2011 BMW R1200GS

Autocar India
First Published: 16:21 IST(30/10/2012)
Last Updated: 13:44 IST(5/12/2012)
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BMW Motorrad’s dual purpose GS series models aren’t mere motorcycles. The GS line-up is already BMW’s best selling model for over three decades. Say hello to the first GS in India, the iconic R1200GS.
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It takes some time to get used to this Beemer’s hulking dimensions. Styling is more industrial, less beautiful, bringing a Hummer H1 on two wheels to mind. There are fine details, the attractive BMW-typical asymmetric headlight among the more prominent of these. The towering, adjustable windshield provides good wind protection. Instruments include an analogue speedometer and tachometer, plus a digital readout. The switches have a nice tactile feel.

A large 21-litre fuel tank provides excellent support to a rider’s thighs, and comes with smart cladding. Riders benefit ample real estate on the GS’ commodious riding saddle.

The fat, bazooka-esque end can looks fabulous, as does the eye catching and completely exposed rear wheel. A small tail light with the carrier positioned just above brings up the rear.

The R1200GS is powered by an air-and-oil cooled 1170cc, twin-cam boxer powerplant. Power is transmitted via a shaft drive. In keeping with the character of a GS, the engine rocks to the right when revving hard in neutral. Performance is stunning. There’s 110bhp at 7750rpm and 12.23kgm at 6000rpm. Opening throttle from standstill results in a tsunami-like roll of power rising all the way to 8500rpm with only minimal hesitation experienced at 4500rpm. The GS can cruise at 140kph all day long with a top speed close to 200kph. Gears shifts nicely on the one-down, five-up box, and the hydraulic clutch is always a pleasure to use.

You sit in a commanding riding position. This is the bike to traverse the subcontinent. Ride remains absolutely flat over even the worst potholes and it gets even better off-road. The GS can charge through all-terrain with a tank-like authority, traction control making your adventure a wee bit safer. The wide handlebar provides good leverage, while handling is always sure-footed.

Key to the GS’ well rounded ride and handling is BMW’s unconventional chassis design. The frame is comprised of front and rear sections, with the engine a stressed member, the piece-de-resistance being a ‘Telelever’ front suspension. The rear uses a ‘Paralever’ suspension.

There is minimal squat on hard acceleration and the absence of dive under hard braking. ABS comes standard on the GS, as with all BMW bikes. The system stays non-intrusive.

There’s no hiding the fact that the BMW R1200GS has us bowled over. It successfully marries the performance of big bikes, with Himalaya conquering off-road abilities, while staying easy to ride in traffic, truly making this a bike for every season. For more details on this capable BMW motorcycle, pick up your copy of Autocar India July 2011.


BOX
Price                              Rs. 16.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Engine
Fuel                               Petrol
Power                           110bhp at 7750rpm
Torque                          12.23kgm at 6000rpm
Power to weight            48bhp per tonne
Transmission
Type                              Manual
Gearbox                        Six-speed, 1-down, 5-up
Dimensions
Length                           2210mm
Width                            915mm
Height                           1450mm
Chassis & Body
Weight                          229kg
Wheels                         Wire spoke, 19-inch front-17-inch rear
Tyres                            110/80 x 19(front) 150/70x17 (rear)
Suspension
Front                           Adjustable Telelever
Rear                            Adjustable Paralever
Brakes
Front                            305mm discs (ABS)
Rear                            305mm discs (ABS)


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