Brand new for 2015, meet the stripped-down BMW R1200R Roadster.
At the reveal in Johannesburg, BMW emphasised the heritage of their new Roadster, the fourth such iteration, harking back to the first ever BMW motorcycle made 91 years ago.
Gone is the strange front suspension, replaced by conventional upside down telelever forks. A new headlight gives the bike an aggressive ‘eye’, with a smallish screen completing the picture, making the bike a real looker.
Finished in white, with a red trellis steel frame, the bike makes an imposing first impression. Aggressive looking, yet enough subtle styling to not to scare the rider, the BMW R1200R fits slides in between the S1000R and the K1300R. The flat-twin boxer engine, the same liquid/air-cooled motor as in the GS and GSA, pushes out 92 kW at 7 750 rpm and 125 Nm at 6 500 rpm. BMW emphasised the 50:50 suspension aspect ratio of the bike – 140 millimetres of travel both at the front and the back should make for an exhilarating cornering machine.
With added electronic trickery, the rider can flick through different rider modes while on the go. ABS brakes and stability control are fitted as standard and the Brembo twin callipers should bring the bike to a rapid stop. The dashboard has an analogue speedometer and a digital tachometer and the instrument display has different settings to meet the individual’s needs.
The styling will appeal to a specific buyer; it’s a frequent use, commuter friendly bike that ticks all the relevant boxes – style, safety and dynamic riding.
The old R1200R owned a mere 6% of the total BMW motorcycle market share in South Africa. BMW Motorrad intends to change that, with unofficial targets in excess of 10%. The reason for the low market share could be attributed to the somewhat unusual looks, something BMW have paid careful attention to.
Yours for a mere R175 900 for the white and red model, or R176, 300 for the dark grey model.
The 1200R’s smaller brother, the BMW F800R, was also introduced to the South African market.
The F800R sports the familiar liquid-cooled, four-valve, parallel twin-cylinder motor that offers plenty of power for the suburban commuter who also enjoys the occasional twisty road. Output is 66 kW at 8 000 rpm with 86 Nm of torque at 5800 rpm. The F800R is fitted with solid all-round safety features such as the Brembo ABS as standard.
Styled like a streetfighter, the F800R also possesses aggressive looks, while still providing rider comfort. The seat height has been dropped by 10mm and at 790mm offers a comfortable ride height. The foot pegs were moved forward for a more relaxed ride. To give it more bite, the gearing was shortened, resulting in faster first and second gears.
So with a little more power over the old (64 kW) and restyled looks, you have a great bike for beginners and commuters who occasionally want to open the taps. Priced at R119 000 standard and an extra R5000 for the dynamic package, the F800R remains affordable. Most likely competing with the Yamaha MT 09 and Kawasaki Z1000, the F offers an established brand to new buyers.
Report by Mukhtar Mukuddem