Test BMW R 1200 C
The Bavarian version of the American dream – a motorcycle like Marianne Sägebrecht in “Out of Rosenheim”.
They laughed. So right. Not mocking, no – it was pure amusement. We faced each other at a traffic light intersection. They on their chopped American bikes, I on the breeding ground of their outburst of cheerfulness: BMW R 1200 C – huge, chrome-covered, Bavarian cruiser.
The red phase lasted extremely long. Stay cool. Let the boys laugh. Don’t have it easy with their bone-dry hardcore philosophy. Such a life on the Ape-Hanger, a rigid frame in the cross is definitely not pure fun. Think of Wilhelm, best of all neighbors, who makes a pilgrimage every evening to admire this large, glittering machine.
It arouses emotions, the C from BMW. And that’s good. Because “feelings have a future”. At least according to the BMW brochure. Opinions on the design of the techno cruiser range from hideous to ingenious. There are no abstentions. Understandable – at the appearance. Seldom has a motorcycle been so strange, so strange, so non-conforming.
With all due respect, however, for the Bavarians’ courage: the cockpit is a visual disaster. Only insect heads look nastier under certain circumstances. And this handlebar … Such a soft chopper handle just won’t work on a cruiser.
As? Too much personal judgment. I thought feelings had a future. Or was that meant differently? Maybe it would be wiser now not to mention the chrome thing again. Anyway, everyone sees that there would have been a little bucket less. Especially since the surface treatment is of poor quality: two days of rain, the screw heads are already beginning to rust. And when trying to remove stubborn stains with chrome paste, the cleaning devil gets a heart attack, while the noble shine goes blind under fine scratches.
The motorcycle in the R 1200 C, however, does not have any major weaknesses. Among cruisers, the BMW is one of the best elevators ever. The sitting position alone: pure relaxation. Absolutely confident – as long as you don’t park the Mauchen on the silly footplates above the cylinders. The chassis itself: foolproof. Stress-free and dynamic on top of that. Yes: dynamic. Regardless of the imposing bulk, despite the weight of 277 kilograms. You can throw this colossus into the curve maze without worrying. Handiness, lean angle and stability are up to most situations. The steamer starts to rock when the asphalt waves. Then the rear rebound damping has come to an end.
After all, the test motorcycle acts more graciously than the presentation model with which colleague Bäumel pounded through Arizona six weeks ago. However, the Munich swear they haven’t even put their little finger on the strut. Series spread? Miracle healing? No matter. In any case, the stern barely hits through in solo operation, and the spring stiffness is within the tolerable range.
The brakes of the C are beyond reproach. At least in connection with the outrageously expensive ABS. Almost 2000 marks surcharge are due for this. But the investment is worth it. Not only for safety reasons, but also because of the high entertainment value of meaningless emergency braking with the unrepentant enjoyment of 100 percent braking compensation. That doesn’t happen every day.
If the engine were only half as forceful as it was – the R 1200 C would be the fixed star in the cruiser sky. Measured 65 Pfredestärken are not particularly intoxicating for such a drama. Sure, a lot of boom at low speeds and such. It’s also nice: after starting off, go into fifth gear – after work. But the two-cylinder capped in the upper area could develop even more torque above idle speed. And a little more temperament in higher regions wouldn’t hurt him either. Just imagine: a quick twist of the throttle, and the hardcore’s grin fell from their faces.
The four-valve boxer acts absolutely convincingly when idling, when the piston blows penetrate through the framework, when the bike pulsates and the body is gently vibrated. This specificity is lost when driving. What remains are vibrations that become annoying from 110 km / h.
The circuit is also annoying. As promised in the brochure: “The result was a real BMW.” That means: when the load is stationary, first gear often only engages after several clutch cycles. If you shift down while rolling, a grenade-like blow goes through the gearbox. Sounds at least as uncool as the clacking of the cardan drive. Apart from that, however, he doesn’t bother. Although the Monolever swing arm has to get by without a Paralever, the so-called cardan reactions are kept within limits. The length of the single-sided swing arm is important.
The oversized arm of the side stand shows that length does not always help. Right behind the footrest, it protrudes over the exhaust. One wrong step – bang! – the stand folds out like a catapult and the engine dies. Without rubbish: During the test, this mishap not only happened to one idiot, but to two people.
E.r has its peculiarities, the Bavarian stunner. Textile gloves can be used to slip off the leather-covered handlebar grips that are bent downwards. You can hardly see the control lights in the cockpit. And if you want to store more than 15 liters of super in the 17-liter tank, you should be familiar with droplet infusions. With any other cruiser one would generously overlook such trifles, but the R 1200 C is »the BMW among cruisers«. It’s in the prospectus.
You don’t necessarily have to put on your BMW glasses to find the R 1200 C good, but it helps. At least I haven’t met a Bayern fan who commented negatively on the C and no real cruiser freak who openly accepted it. There is a lot of arguing about the design of the BMW, and that’s a good thing. Nothing worse than a new motorcycle and nobody is looking. From an objective point of view, there is little to complain about about the R 1200 C. The seating comfort could hardly be better, the chassis works properly, the brakes are great, and the boxer engine is also fine, although it could take a few more horsepower. The two-cylinder is already a little uneventful.
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