A Closer Look At BMW's R 1200 GS Adventure

For ten years, BMW Motorrad’s R 1200 GS Adventure has given motorcycle enthusiasts the opportunity to choose their own road and the model appears to be getting better with age.

In the fast-moving world of motorcycle designs and two-wheeled trends, ten years may seem long but when one realizes the heart of this bike goes back more than three decades, the lineage of BMW Motorrad’s R 1200 GS Adventure is truly established. Using the German motorcycle manufacturer’s large, boxer-engine, the GS model extends back over more than 30 years.

Since its debut in 2005, BMW Motorrad, considered the world’s most successful manufacturer of large-capacity travel enduros, has firmly established the big GS Adventure as the definitive machine for long-distance travel. This is seen in the model being mentioned in financial reporting by the motorcycle manufacturer as a reason for its success and as one of the company’s better selling models.

Building on the dynamic performance characteristics and excellent off-road and touring capabilities of the R 1200 GS, the Adventure model promises the ultimate solution for globetrotters, travel enduro aficionados and touring riders with a passion for off-road action.

So what makes up this two-wheeled beast?


The R 1200 GS Adventure is powered by the same spirited air/liquid-cooled boxer engine featured on the R 1200 GS, with a displacement of 1,170 cc and an output of 125 hp at 7,750 rpm. BMW engineers note, the stand-out feature of the power unit is the precision cooling system which uses water instead of oil as a cooling agent. Making the power output more efficient is the engine’s through-flow, which is vertical, as well as the six-speed gearbox that is integrated into the engine housing along with the wet clutch.

The performance of this endure is furthered with an electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system. While speed isn’t necessarily what a rider looks for in this style of motorcycle, the R 1200 GS Adventure clocks in with a top speed of 125 mph.

With the aim of further improving the rideability of the R 1200 GS Adventure, especially on off-road terrain, the drive’s flywheel mass has been increased by around 950 grams and an extra vibration damper has been incorporated into the powertrain.

The Adventure is built around a robust and torsionally resistant tubular steel spaceframe. It has a large 7.9 gallon tank to allow for an increased range, with the fuel tank itself is now made from lightweight aluminum. The R 1200 GS Adventure already comes equipped as standard with ABS, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), as well as the two riding modes “Rain” and “Road”, which enable the riding characteristics to be adapted to most road conditions.

BMW included these design features to not only enhance the range of use of the 1200 GS Adventure considerably but also provide a significant safety boost on slippery surfaces in particular.

As is the case with the modern motorcycle, an abundance of riding modes are available. In the case of the 1200 GS Adventure, three further riding modes can be added by ordering the optional Riding mode Pro feature, which is accompanied by the Enduro ABS and Enduro ASC add-ons for off-road riding.

The three extra riding modes Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro, which are activated with a coding plug, make it possible to adjust the settings of both ASC and ABS. For riders who have the semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) fitted the ride can further be changed to suit the specific requirements of off-road operation.

Although it features a masculine flair, this enduro motorcycle is more than just looks, its chassis set-up features a further 20 millimeters of spring travel, increased ground clearance and a trailing arm with modified geometry for even better handling. A larger windshield with convenient hand-wheel adjustment, additional air flaps as well as hand protectors greatly increase wind and weather protection.

Although the R 1200 GS Adventure comes with tilt-adjustable bench seat and a height of 35”, this can be changed from as low as 31.1" to 35.8" through additional accessories.

All this brings the motorcycle in at 573 lbs.


For riders looking for the latest and greatest with their of road adventure, the latest model features ABS Pro and dynamic brake light as a special equipment feature. It should be noted, the dynamic brake light is only available in EU markets.

Speaking of appearance, BMW Motorrad celebrated the 2016 model with new colors. The lasted offraod fashions are Racing red non-metallic matt and Ocean blue metallic matt. Light white non-metallic replaces the existing paint finish Alpine white 3 non-metallic and the paint finishes Olive non-metallic matt and Racing blue metallic matt are no longer available.

Obviously olive is so yesterday’s trails.

If the number of accessories available for a model are any indication of corporate love, BMW Motorrad have fallen heads over heels for the R 1200 GS Adventure. The list of accessories take up more screen space than the motorcycle itself of BMW’s website.

Aside from the various lines of motorcycle luggage, HP sports silencer by Akrapovič is available offering throaty sound and sporty looks. Windshields, wind deflectors, heated hand grips, footrests, seats, engine and headlight guards as well as an array of electronics are all available for this enduro.

The latest nod to the quality of effort BMW Motorrad have invested into this motorcycle can be seen in the latest accessory, the BMW GS Survival Tool. This special new tool for the BMW GS models R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure which even enables complex repairs and replication of spare parts out in the field. The BMW GS Survival Tool is forged from high-quality chrome molybdenum steel and mechanically processed. As a weight-saving measure, however, the shaft is made of aluminum and plastic.

Even though the R 1200 GS Adventure rides off the showroom floor as an incredibly versatile machine, the list of accessories allows riders to customize the ride to suit their needs, preferences and more importantly, trails.

Speaking of riding off the showroom floor, riders should expect the price to start at the MRSP of $22,045. The price again shows that those who say you can’t put a price on freedom have never bought a motorcycle.

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