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Starting and refueling is possible without a key – as long as the driver has it with him.

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Adjustment options on both handlebar ends: Left ESA, ABD and display…

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…On the right, the driving modes can be selected by pressing a button.

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Multi-programmable digital cockpit…

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…with analog speedometer.

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BMW R 1200 R in the HP driving report

Sexy as an attribute for the BMW boxer?

Content of

Real sports fans may not think of sexy as an attribute when it comes to boxer BMWs. But at the premiere of the BMW R 1200 R, that’s exactly what the Munich-based company spoke of. Are you serious?

E.dgar Heinrich has been chief designer at BMW-Motorrad for almost two years now. The man has not only brought a certain looseness to BMW events through his manner, the models have visually changed a lot since then. Heinrich underscored this change at the press conference for the premiere of the completely new BMW R 1200 R, when he chatted about his design team. Before the first stroke of the brush, he had given her the slogan for the boxer model, “to finally become more emotional overall”. And then it came: “The boxer has to be sexy too,” added Heinrich, subtly implying the reputation of this urban Bavarian drive. At least for the majority of sporty motorcyclists, for whom the Knubbel cylinders with the left-hand twist when accelerating, cardan drive and Telelever do not exactly cause greedy salivation.

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BMW R 1200 R in the HP driving report
Sexy as an attribute for the BMW boxer?

R 1200 R different? Heinrich was able to underline this claim visually. Because the R-Roadster not only confidently displays a rear tubular space frame, the main part of which is structurally identical in the acclaimed Concept Roadster study, as the flat headlight nicely cites it. The rear proudly and sportily points upwards. And the Telelever has become an upside-down fork, which not only promises a lot more sportiness in practice, but is even rampant for the viewer. With this trick, the cooler could also be easily accommodated in the bike.

Pure driving pleasure

And the centerpiece, the boxer? Somehow it is not a sexy engine, but this is due to its construction principle and therefore outside of Heinrich’s responsibility. Responsible for the sexiness of the engine is among others Josef Miritsch, series manager of the R models, and the man is primarily a technician. Therefore discussions about the boxer and his face lead nowhere. However, Miritsch exudes boundless self-confidence when it comes to the performance of the BMW R 1200 R engine, and that’s why it’s time to finally drive.

At the push of a button, the twin of the BMW R 1200 R instantly comes to life and, haha, there it is, the shaking impulse to the left. But it turns out to be extremely moderate, instead it hums surprisingly present from the end pot. With the higher seat (the customer can choose the right seat cushion from four heights) you sit nicely over the motorcycle and get a much more front-oriented driving experience. This gives you a very good feel for the new fork.

Naked bike


BMW R 1200 R, Kawasaki Z 800, MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR, KTM 1290 Super Duke R.


Four current naked bikes in horsepower comparison


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Easy to dose one-finger brake

The wild, winding streets around Alicante are perfect for this, as they often meander tightly around rocky outcrops and valleys like a roller coaster and attest that this long motorcycle is surprisingly easy to handle. Hard to believe, but the BMW R 1200 R not only masters fast and long arcs like being pulled on a string, it can also be willingly tossed back and forth with its full 231 kilos (empty weight) – incidentally with enormous freedom of inclination. The fork, which can be adjusted at the push of a button, shines with ESA (705 euros surcharge), especially in the "Dynamic" mode with its sporty hardness. In combination with the Brembo monoblocks, it pulls you into the meandering in a frenzy – pure driving pleasure. This is a one-finger brake that can be dosed really well, is not noticeable by brutal biting, but is more progressive with each pull and therefore decelerated with pinpoint accuracy. The combined ABS regulates restrained and sporty – Hat!

The feeling for the hindquarters is not quite as transparent as the feedback at the front, but it is still at a good level, and if necessary there is still the standard three-stage DTC. The cardan certainly plays a role in the somewhat watered-down feeling, whose character and impulses one simply has to take into account. An improvement over the predecessor is more than clear. In the "Road" setting, the chassis of the BMW R 1200 R is, by the way, much more comfortable and does not pass rough terrain on to the driver nearly as relentlessly as in the "Dynamic" setting.

The boxer is marching

The latter mode is also available for the boxer. Then it hangs directly on the gas and marches off with a short ride-by-wire throttle like the fire brigade. Yes, you read that right. The new, water-cooled and 125 hp twin has a full pressure from the cellar and a smooth running – holla, you have to acknowledge that even as a four-cylinder speed freak. And add with two-cylinder experience that the boxer knows no hacking and bucking. Even if you launch a gear too high into the confusing corner and then turn the shower back on at the exit of the bend, you will only notice a subtle, brief shake from the engine and then be happy that the engine of the BMW R 1200 R pushes again immediately, Doesn’t let you down or rub your own inadequacy under your nose with wild gestures.

The boxer delivers its power very linearly and is also extremely easy to turn. The fact that it is not a detonation unit like a 1000 series engine cannot be denied – and from BMW’s point of view does not have to be, because the Bavarians can offer the alternative roadster with the S 1000 R. The only downer for full sportiness is the automatic gearshift of the BMW R 1200 R. When upshifting, which requires a clear impulse, the transmission sometimes refuses to work if the engine speeds are not quite right – especially in the lower gears. But the clutch-free downshifting works just like a racing motorcycle.

We are fully back on the new, very sporty line that the BMW R 1200 R has taken. From a horsepower point of view, it’s a shame that it doesn’t have the radical lightness of the concept roadster. But BMW motorcycle vice Nikolaus Bauer cannot take the wind out of the sails with wishful thinking when he refers to 50,000 units of the roadster predecessor sold. In Munich you would be deeply immersed in wheat beer to scare off these boxer fans with experiments. With a little will, Zenzi can be sexy too, the exotic grenade would only disturb the peace of the family.

Technical data BMW R 1200 R

Drive: Two-cylinder boxer engine, four valves / cylinder, 92 kW (125 PS) at 7750 / min *, 125 Nm at 6500 / min *, 1170 cm³, bore / stroke: 101.0 / 73.0 mm, compression: 12.5: 1, ignition / injection system, 52 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan.

Landing gear: Lattice frame motor load-bearing, steering head angle: 62.3 degrees,
Trail: 125.6 mm, wheelbase: 1515 mm, Ø inner fork tube: 45 mm, spring travel from / h .: 140/140 mm

Wheels and brakes: Cast light alloy wheels, 3.50 x 17 / 5.50 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180/55 ZR 17, 320 mm double disc brake with four-piston floating calipers at the front, 276 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear, C-ABS.

Weight: (Empty weight) 231 kg *
Tank capacity: 18 liters super

Base price: 12,800 euros (plus ancillary costs) *

* Manufacturer information

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