BMW R1200C, Why wasn't it replaced?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Josephvman, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    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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  2. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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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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  3. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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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. :hide
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  4. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

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    There's that, too. I was trying to be nice for a change. :poser
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  5. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF

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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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  6. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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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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  7. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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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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  8. dduelin

    dduelin Amazing grace how sweet the sound....

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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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  9. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

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    It wasn't that bad!

    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Retro

    Retro Just the Facts Ma'am Super Moderator

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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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  11. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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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 :lol3

    But on the other hand by not entering the cruiser market they lose some fair share from their sales (mostly in the US).
    #11
  12. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    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.

    :nod
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  13. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    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.:deal
    #13
  14. dduelin

    dduelin Amazing grace how sweet the sound....

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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".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtQcmBE8xtE
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  15. Josephvman

    Josephvman I'm the Decider

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    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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  16. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    But I want to call it ugly....:puke2



    :lol3
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  17. R1200JimC

    R1200JimC Adventurer

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    My first bike was a 1200c, and I still think its an incredibly beautiful piece of mechanical design. Of course the Harley guys hate it because it doesn't look like a proper Harley, and the BMW guys hate it because it doesn't look appropriately teutonic, but I love it.

    Its not a speed machine at all, but the torque is great, and its a comfortable, easy bike to manage.

    I still have mine, and if you like what it is, its also a great bargain these days.
    #17
  18. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    It would be very interesting to find out what caused that upward blip in sales for this machine. I'm sure the Bond movie had an effect.
    The reasons for not building a replacement for this machine, obviously BMW has done research, and realize that it would not sell. Clearly, this is one of the most polarizing bikes ever made visually, a few "get it", but the vast majority "don't get it".
    I personally find it one of the ugliest machines ever made by any motorcycle company, almost comical. But there are machines today, right now, that are just as stupid looking, and there are people on this thread who continue buying these silly looking contraptions, so hey, for those hoping for a replacement of this machine, your wishes may come true. People will buy the stupidest looking things, and spend dumb amounts of money, just because of a brand name!
    Steve
    #18
  19. Roketman

    Roketman Adventurer

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    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I really see nothing ugly at all about my bike. Nobody twisted my arm to buy it. Its comfortable, enjoyable, has plenty enough power for me, allows me to cruise in style, rather than on a cookie-cutter-looks-like-everyone-else's-type bike, and is a great conversation piece for meeting new friends from all walks of life.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
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  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Sorry Joseph, this is the reality:

    Not much different today!

    While some may hate the R1200 series, I liked them OK. Not my kind of bike, but they had a unique look that apealed to me!

    Jim :brow
    #20