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BMW R12 (2024) - Technical Review

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2024 BMW R12 Review Details Price Spec_44
2024 BMW R12 Review Details Price Spec_45
2024 BMW R12 Review Details Price Spec_08


Price: £11990 | Power: 94bhp | Weight: 227kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: TBA


The 1170cc capacity might be the same but BMW’s new R12 cruiser couldn’t be a more different proposition than the old R1200C – which was dropped from the range in 2004 in the face of increasingly large-capacity competition.

Ironically, while BMW now finally has a huge cruiser of its own in the form of the R18, trends in that part of the market have shifted and reinvigorated demand for smaller-capacity models. Hence the launch of the R12, based on the same chassis and engine as the new R12 nineT.

Unlike the old R1200C, which dripped with chrome and overwrought bodywork, allied to BMW quirks like the Telelever front end, the R12 takes a much more direct approach, with a stripped-back look and conventional forks to stand as a rival to the likes of Harley-Davidson’s Nightster, Triumph’s Speedmaster and Indian’s Scout.


  • R12 nineT-based chassis promise much better handling than the typical cruiser

  • Strong suspension spec

  • High level of tech lots of customisation options

  • Boxer engine still prevents authentic feet-forward cruising


2024 BMW R12 - Price


Despite sharing many of its main mechanical parts with the new R12 nineT the R12 cruiser is a substantially less expensive option, starting from £11,990, though with slightly less power and a stripped-back spec, this may explain its £2430 discount compared to the roadster model.

With rivals hovering around the £13,000 mark (the Indian Scout, Harley Nightster and Triumph Speedmaster are all between £12,945 and £12,995) BMW is sliding in with a handy £1000 saving over the most direct competitors, although the huge options list means it will be easy to pump the price back up again with bolt-on bits.



2024 BMW R12 Engine & Performance

Although the 1170cc engine is the same basic design used in the nineT, the R12 gets a different state of tune that drops the peak power and torque down a notch.

Outright power peaks at 70kW (94hp) and 6,500rpm, arriving 500rpm lower than the R12 nineT’s 109hp peak. Max torque is similarly reduced, down from 115Nm (84.8lb-ft) to 110Nm (81.1lb-ft) and arriving at 6,000rpm instead of 6,500rpm.

The power reduction is significant because it drops the R12 into the zone where it’s allowed to be further restricted to 47hp (35kW) to suit A2 licence rules.

The motor itself is BMW’s 1170cc, air and oil-cooled boxer twin with a 101mm bore and 73mm stroke, taken directly from the R nineT. Those dimensions are all the same as the original R1200C of 1997, although the R12’s power is more than 50% higher than that last-generation BMW cruiser, which makes sense as the company says the engine is descended from the variant introduced in 2007 for the HP2 Sport.

It's driving through a six-speed box and BMW’s usual shaft final drive, integrated into the single-sided Paralever swingarm. As on the new R12 nineT, the R12 gets a brand-new exhaust system and under-seat airbox.

Where the new R12 nineT gets three riding modes, the R12 makes do with just two – cringingly named ‘Rock’ and ‘Roll’, to match those of the R18 cruisers. The former is essentially a ‘sport’ mode, with sharper throttle response, while the latter is the standard setting, equivalent to the ‘Road’ mode on the R12 nineT.



2024 BMW R12 Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

Here’s where the R12 promises to be a big step forward compared to previous BMW cruisers. It shares its steel trellis frame, using the engine as a structural component, with the new-for-2024 R12 nineT, helping keep weight down to only 227kg wet, and like the more roadster-styled nineT the R12 gets 45mm USD forks, albeit in non-adjustable form, and an adjustable monoshock at the rear.

Unlike the R12 nineT, which has 120mm of suspension travel at each end, the R12’s is limited to just 90mm.

