If cross-country riding is your thing, the BMW R 1200 GS is the right tool for you. Having been the company’s best-selling model for over three decades, this Paris-Dakar Rally leading motorcycle is a prime example of a legendary bike hitting our shores.autos Updated: Jul 04, 2011 15:18 IST
Having been the company’s best-selling model for over three decades, this Paris-Dakar Rally leading motorcycle is a prime example of a legendary bike hitting our shores, and enthusiasts are sure to be tickled by its presence.
A cursory glance at the Beemer and it’s apparent that the massive dimensions of the bike take getting used to. The attractive BMW-typical asymmetric headlight brings to light the finer details of the bike, while the towering and adjustable windshield provides good wind and dust protection.
Instruments include an analogue speedometer and tachometer, plus a digital readout that displays fuel level, oil temperature, gear position and the time. A large 20-litre fuel tank provides excellent support for the rider’s thighs, and comes with smart cladding on the side.
For tall riders only
Both the rider and the pillion will take to the GS’s commodious riding saddle. The only niggle is that shorter riders will find the riding position really high. The end-can looks fabulous, while the exposed rear wheel is a visual treat.
The R1200 GS is powered by an air and oil-cooled 1,170cc, twin-cam boxer powerplant. In keeping with the character of a GS, the engine rocks to the right when revving hard in neutral. There’s 110bhp at 7,750rpm and 12.23kgm at 6,000rpm. Adding to the histrionics is a character-rich exhaust note. That it can cruise at 140kph all day long only sweetens the deal.
Top whack is close to 200kph but a wide spread of torque also makes this bike easily useable on crowded Indian streets. The gears shift nicely on the one-down, five-up gearbox, and the hydraulic clutch is always a pleasure to use. The commanding riding stance makes this an ideal tourer and the ride remains absolutely flat over even the worst potholes.
Off-road mannerisms are even better: the tank-like 1200 aided by traction control is capable enough to traverse any terrain you throw at it. The 1200’s pièce de résistance is its ‘Telelever’ front suspension. The telescopic forks seen are actually only dampers.
At the rear, the ‘Paralever’ suspension is similar to a standard single-side swingarm with the driveshaft running through. The 305mm front disc brakes and 265mm discs at the rear offer tremendous stopping ability and the ABS stays non-intrusive throughout, save for a slight pulsing feeling that can be felt at the rear brake lever during hard stops.
BMW R 1200 GS
Price: Rs. 16.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Fuel tank capacity: 20 litres
Kerb weight: 229kg
Engine layout: Flat twin, air and oil-cooled
Power: 110bhp at 7,750rpm
Torque: 12.23kgm at 6,000rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed, 1-down, 5-up
Rim size (f-r) 19-17 inches
Tyre size (f-r) 110/80 x 19- 150/70 x 17 inches
The BMW R1200GS successfully marries the performance with the off-roading capabilities. To cap it off, the bike is easy to manoeuvre in traffic, making it appropriate for all seasons.
Priced at Rs. 16.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), it isn’t cheap and the Adventure variant will put you back by another 2 lakh. The saving grace is that we can expect smaller, but no less capable bikes like the R650 GS and R800 GS in India shortly.