The ultimate long-distance motorcycle for serious globetrotters
By Mike Hanlon
October 26, 2005
October 27, 2005 The 2005 International NEC Motorcycle and Scooter Show will open at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre tomorrow with the world premier of the ultimate travel and enduro machine - the 2006 BMW R1200 GS Adventure. As a replacement for the hugely popular and successful R1150 GS Adventure, the new 1200cc model will feature more power, less weight, and improved off-road capability. BMW expect that, ultimately, it will penetrate its market segment as the definitive bike for serious long-distance on and off-road riding. Visitors to the BMW stand will be able to enjoy an exclusive look at the latest machine to embody BMW's new design philosophy. The exciting all-terrain machine will assume centre stage on the BMW stand throughout this year's International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.
Combining the dynamic performance, touring and off-road qualities of the R 1200 GS, acclaimed by critics around the world, capped by the prestigious 2004 International Bike of the Year Award, the new R 1200 GS Adventure offers even more off-road abilities and long-distance riding comfort.
The success of the R 1150 GS Adventure has set a very high benchmark, but the R 1200 GS Adventure eclipses it with a host of improvements and a far larger range of standard equipment and features.
While the Australian R 1150 GS Adventure used a standard 30-litre fuel tank, European market models got by on a 20-litre tank. For the R 1200 GS Adventure, BMW fits a 33-litre tank as standard on all models for all markets, giving a market-leading cruising range of around 750 km at a steady 90 km/h, depending on conditions.
Other notable improvements for the new machine include a new windshield for enhanced protection from wind and weather, a height-adjustable seat, robust tank and engine protection hoops, as well as extra-wide rider footrests combined with adjustable gearshift and brake levers.
Using the highly successful and popular R 1200 GS as a base, the Adventure model benefits from significantly more power and torque from BMW Motorrad’s latest boxer twin: maximum output is 74 kW at 7,000 rpm, with peak torque of 115 Nm at 5,500 rpm.
Using the new six-speed gearbox, the most recent Paralever and Telelever technology, new instruments in digital technology and the on-board network with CAN bus technology represent a significant step forward compared with the R 1150 GS Adventure.
By employing lightweight components in the engine, transmission and exhaust, as well as weight-optimised components such as the frame, suspension and wheels, the new R 1200 GS Adventure, despite more standard equipment, actually weighs less than the R 1150 GS Adventure.
The new R 1200 GS Adventure also benefits from high-quality stainless steel and aluminium components for durability and visual presence. A choice of two colour schemes is available at launch.
Factory-fit features include BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (a partly integrated, on-demand anti-lock brake system), special off-road tyres, additional headlights, and an on-board computer.
BMW Motorcycle Dealers will be able to offer a new range of aluminium cases and the BMW Motorrad Navigator, among a host of expedition-specific items.
The Adventure model was such a success for BMW Motorrad in its previous incarnation, that BMW Motorrad is confident the changes and improvements for the new model will deliver even more ultimate riding machine thrills adventurers, travellers and of course the ever-enthusiastic globetrotters.
As with the R 1150 GS Adventure, which starred in Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s epic “Long Way Round” circumnavigation of the world in 2004, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is a professional machine for bold riders participating in overland expeditions and demanding the utmost of both themselves and their material. Compared with the R 1200 GS, the new R 1200 GS Adventure has:
- 33-litre fuel tank (inc. approx 4-litre reserve).
Tank, engine and valve cover protectors.
Stainless-steel luggage rack.
Adjustable seat with offroad ergonomics.
Adjustable aluminium handlebar with hand protectors.
Longer spring travel for superior offroad qualities.
Cross-spoke wheels as standard for all markets.
Extra-wide rider footrests, adjustable gearshift and brake levers.
High-performance 720 W alternator.
The most significant technical highlights of the new R 1200 GS Adventure versus the former R 1150 GS Adventure:
- Substantial reduction in weight.
15 percent more power and 17 percent more torque.
New six-speed manual gearbox.
New Evo-Paralever with TDD spring struts.
