Buying a used BMW R1200S isn't as safe, convenient or as straightforward as buying new. One of the advantages of BMW ownership is that the German firm's motorcycles depreciate more slowly than many other manufacturers' models. Generally build well and not updated too often, they generally hold their value well.
It means you'll have to pay more for one but given you'll lose less they're a brand worth considering. The BMW R1200S we tried was certainly worth a look, well as long as you're a fan of quirks and character that is.
Before the BMW HP-2 Sport joined the line up, the BMW R1200S was the sportiest twin cylinder motorcycle on offer. No long in the range, the big boxer twin represents the last affordable BMW sport motorcycle fitted with the famous horizontally-opposed engine layout.
The powerplant of the BMW R1200S is a strong performer with lots of truck-like torque from lower rpm giving it a lazy and unhurried style. Gear-changes aren't obligatory to good throttle response, so little forward planning is needed to execute things like decisive overtakes or keep up speed on less familiar routes. It's a nice engine to use, and thanks to this example being fitted with a more open aftermarket Akrapovic end can, has a lovely exhaust note to go with it.
The flexibility of the BMW R1200S is a welcome feature and one typical of twins. But less of a characteristic is the very significant pick up in speed that comes when the needle on the white-faced tacho passes 6,000rpm. It's not an unfriendly kick as such, but the strength of the engine above this point makes it feel like it's developed another cylinder. The BMW R1200S is a very rapid motorcycle when the engine is spinning this hard, and soon gets to the 8,500rpm redline and rev-limiter above this, especially in the lower gears.
The rush really changes the character of the BMW R1200S, and I for one was quite excited by it. Suddenly the BMW loses its more laid-back attitude and becomes a lot more lively and enthusiastic. Urgent and determined are now more appropriate adjectives to describe the BMW R1200S's personality, such is the real hunger for speed it develops.