November 14, 2005 A 2006 production model BMW K 1200 S has set a world land speed record in the 1000 - 1350 cc stock, partially streamlined, naturally aspirated motorcycle class at Utah's famed Bonneville Salt Flats. The motorcycle, piloted by 56-year-old Andy Sills, of San Francisco, CA, reached an average speed of 173.57 mph and top speed of 176.789 mph after two runs on the vast, white plains, where hundreds of land speed records have been set and broken since the early 1900s in a variety of automobile and motorcycle classes. The BMW is not the fastest production motorcycle in the world though – the soon-to-be-released 1400cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 will be the most powerful and the fastest production motorcycle in history when it hits showrooms in the next few months. Just for the records, the most powerful roadgoing motorycle in the world is without a shadow of doubt this 700bhp Hayabusa, and the fast motorcycle speeding ticket ever registered is 205mph by a Honda RC51.
"It was a rare opportunity for me and BMW," commented Sills, an avid BMW enthusiast, who, collectively, has amassed more than 300,000 miles on four BMW motorcycles within the last seven years. Sills went on to say, "The best part is that our record on the stock BMW K 1200 S matched to the mile, the historic last record run of 173.68 mph by Ernst Henne on a specially equipped streamlined BMW! He must have been watching over us."
Sills, who began making his mark on the Bonneville Salt Flats four years ago and who holds the world 80cc and 100cc motorcycle streamliner records, also clocked a record speed of 169 mph, riding the K 1200 S two-up with passenger Erin Hunter. The pair received a standing ovation from a cheering crowd of fellow competitors as they made their way into the pits.
The records, which were ratified on October 25, 2005, were set September 8, 2005 according to rules set forth by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the century-old, Swiss-based governing body for five motorcycling disciplines (road racing, motocross, trial, enduro and track racing).
Another record at Bonneville was achieved by Brian Parriott and San Jose BMW, fielding the BMW K 1200 R Power Cup bike, setting an AMA speed record for unstreamlined motorcycles in the 1300cc class at an average of 164.480 mph and top speed of 167.331mph. San Jose BMW is also no stranger to Bonneville, having previously set the 1000cc world record with their infamous R 100 "Wrecking Ball".
The new BMW K 1200 S is the most powerful motorcycle ever produced by BMW Motorrad. A 167 horsepower engine delivers performance of 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Yet, its unbridled engine power is effortlessly controlled by a newly designed six-speed gearbox and an all-new front suspension system, called the Duolever - another first-ever innovation found on the K 1200 S, delivering comfort, nimble control and an unprecedented capability for speed. The BMW K 1200 S has been available for sale through authorized BMW Motorrad retailers as of May of this year.
Record setting speeds were set in mph, and thus have not been converted to km/h.