I love to write an MOA on this, and how and why I did it:
Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
'67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e || '07 Xchallenge || '14 Grom
Mika, I hope tyou have not tired of keeping this thread going.
Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost
Saturday, 4 October
The MotherShip PressClub
The MotherShip announced a new parts site for owner use. It will look very familiar to those who have searched online dealer fiche. A drill down process is used to identify year, type, and model.
There are two drill down menu routes you may take. Like roads, eventually they both lead to the same place. Where you start is up to you. Either route takes you through selecting year, model, driveline and trim level to identify the your bike. The final selection narrows your search down to the parts category you are looking for.
BMW Motorrad USA Launches National Parts and Accessories Website
Woodcliff Lake, NJ ? October 3, 2014. . .BMW Motorrad USA has launched a National Parts website to help BMW riders shop online to find original BMW Motorcycle repair and maintenance parts. The website presents the complete catalog of original BMW parts and acts as a hub to direct riders to their closest on-line retailers to seamlessly complete their order.
?The National Parts and Accessories website, with its 24/7 online access, is one of the many ways BMW Motorrad USA supports our rider family with tools that make it easy to keep their bikes authentic with original BMW parts,? comments Michael Hernandez, Manager, Parts and Accessories, BMW Motorrad USA. ?It also reinforces our commitment to our dealer network by helping them connect with the growing number of riders shopping online.?
The BMW Motorrad USA National Parts and Accessories website raises online exposure for original BMW parts, accessories and riders? equipment, making it easy for riders to find and buy. Dealers can directly benefit from BMW Motorrad USA marketing support by utilizing the site to meet owners online and enhance parts and equipment sales.
To learn more or shop the complete line of BMW Motorrad parts, accessories and rider?s equipment visit parts.bmwmotorcycles.com.
A simple, if somewhat tedious, process that anyone who has surfed any of a number of dealer parts fiche will be familiar with. So what is new and what is missing?
The site is new. That bit is obvious but its potential importance should not be lost on the DYI rider.
At first blush the site seems to be just another way for BMW to push OEM parts. The importance for the DYI rider over the long run will come, if at all, in the SELECT YOUR DEALER button on the site. Pressing the button takes you to a ?participating dealer? list. In theory once you make this selection you will be able to complete your parts selection and purchase with ?your local participating dealer?. In the long run this may level the online playing field for your local dealer with the shops with big online presence such as MAX BMW. In the long run. In the long run keeping local dealer parts departments healthy and profitable will benefit BMW, the dealers and riders (if maybe hurting their wallets a bit). In the long run a win ? win ? win. In the short run it does not deliver. Participating Dealers is the hitch as this service starts up.
I live in a BMW parts Nirvana. I have three BMW dealers within forty miles of my home. My contract job for this summer based me within walking distance of my primary dealer choice. Combine this with a shipping hub that sometimes turns overnight delivery into same day if I get the timing right and your in DYI parts heaven. The new site pro ports to allow me to search, select, pay and go pick up my parts (if in stock). This is where the Participating Dealer caveat comes into play.
When click the Select A Dealer button and enter my zip code I am given six options. They include all the necessary information for each such as contact information, a map link to help me find the dealer and more. The options come ordered in distance from nearest to farthest away from the center point of my zip code. An now the rub. This summer I could walk to my local dealer to pick up parts or lust over bikes on the showroom floor. BMW's service tells me my nearest ?local? dealer is 343.3 miles and two states away. The farthest is 853.4 and six states away.
As you search the site as is keep in mind this is a new service. I am making the local dealer option comments as I play with the site the day after it was announced by BMW. Hopefully dealers will see the value of the cost to them in participating and sign up. As they do the value to all users should increase.
Until that time it remains a good place to search for parts, diagrams and pricing for your DYI needs. A good place but not yet a great place. Increasing the number of participating dealers will go a long way to do that.
