Introducing the new BMW R 1200 GS and the new R 1200 GS Adventure, BMW Motorrad is opening up yet another chapter in the story of highly successful GS models which, for almost three decades, have been the epitome of the large-capacity grand touring enduro.
Moving on from the former generation of the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure, which already offered supreme power and performance as well as a very broad range of practical riding qualities for long tours combined with supreme pleasure on winding country and mountain roads, BMW Motorrad is now enhancing this standard, as impressive as it already is, to an even higher level.
In its construction principle and fundamental layout, the new fl at-twin power unit is the same as the DOHC engine on the BMW HP2 Sport. But marking the new generation, the engine has been carefully updated and optimized for the R 1200 GS and the R 1200 GS Adventure, tailored to the specific requirements of a grand touring Enduro.
With the 1,170-cc Boxer engine on the former models already ensuring supreme power under all conditions and in all situations, the new R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure have even more to offer in virtually every respect.
The new engine delivers a maximum output of 110 hp, reaching top engine speed at 8,500 RPM (up by 500) and with an even broader range of engine speed, the new GS models are even more dynamic, powerful and muscular in terms of both torque and acceleration throughout the entire speed range. This sets the standard once again for the grand touring Enduro also in terms of riding dynamics.
New DOHC Cylinder Heads
Designed and built from the start for higher engine speed, the new flat-twin power unit in the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure, like the power unit featured in the BMW HP2 Sport, comes with two overhead, chain-driven camshafts (DOHC) per cylinder.
The valves are operated by very light rocker arms able to cope with even very high engine speeds through their low weight alone. Radial arrangement of the four valves is ensured by the very compact combustion chambers. Like on the former models, the fuel/air mixture is ignited by two spark plugs (HP2 Sport: one spark plug), and the compression ratio of 12.0:1 is also the same as before.
Thanks to efficient knock control, both models are able to run on premium (plus) fuel with an octane rating of 95-98 RON (maximum output is measured at 98 RON). Under certain conditions there may be a very small loss of torque and a slight increase in fuel consumption as soon as knock control cuts in.
On long tours where the rider might be required to use inferior fuel, the engine may also run on 91 RON regular fuel, using specific running data available as special equipment free of charge straight from the factory.
Horizontal arrangement of the camshafts in the direction of travel gives the new fl at-twin power unit two particular technical features: Each camshaft controls one intake and exhaust valve and, due to the radial arrangement of the valves, the cams come with a conical profile. To increase both output and torque, gas throughput has been increased throughout the entire speed range by increasing valve plate diameter over the former models from 36 to 39 millimeters (1.42–1.54") on the intake side and 31 to 33 millimeters (1.22–1.30") on the exhaust side.
Intake and exhaust timing on the two camshafts has been optimized in particular for supreme power at low and medium engine speeds and for even faster, free-revving engine performance throughout the entire range.
To increase the free valve cross-section, valve lift is up by 10.54 mm (0.415") on the intake and 9.26 mm (0.365") on the exhaust side to 10.8 mm (0.425") on both sides. Valve clearance is compensated by light semi-hemispherical shims.
More Power and Extra Torque
The existing ratio of bore and stroke of 101:73 millimeters (3.98 : 2.87") remains the same as before, as does the engine’s cubic capacity of 1,170 cc.
Other features likewise carried over from the former power unit are the crankshafts and connecting rods as well as their mounts and bearings, while the two new cast-aluminum pistons have been re-designed to match the change in combustion chamber geometry.
Interacting with the upgraded intake system are throttle body butterflies measuring 50 mm, up from 47 mm (HP2 Sport: 52 mm/2.05"). The engine now features black instead of silver throttle butterfly manifolds.
The revised opening clearance and newly designed intake air funnels and an air filter element provide higher throughput; the engine now develops maximum output of 110 HP (81 kW) at 7,750 rpm and peak torque of 88 lb-ft (120 Nm) at 6,000 rpm.
An oil cooler ensures stable thermal conditions even when riding to the extreme. In all, the modifications to the drivetrain provide a significantly more homogeneous flow of power and torque throughout the entire speed range.
