BMW GS gets added grunt and grip
Up-powered, up-specced versions of the German all-terrain favourite are launched
BMW’s long-running all-terrain touring bike, the boxer-engined GS, has hauled countless bikers over smooth roads, rough trails and everything in between. For 2019 SA’s best-selling large bike has arrived wielding extra power and an added dose of technology.
In its latest iteration, the big adventure bike, which started life about 35 years ago as an 800cc machine, is bumped up in capacity from 1,170cc to 1,254cc and acquires a high-tech ShiftCam system, which is used for the first time on a serial production BMW motorcycle.
The system varies the intake valve timing and stroke, while other technical changes and a new exhaust system increase power from 92kW to 100kW and torque from 125Nm to 143Nm. The extra torque is also available at slightly lower rpm than before to give the Beemer improved mid-range grunt.
The result of all the engine tweaking is not only the added muscle, but also reduced fuel consumption and improved running smoothness.
Both the standard and adventure versions of the R 1250 GS benefit from the engine upgrades and acquire an enhanced suite of traction-enhancing tech to help keep them upright and pointed in the right direction.
Two riding modes are available as standard so riders can set their individual preferences: automatic stability control, which optimises traction by reducing wheelspin, and hill-start control, which helps the rider to set off up slopes without rolling back.
Riding modes pro is now added as standard, with additional riding modes dynamic and dynamic pro (configurable), dynamic traction control (DTC), and in the R 1250 GS Adventure also the riding modes enduro and enduro pro (configurable).
What all this means is a bike that accelerates, brakes and corners more safely. The DTC enables safer acceleration by quelling wheelspin, and ABS pro offers greater safety under braking, even in a banking position.
The new dynamic brake control provides additional safety when braking, also in tricky riding situations, by avoiding unintentional throttle activation. Drive torque is reduced via intervention in the engine control during braking to make full use of the braking power at the rear wheel. This keeps the motorcycle stable and shortens the braking distance.
Also standard is the latest electronic suspension adjustment with damping that automatically adapts to varying riding conditions.
The new R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure also acquire an LED headlamp and LED daytime riding light as standard, and an updated cockpit with a full-colour 16.5cm TFT screen. In conjunction with the existing multicontroller on the handlebars, it allows the rider to more quickly and safely access vehicle and connectivity functions.
Both models are available in three trim grades.
R 1250 GS
Full Spec R263,000
Style Exclusive R265,700
Style HP R275,000
R 1250 GS Adventure
Full Spec R288,900
Style Exclusive R297,400
Style HP R299,500