Twenty-five years ago the launch of the BMW R80 G/S established a new category in motorcycling – the large capacity enduro machine. After numerous Paris-Dakar victories and hundreds of thousands of customer deliveries later, the GS range has become BMW Motorrad’s greatest success story.
BMW’s new philosophy of producing lighter, faster, more dynamic machines was first realised with the launch of the new generation R1200 GS in March 2004. It is now BMW’s best selling model worldwide and its GS credibility has resulted in many new riders being attracted to the brand.
Despite the R1150 GS Adventure remaining largely unchanged since its launch in 2002, sales have remained particularly healthy due to its cult status as the ultimate long distance enduro machine. This has undoubtedly helped BMW Motorrad retain its dominance in the Adventure Sport category.
The R1150 GS Adventure’s reputation as the machine of choice for long distance travel has seen it used by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for their Long Way Round odyssey. Global endurance riding specialists Kevin and Julia Sanders set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest Trans Americas crossing by riding a GS Adventure. They have since recreated this journey with 12 other riders, all on R1150 GS Adventures, albeit at a slower pace!
Among many other long distance journeys made possible by the durability of a R1150 GS Adventure is the fundraising ride undertaken by seven members of The White Nights Ride Team (all on GS Adventures) who rode from Vladivostok to St Petersburg to raise $1million for charity. A fleet of R1150 GS Adventures are also used as instructors’ bikes at BMW’s award-winning Off-Road Skills courses in south Wales.
Despite the 1150’s status as the ultimate travel enduro, BMW Motorrad’s designers and engineers have not been content to rest on their laurels. The overall aim for the R1200 GS Adventure has been for less weight, more power and increased off-road ability. In fact, with the introduction of the R1200 GS Adventure, BMW has delivered much, much more.
Some of the highlights of the new model are that it has 15 per cent more power than its predecessor and 17 per cent more torque. It is lighter, has a larger fuel tank and a potential range of up to 450 miles. The larger screen provides better protection from wind and weather, and there is longer spring travel to give even more off-road ability. To perfectly suit individual riders, many of the components can be adjusted and tailored, such as the seat, handlebars, footrests, gearshift, brake and clutch levers.
Like its predecessor, the new R1200 GS Adventure aims to be the definitive bike for serious long-distance on and off-road riding. Although BMW Motorrad expects many riders to trade up from the outgoing 1150cc model, it believes that the majority of purchasers will be new to the brand, attracted by the extra potential offered by a motorcycle of this type, as well as the credibility that comes with GS ownership.
The UK market launch of the R1200 GS Adventure is in Spring 2006. At this time, demonstrator machines will be available at every BMW Motorrad dealership. Initial production will feature a choice of Alpine White non-metallic with black and red seat; or White Aluminium matt Metallic, with a black and grey seat. The on the road price for this model will be confirmed shortly.
Technical features and highlights
BMW Motorrad is proudly presenting the latest version of the ultimate long-distance enduro for serious globetrotters and adventurers. Apart from its dedicated combination of dynamic performance, touring and off-road capability, the new R 1200 GS Adventure offers additional off-road qualities and an even higher standard of long distance riding comfort – straight from the factory.
Compared with its predecessor (the R 1150 GS Adventure) the new 1200cc model enters the market with numerous improvements and a far greater range of standard equipment. The R 1200 GS, on which the new Adventure is based, naturally remains in production.
Many features previously available only as special equipment or accessories now come as standard on the R 1200 GS Adventure. These include a robust 33-litre (7.3 gal) fuel tank, a new screen for better protection from wind and weather, an adjustable seat, engine protection bars, and extra-wide rider footrests with adjustable gearshift and brake levers.
Because the new Adventure is based on the R 1200 GS, the rider also benefits from significantly more power and torque from BMW Motorrad’s latest generation boxer engine. Maximum output is 74kW/100 hp at 7,000 rpm, and peak torque is 115Nm/85 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm.
The use of lighter materials in the engine and transmission, as well as a lighter frame, suspension components and wheels, means that the new R 1200 GS Adventure (despite a wider range of equipment) weighs no more than the previous version.
In addition, a new six-speed gearbox, the most recent Paralever and Telelever technology, new digital instrumentation, and an on-board network with CAN bus technology represent a significant development when compared with its predecessor, the R 1150 GS Adventure.
High-quality materials and surfaces, such as stainless steel and aluminium, ensure a unique touch of high-tech and functional elegance. Depending on personal preference, the customer can choose from two entirely different colour schemes.
To reflect its wide ranging capabilities the new R 1200 GS Adventure has an equally wide range of special equipment and accessories. Features available from the factory include BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (semi-integral on-demand operation), special off-road tyres, additional headlights, and an on-board computer. In addition to the above features – and available straight off the production line – BMW motorcycle dealerships are able to supply a new range of aluminium cases, a BMW Motorrad Navigator GPS system, and numerous practical accessories for personalisation.
The most important highlights of the new R 1200 GS Adventure versus the standard R 1200 GS.
• 33-litre (7.3 imp gal) fuel tank.
• Larger windscreen.
