BMW K1200R And Suzuki Bandit 1250S - Hard Parts - MC Comparison

BMW K1200R Sport
Price: $17,260
Hard Parts

Angling the cylinder block 55 degrees forward lets the main frame spars run over the cylinder head rather than around to keep things narrow. Duolever front suspension bolts to a die-casting up front. Another carries the Paralever out back.

Rear Suspension
Rolled out on the '04 R1200GS, the latest iteration of BMW's torque-canceling final drive system uses six pivot points to keep driveline length constant. A pair of concentric steel tubes with an elastomer in between makes up the shaft itself. With ESA, shock spring preload and damping are electronically controlled.

The dry-sump, 1157cc four is identical to that of the naked K1200R. BMS-K engine uses oxygen and pre-ignition sensors to allow the smooth digestion ofless-than-super-unleaded fuel, even with 13:1 compression. Twin balance shafts try to keep things smooth. The whole thing weighs about 180 pounds.

Front Suspension
Ex-McLaren engineer Norman Hossack dreamed up the double-wishbone Duolever design 25 years ago. There's no flex and less friction, so wheelbase and steering geometry are essentially constant throughout suspension travel. It's also 10 percent lighter than BMW's Telelever setup.

The BMW's ergonomic orientation is the same as its naked predecesssor, the K1200R. A broad, flat handlebar enforces a more upright orientation than the original K1200S. You sit on this one rather than in it, which is okay by us, especially around town. More leverage is helpful in any area with the relatively high-effort Duolever front end. The only downside is being hung out in the wind a bit more than on the K1200S.

Tech Spec
Price: $17,260
Engine type: l-c inline-four
Valve train: DOHC, 16v
Displacement: 1157cc
Bore x stroke: 79.0 x 59.0mm
Compression: 13.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Aluminum-alloy twin spar
Front suspension: BMW Duolever, electronically adjustable
Rear suspension: BMW Telelever, electronically adjustable
Front brake: Dual four-piston calipers, 320mm discs
Rear brake: Single dual-piston caliper, 264mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Diablo
Rear tire: 190/55-ZR17 Pirelli Diablo
Rake/trail: 29.0 degrees/4.5 in.
Seat height: 32.3 in
Wheelbase: 62.2 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Weight (tank full): 553 lbs.
Weight (tank empty): 523 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 134.3 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Measured torque: 78.3 lb.-ft. @ 8250 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.74 sec. @ 131.55 mph
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 3.20 sec.
Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 2.84 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 32/44/38 mpg
Colors: Cosmic Blue metallic; White Aluminum metallic
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mi.
Contact: BMW of North America
300 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677

BMW's 1157cc four makes its power a bit further up the rev band than the average big sport-touring lump. There's reasonable steam on tap all the way down to 3000 rpm, but this latest K1200 derivative feels a bit balky and uncooperative turning over that slowly. It cheers up and gets serious on the other side of 6000 rpm, pulling like your basic Bavarian freight train on nitrous all the way to 10,000 rpm.

Suzuki Bandit 1250S ABS
Price: $8799
Hard Parts

The lattice of steel tubes hews reasonably near to the Bandit 1200's. Downtubes measure 4mm larger in diameter. Steering is a bit quicker thanks to the marginally steeper 25.3-degree rake, buffered by the same 4.1 inches of trail as before. Wheelbase is 2 inches longer than the 1200's, courtesy of a longer swingarm.

The new liquid-cooled lump shares its 1157cc ancestor's 79mm bores with a longer 64mm stroke to displace 1255cc. Combustibles come from a quartet of 36mm Dual Throttle Valves. Staggered shafts in the new six-speed tranny make the engine short. There's a balance shaft in there to keep things smooth.

Round, chrome-rimmed instruments add a touch of mid-'80s econo-schlock we could live without. Love the LCD speedo, hate the handlebar. Fairing protection could be better. Fuel gauge cries empty miles before you're in danger of running dry.

The old hooligan edges toward respectability with the addition of optional ABS in '07. The SV650 was the first U.S.-spec Suzuki motorcycle with the system, and the Burgman 650 scooter had it before that. The electronics won't intrude when it's dry, but they'll save your bacon in the wet.

Spin the Bandit's new four all the way up to 9000 if you like, but it makes 97 horses from 6750 rpm onward, and power output begins to trail off beyond 8000 anyway. It's the same story with torque. The peak arrives at 6000, but it starts flirting with that number all the way back at 3750. With that sort of power plateau at your disposal, shifting is mostly optional.

**Tech Spec
**Price: $8799
Engine type: l-c inline four
Valve train: DOHC, 16v
Displacement: 1255cc
Bore x stroke: 79.0 x 64.0mm
Compression: 10.5:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Tubular steel double-cradle
Front suspension: 43mm fork, adjustable for spring preload
Rear suspension: Single shock, adjustable for spring preload, rebound
Front brake: Dual four-piston calipers, 310mm discs
Rear brake: Dual-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Dunlop Sportmax
Rake/trail: 25.3 degrees/4.1 in.
Seat height: 31.1/31.9 in
Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Weight (tank full): 565 lbs.
Weight (tank empty): 535 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 97.6 bhp @ 8750 rpm
Measured torque: 77.6 lb.-ft. @ 6000 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.29 sec. @ 118.83 mph
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 3.35 sec
Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.28 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 28/47/39 mpg
Colors: Blue
Available: Now
Warranty: 12 months, unlimited mi.
Contact: American Suzuki
3251 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92622

Seating accomodations are more respectably upright here than on the BMW. They're also less comfortable for anything longer than 'round the block. An annoying upward kink in the relatively narrow handlebar is our biggest gripe. Tall riders will wish for bars farther from the seat, and shifting the pegs a bit farther back would be nice. We feel some rearsets coming on.