The New BMW R1200GS
Everything you ever wanted to know about the BMW R 1200 GS
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Because the BMW R1200GS is so popular we will post it here for you to read.
Because the review is so large, we have to put it on 4 pages.
The inventor of the touring enduro sets new standards.
– New dimensions in dynamics, agility, riding pleasure, and safety.
– Excellent offroad qualities plus onroad features enhanced to an even higher level.
– Reduction in weight by 30 kg (66 lb) ensured by precise calculation, intelligent lightweight construction, and the use of high-strength materials.
– New 1,200-cc flat-twin power unit with balance shaft for supreme smoothness.
– Torque and output up by almost 18 per cent.
– Fuel consumption down by 8 per cent.
– Highly advanced, newly developed engine electronics and the latest emission technology for optimum environmental compatibility.
– Quiet exhaust system with a throaty sound.
– All-new six-speed gearbox with superior running smoothness and shift comfort.
– Newly developed lighweight Paralever with weight-optimised driveshaft.
– New Telelever for even greater precision in front wheel guidance plus low weight.
– Extra stiff running gear for supreme riding safety, outstanding directional stability up to top speed, superior handling and unprecedented accuracy in bends.
– High-performance EVO brakes with on-demand Integral ABS.
– High-strength cast light-alloy wheels and cross-spoke wheels available as an option.
– Electronics used to ensure sensible function with fewer cables and lower weight.
– Electronic immobiliser fitted as standard.
– Wide range of equipment and tailor-made accessories to BMW’s high standard.
Even more agile, more powerful and lighter for maximum riding pleasure on and off the road.
The new BMW R 1200 GS fulfils the old dream of the ideal touring enduro: Superiority in every respect, outstanding performance and superior comfort even on the longest tour, equally superior handling and agility for maximum riding pleasure on winding country roads and mountain passes give the rider exactly what he wants. Add to this low weight of just 225 kg or 496 lb quite unique in this class, plus outstanding chassis and spring qualities, and you can be sure to enjoy even the toughest tours on the roughest terrain.
The BMW R 1200 GS offers an unparalleled synthesis of harmony in its combination of offroad an onroad riding qualities. With its predecessor, the R 1150 GS uniquely successful over so many years, setting the standard in its segment consistently throughout its lifecycle, the R 1200 GS now takes you into a new dimension, raising the outstanding features of its predecessor to an even higher level on all important counts.
At the same time it goes without saying that the R 1200 GS continues all the traditional features and fortes so characteristic of all BMW motorcycles: First-class and extra-safe riding conditions ensured by even more stable running gear with the unique BMW Telelever for the front wheel and a newly designed weight- and geometry-optimised Paralever at the rear.
High-performance brakes of the highest calibre together with BMW’s unique Motorcycle Integral ABS guarantee supreme safety even in a critical situation. Superior environmental compatibility, in turn, is ensured by a fully controlled three-way catalytic converter with the most advanced emission management – a technology, incidentally, which has been a natural feature on all BMW motorcycles for years.
Equipped with dual ignition, brand-new Digital Motor Electronics featuring integrated knock control, as well as further improved catalytic converters and separate oxygen sensors for each cylinder, the R 1200 GS increases the leadership of BMW motorcycles in the large-volume touring enduro segment to an even higher standard than ever before.
A further feature not to be forgotten is the maintenance-free driveshaft avoiding the need for unpleasant and time-consuming service particularly on long trips. The sophisticated new luggage system as well as the wide range of accessories available straight from the factory and tailored to the R 1200 GS also help to clearly prove that this new machine is powerfully continuing the tradition of large-capacity BMW touring enduros which now goes back almost 25 years to the R 80 G/S launched in 1980: This is most certainly the original straight from the inventor of this type of motorcycle, a machine once again setting the standard in this class.
New engine – even more powerful, comfortable, and cleaner.
In its design principle and fundamental structure, the newly developed flat-twin power unit of the R 1200 GS follows the same standards as BMW’s former, proven engine. But at the same time the new power unit is a new development all-round, with fully revised and improved components. Optimisation of engine geometry and application of the most advanced calculation and simulation methods serve to reduce the weight of the engine by 3 kg or 8 per cent despite its larger capacity and wider range of functions. Engine width, in turn, is the same as before.