• Tank, engine and valve cover protectors.
• Stainless steel luggage rack.
• Adjustable seat with off-road ergonomics.
• Adjustable aluminium handlebar with hand protectors.
• Longer spring travel for superior off-road qualities.
• Cross-spoke wheels.
• Extra-wide rider footrests, adjustable gearshift and brake levers.
• High-performance 720W alternator.
Significant technical highlights of the new R 1200 GS Adventure versus the R1150 GS Adventure.
• Substantial reduction in weight.
• Significant increase in output (an extra 15 per cent) and torque
(up by 17 per cent).
• New six-speed manual gearbox.
• New Evo-Paralever with TDD spring struts.
• New Telelever.
• New digital instruments with Info-Flatscreen.
• Onboard, single-wire network using CAN bus technology.
• Electronic immobiliser.
33-litre fuel tank – distance no object
Without doubt one of the most conspicuous and significant new features of the R 1200 GS Adventure is the large fuel tank with a capacity of 33 litres (7.3 imp gals) including approximately four litres reserve. This means that the rider benefits from an extra 13 litres (almost 3 imp gals) more than the standard GS. The increase in fuel capacity is approximately three litres more than the R1150 GS Adventure.
At a steady speed of 90 km/h or 56 mph, the R 1200 GS Adventure has a theoretical cruising range of 750 kilometres, or 465 miles. In practice, this means that the rider of the new R 1200 GS Adventure can ride further before refuelling than on any other competitor model in the same market segment.
Extra-large, adjustable windscreen
Because of its carefully conceived design the new screen diverts the flow of air smoothly past the rider with hardly any turbulence or buffeting. This effectively reduces pressure on the rider’s head and upper body, particularly at high speeds. Additional, specially designed flaps behind the screen minimise draughts in the kidney area. As the screen is also adjustable, it offers riders of all sizes excellent protection from wind and weather.
Tank, engine and valve cover protection
Stable and robust stainless steel pipes protect the fuel tank and engine from damage – whether off-road or on tarmac. At the same time, high-quality aluminium valve covers help to protect the cylinder heads.
Stainless-steel luggage rack – attractively styled and
Strong and practical fastening points and supports for a rider’s luggage
are absolutely essential for an off-roader and global traveller. The new R 1200 GS Adventure therefore comes with a large and stable luggage rack made of stainless steel to accommodate luggage such as BMW’s optional aluminium top box.
Adjustable seat – ergonomics for off-road riding
To maintain the most comfortable riding position in all conditions, the rider’s seat on the new R 1200 GS Adventure can be adjusted to two different heights. In its upper position (915 millimetres/36 inches) the seat offers the rider all the comfort of an absolutely flat seat, which gives the freedom of movement a rider requires, particularly on poor tracks. In its lowest position (895 millimetres/35.2 inches) it is easier for the shorter rider to put their feet down – for example, when stopping at traffic lights. This is also enhanced by the shape and design of the seat, which is narrower at the front.
Aluminium handlebar with hand protectors
The high-quality, light alloy handlebar comes complete with
a foam cross-brace protection element embedded in a special plastic material. Practical hand protectors also come as standard on the new R 1200 GS Adventure.
Extra-wide rider footrests, adjustable gearshift and brake levers
Reflecting its enhanced off-road riding capabilities, the new R 1200 GS Adventure has extra-wide rider footrests for a particularly safe and secure riding position. This will aid safety on rough tracks where a rider has to stand on the footrests for long periods. The gearshift and brake levers also adjust to different styles of riding and various types of touring or off-road riding boots. The height of the footbrake lever can be conveniently adjusted by using a folding mechanism on the pedal surface. The gearshift lever is adjusted by an eccentric kinematic unit.
Spring units and cross-spoke wheels for enhanced off-road qualities
The suspension and running gear of the R 1200 GS Adventure are designed for the toughest off-road requirements and have an extra 20 millimetres of spring travel at the front and rear (versus the standard R 1200 GS). The new Adventure features the superior lightweight elements that are already proven on the R 1200 GS.
The Telelever featured on the front wheel measures 41 millimetres (1.61 inches) in diameter on its fixed tube, while the Evo-Paralever at the rear boasts a central spring strut and travel-dependent damping unit (TDD) – the more the spring strut is compressed, the firmer the damper becomes. Detailed information on the frame and suspension is provided in the R 1200 GS press kit.
The new R 1200 GS Adventure comes as standard with BMW Motorrad’s proven, extra-strong cross-spoke wheels offering superior benefits particularly on extreme tracks, at high off-road speeds, and under heavy loads. The machine may also be fitted with tubeless tyres and the spokes can be replaced individually – one-by-one.
The frame – maximum stability and minimum weight
Maximum stiffness and strength are the outstanding features of the two-piece steel-tube frame based on the tubular frame structure of the R 1200 GS. The front and main frame come directly from the R 1200 GS and the rear frame has been slightly modified in its geometric configuration on the supports for the main and side stands. The extra-light tubular structure integrates the entire power unit as a load-bearing element, helping to reduce the weight of the R 1200 GS Adventure (versus its predecessor). A modified main stand holder now enables the rider to lift and park the machine more easily.
