Test BMW R 1150 R Rockster
Signs of storm
Hard to believe, but true: BMW is also surfing the streetfighter wave from now on. In no time at all, the Munich-based company conjured up the robust Rockster from the kit, which creates a completely new R-life.
It’s exactly 40 millimeters. Not the world, but enough to drive a wedge between good and evil, between civil roadsters and extroverted rocksters? 40 millimeters that have it all.
The second message is restriction. In a world where less is clearly more, one passenger seat is too much. BMW is therefore now relying on the baking tray. Such a component adorns the rear frame of the Rockster. Exactly where the pillion seat would normally be. It’s just there, as it were as a shelter for the tool kit. Another function? Nothing.
No question about it, BMW goes crazy. Stokes emotion, even though you actually do good business with rock-solid functionality. Can that go well?
The preliminary answer can be found when looking at the Rockster key data. Wide handlebars, of course, plus the befitting 180 mm slippers, whereby BMW considers the grippy Metzeler Sporttec M1 to be appropriate in view of the sporty orientation. Sister S donated the 5.50-inch rim for it. On the chassis side, that was what defines the Rockster. The rest is pure roadster. And it works well, as is well known.
Stop, there’s something else. There was also a change in the engine room. The Rockster is the first series boxer to drive with the power of two ignition sparks. An innovation that will find its way into all Boxers with the exception of the 1200 C models, but which is primarily not intended to increase performance, but rather to ensure significantly lower emissions.
So, now, press the button. With a well-known subtle sound, which is even too restrained for a bad motorcycle, the 1150 babbles to itself, the speed increase is only used in cold weather. First course ?? the BMW transmissions are getting better and better – and off you go. Even well below 2000 rpm, the boxer pushes forward smoothly and smoothly, only to pull more robustly beyond this mark than before. Aha, double ignition, that fits, that’s the first impression. Which is unfortunately put into perspective again in the further course of the speed range. Beyond 3000 rpm is namely the end with a lead thanks to Twin-Spark. At least when it comes to power and torque. Since the new engine loses significantly compared to the old one (see diagram), it is not only sluggish on the dyno role, but also documents this with slightly poorer torque values compared to the R 1150 R-Top test, while it is the well-known vice, namely the half-baked one Constant travel jerks between 2500 and 3000 rpm.
The new, agile Rockster feeling is therefore not a matter of the engine. Has nothing to do with brute tearing, the famous kick in the ass. It is really the millimeters mentioned at the beginning that make the difference. Because even if a little more punch wouldn’t hurt in the upper speed range, real Rockster feelings still arise, especially on small and tiny streets. Instead of yourself ?? like on the civilian R ?? Simply drifting, enjoying the unrivaled comfort of the Telelever front wheel guidance and practically incidentally showing almost all other road users where the hammer is, the forced pace on the Rockster becomes an end in itself. Thanks to the wide handlebars and the easy-to-handle tires, you can enjoy every curve anew, the wonderfully easy turning in, enjoy the full grip reserves in full incline, and enjoy the steady thrust from the lower speed practically from the apex. To put the qualities of the idiosyncratic BMW construction in the right light? that’s the strength of the rocksters.
And it also hides one or the other slight weakness. Anyone who is on the move at full speed, always braking on the last groove, hardly notices that the brake metering during adaptive braking ?? So if the speed should be reduced carefully? is still not one of the parade disciplines of the BMW system with brake booster. Rather, the fulminant bite and ?? of course also optionally available with the Rockster ?? the safety reserve that the ABS offers in combination with the Telelever, which is barely submerged. This turns the control area into a hobby room, in which one likes to spend a lot of time. Just like in the deepest inclines. Often the footpeg scratches out of sheer exuberance, although the lean angle is always sufficient for the country road.
Is that why the Rockster is the better R? No, but a different one. It conveys speed more clearly on the brisk ride on the house route or the alpine pass, but has disadvantages on the long tour because the driver hangs more in the wind because of the wide handlebars and the seating position is strenuous in the long run due to the strange cranking of the handlebars, even off the highway. On the other hand, the lower consumption of the Twin Spark engine in all areas is positive. The consumption advantage fluctuates between almost one liter at a speed of 130 and 0.3 liters on the country road, giving it a theoretical range of an impressive 357 kilometers, which is typical for BMW.
Und BMW remains true to itself in one other point as well. Those who prefer to be out and about as a couple can secretly purchase the pillion kit under the shop counter for 140 euros. It turns the Rockster into a full-fledged two-seater in no time. So that the signs point to storm on the street, but not on the stove at home.
This is how MOTORRAD tests – freedom from banking
MOTORRAD explains the individual criteria of the 1000-point evaluation (part 11)
Anyone who used to want to make an impression at the bikers’ meeting had to wear sanded footrests, silencers or ?? in the case of boxer engines ?? Cross on cylinder head covers. Today similar laws still apply in certain circles, but these insignia of daring driving style are much more difficult to obtain. Because with modern machines you usually have to sharpen at a fairly diagonal angle until any component touches down. Thank goodness, because after all, it’s not about racing criteria, but about safety. If you misjudge the curve radius, you need reserves when correcting your course without being levered straight into the grass verge. MOTORRAD checks that there is no lean angle on the circular path for information purposes, but the behavior on the test lap with a civilized driving style is assessed. It is not only assessed whether, but also how the machine touches down. Can you feel the incline with the tips of the footrests? Are cladding parts sanded through? If the main stand suddenly lifts the machine out of track because the rear wheel suddenly slips away?
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