All Test Drives – Sport built for the road – Used BMW

Sport cut out for the road

All Test Drives - Sport built for the road - Used BMW

Be careful, despite its name "Sport", the new BMW K 1200 spares its driver, especially in its version restricted to 100 horses. Embellished with its half-fairing and a few options, what is this new road worth? And in euros ?!

First presented to the public last fall at the Intermot fair in Cologne (read), the K 1200 R Sport is located halfway between the K 1200 R roadster and the sporty K 1200 S.

"The best of two worlds, this is what the BMW K 1200 R Sport offers, which marries the muscular lines of the nastiest roadster on the market with the wind protection of a half-faired sports bike", summarizes the Bavarian manufacturer.

Equipped with the most powerful engine in the BMW family, the latest addition to the German firm also benefits from the very latest technologies in terms of chassis (paralever and duolever), even piloting assistance (ABS Integral and ESA) if the heart – or the wallet? – tells you !

Thus the K 1200 R Sport wishes to offer sporty bikers first-rate performance while sparing them the fatigue of the roadster or the discomfort of a pure and – too – hard sportswoman … So, this wish is fulfilled. ?

Just a semi-fairing ?

On paper, the German engineers were content to simply add a simple semi-fairing to their K 1200 R. However, the optics of the R 1200 S once capped with a large bubble and extended on the sides of large appendages gives the K 1200 R Sport a distinctive face, calm compared to that of the villainous roadster (read) and slimmer compared to that of the massive sports car.

All in all, this new fork crown blends perfectly with both the front fender from the S, the side shields inherited from the R and the tank common to both models. From an aesthetic point of view therefore, the Sport version is a success !

Although the tastes and colors cannot be discussed, it is clear that even in gray weather, its "cosmic metal" blue color offers a breath of fresh air to its owner, even before setting off to frolic on the roads. And for those who enjoy azure blue skies all year round, the K 1200 R Sport in "aluminum" white has its chassis painted black, giving it a more "bad boy" air..

The footrest plates marrying the rear loop to the millimeter, the engine foundries, the "aviation" type hoses, the aluminum parts of the single-arm are all illustrations of the excellent general level of finish offered by BMW. We even forget the thermal protection located under the engine, quite unsightly !

Another good point of the Behème: its cardan transmission which limits the impact of the absence of a central stand! The latter will only be missed by the most DIY enthusiasts or the most anxious who may blame the lateral for its insufficient opening angle, especially in the event of brief or unforeseen breaks..

The single-sided arm which equips the other motorcycles of the K series makes it possible to highlight the rear rim, in its 6-inch version on the test model instead of the 5.5 "delivered as standard. The pot yet bulky knows to be forgotten thanks to a stainless steel finish which "reduces" its size.

In addition to being pleasant to look at, this new K 1200 is welcoming. The saddle placed at 820 mm is suitable for most bikers but for the shortest on legs, BMW provides the possibility of installing a low saddle (- 30 mm). This option being free, they would be wrong to deprive themselves! On the other hand, there is no need to open the saddle: nothing can slip under…

It’s not just the optics that the K 1200 R Sport took from the R 1200 S: the dashboard is exactly the same, just as readable and complete. Other points are common to the rest of the BMW production: the spacing adjustments of the plastic levers are useful – if not beautiful – and the turn signal system still as … original ?

The riding position is practically upright, but the footrests set back slightly and the slight forward pressure on the wide handlebars exudes the touch of sportiness which perfectly matches the general appearance of the bike and the program announced by the constructor.

Not that heavy

The motor inclined at 55 ° is located at the lowest. It thus offers surprising maneuverability when stationary, because the 240 kg – all full facts – of the motorcycle can be tipped from left to right easily. The high-placed handlebars make it even easier to handle this big roadster. A guarantee of agility when the engine is started !

Thanks to this low position, BMW also ensures an equal distribution on the front and the rear of the motorcycle "50-50%", guarantees the press kit. Finally, this would make the arrangement of the air box and the injection systems better in aerodynamic terms….

In its free version, the 1,157 cc mill also develops no less than 163 horsepower at 10,250 rpm and a torque of 127 Nm, that is to say the maximum performance of the roadster which gives only 4 horsepower to the sports car. Data valid for the entire free world, but which unfortunately leaves room for the 107 hp at 7,000 rpm and 110 Nm at 5,250 rpm available in France…

To this frustration is added a small disappointment when the 4-cylinder wakes up: the sound of the pretty pot is too muffled! So that once slender, the K 1200 R Sport produces a light turbine noise but disappointing for lovers of "Sport Reecing Touch".

On the contrary, the clutch is more "sporty": the lever requires a little effort and lacks a hint of progressiveness. In built-up areas, traffic jams prove tiring in the long run, despite the confirmed agility of the German.

Be careful she bites !

On models equipped with BMW Integral ABS – like the one tested – the brake lever requires a slight adaptation time. Indeed, if the "antiblockiersystem" is irreproachable, the bite of the brakes can surprise.

Because the lever effort is extremely low and its activation very sensitive. The travel of the lever preceding the triggering of the braking is a bit long and the moment when the eight pistons bite – very effectively – the two discs is less obvious than on "conventional" systems..

During the first requests, braking is therefore sudden and you have to do it several times to find your bearings and succeed in licking the brakes more delicately. !

On the other hand, the system is perfect as regards emergency situations: the frightened pilot who grabs too violently does not risk losing the front! A test is worth doing as it is bluffing, even reassuring.

