Private Preview 2005: BMW K1200S

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The interstate highway traditionally has been the playground for bikes bearing the BMW propeller. But the German manufacturer, known for producing cruisers that can complete cross-country journeys effortlessly, will break form later this year when it releases the K1200S, a track-tuned superbike that promises to earn the company a place among the pantheon of sportbike suppliers.


The sharp-angled design of the K1200S will stand in contrast to the utilitarian appearance of the K1200LT, its cruiser cousin, and will serve notice that the new bike has been bred for speed. The performance specifications of the K1200S, which has yet to be priced, will make even an Italian exotic owner do a double take. As the most powerful motorcycle that BMW has ever built, the 1,157 cc K1200S will produce 167 hp at 10,250 rpm, with 70 percent of the 4-cylinder machine’s maximum torque available at 3,000 rpm. The transverse engine will be tilted forward at a 55-degree angle to give the K1200S a low center of gravity and a 50-50 weight distribution between the front and rear ends.

However, BMW’s mission was not to build a machine meant solely for speed. From the outset, the K1200S’s design brief specified that the bike had to offer a comfortable ride, and the forward-tilting engine is not the only feature included for this purpose. The centerpiece of the motorcycle’s technology is its electronic suspension adjustment system, which enables the rider to adjust the rigidity of the K1200S while the bike is moving by pushing a button on the handlebars. The K1200S also features a front-wheel guidance system that improves traction, reduces friction, and gives its pilot a better feel for the road. The bike is scheduled for delivery later this year.


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