A big change, that some BMW aficionados will certainly be disappointed with, is the move away from the Telelever set-up to more conventional forks. There are positives and negatives, of course.
The Telelever front end was ace when hurtling into downhill bends, front tyre fully loaded, the lack of dive instilled great confidence in the rider, while also helping a pillion to feel more secure thanks to the reduced fore-aft pitching.
Thankfully, the electronic suspension adjustment also provides a lot of these benefits, but without the slightly reduced front end feel of the Telelever.
Barrelling into tight corners I was actually amazed at how quickly and easily the R 1200 R turned in and held a line. It turned in to tight radius downhill bends with the spriteliness of a bike half its size.
In faster bends however I did struggle a little to hold my line. I added some preload, electronically of course, no c-spanners and skinned knuckles here, but still, I found myself heading towards the centreline when having a go through fast corners up in the ranges above Melbourne.
I am a lane discipline nazi, as those who have ridden with me will attest, so I found this a little troubling. Had I not brought my ‘A’ game to the party that day? Perhaps. I will need to get some more seat time to know for sure.
I do have to stress, however, that this was while pushing on pretty hard with a bunch of like-minded hoons at speeds not all that advisable…
With a steering head angle of 62.3-degrees and 125mm of trail, the R 1200 R is raked out a little, but as I mentioned earlier, the bike turns in to tight corners in a way that belies it’s 231kg wet weight and 1515mm wheelbase.
The R 1200 RS model sports the same head angle but has 10mm less trail, as you would expect from the more sportier of the siblings.
The braking hardware consists of the now almost ubiquitous 320mm Brembo four-piston radial calipers.
I have no complaints and the generous 276mm back brake is a useful asset, particularly when the bike is fully loaded.
Ergonomically the R 1200 R made me feel right at home. There is just enough front end lean in the riding position to take some load off your tailbone, which is how it should be.
Brake and clutch levers are adjustable for reach, the seat comfortable and of course the useful cruise control is a handy licence preserver for the boring highways.
The bars are wide and sweep back towards your hands to provide a fairly natural stance.
The standard seat height is 790mm while low (760mm), or high (820mm), seats are no cost options at time of purchase.