New instruments in digital technology with Info-Flatscreen
On-board single-wire network using CAN bus technology
Extra-large windshield for extra comfort at all speeds
The new windshield diverts the flow of air smoothly past the rider with hardly any turbulence or air swirl, removing the usual forces away from the rider’s head and upper body particularly at high speeds. Specially designed flaps behind the windshield minimise wind over the kidneys. Adjustable for rake, the large screen provides riders of all sizes excellent protection from wind and weather.
Tank, engine and valve cover protection – no damage from minor bumps. Strong stainless-steel pipes protect the fuel tank and engine from damage bothy on tar and off-road. High-quality aluminium covers prevent scratches damaging the look of the engine valve covers.
Stainless-steel luggage rack – attractively styled and highly practical
Robust and practical fastening points and supports for the rider’s bags are absolutely essential for every global traveller. So the new R 1200 GS Adventure comes with a generously designed and stable luggage rack made of stainless steel, an ideal locating point for the new, optional aluminium topcase.
Adjustable seat – perfect for all riders venturing off-road
For an ideal seating position, the rider section of the new two-part seat can be adjusted to two different levels. In its upper position with seat height of 915 mm, the seat is flush with the pillion squab, guaranteeing freedom of movement for solo riders when exploring off the beaten track.
In its lower position, the seat drops to 895 mm, making it easy for shorter riders to retain full control, especially in stop start traffic. The narrow front section of the seat enhances this control.
Aluminium handlebar with hand protectors
The high-quality, conified handlebar made of light alloy comes complete with a foam protection element embedded in a special plastic material. Practical hand protectors are also a standard feature on the new R 1200 GS Adventure.
Extra-wide rider footrests and adjustable gearshift and brake levers
Reflecting its enhanced off-road riding qualities, the new R 1200 GS Adventure comes with extra-wide rider footrests offering a particularly safe and secure position.
These are especially useful when traversing rough tracks where the rider may stand up on the pegs much of the time. Adjustable gearshift and brake levers also meet all kinds of varying requirements, to suit all types of riding styles and individual preferences as well as various kinds of shoes or boots, for example touring or off-road riding boots.
The height of the footbrake lever can be adjusted very simply by a folding mechanism on the pedal surface. The gearshift lever is adjusted by via an eccentric kinematic unit.
Spring units and cross-spoke wheels for enhanced offroad qualities.
The suspension and running gear of the R 1200 GS Adventure is perfectly prepared even for the toughest off-road requirements, with an extra 20 mm spring travel both front and rear over the R 1200 GS.
The Telelever is sourced from the R 1200 GS and measures 41 mm in diameter on its fixed tube, while the Evo-Paralever at the rear boasts a central spring strut and travel-dependent damping unit (TDD). This means the more the spring strut is compressed, the firmer the damper becomes.
The new R 1200 GS Adventure comes as standard on BMW Motorrad’s proven, extra-strong cross-spoke wheels offering their superior benefits particularly on extreme tracks, at high off-road speeds, and under high permanent loads. These wheels can also be fitted with tubeless tyres, and the wheel spokes can be replaced individually.
The frame – maximum stability on minimum weight.
Maximum stiffness and strength are the outstanding features of the two-piece steel-tube frame based on the tubular frame structure of the R 1200 GS. The front and main frame come directly from the R 1200 GS, while the rear frame has been slightly modified in its geometric configuration on the supports for the main and side stands.
The extra-light tubular structure integrates the entire power unit as a load-bearing element, helping to further reduce the weight of the new R 1200 GS Adventure versus its predecessor. The modified main stand holder now enables the rider to lift up and park the machine even more easily and conveniently than before.
Electrical power-consuming items fitted additionally as special equipment also receive a reliable supply of energy thanks to the alternator on the R 1200 GS upgraded to 720 W, 120 W more than on the “standard” version.
Power unit – superior power for superior drive qualities.
The flat-twin power unit complete with a balance shaft introduced for the first time on the R 1200 GS also serves to give the new Adventure superior power and performance.
