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BMW K1200R

2005-11-23 13:24

Brett Hamilton

"It is our time to be the bad guys," said Rob Barnes, BMW Motorrad South Africa's marketing guy.

The latest addition to the range is a K1200S that has had its fairing ripped off for good measure.

Take the Rockster and give it a massive engine, throw in a new tough-guy look and you start to get an idea of what the K1200R is all about.

The question if BMW has changed with the introduction of this bike is answered with a, "No mate, they've completely lost it."

On the road this bike is like Vinny Jones jamming your head in car door. Refined at low speeds, but a real demon when you want it to be.

Wring the throttle and unleash the 163bhp at your fingertips. That makes the K1200R the most powerful naked production bike. Ever!

The 1 157cc, in-line four motor, has been carried over from the K1200S and is almost identical - with only minor changes in order to make the naked bike less insane.

The motor produces 163bhp at 10 250rpm and 127Nm at 8 250rpm.

This is slightly down on the S thanks to a modified air intake system - giving the bike less top end power, but increased low-down grunt.

This is in fact a very big motorcycle, but the designers have managed to make it look very small. The engineers obliged by making it feel even smaller.

The tank holds 19 litres of fuel, but sits comfortably between your knees.

The seat is narrower than that of the S, but is far from uncomfortable.

A year ago "flickable" would never have been used to describe a BMW motorcycle.

When the R1200RT was launched earlier this year that changed. Now, we have another holeshot hooligan on our hands!

The Duolever front suspension has a steeper angle - giving the bike improved handling at low speeds.

Its top speed is only about 240km/h, but flat out is not what a muscle bike is about.

Out of the corners, the R sends its rear hanging out and snaps back at you if you?re too greedy with the throttle - not very "BMW" at all.

The torque is unbelievable and it has got superb uptake - even from low revs.

You get ESA suspension as an option. This allows you to electronically adjust the suspension on the go. The rider has a choice between "sport", "normal", or "comfort".

When stationary you can also adjust the suspension for carrying a pillion or luggage.

But, at 240km/h with my helmet glued to the tank and the exhaust howling I really couldn?t give a damn about all that.

The BMW K1200R retails for R118 000. Add R8 400 for heated grips and ABS and R1 800 for a bigger sport screen.

ESA goes for R5 500.

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