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BMW R1200R

BMW Announces the R 1200 R

BMW Press Released Edited by

July 2006 – BMW has released information and technical specifications on the new R 1200 R, which continues a long tradition of the BMW motorcycle line.

BMW claims that the R1200R is the first motorcycle in the world with “Automatic Stability Control“, or ASC) as an option.

However, a sharp-eyed webBikeWorld visitor has pointed out that Honda offered a traction control system in the Honda ST 1100 ABS-TCS during the 1990’s.

Other R1200R options include anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a new tire air pressure control system

The R1200R is an evolution of the  R1150R and R850R, which had combined sales of almost 60,000 units since 2001. BMW feels that there is market demand for a “roadster” type motorcycle that provides a continuance of the BMW classic design combining “unique character with timeless elegance”.

The new Roadster takes up the general trend towards enhanced dynamics without neglecting the strengths of the basic concept, combining a significantly higher standard of agility with excellent all-round touring qualities.

The 1,200-cc power unit develops 109 hp and thus exceeds the output of the former engine by almost 28%. This flat-twin power unit comes with the same level of development already boasted in the R 1200 RT, with the oil cooler on the new Roadster now fitted behind the wheel fork.

The rear section of the tubular space frame has been specially developed for the R1200R Roadster, helping to give the entire rear end a light and nimble appearance and reducing the overall weight of the machine. Dry weight of the new R1200R all-rounder is a claimed 437 lb., or 198 kg.

BMW also claims that in road trim and with a full tank, in turn, the new machine also remains very light at just 223 kg or 492 lb, much lighter than other four-cylinders in this market segment.

BMW also says that the R1200R Roadster sets new standards for use of technologies, which helps retain BMW’s claim to leadership in road safety.

And for the first time the new model features the new generation of BMW Motorrad Integral Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), which may be combined as an option with Automatic Stability Control (ASC) anti-spin control starting in 2007.

Tire Pressure Control (TPC) tire pressure control warning the rider of a loss of pressure also while riding is currently being developed as a further feature for superior safety. And in typical BMW fashion, there will be a wide range of optional extras and special equipment allows the customer to personalize the design and features of the bike.

The most significant features of the new R 1200 R at a glance:

  • Air-cooled flat-twin 1,170-cc power unit with balance shaft.
  • 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 R 1150 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 drive shaft.
  • ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment as an option.
  • Dry weight 198 kg/437 lb, 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).
  • Particularly wide range of accessories.

Technical Features and Design

The R1200R engine is based on the 1200cc unit first introduced on the R1200GS and includes the balance shaft. This is the same engine used in the BMW R 1200 RT.

Compared with the R 1150 R, the new Roadster offers almost 28% more power at a higher engine speed and approximately 17% more torque. And at the same time the engine is 7% lighter than its predecessor and BMW claims that it’s particularly smooth and sophisticated, reducing vibrations to a minimum.

The latest generation of electronic CAN-bus engine management is also used on the R1200R. This provides 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 (80 kW) at 7,500 rpm and peak torque
of 85 lb-ft (115 Nm) at 6,000 rpm, the flat-twin requires 98 RON premium plus fuel. Running on 95 RON premium fuel, in turn, engine output is slightly lower.

The six-speed gearbox with helical gears featured in the R 1200 R also comes from the RT, combining that bike’s snug and gentle gear mesh with running smoothness. Contrary to the touring model, the drive shaft on the R 1200 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 a kind of overdrive or economy gear.

BMW R1200R Frame


Like its RT and ST counterparts, the BMW R 1200 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 space frame structure lighter in weight than comparable components and helping 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. Making an important contribution to the Roadster’s stable riding behavior and smooth handling, this suspension gives the R 1200 R agility on winding roads than on 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 often taking along various loads and thus subjecting his machine to different weight conditions should be thrilled by the optional ESA Electronic Suspension System enabling the him – or her – to conveniently adjust spring and damper rates electronically at the touch of a button.

BMW R1200R Left Side

BMW R1200R Right Side Rear


Featuring two floating brake discs measuring 320 millimeters or 12.6´´ in diameter as well as two four-piston fixed calipers on the front wheel, the BMW R 1200 R should be well suited for powerful deceleration whenever required.

Pressure is built up via slender, high-quality flexible-steel brake lines also featured on the two-piston floating caliper acting on the rear wheel brake discs measuring 265 millimeters or 10.4″ in diameter.
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 from 2007.

