BMW Motorrad’s R1150 R has enjoyed considerable
success since its launch in 2001, with almost 60,000
sales worldwide. And while this classic roadster has
remained an important part of the current model line-up,
all of its Boxer-engined counterparts have benefited
from the latest ‘new generation’ advanced
engine technology that has been successful in the
GS, RT, ST and S models.
The R1200 R is a naked roadster of immense versatility,
designed for pure riding pleasure. Although clearly
more sporty than the predecessor model, the new R
1200 R has no pretensions to compete with the 163
hp K1200 R – although it is the most powerful
Boxer roadster of all time.
While the 1150cc version sported an ample 85 hp,
the new 1200 outputs 109 hp – a 28 per cent
increase in power. The torque figure is equally impressive:
115 Nm at 6,000 rpm is 17 per cent more than the 1150
offered. Combine this with a weight reduction of 20
kilos over the predecessor and it’s clear to
see what a huge leap this 198 kg roadster has made
in performance terms alone.
Although it will appeal to riders who like to experience
the pleasures of ‘classic’ motorcycling,
the new R is designed to provide a responsive, dynamic
and agile ride. Unlike its competitors, BMW’s
new ‘classic’ is bristling with modern
technology and doesn’t suffer from any of the
cost-cutting measures often associated with this class,
such as unwieldy chassis design, poor performing brakes
(with no ABS option), no real touring capability,
lower level technology and relatively high weight.
The uniqueness of the Boxer engine in terms of design
and engine characteristics, combined with the tried
and tested Telelever and Paralever suspension system
offers riders impeccable handling and road holding
qualities – even on the bumpiest of surfaces.
Furthermore, a comprehensive range of modern and innovative
safety equipment will be available for the R, such
as ABS and ASC traction control system, tyre pressure
monitoring and electronic suspension adjustment.
Combine this with a wide range of options and accessories
that include a larger (or smaller) screen, pannier
system, baggage rack and low/high dual seat, and prospective
customers will have the best of all worlds –
a classic BMW equipped for any challenge.
Key features of the R1200 R:
- Excellent all-round qualities.
- Air-cooled flat-twin 1,170-cc power unit with
- Maximum output up almost 28% over the former
model to 80 kW/109 hp at 7,500 rpm.
- Maximum torque up almost 17% over the R1200 R
to 115 Nm (85 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm.
- BMS-K electronic engine management with dual
ignition, anti-knock control, oxygen sensor, and
fully controlled three-way catalytic converter.
- Light and stable, two-piece tubular steel frame.
- Stiff Telelever with sensitive response and a
high standard of steering precision.
- Excellent handling, supreme directional stability.
- EVO Paralever with light driveshaft.
- ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment as an option.
- Dry weight 198 kg, overall weight with full tank
in road trim 223 kg/492lb.
- High-performance brake system.
- New BMW Motorrad Integral ABS with automatic
stability control ASC (both available as an option).
- Dynamic, modern but timeless design.
- Particularly wide range of accessories.
Technical features and design
The power unit – powerful and refined
The power unit is based on the ‘new generation’
two-cylinder boxer with balance shaft initially featured
in the R1200 GS and now in its present version as
seen in the R1200 RT. Detailed technical features
and details of the engine and its overall configuration
can be seen in the R1200 GS and R1200 RT press kits.
Compared with the R1150 R, the new roadster offers
almost 28% more power at a higher engine speed and
approximately 17% more torque.
The engine is also 7% lighter than its predecessor,
with a smoother engine that reduces vibrations to
The latest generation of electronic CAN-bus engine
management makes this modern power unit even more
comfortable and smoother on the road.
In particular, this superiority is ensured by automatic
idle speed control, automatic choke, and anti-knock
control allowing the use of lower-grade fuel. To develop
its maximum output of 109 hp at 7,500 rpm and peak
torque of 115 Nm (85 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm, the R1200
R requires 98 RON premium plus fuel. Running on 95
RON premium fuel will result in slightly lower engine
The six-speed gearbox with helical gears featured
in the R1200 R also comes from the RT, combining a
snug and gentle gear mesh with superior running smoothness.
