Often argued as the best motorcycle ever made, the R1200 GS is BMWâ€™s most prized creation ever. And it was launched only 12 years back in 2004. It does, however, feature the German manufacturerâ€™s oldest running engine architecture â€“ the phenomenally versatile Boxer Twin.
Boxer Twin (or Flat Twin)
BMW has used the same engine to power their adventure tourer, street, classic and sport bikes since the engineâ€™s debut in 1921, and in a slightly different state of tunes, the Boxer Twin has excelled in all their motorcycles. It has become synonymous with BMW Motorrad. So much so, that the S1000RR inline 4 engine, which is otherwise one of the most mainstream motorcycle engines, feels like a move away from the companyâ€™s tradition.
The Legacy of GS
The first GS, called the R80 G/S, was introduced in 1980 with a 797cc air-cooled Boxer Twin. The GS brand itself is pretty diverse and has included motorcycles from single-cylinder, parallel twins to, of course, Boxer Twins. From the 797cc Boxer Twin of the R80 G/S, the GS has grown up to 1170cc liquid cooled engine as of today.
The R1200 GS was launched with an air-cooled engine as a replacement of the R1150 GS and has become BMWâ€™s most successful motorcycle over the years. And before BMW came out with the wonderful S1000RR and claimed its stake in the Superbike segment, the R1200 GS has quite literally been the face of BMW Motorrad.
The Grandest GS
The 1200 Adventure variant was introduced in 2005 and we got the chance the ride the latest R1200 GS Adventure which comes powered by the latest liquid cooled 1170cc Boxer Twin engine which produces 125 BHP at 7,750 RPM and 125NM of torque at 6,500 RPM. This is the most powerful and modern Boxer Twin that has powered a GS motorcycle.
The Adventure model has an extra large fuel capacity of 30 litres (compared to 20 litres in standard R1200 GS) and comes with two standard riding modes â€“ Road and Rain. Also, there are spoke wheels and higher travel suspension. As adaptable as it is to different riding conditions, the 1200 Adventure has been the preferred choice for riders who like to mix their touring with some off-roading adventure.
Of course, it doesnâ€™t come cheap and is one of the most expensive motorcycles in the BMW stable in India. For most of us, it will remain a distant dream for this very reason. Although, searching on OLX for a second-hand R1200 GS Adventure might bring some respite for some of us.
The R1200 GS Adventure is possibly the biggest adventure-touring motorcycles in production right now. It looks intimidating especially with the tall seat height and overall bulky dimensions. Nonetheless, it is a great motorcycle to ride and like many modern motorcycles, it is pretty easy to ride around. And no doubt, it is just a wonderful feeling to spend some time on one of the best motorcycles ever put into production.