This is the biggest engine ever seen in an enduro so far, the increase in cubic capacity to 1,200 cc providing the foundation for superior output of 100 hp and muscular torque throughout a speed range wider than ever before in the past. The result is superior power under all conditions and in all situations – clearly a great advantage above all on difficult offroad terrain, with power and torque constantly available regardless of engine speed, the gear in mesh, and the conditions facing the rider.
Crankdrive and engine block – 1,200 cc and balance shaft to eliminate all vibrations.
The most important innovation featured on the basic engine block is the balance shaft eliminating any unpleasant vibrations: Despite their superior design principle with the cylinders opposing each other to provide a perfect balance of free mass forces (connecting rods and pistons moving to and fro) in their overall effect, conventional flat-twin engines cannot run entirely without vibrations. The inevitable displacement of the cylinders always generates “circulating” mass forces (that is forces not acting on one and the same level) causing unpleasant vibration the rider will feel on the handlebar, footrests and seat. The severity of such mass forces and the vibrations caused in this way increases as a function of engine size and, in particular, engine speed.
Precisely this is why the engine of the R 1200 GS is the first power unit in the history of the Boxer engine to feature a balance shaft: Running in the opposite direction, the shaft carries two balance weights 180° apart from one another and exactly spaced out in size to provide a counter-force which, superimposed on the mass forces in the crankshaft, reduces vibrations to an absolute minimum. This keeps running conditions smooth and comfortable throughout the entire speed range, vibrations even being dampened in particular at low engine speeds without the flat-twin losing its bullish character.
The balance shaft itself is arranged exactly where it should be, saving space through its intelligent and elegant concept: Running in anti-friction bearings, the balance shaft is positioned within the countershaft and is driven by a spur gear from the crankshaft (1:1 transmission ratio). The rear balance weight is outside of the oil cavity and is bolted on to the shaft extending completely from one end to the other. The front balance weight, in turn, is integrated in the drive sprocket.
Like on the former engine, the countershaft again serves to drive the oil pumps and carries the sprockets driving the camshaft. The transmission ratio of the countershaft versus the crankshaft is therefore 2:1, the countershaft itself being driven by a roller chain.
The crankshaft is also a new design from the ground up – it is now even more compact in the interest of extra stiffness and the cranks themselves are even closer together (a modification made possible, inter alia, by the narrower counterweights). Despite the increase in lift from 70.5 mm or 2.78´´ to 73 mm or 2.87´´, this change in design helps to reduce weight by 1 kg or approximately 9 per cent. And to give the crankdrive the balance effect required, some of the counter-masses have been moved to the flywheel and the drive gear on the balance shaft.
As before, the flywheel holds the single-plate dry clutch enlarged in diameter from 165 to 180 millimetres (6.50–7.09´´). The clutch lining is free of asbestos and heavy metals, the pressure plate, membrane spring and gear plate being balanced individually to allow easy and convenient assembly of these components without any negative effects on running smoothness.
The structure of the pistons has been only slightly modified versus the previous engine, the new power unit featuring lightweight box-type pistons with three rings which, weighing just 410 grams, are once again a bit lighter still than the former pistons (420 grams).
The crankcase is a lot lighter than before, use of the most advanced computer methods together with innovative casting technology serving to optimise wall thickness as well as the stiffness and strength of the crankcase, weight being reduced in the process by 1.4 kg.
Well-conceived and effective solutions are also to be found in – seemingly insignificant – details such as the crank cavity air purge: To minimise undesirable pressure pulses within the cavity, with air pressure going up and down as a result of piston motion, a valve complete with membrane openings fitted here opens and closes the air purge outlet automatically as a function of pressure conditions in the crank cavity and at the same time provides a large air purge cross-section whenever required. This serves to reduce pressure fluctuations and air flow in the crankcase to a minimum, with an advantageous effect on engine output, internal efficiency (reduction of ventilation loss), oil foaming, and oil consumption particularly at high speeds.
Continued on Page Two