For me there is one personal niggle I have with the site search ? the drill down process. Often I am interested in parts interchangeability from one model to another. This may be a straight bolt on of a GS part to my Roadster, or may involve a few intermediate adaptations. I am familiar with the BMW parts fiche. I have owned a couple versions and use the big boys online fiche often. Familiarity may breed contempt or results but it does either with the ease gained with use. Right now the new BMW site seems overly clumsy for such purposes. This, like the Participating Dealer caveat my change, or gain the ease of familiarity, with time.
Improvements will only come as we use it. The assumes BMW will be monitoring the site for activity and gleaning information in the process. If we search, how we search, and in the end purchase may determine how much effort is put into maintenance and further development of this site. Let the searching begin.
I have been thinking about how and if I will fire this thread (or a new one up) once again. I am still working on that. This is all for today.
This is similar to my experience where none of the local BMW dealers appeared in my searches. I am putting together some follow up questions for the contact person in the press release about this and some other comments in Paul's thread on this topic.
BMW may be experiencing problems with dealer participation as they fire this program up. I have an acquaintance that worked on a program for online parts and bike inventory for sale new/used for H-D. This was a few years back. What was offered appeared pretty slick but dealers did not bite for one reason or another. That program was shelved before it launched. I have not checked to see what they offer.
I hope it works. It would have been a great thing for me before I moved to St. Paul. A trip to the nearest dealer was a 160 mile round trip. Riding or driving it would have been nice to know the parts were there, paid for and waiting. Time will tell.
The continental European motorcycle show season kicked of the first week of October with INTERMOT 2014. INTERMOT originated in Munich and for some time alternated between there and its current permanent home in Cologne. The biennial event is sponsored by the German Motorcycle Industry Association. The events website bills the show as the world leading show for motorised two-wheelers. It?s a trend show for electric mobility. A broad range of parts, accessories and clothing for motorised two-wheelers is presented as well. The folks at the EIMCA in Milan may dispute this a bit. This years 100th Anniversary EIMCA claims to be the biggest event in the world dedicated to two wheels.
Both shows have seen manufacturers debut spectacular concept and limited edition motorcycles. Either can be the place to unveil new production models or production lineups. Biennial years like this become strategic nightmares for marketing managers trying to maximize their marque exposure.
Let the promoters debate which is the biggest and greatest all they want. Tell the pharmacist to stock up on aspirin and Prozac for the marketing managers. Many manufacturers will split their bill with a one two punch combination delivered with the two shows. Biennial years like this are a motorcycle voyeurs dream. 2014 is shaping up to be one heck of a dream.
Kawasaki snagged headlines with its 988cc four cylinder Ninja H2R. Force fed by a supercharger the engine is claimed to be able to produce a maximum of 300hp. The engine and trellis tubular steel rolling chassis are wrapped in carbon-fiber body work complete with special winglets integrated into its design; intended to keep the mirror finished black and green monster stable at speeds over 200mph. Coming in limited quantities to a dealer someplace on earth the H2R has a price tag in the $80,000+ range. Kawasaki held back its new, non-supercharged 200hp street going H2 for Milan.
Yamaha up the wheel anti with ists 01Gen Trike This shares its chassis design with the recently released Tricity 125 scooter, and has an engine derived from the T-Max maxi-scooter?s 530cc, twin-cylinder unit. Whether it will follow the Tricity by reaching production within a year of being unveiled in prototype form will depend on public response and, possibly, on Yamaha's nerves. No hints on what may be in store for Milan but look for Superbikes to reign in Milan. Yamaha?s new generation YZF-R1, also expected to produce 200bhp.
Suzuki will grab all the headlines it wants in 2015 with its return to MotoGP. At Cologne they choose to go low key and feature their updated GSX1000 lineup.
Ducati went retro and caught the eye of this and other motorcycle forums with its Scrambler. Don't think GS competitor. Rather think of it as a cross between a street tracker with 60's scrambler flair aimed at the urban rider who may only see dirt when passing flower pots. Milan is home court for Ducati. Is there more in store for the 100th Anniversary?
