Redesigned Roadster: BMW’s R1200R gets über-boxer for 2011

November 9 2010


Announced as the successor to its venerable boxer-powered roadster, the new 2011 BMW R1200R will feature engine advancements that first appeared in BMW’s radical HP2 Sport, and more recently were used in the 2010 R1200GS and R1200RT. The switch to double overhead cams instead of the previous engine’s single-cam system raises the claimed output for the 1,170 cc oil-cooled flat twin to 88 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower.

Available alongside the R1200R for 2011 will be the R1200R Classic. Mechanically identical, the two models are differentiated by their thematic paint schemes and a few variances in their fitted equipment. The standard R1200R has the more sporty design brief; it runs on cast alloy wheels and provides a muted, monochromatic presentation. The styling touches are reflected in its brushed stainless steel exhaust, greyed valve covers and black rear view mirrors.

In contrast, the R1200R Classic is fitted with spoked wheels and a brighter, retro-looking appearance. Its black bodywork is broken up by a broad white stripe that extends from the front fender to the rear of the fuel tank, and silver instead of grey is used to emphasise components such as the Telelever suspension, the engine’s valve covers, and the frame. Rounding off the look is the application of chrome on its exhaust silencer and mirrors.

Suspension changes include a new fork with an enlarged Telelever standpipe (now 41 mm from 35 mm). The rear suspension retains the use of a single-sided Paralever dampened swingarm but both bikes have a redesigned cockpit that now uses two round analogue gauges instead of the combination LCD and asymmetrical analogue display shared by many BMW models.

A number of optional acronyms can be factory-fitted to either roadster: BMW’s superlative ESA (electronic suspension adjustment) provides fingertip control over the bike’s handling, ASC (automatic stability control) helps to keep the wheels in line, and an integral ABS can avert disaster during panic stops.

Pricing for the new roadster, like with other new 2011 BMWs, won’t be announced until the 2010 Toronto Motorcycle Show which runs from December 10 to 12 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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