BMW R1200R Review 2016
The new BMW R1200R liquid-cooled naked just added some pepper to the old recipe. This one has the looks and the performance.
The new BMW R1200R is loaded with so much tech, I'm wondering had the moon used so much? I'm glad to report that unlike past experiences with tech - this bucketload simple works, and it works brilliantly. A Rip-snorting power-plant that is smooth and grunty from the bottom end, and unlike ye-old boxer, this one rips to the redline. On paper, the figures may not be that impressive, but the power is everywhere, and I can't quite recall being on a bike with quite the "slingshot" feel to the delivery. Instant punch that just increases. If you ever remember making yourself sick by continuous acceleration and outright torque, well - this will do it.
The previous BMW r1200r had been a durable motorcycle that fitted the "standard" category, but hardly a roadster due to its somewhat bland styling and sub-supersonic power.
The 2015 R1200R BMW onward definitely looks far more aggressive and no longer looks fitting only to the 55+. For me, the Red+White is the pick because if you're going to get a hooligan bike, why go half-arsed? In boxer world, this is as close as you'll get to a mean streetfighter. I think BMW has done very well. The big puffed-out chest, and tiny arse kind of looks like Arnie in his day. Directly front-on, it takes the form of an ugly-brute bison with the protruding cylinders. The slanted light unit and the red tubular frame is somewhat Monster-Esque, but that's a good thing.
This bike is turning out to be a world-class city and backroads machine. For a bike of its size and weight, it's certainly easy to ride. Easy to ride fast or slow.
A light clutch, relatively low seat, great low-end balance, and exceptional efficiency it's an excellent commuter as well as the weekend fun machine. And with an engine mode to match your mood you really have a bike for all types of riding.
I find myself quite often using the 'road' mode instead of dynamic when I just want to chill out a bit (hangover perhaps!) as it overall rounds outs the sharp initial bite on the gas when rolling on. Surprisingly, it also changes the sound of the bike subtly. On dynamic mode, it's more snarly, throaty with a side-helping of pops and crackles on the overrun. That all but disappears in 'road' mode, and the sound while not as snarly seem to get a tad deeper - which is cool.
R1200R BMW Gearbox
How about the box of cogs? The Shifting is great. It does give a resounding clunk when dropping it into first, but that doesn't bother me - it's sort of reassuring. Without the quick-shifter, the shifts are smooth and precise with a little bit of mechanical feel. I wouldn't call it silky, but it is undoubtedly excellent and never feels clunky. There has been some complaining on the web about the quick shifter. Apparently a bit jerky. While this is true, I've found that twin-cylinder quick-shift units are never as smooth as their 4-pot counterparts. Also using it properly has a lot to do with it.
A couple of things which should be obvious anyway; on the up-shift make sure you are accelerating decently - not just coasting. On the downshift, make sure you have the throttle all the way off. Shifting up-shift don't just tap it, use your foot to push through and leave it there for a split second. The downshift it takes a bit more pressure but push through, and it works well. Using this technique, I have a jerk-free experience of 99% of the time.
Oh, and if you're wondering whether the quick-shifter is worth it - Yes. It's more fun, takes away a lot of clutch work - and it's faster.
Efficiency, as on most BM's, is excellent, and as tech gets better, so does the fuel range. I'm constantly getting 300kms+ per tank in the city and 400+ out of the concrete jungle. I wager that 450kms would be possible with a more relaxed right hand on the highway... Sometimes it gets to the point where I can't even remember the last time I filled it up!
BMW R1200R Suspension
The suspension is about as good as you will find on any bike, you can really tell it is the next generation and the dynamic adapting suspension work really well. The way I know is that I don't even know about it. It never feels too hard or too soft. There are two settings on the bike 'road' and 'dynamic'. Effectively softer and harder. Unlike on the k1300r where comfort was a bit too soft and caused the bike to wallow around, 'road' setting on the r1200r lc works really well for 90% of riding unless you are going flat-chat through a set of nicely paved bends and want more stiffness.
R1200R BMW 2015, Slip-On Line (Titanium), S-B12SO14-HLGT - Fitted!
I have ordered the Titanium Akrapovic slip-on for this beast, stock standard, it is a tad quiet. The Chrome finish can of the stock I think is a little at odds with the rest of the bike (but certainly not bad).
Wanna hear what it sounds like?
This sound was taken with the baffle out (hard to remove!), and while it may not sound like it - the thing is loud, especially at revs when the exhaust flap opens. I'm undecided yet, but it's pretty darn loud, so I'm alternating it a bit - baffle in baffle out.
Baffle out it certainly has changed the 2015 R1200R BMW into a snarling beast that snarls and pops on the overrun, then like the primary tool used in texas chainsaw massacre when unleashed.
The performance gain is significant down low, you almost get another 1000rpm from where it pulls cleanly. Fire open the accelerator and it the difference is noticeable. More urgency and pop right away. Make sure you hang on properly! Conveniently the baffle can go in and out depending on your mood or disposition. Baffle goes in on a hangover for sure. So is that Akra worth it? Absolutely. Not only does is give your bike a more premium look, but it also sounds better, goes better and saves a few pounds. I paid around $1000 AUD for it.
I may look into changing the headers for a full system, but it currently goes like a bat out of hell, so I'm undecided. According to the specs, the full titanium Akra system should drop around 4kgs off the standard and gain about 10kw which is nothing to be sneered at! It will obviously lose the CAT, and exhaust valve so would no longer be legal - if you care about such paltriness!
Thanks to Procycle Hornsby for the test ride!
The R in black. Nice, but give me the minty-colour one any day!
To be continued...