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Old 07-27-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
Josephvman OP
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BMW R1200C, Why wasn't it replaced?

When BMW made this bike it was a great seller in the U.S., second only to the GS models (at least for the first few years). It was actually quite a nice bike to ride for a cruiser (I'm not a cruiser guy) and the guys who own them seem to really love them. It seems to me that BMW never really made much of an effort to develop the bike as it aged, and it was always a little underpowered IMO. So why do you think BMW basically gave up on the cruiser market? It's the biggest segment in the U.S., and a relatively small company like BMW Motorcycles only needs to steal a small percentage of the overall pie to move a lot of their bikes.

I think an updated cruiser with the hexhead GS motor would make a lot of sense for BMW.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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Personally I think almost everyone that saw it said "that's just wrong" in their heads.

The cruiser riders think the whole BMW thing is weird. They don't get the marque, usually.

The non-cruiser non-BMW riders don't get the C because they don't get cruisers, and they also don't get the Boxer engine.

The BMW riders wonder why they'd want a cruiser in the first place.

It really seemed to answer a question very few people asked, I think.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #3
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I like BMW's so don't get me wrong when I say they should stay out of the cruiser market. Cuz the C was butt ugly.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:00 PM   #4
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There's that, too. I was trying to be nice for a change.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
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I think BMW missed their niche with the R1200C. If it had a little less chrome & ape hangers and resembled a standard (like a HD Sportster R) it might have done very well. Plenty of Bonnies and Sportsters sold. I like the Boxer and Monolever in a do it all bike.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:05 AM   #6
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They were as big as they could go on displacement. It was the first 1200 twin in BMW's line up. To be competitive in the US market where displacement is a huge selling point they would have had to price the bike much lower or make it have more displacement and horsepower. It would have to sell for the same if not lower than a 1200 Sportster. IIRC it was priced like a Softail. They were smart to pull it when they did.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:15 AM   #7
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All of the stuff you guys have posted might be true, but in spite of that it was still one of their best-selling bikes in the U.S. It doesn't make much sense to abandon the cruiser market completely while building three different narrowly-focused single-cylinder models that are nearly $10k each.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:32 AM   #8
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You have to place best selling in some kind of context. BMW has about 1.2% of the US market and struggles to sell bikes in the tens of thousands over here. 1.3 tens of thousands to be exact for the last year they released figures. So a bike that sells a few thousand a year for them isn't that big of a seller if it does not sell in the UK and EC markets which the Chromeheads did not.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonny
Cuz the C was butt ugly.
It wasn't that bad!



From what I've read, it was underpowered by BMW riders standards. It was a real headturner at the time.

Hell, even James Bond couldn't help sales!


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Old 07-28-2008, 06:57 AM   #10
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Call it what you want, but it wasn't ugly.

The mondo C was sort of overdone with 4 headlights on the pod, though.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:16 AM   #11
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They released 1200cc was geting smallish for a "real" cruiser when 1500-2Litre ones came into market.

R1200C was probably the best handling cruiser in the market tho.

Recently some rumors were going on BMW is apparently working on a 2 litre boxer prototype for cruiser, but nothing much more heard about it. BMWs current typical "greenpeace" style of marketing (EfficentDyamics, diesel technologies etc), rising fuel prices and EURO regulation probably will kill this project

But on the other hand by not entering the cruiser market they lose some fair share from their sales (mostly in the US).
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR1
The cruiser riders think the whole BMW thing is weird. They don't get the marque, usually.
Surprisingly a large number of my customers (Harley) actually do get the whole BMW thing, and do own or have owned many. However, when they look to purchase a BMW they are looking for exactly that - a BMW. They want the things BMW is good at - touring and sport touring comfort and performance. When it comes to a cruiser the Harley is generally considered to be a more attractive and more desirable motorcycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SR1
It really seemed to answer a question very few people asked, I think.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro
The mondo C was sort of overdone with 4 headlights on the pod, though.
Sort of overdone? I've seen tarantulas (which the bike was trying to resemble)that were prettier.

Back on topic. The real reason they abandoned the C is because it did not vibrate enough.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:40 AM   #14
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A couple of years ago I took an MSF ERC course. One of the participants was a fellow on a Chromehead. He let it be known that he also had a R1200RT at home as well was whatever Aprilla was selling for a sport tourer several years back (Futura??). As the day progressed he had a little problem with tight turns and had a difficult time U-turning that thing around without taking 30 feet to do it. At the end of the day he came up to me and said "your Honda ST1300 looks to handle well, too bad it sounds like a food processor". I replied, "I didn't know roads in Germany were that wide".

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Old 07-28-2008, 08:56 AM   #15
Josephvman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduelin
You have to place best selling in some kind of context. BMW has about 1.2% of the US market and struggles to sell bikes in the tens of thousands over here. 1.3 tens of thousands to be exact for the last year they released figures. So a bike that sells a few thousand a year for them isn't that big of a seller if it does not sell in the UK and EC markets which the Chromeheads did not.

I did place it in a context, best-selling BMW in the U.S. market, which incidently is the biggest market in the world for virtually every car/motorcycle/luxury good manufacturer. If I'm off base then maybe someone can explain the marketing brilliance of abandoning the biggest motorcycle segment in the world's biggest market! In fact, BMW's biggest bump in sales in North America came with the introduction of bikes in two huge market segments that they had previously ignored, the cruiser and luxury tourer (R1200C and K1200LT). A few thousand sales a year, by your figures, would be nearly a third of their North American sales, enough to easily put it in the top few models in popularity.
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