BMW has sold over 170,000 GS models, and the air-cooled 1200 variant is a tough-as-nails all 'rounder that has earned a freakishly cultish following over the years.
Breaking tradition by employing liquid cooling, the all-new 2013 BMW R1200GS promises gutsier performance against foes like the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and Yamaha Super Tenere... but the price of progress is the potential risk of alienating its core audience who live and die by minimalist, easy-to-fix air-cooled setups.
The new GS's numbers aren't superbike sky high, but they're plenty ballsy for an enduro tourer: a 524 lb curb weight and an 1,170cc boxer-style twin that produces 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque. BMW's so-called precision cooling combines traditional air cooling with liquid cooling that focuses only on engine components that are exposed to thermal stress.
Other highlights include electronic throttle, a semi-active application of BMW's ESA suspension setup (which alters damping automatically based on spring travel sensors), and five selectable ride modes which alter throttle, suspension, and traction control settings a la Ducati's Multistrada. Standard ABS, available cruise control, an LED headlight, and a multi-controller setup derived from the K1600 are just a few of the numerous techy items available on the new GS.
Will the new R1200GS continue the model's success when it hits showrooms in early spring 2013? Time will tell... but more telling than the quality of the bike itself will be whether or not BMW's hardcore customers are ready for a radical change.
- 2010 BMW R1200GS Review: Tackling Rain, Sleet, and Snow
- 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Review: Meet Ducati's groundbreaking new ride
- 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere Review: Japanese Giant Takes on the Dominant German Paradigm
- 2012 BMW G 650 GS Sertão Review: What's in a (Brazilian) Name?
- 2012 BMW K1600 GT and GTL Review: Meet the New Boss
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