One of the staple motorcycles in BMW’s product line is the R1200 R roadster, the closest thing that BMW makes to a “standard” bike. It lacks the Swiss-Army-Knife appeal of the do-it-all R1200 GS, and it’s not nearly as capable for the long distance stuff as the R1200 RT, but it’s still a motorcycle that you can tour on, commute on or have a relatively brisk run up a canyon road on.
BMW has revised the R1200 for the 2011 model year, and the bike now uses an 1170cc mill derived from the HP2 sport bike. For motorcycle purists, BMW is offering the R1200 R Classic, complete with wire wheels, chrome exhaust, striped fender and gas tank and silver painted details like the paralever and telelever hardware. If you prefer a more sporting appearance, the base R1200 R comes with alloy wheels (in satin gray paint) and dark silver suspension hardware.
The R’s boxer motor is rated at 110 horsepower and 88 ft lb of torque, which is good enough for a naked bike that weighs in at just under 500 pounds. Remember, this isn’t a sport bike: instead, it’s a standard that happens to reward the rider with great ergonomics and competent handling, even when the curves tighten up. Both versions can be equipped with ABS, traction control and BMW’s electronic suspension; conversely, they can also be ordered without any of these high tech goodies to save a few Deutsch Mark on the purchase price. I haven’t seen pricing announced just yet, but expect them to start at around $13,000.