Used guide

BMW’S R1200S boxer is a se­ri­ous used bar­gain

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - By Jon Urry MCN GUEST TESTER

What we said then

“Some­how you al­ready know if you want the BMW R1200S. The looks di­vide opin­ions, but only half as much as the boxer en­gine and the Telelever/ Par­alever sus­pen­sion do. BMW have strained the lim­its of these de­sign pa­ram­e­ters – and it only just comes off. As an od­dball track mo­tor­cy­cle it works, but as an accomplished all­rounder it falls short of the stan­dards set by the R1100S that pre­ceded it.”

MCN launch re­port

But what is it like now?

I’ve al­ways had a soft spot for sporty boxer-en­gined bikes and while in terms of pure per­for­mance there is no way the R1200S can hold a can­dle to the HP2 Sport, it isn’t a bike to be dis­missed. This is a uniquelook­ing boxer that, like so many of BMW’S mod­els, is ac­tu­ally ex­tremely accomplished at just be­ing a re­ally en­joy­able road bike. Al­though back in the day this point was lost in trans­la­tion.

BMW dropped the ball with the R1200S and that’s why it was only in the range for two years. Af­ter the pop­u­lar­ity of the R1100S, the R1200S was de­signed to be even sportier and as such shed weight, gained power and be­came sharper styled. But BMW over­looked the fact R1100S own­ers bought the bike as a sports-tourer, not a sports­bike, and the R1200S’S ini­tial lack of lug­gage op­tions killed its sales.

Nowa­days lug­gage is read­ily avail­able and the R1200S can be viewed in a dif­fer­ent light. The sporty look re­mains fresh and it is great fun to ride, al­though still a lit­tle quirky.

When you ini­tially ac­cel­er­ate on the R1200S it feels mo­men­tar­ily lethar­gic and muted be­fore the power chimes in with sur­pris­ing en­thu­si­asm. This is a de­lib­er­ate throt­tle re­ac­tion BMW gave the bike to spice up its char­ac­ter and it can make it a bit awk­ward at low speed. It’s some­thing own­ers ei­ther like or loathe but thank­fully once you are mov­ing it doesn’t re­ally cause too many is­sues and you are left un­hin­dered to en­joy the de­lights of the boxer en­gine.

For sim­ple cruis­ing the R1200S is ex­cel­lent. The rid­ing po­si­tion is far more akin to a sports-tourer than a sports­bike and it’s a very com­fort­able place to spend time, espe­cially if heated grips and a taller screen are fit­ted.

To non-bmw rid­ers the Par­alever front end does ini­tially feel alien but you soon dial into this unique ride, so go for a proper test ride rather than a short trip around the block. Much like the rest of the bike, it’s an ac­quired taste.

Any ob­vi­ous faults?

This ex­am­ple has just over 23,000 miles on its clocks and looks very well cared for, as its de­tailed ser­vice his­tory sug­gests. There are no signs of any of the me­chan­i­cal faults such as the Öh­lins shock leak­ing or hub bear­ing wear, but the black fin­ish on the front of the en­gine has peeled. The ‘fork legs’ are pleas­ingly cor­ro­sion free.

Or worth­while ex­tras

This bike has the Sport pack­age fit­ted and that means heated grips, ABS, a wider rear rim and an Öh­lins shock. The of­fi­cial BMW soft pan­niers are also a very worth­while ad­di­tion as they cost over £650 new. Ver­dict The R1200S re­mains a bit of an od­dball, but it is a great short-hop sport­s­tourer at a good price. The pan­niers aren’t mas­sive, but it is a com­fort­able bike with a lovely boxer en­gine and a pleas­ing de­gree of sport­ing spirit. THANKS TO: Balder­ston Mo­tor­cy­cles, Peter­bor­ough. This R1200S is for sale at Balder­ston for £5495. Visit www.balder­ston.net for more in­for­ma­tion.

‘Still a bit of an od­dball’ and that’s just Jon Urry

Twist and (re­ally) go The R1200S has a unique cam on its throt­tle, giv­ing it a sporty throt­tle pick-up. It can be swapped for a more tra­di­tional one to re­move this feel­ing.

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