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Overall Concept and Model Features.
All that speculation is now coming to an end: BMW's long-awaited new model featuring a brand-new high-performance four-cylinder power unit and revolutionary suspension technology is celebrating its world debut at INTERMOT 2004: The new K 1200 S, BMW's sports machine in the K-Series. With engine output of 123 kW (167 bhp) and overall weight of 248 kg (547 lb) including fuel, this motorcycle offers the highest standard of dynamic performance.
Introducing the K 1200 S, Europe's largest and most successful manufacturer of motorcycles is enlarging its model range and is entering the supreme class of sporting high-performance motorcycles so far dominated by Japanese manufacturers.
A thrilling synthesis of high performance, precision, riding pleasure, and safety.
Conceived consistently as a sports machine right from the start, the K 1200 S is an absolutely unique and independent motorcycle within the K-family - it is radically new and innovative in every respect. Indeed, the K 1200 S has no predecessor within the BMW Motorrad model range and follows no role model. On the contrary - unique and independent in every respect, the K 1200 S has everything BMW sees in a sports motorcycle: supreme riding precision and agility, engine output and road performance leaving nothing to be desired, as well as safe and superior handling in every situation.
The K 1200 S does not call for any compromises. Instead, it combines all the features previously regarded as largely incompatible: sporting performance and dynamism combined with comfort, playful and easy handling in conjunction with supreme riding stability, high performance coupled with everyday riding qualities, a slender and sporting appearance combined with efficient protection from wind and weather as well as superior ergonomics.
At the same time the K 1200 S comes with all the virtues so typical of all BMW motorcycles - but enhanced in this case to an even higher standard: The new machine is fully suited for riding with a passenger and covering long distances, it offers a long service life, keeps maintenance to a minimum, complies in full with environmental requirements thanks to highly advanced emission management complete with a fully controlled three-way catalytic converter, and offers active safety of the highest standard when applying the brakes ensured by the most advanced brake system in the market: BMW Motorrad Integral ABS.
The K 1200 S is the only sports motorcycle in this segment of the market to feature maintenance-free shaft drive. In conjunction with the Paralever swinging arm developed to an even higher standard and reduced in weight, the drive shaft has been optimised to an even higher standard than before, making its higher level of unsprung masses virtually imperceptible even when the rider chooses a very sporting style of riding.
Featuring innovative top-of-the-range technology and the best riding characteristics in the upmarket sports segment, the K 1200 S rightly claims absolute leadership in its class. So there can be no doubt about it: This new motorcycle will open up new customer potentials for BMW Motorrad.
Unique concept for ideal riding dynamics and ergonomics.
The first point in the approximately five-year development period leading from the initial idea all the way to production maturity was to carefully consider the overall concept in terms of the drivetrain, the configuration and arrangement of the engine, as well as the overall package. And in the process it soon became clear that the advantage of a low centre of gravity so typical of all flat-twin and existing K-models naturally had to be retained on the new motorcycle. Studies and fundamental examinations with the focus on different engine concepts confirmed that from the perspective of power, weight and space requirements, a four-cylinder power unit fitted crosswise was certainly the optimum solution for a high-performance motorcycle of this calibre.
The only drawback with this configuration was the high centre of gravity. But tilting the cylinder bank forward by an extreme 55 and fitting the engine at a very low point, BMW's motorcycle engineers were able to overcome this disadvantage. Since, in addition, the entire engine block is very slender, this configuration also ensures adequate freedom in bends, allowing the rider to lean over sideways to a low angle.
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Together with the extra-low, V-shaped radiator, this configuration, interacting with the wheel suspension and guidance units, allows ideal curvature of the frame above the cylinder head and keeps the entire motorcycle slim and slender. With the frame profiles running closely together at the rear, in turn, the new K 1200 S also enables the rider to keep his knees tightly wrapped around the machine.
The overall result of this intelligent package is optimum geometric configuration of the motorcycle in terms of both riding dynamics and ergonomics. The perfect seating position is tailored to the rider in every respect, giving him - or her - an active riding posture with clear orientation to the front wheel, but with an appropriate standard of comfort and relaxation. As a result, the K 1200 S handles almost playfully but is nevertheless safe in every situation, making even a very sporting style of riding on the road a genuine thrill free of stress.
Innovations on the running gear and electronics.
The BMW Duolever marks a quantum leap in technology in front-wheel suspension, making a significant contribution to the motorcycle's excellent riding characteristics. Indeed, introducing this all-new front-wheel suspension system, BMW Motorrad is further enhancing its leadership in the area of suspension and running gear technology. Through its kinematic arrangement, this sophisticated concept ensures a sensitive response at all times, with clear feedback from the front wheel. In conjunction with the four-cylinder concept, it also offers the advantage of compact dimensions.
As a world-first achievement in series motorcycle production, BMW Motorrad is now introducing ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment with benefits never seen before.
Based on CAN-bus technology, the advanced on-board network provides a wide range of different functions and reduces the procedures required for diagnostic purposes by intelligently combining the motorcycle's electrical and electronic systems.
In all, therefore, the K 1200 S offers more innovations than the K 100 at its time, when the K-Series was introduced in 1983.
Highlights in technology at a glance:
- Supreme performance ensured by free-revving, high-output straight-four power unit with features carried over from Formula 1.
- Cylinder bank of the four-cylinder inline engine tilted 55deg. to the front for an optimum centre of gravity.
- Engine output 123 kW (167 bhp), maximum torque 130 Nm (96 lb-ft) at 8,250 rpm.
- Digital Motor Electronics and three-way catalyst emission management for absolute fulfilment of the strictest environmental standards.
- Supreme riding precision and maximum riding stability provided by the extra-stiff aluminium suspension with Duolever wheel guidance at the front and Evo-Paralever wheel guidance at the rear.
- Superior agility ensured by low weight of 248 kg (547 lb) in road trim (DIN unladen weight including ABS).
- Supreme handling thanks to ideal running gear geometry, optimum mass distribution, and a well-balanced all-round concept.
- Perfect balance ensured by the low centre of gravity.
- Ergonomically enhanced seating position for relaxed, active riding.
- Electronically Adjustable Suspension (ESA) available as an option.
- Integral ABS (partly integral system) featured as standard for superior active safety.
- On-board network with electronic management; CAN-bus technology for enhanced functions combined with simple and straightforward wiring and low weight.
- Electronic immobiliser featured as standard.
- Maintenance-free, weight-optimised shaft drive.
- Enhanced aerodynamics with good protection from wind and weather.
- Wide range of features and accessories of the usual BMW standard tailored to the K 1200 S.