21 Feb 2013

2013 BMW R1200GS - specs, prices and images

BMW have released specifications, pricing and photos of the new R1200GS.  Angela Freeman takes us on a tour of the updates to this most venerable of biking institutions 

It has finally landed – the new and much anticipated BMW R1200GS. With Triumph, KTM and Yamaha striving to steal sales away from the Adventure Bike class leader, what has BMW done to make sure they will still rule the roost this year?

With a new air/liquid cooling system and cylinder heads, the redeveloped boxer engine delivers impeccable performance, refinement and pulling power, and should please the emission-conscious authorities; and also gives the bike an extra 15bhp. Torque is up too.

Looks-wise, there has been a subtle overhaul; the famous ‘beak’ has been tweaked and the new optional full LED headlights make it a much more handsome machine to look at – I have always liked the quirkiness of the GS’s Patrick Moore-esque face, and this combined with new wheels, side panels and screen is in my opinion a winner. The exhaust route and shaft drive have swapped sides on the new bike. There is also – shock horror – a conventional single indicator switch!

A lot of the switchgear has been lifted from the K1300 series bikes, but there is still the old analogue rev counter and speedo sitting with the LCD display panel, as per the outgoing model.

Suspension wise, the main frame is now more rigid and the Telelever and Paralever systems, unique to BMW, are significantly more precise than that of previous models. Dynamic ESA, available as an option, also further improves the bike’s performance. The electronic suspension system adapts to the current riding surface, enabling riders to fully connect with the ground beneath them. Furthermore, new tyre sizes (120/70 R19 front and 170/60 R17 rear) ensure that all the power is delivered exactly where it is needed most.

The swingarm is 53mm longer, and the Brembo brakes now have larger pistons in the radial calipers. The front discs remain the same size, but braking should be vastly improved as a result of this, and the new bike also has a larger rear disc (up from 265mm to 276mm).

Optional riding modes are also available to GS riders, providing a variety of set-ups. Five settings can be chosen at the push of a button, changing the configuration of the ASC (Active Stability Control), ABS (fitted as standard), throttle response and Dynamic ESA, and providing five different riding experiences.

Comfort-driven ergonomics mean the enjoyment never wears off, with the motorcycle offering four individual positions for the rider seat and a pillion seat which is adjustable lengthways.

The new GS is still a weighty bit of kit, coming in at 238kg fully fuelled, but with a low centre of gravity this shouldn’t be too much of a problem in every day riding; however I wouldn’t want to drop it and then try to lift it up on my own!

And finally, we come to the price list – the standard bike is £11,395; with the Enduro spec model at £12,345 and the top end Touring version hitting a heady £13,815 (this model has the semi-active suspension set up fitted).

I think BMW have done the impossible here; they’ve made a great all round bike even better, and I’m hoping the new engine and chassis refinements make it a less intimidating bike to ride for newer converts. Let’s just say this; they’ve had 33 years of practice to get to this point!

Optional Extras

Vario panniers
• Black plastic case with new-design aluminum insert in the case lid.
• Bow-shaped bar for changing case capacity.
– A patented adjuster mechanism means that capacity can be adjusted conveniently and quickly with only one hand by flicking a lever.
– The reduction in width (12 cm narrower) obtainable by reducing the capacity of the cases really pays off, particularly in city traffic.
• Capacity of case, right: Approx. 30-39 litres.
• Capacity of case, left: Approx. 20-29 litres.
• Suitable for off-road riding.
• Maximum payload per case: 10 kg.
• Optional inner bags available.

Adjustable footbrake lever
• Brake-lever pedal is now wider and height-adjustable at the hinge mechanism.
   – Hinged, double-size footplate patented by BMW.
• The footbrake is easier to use and control when the rider is standing on the pegs.
   – Adjusting the height is a no-tools operation; the rider flicks the footplate down before riding off.

Adjustable footrests
• High-quality forged footrests, anodised gold finish.
• 3 positions selectable for height of footrest.
   – Bottom position same as standard footrest, 2 higher positions are selectable, and best of all, easy to adjust by screw.
• Spring-mounted footplate:
   – Comfortable spring shock absorption for seated riding.
   – When the rider stands on the footrests the extra weight presses the footplate down flush with the footrest. This offers a better stance and therefore more control over the motorcycle.

Headlight Guard
• Protects the headlight lens against flying stones when the motorcycle is used for off-roading.
• Snap-lock system for straightforward, speedy installation and removal.
• For off-roading only.

Seat Options
1. Standard rider seat: Height adjustable in two positions.
2. Riders low seat. Height-adjustable in two positions, so it is easier for the rider to put his/her feet on the ground, and therefore the motorcycle is easier to balance when stopped.
3. Riders high seat. Positioned higher and seat harder for off-road use.

Slim line seat helps off-road riders reach the ground with their feet.

The range of seats and positioning means that the seated height extends from 820mm – 870mm. Furthermore, a lowered suspension factory fit option is also available, taking overall possible seat height to 790mm. This is great news for the shorter rider, as they are generally not able to reach the ground on the GS.