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Some of my fondest biking memories are from trips done on BMW dirt bikes, so it was really great to be able to swing my leg over their big GS again.
Globally BMW Motorrad sold 25 000 GS and 21 000 GS adventure models in 2016 out of a total of 145 000 motorcycles. GS models absolutely dominate the South African market with a 43.4 percent market share.
This success is thanks to a continual diversification of their model range. Apart from this new GS, BMW Motorrad are set to introduce another six models in South Africa this year alone.
The BMW GS has meant universal motorcycling pleasure for more than 35 years and embodies the ideal combination between touring and long distance suitability, dynamic performance and off-road capability.
The overall concept of the R 1200GS with its down to earth character and powerful high torque engine has a large following globally and has dominated its market segment for many years.
The big GS has been optimised in a number of areas with selective improvements, numerous new features and an expanded program of optional equipment and accessories.
Powered as before by the air/liquid-cooled boxer with an output of 92kW at 7 750rpm and 125Nm at 6 500rpm the only changes are an altered catalytic convertor and revised engine mapping to ensure that the GS meets EU4 requirements. The 2017 model year was already updated with a judder damper on the transmission output shaft and a revision of the selector drum actuator and transmission shafts.
As standard the GS features Rain and Road riding modes in conjunction with Automatic Stability Control. This is now supplemented with Riding Modes Pro featuring additional modes including Dynamic, Dynamic Pro, Enduro and Enduro Pro as well as Dynamic Traction Control which enables even more efficient acceleration, even when the bike is leaning over. Furthermore Riding Modes Pro incorporates a new Hill Start Control for convenient hill starts, ABS Pro for even greater safety when braking, even in a banked position and the dynamic brake light. In addition to this the GS now features keyless starting and a quickshifter which works on both the up and down shifts.
Available as an optional extra is the Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) with this system the damping automatically adapts to the situation depending on riding condition and manoeuvres and there is also an automatic self-levelling function to compensate for all load states.
Now for the first time customers can choose a BMW GS that bests suits their needs and area of use with the availability of the Rallye and Exclusive packages.
The Rallye package allows the new GS to be optimised for more ambitious off-road use. Off-road performance is significantly increased with harder suspension, longer spring struts and extended spring travel.
Design details have been optimised on the front mudguard and at the centre of the front wheel cover, while small slipstream deflectors, also known as winglets, add a touch of aerodynamic perfection. The trim of the air intake and the side fuel tank trim panels have also been redesigned. New styling has been applied to the cooling air ducts and radiator trim elements, which either feature a galvanised surface or are made of Stainless steel, depending on the model
Optimised ergonomics in the knee area ensure further improved off-road qualities, while more pointed contrasts, and new paint finishes and the optional Rallye and Exclusive packages emphasise the distinctive talents of the R 1200GS in its differing forms.
The Rallye version features paintwork in Lupine Blue metallic, the over-painted deco elements on the fuel tank sides in BMW Motorsport colours and the frame in Cordoba Blue go together with the black drivetrain.
The Rallye model gets among other goodies a 20mm increased ride height, Rallye seat, different rake angle, enduro footrests, a sports windshield, spoked wheels and frame and radiator guards.
The Exclusive is distinguished by fuel tank side trim panels in Monolith metallic matt with clear over-painted deco elements, a front wheel splash guard and central fuel tank cover in Iced Chocolate Metallic and a Agate Grey frame. The black drivetrain and gold-finished brake calipers lend a refined contrast to this models
The R 1200 GS remains an extremely capable motorcycle, but it is a heavy motorcycle and in saying so it requires a certain level of skill and fitness to harness all this capability. However the amount of electronics does allow one to set the GS up to suit your riding style and ability.
A GS remains one of the necessary tools in the toolbox of life and the big GS will still be my first choice for a Cape to Cairo blast. – Reuben van Niekerk
Standard R238 990
Exclusive and Rallye R241 990