BMW R1200R Instruments


The combination of instruments on the new R 1200 R is again typical of BMWs. Two analogue circular dials positioned above one another, as well as a digital LCD display, inform the rider at a glance on current road speed, engine speed, overall mileage, trip mileage, gear in mesh, and the

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 R 1200 R communicate with one another via a modern data bus network, with digital information being transmitted through one single wire.

The 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 of functions. 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.

Electronic Immobilizer – Alarm System

To make sure that the new R 1200 R remains in the hands of its rightful owner at all times, an electronic immobilizer comes as standard on the new Roadster and is fully integrated in the data bus network described 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 rider to start the engine.

BMW R1200R On the Road

Ergonomics and Seat Height

To ensure maximum comfort and freedom of movement, BMW Motorrrad’s designers and engineers have focused 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 good ground contact and gives the rider a much more relaxed knee angle compared with the previous model. This also applies to the passenger, who should enjoy a high standard of seating comfort.

The standard seat is 800 millimeters or 31.5″ in height, step arch length is 1,800 millimeters or 70.9″. And to cater for significantly smaller or taller riders, the new R 1200 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 Colors

Compact in its overall proportions, the new R 1200 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 engine.

The headlight also pays tribute to classic motorcycle design then carried forward to 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 harmonizing smoothly with the slender proportions of the rear section.

Even the elegant case support available as an optional extra blends smoothly with this formal and design language. From the rear, the looks of the BMW R 1200 R are dominated by the Paralever as another feature so typical and characteristic of BMW.

The optical “lightness” of the new R 1200 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 in genuine BMW tradition, the fuel tank also highlights the classic design and style of the entire machine.

Last but certainly not least, the color concept again accentuates the character of the new BMW R 1200 R, the three color variants available as an option interpreting the classic roadster theme in a very different, distinctive manner.

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 painted in white by a skilled hand as an optional extra can be sure to receive a truly classic BMW in its looks and appearance.

Crystal Grey metallic is an innovative color scheme changing consistently in its look as a function of the angle of light, and thus emanating a particularly sophisticated, elegant and modern touch at all times.

As a more “technical” color, Granite Grey metallic highlights in particular the shapes and lines of the Roadster. Undisturbed by reflections and unwanted light effects, this highly attractive color guides the eye of the observer to the essential: to a purist and modern all-round machine.

BMW R1200R Luggage


BMW once again offers a very wide range of additional features for the new Roadster, catering for the rider who wishes to personalize his – or her – BMW. Indeed, this wide range of features meets even the many customer wishes and preferences.

Integral ABS is available as an option. This new generation of ABS brake technology, just like BMW’s unique ASC anti-spin control, is making its world debut in the R 1200 R.

Apart from other almost classic features already to be admired on BMW Motorrad’s other models such as the main stand, heated handles, an anti-theft warning system, cylinder protection hoops or a chrome-plated exhaust, the 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 system.

Other components can be purchased to upgrade the looks of the machine, such as aluminum parts finished in chrome or billet 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 Motorcycle Dealer.

Optional extras:

  • BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (partly integral)
  • BMW Motorrad ASC (with ABS only)
  • ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment
  • TPC tire pressure control* (in preparation)
  • On-board computer
  • Case supports*
  • Sports windshield*
  • Double seat bench, low (seat height 770 mm/30.3″)*
  • Double seat bench, high (seat height 830 mm/32.7″)*
  • Center stand*
  • Anti-theft warning system*
  • Heated grips*
  • Direction indicators in white*
  • Exhaust system, chrome-plated

Note: 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 the R 1200 R simply by pressing a button on the handlebar, adjusting the set-up of the springs and dampers by an electric motor in the optional ESA spring struts.

This adjustment function is available even while riding, with the system functions being the same as on the R 1200ST and R 1200 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
is claimed to make a significant contribution to superior riding safety.

TPC Tire Pressure Control

Optional TPC tire pressure control makes a contribution to the high standard of riding comfort and safety by reliably informing the rider of the current level of tire pressure. And since the rider is able to conveniently display the data required in the cockpit at the touch of a button, there is no need to stop, say, at a filling station to adjust tire pressure in a laborious process often involving dirty fingers.
The data required for tire pressure control comes from sensors in the wheels.