If Suzuki was low key, marques like KTM, Triumph and Honda were in something of a holding pattern.
KTM unveiled a 1290 Super Adventure and a supermoto styled 22hp electric Freeride E.
Triumph *displayed a trio of special edition Bonnevilles, plus the Street Triple RX, essentially the Street Triple R with a sportier seat from the Daytona 675.
If these two were low key the press cast Honda as verging on mute. The feature bike discussed in the press is a revampled VFR800X Crossrunner. Where was the much rumored and anticipated 1000cc Super Tans Alp (or what ever it may be called in the end)? Will it be unloaded from the plane in Milan? Certainly they won't wait until the Tokyo Motorcycle Show
BMW MOTORRAD at INTERMOT 2014
Tuesday, 30 September was press day at INTERMOT 2014. Credentialed journalists would spend the day moving around the venue to take in as many scheduled press conferences their editors assigned them or independents felt their audiences would be interested in. The 9a.m. opening press conference, an hour long introductory event, was hosted by the event promoter IVM/Koelnmesse GmbH, with Gerald B?se, President and Chief Executive Officer, Koelnmesse GmbH, Heiner Faust, IVM-President and Reiner Brendicke, IVM-General Executive Manager as presenters. The organizational event gives background to help journalists report on the event itself, and in practical terms navigating the days process. With their umlaut and note taking skills warmed up; the gathered horde took off for a day of motorcycle schmoozing with company officials pitching their model lineups before the execs would fade into the background Tuesday and the unwashed masses would hopefully inundate their stands. First up for a schedule bound journalist was BMW-Motorrad 10:00 ? 10:30 a.m.
President of BMW Motorrad, Stephan Schaller opened the 10 a.m slot. For those keeping show lap charts this was the INTERMOT event and Novembers EIMCA will be the third during Schaller's tenure. If you are familiar with WorldSBK lap charts you will know the opening lap chart does not reveal all about practicing and qualifying to prepare you for Sunday racing. This holds true for motorcycle show presenter lap charts too. Let's dig a bit deeper into the lap chart to better understand the 2014 press day conference.
INTERMOT 2012 was technically Stephan Schaller's first as president of BMW Motorrad. When the show began he was entering his fifth month as president after taking that roll over from Hendrik von Kuenheim on June 1. Just prior to that Heiner Faust had taken over from Hans Blesse as head of Sales and Marketing. One month after Shaller's arrival Edgar Heinrich took over the reigns from David Robb. Clearly the new kids in the paddock were presenting others work and BMW-Motorrad's commitment to continuity. The pre-event press release[/url] touted the premiere ...the new BMW F 700 GS and the new BMW HP4...and...the successor model to the BMW R 1200 GS
If INTERMONT 2012 was a presentation of predecessor's effort EIMCA 2013 should be seen as a transition show; part work started in the past, part work portending the future. The presentation of the new boxer GS/RT lineup established a combined sense of continuity with the product lines of the past and commitment to move them into the future. The RnineT premiered as the production model of previous show concept and a portent of where things might head in the future. This on top of the presentation earlier of the serial production versions of the C class scooters.
BMW Motorrad 'MAKES LIFE A RIDE' at the Intermot 2014
If previous shows for Schaller and his group were about setting a sort of X,Y axis set to define the continuity with the past INTERMOT 2014 was an opening glimpse into how they see the future for BMW Motorrad. The thirty minute presentation was a combination introduction of brand strategy and models for the marque.
Schaller opened the press conference by introducing BMW Motorrad's new brand strategy - MAKE LIFE A RIDE.
The related press releases say it...
...focuses on the people who ride the motorcycles, their emotions, their strong attitudes to life and their stories that help create the worldwide community of BMW riders.
And it's this ever-growing community that is helping keep the brand right on track to achieve yet another record-breaking year. In the first nine months of the year, a growth rate of seven per cent means that more than 100,000 motorcycles and scooters have been supplied - the highest figure ever recorded at this point of the season.
