The 1976 R 100 RS was the first mass-produced motorcycle in the world to come with a full frame-mounted fairing, a bike that immediately put BMW on the map as a maker of truly sporty tourers, and reinforced its boxer twin as the company’s signature motor. The all-new R1200RS is a continuation of that tradition, powered by the same DOHC boxer that powers the R1200GS, R1200RT and the new R1200R.
BMW claims 125 horsepower at 7750 rpm and 92 lb‑ft. of torque at 6500 rpm. Compared to the GS and RT engines, torque has increased slightly at low revs. The exhaust gases are routed through a two-into-one exhaust system. A modified airbox, newly shaped air intake snorkels and a centrally positioned radiator are designed to produce a slender, sporty and dynamic-looking front silhouette.
A new steel-tube frame developed for the RS incorporates the boxer-twin engine as a stressed element. Instead of BMW’s Telelever up front, the RS gets an inverted fork, and EVO Paralever suspends the rear wheel. “The overriding objective for the new R1200RS,” says BMW, was “creating an exceptionally dynamic RS model for the keen rider, whose design language has been derived from the S1000RR superbike.”
It wouldn’t be a BMW without cutting-edge electronics. Standard equipment includes two riding modes, Rain and Road, ABS braking and ASC (Automatic Stability Control). With the optional Riding mode Pro feature, the R 1200 RS adds Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) with banking detection, as well as two extra riding modes – “Dynamic” and “User”. The latest generation of BMW’s electronically controlled suspension, Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), is also standard: Two damping settings, “Road” and “Dynamic”, enable the rider to adjust damping for conditions with the push of a button.
The instrumentation of the new R1200RS takes a leap forward, too. Speed is displayed in traditional fashion by an analog speedometer, but a cool new TFT display shows a wide array of other information.
Other options include Keyless Ride and BMW’s Gear Shift Assistant Pro. The aerodynamic half-fairing with twin headlights only slightly recalls the original RS. Two colors will be available: Lupin blue metallic / Light grey metallic, and the sporty and a “Style 2” variant in Granite grey metallic matt.