TPC also features an active warning function: As soon as the system recognizes 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 status.

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.

On-board Computer

The on-board computer available as an optional extra enhancing the wide range of functions already offered by the instrument cluster featured as standard, 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 then presented in the display. This includes bar displays presenting the fuel supply and engine oil temperature as well as gauges showing the range still remaining on the fuel 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.

Saddlebag Supports

The new BMW R 1200 R is available 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.

Sports Windshield

It almost goes without saying that the sports-minded rider opting for the new R 1200 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 windshield which, despite its small dimensions, efficiently guides wind and weather away from the rider. The scratch-proof surface, in turn, ensures lasting transparency and maintains the good looks of the windshield at all times.

The rider with a greater focus on riding comfort also has the choice of a higher windshield available exclusively as special equipment.

Adjustable Seat Height

To offer both the somewhat shorter and the taller rider an optimum seating position, BMW is able to provide both a lower (seat height 770 mm/30.3″) and higher (seat height 830 mm/32.7″) seat bench. And whatever version the rider chooses, these special seats come as a no-cost option when ordered straight from the factory.

LED Turn Signals

The BMW R 1200 R will soon be available with white direction indicators in LED technology scheduled for introduction as of early 2007 and then fitted either at the factory or by the BMW Motorcycle Dealer. Up to that point in time the machine can be ordered as an option with conventional white direction indicators.

Available Equipment:

  • System cases
  • Inner bags for system cases
  • Top case, small
  • Inner cases for top case, small
  • Sports softbag, small/large
  • Tank bag
  • Case support*
  • Case supports, left/right, with luggage rack
  • Heated handles*
  • Main stand*
  • Anti-theft warning system*
  • Double seat bench, high or low*
  • Windshield, high
  • Sports windshield*
  • Tinted Sports windshield
  • Power socket, retrofittable
  • TPC tire pressure control* (in preparation)
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator III
  • Motorcycle cover
  • Optical embellishment components (in preparation):
  • Fork bridge cover caps in lathed aluminum
  • Telelever cover caps in lathed aluminum
  • Hand levers left and right, milled
  • Handle bar clamp support, one-piece
  • Paralever bar, milled
  • Cylinder head covers, chrome-plated
  • Custom mirrors, chrome-plated

Note: Products marked with an * are also available from the factory.

System Cases

The case system available for BMW’s new Roadster is the same as on the R 1200 ST and R 1200 RT. Hence, the watertight cases offer a capacity of 32 liters or 1.12 cu ft 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.

Top Case

The top case is also the same as on the R 1200 ST, increasing the Roadster’s luggage capacity by a significant 28 liters or almost 1.00 cubic feet – enough space for light travel luggage or a helmet. A further advantage is that the top case fits quickly and very conveniently on the luggage rack, the back padding also available as an option offering the passenger extra seating comfort at all times.

Tank Bag

The practical tank bag is a special development for the R 1200 R and adjusts perfectly to the contours of the tank itself. The extendable main compartment features an inner bag lockable and glued into position to reliably protect the contents from getting wet and thus eliminating the need for an inconvenient rain cover.

The map pocket offering ample space for an unfolded DIN A4 road map is also watertight. On the side facing the rider, the tank bag 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 use.

Taller Windscreen Option

The rider seeking in particular to enjoy riding comfort free of fatigue will certainly benefit from the high-rising windshield. Comparable in its dimensions and shape with the high-rising windshield on the R 1150 R, this high windshield significantly reduces the forces acting on the rider at high speeds, allowing travel even long distances on the Autobahn without problems in an upright seating position.

The taller windshield also comes with a scratch-proof surface, it should look attractive even after long use.


Sophisticated components and high-class materials such as chrome and aluminum come out particularly well on a classic Roadster. This is why BMW Motorrad is developing a special range of accessories, allowing the truly discerning rider to upgrade the R 1200 R to an even higher level of class and style.

The features currently being prepared include chrome-plated custom mirrors, billet cover caps for the fork bridge and Telelever, a milled Paralever bar, handbrake lever, clamping supports, and chrome-plated cylinder head covers.

This special range of customizing features is currently in development and the exact date of introduction is not yet known.

Accessories for Other BMWs

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 Navigator GPS.

Torque and Horsepower Curves

BMW R1200R Horsepower and Torque Curves

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