BMW R 1200 R


Win some, lose some

How does the latest R/R compare?

The best news with BMW’s naked Roadmeister is that what we lose is the unpopular power-assisted front brake. But how good is a new bike if the best thing about it is that some unnecessary technology has been removed?

BMW has sold some 60,000 of the R/R models since they were introduced in 2001, both in the 850 and the 1150 versions. That gives the new boy something to live up to, and fortunately it does it well.

The R 1200 R finally marks BMW’s realisation that the servo-assisted front brake, an unpopular innovation that I’ve described as an answer to a question nobody had ever asked, is not the way to go. Instead, BMW offers the new generation of integral ABS that you can combine with ASC anti-spin technology.

Other losses? As with so many bikes, the move to the Euro 3 pollution standard has stuffed up some of the engine’s responsiveness. Fortunately it’s just at low revs, where you can get a delay in the way the bike accepts throttle input. It’s no big deal but it would be nice if the 1200 was more like the 1150 in this regard. Blame Brussels, not Munich.

The bike makes a very good and enjoyable all-rounder and considering BMW’s usual prices, the cost is reasonable. Everything considered, it is a worthy successor to the 850 and 1150, especially since the despised servo-assisted brake is no more. If you want a bike that will do everything willingly and with a sense of fun, the R 1200 R should be on your must-see list.

Model: BMW R1200 R
Price: $18,750 (plus on-road charges)
Warranty: Two years, unlimited distance
Power: 80kW @ 7500rpm
Torque: 115Nm @ 6000rpm
Engine: Air-cooled flat twin, four-stroke, four valves per cylinder high cam, fuel injection and digital ignition
Bore x stroke: 101 x 73mm
Displacement: 1170cc
Compression: 12:1
Transmission: Six-speed, single-plate dry clutch, final drive by shaft
Suspension: Front, BMW Telelever fork, preload and rebound damping adjustable, travel 1250mm. Rear, BMW Paralever, preload and rebound damping adjustable, 140mm travel.
Dimensions: Seat height 800mm, weight 198kg (dry), fuel capacity 18 litres, wheelbase 1495mm
Tyres: Front, 120/70 ZR 17. Rear, 180/55 ZR 17
Frame: Tubular steel space frame, load-bearing engine
Brakes: Front, twin 320mm discs with four-piston calipers. Rear, 265mm disc with two-piston caliper.
Top speed: 215km/h
0-100km/h: 3.4 sec
60-100km/h: 4.3 sec
Fuel consumption: 4.8 litres per 100km, 98 RON premium plus
Theoretical range: 375km
Colours: Night Black; Crystal Grey metallic; Granite Grey metallic
Verdict: Do it all, fast and in the nude.

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