BMW R1200RS – Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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Technical Data

  • 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

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BMW C650GT & C600Sport scooters

BMW C600 Sport scooter
BMW C650GT scooter


Not too long ago I had the privilege of riding 2 revolutionary scooters from the BMW stable for the weekend, and I must say it drastically changed my perception of the premium class scooter. In my opinion the BMW C650GT and C600Sport scooters are two of the most under rated modes of transport in the two wheeled market. But let’s get technical first before I continue ranting on about these scooters.

Contrary to what the naming of these scooters suggest both the C650GT and C600 Sport have the same 647cc liquid cooled, 4 valves per cylinder parallel twin engine developing 45kw/60hp and 60N.m. of torque. The GT has a wet weight of 261kg with the Sport tipping the scales at 249kg(wet), both bikes having identical chassis with the weight difference attributed to the difference in fairing design and electronic aid. These scooters have superb cornering capabilities (even by motorcycle standards) due to the low centre of gravity provided by the 70degree forward lean of the parallel twin engine and good ground clearance. The steering is surprising responsive, given the 15inch wheels fitted to the scooter and handling is an absolute dream on this uber machine that is a magnificent city hopper and equally awesome on the open road taking you to speeds of up to 180km/h. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is very smooth and helps in giving this two wheeler lively acceleration…..turn the throttle and of you go, leaving the traffic behind with ease.

Safe stopping is provided by the three 270mm brake discs and the addition of ABS for that “unexpected” braking incidents. Both models have a wheelbase of 1591mm, LED daytime running lights, heated grips, heat seats (front & back) and adjustable wind screens (electronically on the GT model). Last but not least, a scooter won’t be a proper scooter without decent storage space, something that these scooters have in abundance due to the clever design and engineering by the clever people in their white coats in Spandau, Germany. Two small cargo compartments are situated in the fairing of which one is lockable and equipped with a power outlet. The third storage compartment is naturally situated under the seat and is expandable only when the scooter is parked and enables it to swallow two bike helmets. The other clever design feature that caught my attention is the parking brake which is automatically engaged with the side stand in the “out” position.

So to sum it all up BMW definitely in my opinion perfected the scooter recipe with the C650GT and C600Sport scooters by building a scooter ideally situated for everyday commuting (average fuel consumption of 5L/100km from a 16L fuel tank) as well as designing a scooter that loves eating the long miles on the open road and will give you great joy in any corner. However, it is pricey for a scooter and you can get something like a F800GS from the BMW stable for nearly the same price. But if you are in the scooter market and you have the money, there is no better scooter to buy…..or let me put it this way, buying any one of these two scooters will be a lifetime investment.

Photos coming soon…..

By: Hector Jamieson

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