R1200R Magazine road tests - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Richard230's Avatar
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    I thought I would start a thread summarizing various road tests of the R1200R that I have found. Here are the first two. I note that they seem to vary somewhat in their instrumented results and opinions:

    1. The Summer 2015 issue of BMW Motorcycle Magazine contains a review/road-test of the 2016 R1200R Roadster, which as you know, has the same chassis, engine and technical features as the RS. Here are some comments in the 5-page (half of which are photos) article that caught my eye: Top speed is said to be 145 mph, weight of their white/red-frame, fully-optioned bike, fully fueled and without cases was 534 pounds. The dyno test provided shows a significant increase in power over 4K rpm, when compared with the previous OHC oil-head engine. The new engine tops out at 127 hp @ 7,800 rpm and puts out 92.9 lb-ft of torque @ 6,300 rpm, compared with 111 hp @ 7,600 rpm and 84.8 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm, for the old engine. Acceleration to 60 mph took 3.2 seconds. Passing in 6th gear from 37 to 87 mph required 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy was 44 mpg, using premium fuel. The review mentioned that the fork rake is 27.7 degrees and they felt the bike steered sluggishly at low speeds due to an active hydraulic steering damper. The rest of the article covers the bike's technical features and includes some very nice photos.

    2. The July issue of Motorcycle Consumer News contains an instrumented road test of the 2015 BMW R1200R. The version that they tested is the blue-with-gold-forks model and included the computer Pro, speed shift, D-ESA, DCT and the other bells and whistles that the red and white bike has, but without the windshield and the engine spoiler. This drops the measured bike's weight down to 528 pounds, 6 pounds less than the weight of the fancy version. What is really shocking though, is that their dynamometer testing showed a considerable difference between the 127 horsepower recorded by the BMW Motorcycle Magazine review and what MCN obtained. Their testing showed a maximum power of 106.74 HP at 7700 rpm and 77.33 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. Much lower than the 127 HP at 7,800 rpm and 92.9 lb-ft of torque at 6,300 rpm as tested by BMW Motorcycle Magazine. MCN says this is 12 HP more than the R12R that they last tested and the BMW Motorcycle Magazine claimed a 16 HP improvement between the two models. So I guess that is the result between two different dynamometers and how correction factors are applied to the raw results.
    Moving on to MCN's tested performance: They obtained a top speed of 142.5 mph, a ¼ mile time of 11.04 seconds, a 0-60 mph time of 3.38 seconds, and a 0-100 mph time of 7.49 seconds (about what my 2002 Yamaha FZ1 was clocked at by period magazine tests). Gas mileage varied from a high of 47.8 mpg to a low of 40.7 mpg, with an average of 43.6 mpg. My RS is getting a constant 52 mpg right now.

    MCN liked the engine performance, the versatility of the R and loved the Gear Shift Assistant Pro (which I have mixed feelings about).

    What they didn't like was the D-ESA suspension. They said that it was unbalanced between the front and rear suspension components and really gave them a whack in the spine when hitting a large bump in the road. I might add that I have also noticed that during my riding, but fortunately it doesn't happen very often and most of the time the suspension seems to work well for me. It is possible that the suspension will loosen up a bit as the miles add up. That is what happened with my 2007 R12R and its ESA system. The BMW Motorcycle Magazine didn't mention this as being an issue.

    The other thing that they didn't like was that the dashboard was hard to read at times and that the speedometer numbers were very difficult to discern quickly due to their block printing and small size. That also mirrors my experience.

    One thing that really caught my attention when going over the cost of the “Standard Maintenance” section is the cost for the parts to adjust the valve lash, which is required every 12K miles. Just for the valve lash adjustment the parts to perform this work cost $187.18!, plus 1.2 hours of labor. A 12K periodic service will set you back $322.59 (USD) in parts and 3.55 hours of labor. Sounds kind of expensive to me.

    Overall MCN liked the Roadster and the suspension was all that really irritated them.
    Last edited by Richard230; 07-20-15 at 08:51 AM. Reason: corrected MCN's power/torque specs
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  3. #2
    Mokkybear's Avatar
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    Does that cost assume every shim is replaced (which is an unlikely circumstance)?

