Top 200 Current Motorcycles: Best Or Worst? - BMW R 1200 R, GS & Adventure

BMW R 1200 R

In the annals of wacky Beemer styling, the BMW R 1200 R manages to incorporate various off the wall engineering concepts like that mega bizarro cantilever front Telelever springy thingy while still maintaining an aesthetic appeal through simplicity of color and overall design. I'm not crazy about the fact that the rear half of the bike looks like it belongs on a Suzuki VX 800, but given some of the Munich stylists' other design choices, I should be happy that they went with a fairly conventional look for this naked bike.

This motorcycle is driven by an omnipotent 1170 cc, oil/air cooled, 2 - cylinders boxer powerplant engineered with a bore and stroke of 101 mm x 73 mm and a compression ratio of 12:1 which bestows upon the bike a rapturous 109 horsepower (80.2 kW). When we factor in the total dry weight of the bike tallying up to 436 pounds (198 Kg.), and factor that into the roaring power available we get a result of 4 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is comparable to the power to weight ratio of a Speed World Challenge car.

Verdict: Although not the nicest looking Beemer in the current lineup, I can see myself riding this bike around and having a blast. BEST!

 BMW R 1200 GS

Supermotard, or something other that ends in 'tard? The BMW R 1200 GS is just too ugly for words, its completely inadequate for off road use on anything but the smoothest unpaved dirt road, and it's just plain ugly. Did I mention it was ugly? Guess what? It's ugly!

The cycle is driven by a eye-opening 1170 cc, oil/air cooled, 2 - cylinders boxer motor with a bore and stroke of 101 mm x 73 mm and a compression ratio of 12:1 which gives the model an extremely powerful105 horsepower (77.2 kW). When we compute the overall curb weight of the cycle being 447 pounds (203 Kg.), and factor it into the more than generous power generated we get a result of 4.25 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is quite close to the power to weight ratio of a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR.

Verdict: Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, the BMW R 1200 GS can be anything you want it to be but the bottom line is that it's still too ugly for words. WORST!

 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

I'm well aware that the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is the perfect bike to go The Long Way Around the world. It's got the bulletproof Beemer engineering, oodles of power, a great set of dual purpose tires with the emphasis on the dirt side, and so on and so on and so on. The problem is that i just can't get past the repulsive aesthetics, so I'd gladly give up about 40 cc, save about 50 pounds, and lose a heaping helping of world famous reliability and go for the Benelli Tre-K 1130 Amazonas. It might not be quite a superlative a cross planet everything under the sun bike, but at least I wouldn't be embarrassed to ride it!

This bike is powered by a highway-eating 1170 cc, oil/air cooled, 2 - cylinders boxer engine featuring a bore and stroke of 101 mm x 73 mm and a compression ratio of 12:1 which grants the motorcycle a real handful 105 horsepower (77.2 kW). When we consider the total curb weight of the motorcycle equalling 491 pounds (223 Kg.), and factor it into the planet-gobbling horsepower the result is 4.67 pounds per horsepower, a number that is rather close to the power to weight ratio of an American Le Mans Series car.

Verdict: BMW has a habit of producing motorcycles like this R 1200 GS Adventure that outperform their competition in every imaginable aspect but are so Phyllis Diller / Joan Rivers / The Half Ton Mom ugly that no self respecting rider could talk themselves into riding them. WORST!

Read all about each and every Top 200 Current Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, BMW, Buell, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha Motorcycle Model!

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Comments 10 comments

chris 7 years ago

This is the bike that can do it all, and you call it the worst because it not pretty.

You are no biker that for sure, There is nothing that can match this bikes abilities on the plant, its a solid land rover.

Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

No biker? You're an idiot. I was a superbike and motocross racer, motorcycle magazine publisher and editor, and owner of 37 bikes before you were potty trained! Get lost, bozo.

chris 7 years ago

Don't care much what you pretend to be, never heard of you, and why should I ,the press are some of the most ill informed people on the planet, watch cnn. Editors mean nada. I understand your review on how pretty a bike is now, thow, makes perfect sense. You just don't understand why a specific bike is made. With a good or > rider this bike would beat any other bike of equal weight class you can put up against it at Dakar. I think what you ment to say was "no self respecting bmw rider could talk themselves into allowing you to ride one of these bikes".

chris 7 years ago

and you know what , my "You are no biker " comment was too harsh. But the article shows a lack of judgement and understanding of this instrument and what was created by bmw, and move riders away from a better choice, this bike. I would like to see you ride this bike on and off road. Ya that's a challenge, I bet you'll start to love it. This bike is not a pretender, most bikes are. I have driven it threw 28000 miles, south america, , africa, and been hit by a teen in a mini van at 40mph at a red light , still ran. Why don't you ask the idiot jesse james the guy that said " If you don't ride a harley, your not a biker" what he used to ride the ice roads at -70.

Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Thank you for the apology, but you still need to understand that this is an AESTHETIC critique, as clearly stated in the first Hub of the series. I'm not questioning its capabilities. I'm questioning the Bavarian stylists' sanity in designing a motorcycle that has all of the AESTHETIC appeal of a wart!

Farler knows cars profile image

Farler knows cars 7 years ago from San Diego CA

I agree Hal. I have owned over 42 motorcycles and only two of which were BMW. A 1977 RS100S and a 1982 version. The styling on this contraption is awkward, but I do know it runs incredibly well. After just hitting 600,000 miles in my 34 years of riding, I feel that I know enough to be dangerous about motorbikes. The "Wart appeal" was nice!

Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks for the support! I'm not arguing with the exquisite functionality of these models just their "wart appeal." Your '77 and '82 were classics! What gorgeous bikes. I was especially fond of the '77 with its rounded Sixties racing fairing, and I also loved the '77 RS with the full fairing. It was The Saint's bike after all! :) Now THAT was a time when BMW knew how to style their motorcycles! :)

TJ Green 6 years ago

That GS looks like a Transformer that is still halfway inside out...The white 1200 R is sweet though, Id totally ride that!

kevvers 4 years ago

wanker-in german- dikenwadder- the gsa is the best all rounder ever built...from 5khms winding on the rough shot rock west coast mountain tracks a wily twister mule loaded to the 220khms blast on the coquahalla...f--kin lean speed machine...awesome obviouosly do not know the extreme limits of this machine...

Crowbar 4 years ago

Harley,s get the women, wich come and go,

Bmws get the road, wich allways stay,


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