After checking that no one is following – there is no rear collision avoidance system yet, but the mirrors offer good vision! -, the pilot grabs the front lever sharply and with full hand…

The on-board computer then takes over, pressing the pistons against the two front discs and the rear disc with a progressiveness which avoids any jerk and loss of grip. The emergency braking is thus secured. A good point, not all bikers have mastered the skillful art of dosing in dangerous situations….

Regarding the rear brake – actuated at the same time as the front by the lever but only to respond to the demands of the right foot – it does not lend itself to any criticism. Only the boot protection located on the right crankcase of the engine can interfere at the beginning, when one advances the foot too much to judge the distance – reasonable besides – which separates the pedal from the footrest.

Cursed law of the horseless

Once this new motorcycle is in hand, you can start to wring out the handle more! Flexible, the engine resumes without flinching below 2000 rpm but really tows 1000 rpm higher. The rise in power is muscular but unfortunately stops at 7,500 rpm !

The very sudden accelerations also make vibrations appear between the thighs around this "maximum French" speed, but that in no way detracts from the pleasure provided by the 4-cylinder between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm. The operating range is considerably shortened – the red zone is at 11,000 rpm! – but the gearbox and transmission support it perfectly.

The reports are linked easily on the K 1200 R Sport, contrary to what the noise of transmissions may suggest. As for gas management via electronic injection, it is much better than on the first K models..

A few slight jolts can still occur at low speed, but a minimum of application on the part of the pilot is enough to erase them entirely. So the BMW offers pleasant pickups and the convincing – but not maddening – performance of its 1200 makes any ride fun..

Ah, British maverick !

Called Duolever, the front suspension of the BMW K 1200 was designed and patented by the English inventor Norman Hossack. Tired of the wavering behavior of his Yamsel 350, especially under very heavy braking from Druids at Brands Hatch, the pilot decides to look into this stability problem in the mid-1970s…

Thus he seeks not only to stiffen the front axle of his motorcycle, but also to ensure that the wheelbase, caster and caster angle values ​​remain constant, whatever the constraints applied – braking and steering. -.

After several prototypes – one of which won the British Monos Championship three years in a row! -, Norman recovers the damaged K100RS from a friend of his and grafts his "homemade" suspension, "although a Ducati would have been a better choice, but Norman couldn’t afford it", we discover on his !

Compared to conventional forks, Norman ensures that his system "is lighter, stronger, cheaper to produce for a large manufacturer and above all: safer and in my opinion more fun to drive". A message received 5/5 by BMW !

Finally, what is most sporty about the K 1200 R Sport – French in any case … – is its cycle part. With the ESA option (Electronic Suspensions Adjustment), once the "Sport" mode is engaged, the Bavarian allows you to arouse lightly, without ulterior motives.

The settings on the angle are easy – the large handlebars help a lot – and the curves are approached serenely … Because once immersed in the bend, the K 1200 R Sport offers exemplary behavior. Thanks to its front axle Duolever, the demands of the front brake do not modify the direction.

In the event of pronounced or sharp braking on the angle, the lateral attitude of the motorcycle does not move: no need to play the balancing act to maintain its trajectory, the Behème follows its path without flinching! A real plus for fans of "rhythmic" driving on open roads…

Sport or leisure, you can choose !

The ESA system allows you to juggle between three types of settings: Sport, Normal or Comfort. If the change between Normal mode and the two extremes seems minimal, the difference in behavior of the motorcycle between Sport and Comfort settings is perfectly palpable..

A slalom session between the dotted lines of a departmental is enough for example to confirm the rigor and liveliness of Sport mode. On the contrary, crossing speed bumps or other paved roads highlights the approval of the suspensions of the K 1200 R Sport, or should we rather say K 1200 R Comfort ?

Depending on the mood and with a single press on the left stalk, you can therefore enjoy a firm and responsive sports car or a soft and comfortable roadster. In both cases, the pilot’s seat makes it possible to envisage long journeys … that of the passenger a little less.

The protection of the bubble for its part is up to the task. A priori, its small "fins" pass for simple gadgets. Still, they prove to be quite useful, effectively freeing the shoulders from the airflow. Note that in the event of a fall, the "shoulders" of the Behème are themselves also protected by protective casters supplied as standard. !

To sum up, the K 1200 R Sport has a very satisfactory record. Thus the handling of the BMW is foolproof, which is good because the road – unlike the circuit on which pure sportsmen let off steam – holds many surprises. !

The castrated engine of more than 50 horsepower lacks extension but it remains pleasant to use in particular thanks to a pleasant box and transmission. In general, the sport / comfort compromise is excellent and makes it a remarkable road, ultimately closer to a CBF1000 than a Fazer (read and).

Finally, once tamed, the ABS Integral system ensures a high level of safety while the ESA system extends the range of action of the Behem. But this equipment comes at a price … As standard, the BMW is already not cheap: € 14,600, against € 10,999 for the Yam and € 8,900 for the Honda.

Equipped as the model tested, its bill is even steep: K 1200 R Sport (€ 14,600) + luggage rack (€ 110) + on-board computer (€ 150) + anti-theft alarm system (€ 190) + sport tires (205 €) + heated grips (210 €) + ESA (680 €) + ABS Integral (1,085 €) = 17,230 € !

Some will cry scandal and flock to a beautiful Japanese promo, others will put forward BMW’s favorite argument "the resale price !"or the fact that this bike is truly multitasking … The debate is likely to be heated !

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