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The arrival of the new BMW R 1200 GS Adventure marks the start of the next chapter in the success story of the large, boxer-engined GS models that extends back over more than 30 years. Since its debut in 2005, BMW Motorrad, 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.

The new R 1200 GS Adventure continues in this same tradition, building on the dynamic performance characteristics and excellent off-road and touring capabilities of the R 1200 GS to provide the new, ultimate solution for globetrotters, travel enduro aficionados and touring riders with a passion for off-road action.

The new 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 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm.

The stand-out feature of the power unit – introduced last year after being newly developed for the R 1200 GS – is the new precision cooling system which uses water instead of oil as a cooling agent. Also new is the engine’s through-flow, which is now vertical for even more efficient power output, as well as the six-speed gearbox that is integrated into the engine housing along with the wet clutch.

For the first time on a BMW production motorcycle, the maintenance-free cardan-shaft drive is now positioned on the left-hand side. 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.

Like the R 1200 GS, the Adventure is also built around a robust and torsionally resistant tubular steel spaceframe. However, it has a larger 30-litre tank (10 litres more than on the R 1200 GS) to allow for an increased range, while the fuel tank itself is now made from lightweight aluminium.

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. This further enhances the range of use of the new R 1200 GS Adventure considerably, at the same time as providing a significant safety boost on slippery surfaces in particular.

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 can be activated with a coding plug) make it possible to adjust the settings of both ASC and ABS and, if fitted, the semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) to suit the specific requirements of off-road operation.

Besides new bodywork styling with even more masculine flair, the globetrotting abilities and greater off-road expertise of the new R 1200 GS Adventure are clearly brought to the fore by a new chassis set-up with a further 20 millimetres 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. Wide enduro footrests, adjustable, reinforced foot-operated levers and completely restyled bodywork add the finishing touches to the look of the new R 1200 GS Adventure.

– Highlights of the new BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

  • - Based on the same versatile overall concept as the R 1200 GS, with spirited twin-cylinder boxer engine and agile chassis, but with enhanced off-road prowess and globetrotting abilities.
  • - Increased flywheel mass in the engine and additional vibration damper for even smoother running and superior rideability.
  • - Spring travel 20 millimetres longer at front and rear compared to R 1200 GS.
  • - 10 millimetres more ground clearance than predecessor.
  • - Modified geometry of trailing arm for even sharper handling.
  • - Completely restyled bodywork in distinctly robust and masculine GS Adventure design.
  • - 30-litre fuel tank with similar range to predecessor.
  • - ABS, ASC and two riding modes as standard.
  • - Three further riding modes available as an ex-works option.
  • - Semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) available as an ex-works option.
  • - More comfortable, tilt-adjustable bench seat.
  • - Large, adjustable windshield and air flaps.
  • - Wide enduro footrests.
  • - Adjustable, reinforced foot-operated levers.
  • - Robust engine and tank protection bar.
  • - Wide range of special accessories and optional extras available ex-works.

For years now, the Adventure versions of the large-displacement BMW GS boxer have been synonymous with travelling to distant lands, whether on tarmac roads, gravel tracks or unsurfaced trails. With the latest R 1200 GS Adventure bike, BMW Motorrad is now taking this model line to the next level by offering the big GS in a version specially built for long- distance travel, increased off-road riding and harsh operating conditions.

Like the R 1200 GS, the new R 1200 GS Adventure also features the newly developed twin-cylinder boxer engine with an output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm and a peak torque of 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. The new power unit has a displacement of 1,170 cc, as did the engine on the outgoing model, and it still relies on air/liquid cooling, but with water instead of oil as the cooling agent – the water’s higher heat absorption capacity ensures more efficient heat dissipation. With this system of precision cooling, as it is known, only the parts of the engine that are particularly exposed to thermal stress are cooled by the coolant. The engine continues to be air-cooled too, thereby preserving the characteristic appearance of the boxer unit and its ability to handle tough operating conditions.

The through-flow is vertical for optimum cylinder charging and the engine housing incorporates the 6-speed gearbox as well as an oil-bath clutch with anti-hopping function. The secondary drive runs via the maintenance-free cardan shaft that is now positioned on the left-hand side.

