Celebrating its 25th year, the “Best of the Best ” issue of the Robb Report has hit newsstands for June and in it, they name the BMW R 1200 GS as their winner in the Adventure/Touring category. Among 175 winners, the iconic GS has retained its position as the category leader despite radical changes to the bike ‘s design. In short, Robb Report is giving BMW credit for evolving the GS while managing to make a great bike better, not worse. That success was not guaranteed. The addition of partial water cooling as well as throttle-by-wire mean the GS is an all-new motorcycle. Yet, it ‘s won over critics around the world. A misstep with the flagship model is the last thing BMW wants, but the verdict is definitely in. The R 1200 GS has only gotten better.
At an MSRP of of $15,800, all that capability doesn ‘t come cheap. Yet, that ‘s still $10,000 less than you ‘ll pay for say, a Honda Goldwing. Given the GS ‘s around-the-world and off the beaten path capabilities, it ‘s no contest. This selection by the Robb Report says something else as well. For all its tires-in-the-mud, real world capability, the R 1200 GS is a refined, cutting edge motorcycle capable of basically any journey a rider would care to throw at it. It ‘s sat atop the adventure riding category for what feels like time immemorial. Yet even with a growing number of bikes chasing its rear tire, none seem able to chase Zeus off Olympus just yet.
Congratulations to BMW. Any R 1200 GS owners out there? What have they gotten right on this new bike? Let us hear from you in the comments.
Since its introduction in 1980, BMW’s GS series of motorcycles had been powered by air-cooled engines. Now, with the 2013 R 1200 GS, BMW has introduced a liquid-cooled horizontally opposed powerplant.
More stringent emissions regulations may have prompted BMW’s move to liquid cooling, but the change benefits the bike’s performance as well as the environment. Compared with the previous GS model, the new one’s engine has a broader power curve and a gain of 15 hp, which lends the bike more robust acceleration.
This is also the first GS with a ride-by-wire throttle. The technology enables different riding modes, which alter the delivery of power from the 1,170 cc boxer engine and work in conjunction with the bike’s Automatic Stability Control and the optional semiactive suspension system.
The antilock braking system can be set to Enduro mode when the bike is ridden on loose dirt or gravel surfaces, and the variable suspension’s softer settings enable enough wheel articulation to traverse rough terrain.
The $15,800 R 1200 GS departs from a tried-and-true design, but it does so in a way that enhances its capabilities.