Being an operations manager by for many years, with titles ranging from GM to COO, initially my eyes glazed over as I read this on my feedlycom account. Bloody marketing people how is BMW going to bring this off the wordsmiths page and into real rider's world? I threw my hands up in the air (not a good thing to do with an iPad in one of them) and thought BMW is doing a H-D lifestyle thing auf Deutch.
Fortunately I was in my home office and my iPad landed on my bed. I picked it up and finished the press release. As I switched my iPad from the feedly.com news feed tracker to Calm Radio ? Classical Guitar feed, I fired up my laptop and looked out the window as it came to life. Looking out at a blue sky and trees just starting to show their fall colors I thought, at least they seem to be emphasizing sport with the new models and not German bandannas and pony tails...though I could use a bandanna to cover my head that couldn't grow a ponytail anymore even if I wanted one.
I started to search my feeds to understand what Schaller and the marketing department meant by 'MAKES LIFE A RIDE'. I clicked on a link that took me to the official English MAKES LIFE A RIDE watched the video, read the text and looked around. I poked around the BMW PressClub. There I found the BMW at the Mondial de l' Automobile Paris 2014. BMW board members gave talks at the show.
Peter Schwarzenbauer Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, MINI,
BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce, Aftersales BMW Group was charged the presentation for his area. The Paris show took place at the same time as INTERMOT. The same motorcycle line up was revealed but the C evolution was featured instead of the special edition models featured at INTERMOT.
Next on the reading list was a revisit to BMW Motorrad China Brand Night 2014. The event was held earlier in the year. In that setting BMW featured the C line of scooters, in particular the C evolution, and the GS model line. These are the featured bikes in this market because they are the models in demand in that market.
Clicking around various MotherShip sites I started to get my arms around this 'MAKES LIFE A RIDE' thing. I'm a bit slow at times to understand in grasping this brand-strategy-marketing stuff. Instead of some stereotype auf Deutch interpretation of biker life style, BMW Motorrad is continuing a 180 degree strategy from that and continuing to expand, in its slow and methodical Teutonic manner, its product line to more market segments.
I suspect Schaller's INTERMOT presentation took him less time to give in real life than you have spent reading to this point. I definitely took less time than I have spent to arrive at this point when I move on and tell you about his turning the press conference over Vice President BMW Motorrad Sales and Marketing, Heiner Faust, to introduce the five featured models.
The new S 1000 RR is a reinterpretation of our supersports bike, which is sure to thrill motorsports aficionados with even more performance, lower weight and new technical features.
Fans of our boxer-engine models will surely grow to love the new R 1200 RS and R 1200 R. I brought the RS along for you today. The R 1200 RS combines the qualities of a touring motorcycle with the dynamic performance of a sports bike, making it the perfect choice for sporty driving on country roads or for longer trips.
The combination of a pure BMW roadster with a boxer engine has captivated fans since the first BMW motorcycle was launched more than 90 years ago. The new R 1200 R continues in this tradition. It is a dynamic all-round motorcycle with definite touring characteristics.
Finally the highly responsive C 600 Sport special edition featuring special Racing blue metallic matt / Sapphire black metallic paintwork along with a sports seat and Akrapovic silencer and the C 650 GT special edition, finishe Ebony metallic / Monolith metallic matt. These two new maxi scooters replace the previous special-edition models and will be available from spring 2015.
Lets set the C class scooters aside for another post and look at the three motorcycles presented at INTERMOT 2014.
S 1000 RR .v3
I will have to be honest. I was not certain there would be a flagship superbike in the the BMW-Motorrad product line this year. If there was one (the most likely outcome), would it just be the same bike with a new coat of paint? Or, would it be a new model that would show the first signs of bloat that athletes often show as they age in their careers?