The flywheel mass of the boxer engine’s crankshaft was increased by some 950 grams ready for use on the new R 1200 GS Adventure. This results in even smoother engine running and is of particular benefit when riding off-road at low speeds and low revs, such as when negotiating trial sections. The running characteristics are further enhanced by an additional vibration damper between the gearbox output and the cardan shaft.

Thanks to the E-gas ride-by-wire system, the rider’s inputs are relayed by a sensor on the throttle twist grip directly to the engine management, which adjusts the opening angle of the throttle valve accordingly. This produces a further significant improvement in the new power unit’s controllability and response, while the introduction of the standard riding modes furthermore enables the rider to adapt the engine’s character to the situation at hand.

ASC and two riding modes as standard. Three additional riding modes available with optional Riding mode Pro. – For optimum adaptation to the rider’s individual needs and the intended use, the new R 1200 GS Adventure already comes equipped as standard with two riding modes along with Automatic Stability Control (ASC). The ride characteristics can be adapted to most road conditions with the help of the two standard riding modes, “Rain” and “Road”. Together with the ABS system, likewise standard, ASC substantially increases the range of use of the new R 1200 GS Adventure, at the same time as providing a significant safety boost on slippery surfaces in particular.

A further three 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 can be activated with a coding plug) make it possible to adjust the settings of both ASC and ABS and, if fitted, the semi-active suspension Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) to suit the specific requirements of off-road operation.

When riding on wet surfaces or in difficult grip conditions, the standard-fit “Rain” mode provides particularly gentle engine control and response characteristics in order to assist the rider. ABS operation is programmed for on-road use and the Automatic Stability Control (ASC) is triggered sooner than in “Road” mode. If the Dynamic ESA option is selected, damping of the front and rear spring struts is softer to suit requirements.

In “Road” mode, engine response is spontaneous and the control systems are set to ensure optimum performance on all roads. ABS is configured for on-road use and ASC provides optimum traction. If Dynamic ESA is fitted, the front and rear damping is controlled in the standard setting.

The new BMW R 1200 GS Adventure can really show off its sporty prowess out on the open road in Dynamic mode. The engine is tuned for direct throttle response, while restrained intervention by the ASC system enables the skilled rider to drift out slightly. ABS is once again configured for on-road use. If the optional Dynamic ESA is fitted, a firm damping set-up allows the motorcycle’s full potential to be unleashed.

The Enduro mode is ideal for experiencing the R 1200 GS Adventure on off-road terrain. The engine responds gently in this mode and corrective control by the ASC is more restrained, allowing the practised rider to execute deliberate and controllable rear wheel slides. Operation of the ABS is optimised for loose surfaces and road tyres, while Dynamic ESA shifts to a soft setting to suit the operating requirements.

More ambitious enduro riders can engage the Enduro Pro mode to tap into the full off-road potential of the new R 1200 GS Adventure. This riding mode with its spontaneous engine response is designed for use with studded tyres. Plus, when the footbrake lever is operated, the ABS function is deactivated at the rear and the optional Dynamic ESA switches to a firmer setting.

BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA semi-active suspension: an ex-works option for optimum riding dynamics in any situation. – The semi-active suspension BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) is able to maximise ride safety and performance. Spring travel sensors at the front and rear monitor the vertical movements of the respective wheel suspension as well as collating further data, allowing the damping to be automatically adapted to the detected conditions to suit the riding situation and the manoeuvres being carried out. Dynamic ESA is integrated into the riding mode control concept.

Robust chassis with tubular steel bridge frame and longer spring travel for superior off-road capabilities. – The chassis of the new R 1200 GS Adventure is based on the completely newly developed, continuous tubular steel bridge frame with a bolt-on rear frame featured on the R 1200 GS. The telelever at the front and the paralever at the rear have been re-engineered, resulting in a further significant increase in torsional stiffness and ride precision compared to the predecessor model. The chassis’s basic geometric data has been further refined with a view to optimising handling qualities, while the R 1200 GS Adventure also comes with an extra 20 millimetres of spring travel at the front (210 mm) and rear (220 mm) and 10 millimetres more ground clearance than its predecessor to make it even more suited to off-road riding. The new Adventure model is equipped with a steering damper as standard and also features a longitudinal control arm with specially adjusted geometry to further improve its handling characteristics. The centre and side stands have been adapted to make allowance for the longer spring travel.

