If you’re in a hurry, are on paved roads riding a motorcycle, not much can beat a big sports-tourer with most manufacturers havimg one in the catalogue. But when it comes to mile munching and doing some low-level flying on the highway, the 2017 BMW Motorrad R1200 RS, priced at RM101,900 including GST, has a reputation for standing out.

While the current market taste for large displacement adventure tourers does not seem to showing any signs of dying out – the author equates this to the trend for buying SUVs that never see any surface rougher than an unsurfaced parking lot – riders should not miss out on what makes sports-touring motorcycles emphasise the word “sports”.

In the case of the R1200 RS, this bike empitomises the Blitzkreig approach to motorcycle touring, very fast, very precise and take no prisoners. Drawing on BMW’s legendary boxer engine, which boasts a lineage going back to 1921 with the introduction of the M2B15, the R1200 RS takes a formula introduced by the boys from Munich in the late 70s and early 80s and further refines the definition of sports-touring.

The main criteria for a sports-tourer, regardless of whether it is on the sports or touring side of things, is speed, and comfort. We were curious to find out if the R1200 RS would deliver on these points, as the author has fond memories of riding a K100 RS, also known as the “Flying Brick”, across both west and east Europe just over two-and-a-half decades ago.

So, BMW Motorrad were kind enough to hand us the keys to the R1200 RS, and told us to go have fun with it. What this meant was us taking the R1200 RS for a hunter-killer mission on Malaysian highways, picking off stray cars who think motorcycles have no place on the roads.

If there is something BMW Motorrad does well, it is making litre-plus motorcycles that do long-distance highway travel with aplomb, and the R1200 RS fits into this mould. In this respect, the RS, as a sports-tourer ticks all the boxes.

Coming as it does with a 1,170 cc liquid-cooled boxer engine, the RS puts out 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and 125 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. If those numbers sound familiar, it is because they are the same as the power figures from the BMW Motorrad R1200 R naked sports we reviewed just over two years ago.

Compared to the R version, which, without any sort of bodywork, weighs 231 kg ready to go, the RS comes in at 236 kg. This is something we found a little hard to believe, considering the amount of hardware the RS carries, along with the electronically adjustable suspension.

However, the RS does disguise its weight well, on the move at least. Hoisting the RS off the centre-stand, or the side-stand, requires a bit of muscle. This means a firm grip on the handlebars, and putting your shoulders into it.

The 820 mm tall saddle on the RS is wide, plush and seriously comfortable, as is the pillion accommodation according to our regular 12-year old passenger. Reaching out to the riser-mounted clip-ons with adjustable levers – that handlebar casting is a work of art – we found the handlebars to be just a touch too narrow for our shoulders.

No bar adjustability here, so, suck it up, buttercup. In any case, once we got accustomed to the RS, we didn’t notice it, and there was enough leverage in the bars for some very spirited cornering work. In terms of the ergonomics on the RS, it is clear that the seating position is designed for fast highway cruising.

With a manually-adjustable two-position windscreen, there was enough wind deflection at extra-legal speeds to keep the rider in a turbulence free bubble. In the top position, the air movement was restricted enough for the rider to feel a little hot in local weather, and switching the screen to the lowest position left the top rider’s helmet with the wind skimming over it.

Your height will vary, of course, and taller riders will have more of their body in the wind. For this 168 cm tall reviewer, the still air bubble was big enough to leave his body out of everything except the backwash when passing express buses and container lorries.

Snapping the six-speed gearbox – power is transmitted to the rear wheel with a shaft – into first, we noticed a slight stiffness to the shift, feeling like the clutch was not fully engaging. We put this down to the RS we had on review being a fleet bike, and having had a bit of a hard start in life.

We got around the problem with minimising use of the clutch except for stops, and changing gears with rev matching. If you don’t know how to do this when riding a motorcycle, we suggest you learn, it can be a life-saving skill, and could mean the difference between riding or walking home.

As we took the RS on the highway, the bike immediately felt at home in this environment, heading down the road at something way above the speed limit, and feeling nothing but planted all the way. Zipping along, the RS felt like a low-flying cruise missile, the rider sitting comfortably while the scenery and traffic flashed past.

Inside the cockpit, the instrument panel is a monochrome LCD and analogue speedometer, with the Christmas tree lights in a row above the LCD. While we found the speedometer and bar tachometer easy enough to read, the four sub-displays for the trip meter, suspension and ride mode settings and fuel range were a little hard to read, especially in direct sunlight.

Suspension on the RS is BMW Motorrad’s Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) front and rear. Adjustment is set with a button on the left handlebar pod, giving seamless setting with the use of a thumbwheel. There are several presets available, and we found the settings adequate for most riding situations.

There are also two riding modes, “Road” and “Rain”. Switching between the modes found that power delivery was a little softer in “Rain” mode, while the “Road” mode setting made the engine more responsive.

Shuffling the RS around city traffic made us aware of the bulk of the half-fairing, and while the weight was not unmanageable, the RS required the ride to be firm with control movements, especially when splitting lanes. While the RS is easy enough to ride, and not as high-strung as a full on sports bike, it will punish the careless rider.

Braking on the R1200 RS is by Brembo, pretty much de rigeur for any top-end motorcycle these days, along with ABS, and we found little to complain about in terms of performance. We did not find RS under-braked, but a good squeeze was needed at the front lever to haul the RS down from (very) high speed.

With fuel carried in an 18-litre tank, the RS gave us some 330-ish kilometers of fast highway riding before the little warning light came on. A rider with a more relaxed throttle hand will probably get something closer to the 380 km mark and as always, your mileage will vary.

Other mod cons in the R1200 RS include a 12-volt power socket, height-adjustable low-beam headlight, DRL (we liked the look of this one), keyless start and LED lighting all-round. The passenger grab rails are chunky cast-aluminium items, and the RS comes ready to accept Motorrad luggage.

So, who needs a BMW Motorrad R1200 RS, priced at RM101,900? In this segment, competition comes from the KTM Super Duke GT, priced at RM125,080, but coming standard with luggage and absolutely bonkers power delivery. There is also the Kawasaki 1400 GTR at RM106,800, and the ZX-14R HG ABS at RM127,689 but being four-cylinder machines, are in a slightly different class.

There is also the Ducati Supersport S at RM88,899, though it only displaces 937 cc and is rather more on the sporty side of things. Another option is the Ducati Multistrada 1200 at RM125,999, but as an adventure styled machine, more properly goes against the base BMW Motorrad R1200 GS at RM116,900.

For the rider who wants a fast, capable, comfortable sports-tourer, the BMW Motorrad R1200 RS makes a sensible choice, coming as it does with its electronic suspension and other riding aids, along with that wide seat. We liked the R1200 RS for its capability and versatility, and at its just above the RM100k price point, is commensurate value for money.