ARE we about to see a new boxer-engined BMW sports bike? Given the firm’s huge sales successes with the S1000RR and its latest-generation R-series twin-cylinder machines, it could be a recipe for success to mix the two together.
German magazine Motorrad, which is among the most authoritative in the world, thinks there’s a new BMW R1200S in the pipeline. Its drawing of the prospective machine comes from Wunderlich (an aftermarket tuner that’s helped with previous BMW developments – and BMW has even used ‘Wunderlich’ stickers on prototypes in the past to disguise them off as one-off specials).
Given that the latest, partially-water-cooled R1200 engine makes a healthy 125hp even in the GS, the prospect of a 150hp high-performance version, as suggested for the new ‘S’ model, doesn’t seem too far-fetched either.
And it’s not as though there’s no precedent here. BMW has made several attempts in the past to create a credible boxer sports bike, including the BMW R1200S made in 2006-7 and the carbon-clad, expensive-for-the-time (back when £14,500 was expensive for a superbike) HP2 Sport offered from 2008-12. Earlier still, in around 1992, BMW created a prototype for a potential WSB machine, using the name ‘R1’ long before it was associated with Yamaha. That bike had a water-cooled, four-valve-per-cylinder, DOHC boxer twin, mounted high in the chassis to maximise cornering clearance, plus radiators on either side to leave space for a Telelever fork arrangement . These days, water-cooling and DOHC four-valve heads are standard on the BMW R1200 range, and the same radiator layout is also used.
While an BMW R1200S is never going to challenge the 200-odd horsepower S1000RR, and wouldn’t be intended for racing, the idea of a road-oriented sportsbike based around a lightweight Boxer, with a low-maintainance shaft drive and endless reserves of torque, is an appealing prospect.