Contrary to the touring model, the drive shaft on
the R1200 R features a shorter secondary transmission
ratio of 2.75:1 (RT: 2.62:1), meaning that sixth gear
is an active riding gear and does not serve merely
as an overdrive or economy gear.
Suspension technology of the highest standard
Like its RT and ST counterparts, the BMW R1200 R
features a two-piece frame integrating the engine
as a load-bearing element. While the front half of
the frame comes from the RT, both the steering head
angle and wheel castor have been specifically modified
to meet the demands made of the new Roadster. A brand-new
feature is the rear tubular spaceframe structure that
is lighter in weight than comparable components and
helps to give the rear section of the machine its
light and nimble appearance.
The wheels run on the latest-generation Telelever
and Paralever suspension units carried over from BMW’s
other Boxers. This superior suspension gives the R1200
R even greater agility on winding roads than the former
model and at the same time meets all the expectations
of the touring rider in terms of motoring comfort
and smooth performance.
The rider also has a choice to specify the optional
ESA Electronic Suspension System, enabling them to
conveniently adjust spring and damper rates electronically
at the touch of a button.
High-performance brake system and new generation
of Integral ABS
Featuring two floating brake discs measuring 320
millimetres in diameter as well as two four-piston
fixed callipers on the front wheel, the R1200 R is
perfectly suited for powerful deceleration whenever
required. Pressure is built up via slender, high-quality
flexible-steel brake lines, which also feature on
the 265 millimetres two-piston floating calliper acting
on the rear brake discs.
A special feature available straight from the factory
is the latest generation of BMW Motorrad Integral
ABS, which may even be combined as an option with
ASC Automatic Stability Control. For further information
on the functions, structure and operation of this
latest generation of ABS brake technology, please
see the separate press kit dedicated to this subject.
The combination of instruments on the new R1200
R is again typical of a genuine roadster: Two analogue
circular dials positioned above one another, as well
as a digital LCD display, inform the rider of his
current road speed, engine speed, overall mileage,
trip mileage, gear in mesh, and the time. And as an
option the instrument cluster may be further enhanced
by an on-board computer offering additional information.
Single-Wire-System (SWS) with CAN-bus technology
As on the other models in BMW Motorrad’s current
R- and K-Series, the electrical and electronic components
on the R1200 R communicate with one another via a
modern data bus network, with digital information
being transmitted through one single wire.
Introduction of the Single-Wire-System has dramatically
simplified the entire structure and configuration
of the on-board electrics, reducing the number of
cables and connections, and significantly lowering
the weight of the entire electrical system. A further
point is that only this technology allows reliable,
comprehensive and rapid troubleshooting and diagnostic
functions. It also enables the service technician
to read data and/or re-define existing parameters.
And last but not least, the Single-Wire-System allows
simple and straightforward adaptation of special electronic
equipment, enhancing the motorcycle’s wide range
Yet another major advantage this modern technology
offers the customer is the option to retrieve all
kinds of information quickly and conveniently via
the instrument cluster in the cockpit.
To make sure that the R1200 R remains in the hands
of its rightful owner at all times, an electronic
immobiliser comes as standard on the new roadster
and is fully integrated in the data bus network de¬scribed
above. Like on a modern car, the ignition key incorporates
a coded data chip communicating via a ring aerial
in the ignition lock with the electronic engine management.
Verifying the data exchanged in this way, the system
clears the ignition and fuel supply for instant use
once the data has been confirmed and then allows the
rightful owner to start the engine.
Ergonomics and step arch length
To ensure maximum comfort and freedom of movement,
BMW Motorrad’s designers and engineers have
focused consistently on the so-called step arch length
in the configuration of the seat. This figure defines
the distance between the rider’s two footprints
on the ground – measured via the inner length
of the rider’s legs – and also takes the
shape and width of the seat into account.