In this process of technical development, the engines now feature magnesium-colored cylinder head covers with two instead of formerly four fastening bolts and come in new, even more dynamic design. A valve cover guard made of aluminum or plastic as well as a chrome-plated aluminum cylinder head cover may be retrofitted as special equipment.
Electronically Controlled Exhaust
Moving on to the exhaust system, the two manifolds are the same as before in their design, length and diameter, while a modified interference pipe caters for the change in vibration conditions in the exhaust system.
Featuring an exhaust flap controlled by an electric motor as well as opening and closing cables, both the new BMW R 1200 GS and the new R 1200 GS Adventure provide a particularly throaty boxer sound naturally in full compliance with legal standards.
And to reduce ram pressure and improve the sound of the engine even further, the rear silencer remaining the same in design as on the former models comes with a completely new interior structure.
Revised Six-Speed Gearbox and Driveshaft
Power is transmitted as before by the proven six-speed gearbox with larger bearing diameters and a modified distance between the individual shafts already upgraded technically for the 2008 model year.
In the process the gear ratios were once again adjusted and the secondary transmission has been modified from 2.82:1 to 2.91:1.
In conjunction with the new, even more powerful engine, this once again means significantly more torque and pulling force throughout the entire range of engine speed.
The new R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure also benefit from optimized shift kinematics with an optimized power/travel curve for precise gearshift and clear feedback at all times. The maintenance-free drive shaft to the rear wheel also remains unchanged, relieving the rider of annoying and time-consuming maintenance requirements particularly on long tours.
High-Performance Brakes with Integral ABS
Like their predecessors, the new R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure offer an almost perfect synthesis of off-road and on-road riding qualities.
As in the past, the stiff and torsionally-resistant suspension, front wheel guidance with the unique BMW Telelever, and the rear wheel incorporating the BMW Paralever guarantee first-class and absolutely safe riding qualities also with the new engine offering even more power and torque.
In conjunction with optional BMW Motorrad Integral ABS, extremely powerful brakes serve additionally to provide maximum safety even in critical situations.
Optimum environmental compatibility, is also ensured also on the new boxer engine through the most advanced exhaust gas management with a fully controlled three-way catalytic converter.
Enduro Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) as Special Equipment
Designed and built for the specific requirements of a grand touring Enduro, Enduro ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment available also on the latest version of the R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure.
ESA is available as an optional extra straight from the factory allows adjustment of the running gear under all kinds of running conditions and with virtually any load level, simply by pressing a button.
An important feature is that Enduro ESA offers both an on-road and off-road mode within which the rider, choosing specific settings for the spring base and damping, is able to adjust the suspension even more precisely to specific needs and requirements.
As usual, Enduro ESA meets the particular requirements made of a grand touring Enduro by additional electro-hydraulic adjustment of the spring base on the front spring strut.
When riding off-road, this ensures a far smoother ride without the wheel breaking through, and without the disadvantages otherwise experienced on-road such as shorter negative spring travel or greater seat height.
Ergonomics and Features
Made of a heat-treated aluminum tube, the high-quality and sophisticated handlebar, interacting with two asymmetrically mounted clamps turning by up to 180o, as on the HP2 Enduro Sports, may be fitted in two ergonomically different positions.
While the rear handlebar position for riding on-road and in less demanding terrain ensures optimum ergonomics particularly for the shorter rider, the front handlebar position offers advantages in particular when standing up on the machine in rough terrain.
The hand protectors available as special equipment for the R 1200 GS are fitted as standard straight from the factory on the R 1200 GS Adventure.
In the process of technically upgrading the successful R 1200 GS models, the instrument cluster has received a new dial in new design.
And last but not least, the windshield now comes with larger hand-bolts with even better grip for adjusting its position with greater ease.
Optional Accessories for Rider and the Machine
As a genuine, fully-fl edged systems supplier, BMW Motorrad has developed a wide range of optional extras and special equipment for further customization of the new R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure. One particularly important new feature is the additional LED headlights.
Optional extras come directly from the factory and are fitted during production at the Berlin Plant, accessories and special equipment are fitted subsequently by the BMW Motorcycle Dealer.