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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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The BMW pushes with power out of tight bends, while the Yamaha rider has to keep the engine speed high with the help of the clutch.

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Fluid curve combinations, such as those found on the Alb plateau, become paradise with the Yamaha.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

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BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6 in the test.

Exit with BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6

Grumpy bear and screamer

With 123 and 119 hp, the BMW R 1200 R and the Yamaha YZF-R6 belong in the same performance class. Otherwise they have little in common. Nevertheless, they went on tour together. To show how fascinatingly different they unfold their own kind of dynamics.

She screams. If the Yamaha YZF-R6 is approaching its performance peak at 14,500 revolutions, it screams uninhibited, unabashed, enthusiastic. And inspiring. The sheer pleasure of accelerating breaks through while everything around slows down as if the other road users were swimming through honey.

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Exit with BMW R 1200 R and Yamaha YZF-R6
Grumpy bear and screamer

Yamaha YZF-R6 has a lot of acoustic stimulants ready even at lower revs. At around 5,500 rpm, when the not exactly beefy four-cylinder slowly wakes up, the driver sits in the middle of an exciting resonance phenomenon and hears an impressively swelling trumpet sound from the four intake funnels below. No doubt about it – the sounds of the R6 make it an exciting motorcycle in the best sense of the word.

BMW R 1200 R with powerful torque

The BMW R 1200 R is always calm. When it starts, it emits a brief roaring lion, then its exhaust flap intervenes, moderating the sound at country road and city traffic speeds in such a way that the driver can hear not only the brass section, but also the rhythm section of the engine – the ticking of the valves and a subtle running noise of the two timing chains. Anyone driving behind the R 1200 R will hear a deep, dark exhaust tone; Just as it corresponds to the lower speeds and frequencies of the large-displacement engine. This already reaches its limit when the small four-cylinder still has a third of its usable speed range ahead of it. And even before this limit, it signals with clearly noticeable vibrations that it does not like to crank so hectically. In contrast to the two-cylinder boxer, the four-cylinder in-line engine of the R6 runs delicately above 10,000 rpm. Both make it unmistakably clear which driving style they particularly like.

The BMW R 1200 R plays out its mighty torque on winding country roads in an almost provocatively casual manner – according to the displacement it is at the top and on the way there about twice as high as that of the Yamaha. She even sprints up tightly looped climbs on the eaves of the Swabian Alb in third and fourth gear; only in the tightest turns does it require the second. And even in these tightest turns, it supports the driver with smooth load changes. He sits relatively upright with loosely hanging arms, enjoys an excellent overview and, for complete happiness, only wishes for one of the two higher upholstered benches (820 or 840 millimeters seat height) available for the R 1200 R. On the standard bench with a height of 790 millimeters, he sits a little too passively, far down and thus also shifted backwards due to the steeply rising tank, the knee angle is a little too narrow.

Yamaha YZF-R6 demands concentration

The BMW R 1200 R develops a very unspectacular dynamic, while the Yamaha rider has to stick to the right line, the right gear and the right speed with all the accuracy he can muster in order to keep up with a race-like soundscape. With a low flywheel mass and more moving parts, the high-performance four-cylinder from Japan, the last of its kind since this year, generates noticeably more braking torque than the boxer. This leads to harder load changes at the apex of tight bends, which do not leave the chassis unmoved. In addition, there is the radically forward-oriented, racing-like seating position on the Yamaha YZF-R6. All of these features demand concentration and rigor, but educate you to use the accelerator and gear shift in a virtuoso manner, as well as a highly precise driving style with impressive speeds when entering corners. Anyone who knows how to deal with such radical sportiness in everyday traffic can rightly count themselves among the most advanced drivers.

And will experience a great hour on the plateau of the Swabian Alb with its streets laid out in rather wide radii. Although the R6 had already shown its fascinating handiness and steering precision on the slow, winding climbs, it is only up here that these qualities harmonize completely with the engine characteristics. This simply does not fit with frequent changes of acceleration from low speeds and braking of the momentum you have just gained. However, where the Yamaha YZF-R6 can maintain a high basic speed, its powerful but low-torque motor no longer demands the driver’s attention unduly. And then you can really look forward to the fact that the R6 hits turn-in and vertex points down to the centimeter, changes inclines with the same ease with which you perform a short hand movement. In such passages it works almost perfectly.

In long push-ups through the rush hour traffic

Not that the BMW R 1200 R would provide the rocking chair in fast corners. The fork, its clamps and the front wheel axle are as powerfully dimensioned as the stem of the Yamaha, and the semi-active Dynamic ESA already provides ample damping in road mode. Nevertheless, the R 1200 R does not quite achieve the steering precision of the R6 in fast corners. It is quite possible that the driver himself will also contribute to this, as he catches the airstream with his upright seating position and thus introduces one or the other undesirable impulse into the steering. Last but not least, the Yamaha offers almost limitless lean angles, while the BMW comes very close to the asphalt with its sporty driving style with the footrests and the main stand. The boundary between a sporty naked bike and a real super athlete runs along such factors. It is also clear, however, that the advantages of the super sports ingredients can hardly be experienced in everyday life, but the disadvantages can be felt.

This also applies to the drive home after an eventful day of driving. The slow-moving weekend-after-work traffic could still be endured fairly relaxed on the BMW R 1200 R, while the Yamaha rider was sweating in continuous push-ups. In addition, his left lower leg was surrounded by the hot flashes of the engine, which protrude particularly intensely on this side from behind the fairing. Well, at least the Yamaha stays true to itself. It just wants to be driven at a higher speed. Even if it is only for the sake of the cooling wind.

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

It is a peculiar yet logical reversal of the theory that takes place here: The BMW is actually trimmed for stable straight-line stability, but dances light-footed through tight curves, while the light and handy Yamaha only unfolds its full potential in faster arcs . The engines are primarily responsible for this: the high-torque BMW boxer drives the R 1200 R with sovereign power from curve to curve, while the Yamaha four-cylinder always demands high revs and therefore only allows a fluid rhythm to emerge at higher speeds.

Video of the endurance test final balance of the BMW R 1200 R

Naked bike


BMW R 1200 R in the 50,000 km endurance test


Boxer with a high level of maturity


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All tests and articles about the BMW R 1200 RS

Price comparison for used BMW R1200R and Yamaha YZF-R6


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The availability of both models is good on the used market.

Even though the BMW R 1200 R and the Yamaha YZF-R6 play in two different classes, not only is their performance similar, but also their price. The availability of both motorcycles is also not bad, which is why you should find exactly the right bike for you on the used market. Here is a current overview of the motorcycle market: used BMW R1200R and Yamaha R6 in Germany.

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