The RR's history gave my doom and gloom side plenty to feed on from fist announcement to this release. BMW-Motorrad's announcement it would enter the superbike market and go SBK racing,some seven years ago, was day one. On that day the superbike segment volume was estimated at 120,000 units world wide per year and growing. By the time the S 1000 RR turned a wheel at Kyalami in South Africa during winter testing for the 2009 season the superbike market was beginning to hurt. By the time the RR.v1 hit the showroom floors pundits were estimating the superbike market to be in the range of 60,000 units world wide. The story from there is chronicled in earlier post in this thread and previous SBK season threads.
At the company level the S 1000 RR has been something of a yin and yang bike. The arch of its racing history has never come close to achieving the success the bike has had in the showroom. During its strongest year Melandri and Haslam had BMW in the lead for the Manufacturer Championship ship as the closing fall segment the WSBK series began only to see it slip away. The following year the factory team would disappear leaving only the BMW Italia team to carry on the charge. They in turn devolved from competing with a full SBK (many would call it a prototype class) ride to the econ-o-box EVO class. One the street the motorcycle magazines gave the RR best in class and some bike of the year awards numerous times.
Prior to the INTERMOT show I scanned a teaser press release on an Australian site I follow. It was announcing the delivery dates and pricing for the new S 1000 RR would be out soon. I looked at the fall colors out my window and remembered spring was coming Down Under and the colors brightened up a bit. The following week the new S 1000 RR was unveiled and I began to feel better about that yin and yang history and what an EVO class bike for the masses might be.
EVO Class primmer:
The 2014 WorldSBK season saw the top class split in two with full factory teams and a second EVO class of bikes on the track. The FIM 2014 rules go into great detail about the difference between the tow classes. The WSBK site glossary describes the EVO class in simpler terms. EVO: New motorcycling class competing in the World Superbike series, with dedicated standings within the overall SBK rider points table. EVO machines feature SBK chassis and STK engine and are subject to other restrictions, such as in the electronics.
From Dorna's, the WSBK parent company, perspective the EVO class would help grid spots with privateer teams. Privateers could sell the sub-class championship hopes to potential sponsors thus saving money up front with the hope of back end sponsor dollars. Full factory teams could continue to develop their semi prototype models. Life would be good for all in the end.
In preseason the 2014 season was billed as a transition season that would yield a EVO only class in 2015. The trouble for all was the 2015 rules were yet to be drafted pending some real life on track 2014 experience and the culmination of back room manufacturer brawls at the FIM rule bargaining table.
Fans grumbled. That is what we do best. Factory teams and Privateers grumbled (Fans of one team call the grumbling of another team whining.) about potential dangers of two classes on the grid at the same time. This gave way to questions about the rules for next season. In 2014 would EVO take over as is, in some modified form, or would the class move back to its semi-prototype roots?
In June the FIM and Dorna answered the question by announcing its draft 2015 rules. Everyone now would be able to grumble/whine about the rules instead about what they wanted the rules to be. I will let you read through the rules yourself and drawn your own conclusions on what to grumble, whine, or smile about.
During all the grumbling and whining I wondered how the various racing took place I wondered what the impact on the superbikes mere mortals such as myself would see on the street in 2015 and beyond. After all the SBK class bike class in any form it has taken has been intended to be an interaction of track racing development of a street based motorcycle I could buy (or more likely borrow).
INTERMOT 2014 gave us the first glimpses of what that might be. EIMCA in Milan will complete the full view. Manufacturers participating in this racing class are showing motorcycles built to the new rules benchmark. How or if the new S 1000 RR will homologate and do in WorldSBK, the various national SBK series or the new AMA ProRoadRacing series is not known. At INTERMOT BMW was introducing a street going superbike class motorcycle.
EVO BIKE FOR THE MASSES ? BMW-Motorrad's R 1000 RR
I am not up to speed with the 2015 rules and their implications for the track or street. In time we will have Australian track results, magazine road test, member test rides and finally new owner comments. For now I have press releases and photos. Frankly at this point I find myself smiling. Let me explain.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW BMW S 1000 RR:
Increased power output and torque: 146 kW (199 hp) at 13,500 rpm and 113 Nm (83 lb-ft) at 10,500 rpm.
