New BMW GS unveiled on October 2

BMW has announced that the newest RXXXXGS will be unveiled at the INTERMOT show on 2 October. The reason for all the X’s in the bike’s name is…we don’t know what the engine will be. 1200? 1250? 1300? Air-cooled (Probably not)? Rumors have been of a 1250cc water-cooled boxer.

But whatever it is, when we first see it, we will also know what the future of the R1200RT, and the rest of the R-models will be. The GS is the iconic bike in the BMW line-up and the Boxer engine is the heart of BMW’s motorcycle. So, in about a month, BMW will not only be unveiling a new GS model, but also the future of BMW’s motorcycles.

It may be that we will see the end of nearly a century of air-cooled boxers.

Adventure-Tourer Shootout

Motorcycle USA runs a head-to-head adventurer tourer test between the BMX R1200GS, the new Ducati Multistrada 1200S, and the Triumph Tiger 1050, a bike that looks to be making an exit from the Triumph line-up this next year, with the advent of two brand new Triumph adventure bikes.  Read the full review for the details, but the Triumph, as always, gives you full value for the money you spend on it.  Does it beat the Panzerkampfwagen that is the GS or the hyperdrive-powered MTS?  Tough question.  It beats the GS on the street, and the Multistrada off-road, so it’s probably a better all-rounder.

But, though I’ve never ridden the Tiger 1050, I’d throw my personal lot with the MTS1200.  It’s an unbeatable streetbike in this category.  Occasional forays on well-maintained dirt or gravel roads won’t rouble it, but I’m not really likely to do much of that.

I’d pick the MTS, for the lighter weight and amazing quickness and maneuverability on the street.

But, I have to say, for the price, Triumph is about the hardest brand of bike to beat.  They really do make value-priced bikes that do what they’re advertised to do.  And, with the money you save, you can always farkle them up.

BMW R1200GS First Ride Reports

Motorcycle Daily reports on their first ride of the new BMW R1200GS.  They really liked it, especially the new engine’s astonishingly wide power band.

Meanwhile, Motorcycle USA was along for that trip, too, and they note:

Whether
or not you opt for the Special Edition or an upgraded package on either model, both machines are phenomenal in their performance. They’re the same old lovable Adventure Touring bikes we’ve come to expect from the propeller gang. We wish we could say the new motor is a vast improvement over the old version, but the circumstances and the time gap in our memory make that difficult. While we couldn’t readily detect a difference in engine performance (that’ll have to wait for dyno testing or a dry back-to-back evaluation) the German crew certainly hasn’t taken a step back.

Motorcycle.Com was also an hand, concluding:

The good news is the GS is still very much what the previous bike was, and that’s, well, good.

All in all, despite being unable to compare the older and new models side by side, everyone seems happy with it.

2010 BMW R-Series Motorcycles

By far the most popular search that leads people to this site, is a search for the rumored variants of the BMW R1200RT for 2010, such as “R1300RT”, or R1250RT”.  Everyone seems to want to know what the 2010 version of the BMW R-bikes are going to be.

Well, now we know.  It’s the R1200RT, and R1200GS.

2010 BMW R1200RT
2010 BMW R1200RT

BMW announced today that the 2010 R-Series bikes will all sport a DOHC Boxer motor derived from the Hp2 Sport.  Unlike the HP2 Sport, however, the R Engine will rev lower, and put out less horsepower.

So, the horsepower figure for the R-series Boxer will remain unchanged at 110HP, but torque will increase by 3lb-ft to 88lb-ft at an unchanged 6,000RPM, for faster acceleration.  The redline will increase to 8,500 RPM from the current 8,000rpm.

The R1200RT will receive an updated fairing and windscreen, designed to offer better wind protection.  The instrument panel has also been updated, with redesigned instruments and a visor to help keeps the sun’s glare off a bit better.  Also updated are the handlebar controls, with the old-style paddle turn signals on each side being replaced by standard turn signals.  An additional control is a rotary thumbwheel on the left handgrip to allow the rider to cycle through all the stereo options without taking his hand off the grip.  The stereo itself gets rid of BMW’s CD player, although a jack is provided for external audio sources.

