Liquid-cooled BMW R1200GS revealed

October 4 2012

BMW has finally released information on its long-anticipated, liquid-cooled R1200GS.

The company’s biggest adventure-touring machine has set the standard in the segment and is the benchmark to which all other big-bore adventure bikes are compared, so it’s no surprise that the German bike maker has completely redesigned the machine.

Rumoured for quite some time now, the latest boxer engine will be liquid-cooled. BMW actually calls it an air/water-cooled engine, as the cylinders will still have cooling fins and the liquid will be used in a “precision cooling” system in which only the most thermally stressed components are liquid cooled. Engine displacement remains at 1,170 cc. Power output is up 15 hp, now at 125 hp, and peak torque has increased by 3.7 lb-ft to 92.2 lb-ft.

Another big change is the elimination of a separate gearbox. The six-speed transmission is now incorporated into the crankcase and is driven by a wet, multi-plate slipper clutch (used to be a dry, single-plate clutch). The drive shaft has also moved from the right side to the left side of the bike.

For the first time on a GS model a ride-by-wire throttle is used, and traction control, as well as selectable ride modes will be optional. A rider will be able to choose from five ride modes — rain, road, dynamic, enduro and enduro pro — and traction control will include an off-road mode.

A new frame is torsionally stiffer and the new GS will also have an optional semi-active suspension system, which will alter damping while riding for varying road conditions based on info gathered by sensors in the suspension.

There are several other improvements, including the addition of an optional LED headlight, the first time one has been used on a motorcycle.

The new R1200GS will be launched in the spring of 2013, with Canadian pricing announced closer to its launch date.

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