LED main headlight with integrated daytime running light as an ex- works option for even greater safety during daytime and night-time riding. – Like the R 1200 GS, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is already equipped as standard with a halogen main headlight with optimised light output. So that the rider can be seen even more clearly during the day, BMW Motorrad also offers a daytime running light as an ex-works option. And for optimum illumination of the road ahead and therefore even greater safety both day and night, an LED main headlight with integrated daytime running light is additionally available as an option ex-works, comprising state-of-the-art LED technology, an ingenious cooling concept and a decondensation function.

Completely restyled bodywork including 30-litre aluminium tank for ideal globetrotting abilities. – The special R 1200 GS Adventure styling with new bodywork features emphasises the big GS model’s leadership qualities as the ultimate enduro bike for world travel and the authentic design idiom underlines its outstanding technical credentials.

The fundamental architecture of the R 1200 GS has been retained for the Adventure version, with the characteristic flyline running in customary fashion from the GS beak over the fuel tank and bench seat to the functionally styled rear. Thanks to an even more distinctive composition of body and frame components, the new R 1200 GS Adventure uncompromisingly fulfils the high standards expected of its supreme suitability for world travel along with the targets of maximum robustness and optimum protection from wind and weather.

Compared to the outgoing model, the new R 1200 GS Adventure now has a unique sense of lightness about it. This is mainly down to the open design of the tubular spaceframe which, together with the newly developed raised rear, makes it possible to see virtually right through the machine. The feeling of lightness expressed by the rear end gives added impact to the agile and dynamic character of the new Adventure model.

The vertical air flow through the new boxer engine produces a vertical flow of lines as well, starting from the cooling air intake in grained matt black and continuing via the kneepads on the redesigned, 30-litre aluminium tank (R 1200 GS: 20-litre tank) to the engine, conveying a sense of aerodynamic lightness in the process. At the front, additional crash bars form a protective frame around the front section of the new R 1200 GS Adventure. Together with the standard hand protectors and the protective grilles for the two restyled air intake ducts on the left and right, they give further visual confirmation of the bike’s outstanding robustness and off-road prowess. Its increased everyday practicality is also reflected in more minor details, such as the storage compartment in front of the fuel filler cap for small items like change or road toll cards.

The undeniably high-class visual appeal of the new R 1200 GS Adventure is also rooted in its skilful blend of differing surfaces. Besides the select paintwork finishes and grains, numerous naturally anodised components such as the upper fork bridge and axle clamp blocks underline the high technical prowess of this globetrotting enduro bike.

New GS beak, optimised windshield, plus air flaps for even better wind and weather protection. – The GS beak with its more angular contours as well as a visually separate beak extension continues to radiate a sense of utmost resilience and supremacy. The extension has the additional effect of further improving spray protection. The tapered windshield – likewise purpose-developed for the Adventure – works in unison with two air flaps at the sides to improve the bike’s aerodynamic qualities as well. The windshield features convenient, single-handed adjustment by means of a hand wheel and directs the airflow past the rider with little turbulence on fast legs of the journey, effectively reducing the strain on the upper body at high speeds in particular. The additional flaps, meanwhile, help to reduce draught effects in the kidney area.

Flawless ergonomics – for off-road riding as well. – Despite the large fuel tank, the model has a slim waist in the knee grip area, which does more than just add to the bike’s visual sense of lightness. Apart from offering a wide thigh support, the seat has been made narrower at the front, giving the rider far more freedom of movement than on the predecessor model. It is adjustable for tilt and offers seat heights of 890 and 910 millimetres as standard.

Wider enduro footrests than on the R 1200 GS together with adjustable foot- operated levers for the footbrake and gearshift make allowance for the occasional change in requirements on the new Adventure, particularly when riding off road. It can be adapted to suit individual riding styles and habits as well as varying types of footwear.

The new R 1200 GS Adventure clearly signals its adventurous, globetrotting nature with a choice of new colour schemes. Olive Matt, Alpine White, Racing Blue Metallic Matt.