This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the BMW R 1200 S, which BMW announced in November 2005 for the 2006 model year, taking over from the long-running BMW R 1100 S with its “Oilhead”-series engine.
The BMW R 1200 S is a very unique motorcycle that now has a cult following. It’s a sport bike that is powered by the “Hexhead” generation of BMW boxer engine, a single overhead cam 1170cc twin with four valves and two spark plugs per cylinder similar to the same generation BMW R 1200 GS. But in the R 1200 S, the engine is tuned for more power than on any other R 1200 motor, for a peak of 90 kW / 122 PS (121 bhp) at 8250 rpm.
Final power output is via a shaft drive, also unusual for sports motorcycles.
On top of being a uniquely configured bike, the BMW R 1200 S has beautiful design, with a trellis frame, a single-sided swingarm with stunning fully exposed turbine wheels, and under-seat exhausts. Alas, many of these design features are no longer present on modern bikes (other than the single sided swing-arm… but exhausts usually cover them a little).
The BMW R 1200 S was the last of a brief series of boxer sport bikes before BMW released the now-iconic BMW S 1000 RR.
This post was originally published on April 18, 2022, but has since been considerably updated with more detail.
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Service intervals for the BMW R 1200 S
Like many of its air/oil-cooled generation, the BMW R 1200 S has 6 000 mile / 10 000 km service intervals, at which point you should change the oil and filter and also check the valve clearances.
Valve clearance checks for this generation of boxer engine are frequent, but with those big cylinders sticking out the sides, it’s not too big a job.
Since the R 1200 S has a shaft final drive, you don’t have to constantly lube a chain. But you do have to service the shaft by changing the rear wheel drive oil periodically — it’s not specified in the manual for the R – S, but later BMW bikes all require it every 12 000 miles / 20 000 km.
In fact, the R 1200 S has three oil changes — the engine oil, gearbox oil, and final drive oil. It adds up!
Finally, make sure you keep your fluids in spec. The R 1200 S needs its brake fluid replaced every two years, just like most motorcycles.
What you need to service your BMW R 1200 S
The manual and parts diagrams recommend the following fluids and consumables for your BMW R 1200 S.
|Part||BMW R 1200 S spec|
|Diagnostic tool||If you want to run your own diagnostics, get the well-regarded GS-911 tool as well as the GS-911 adaptor cable. They’re $400 but worth it to save dealer service costs. The WiFi model can be used with any device (not just windows) and so is more future-proof.|
|Engine oil||The manual recommends 20W-50 engine oil, e.g. Mobil 1 20W-50.|
|Oil filter||The part number for the oil filter is 11 42 7 673 541. You can also use an HF164.|
|Air filter||The part number for the air filter is 13 71 7 672 552. You can also use a K&N BM-1204.|
|Spark plug||The manual recommends an NGK DCPR8EKC spark plug for the primary, and a Bosch YR5LDE spark plug, which is actually equivalent to the NGK so you can use the same plug for both.|
|Alternator belt||BMW part 11 31 8 528 385. Replace these on schedule or if it snaps one day you’ll be very annoyed!|
|Brake fluid||Use BMW DOT 4 brake fluid.|
|Gearbox oil||Use 75W-140 Gear Oil.|
|Final drive fluid||Use Castrol 75W-90 gear oil for the final drive.|
Maintenance Schedule for the BMW R 1200 S
Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1200 S.
This maintenance schedule is presented in a different format in the manuals and various references. It’s consolidated into one table below for your convenience. The “Dealer” items are at the bottom because not everyone has a BMW diagnostic system.
Notes on the schedule
- The original schedule is in KM in most markets; miles are added for convenience for US and UK riders.
- Some of the items have to be done every 10000 km (e.g. change the oil, or checking the valve clearances), and some less frequently (e.g. change gearbox oil or alternator belt)
- The maintenance schedule for many items follows a “per x years” or “x distance” schedule. Follow whichever comes first (e.g. if you have the bike for a year and don’t put 10000 km on it, change the oil anyway)
- At the end of the indicated schedule, continue following it in the pattern shown.
