2006 BMW R1200 R


By now the world knows BMWs can be fun: the 180bhp K1200S and R models are simply riotous. But somehow the Boxer-engine range has always maintained a straight-faced attitude – diligent, hard-working and hard wearing. Then some bright spark decides the R1200R should be fashionably naked, have sporting pretensions with half decent handling and agility, and a touch of midrange grunt. It lives, master…

With the BMW R1200R famed reliability meets the tuning fingers of a joker. There’s a fair wallop of bottom end grunt and top end kick – more than any naked bike has a right to have. Even though the old flat-twin is very old design-wise, modern internals, electronics and injected fuelling ensure the Boxer motor lives on for a while longer to keep BMW purists happy. Shaft drive is a god-send for the less mechanically minded.

Telever front suspension (relies on a single main spring under the steering head) is unique to BMW, as is the Paralever shaft arm. Used on its touring models the whole system is a testament to stability and a role model for coping with UK roads. Now lighten the steel-based frame, add sports-like steering and you get a bike, the BMW R1200R, that rolls over quicker than a nervous spaniel. Traffic dodging and A-road blasts are simple and fun, which sums the motorcycle up completely

With the exception of a three-way height adjustable seat as standard, the R1200R is bum-basic for a BMW, and that’s why the price is kept low (for a BMW). But as it is a BMW the list of optional riding equipment is long (and pricey): Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), ABS, tyre pressure monitoring, soon-to-come traction control etc. There’s also a growing list of bolt-on accessories, from fly screen to panniers, to chrome bits ‘n’ bobs.

With an engine design that can be traced back to before most of us were born, and a rolling chassis that has tried and trusted components, the reliability of the BMW R1200R is never going to be an issue. However, modern electronics suffer on all bikes because of vibrations and hostile weather, so no one can guarantee a bike to be free from problems. If it helps, BMW has one of the strongest ‘faithful’ group of riders because it seems its motorcycles just keep going and BMW aftercare is a committed one.

If the Japanese manufacturers produced an £8300 bum-basic naked with the R1200R’s performance then sales-wise it’d fall flat on its arse. So how comes BMW can get away with it? Simple really, because it is a BMW and with BMW motorcycles comes high resale values. Value for money? Not if you’re into bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1000, or Bandit Suzukis, but then they don’t have shaft drive and will never command a good resale value. Find BMW R1200R motorcycles for sale.

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