Being particularly slender at the front, the seat
ensures excellent ground contact and gives the rider
a much more relaxed knee angle compared with the previous
model. This also applies to the passenger, who again
enjoys the high standard of seating comfort typical
of a BMW.
The standard seat is 800 millimetres or 31.5´´
in height, step arch length is 1,800 millimetres or
70.9´´. And to cater for significantly
smaller or taller riders, the new R1200 R is available
as an option with a low (seat height 770 mm/30.3´´)
or high (seat height 830 mm/32.7´´) double
seat as an optional extra.
Design and colour concept
The new BMW R1200 R is a truly timeless, classic
roadster with excellent all-round qualities and unique
character now further enhanced by the machine’s
even higher level of dynamic performance. So it is
only natural to reflect these superior features clearly
and convincingly in the design of the motorcycle.
Compact in its overall proportions, the new R1200
R consciously features body components reduced in
terms of their form and style in order to highlight
the technical features of the drivetrain and, in particular,
of the power unit. The headlight pays tribute to classic
motorcycle design but uses the most modern and advanced
technology through the free-form reflectors. Indeed,
close integration of the headlight into the overall
line of the motorcycle creates an almost ‘bullish’
front end, harmonising smoothly with the slender proportions
of the rear section.
The optical ‘lightness’ of the new R1200
R also comes out clearly from the rider’s perspective:
with the radiator at the side having been dropped,
the entire tank area is now a lot more compact and
slender. And being made of sheet metal, the fuel tank
also highlights the classic design and style of the
Last but certainly not least, the colour concept again
accentuates the character of the new BMW R1200 R,
the three colour variants available as an option interpreting
the classic roadster theme in a very different, distinctive
Paintwork in Night Black non-metallic highlights
the straightforward character and honesty of the new
Roadster. And the discerning rider opting for double
decal line finish (hand-painted in white as an optional
extra) can be sure to receive a truly classic BMW
in its looks and appearance.
Crystal Grey metallic is an innovative colour scheme
that changes according to the light conditions, while
Granite Grey metallic highlights in par¬ticular
the shapes and lines of the Roadster.
Range of Equipment
Optional extras and special equipment
BMW Motorrad offers a wide range of additional features
for the new Roadster, catering for the rider who wishes
to personalise his (or her) BMW.
BMW Motorrad demonstrates its leadership in the
area of active safety through the new generation of
Integral ABS available as an option. This new generation
of ABS brake technology, just like BMW Motorrad’s
unique ASC traction control, is making its world debut
in the R1200 R.
Apart from the usual extras, such as heated grips,
an anti-theft warning system, cylinder protection
hoops or a chrome-plated exhaust, the discerning customer
also has the choice of numerous innovative technologies
ranging from the on-board computer through ESA Electronic
Suspension Adjustment all the way to the navigation
Sophisticated components upgrading the looks of
the machine, such as aluminium parts finished in chrome
or milled from a complete block, are also being prepared
to additionally highlight the unique and classic character
of this Boxer roadster.
As usual, optional extras are provided straight
from the factory, while special equipment may also
be fitted subsequently by the customer’s BMW
- BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (partly integral)
- BMW Motorrad ASC (with ABS only)
- ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment
- TPC tyre pressure control* (in preparation)
- On-board computer
- Case supports*
- Sports windshield*
- Low double seat (seat height 770 mm/30.3´´)*
- High double seat (seat height 830 mm/32.7´´)*
- Main stand*
- Anti-theft warning system*
- Heated grips*
- Direction indicators in white*
- Exhaust system, chrome-plated
Products marked with an * are also available as special
equipment from BMW motorcycle dealers.
ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment
As an option the rider is able to conveniently vary
the suspension of his R1200 R simply by pressing a
button on the handlebar, adjusting the set-up of the
springs and dampers by an electric motor in the op¬tional
ESA spring struts.
This adjustment function is available even while
riding, with the system functions being the same as
on the R1200 ST and R1200 RT.
