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2015 BMW R1200RS Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

BMW brings back the RS logo and stamps it to a new, faired version of the R1200R roadster. The 2015 BMW R1200RS is the latest in a line that started with the world's first mass-produced motorcycle equipped with a fairing that was developed in wind tunnels, namely the R100RS.

Whether you like the more modern look of the new R1200RS or not, you have to admit that fit and finish are impressive. The superb integration of wires and controls, the quality of the paintwork and welding, as well as the use of refined materials leave no doubt about its premium status. Part of its dynamic styling and visual charisma also comes from a front fairing that emulates the new 2015 S1000RR superbike.

BMW R1200RS 2015
Photo: BMW

New twin-cylinder Boxer
Similar to the R1200R, the 2015 BMW R1200RS uses the latest version of the 1,170cc, air/liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, twin-cylinder boxer engine. Power amounts to 125 hp at 7,750 rpm, while max torque is 92 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. That's a bit more than what you get with the R1200GS and R1200RT, and credit goes to a larger airbox and improved exhaust system. As seen on the R1200GS, the crankcase integrates the 6-speed transmission and wet slipper clutch.

Once again, the cumbersome Telelever system was dropped in favour of a 45mm inverted front fork borrowed from the sportier S1000R. In the rear, BMW opted for the famous Paralever EVO system which integrates the shaft final drive. Forget Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA); you'll have to manipulate a dial to fine-tune the rear shock (which offers 140mm of travel).

Braking duties are handled by a middle-of-the-pack Brembo system derived from the S1000R and include dual 320mm front discs with 4-piston callipers and ABS.

R1200RS is sportier
This new BMW is more compact despite a wheelbase that was stretched from 1,495mm to 1,515mm. How is that possible? Well, you can thank the new frame and inverted fork. Developed specifically for the R1200R and R1200RS, this chassis uses a two-section, tubular steel frame with a load-bearing engine.

The riding position is relatively different from the R1200R's: The seat is lower and closer to the front, the foot rests are slightly farther back, and the handlebar is just as wide but lower and less oriented toward the rider. It should feel a tad sportier without being excessive. After all, the R1200RS retains the universal appeal and accessibility of its predecessors.

Increased presence of electronics
BMW made sure to include Automatic Stability Control (ASC) as standard, along with two different modes that optimize the riding experience ("Rain" and "Road"). The available Pro Riding package adds two fully customizable modes ("Dynamic" and "User"), the Shifter Pro system, ESA, and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) in lieu of ASC. The latter benefits from BMW's world-class racing expertise and proves much more advanced with lean angle and front-wheel lift sensors.

Wait, there's more: The 2015 BMW R1200RS gets a full instrument panel with a wide TFT screen and analog speedometer. Elsewhere, the award-winning Metzeler Z8 tires are known for providing excellent grip on both dry and wet pavement.

We can't wait to take it for a spin this summer!