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What does BMW’s new R 12 and R 12 S trademark mean?

BMW recently acquired the R 12 name and an accompanying R 12 S trademark which could mean more than just another cruiser is on the way.

BMW R 18

BMW Motorrad has recently secured the trademarks for R 12 and R 12 S which makes us wonder what this means for the brand’s lineup going forward. 

As you may be aware, the R 18’s a huge bike, so much so that there are quite a number of riders that are adamant to swing a leg over it. 1,800ccs is pretty huge and quite a handful to wrestle with so it came as a delightful surprise to us when BMW trademarked the “R 12” name. It’s very likely that the German brand could make a smaller-capacity cruiser to go with the R 18, but a recent trademark filing has got us a little perplexed and second-guessing. 

Speculations are split as to what this means given the new filing for the “R 12 S” name. Historically, the “S” in the name stood for sport, which could mean fairings, and which could mean clip-ons. Again, “could,” so nothing’s set in stone. If the R 12 won’t be a cruiser given that there will be an S model, speculations suggest that it will be a replacement for the R NineT, whose name is simply a play on the 90th anniversary of BMW, the year that the bike was launched back in 2013. 

While it could be a stretch to say that the R 12 is going to be a standard retro cafe bike or even a scrambler, it’s not impossible. Given the etymology of the R NineT name, it’s likely that BMW will just go and call the lineup an R 12. After all, Motorrad is entering its 100th year in 2023. 

Meanwhile, Cycle World threw its hat in the ring and speculated that an R 12 cruiser is indeed coming and that the S won’t necessarily mean “sport.” It could be that a snazzier version of the 1,200cc capacity cruiser is similar to what other manufacturers do like Ducati with its use of the letter ‘S.’ 

Whatever the case, only BMW knows at this point which is to say that nobody’s guess at this point is wrong nor is it right. One thing’s for sure, however, keep BMW on your radar for next year as they could launch a new model that’ll probably make R NineT and R 18 owners drooling. 

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