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2004 BMW R1150 R

BMW R1150 R

BMW's unfaired boxer twin, the R1150 R is a sophisticated response to the continuously expanding retro market. Unhampered by the bulk of a fairing or integrated bodywork, the R1150 R is a boxer with plenty of muscle and no little fleetness of foot. Its minimalism is only an illusion though. The visually appealing R has more advanced features than other machines of the same genre.

Described by one magazine as the motorcycle industry's best kept secret, retailing at £6,995 on the road the R1150 R continues the trend set by a new generation of BMWs for outstanding stability and definitive aerodynamics. Allied to a supremely comfortable riding position, the new R has a low centre of gravity and is an effortless motorcycle to ride. The machine is conclusive proof that a return to basics doesn't have to mean a lack of enjoyment, practicality or sophistication.

The driving force

The air and oil cooled 1130cc flat-twin, with four valves per cylinder engine has an output of 85 bhp. Like the rest of the BMW boxer range it also uses dual ignition as of models sold in 2003.

Two oil coolers are incorporated into the air ducts in the side tank covers and the warm air inevitably produced is channelled past the rider. The covers also provide a degree of wind protection while enhancing the R1150 R's overall aerodynamic performance. When riding it is sometimes difficult to believe that the machine is naked and open to the elements.

Efficient distribution of the power increase can be attributed to the MA 2.4 Motronic digital engine management already a proven system on other BMWs in the current range. To help protect the environment the R1150 R has exhaust emission control via a closed loop, three-way catalytic converter fitted as standard. Transmission of power

For efficient transmission of the engine's power to the road, the R employs a new six-speed gearbox with a light, precision shift action. To emphasise the R1150 R's sports roadster character, sixth gear is geared low. However, as an optional extra to improve fuel economy and make touring more comfortable, an alternative overdrive top gear can be ordered. This means that owners can configure the machine to suit their riding style whether sports or touring.

A standard feature on all BMW flat-twin motorcycles is the low maintenance shaft drive. The unit is particularly reliable and long lasting, and employs a back-to-front crankshaft layout that enables the power to reach the rear wheel with no losses caused by changes of direction.

Braking with convention

The EVO front brake is original equipment on the R1150 R and has become the latest evolutionary stage in modern brake-system development. It has two, large diameter brake discs (320mm) and new four-piston calipers that provide supreme braking control from light to extra-powerful. Compared with conventional designs, the same amount of effort applied to the brake lever will produce up to 20 per cent more braking force. As a consequence, the new EVO front wheel brake not only provides the rider with peace of mind but delivers extra stopping power and improved safety.

BMW's advanced, third generation anti-lock braking system a partly integrated version of Integral ABS complements and enhances EVO braking and is available as a £750 optional extra.

In the frame

BMW has retained the proven concept of using the load bearing engine and transmission unit and connecting them to the front and rear frames. The Paralever swing arm has been adopted from the R1150 GS and although the swing arm is now 14mm (0.55) shorter, wheelbase and steering geometry remain unchanged.

A new, rear spring strut has the same 135mm (5.31) spring travel as its predecessor and can be infinitely and easily adjusted for outward stroke damping by means of a setting bolt. A wheel, acting on the hydraulic spring system, adjusts preload. Damping for the front and rear spring struts is now linear (as opposed to progressive on the previous model) and benefits the rider with improved wheel tracking and stability particularly on poor surfaces.

BMW’s legendary Telelever has also been slightly upgraded. The longitudinal control arm of the Telelever has now been configured in steel tube. This provides a delicate, yet stable look with excellent solidity, contributing greatly to the visually appealing front end of the R1150 R.

In the cockpit

Sublime ergonomics have made the riding position of a BMW motorcycle an industry benchmark. The R1150 R continues to emphasise this tradition by creating a sporty, comfortable and relaxed body posture all of which help to make a significant contribution to the machine's outstanding ride characteristics. An important factor in this is the new steel tube handlebar, which is canted even lower at the ends. Grab width has been increased by 56mm (2.2) and the grips lowered by 40mm (1.57) (compared to the previous model).

Adjustable handlebar levers (four positions) and controls are the same as on the R1150 GS. A chromed instrument layout emphasises the retro look, while switchgear conforms to the current BMW logic and includes hazard-warning flashers.

A 20.4 litre (4.5 Imp gals) fuel tank should endow the R1150 R with a touring range of between 170 and 225 miles depending on riding style.

Special equipment and accessories

Special equipment and accessories include heated grips, tank bag, speedster windscreen, black engine and transmission (no cost), Integral ABS (sports), overdrive (no cost), luggage rack, lower seat height (no cost), a high-comfort passenger seat, cylinder protectors, system cases and inner bags, softcase and a pillion seat cover (used when the passenger seat is removed).

The R1150 R comes in a choice of Dark ferro metallic (special edition); Titanium silver metallic with a bronzite beige dualseat; Night black and Piemont red metallic colour schemes.

Customers can call BMW's information line: 0800 777 155 or visit

Specifications for BMW R1150 R

  • Engine Type - Air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine, one camshaft and four valves per cylinder
  • Bore x stroke - 101 mm x 70.5 mm
  • Capacity - 1130 ccm
  • Rated output - 62.5 kW (85 bhp) at 6750 rpm
  • Max. torque - 98 Nm at 5250 rpm
  • Compression ratio - 10.3 : 1
  • Carburetion/engine management - Electronic intake pipe injection/digital engine management: Bosch Motronic MA 2.4 with overrun fuel cut-off, dual ignition
  • Emission control - Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter
  • Maximum speed - Approx. 197 km/h
  • Fuel consumption over 100 km at steady 90 km/h - 4.4 ltr
  • Fuel consumption over 100 km at steady 120 km/h - 5.6 ltr
  • Fuel type - Unleaded premium, minimum octane rating 95 (RON)
  • Generator - 700 W three-phase generator
  • Battery - 12 V/19 Ah (low maintenance)
  • Clutch - Single-disc dry clutch, hydraulically operated
  • Gearbox - Constant mesh 6-speed transmission
  • Drive - Shaft drive
  • Frame - Triple-section frame consisting of front and rear frame sections and load-bearing engine
  • Front wheel location/suspension - BMW Motorrad Telelever; stanchion diameter 35 mm, central strut, rebound damping adjustable
  • Rear wheel location/suspension - Die-cast aluminium single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; central strut, spring preload adjustable by means of hand wheel to continuously variable levels, rebound damping adjustable
  • Travel front/rear - 120 mm/135 mm
  • Wheelbase (in normal position) - 1487 mm
  • Caster (in normal position) - 127 mm
  • Steering head angle (in normal position) - 61.9 °
  • Wheels - Die-cast aluminium wheels
  • Rim, front - 3.50 x 17, rear - 5.00 x 17
  • Tyres, front - 120/70 ZR 17, rear - 170/60 ZR 17
  • Brake, front - EVO brake system with dual disc, floating brake discs, 320 mm diameter, 4-piston fixed caliper, rear - Single disc, 276 mm diameter, 2-piston floating caliper
  • ABS: Special equipment - BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral)
  • Seat height, unladen - 800 mm (special equipment low seat: 770 mm)
  • Unladen, road ready, fully fuelled - 238.0 kg
  • Dry weight - 218.0 kg
  • Permitted total weight - 450.0 kg
  • Payload (with standard equipment) - 212.0 kg
  • Usable tank volume - 20.5 ltr
  • Incl. reserve - Approx. 4.0 ltr
  • Length - 2170 mm
  • Height (not incl. mirrors) - 1220 mm
  • Width (incl. mirrors) - 940 mm