Even better rideability thanks to increased torque from approx. 5,000 rpm upwards as well as a more linear curve. A broad plateau of peak torque available in the rev range from around 9,500 up to 12,000 rpm.
Re-engineered cylinder head with new duct geometry, new intake camshaft and even lighter intake valves.
New intake system with shorter intake lengths, larger airbox and full E -gas ride-by-wire.
New exhaust system weighing around 3 kilograms lighter without a front silencer.
Lurking underneath the bodywork is the new engine
The output numbers for a full race kitted 2015 racer depend on the the thickness of the owners wallet for parts budget, the team mechanics and staff, and the race day tech steward's interpretation of the rules. The numbers of the street bike have everything to do with the manufacturer's marketing department, motorcycles submitted for importation approval by various government authorities, and insurance underwriters. The racing former varies from race to race; so your guess is as good as mine. The street latter has been, like it or not, has been set by the insurance underwriters at a maximum of 200 hp. Thus everyone in this class will be claiming something less than or equal to 199 hp. Your mechanical skills and wallet will determine what the garage hp rating is.
Don't like the torque/hp curve the factory-fitted RR delivers? Cam changes are free (unregulated) in the racing rules. The aftermarket parts manufacturers will have a host of cams allowing you to reshape those curves to your hearts desire and wallets limit.
Plan on a engine management chip along with that cam purchase. They should be available because the rules require the ECU to be race approved while allowing three upgrades during the season. The street bound rider should be able to find the right chip manage the perfect cam and rest of the engine bits.
While head porting is allowed welding, to modify the head design, is not for the racer. This is where Re-engineered cylinder head... come into play. BMW engine development for all racing classes was moved back to the MotherShip. Initially that was motorcycle racing HQ in Stephanskircke and finally the former F1 facility in Munich. For the street rider that would seem to be enough, at least for me, to tell me to leave the head alone and focus my efforts and wallet in other areas.
Exhaust is one last area that might be considered. Racers have an FIM decibel rating to comply with and manufacturer have government regulations. The street pilot has? You decide; however, keep in mind the cam and ECU choice when you make any changes here. They need to work together.
Racers are limited to one set of gear ratios for the season. Tracks range from high speed launch pads to tight twisty technical tracks. You may have to rebuild the box but with the same set of ratios. For the street rider I have trouble imagining finding value in messing with the gearbox. Play all you want with the tooth ratio for the gears that move the chain drive but leave the gearbox alone.
Changing gears, as in shifting, is another thing. Here is where the rules result in an overlap of street and track giving you: HP Gear Shift Assist Pro for fast clutchless upshifting and downshifting as an ex-works option. My guess it is an option because racers want it and the homologation production numbers required to comply are small enough that marketing held the base MSRP by optioning some items like this.
ROLLING CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
This category lumps a host of components ranging from cast and forged parts to the bits and bites world of electronics. The racing rules set some restrictions but see this as an area manufacturers have interests in developing. The race will have to plumb the rules to find what options they can explore. The street rider has no such limits and should be able to find a host of hard and electronic parts to choose from. In the dealership the buyer will want to spend some time deciding which component package provides the base point you want to start your ownership with. I'm sort of a Ron Popiel kind of guy when it comes to suspensions. I set it at one that I like, forget it and focus on developing my skills to take advantage of as much of that setting as I am capable. Here is the press kit summary.
Riding modes ?Rain?, ?Sport? and ?Race? as standard plus the option of the Pro riding mode with two additional modes, ?Slick? and ?User? (configurable), for optimum adaptation to riding conditions.
Launch Control for flawless starts as part of the optional Pro riding mode feature.
Pit-lane speed limiter for maintaining an exact speed in the pit lane as part of the optional Pro riding mode feature.
New, lighter frame structure with an optimised blend of rigidity and flexibility for more traction, greater precision and clear feedback.
Refined chassis geometry for even better handling, increased traction and unequivocal feedback at the limits of performance.
Fully adjustable spring elements with optimised negative spring travel for more banking clearance and greater agility.