    I'm hoping the clearances are as stable as my F800.
    R1200R-LC ​Exclusive in Thunder Grey with Touring Pack. Formerly Graphitane F800ST 04/2007. I rarely visit the forum these days ... 

  4. #3
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokkybear View Post
    Does that cost assume every shim is replaced (which is an unlikely circumstance)?

    I'm hoping the clearances are as stable as my F800.
    The magazine has never detailed what is involved in their valve adjustment estimate costs, but the cost of this adjustment for most other motorcycle models is only a fraction of this amount. So my guess is that the majority of the $187 is the result of the price for the two valve cover gaskets and added to that is maybe the cost of two shims.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  6. #4
    Mokkybear's Avatar
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    MaxBMW puts the valve cover gaskets at $61 each, and shims at $5.60 each (x8 if you change them all). $167 total - don't know what other parts are required.

    If you did it yourself, you could probably re-use the gaskets if you clean all surfaces scrupulously. I've successfully done this a few times with my F800.
    R1200R-LC ​Exclusive in Thunder Grey with Touring Pack. Formerly Graphitane F800ST 04/2007. I rarely visit the forum these days ... 

  7. #5
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Cycle World, in their October 2015 issue, published a comparison test between the KTM 1200 Super Duke R, the Buell EBR 1190SX and the BMW R1200R. Naturally the Super Duke got their nod as the best bike of the three, likely because it had about 40% more power and 55 pounds less weight (and a lower price) than the R. But if it makes you feel any better (it won't), they did like the R1200R better than the EBR 1190SX. The R1200R was praised for having every bell and whistle BMW could dream up, excellent comfort and total sleeper performance. What they didn't like about the bike was its high optioned price, lack of a bikini fairing and they said that "Pro Ride Modes" should be standard, not an option.

    While I won't summarize the entire article, because I haven't read it all yet, I did look at the performance table. Here are the measured performance numbers for the R-bike, according to Cycle World:

    Fuel mileage: 45 mpg
    1/4 mile acceleration: 10.76 sec. @ 123.36 mph
    0-60 acceleration: 2.8 seconds
    Top gear acceleration, 40-60 mph: 3.0 seconds
    Top gear acceleration: 60-80 mph: 3.0 seconds
    Top Speed: 142 mph
    Horsepower: 107.7 @ 7720 rpm
    Torque: 78.5 lb.-ft. @ 5170 rpm
    Braking, 30-0 mph: 30 ft.
    Braking 60-0 mph: 119 ft.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  8. #6
    Richard230's Avatar
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    The November 2015 issue of Motorcyclist magazine contains a road test article comparing the 2015 R1200R with the S1000R and the RnineT. I won't summarize their opinions, other to say that the R12R was not their favorite BMW model, but the measured HP, weight and performance of the different BMW bikes may be of some interest:

    The R12R produced 107.7 HP @ 7700 RPM and 78.5 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 RPM;
    The RnineT made 95.8 HP @ 7700 RPM and 73.2 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,100 RPM;
    The S1000R manufactured 152.3 HP @ 10,900 RPM and 78.2 lb.-ft. of torque at 9,400 RPM.
    I believe Motorcyclist magazine uses a DynoJet rear-wheel dynamometer.

    Measured weight with a full tank of gas is 529 pounds for the R12R; 488 pounds for the RnineT; and 461 pounds for the S1000R.
    Fuel economy was given as 48/39/43 (high/low/average) miles per U.S. gallon for the R1200R; 43/31/37 for the RnineT; and 38/33/36 for the S1000R. Both R-bikes had a 4.8 gallon fuel tank, while the S1000R tank holds 4.6 U.S. gallons.

    Corrected 14-mile performance is provided for the R1200R as 11.33 seconds @ 120.8 mph; for the RnineT it is 11.53 seconds @ 119.0 mph; for the S1000R 10.34 seconds @ 138.4 mph.

    Top-gear roll on from 60-80 mph time is 3.3 seconds for the R1200 R; 3.0 seconds for the RnineT; and 2.5 seconds for the S1000R.

    I found it interesting that there wasn't all that much improvement in the acceleration performance of the R1200R WC and the air/oil-cooled RnineT until I realized that the RnineT was much lighter than the R1200R and didn't make all that much less power and torque. It is also possible that the RnineT is geared lower than the R1200R.

    The top speed of the bikes was not provided.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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