BMW‘s most important model reached an important milestone as the 500,000th boxer-engined GS rolled off the company’s production line in Berlin, Germany. The landmark liquid-cooled 2014 R1200GS follows a lineage half a million strong of flat-twin adventure tourers tracing back to the first R80G/S produced in 1980.
“As a plant it is a privilege for us to continue building on the successful history of the legendary flat-twin GS,” says Marc Sielemann, head of the Berlin plant which produces the bulk of BMW’s motorcycles since 1969. “With the precision-cooled drive unit, a new evolutionary stage was reached last year. Manufacturing half a million units underlines the fact that the boxer GS represents a cornerstone of our motorcycle production more than ever before.”
The original R80G/S (which stands for “Gelände/Strasse”, German for offroad/street) helped launch the adventure touring segment as the first large-displacement dual-sport. Its air-cooled 798cc boxer engine claimed an output of 50 hp, but it started a long legacy that included the R100GS, R1100GS, R1150GS and the R1200GS.
“By combining street, off-road and everyday qualities, BMW Motorrad created the new travel enduro species with the R80 G/S,” says Stephan Schaller, president of BMW Motorrad. “The flat-twin GS became the synonym for this segment. The outstanding talents of the boxer-engined GS models – ride dynamics, offroad qualities, comfort and endurance – have been continuously nurtured, developed and transferred very successfully to other BMW Motorrad model series.”
For several years now, the GS has been BMW’s highest-selling motorcycle, playing an important role in the company’s numerous sales records.