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BMW Motorrad at it again


by Pascal Bastien ,

The Bavarian manufacturer is famous for its powerful and luxurious adventure bikes that are packed with features and the envy of the competition. Competition? What competition? Over the years, BMW has carved out an enviable reputation for itself thanks to its high-end R1200GS model. Often emulated but never equalled, this big adventure bike is BMW's top seller worldwide.

It's the same story with the brand's touring bikes. BMW didn't pull any punches when it launched the K1200LT, a bike made for travelling with driving dynamics and a list of features that could put any luxury sedan to shame.

After having gained a privileged spot in the standard sport bike class, BMW tried its hand at designing a serious sport bike. The letter "S" announced the very first true BMW sport bike with a flat-twin engine. A more powerful engine, more dynamic geometry and sportier handling were all on the list. And so was the R1100S born, to the delight of sport bike enthusiasts everywhere.

Seven years later, the new R inherited a few extra CCs and a sleeker physique. Sporty but not radically so, the R1200S offered a fairly comfortable driving position, limiting strain on the wrists. The seat was lower than its predecessor's, allowing the rider to become part of the bike and not simply perch atop it. The lighter architecture and smaller castor angle ensured greater driveability despite the average ground clearance compared to state-of-the-art bikes.

But BMW wasn't finished. The manufacturer was literally looking to break into the sport bike market. To do this, BMW embarked on the international competition circuit. In 2005, BMW Motorrad established a racing team in Canada and entered the Canadian Thunder national championship, a major series featuring the fastest twin-cylinder motorcycles. The introduction of the R1200S in 2006 was quite a leap forward in overall performance thanks to the lightness, the power and the more dynamic frame of the machine.

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