Another big change is the wheels. Where the nineT gets 17-inch alloys as standard (wires are optional) the R12 has a 19-inch front and 16-inch rear to emphasise its cruiser style. These are wrapped in narrower rubber, with a 100/90-19 front tyre and 150/80-16 at the back. The sizes change the whole angle of the bike’s chassis, extending the rake from 27.7 degrees to 29.3 degrees and stretching the wheelbase from 1511mm to 1520mm in the process.

The brakes are identical to the new R12 nineT’s, with 310mm discs at the front and monoblock, four-pot calipers, plus a 265mm disc and two-pot stopper at the rear. There’s cornering ABS as standard, too, allied to engine braking control to help keep everything stable.



2024 BMW R12 Comfort & Economy

BMW’s official specs put the R12’s seat height at 754mm, making it one of the lowest-slung offerings in the company’s line up. Even the shortest-legged riders should have no problem getting their feet flat on the floor.

It sits behind a fuel tank that’s specific to the R12, smaller than the R12 nineT’s at 14 litres and made of steel where the roadster model’s is a 16-litre aluminium design. The R12’s tank shape is inspired by the 1970s BMW /5 models’ ‘toaster’ tanks, with a teardrop shape.

The tank’s smaller size means that while the fuel economy is the same as the R12 nineT at a claimed 55.4mpg, the range is shorter at around 170 miles at most.



2024 BMW R12 Equipment

Where the new R12 nineT gets dual round instruments as standard, the R12 only gets one of them – the speedo – with the rev counter relegated to the options list. You can still have it, but you’ll have to pay. Even so, the speedometer has a small digital display set into it that includes readouts of essential information including selected riding mode and the gear position.

Like the R12 nineT, the R12 can also be spec’d with a tiny, 3.5-inch ‘micro’ TFT dash instead of the circular speedo. This gives a high-resolution, colour digital readout. BMW’s Connected Ride Control system is optional, allowing you to use your phone for navigation and to display more information about the bike, controlled by the left-hand bar pod.

Keyless go is standard on the R12, but you still need to use the key for the fuel tank and steering lock, and there’s BMW’s Intelligent Emergency Call system to call for help in the event of an accident. All versions get LED lights, but cornering lights are an extra cost option.



2024 BMW R12 Rivals

The new generation of ‘small’ cruisers – around the 900cc-1200cc mark – is gaining traction and explaining why BMW is re-entering that part of the market two decades after the decision to drop the R1200C. Here are some alternatives.


Harley-Davidson Nightster | Price: £12,945

Power/Torque: 89bhp/70lb-ft | Weight: 221kg


Indian Scout | Price: £12,995

Power/Torque: 94bhp/71.5lb-ft | Weight: 256kg


Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster | Price: £12,995

Power/Torque: 76.9bhp/78.2lb-ft | Weight: 263kg



2024 BMW R12 Verdict

We’ll give a verdict once we’ve ridden the R12.


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2024 BMW R12 - Technical Specification

New price

From £11,990



Bore x Stroke

101 x 73mm

Engine layout

Boxer twin

Engine details

4-valve, DOHC, air/oil-cooled


94bhp (70KW) @ 6,500rpm


81.1lb-ft (110Nm) @ 6,000rpm


6 speed, shaft final drive

Average fuel consumption

55.4mpg claimed

Tank size


Max range to empty

170 miles

Rider aids

Traction control, cornering ABS, engine brake control, two riding modes


Steel spaceframe

Front suspension

45mm USD forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Paralever swing arm, direct-linked rear shock

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload and rebound adjustable

Front brake

Twin disc brake, floating brake discs, 310 mm, 4-piston monobloc fixed calipers

Rear brake

Single disc brake, 265mm, 2-piston floating caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast wheel, 2.75x 19, 100/90-19 tyre

Rear wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast wheel 4.00 x 16, 150/80-16 tyre

Dimensions (LxW)

2200mm x 830mm



Seat height



227kg (kerb)





MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated



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What is MCIA Secured?

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As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard

  • An ignition immobiliser system

  • A vehicle marking system

  • An alarm system

  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.