BMW's first water-cooled boxer!
Harry Clark - CleanMPG
- Oct. 11, 2012
The best gets even better.
Major changes arrive with the latest BMW R 1200 GS.
The challenge: how to improve even more following nine years at the top.
Even in its ninth year of production, the current BMW R 1200 GS is still setting the benchmark in its segment in comparative tests with its outstanding overall concept and innovative technology. With over 170,000 units sold, it is the most successful and top-selling travel enduro in the world.
The challenge facing the BMW Motorrad was considerable: To further improve the GS - in all areas and equip it with the latest technical innovations.
- Further increase performance overall - without neglecting its
- Perfect its touring suitability.
- Increase off-road suitability.
- Achieve superior figures within the travel enduro segment and beyond in terms of engine and riding performance.
- Ensure preparation for the future in terms of noise and exhaust emissions.
- Suspension with top handling, optimum traction and increased off-road performance.
- Increase active and passive safety.
- Unmistakable BMW Motorrad design in typical GS style.
- Top quality as is characteristic of BMW Motorrad.
To begin, BMW Motorrad instilled a new air/water-cooled boxer engine design with vertical through-flow, integrated gearbox and left-hand cardan shaft drive.
The boxer engine in the new R 1200 GS continues to use air/liquid cooling, however, the coolant oil has been replaced by a glycol-water mixture. This ensures a high level of heat absorption capacity of the cooling liquid for more efficient heat dissipation.
The engine continues to use air cooling with two small radiators inconspicuously integrated up front.
The through-flow is now vertical instead of horizontal for improved filling, and the engine housing integrates the 6-speed gearbox as well as a wet clutch with anti-hopping function instead of the dry clutch as was used previously.
The secondary drive now runs via the cardan shaft on the left-hand side. With an output 125 HP@7700 rpm and 92 lb-ft@6500 rpm, the new engine continues to offer excellent power and performance in the enduro segment.
The empty weight is 523.6 pounds including standard BMW Motorrad Integral ABS.
E-gas and cruise control
An electronic throttle actuator is now used for the first time in a GS. Here, rider commands are passed on directly by the sensor in the accelerator twist grip to the engine control system; this then regulates the throttle valve electronically. The use of the E-gas system provides a significant improvement in terms of controllability and response. What is more, the rider can adapt engine characteristics to the situation on the road by means of five modes.
ASC and riding modes
For the first time the new R 1200 GS now offers five freely selectable riding modes including an ex works option and feature three different E-gas settings with varying engine characteristics.
Semiactive suspension: BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA for optimum riding dynamics in every situation as an ex works option.
The new semiactive suspension BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) taps into a whole new range of possibilities as well as providing maximum riding safety and performance. Dynamic ESA monitors the vertical movement of front and rear wheel control as well as other parameters by means of a spring travel sensor in each position, and adapts the damping automatically to the situation depending on riding conditions and the maneuvers being carried out. Damping adjustment at front and rear is effected by means of electrically controlled regulation valves.
The chassis of the R 1200 GS uses a completely new tubular all-steel bridge frame with a bolt-on rear frame. Along with the newly designed Telelever at the front and the EVO Paralever at the rear, a significant increase in rigidity enhances ride stability and steering precision. Optimized handling qualities are the result of a refined geometry and longer swingarm providing improved traction when riding over smooth or rough terrain.
A unique feature of the new R 1200 GS are the tires in the sizes 120/70 R19 at the front and 170/60 R17 at the rear, specially adapted to improve performance.
The brake system of the R 1200 GS has been extensively revised as well. There are now radially mounted Brembo Monobloc brake calipers at the front and a larger brake disc at the rear.
In line with the BMW Motorrad principle “Safety 360°” the new GS is equipped with ABS as standard equipment.
For the first time ever, the new R 1200 GS incorporates an LED main headlight with integrated daytime running light providing excellent road illumination both day and night.
On the navigation front, a new Multi-Controller allows fast and convenient operation of the BMW Motorrad Navigator IV. It is located on the inside of the handlebar grip which allows function selection in a much less distracting manner without having to remove your hands from the bars.
The newly developed windshield of the R 1200 GS offers improved wind and weather protection while also reducing wind noise. Adjustment by a simple wheel can be completed with one hand.
The new R 1200 GS has extended adjustment options for optimum seating comfort. The rider’s seat can now be adjusted in height and tilt angle and the passenger seat can be shifted longitudinally to obtain the ideal distance between rider and passenger. The new handlebars can easily be turned upwards and, together with the optimized knee grip in the fuel tank area, they provide an even better standing position for off-road riding. A high and a low seat, as well as an adjustable footrest system and adjustable foot controls, round off the new R 1200 GS accessories to fit an individuals needs.