Further improved version of electronic Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), familiar from the HP4, as an ex-works option.
Race ABS with optimised set-up.
DTC traction control with precision calibration in 7 +/- steps.
One chassis item that caught my eye is:
Reduction in weight of 4 kilograms to 204kg with a full tank of fuel (making allowances for equipment).
Several things went into this but the revised beam for the chassis is part of it. This and the rest of the rolling chassis development was done at the BMW Italia WSBK/ French Endurance Racing and other BMW racing team levels. They take the Munich supplied engine and transmission and make the chassis work for their racing needs. Those in turn showed up as the benchmark baselines we see in the 2015 RR. I was pleased to see they kept the motorcycle on a diet.
THE REST OF THE RR KIT
New electrical system with a more powerful sensor box and lighter battery.
Electronic speed control as an ex-works option.
More sophisticated instrument cluster with extended array of functions and wide variety of information.
Completely restyled bodywork for an even more dynamic design language.
Innovative colour schemes with three individual characters:
Racing Red / Light White, Black Storm metallic and BMW Motorsport.
Extended range of optional extras and special accessories available ex-works.
R 1200 R and R 1200 RS
The appearance of the new R 1200 R presented none of the apprehension that may have accompanied the S 1000 RR. Some years ago, when development rumors of a water cooled boxer to meet the increasingly strict EU emission demands, I knew that if and when the water cooled engine went into production the Roadster would have one. The only question was when.
To my mind the Roadster has the clearest boxer model roots that trace back to the original BMW R 32. It is the naked standard of the class. It may be the oldest model in the R class but it is also, in BMW's twist on sibling hand-me-downs, always the last to get the new engine. The wethead engine made its debut with the 2012 GS[/url], thus setting the pecking order. In 2013 the RT line adopted the new engine. 2014 would be the year it would finally arrive in a Roadster. The only remaining question is what styling ques would it take from its siblings. Or, might it carry forward some of the ques given in the form of the well received R nineT? All very interesting speculation for a Roadster lover but nothing to worry about. It was time to hide the wallet and sit back and wait.
There was nothing to worry about; however, the wonder factor increased in the past year. As 2014 progressed and sales figures and other issues built up; the INTERMOT rumor mill woke up. In the speculative silly season, questions and predictions began to surface around what manufacturers would be presenting at INTERMOT and the 100th edition of EIMCA. I was busy with other things that keep me away from this thread and following the rumor mill closely, if at all. However, one thing caught my eye. No, actually it grabbed me by the neck and got my full attention. It became increasingly clear BMW would be have a RS variant in the R lineup released at INTEMOT. I began to wonder what RS would look like and mean in a 2015 model. One thing I knew for certain, it was time to remember where I hid the wallet, go to the bank and rent a safety deposit box to put it in then walk over to the Ford Parkway Bridge and throw the key into the Mississippi.
BMW's introduction of these fraternal twin R models, in the first press conference of INTERMOT 2014 press day, may not have had the WOW factor Kawasaki would generate later with their Ninja H2R HyperBike. Yet I suspect, when reporters reviewed their notes from the day and reflected on what they had seen, their reaction was I like them. In the spirit of full disclosure I should tell you I REALLY LIKE EM. I am also pleased that I had my eyes closed when I threw the safety deposit box key off the bridge and have no idea where to begin a search; assuming I could scrape enough sofa change together for scuba gear rental. I digress.
The fraternal twin R models share DNA with all of their earlier mentioned siblings. Let's look at two of those shared things before looking at the new models and how they take them in their own, slightly different direction.
The wethead finally is found in the entire boxer lineup. The new R models share the same engine and drive train with their GS and RT siblings. It is not a kitted-up engine. Rather it shows up with their 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm and 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. At this point BMW leaves it to owners and aftermarket to breathing fire into these two in a quest to meet the sporting or hooligan proclivities they will bring out.
