BMW R1200RS – 2015
Recently I was privileged enough to sample the brand new BMW R1200RS. Now I’ve had the opportunity before to ride both the new R1200GS and R1200RT and I’m of the opinion the RS is the result of these to getting together. For the guys who don’t want a big adventure bike or a big tourer like the RT (styled more in line with the new K1600GT) the RS is the best of both. The new RS comes more than 20yrs after the launch of the now classic R1100RS and like its predecessor the new R1200RS looks striking, yet proportional to the eye and an absolute charm to ride….a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. The RS has the exact same 1170cc DOHC “boxer” motor as the new water cooled R1200GS, R1200RT and R1200R, the big difference being the gear ratios. With hard acceleration and especially when taking to the open road one fully appreciates the 125Nm of torque that’s there on demand. The RS feels sporty and almost hyperactive with that classic and reliable boxer engine at the business end of things. The boxer motor is as reassuring as a homemade desert.
It has sports advanced electronics that make it almost fool proof even in the trickiest of conditions. The “bells-and-whistles” include among many things 3 riding modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic), manual screen adjustment (2 settings), ABS, heated grips, cruise control, ESA and a magnificent 6 speed gearbox that shifts perfectly without the use of the clutch (wet clutch). Changing gears with the clutch is one of the smooth I’ve ever experienced; the opposite is true when changing without the clutch. A slight “blip” of the throttle is all you need to shift gears clutchlessly (I’m sure that’s a new word), it is however smoother when done at higher speeds.
This is the kind of bike you wouldn’t trade/sell but rather build a trusting lifelong relationship with. Every time you get on it, is as exhilarating as the day you first met that “perfect” girl (hopefully she also became your wife). With this bike, BMW builds on their reputation of producing market leading sports-tourers. Although the larger radiator for the new liquid cooled motor means the traditional tele-lever suspension is a thing of the past as it made way for the more conventional forks, the quality remains firm yet comfortable. Suspension travel is 140mm for both the front and rear. Being used to the seating position of my GS, the RS did take some getting used to. Seating pulls the upper body in more forward leaning position than the up-right seating position of the R. I did do a short stint in rush hour traffic and must say the RS is extremely stable regardless of the speed you do. As on most BMW’s the brakes are confidence inspiring.
So, to summarise, in the corners I had to work a bit compared to the ease with which my GS corners. At 1.80 m in length I’m not the tallest guy around but would recommend taller riders to invest in an after-market screen for better wind deflection. Acceleration is smooth, power is plenty available, and your passenger will ride with the same comfort as you on a well-balanced bike. If you have close to R200 000 lying around, this is most certainly a bike you need to consider….you simply can’t go wrong with this bike.
- Displacement 1170cc horizontally opposed 2 cylinder DOHC
- Power 92kw & 125Nm
- Brakes (F)2x320mm (R) 1x276mm Brembo
- Tyres (F)120/70ZR/17 (R)180/55ZR/17 radial
- Consumption 5.5L/100km
- Fuel type 95 octane unleaded
- Fuel capacity 18L with approximately 4 L reserve
- Weight 236kg(wet)
- Seat height low/high 760/840mm
- Suspension travel 140mm front and rear
By: Hector Jamieson