BMW R 1150 R

BMW R 1150 R in test (Baujahr 2003)

Is it still worth buying a BMW R 1150 R today?

BMW R 1150 RThe BMW R 1150 R was built from 2000 to 2006 and is therefore anything but a modern motorcycle. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look at this beautiful machine - especially since there is hardly any other boxer model from BMW that is needed at a similarly low price.

How the R 1150 R stands

The first contact with the BMW R 1150 R is characterized by respect. You immediately notice: Here is a real motorcycle! The massive boxer excels noticeably and the bike radiates confidently: I am even more heavy agricultural machinery. Above all, the view of the powertrain impressed the author. If you like classic motorcycles, you will love the R 1150 R.

BMW R 1150 R Seitenansicht

However, the machine weighs less than one would like to assume due to the optics: At 238 kg fully refuelled, the R 1150 R is of course not a lightweight, but it looks much heavier. The classic front lamp made of metal and real glass is very nice, and even from behind the machine does not look like an old iron due to the single-arm swingarm and the gimbal. The large 20.5 litre tank as well as the optionally available suitcases
make the BMW R 1150 R a 1A touring bike if desired. During an Alpine tour, the R was able to prove its manoeuvrability as well as the surprisingly powerful passage from the speed cellar. Of course, the bike can't keep up with today's athletes, but it's not slow. The sprint from 0 to 100 is achieved in 4.2 seconds and the top speed is just under 200 km/h.

20 Liter Tank der BMW R 1150 R

CockpitBlinker-RückstellerKoffersystem der BMW R 1150 R

Cockpit and seating position

The cockpit of the BMW R 1150 R is classically divided into two analog round instruments for speed and speed. In the middle is an analog clock, surrounded by a few lights for idle, blinker, ABS status, high beam and tank contents/reserve. So there is no on-board computer, aisle display or other digital displays. A curiosity is the turn signal control with switches on the right and left and a flasher reset on the right handlebar. Heatable handles are series, ESA or similar gadgets do not exist. BMW drivers know this way, and changeovers have to get used to it a little bit.
The seating position on the BMW R 1150 R is relaxed. You sit upright as if on the sofa and can easily spend hours in the saddle. Normally, the 1150 has no windscreen. The machine tested here has a variable disc from MRA (approx. 150 Euro) which is highly recommended because it takes a lot of pressure from the body, especially during longer journeys.

2 Zylinder Boxer mit 85 PS

This is how she drives herself

The bike radiates calmness and so you automatically ride more defensively restrained than sporty aggressive. You could say that the R 1150 R brings you down very quickly and lets you enjoy the motorcycle ride in peace. Nothing distracts, especially no technical gimmicks and the machine gives you such a reassuring lyre-confidence feeling that perhaps only a BMW can.

The sound of the R 1150 R is boxer-typically bassy-buzzing. By the way, the sound with original exhaust can be played as audio on this page - listen to it yourself. Due to the low seat height and the comfortable seat, you sit deep in the machine and feel firmly connected to the bike. The gearbox is not exactly of the smooth-running variety, but somehow this does not bother you with this bike. Presumably this is because it somehow fits the character of this motorcycle, as I said: heavy agricultural machinery.

The machine has a stable straight line and yet surprisingly willingly steers into curves. Even narrow bends are no problem at all with the R 1150 R, the Stelvio yoke can come. Many newcomers from other sporty bikes were surprised at how agile this motorcycle can be. Despite the paralever, the buck goes up a little while accelerating - a wonderful feeling that you always like to summon up by speedy start-up.
The brakes of this machine are delayed according to the standards. If you brake with the handbrake lever at the front, the rear brakes are automatically braked. The required hand force on the brake lever is zero because it is a partial intergral ABS with brake boosters. However, this means that the servo motors are annoying when braking with an audible beep noise. In addition, the ABS system of the R 1150 R is considered vulnerable. And once the ABS breaks down and the ABS indicator light lights up unmistakably red, disaster is on the way. The repair of the ABS system can cost up to 2,000 euros.

Conclusion - what gets stuck

The BMW R 1150 R is a grateful bike that offers riders a confident and safe riding experience even with high mileage. There are many used machines of this type, most fortunately in uncrafted original condition. But old machines are not really cheap either: 1150s are hardly available in good condition under 4,000 euros. To answer the opening question: Yes, it is still worth buying a 15-year-old motorcycle today. At least if it is a BMW R 1150 R.

Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction

  • Price new (2003): 9,000€
  • Used (15 years old): 4,500€
  • Years built: 2000 - 2006
  • Colours: black, blue, silver

Zubehör für die
R 1150 R

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • despite size and weight easy and manoeuvrable to drive
  • used relatively cheaply
  • is also suitable as a tourer
  • magnificent boxer with sound
  • sufficient power, strong
  • vulnerable ABS system
  • Fumbling battery expansion

New registrations of the R 1150 R

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New registrations of the R 1150 R

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Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,170 mm
1,220 mm
238 kg
Ab. Weight
450 kg
800 mm
1,487 mm

Driving Performance & Range

0 to 100
4.2 s
60 to 100
5.4 s
Tank contents
20.5 l
4.6 l
446 km
197 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Boxer 4-stroke
Number of cylinders
Oil air
1,130 cc
101 mm
70.5 mm
85 HP
98 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Three-part frame concept consisting of front and rear frames with supporting motor
Suspension front
BMW Motorrad Telelever; Standpipe diameter 35 mm
120 mm
Strut rear
Central spring leg
135 mm
Suspension rear
Aluminum cast single-arm swingarm with Paralever
Brakes in front
Four-piston fixed-seat double disc brake
320 mm
Tyres at the front
120/70 ZR 17
Brakes rear
Two-piston fixed-seat brake
Rear tyres
170/60 ZR 17
Partial Integral ABS with Brake Booster