and photos courtesy
of BMW AG
The New K 1200 R Combines a Bold Image With High
Just when you thought the growing "naked bike"
segment - sportbikes shorn of their plastic wrappers,
unveiled for all to see - was all about showing off and
nothing about substance and style, here comes the 2006
BMW K 1200 R.
Unlike the weightlifter who can barely scratch his
own back, the K 1200 R is powerfully built yet agile,
massively quick yet perfectly docile for those times you
want to take it easy. It's the ideal combination
of menace and class.
BMW has taken advantage of the incredible technology
housed in the new K 1200 S - a straight-line speed
machine that also accelerates, turns and stops like a
truly modern superbike - to create the K 1200 R.
In fact, except for revised bodywork and ergonomics, the
two bikes are very much alike.
And yet the two motorcycles couldn't be further in
temperament. The K 1200 S is sophisticated,
urbane, while the K 1200 R is built for the rider who
lives for sport riding and uncompromised appearances.
The K 1200 R eschews full bodywork for a tidy,
aerodynamically designed instrument-panel fairing that
incorporates powerful asymmetrical headlights and the
engine oil cooler.
This is a face that performance-oriented riders won't
soon forget. Nor will race fans, as the K 1200 R
will form the basis for the BMW Power Cup, with races to
be held all over the world on special race-prepared
machines. Taking up where the popular Boxer Cup
left off, it's likely that the best, hardest-fought
racing in 2005 will come from the ranks of the Power
Potent Acceleration From a State-of-the-Art
Behold the most powerful production motorcycle engine
BMW has ever built, the beneficiary of decades competing
at the highest levels of motorsport. But it's not
just about sheer thrust. Indeed, the K 1200 R's
revolutionary inline-four-cylinder engine sets new
standards not just for power - and, as important,
excellent power delivery - but it was designed from the
start to be compact and light.
Moreover, its unusual configuration - the cylinder
block is canted toward the front wheel by 55 degrees -
not only reduces the entire motorcycle's center of
gravity but also permits innovating packaging solutions.
The K 1200 R's layout is as far from a me-too
arrangement as you can get.
Thorough development of the 1157cc, liquid-cooled
engine made possible the 167-horsepower peak but is also
responsible for the engine's broad, flat torque curve;
although it peaks at 94 pound-feet, 80 percent of the
peak torque is available from 3500 rpm all the way to
the 11,000-rpm redline. That's flexibility.
Maintaining high power and low emissions is one
responsibility of the K 1200 R's BMS-K (BMW Engine
Management with Anti-Knock Control) Digital Motor
Electronics. This system features fully sequential
cylinder-specific fuel injection with integrated
anti-knock control and a three-way catalytic converter
in the exhaust.
Combining the use of a sensitive oxygen sensor and
fast feedback processing in the engine-control computer
with special anti-knock sensors, allowed BMW's engineers
to tune the K 1200 R's engine for maximum power yet
retain the ability to use less-than-premium fuel.
(Maximum power will be obtained on premium fuel,
This sophisticated injection system allowed BMW's
engineers to boost the K 1200 R's compression ratio to a
race-like 13.0:1, which benefits not only power, but
combustion efficiency as well. That gives the
rider more power and torque, and increases fuel economy
at the same time.
A New Kind of Balancing Act
Inline-four-cylinder engines have characteristic
vibration but the K 1200 R powerplant uses a technology
also explored in the new R 1200 Boxer engines to make it
inherently smooth. Twin balance shafts are driven
by a toothed belt from the crankshaft at twice the
crankshaft speed and employ elastomer isolators to
reduce transmission of noise and vibration. These
balance shafts reduce transmission of second-order
vibration from the engine to the chassis and, therefore,
to the rider, who will experience four-cylinder serenity
as never before.
Dramatic advances in driveline technology abound in
the K 1200 R. The cassette-style six-speed
transmission uses stacked shafts to reduce the engine's
overall length and to form the most efficient method of
transferring power to the shaft final drive.
Chassis Overview: High-Tech Alloy Frame and
The K 1200 R shares the K 1200 S's chassis
components, including light-alloy main frame featuring
dramatically tilted main spars - to further reduce the
machine's center of gravity - made up of a selection of
materials: pressure-cast aluminum, alloy extrusions and
special die-cast aluminum members.
counterbalanced engine does not vibrate like a typical
four-cylinder, it can be mounted solidly to the frame -
no rubber isolators are necessary. In this way,
the frame is further strengthened by the engine
BMW has always pushed forward on suspension design,
and the K 1200 R continues the tradition. Joining
a revised, lightened version of the company's famed
Paralever rear suspension - much lighter than
conventional shaft systems and without a typical shaft's
squatting tendencies - is the Duolever front suspension.
Based on a concept developed by British inventor
Norman Hossack in the 1980s, Duolever effectively
isolates suspension movement from steering forces for
smooth handling. Moreover, Duolever has
significantly less friction than conventional telescopic
forks, so its action is much more supple while also
being given spring and damping rates appropriate for a
sportbike. Finally, the Duolever has been designed
to provide effective anti-dive control so that the K
1200 R remains on an even keel during hard braking.
And it's not just the suspension design that breaks
new ground, either. As with the K 1200 S, the K
1200 R features BMW's ESA - Electronic Suspension
Adjustment - as an option. Accessed through the
instrument panel display, ESA sets spring and damping
rates electronically. The rider can choose three
combined spring settings - solo, solo with luggage or
rider with passenger and luggage - along with three
damping modes: comfort, normal or sport. The
spring settings must be adjusted at a standstill, but
the damping adjustments can be made while underway.
Impressive Brakes and Adaptive Anti-Lock Control
The 2005, 2006 and 2007 K1200R has either the “Integral
ABS” option (approximately $1000.00) or it has
conventional (normal) brakes, and they are “non-linked”.
Only ABS-equipped bikes would have the EVO system.
These powerful brakes work through new-design wheels
that are light yet strong. They carry traditional
sportbike-sized tires - a 120/70ZR17 in front and a
large-footprint 180/55ZR17 at the rear.
Options and Accessories
A comprehensive list of BMW options and accessories
are available for the K 1200 R. These include:
- Anti-theft warning system
- Heated handgrips
- Low-profile seat
- ABS Brakes
- Luggage Rack
- Clear Turn Signals
- Cockpit Fairing
- BMW Navigator II GPS moving-map system
- Center stand
- BMW adjustable side cases
- Soft Top Case
- Tank Bag
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