EASY RIDERS: BMW’s Florian Renndorfer ((left) and Alex Baraka (GM of BMW Motorrad SA) on the two new bikes at the roadsters' launch. Image: Wheels24 / Dries van der Walt
• BMW Motorrad getting more naked
• Mild power boost for F800R
• Three possible riding modes
BMW Motorrad South Africa, having taken notice of the growing popularity of naked bikes locally and world-wide, has launched two roadsters - the R1200R is an update of a model we already have in the country, the F800R is new to the local market.
During the launch Alex Baraka, general manager of BMW Motorrad South Africa, said the roadster market was a small but growing segment. Roadsters make up only six percent of BMW’s current sales in South Africa; the hope is that these two new models will help sales growth.
FAMILIAR 1200 ENGINE
Baraka traced the roadster heritage back to the R32 some 91 years ago, saying that since then naked bikes had come to symbolise the ultimate in unadulterated motorcycling pleasure. The new R1200R upholds this tradition yet adds a modern twist with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and automatic stability control.
The flat-twin engine on the new R1200R is the same DOHC unit as powers the R1200 GS and R1200 GS Adventure as well as the R1200 RT and the upcoming R1200 RS. It produces 92kW at 7750rpm and 125Nm at 6500rpm.
IMAGE GALLERY: BMW's new 2015 roadsters
The bike comes with two riding modes (Rain and Road); Riding Mode Pro is an optional extra which includes dynamic traction control so allows for adjustment to suit individual riding styles and varying road conditions. Another ex-works option is Gear Shift Assistant Pro which allows gear changes with virtually no interruption in power flow. It enables both upshifts and downshifts to be made without using the clutch, offering not just greater convenience but also an added dose of dynamism.
The F800R has been available in other markets since 2009 but is new to South Africa. It uses the familiar liquid-cooled 800cc twin motor but with power increased by two kW to 66 at 8000rpm as well as shorter ratios for first and second gears. This, BMW says, endows the parallel-twin with greater sprinting ability while retaining the impressive pulling power, instantaneous response and low fuel consumption.
Peak torque remains at 86Nm at 5800rpm.
The bike has a tried and tested light-alloy perimeter frame, a light cast-alloy dual rear swing-arm and a central spring strut. At the front there's an upside-down fork in place of the previous telescopic fork. It also comes with advanced two-channel ABS technology from BMW Motorrad which claims to be not only lighter and more compact than the one it replaces but also has an additional pressure-sensor in the front brake circuit for total precision.
As with all BMW models, a wide range of useful/customising accessories is available.
Base prices: R175 800* for the R1200R and R119 000 for the F800R.
*The original price published, R131 200, was supplied in error by BMW SA