2024 BMW R 12 Review – Specs

Ten years ago, BMW celebrated its 90th anniversary with the BMW R nineT. The R nineT featured the air-/oil-cooled boxer engine and was available in a broad range of iterations, from café racer to scrambler. It has proven to be a durable platform. However, it is being replaced this year with the dramatically new 2024 BMW R 12, along with a significantly different sibling that bridges the gap by tacking nineT onto the new R 12 name; we will talk about the sportier R 12 nineT in another story.

Right now, it’s time to find a comfortable spot while we dig into the urban-focused 2024 BMW R 12, which looks to be an alternative to a traditional cruiser.

Head of Design BMW Motorrad Edgard Heinrich gets us started. “Ten years ago, we at BMW Motorrad introduced the R nineT, which established the segment of classic bikes,” Henrich explains. “The new R 12 series takes this path of emotional, original motorcycle riding even further with clearer lines, a more consistent implementation in each segment, and greater customization possibilities.”

BMW retuned the 1170cc powerplant in the 2024 R 12 to meet Euro 5 standards and match the urban focus. Peak horsepower is down considerably compared to last year’s nineT—it’s now 95 horses compared to 110. However, it comes on 1250 rpm sooner, at 6500 rpm, making it easier to access in urban environments. The power will be softer, though, as the maximum torque output is down 5 ft-lbs to 85 ft-lbs at the same 6000 rpm. BMW is definitely trading performance for around-town rideability.

The motor and chassis get several electronic rider aids and choices. There are two power modes—Rock and Roll, names made familiar on the R 18 mega cruiser. Traction control and electronically controlled engine braking are standard, as is BMW Motorrad ABS Pro. Keyless ride is standard.

A new frame with a low seat height greets the 2024 BMW R 12 rider. It’s a steel trellis design with a customizer-friendly bolt-on subframe. To entice newer riders, the seat high dips below 30 inches. BMW engineers used “The Spirit of Easy” as a guiding principle when developing the R 12.

The geometry of the new R 12 caters to cruisers. The rake is kicked out to 29.3 degrees, and the trail is a roomy 5.2 inches. The wheelbase is a tad short of five feet, and a steering damper is standard.

The 2024 BMW R 12 has a cruiser-like 19-/16-inch wheelset. Aluminum wheels are standard, with wire-spoke wheels optional and shown in various photos. You’ll note the Bridgestone Battlax BT46 tires in the photos; however, BMW frequently will have a second tire brand/model pairing in the mix of delivered motorcycles to circumvent possible supply chain disruptions.

Short-travel suspension keeps the R 12 close to the ground. Both ends have 3.5 inches of travel. The beefy 45mm inverted fork is non-adjustable, and the cantilevered shock offers adjustments for rebound damping and spring preload.

BMW did not scrimp on the R 12’s braking. That’s a pair of 310mm discs in the front, along with radially mounted four-piston Brembo calipers. The rear wheel gets a 265mm disc and a BMW-branded caliper.

The 2024 BMW R 12 has a single round display with an analog-style speedo. A matching tachometer is an option, as is a sleek, low-profile TFT display. The BMW Motorrad Multi-Controller wheel on the left handlebar helps scroll through the display information. The display housing includes a powered USB-C port and 12-volt socket.

BMW’s Connected Ride Control is optional. It lets you connect your smartphone to the dash via Bluetooth and the BMW Motorrad Connected app. Intelligent Emergency Call is standard and will help get you assistance should you be involved in an accident.

LED lighting is standard. The brake lights are integrated into the rear turn signals. A cornering-aware headlight is optional.

There’s a stylish, lower-capacity steel fuel tank on the R 12. It holds 3.7 gallons of fuel—more than enough for city riding. “The purist design language is dominated by the clear tank/seat/rear line, in the style of the traditional /5 or the legendary R 90 S of the ’70s,” according to Heinrich. “At first glance, the tank itself is a classic BMW boxer tank, with a typical bend in the lower edge and classic knee contact.”

The optional Select Package includes desirable upgrades. You get a quickshifter, cruise control, heated grip, hill start assist, and Connected Ride Control.

The Option 719 Package Thorium upgrades the exhaust and seat, while adding a boxful of milled aluminum parts. Like the Select Package, BMW hasn’t announced pricing yet.

BMW plans for the R 12 to hit showroom floors in the first quarter of 2024. While there isn’t an MSRP yet set for the 2024 BMW R 12, you can ponder if you’ll be satisfied with the standard Blackstorm Metallic color, or feel compelled to upgrade to Aventurine Red Metallic or Option 719 Thorium in Avus Silver Metallic. Remember, the photos accompanying this article show the R 12 in various accessorized configurations.

2024 BMW R 12 Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Horizontally opposed twin
  • Displacement: 1170cc
  • Bore x stroke: 101 x 73mm
  • Maximum power: 95 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 81 ft-lbs @ 6000 rpm
  • Top speed: 124+ mph
  • Compression ratio: 12.0:1
  • Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 vpc
  • Fuel delivery: EFI w/ 50mm throttle bodies
  • Cooling: Air and oil
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Dry, hydraulically actuated
  • Final drive: Shaft

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Steel trellis w/ bolt-on rear subframe
  • Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 45mm inverted fork; 3.5 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustable BMW Paralever shock; 3.5 inches
  • Wheels: Cast aluminum
  • Front wheel: 19 x 2.75
  • Rear wheel: 16 x 4.0
  • Front tire: 100/90 x 19
  • Rear tire: 150/80 x 16
  • Front brakes: 310mm floating discs w/ Brembo 4-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 265mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper
  • ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS Pro

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 59.8 inches
  • Rake: 29.3 degrees
  • Trail: 5.2 inches
  • Seat height: 29.7 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
  • Curb weight: 500 pounds
  • Estimated fuel consumption: 44 mpg

COLORS

  • Blackstorm Metallic
  • Aventurine Red Metallic (optional)
  • Option 719 Thorium in Avus Silver Metallic (optional)

2024 BMW R 12 Price: $TBA MSRP

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