Test Riding the New R1200S for 2 Weeks! (images/videos)

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Test Riding the New R1200S for 2 Weeks! (images/videos)

Postby SHIVA on Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:52 am

I picked up a R1200S, equipped with Ohlins yesterday. I'll be reviewing this bike for BMW ON and Iron Horse. I have put about 200 miles on it already. Here are some images from the press intro. More info later. :) S

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Last edited by SHIVA on Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby TRAINER on Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:43 pm

Nice shots, looks like Joisey! :wink:
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Postby Eka on Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:02 pm

The bike is hot. Look at the steamy windows. Somebody drools for it. :lol:
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Postby SHIVA on Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:47 pm

I took the R1200S to a bike night in New Jersey. The place was about 95% cruisers. The R12S didn't get as much attention as the K12R. I think the high horsepower of the new K series bikes has made them pretty famous in the non-BMW world. I think the new R12S may be most appreciated among Euro bike enthusiasts. It has a lot more in common with Ducati, Aprilia and Guzzi, than it does with the Japanese bikes. It's at home at Euro bike nights, rather than Harley nights.

This bike is quick and corners like no other BMW. The Ohlins at only $700 for both front and rear should be an option on all non-ESA bikes. The shocks are truly incredible. They are firm but plush and responsive--a true luxury on any bike. More later... :) S

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Postby dbw on Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:30 pm

I rode the R-s at a bmw demo day last spring and was impressed. It was the first boxer that turned my crank. Rode the st last year along with the K-s and then got the K-s - the st just didn't do it for me but the R-s - I got off it at the end of the ride with one big grin. The one I rode had the ohlins, 190 rear tire and abs. It's one fine ride. Dave
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Postby deadbird on Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:40 pm

>The R12S didn't get as much attention as the K12R. I think the high horsepower of the new K series bikes has made them pretty famous

I think it's more the "looks" of the K1200R that draws them in.
They pass by the K1200S to look at the R. Only people in the Know,Know.
It's the "Ugly Red Headed Step Child" effect.
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Postby SHIVA on Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:28 pm

I've been riding the R12S almost everyday and I think that I am figuring it out, and I'm finally learning how to have fun with it. I think each bike needs to be judged more or less on it's own merit. I started testing the R1200S after riding the K1200R for a week. That's simply not fair to the R-S. Since these two bikes are so different. Initially the R1200S didn't feel as zippy, then again it does have 40 less horsepower and let's face it, on a bike 40 hp difference is a lot.

The other factor that is letting me down is the lack of initial burst of power. It seems that BMW engineers have tweaked this new super-boxer to be ridden in the hi-revs. That's a bit odd, since twins in general are known to have so much low-end torque. Twins normally slingshot out of idle like a rocket, but not our friend the R12S. It likes to be revved hi and changed gears often, basically like an inline 4. But why?

So, here's my best method to date to get this baby rocket (sort of speak) out of idle.

Put in 1st, Rev up at least until 4K before letting go of clutch, Get quickly to over 6K+ and then change to 2nd, Get 2nd up to 6-7K+ and then change to 3rd, you get the idea....

The R1200S is quite docile at below 6000 RPM. But it can be very fast if ridden a certain way. For example I managed to hit 120 easily on several occasions today. Although it can handle speed quite nicely, the acceleration is not what I expected.

On the plus side, this bike is very light weight and quite narrow. Cutting through traffic is a breeze. The Ohlins shocks are simply superb. The R1200S maybe the best handling BMW yet. This bike is the least finicky, least demanding cornering machine I've been on. Weight wise it feels like a 600, corners beautifully, handles hi-speeds very nicely and with an aftermarket seat and grip-puppies it can be used as a sport-tourer.

This bike should be tested against Ducati, Aprilia, KTM and some twin Japanese sport bikes, and not against Japanese RR bikes or BMW's own new K machines.

Now that I've learned how to get some fun out of the R12S, I actually enjoy riding it. I love the low weight. Being used to heavy bikes, it feels like a toy and it's so refreshing. I also love the looks of this bike.

More later... ;) S
Last edited by SHIVA on Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Eka on Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:08 pm

That bellypan is a must. I would like to see side and front view of that also.

edit: there come sideview. :D

Fantastic!
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Postby sfarson on Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:25 pm

Appreciate much this review, and the collection of exhaust images. For certain kinds of roads/riding, this could be a dream sporting bike. Agree... the lower weight and excellent handling are significant appeals of this bike. Kinda disappointed in the docile nature at lower RPMs. Others have noted the same, and it is mentioned when one really hits the power at higher RPMs, along comes the extra vibes as well.
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Postby dbw on Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:14 am

I found the vibes were not offensive. Infact for me they added to the experience. The vibes on the st I rode were a deal breaker where these were okay. The power coming on in the higher revs was a lot of fun as was the handling. Dave
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Postby TRAINER on Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:30 am

Now those exhausts are sAweet! THAT'S what I'm talking about!
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:54 pm

i'm really liking this bike. it feels like a real motorcycle, it's a twin, so it vibrates and makes you feel it as you ride it. actually at idle the mirrors shake so much you think they're gonna fall off. but its agility and cornering prowess are outstanding. this bike is so agile and light weight that it spoils you. i've learned how to wring it's neck to get as much power as possible and now it feels fast enough.

