had a soft spot for sporty boxer-engined bikes and while in terms of pure performance there is no way the R1200S can hold a candle to the HP2 Sport, it isn’t a bike to be dismissed. This is a unique- looking boxer that, like so many of BMW’s models, is actually extremely accomplished at just being a really enjoyable road bike. Although back in the day this point was lost in translation.
BMW dropped the ball with the R1200S and that’s why it was only in the range for two years. After the popularity of the R1100S, the R1200S was designed to be even sportier and as such shed weight, gained power and became sharper styled. But BMW overlooked the fact R1100S owners bought the bike as a sports-tourer, not a sportsbike, and the R1200S’s initial lack of luggage options killed its sales.
For simple cruising the R1200S is excellent. The riding position is far more akin to a sports-tourer than a sportsbike and it’s a very comfortable place to spend time, especially if heated grips and a taller screen are fitted. To non-BMW riders the Paralever front end does initially feel alien but you soon dial into this unique ride, so go for a proper test ride rather than a short trip around the block. Much like the rest of the bike, it’s an acquired taste.
We headed over to MCN Compare to see how the R1200S stacks up against other £5500 sports tourers and while it's not the most desirable of the bunch it is the cheapest.
2006 BMW R1200S - £135
2006 Ducati ST4S - £130
2014 Suzuki GSX1250F - £145
2010 Honda VFR1200F - £146
2012 Kawasaki Z1000SX - £150
2013 Yamaha FZ1 Fazer - £161
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