In India, we’ve got motorcycles available at a variety of price ranges, be it Rs 50,000, Rs 5 lakhs, or even Rs 50 lakhs. While much has been spoken about bikes at the low and mid-range budgets, let’s take a look at one of the most non-descript manufacturers sitting at the higher end of the price spectrum. BMW Motorrad first made inroads into India in late-2010, without much fanfare. They’ve got a diverse line-up of motorcycles, which includes standard large-displacement road bikes, ridiculously quick superbikes, full-blown tourers, and terrain-conquering enduro motorcycles. As is the case with their cars, BMW motorcycles are known for their exquisite build quality and high-levels of fit and finish. They are also one of the most innovative motorcycle companies, having developed range of new technologies that help their motorcycles surpass the known boundaries of performance. Yes, they are expensive, but then, perfection rarely comes cheap, doesn’t it? We delve into the distinct product lines of BMW Motorrad, and all the motorcycles they have on offer here in India.
BMW Roadsters are large-displacement naked motorcycles tuned and set-up for urban use. The absence of a bulky fairing makes them light and relatively easier to ride. There are four distinct models in this category, the R 1200R, the R Nine-T, the S 1000R, and the K 1300R. The R 1200R is the entry-level model in BMW Motorrad’s India line-up. It is a standard street bike that’s powered by a 1200cc iteration of the company’s iconic twin-cylinder boxer engine, which provides it with sufficient power and a punch of torque for a fun city commute.
Next up is the R nine-T. It may come across as a standard naked motorcycle at first glance, which it is anything but. The R nine-T was designed as homage to the erstwhile R90, one of BMW’s most popular motorcycles. The R90 has been a favourite amongst motorcycle customizers for a long time, so BMW designed the new R nine-T to be easily-customisable, by offering a removable rear-sub frame and a host of official parts and accessories that can be retrofit with ease. Performance wise, it too is equipped with a 1200cc twin-cylinder boxer engine, and is loaded with technology to keep the rider safe.
If it is performance you are after, then the S 1000R should sound like music to your ears. It is a streetfighter, an S 1000RR sans a fairing. It is powered by the same 999cc in-line four-cylinder engine, albeit tuned for better bottom-end and mid-range response. The upshot is a powerful superbike with comfortable ergonomics and track-honed cornering dynamics. This is a bike that you can use for your daily commute, a blast up mountain roads, or the occasional track day.
The BMW K 1300R is the top-of-the-line Roadster, and rightfully so. It is best classified as a muscle bike, with a keen focus on intense acceleration and straight-line performance. The superbike is powered by a massive 1300cc in-line four-cylinder engine that outputs 173 bhp and 140 Nm torque, enough to send it rocketing to 100 kmph in under 3 seconds, on to a top speed of over 300 kmph! This is a bike not for amateurs, but for expert riders only!
As the name suggests, the ‘Sport’ category bikes from BMW are built with a single-minded focus on dynamic performance. These bikes are equipped with hugely-powerful engines, and are tuned for the precision cornering performance. They are also equipped with a host of electronic rider aids to help put all the power onto the tarmac in a controlled manner, ensuring maximum acceleration in all situations. BMW offers two of their Sport bikes in India, the S 1000RR, and the K 1300S.
The S 1000RR is a full-on sports bike. It is equipped with a 999cc in-line four-cylinder engine that’s amongst the most powerful units in the world. It may look quirky, but with 198 bhp on tap, the S 1000RR is lightning fast. It is also loaded with the latest rider assistance technologies, which allow it to corner at dizzyingly high-speeds with pin-point accuracy. The S 1000RR is a bike that’s best used exclusively on the race track, for one would never be able to safely utilise even a small percent of its vast performance potential on public roads.
The K 1300S is a sport tourer par excellence. It is similar to the K 1300R, although it gets an aerodynamic fairing, which allows for comfortable high-speed cruising. The powerful 1300cc engine allows for rapid acceleration off the line and blindingly quick overtakes, so you’ll always stay ahead of the pack. This is a bike that’s best suited for ultra-quick cross-country trips, or even the occasional track day.
BMW is best known around the world for its Enduro motorcycles. They are proven to be trustworthy and reliable in the most inhospitable of conditions, not to mention sufficiently sturdy and rugged to take on any harsh terrain that comes their way.
At the moment, BMW offers only its top-of-line Enduro motorcycle, R 1200GS, in India. The R 1200GS is a legendary machine; it has been the steeds of choice for many globetrotters, for its ability to circumnavigate the world is unparalleled. The new 2016 version comes fitted with a bevy of electronic systems that make riding on various terrains a cinch. Power delivery, suspension, and traction control settings can be changed instantly to suit the type of surface being ridden on. If you are looking to conquer the treacherous terrains of the Himalayan mountain ranges, the R 1200GS would be your best bet.
BMW doesn’t do cruisers, but they’ve got a couple of hardcore tourers in their line-up for good measure. The R 1200RT and the K 1600GT are massive motorcycles that are purpose-built to allow riders munch miles in utmost comfort. They come with a large aerodynamic fairing, cavernous luggage cases, and a host of tech features, such as cornering headlights, electronically-adjustable suspension, and even keyless go systems. The R 1200RT is powered by a 1200cc boxer-twin engine, whereas the K 1600GT employs a 1600cc in-line six-cylinder motor. If you want to tour the length and breadth of the country in opulence and style, these will be just the right bikes for you.