BMW K 1200 S.

Table of contents

BMW K 1200 S.



BMW K 1200 S.

Presentation, BMW K 1200 S.
The new BMW K 1200 S.

Which was to be proved. MOTORRAD had drawn up the formula for the new BMW K 1200 S in issue 21/2003. And here’s the proof that we did our job perfectly.

Waldemar Schwarz


give in to clairvoyance? The ability to predict events that will only happen in the future? No? Neither does MOTORCYCLE. The editors are much more likely to stick with mathematics, relying on calculating things. And drives very well with it. How else would the new BMW K 1200 S can take place in issue 21/2003 exactly as it appears now. Of course, only the future can tell whether it will actually become an event. Or you can believe the predictions made by BMW: »The best sports motorcycle for the road. With the new K 1200 S you will experience a new dimension of sportiness. «Whereby BMW is clearly reinterpreting the subject in its very own Bavarian way.

The design, for example, puts the K 1200 in the category of sports touring bikes like a Honda CBR 1100 XX or Kawasaki ZX-12R. And when it comes to the classic criterion of power-to-weight ratio, the four-cylinder does not get top marks for super sports. BMW points to an almost 50 percent improvement over the K 1200 RS. But in concrete terms that means around 235 kilograms (calculated by us) and over 160 hp proclaimed by BMW a power-to-weight ratio of around 1.5 kg / hp. Not bad. Only: A Kawasaki ZX-10R achieves 1.18 kg / hp.

So more of a sports tourer, the new one. And in this class, the K 1200 S could easily advance to the top if it came – if all our calculations were correct – in spite of it
Cardan drive is around six kilograms lighter than a Kawasaki ZX-12R. The Honda CBR 1100 XX would even undercut them by 15 kilograms.

As already reported in MOTORRAD 21/2003, BMW has turned away from the long-standing tradition of the longitudinal in-line engine with its new flagship and is installing the 1157 cm3 in-line four-cylinder – now with an integrated gearbox – transversely into the chassis for the first time. The decision for this conventional solution, as it has been perfected by the Japanese since 1969, was certainly not an easy one for the Munich-based company. The cylinder bank, which is inclined forward by 55 degrees, is designed to guarantee a balanced weight distribution of 50 percent at the front and rear as well as a low center of gravity. On the other hand, it drives the wheelbase to an impressive 1570 millimeters.

Thanks to a moderately short-stroke design that allows speeds of over 10,000 rpm, the four-cylinder with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder could be kept narrow. At the level of the crankshaft, the 1200 is no wider than the current 600 engines, although the alternator sits directly on the crankshaft.

As usual, the chassis is innovative. The profiles of the aluminum bridge frame do not lead around laterally, but over the cylinder head, which again saves overall width. There is also something new at the front: the front suspension now works with double longitudinal arms and should therefore offer sensitive responsiveness and high rigidity. In contrast to the current K models, there is a spring strut at the rear, which is linked to the swing arm via a lever. For the first time on a production motorcycle, the damping is electronically adjustable. For a BMW, on the other hand, the semi-integral braking system including ABS is almost a matter of course.

MOTORRAD tester Markus Barth was able to get an idea of ​​the talents of the K 1200 S on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. This shows that the new BMW really shines for a 1200 series with its above-average handiness. The slight tendency to pendulum in some passages is due to the extreme conditions of the »Green Hell«. Nordschleife connoisseurs make Barth’s lap time of 7.57 minutes sit up and take notice, as it is only eight seconds above the official lap record of Helmut Dahne, although it was set on the old Honda RC 30 in 1993.
So the highest level of excitement – not just for BMW customers. MOTORRAD is also expecting a hot K phase. But it still takes a little patience. The K 1200 S will only be presented to the general public in September at the Intermot trade fair in Munich. However, MOTORRAD readers have a head start: The first driving report can be read in July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *