BMW pulled the covers off the latest iteration of its popular R1200GS, revealing a number of updates including a new boxer engine at the 2012 Intermot show in Cologne, Germany. The German manufacturer has sold 170,000 units of the R1200GS since it was introduced in 2004, making it the world’s top-selling adventure-tourer, so BMW obviously has a lot riding on the new 2013 model.
The biggest change for the 2013 BMW R1200GS is its new 1170cc engine. The engine still uses a combination of air and liquid cooling but instead of coolant oil, it uses a glycol-water mixture BMW claims offers a high level of heat absorption capacity. Using a principle similar to one used in Formula 1 called “precision cooling”, only the elements of the engine being particularly strained by thermal stress are targeted by the coolant system.
The result is a boost in performance with BMW claiming an output of 123 hp at 7700 rpm and 92 ft-lb. at 6500 rpm, both up from the previous model’s claim of 110 hp and 89 ft-lb.
The engine isn’t the only thing that’s new however. The new GS is the first in its family with an “E-gas” ride-by-wire electronic throttle control, allowing for a new electronic cruise control function and five riding modes. The five selectable modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro – offer different fueling and engine characteristics to meet different conditions. The riding modes are also linked to BMW’s Automatic Stability Control (ASC) system, ABS and semiactive suspension system.
The new semi-active suspension is BMW’s dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment system. The Dynamic ESA monitors various wheel and spring travel sensors and automatically adapts damping to suit changing riding conditions by activating regulation valves in both the front Telelever and rear Paralever suspension. Like BMW’s own S1000RR HP4 and the recently unveiled 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200, the R1200GS’ semi-active suspension uses Sachs components.
The chassis is a new tubular steel bridge frame with bolt-on rear frame which, with the telelever and paralever suspension, BMW says offers increased torsional stiffness, improving ride stability and handling. The swingarm is also longer than that of the previous R1200GS, helping improve traction.
Unique to the 2013 model, the BMW R1200GS uses a 120/70 R19 front tire and a 170/60 R17 rear tire size tailor specifically for the GS.
Keeping in the company’s signature style, the front headlight uses an asymmetric design. An LED main light with integrated daytime running light is available as an optional add-on.
Above the headlight is a new adjustable windshield said to offer improved wind and weather protection with less wind noise than the previous screen. Adjustment is controlled using a selection wheel which can be manipulated with just one hand.
The R1200GS also comes equipped with a new electrical system inherited from the six-cylinder BMW K1600GT sport-tourer. This allowed the R1200GS to be equipped with a new multi-controller on the left handlebar grip, allowing for access to more functions including operation of the navigation system without removing hands from the handlebars.
BMW has been among the forefront in offering different saddle heights, offering options for its motorcycles. The R1200GS takes this a step further with an adjustable seat. Riders can adjust both the seat height as well as the tilt angle of the saddle. The passenger seat can also be shifted longitudinally to change the distance between the rider and the passenger. The handlebars can also be adjusted upward to suit riders of different sizes. Footrests and controls are also adjustable.
The 2013 BMW R1200GS will be produced in four paint options, Alpine White, Racing Red, Blue Fire and Thunder Metal Grey Metallic. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.