Liquid-Cooled Boxer for BMW?

Asphalt & Rubber has an image of what appears to be a new BMW RXX00GS in the wild.  Sure it looks like a R1200GS, but the thing is…the shaft drive is on the wrong side.

BMW liquid-cooled boxer?
BMW liquid-cooled boxer?

BMW’s boxer engines are air/oil-cooled, but the end of the road is surely in sight for air-cooled engines, due to both emissions compliance issues and the consumer demand for a bit more power. So, the best guess here is that this is a GS testing a new liquid-cooled boxer engine.  we don’t know the displacement, or anything else.  We don’t even know if this engine is liquid-cooled, based on the picture.

Still, the rumor is the BMW is water-cooling the boxer, and if this GS with what is obviously a different motor is already testing on the road, the chances are pretty good that it is the water-cooled boxer, and if its in this advanced stage of testing, i.e., running around on a bike in the wild, then we can look forward to a brand new RXX00GS for 2012.

We might know more, but this picture appears to have been taken by a 1930s Kodak box camera, using film that’s over its expiration date.