Senior road tester Michael Neeves swaps his long-term Yamaha R1 for the Editors R1200RS and takes it for a long weekend away
"I’ve been riding the Editor, Andy Calton’s new £11,065 BMW R1200RS all weekend and racked-up 450-miles going from Stamford to Brighton, Ramsgate and back again. It did 50mpg and the tank range is around 175-miles.
We’ve already ridden it at its launch and in road tests, but this is the first chance I’ve had to ride it. It’s a bike I’ve really been looking forward to.
The shaft driven, boxer-engined BMW is a great sports tourer, with surprisingly fruity acceleration, excellent brakes and decent handling, but if you push hard in the corners (more than it was designed for, to be fair) it gets a bit loose.
But it’s smooth, comfortable (with the mid-height seat Andy’s fitted) and roomy. You could happily ride it across Europe with no aches or pains, but it’s not a physically big bike, so it might be a squeeze two-up on a long trip. I couldn’t get comfortable with the too-tall, or too-low two-position screen and hte digital dash is too small and fussy.
If you’re after the ultimate in touring comfort, head for the flawless, but pricier R1200RT, but the R1200RS is a decent balance between fun, practicality and comfort. BMW has changed the Telelever front end for conventional S1000RR-type forks, too, so there’s lots more feel at the front, especially in the wet.
Of the optional extra equipment, I’m not keen on the quickshifter/autoblipper, which is so stiff it’s easier just to use the clutch, but I love the heated grips, cruise control and simple-to-use panniers.
The R1200RS really is an excellent machine and gives you a little bit of everything: speed, fun, practicality and comfort. I’d like it to offer a little bit more sports or comfort for it to really make me go ‘wow’, but for the price the BMW is a great all-rounder".
Michael's long-term test bike for 2015 is Yamaha's brilliant R1, read his updates and follow the progress of the other bikes on the MCN long-term fleet here