High-performance alternator – more power reserves for additional power consuming items
Electrical power consuming items fitted as special equipment also receive a reliable supply of energy thanks to the alternator on the R 1200 GS having been upgraded to 720W – 120W more than on standard model.
Power unit – superior power for superior drive qualities
The flat-twin power unit, complete with a balance shaft introduced for the first time on the standard R 1200 GS, provides the Adventure with superior power and performance. Maximum output from the 1,170cc engine is 74KW/100 hp at 7,000 rpm with torque peaking at 115Nm/85 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm.
Six-speed gearbox as used on the R 1200 GS
The extra-light and smooth-running six-speed gearbox with helical gearing has been carried over from the R 1200 GS.
Instrumentation and onboard electrics – digital technology to the highest standard
The new R 1200 GS Adventure offers all the features and equipment already employed by the standard GS. These include lightweight instrumentation such as the Info-Flatscreen, an innovative onboard network with CAN-bus technology, and an electronic immobiliser.
Body and design
At first glance the new R 1200 GS Adventure gives the impression of dynamic performance and agile power. It combines these features with the strength qualities of an enduro. High-quality materials and surfaces – such as blast-treated stainless steel on the fuel tank, engine protection bars and luggage rack, plus eloxy-plated aluminium on the rims and knee covers – give the machine an unmistakeable look of technical and functional elegance. At the same time it emphasises the superior level of quality which characterises the new R 1200 GS Adventure.
The colour concept also enhances aesthetic design and the machine’s powerful character. The customer is therefore able to choose from two colour schemes: Alpine White non-metallic with black and red seat, and knee covers with black eloxy plating; or White Aluminium matt metallic with a black and grey seat, and olive-coloured knee covers in magnesium eloxy-plated aluminium. The combination gives a touch of cool technical elegance, harmonising perfectly with the machine’s other metallic components such as the roll bars or aluminium cases.
Range of equipment
Options and special equipment
Reflecting its wide range of use, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is available in a range of options tailored for individual customer requirements. Optional extras come directly from the factory and special equipment is fitted by BMW Motorrad dealerships.
• BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (semi-integral on-demand operation).
• Off-road tyres (at no extra cost).
• Anti-theft warning system*.
• Chrome-plated exhaust system.
• Heated grips*.
• White direction indicators*.
• Supports for aluminium cases*.
• Additional headlights*.
• On-board computer.
The items marked with an * are also available as special equipment from BMW motorcycle dealerships.
As with the former model, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is available with additional headlights fitted to the tank protection bars. The big advantage of these headlights are their high, light intensity and compact dimensions. They also provide the rider with better visibility and ensure that the motorcycle is easier to see on the road. Additional headlights are available straight from the factory or from a BMW motorcycle dealership (for subsequent installation).
An optional on-board computer enhances the functions and features of the Info-Flatscreen. Fitted as standard it serves as a very practical companion on trips. The computer displays the outside temperature; the distance remaining with the fuel still left in the tank; the current average fuel consumption, and average speed. The on-board computer also warns the rider of inadequate oil levels and the risk of ice if the outside temperature drops to 3°C or lower.
An enthusiast purchasing the new R 1200 GS Adventure primarily for off-road use can opt for off-road tyres before taking delivery of the machine. The extra-tough, heavy-duty Continental TKC 80 tyres (with top speed limited to 160 km/h or 100 mph) ensure the right kind of traction on sand, gravel, rocks or mud, and are fitted as a low-cost option straight from the factory.
• Top box holder for the aluminium top box.
• Aluminium top box.
• Case holder for aluminium cases*.
• Aluminium cases.
• Carrier handle for aluminium cases.
• Inner bags for aluminium cases and the top box.
• Tank bag.
• Sports softbag – large.
• BMW Motorrad Navigator, including holder, cables and bag.
• Heated grips*.
• Additional headlights*.
• Anti-theft warning system*.
• White direction indicators*.
• Off-road protector cover for headlights.
• Additional power take-off.
• Valve cover emergency running kit.
• Front mudguard made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic.
• Rear mudguard made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic.
• Workshop stand (paddock stand) with adapter.
• Supplementary on-board toolkit.
Items marked with an * are also available from the factory.
New aluminium baggage system
The all-new baggage system comprises aluminium cases and stainless
steel case supports as well as an aluminium top box complete with top box holder that can be assembled on the stainless steel luggage rack (featured as standard). The cases and top box are watertight and come with additional watertight inner bags as an option.
Together, the cases offer a volume of 79 litres and the top box adds an additional 33 litres.
The case lids have two locks on each cover. The lock not opened in each case serves as the hinge for the lid to provide an appropriate opening and closing function. Opening both locks means that the rider is able to remove the lids completely for easy access whenever necessary. Another option is to have just one key for both the cases and the ignition.
Both aluminium cases and top box come with additional lashing points for further luggage. In all, the luggage system is able to take a payload of 25 kilos, or 55 lb. This will allow the rider to travel smoothly and safely at speeds of up to 180 km/h or 112 mph.