This new trademark is filed in Europe from BMW as the name “R 12 ″” is intended for “motorcycles and their parts”, and given the BMW name protocol, it can only be intended for boxer cruiser model, on the same principle as the existing one R 18. Ironically, the R 18 was developed – after a few years break – because BMW decided that the engine of its old cruiser R1200C, which was sold from 1997 to 2004, did not have enough power. This is certainly not an accusation that can be made against the R 18, which has one of the engines with the largest volume and is one of the heaviest bikes on the market. But times have changed, and today smaller and lighter cruisers are increasingly valued.
Even when the R1200C was excluded from the lineup, BMW Motorrad CEO Dr Herbert Dis (now CEO of the Volkswagen Group) said: “The direct successor to the cruiser in our next generation model will not be. This is due to technical considerations: the new engine you know from the GS is designed consistently for light weight and therefore – quite deliberately – offers only a small margin to increase engine volume. And since the trend in the cruiser segment has been going well beyond 1,400 cc for quite some time, the cruiser in the former classic style with a smaller engine no longer fits into our concept of the future. But that doesn’t mean we’re turning away from the cruising philosophy with BMW motorcycles once and for all. On the contrary, it would be quite possible for us to rethink this topic in a completely different way. “
It took 16 years before this reinterpretation appeared as the R 18, but the trend toward ever-increasing cruisers mentioned by Dis, noted in the early 2000s by fables such as Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 and Honda VTX1800-Evaporated, with smaller (and more water-cooled cruisers) appeared as Scout range of Indiansand, most recently, Harley-Davidson Athlete C and Nightster. It turns out that the old R1200C could have been more attractive than Dis could have imagined if it had been gradually upgraded with such technical improvements that we’ve seen on the company’s other R-Series boxers since its demise.
The R 12 brand is quite unambiguous. “R” means that it is a twin boxer, while “12” is both an indicator of load capacity and a hint that it is a cruiser that corresponds to the nomenclature of the R 18. Badge BMW does not lack twin boxers with about ‘1200 cubic meters. The 1254 cc water-cooled engine of the current R 1250 range will be an option, but it may be the older 1170 cc air-cooled engine used in R NineT this is a more likely choice. The latter is basically the latest version of the twin used in the old R1200C, which has the same power, hole and stroke, but with a DOHC cylinder head. Whichever way BMW goes, we can be sure that the final shaft transmission will be used as a result.
The name R 12 is not new to BMW. The original bike, which had this badge, was released in 1935 along with the R 17, but then the numbers did not match the engine capacity. The first R 12 was just 745 cc with a flat double gearbox and manual transmission. It was widely used by the military in World War II.
In terms of style, the look of the 1930s R 18 is likely to be transferred to the R 12. The BMW R 18 range already includes four models – two cruisers and two tourers – and the company has placed great emphasis on customization with a huge range of options mounts for bike individualization. We expect the same philosophy to be carried over to R 12 when and when this machine is discovered.