13 Oct 2014

R1200RS and S1000RR at the Mondial de l'Automobile 2014

I spent a few days in Paris this week, popping over on the amazingly efficient Eurostar (2:15 door to door and no airports with which to contend) to see Mondial de l'Automobile 2014, otherwise known as the Paris Auto Show.

I’ll post the highlights separately, but there was a little surprise at the BMW exhibition—one each of the brand new R1200RS and updated S1000RR (sadly the R1200R was missing). I had a seat on the R1200RS, which felt very strange being accustomed to the riding position of the GS from which the engine and some of the mechanical bits are donated. The telelever front suspension, however, is absent—the new R/RS models use forks based on the ones from the S1000R/RR. This enables the bikes to use a singe, centrally mounted radiator in the space where the wishbone for the telelever resides on the GS/RT (these use two tiny radiators on either side).

My thoughts from the whole two minutes I had on the bike—it feels compact with a slightly more forward biased seating position than the GS, similar to a standard or naked bike. Distance to the pedals (and ground) felt about the same as the GS with the seat in the lowest position. The windscreen does away with the fancy height adjustment knob mechanism from the GS in lieu of a simple pull/push system (which can be done easily with one hand while seated). The instrument panel is a greyscale LCD panel with an analogue speedometer which looks less ‘expensive’ than the ones fitted to the GS and RT. The slightly asymmetrical headlamps are standard halogen units with an optional LED daytime riding light bar between them.

All in all it looks and feels a quality product but doesn’t feel quite as special as the GS. I think the sport-tourer market is quite conservative, so this may be entirely deliberate, and nevertheless I’m looking forward to having a test ride—Lottie are you reading this? :)

UK pricing has yet to be announced, but I would expect the R/RS to start slightly a few hundred pounds lower than the GS due to the less expensive front suspension, simpler windscreen height adjuster, single radiator, and less complex instrument panel.



R1200RS—checking out the windscreen height adjustment

Updated S1000RR