- The break-in schedule is omitted as these bikes are now all broken-in.
|Change engine oil (Mobil 1 20W-50)||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Change oil filter (HF164)||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Change gearbox oil (75W-140 Gear Oil)||X||2 years|
|Change final drive oil*||X||X||X||2 years|
|Adjust valve clearance||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Replace spark plugs (2 x DCPR8EKC, 2 x YR5LDE)||X|
|Replace air filter element (BM-1204)||X||X||X|
|Replace generator belt (11 31 8 528 385)||X||6 years|
|Visually inspect hydraulic clutch system||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Check front and rear brake discs for wear||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Check front and rear brake pads for wear||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Check brake fluid level, front and rear||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Change brake fluid, front and rear (BMW DOT 4)||2 years|
|Check freedom of movement of throttle cable and check for kinks and chafing||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Check tyre pressures and tread depth||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Check ease of movement of side and center stand||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Check lights and signal equipment||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Function test, engine start suppression||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Check throttle body synchronisation||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Check battery charge state||X||X||X||Year|
|Test ride as final inspection and function check||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Read fault memory with BMW Motorrad diagnostic system||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Perform bleed (brake) test with the BMW Motorrad diagnostic system||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
|Confirm BMW Annual Service in on-board documentation||X||X||X||X||X||X||Year|
* The recommendation to change final drive oil isn’t in the manual or RSD, but many dealers recommend it. Later motorcycle manuals, e.g. for the BMW R 1200 R, recommend changing final drive oil regularly.
The BMW R 1200 S has the following tyre sizes pressures, front and rear.
The R 1200 S came with optional equipment wide tyres, but the recommended tyre pressures are the same.
|Wheel||Tyre (Tire) size||Tyre (Tire) pressure (cold)|
|Front||120/70-17||2.2 bar / 32 psi, rider only|
2.5 bar / 36 psi, two-up
|2.5 bar / 36 psi, rider only|
2.9 bar / 42 psi, two-up
About the BMW R 1200 S
The BMW R 1200 S is a now classic motorcycle, well loved by a tight-knit community of people who love the S for its uniqueness.
But even though it’s “unique”, the BMW R 1200 S is truly a great bike, worthy of attention.
Firstly, it’s one of the very few sportbikes with a boxer engine. The clip-ons are low, the power is decent, and the suspension is taut — this is a bike that’s meant to really be enjoyed!
Of course, fans of the R 1200 S will be aware that the R bike shares an aesthetic with the BMW HP2 Sport, which also pioneered the twin cam engine.
In later years, BMW tried (in part) to re-create this mystique with the BMW R nineT Racer. Despite some aesthetic similarities, it never took off.
Secondly, the BMW R 1200 S has really good handling, even in base form with no fancy suspension.
The front is a telelever setup that has no adjustability. But despite this (or really, because of this), the BMW R 1200 S handles incredibly well in corners, with minimal dive but also a very comfortable rive.
The R 1200 S’ relatively svelte wet weight of 213 kg DIN unladen certainly helps with this. While not in superbike territory, it’s under 500 lbs, which leads to easy handling.
Thirdly, the R 1200 S has unique styling. The days of under-seat exhausts are, sadly, long gone… yes, they made the seat hot, and yes, they added weight. But they look cool!
Fourthly, the R 1200 S has a beautiful instrument cluster. With big white-faced dials, it’s like looking at the cockpit of a fighter plane. There’s a digital component too with useful information like range when you’re running low on fuel. (Some models have a full fuel gauge.)
Finally, the R 1200 S is also of an era of simple motorcycles. No ride-aids — though some models did come with ABS. But definitely no traction control, and much less cornering ABS.
The BMW R 1200 S’ engine is classic BMW. It has character, but not the lopey beat of a Harley-Davidson. It has growl, but not the aggressive roar of a Ducati. It has the gentle and yet eager characteristics of an engine that make the BMW R 1200 S feel like a genteel sport bike.
The BMW R 1200 S is also surprisingly comfortable. It’s not too narrow, and the clip-on handlebars aren’t too low. If you’re OK with leaning forwards, then you’ll find that you can ride the R – S all day — as in fact many a rider has.
Reference — Manual for the BMW R 1200 S
The above maintenance schedule was assembled from PDFs of checklists that came from the BMW RSD which dealers use. Some reference screenshots are below.
For more modern motorcycles, you can usually get the maintenance schedule from the manual from BMW directly.