BMW’s Heritage model lineup occupied by the R nineT and R18 series of motorcycles is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the entire retro segment. There’s just something about these bikes that sets them apart from the rest of BMW’s performance-oriented model range that appeals to a more fashionable, laid back audience. It’s no surprise, really, that BMW looks to capitalize on the neo-retro segment even more.
We do know that cruisers have a special place in BMW’s heart. A lot of its earlier models were indeed cruisers, and have gone on to inspire the styling of the likes of the R18 and R nineT. This time around, we could soon be seeing another cruiser from the Bavarian brand in the form of the R12. Rumors about a smaller displacement R18, a bike which some people found simply too large, have been floating around ever since the 1,800cc boxer debuted. It seems these rumors could soon be coming true.
The R12 name was recently registered by BMW in the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Germany. Filed on December 17, the European intellectual property office accepted the application on February 17. Come June 2022, BMW will have the right to use the moniker any which way it pleases until 2031, at such time it will be subject to renewal and extension. Granted, we’ve seen companies file trademarks and patents and eventually never end up using them. Nonetheless, it’s fun to speculate, so let’s do just that.
Should a BMW R12 cruiser become a reality, what could it be? Well, Italian motorcycling publication Moto.IT paints an interesting picture. It notes BMW’s debut in the cruiser world back in 1997 with the extremely polarizing R1200C. Given that this is the only cruiser in modern BMW history to sport a close-to-1,200cc engine, chances are we’ll be seeing the 1,170cc boxer make a reappearance in the upcoming R12. Of course, this punchy motor, capable of delivering 109 ponies back will surely be tweaked to conform with Euro 5 standards.
The R12, should it become a reality, will certainly sit between the R nineT roadsters and the R18 heavyweight cruiser. As such, perhaps it’ll be a more neutral cruiser with lower bars and mid controls. Perhaps a more cruiser-y R nineT? Just like the R nineT, it will surely have an air-cooled engine to keep the aesthetic clean and polished. Style-wise, we can expect the engine to take center stage, with minimal bodywork, sleek lines, and premium components all on display. That said, until such time BMW reveals the concept renderings of this bike, the sky’s the limit as to exactly what it could be.