Montauk is new to BMW R Series 'cycle line

April 03, 2004|by ARV VOSS/Motor Matters

The first motorcycle built by BMW over 80 years ago was of the company's own design, featuring an air-cooled opposed-twin cylinder or "Boxer" motor. The concept remains a strong influence in today's two-wheeled BMW lineup. A new model graces the R Series stable for 2004 - the R 1200 C Montauk.

My 2004 BMW R 1200 C Montauk test bike was finished in Champagne metallic with aluminum- and silver-painted components, accented by generous doses of chrome. Only three colors are available and all are metallic - Champagne, Sapphire Black and Arctic Blue. Base price is $14,990 with destination and handling bringing the final total to $15,475. My bike featured no options and came standard with the full integral ABS, heated hand grips and hazard warning flasher.

The R Series Montauk is a stunning machine in terms of its high-tech appearance. It is a cruiser to be sure, but makes no attempt to emulate the legendary Harley-Davidson cruiser genre.


Power for the Montauk is generated by an 1170cc Twin Boxer, air-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection and Two Spark per cylinder ignition system, which is standard across the entire R Series model line. The new ignition system provides better throttle response along with reduced emissions. Exhaust exits through a dual side setup with mufflers that are shy of the bike's full length. The motor couples to a sequential, five-speed manual transmission, with a 1:1.889 primary drive and final drive via an enclosed driveshaft with dual universal joints.

The front suspension consists of large, wide BMW Telelever fork tubes to soak up the road and smooth out the ride. A new windscreen rises above the vertically stacked dual headlamp arrangement which allows one to savor the ride without heavy wind buffeting or unwanted bug consumption.

The composite front fender is smooth and clean, with no trim to clutter its simplistic look, while the metal rear fender neatly encases the large rear wheel and tire. The one-piece step-up saddle for two is both large and comfortable. Saddle bags are not standard equipment, but it would be a shame to cover the unique left side, floating rear wheel look generated by the BMW Monolever rear suspension and drive system. There are no road or

"crash" bars provided for rider, passenger or engine protection, and foot-pegs are offered for both rider and passenger rather than the floorboards found on most other cruisers.

Reining the R 1200 C Montauk cruiser to a halt is a piece of cake with dual disc brakes up front as part of the full integral BMW EVO ABS system. There is a partial integral system on some other R Series bikes. The Full system's automatic brake fore distribution is activated by either the hand lever or foot pedal, whereas, with the Partial system, the lever activates front and rear brakes, while the pedal operates only the rear brake.

SUMMARY: The Montauk is essentially a custom variation of the R 1200 C cruiser, with a wider stance and handle bars. The bike is light and well balanced, responding easily to directional input. The seating position is comfortably upright with a 31.1-inch seat height - more than 4 inches higher than the majority of the competition. The clutch is a dry, single-plate affair, featuring hydraulic actuation so it requires less force to operate.

The fuel tank holds 4.5 gallons, which includes a one-gallon reserve and features a locking flip-up filler cap with a chrome surround, offset to the right side of the tank. The instrument cluster features a speedometer, tachometer and clock with additional warning lamps and readouts.

The Montauk introduces BMW's Travel Related Damping - a new-technology single shock that serves up a cushioned ride quality without a tendency to bottom out on rough surfaces or with the added weight when riding two up.

Torque is in abundance with the Montauk - enough to rock the bike when revving while stopped. Engine width is reduced through the use of modern, four-valve heads and lightweight valve gear. The cylinder heads still protrude enough to limit leaning to more modest angles. With the retirement of the R1150 GS Sport and the R 1200 C Montana from the R Series lineup for '04, the Montauk makes for a most welcome addition.


BMW R1200C Montauk

Base Price: $14,990.

Price as Tested: $15,475.

Engine Type and Size: 1170cc air-cooled Boxer-Twin-cylinder with electronic fuel injection and dual side exhaust.

Torque (ft./lbs.): 86 at 3,500 rpm

Transmission: Five-speed sequential manual.

Drive Train: Primary drive 1:1.889/Final drive - enclosed driveshaft with two universal joints.

Suspension: Front - BMW Telever twin fork tubes. Rear - BMW Monolever.

Brakes: BMW EVO with full integral ABS - 12.0 inch dual disc with dual floating rotors and two, four-piston fixed calipers front and 11.2 single fixed rotor rear.

Tires: Metzler Marathon - 150/80x16 tubeless front, 170/80x15 tubeless rear mounted on 3.50-by-16 front and 4.0-cy-15 cast, five-double-swirl-spoke alloy wheels front and rear respectively.

Wheelbase: 64.6 inches

Length Overall: 93.6 inches

Steering angle: 56.5 degrees

Curb Weight dry: 540 lbs. (584 lbs. wet)

Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons

Seat height: 31.1 inches

0-60 mph: Not tested

© Motor Matters, 2004

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