Maximum output from this 1,170-cc engine is 74 kW at 7,000 rpm, with torque peaking at 115 Nm at 5,500 rpm. Again, the most important features and all technical details of this superior drivetrain are described in detail in the R 1200 GS press kit, as is the information on the extra-light and smooth-running six-speed dog-type gearbox with helical gearing.
Instruments and on-board electrics – featuring the latest digital technology.
The new R 1200 GS Adventure offers all the features and equipment of the R 1200 GS, including extra-light instrumentation using the Info-Flatscreen, an innovative on-board network with CAN-bus technology, and an electronic immobiliser.
Body and design
The new R 1200 GS Adventure exudes dynamic performance and agile power from every angle. Blast-treated stainless steel on the fuel tank, engine protection hoops and luggage rack, plus anodised aluminium on the rims and knee covers, give the entire machine a superior look of technical, functional elegance. The colour scheme highlights the striking visual design. Available in Alpine White non-metallic, the seat is finished in Black and Red, while knee covers come with Black anodised plating.
The second option is White Aluminium matt metallic, with a seat in Black Grey with Olive-coloured knee covers in magnesium anodised aluminium. This combination emanates a touch of cool technical elegance, harmonising perfectly with the machine’s other metallic components such as the roll bars or aluminium cases.
Options and special equipment
Reflecting its wide range of use and many purposes, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is available with a wide range of options precisely tailored to the machine and the customer’s individual requirements. Optional extras come directly from the factory, special equipment is fitted locally by the BMW Motorcycle Dealer.
- BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (semi-integral, on-demand operation).
Offroad tyres (at no extra cost).
Anti-theft warning system.
Chrome-plated exhaust system.
White direction indicators.
Supports for aluminium cases.
Like the former model, the new R 1200 GS Adventure is available with additional headlights fitted on the tank protection hoop. These are compact, yet high-power items, increasing visibility for the rider but also making the machine easier to see on the road.
An optional on-board computer enhancing the functions and features of the Info-Flatscreen fitted as standard serves as a very practical companion on trips both long and short. The computer presents the outside temperature, the range remaining on the fuel still left in the tank, the rider’s average fuel consumption and average speed. In addition, the on-board computer warns the rider of an inadequate oil level as well as the risk of ice once the outside temperature drops to 3 °C or lower.
The R 1200 GS Adventure can be specified with off-road tyres directly from the factory. These extra-tough, heavy-duty Continental TKC 80 tyres (with top speed limited to 160 km/h) ensure positive traction on sand, gravel, rocks or mud, and are fitted as a low-cost option straight at the factory.
- Topcase holder for the aluminium topcase.
Case holder for aluminium cases.
Carrier handle for aluminium cases.
Inner bags for aluminium cases and the topcase.
Sports softbag, large.
BMW Motorrad Navigator incl holder, cables and bag.
Anti-theft warning system.
White direction indicators.
Offroad protector cover for headlights.
Additional power take-off.
Valve cover emergency running kit.
Front mudguard made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic.
Rear splashguard made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic.
Workshop stand (paddock stand) with adapter.
Supplementary on-board toolkit.
New aluminium luggage system.
The all-new luggage system comprises aluminium cases and stainless- steel case supports as well as an aluminium topcase complete with a topcase holder to be assembled on the stainless-steel luggage rack featured as standard. Both the cases and topcase are watertight, and come additionally with watertight inner bags as an option. Together, the cases offer a volume of 79-litres, with the topcase offering an additional 33-litres.
The case lids come complete with two locks on each cover, the lock not opened in each case serving as the hinge for the lid to provide an appropriate opening and closing function. Opening both locks, on the other hand, the rider is able to take off the lids completely for particularly easy access when required.
Another option is to have just one key for both the cases and the ignition in the interest of enhanced flexibility and ease of use.
Both the aluminium cases and the topcase come with additional lashing points for further luggage. In all, the luggage system is able to take up a load of 25 kilos, allowing the rider to travel smoothly and safely at speeds of up to 180 km/h.