ESA offers a high standard of comfort in control
and ensures optimum adjustment of spring elements
to the rider’s particular style of riding and
load conditions at any given point in time. The system
also takes the higher standard of riding dynamics
on the roadster into account and makes a significant
contribution to superior riding safety.
TPC tyre pressure control
Optional TPC tyre pressure control makes a significant
contribution to the high standard of riding comfort
and safety by reliably informing the rider of the
current level of tyre pressure. The data required
for tyre pressure control comes from sensors in the
TPC also features an active warning function: As
soon as the system recognises a relevant deviation
from the pressure required, a yellow information light
or, in the event of a greater deviation, a red warning
light automatically informs the rider of the current
TPC is scheduled for introduction in late 2006 and
will then be available straight from the factory and
may also be retrofitted as special equipment.
The on-board computer enhances the wide range of
functions already offered by the instrument cluster
and is a very practical companion on the road. By
pressing a button on the handlebar, the rider is able
to call up all kinds of information presented in the
display. This includes displays showing the fuel supply
and engine oil temperature as well as gauges showing
the range still remaining in the tank, the rider’s
average speed, average fuel consumption, and the ambient
temperature. And as another very important feature
the on-board computer informs the rider of the risk
of black ice once the outside temperature drops to
3 °C (37.5 °F) or below.
The new BMW R1200 R is available straight from the
factory with an elegant case support specifically
matching the slender rear design of the machine and
thus not impairing the overall looks of the motorcycle
in any way. An alternative is the special equipment
case support featuring an additional luggage rack.
It almost goes without saying that the sports-minded
rider opting for the new R1200 R has no reason to
forego adequate protection from wind and weather,
particularly as the new machine is far more dynamic
than its predecessor. This efficient protection is
provided by the sports screen which – despite
its small dimensions – efficiently guides wind
and weather away from the rider. The scratchproof
surface, in turn, ensures lasting transparency and
maintains the good looks of the screen at all times.
The rider with a greater focus on riding comfort
also has the choice of a high-rise windshield available
exclusively as special equipment and described in
greater detail in the section on SE.
Low and high double seat
To offer shorter and taller riders the best choice
of seating position, BMW Motorrad is able to provide
both a lower (770 mm/30.3´´) and higher
(830 mm/32.7´´) seat. And whatever version
the rider chooses, these special seats come as a no-cost
option when ordered straight from the factory.
Direction indicators in white LED technology
The BMW R1200 R will soon be available with white
direction indicators in LED technology (scheduled
for introduction as of early 2007) and fitted either
at the factory or by the BMW motorcycle dealer. Until
then, the machine can still be ordered as an option
with conventional white direction indicators.
- System cases
- Inner bags for system cases
- Topcase, small
- Inner cases for topcase, small
- Sports softbag, small/large
- Case support*
- Case supports, left/right, with luggage rack
- Heated grips*
- Main stand*
- Anti-theft warning system*
- Double seat bench, high or low*
- Windshield, high
- Sports windshield*
- Sports windshield in tinted glass
- Power socket, retrofittable
- TPC tyre pressure control* (in preparation)
- BMW Motorrad Navigator III
- Motorcycle cover
Optical embellishment components (in preparation):
- Fork bridge cover caps in lathed aluminium
- Telelever cover caps in lathed aluminium
- Hand levers left and right, milled
- Handlebar clamp support, one-piece
- Paralever bar, milled
- Cylinder head covers, chrome-plated
- Custom mirrors, chrome-plated
Products marked with an * are also available from
The case system available for BMW’s new roadster
is the same as on the R1200 ST and R1200 RT. Hence,
the watertight cases offer a capacity of 32 litres
and are readily accessible thanks to their simple
and convenient closing mechanism. Through their carefully
conceived design, the cases do not stick out too far,
despite their ample capacity.
The topcase is also the same as on the R1200 ST,
increasing the roadster’s luggage capacity by
a significant 28 litres – enough space for light
travel luggage or a helmet. A further advantage is
that the topcase fits quickly and very conveniently
on the luggage rack, and the back padding (also available
as an option) offers a passenger extra seating comfort
at all times.
