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If I had the cash: 2005-2008 BMW K1200R

Transcending ugly

‘If I had the cash’ is a monthly feature on the blog where we look at a motorcycle I would buy if I had the means necessary. What would you buy if you had an endless supply of cash burning a hole in your wallet?


By now you are probably getting an idea for my taste in motorbikes. Long, low and large capacity is a safe bet with me, but sometimes something odd slips through the net. This months if I had the cash is such an oddity, the 2005-2008 BMW K1200R.

The BMW K1200R is the very definition of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is no pretty bike. Cross eyed, bulbous and plastic this is as far from a traditional bike as you can get. Somehow BMW have managed to make something that is so ugly it transcends ugliness and loops back into being a looker… somehow!

With 163bhp this is no sloth, hitting a top speed of just over 170mph! That kind of speed on a naked bike is just silly, which is why BMW actually sell winglets and fairing panels if you find the wind a little too much as cruising speeds (170mph is NOT a cruising speed).

Duolever forks feel a little strange on first ride but you soon adapt (they use a single central shock and linkage!). Not designed for outright speed this is more of a touring machine than track machine, but with no fairing and as much power as it has it often feels much quicker than it really is.

Build quality is a typical BMW affair, strong and reliable. Resale values are good and insurance is reasonable now the resale value has dropped from the frankly ridiculous RRP of £10k.