Owner: Lennart G. Jansson
BMW introduced the new R1200 RS on the Intermot fair autumn 2014 in Cologne, for delivery 2015. It was long awaited for as preceeding models R100 RS (70's, 80's), R1100 RS, R1150 RS ended with a less design-wise succesful R1200 ST 2005 - 2007. After 21 000 km on the new RS I can contest that BMW has made their lesson well, both the design and the characteristics outshines the predecessors! This is by far the best sport-oriented touring bike in the series and probably by all brands. It came out as # 1 in the worlds biggest motorcycle contest Alpenmasters 2015, by the paper Motorrad.
RS stands for (german) Reise Sport and it masters both highways in high speeds, winding country roads and the most curvy roads in the mountains with both comfort, precision and smiling faces on both driver and pillion. Priority of chassi design was high steering precision, neutral behaviour on all surfaces and stable braking. To achieve this and also get room for the new water cooler BMW introduces an Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm, instead of the Telelever on previous models and still on the GS.
Wind protection is in my opinion ideal, not total as on a RT but allowing wind to reach arms, shoulders and helmet which cools you hot days, in a pleasant way with very little turbulence. Windshield can be raised to protect more if you wish. Torso, legs and feet are in wind (and rain) shadow.
The speedometer is of conventional type integrated with a TFT type info-screen. However, with the sun in your face it can be difficult to see all the details.
Suspension can optionally be had with most modern electronic active damping, which I very much appreciate. Further the cruise control can be had and even a “key-less” ignition key ;-).
The Automatic Stability Control can easily be switched between Rain and Road mode depending on weather and your riding style. Riding Mode Pro is an option providing the additional modes Dynamic and User.
Standard front lights reminds of the S1000 RR, but are not very effective. I recommend the option with LED daytime running light, it is different and strong and give you attention which makes a safer journey. An additional pair of LED extra lights are very good when running on dipped beam, on bad surface in the dark, e.g. in wet and dark tunnels.
Seating position is relaxed forward without putting too much load on arms. The seat allows for sitting more or less close to the tank, seat is also one of the most comfortable I have ridden. Four seat heights are available, but no adjustment possible. Knee angle is maybe too sharp, if you are 180 cm or more consider the highest “sport” seat.
Brakes are the best you can get, double 320 mm discs each with radial four-piston calipers, combined with an advanced optimizing semi-integral ABS system are easy to operate and dose. Handbrake acts on front and back, while footbrake acts back only, useful for slow manuevers and mountain hairpin cornering. Tank is only 18 litres, and range before you want to fill up is normally 300 km, even if the RS probably takes you another 50 km.
The 125bhp 125 Nm air- and liquid-cooled boxer engine (LC) pulls easy and convincingly strong with a fly-by-wire twist of the wrist from low to high revs even fully loaded, emitting a pleasing, stern exhaust note as it does so.
The charm of an R boxer engine compared to the K engine, is the calmer frequency of the big pistons. The soft R-sound when rolling through villages as well as the deep but sharper sound under acceleration will get you.
Note that the injection is on top of cylindes and exhaust pipes come out below – this a radical change from previous boxer engines from BMW. The new LC engine has also got a multidisc wet clutch for better control and reliability.
If you choose the gear-shift assistant Pro, you get almost seamless upshifts without touching the clutch lever and down-shifts with automatic throttle support. Oil consumption is very low, no need for complements.
To get a large volume two cylinder boxer engine narrow, BMW use as large diameter pistons as possible without breaking emission constraints and short piston-rods. This give higher radial forces in the cylinders. For long life and good lubrication, the cylinders of aluminium (light and good heat transport) has got an 0,4 mm layer of ferrit, honed to 0,2 mm thickness. This advanced technology is also used for a few highly tuned BMW and Mercedes cars.
BMW as usual produce a motorcycle with very high finish. The LC boxer engine introduced 2013 seem very reliable and service interval is 10 000 km. Expect a long and pleasant journey with this bike!
Standard in Nordic countries is ABS, heated grips, Automatic Stability Control (Rain and Road), board computer and oil level warning. Choose between four seat heights for free when ordering a new bike.
Numerous optional factory mounted equipment is available, also grouped into packages like Comfort, Travel, Dynamic and Style, consult your dealer.
The Navigator V from BMW (Garmin) shall be mounted on the BMW holder to also have the practical tumbwheel. The Navigator is integrated with the motorcycle electronics to give plenty of data, it can also provide traffic and weather (radar) information via your telephone. Don´t forget to get the BMW communication system mounted in your (BMW) EVO or Sport helmet!