The practical tankbag is a special development for
the R1200 R and adjusts perfectly to the contours
of the tank itself. The extendable main compartment
features a lockable inner bag that’s glued into
position to reliably protect the contents from getting
wet and thus eliminating the need for an inconvenient
The map pocket (offering ample space for an unfolded
DIN A4 road map) is also watertight. On the side facing
the rider, the tankbag comes with an additional, sewn-on
pocket complete with a separate zipper for all kinds
of odds and ends and again easily accessible for practical
The rider seeking in particular to enjoy riding
comfort, free of fatigue, will certainly benefit from
the higher windshield. Comparable in its dimensions
and shape with the high-rising windshield on the R1150
R, this high windshield significantly reduces the
forces acting on the rider at high speeds, allowing
him to travel even long distances on the motorway
without problems. And since the higher windshield
also comes with a scratchproof surface, it always
looks good and attractive even after long use.
Sophisticated components and high-class materials
such as chrome and aluminium come out particularly
well on a classic roadster, which is why BMW Motorrad
is developing a special range of accessories allowing
the truly discerning rider to upgrade his or her R1200
R to an even higher level of class and style. The
features currently being prepared include chrome-plated
custom mirrors, cover caps for the fork bridge and
Telelever (lathed out of one block), a milled Paralever
bar, handbrake lever, clamping supports, and chrome-plated
cylinder head covers.
This special range of customising features is currently
in preparation, and the exact date of introduction
is still to be confirmed.
Accessories for several models
Further accessories are also to be introduced for
both the new roadster and other BMW Boxers. These
will include a paddock stand, a lockable oil plug,
an additional toolkit, as well as cables and a support
for the BMW Motorrad Navigator.
- Capacity cc - 1,170
- Bore/stroke mm - 101/73
- Max output kW/hp - 80/109 at rpm 7,500
- Max torque Nm/lb-ft - 115/85 at rpm 6,000
- Configuration - Boxer
- No of cylinders - 2
- Compression ratio/fuel grade - 12.0/premium plus
- Valve/gas control - HC (high camshaft)
- Valves per cylinder - 4
- Valve dia, intake/exhaust mm - 36/31
- Fuel supply - Electronic intake manifold injection
- Emission - management Fully controlled three-way
- Alternator W - 600
- Battery V/Ah - 12/14 maintenance-free
- Starter kW - 1.2
- Clutch - Single-plate dry clutch, dia 180 mm
- Gearbox - Dog-shift six-speed gearbox
- Primary transmission - 1.882
- Gear ratios - I; 2.277, II; 1.583, III; 1.259,
IV; 1.033, V; 0.903, VI; 0.805
- Drive shaft
- Final drive ratio - 2.75
Suspension and Running Gear
- Frame - Tubular steel spaceframe, load-bearing
- Suspension, front - BMW Telelever
- Suspension, rear - BMW Paralever
- Spring travel, front/rear mm - 120/140
- Castor mm - 119.1
- Wheelbase mm - 1,495
- Steering head angle ° - 62.9
- Brakes - front; Double disc brake, dia 320 mm,
rear; Single-disc brake, dia 265 mm
- BMW Motorrad Integral ABS as an option
- Wheels - Cast wheels
- front - 3.50 x 17
- rear - 5.50 x 17
- Tyres - front; 120/70-ZR 17
- rear; 180/55-ZR 17
Dimensions and weight
- Length, overall mm - 2,145
- Width, overall, with mirrors mm - 872
- Seat height mm - 800
- Weight, dry kg - 198
- DIN unladen weight with full tank kg - 223
- Weight, max permissible kg - 450
- Tank capacity ltr - 18
- Fuel consumption - 90 km/h ltr/100 km; 4.1, 120
km/h ltr/100 km; 5.5
- Acceleration - 0–100 km/h sec 3.6
- Top speed km/h - 200 plus