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.