As expected, BMW Motorrad will use the 2014 International Motorcycle, Scooter and E-Bike Fair (INTERMOT), which opens tomorrow in Cologne, Germany, to introduce several new motorcycles including a new S1000RR and R1200R, new special editions of the C600 Sport and C650GT scooters, and the return of the boxer “RS” with a new R1200RS.
The original “RS” or rennsport (racing) BMWs were just that — special-built racing motorcycles. But in 1976, BMW used the RS designation on a production motorcycle, the BMW R100RS, which featured the world’s first full, frame-mounted fairing to come standard from the factory. Developed in a wind tunnel, the full-fairing allowed the R100RS to become an exceptional all-rounder. Perfect for both touring and sport riding, it established the sport-touring segment, as it has been known ever since. Many more “RS” models followed over the years but BMW appeared to retire the designation from production bikes with the introduction of the sport-touring R1200ST in 2005.
Sales of the ST were low, and in 2007, the model was discontinued. With the arrival of the new 2015 R1200RS, BMW Motorrad looks to connect back to its long tradition of sport-tourers powered by a flat-twin engine and reignite sport-touring sales. As BMW says in their press release, “Whether darting along country roads, reveling in its dynamic performance with a passenger on board or going on a long touring holiday – the new R1200RS takes sports touring to a whole new and truly thrilling level.”
The air- and liquid-cooled boxer engine on the new R1200RS is the same DOHC unit that already powers the R1200GS and R1200RT. It produces 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm and develops its peak torque of 92 lb‑ft (125 Nm) at 6,500 rpm. Compared to the engines on the GS, GS Adventure and RT, torque has actually been increased slightly at low revs. Like those other models, the RS is also available with Gear Shift Assistant Pro for clutchless shifting and Keyless Ride for key fob instead of key starting.
Unlike those other models in the R-series, the R1200RS utilizes an upside-down front fork instead of BMW’s Telelever suspension. BMW says, “Excellent steering precision, directional accuracy, neutral handling and braking rigidity were all a top priority when configuring the chassis. All while never losing sight of the overriding objective for the new R1200RS of creating an exceptionally dynamic RS model for the keen rider, whose design language has been derived from the S1000RR superbike.” The rear suspension is the typical BMW EVO Paralever single-sided shaft drive. While a new tubular steel bridge frame incorporating the engine as a stressed member is unique to the R1200RS.
The RS comes standard with two riding modes “Rain” and “Road,” which controls both the standard ABS and Automatic Stability Control (ASC) systems. With the optional Riding mode Pro feature, RS gets two extra riding modes, “Dynamic” and “User,” as well as Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with banking detection. The electronically controlled suspension system, Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), is also available and works with two damping settings, “Road” and “Dynamic,” to automatically adapt to the prevailing riding conditions to suit the riding situation and the maneuvers being carried out.
Instrumentation consists of a large analog speedometer and a TFT display for showing a wide array of information. Two color “styles” are available. The classically sporty basic colors Lupin blue metallic / Light grey metallic and the sporty and exclusive “Style 2” variant in Granite grey metallic matt.
We’ll have more info on all the new models in the Winter 2014, BMW Motorcycle Magazine. For now, be sure to check out all the photos in our 2015 BMW R1200RS photo gallery.
Highlights of the new BMW R1200RS:
- Air- and liquid-cooled flat-twin boxer engine with 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm and 92 lb‑ft (125 Nm) at 6,500 rpm.
- Aerodynamically styled semi-fairing with adjustable windshield.
- Torsionally rigid tubular steel bridge frame with engine as self-supporting element.
- Classic wheel suspension concept using upside-down telescopic fork at the front and EVO Paralever at the rear.
- New intake air duct and central radiator for ultra-compact front silhouette.
- Upright, sporty yet relaxed seating position for a dynamic riding sensation combined with excellent seating comfort for longer tours.
- Exhaust system in pentagonal design.
- Automatic Stability Control (ASC).
- “Rain” and “Road” riding modes.
- Riding mode Pro offering two additional riding modes, “Dynamic” and “User,” for optimum adaptation to prevailing riding conditions as an factory option.
- Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) as part of the Riding mode Pro option.
- Latest-generation Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) as an option for optimum riding dynamics in any situation.
- Powerful braking system with radial four-piston callipers and ABS.
- Lightweight 10-spoke cast wheels.
- Gear Shift Assistant Pro for fast, clutchless shifting as an ex-works option.
- Instrument cluster offering a wide array of functions and wealth of information.
- Keyless Ride for supreme ease of use as a factory option.
- Two color schemes, classically sporty in the basic colors and sporty and exclusive in the “Style 2” variant.
- Extensive range of optional extras and special accessories available from the factory.
Update: We’re told the R1200RS will arrive at dealers showrooms during the second quarter of 2015 as a 2016 model.