In front of the wethead engine and paralever drive train you will find forks similar to those found on the R nineT. The press kit describes them as Classic wheel suspension concept using upside-down telescopic fork.. Around here people may think airhead when they read Classic in this turn of phrase. The INTERMOT presenters probably want you to think in a more sporting past that links the twins to their S cousin and 30's GP racers. When BMW first used them in 1935 it was preceded by Scott in 1908 and Nimbus to use telescopic forks on a serial production motorcycle. BMW's success racing in the 30's with fork shod motorcycles is often credited with their becoming the dominate suspension in racing and then the street.
The important thing for BMW may be the overwhelming silence the adoption of telescopic forks for the twin R models. Much of what has been said focuses on the sporting nature of the bike and look rather than anything else. They are no smiling. I know I am and I like the Telelever suspension on my oilhead Roadster.
If we can see sibling DNA in the drive train and front suspension, the style is another thing. There is a clear family resemblance. You need only to the last Roadster Dark White model and see that resemblance. Still there is something different. Focus on the new Roadster first. While it shares much with the R nineT it is sleeker yet not rounded as the Roland Sands Concept Nine. Sleek yes but without being as edgy and brutal as the Roadster Revolution Concept shown at Concors d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in May this year.
Just when think you might be zeroing in on the Roadster styling you notice the RS. Clearly this is a Roadster fraternal twin. It is pure Roadster underneath the fairing. Like its direct sibling its links to the past are there yet confusing. It clearly is not nouveau R 100 RS or R 1100 RS. Those motorcycles came to the sport touring mindset from touring motorcycle roots. This R 1200 RS comes to the sport touring field from the sport side of the equation. Its shares its genesis, how ever you see it and define that, with its R 1200 R twin.
There is one nit I have to pick with both models. It is one I have for the S 1000 RR and virtually every other sport/SuperBike out there: the seat. In a perfect world I would have an Acerbis type mono saddle and a 70's adjustable bump pad (Remember the ones that pushed back allowed a pillion rider, pushed forward became a bump pad to keep the sporting rider in the cockpit defined by where the pilot placed it. In either location the bump pad could do double duty as a tie down luggage rack.). I have been my current height since sixth grade, so all my ridding career. This has always been a problem for me, thus is not the whining of a grumpy old man. I live in hope that some designer will figure out what and how to deliver the perfect SPORT touring saddle for people like me. Until that day I could learn to live with either of the new BMW fraternal twins.
I don't know where you place these new models on the Motorcyclist - Hipster continuum. I will leave that up to you as you look over the following pictures. I have tried to include as many as possible to help you in your decision process. The fraternal twins share many of the accessories so they are featured in the Roadster grouping. While you do that I am going to try and figure out how to sneak a drill into my banks vault and not being arrested in the process. Or, heaven forbid, what work I will need to do to replace what I threw into the Mississippi.
Highlights of the new BMW R 1200R:
Dynamic-looking, compelling roadster design.
Torsionally rigid tubular steel bridge frame with engine as self-supporting element.
Classic wheel suspension concept using upside-down telescopic fork at the front and EVO Paralever at the rear.
New intake air duct and central radiator for ultra-compact front silhouette.
Upright seating position with front bias for a dynamic riding sensation combined with excellent seating comfort for longer tours.
Restyled exhaust system in pentagonal design.
Sophisticated instrument cluster offering a wide array of functions and wealth of information.
Automatic Stability Control (ASC).
?Rain? and ?Road? riding modes.
*Riding mode Pro offering two additional riding modes, ?Dynamic? and ?User?, for optimum adaptation to prevailing riding conditions as an ex-works option.
Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) as part of the Riding mode Pro option.
Latest-generation Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) as an option for optimum riding dynamics in any situation.
Powerful braking system with radial four-piston callipers and ABS.
Lightweight 10-spoke cast wheels.
Gear Shift Assistant Pro for fast, clutchless shifting as an ex-works option.
Keyless Ride for supreme ease of use as an ex-works option.
Innovative colour scheme with three individual characters: Basic colour, ?Style*1? and ?Style*2?.