2010 BMW R1200GS
2010 BMW R1200GS

TheR1200GS is visually unchanged from the previous year’s model, except for the cylider covers, which have two bolts, instead of four.  The new engine, on the other hand also gets the 110HP output, and increase of 5 horsies over last year’s.  There’s also an accessory LED headlight for a few extra bucks.

Overall, the change to the DOHC engine doesn’t provide as much oomph as I would have expected, considering that the HP2 engine actually puts out 130HP in the HP2.  I would’ve thought that BMW would have added more ponies to the R-series boxer, rather than upping the torque a bit.

I’m also a little disappointed in the new styling for the R1200RT.  I think last year’s version looked better, and came in better colors than white, beige and two-tone gray and white.  Overall, I suspect that GS afficionados will be a bit more pleased with the 2010 update than their RT brethren.

There’s tons of detail available from BMW about the new models in PDF format, which you can acquire here for the GS, and here for the RT.

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Another BMW Rumor

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I‘ve been seeing this pop up for the last few days.  Oberdan Bezzi is an Italian motorcycle designer.  Sometimes his notions of what a future bike model would look like are just that: notions.  But, he is a guy who has some hooks into the major bike shops in Europe, so, sometimes, he’s spot on.

Oberdan Bezzi's BMW GS12500R Concept.
Oberdan Bezzi's BMW R12500GS Concept.

In this particular case, the rumor is that BMW is working on a 12500cc successor to the current 1200cc boxer in their R-Series bikes.  It would give the bike maybe, what, 10-15 more ponies, and an extra lb-ft or two?  And, it would keep in tradition with past incremental shifts for the R-Bikes, from the 110 to 1150, to 1200.  maybe it;s shave a few punds of weight off, too.  I dunno.

If I was BMW, though, I’m not sure why I would.  Instead, I think the move towards the HP2 boxer engine, with the dual overhead cams would be a better move.  They already get 130HP out of that engine.

Of course, if you bumped up that engine to 1250cc, you’d probably get to 140+ HP out of it in the HP2 series.

And, lets’ not forget my previous trip down BMW rumor lane, which is that there will be a 1300cc HP2 boxer, and it will go into the RT and GS.

Motorcyclist’s 2009 Picks of the Year

The mavens at Motorcyclist magazine have announced the winner of the award for 2009 Motorcycle of the Year, as well as their other picks.

Motorcyclist's Motorcycle of the Year: 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1
Motorcyclist's Motorcycle of the Year: 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1

The bike picking up the top award this year is the Yamaha YZF-R1.

Modern sportbikes are engineered so close to the edge of the performance envelope that we’re conditioned to expect incremental changes: a shaved pound here, an added pony there. It’s almost unimaginable that any sportbike could surprise us with a novel riding experience that realigns our understanding of what a liter-class sportbike is, and what one can do. The 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 is exactly that sort of bike-which is why it’s our Motorcycle of the Year.

Other notable picks include:

Ben Spies as the Motorcyclist of the year.

The Kawasaki ZX-6R as the best sportbike of the year, closely followed by the Ducati 1198.

The Ducati Streetfighter as the Best Naked Bike, followed by the Harley Davidson XR1200 Sportster.

The Kawasaki Concours14 as the year’s Best Touring Bike, followed by the Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

Best Adventure Bike honors go to two BMWs, with the F800GS in the top position, and the R1200GS Adventure in second place.

The Best Dreambike is the Aprilia RSV4, with the BMW S1000RR as the follow-on.

Best Bang For The Buck goes to Kawasaki, with the ER-6n as the winner, and KLX250SF as the second-place finisher.

For Best Cruiser, Motorcyclist goes strictly for muscle this year, with the Star (Yamaha) V-MAX ruling the roost, and the Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle in the supporting position.

Best Dirtbike is the Husaberg FE450; second best is the Honda CRF450R.

Best New Technology is the Honda Combined ABS system, followed by the Ducati Traction Control.

And, finally, the Best New Product honors go to the Gopro Motorsports Hero Wide Camera, with the Bazzaz Performance Z-FI Traction Control taking the runner-up position.