The German manufacturer has long ridden in the segment of adventure motorcycles, so long in fact they remember when the segment was referred to as ‘enduro’. A further look at history shows its label of ‘GS’ has been used for more than 35 years referencing what BMW Motorrad considers as ‘the ideal combination of touring and long distance suitability, dynamic performance and off-road capability’.
‘They are the perfect companions in extreme conditions when it comes to exploring the most remote corners of the earth,’ notes BMW with the most humble of statements.
What is true, the unique overall concept of the R 1200 GS with its down-to-earth character and powerful high-torque engine thrills a large number of motorcycle fans all over the world. At its launch in 2004, the R1200GS was 66 lb lighter than the R1150GS it replaced, and produced 100 bhp (75 kW), an increase of 19%. It is not for nothing that this motorcycle has dominated its market segment for many years and is the top-seller within the BMW Motorrad model range.
With the new R 1200 GS, BMW Motorrad expands the GS portfolio not only in the form of additional product optimizations but also by means of further potential broadening of the motorcycle’s properties. For the first time, customers can give a BMW GS a more marked touch of enduro or distinguished style to suit its preferred area of use by ordering the style packages Rallye and Exclusive.
Designed for even greater versatility than before, it taps into a previously unknown breadth of properties, ranging from dynamic performance to comfort and off-road suitability. This comes from selective improvements, numerous new features and not least a much-expanded program of optional equipment and optional accessories.
Staying with its air/liquid-cooled boxer, an output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7 750 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6 500 rpm, the new R 1200 GS now has an altered catalytic converter and a new data status for the engine management to meet the latest EU4 requirements. Model year 2017 already saw the addition of a judder damper on the transmission output shaft and a revision of the selector drum actuator and transmission shafts.
For individual adaptation to rider preferences, the new R 1200 GS offers the two riding modes ‘Rain’ and ‘Road’ as standard in conjunction with Automatic Stability Control ASC for optimum traction. Riders who need more choices can opt for optional equipment item ex works, fitting the new R 1200 GS with ‘Riding Modes Pro’ featuring the additional riding modes ‘Dynamic’ and ‘Dynamic Pro’, ‘Enduro’ and ‘Enduro Pro’ as well Dynamic Traction Control DTC, which enables even more efficient and safe acceleration especially in banking position.
The riding modes ‘Dynamic Pro’ and ‘Enduro Pro’, activated by means of a coded plug, also offer customization options which allow the character of the motorcycle to be adapted. Other elements of ‘Riding Modes Pro’ are the new set-off assistant Hill Start Control for convenient hill starts, ABS Pro for even greater safety when braking, even in banking position, and the dynamic brake light which is even more effective in drawing attention to the fact that the motorcycle is braking.
A whole new dimension of riding safety, performance and comfort is harnessed with the optional BMW Motorrad Dynamic ‘Next Generation’ Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA). With this, the damping automatically adapts to the situation depending on riding condition and maneuvers as well as featuring automatic self-levelling function to compensate all load states.
Different flavors of adventure
The new R 1200 GS promises even more ergonomics options with numerous seat heights and seat variants available. There are more noticeable differences between the model variations when compared to the basic version, from the refined R 1200 GS Exclusive through to the R 1200 GS Rallye for riders with off-road aspirations.
The Rallye package available ex works allows the new R 1200 GS to be optimized for more ambitious off-road use. Off-road performance is significantly increased due to an increased spring rate which offer harder suspension, longer spring struts and extended spring travel.
Other highlights of the R 1200 GS Rallye include a unique seat, sports windshield, radiator and frame guard, wide enduro footrests and cross-spoke wheels as well as a professional sports suspension and optional studded tires.
While the underlying design architecture of the R 1200 GS has been preserved in the new version, optimized ergonomics in the knee area ensure further improved off-road qualities, while more pointed contrasts, new paint finishes and the two optional equipment packages Rallye and Exclusive emphasize the distinctive talents of the R 1200 GS in its differing forms.
Details have been optimized on the front mudguard and at the center of the front wheel cover, while small slipstream deflectors known as winglets add a touch of aerodynamic perfection. The trim of the air intake and the side fuel tank trim panels have been newly designed, too. New styling has now also been applied to the cooling air ducts and radiator trim elements, which either feature a galvanized surface or are made of stainless steel on the Rallye and Exclusive models.
Arriving with the 2017 models are new optional accessories such as cylinder protection bracket, topcase for two helmets and off-road protection parts as well as radiator guard and frame guard.
The paintwork in Lupine Blue metallic, the over-painted deco elements on the fuel tank sides in BMW Motorsport colors and the frame in Cordoba Blue go together with the black drivetrain to create the sportiest series production GS of all time.
The sheer presence of the R 1200 GS Exclusive is underscored by means of fuel tank side trim panels in Monolith metallic matt with clear over-painted deco elements, a front wheel splash guard and central fuel tank cover in Iced Chocolate metallic and a frame finished in Agate Grey metallic matt. The black drivetrain and the gold-finished brake calipers lend a refined contrast here.