Street Credential
street cred, you guys know what that is, right? it's how riders react to your bike, when you pull into a biker hang out. well the R12S has no street cred among non-euro riders. basically the squids and the cruiser riders just stay far away from the boxer engine. in my experience they like the "K" bikes, because they know how fast they are, but the "R" bikes... let's just say BMW has a lot of work to do to create a mystic for the Boxer engine among sport riders.

I think Schnitzer people have done a miracle with this bike. the color scheme is amazing. the Schnitzer R1200S is a complete winner. BMW needs to do a boxercup type of package soon. they can call it HP I guess, but I wouldn't want it without ABS.

So, here's a suggestion BMW, by mid 2007 create a Schnitzer-like version, with two-tone paint, or something radical, with belly pan, optional pillion cowling and some other goodies and ABS, then the R1200S will look as good as it performs.

A BMW this light and agile, with ABS is worth keeping, just bring up the bling factor.

more later... :) S

ps: btw the non-servo brakes on the R12S are fantastic.
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Postby jewilson on Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:44 pm

I don’t get to Nostalgic over machines and for the price it would have to be an improve over the high end Tuono. It is a great looking bike very closes to the cool of the 999S with 999 Ducati it even closer with the belly pan.

Very nice in black to…….. It would be cool to ride………

Shiva, you should Keep it. So you still have your K-bike .

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Postby sfarson on Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:14 pm

Continuing to value your review Shiva. Giving this bike strong consideration. Have an R1100S I've adored for five years, and nothing wrong with it... just getting a little old. I'm OK with the R12S not having any street rep. I ride with a sportbike club on occasion and it is so fun dropping the Asian liter bike riders in the canyons on bikes (like BMW) they cluelessly look down their noses at.

My only hesitation is the ho-hum performance at lower RPMs. If better than the R11S I'm OK with that, for this is plenty for the street. My guess is it is better than the 11S. Coupled with the lighter weight this could be one dream backroads, curvy road bike.
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:26 pm

Jim, interesting you bring up the Tuono. I just checked the specs on the Tuono and on the Ducati 999.

...................R1200S......999......Tuono......Mille

wheelbase.....58.5..........55.9.......55..........55
HP................122...........140.......133.........143
dry weight.....419...........410.......410.........416

The R1200S is very much in the ball park of the other European sport bikes, it just needs more hp. If they do an HP version of this bike, it should be able to compete with the Europeans.
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:32 pm

this could be one dream backroads, curvy road bike.


I agree, this bike is made for backroads. I'd give it another few months and see what BMW will do to enhance the overall package and perhaps tweak the low-end. The bike was released just a short while ago, it needs a bit of time. Otherwise, you can always tag on a belly pan, a new pipe, and get the optional rear seat cover. Is there a dealership near you to demo the R-S? :) S
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Postby sfarson on Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:52 pm

If BMW tweaks the bike, this can probably be done to these early models and not be something they do for '08, leaving the '07 owners in the lurch? In other words... a software / FI upgrade at the dealer?

My dealer tells me BMW NA has changed the demo program beginning with the '07 bikes and they don't have the demo flexiblity they once had. Translation... can demo an '06 R12RT, but not an '07 R12S. Yet I read others are securing R12S demo rides at other dealers. Conflicting.
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Postby SHIVA on Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:33 pm

I rode a K1200R back to back with a R1200S today. That was a mistake, sort of. The K1200R blows the tires off of the R-S. Compare to the R-S the R is a rocket, it's also very smooth and has plenty of low-end torque. However, compare to the R, the R-S is a lot more nimble, agile and lighter. And the vibration of the engine adds to the overall enjoyment of the bike.... So, in short two completely different machines with two completely difference riding experiences.

:) S
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Postby SHIVA on Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:00 pm

Today Trainer and I shot the press images for my review, here are two samples:

Image

Image

It was over a 100 deg today, it reminded me of being in Arizona desert, except with more humidity. Yikes! The shots came out good though.

Cheers, S

PS: The R12S is going back on Monday.
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Postby sfarson on Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:11 pm

SHIVA wrote:I rode a K1200R back to back with a R1200S today. That was a mistake, sort of. The K1200R blows the tires off of the R-S. Compare to the R-S the R is a rocket, it's also very smooth and has plenty of low-end torque. However, compare to the R, the R-S is a lot more nimble, agile and lighter. And the vibration of the engine adds to the overall enjoyment of the bike.... So, in short two completely different machines with two completely difference riding experiences.

:) S


Great images above. BTW, saw a post noting the R1200S won a Bike Magazine (U.K.) shootout as the best sporting bike for the road. This is the U.K.'s largest motorcycle magazine, for a sportbike crazed country.
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