Who would have thought that a machine with massive cylinders hanging out the sides and a ready to ride weight nudging 230kg would turn out to be the World’s most sought after adventure bike?
Well with over 100,000 R 1200 GS machines already sold around the world and a waiting list that sometimes approaches nine months, believe it.
Unless you have ridden BMW’s R 1200 GS then it is a fairly safe bet that you view the machine as nothing more than an overweight behemoth incapable of traversing any terrain worse than smooth gravel tracks. Well, I am here to tell you that you are wrong. If you are up to the task then the R 1200 GS will get you just about anywhere.
I recently spent a few days up on the pegs of an R 1200 GS traversing mountain tracks across two States and one Territory and enjoyed the trek immensely. I say “up on the pegs” as I really got quite aggressive with the R 1200 GS and happily slid the machine around turns with plenty of opposite locked dialled on. I even caught myself laughing out loud in my helmet as I managed to do things on the big girl that really just shouldn’t be possible on such a big machine.
Would a lightweight enduro bike have been faster on the dirt?
Yes, of course. The current 1200 GS machines are more than 30kg lighter than the earlier 1150 GS variants but at 230kg lightweights they aren’t.
And would the incredibly tight series of hairpin bends on the short tar sections have been more enjoyable on a sportsbike?
Again, yes, but a well ridden R 1200 GS would not be as far behind as you might think.
The real difference is that the R 1200 GS proves a willing mount for all those things and offers a level of versatility unparalleled by anything else available on two wheels.
Imagine heading on or off road with a pillion passenger carrying plenty of luggage for overnight camping stops comfortable in the knowledge that on the standard R 1200 GS you have a fuel range in excess of 300 kilometres no matter how hard you ride. And in the case of the R 1200 GS Adventure model make that a touring range between 500 and 600 kilometres thanks to its 33 litre tank. Imagine exploring national parks without worrying about refuelling stops. This is real freedom and the type of trek that the BMW is especially suited. You can travel the major routes by tarmac in relative comfort if you choose, and then have the option of heading off-road to get to the more out of the way places to turn what would have been a mundane road trip into a real adventure.