I can’t believe I’ve not spent any decent saddle time with the new GS Adventure, prior to writing this article. I mean, I;ve rode the 1150’s and 1200’s plenty of times, but the new liquid cooled model just never made its way to my table.
There is a road presence about the big old boxer that very few other adventure bikes can mimic or copy. The new daylight running lamp, which is integrated into the headlight also looks pretty bad ass, especially in the rear view mirror of any cager. If you add the two super bright LED spotlights, It’s pretty hard to mistake for anything else on the road.
The GS Adventure is meant for tall people. Forget it if you are under 1.8 meters (short). This is also one of the very few bikes that I’ve gotten on and it actually fitted my 1.95-meter frame like a glove. So getting back to it, if you are not gifted in the height department, look elsewhere, even though there is a low seat available, the sheer size and weight of the bike will get intimidating.
The 125 horsepower liquid-cooled boxer twin is one of the main features here. The power delivery is nothing short of smooth and linear. While being slightly down on power from the likes of the KTM 1190, the power delivery is much more predictable and roll-on power in 6th gear really is impressive all due to the mammoth torque of 125 nm at 6500rpm. The fuel consumption is claimed at mid 5l/100km overall, but I found the sweet spot about a liter thirstier, with my overall everyday consumption sitting at about 6.5l/100km. This will still give you pretty decent tank range from the 30l fuel tank.
The GS Adventure is standard with 2 riding modes, but ours came with the optional with the Dynamic, Touring and Comfort pack, which also included additionally to the Road and Rain; Enduro, Enduro Pro and Dynamic modes. Each of them vastly changing the overall setup and feel of the bike. I particularly liked the Enduro Pro setting for riding off road, where there were little to no electronic intrusion. The Brembo ABS must be one of the most powerful setups I’ve felt on any Adventure bike and I use to think that the Super Tenere had its ABS sorted off the road. It seems BMW has just trumped that… by a mile and if you combine that with the ESA (electronic suspension adjustment) it really makes a very competent off road machine.
Comfort has been well taken care of with the likes of a hand adjustable (for height) screen, very well designed wind deflectors (hand guards), optional heated grips and obviously the best of all, optional cruise control, which just makes any long journey a breeze. All of these “options” are standard with the touring package, which I personally wouldn’t order the bike without.
The GS Adventure has really evolved into a segment leader and me really don’t know why people are still buying conventional sports bikes. The GS is extremely competent on the black stuff and with the right pilot, I can easily see it hanging with the superbikes. The only downside is the hefty weight of 260kg (wet). The factory fitted Anakee 3 tires which are very road biased wouldn’t be my 1st choice for any mild off road work, actually really surprised me too. It’s proof that you don’t need a set of TKC’s or E07’s to hit the back tracks. Finding alternate sizes in the 170 rear can still be a problem when looking for tires with a bit more “meat” on it. For now, you are limited to the likes of the Pirelli Rallye, TKC’s and Karoo 3’s.
The BMW GS adventure surely has to be the king of long distance dirt travel and I can’t see it being dethroned anytime soon.
The 2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure has a retail price of R239 900.