BMW R 1200 GS Design and body







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: October 4, 2012
Categories: BMW, BMW Motorcycles, Motorcycles

BMW 1200 GSFunctionality and robustness - the BMW GS styling.

For over 30 years, the design of a GS has stood for both supremacy and boundless riding fun, both on and off the road. BMW Motorrad presented the R 80 G/S in 1980, a motorcycle which founded the completely new segment of the large-capacity travel enduro.

Today the R 1200 GS is the icon of its segment, presenting developers with both obligations and aspirations. The masculine presence conveys a powerful sense of robustness, great endurance capacity and excellent functionality. These are qualities which make the model an established factor in the motorcycle market when it comes to extended tours and exploring faraway landscapes. The ergonomic upright seating position makes it especially comfortable to ride and excellently suited to all forms of travel. The generous ground clearance ensures the machine can be universally deployed in all terrains, its numerous different types of luggage facilities making it versatile for long tours, too.

The aim in creating the body and design of the new R 1200 GS was to firstly preserve this fundamental emotional trust in the tried and tested virtues of the BMW Motorrad GS with boxer engine, while achieving optimum refinement for future years at the same time.

The design of the new R 1200 GS: ergonomic, light and full of dynamic performance.
Even at first sight, the new BMW R 1200 GS powerfully symbolises dynamic performance, agility and lightness - combined with the masculine robustness which is the enduro hallmark.

Visible technology and authentic, segment-oriented design are blended in every BMW motorcycle to form an attractive whole. The design of the new GS likewise lends authentic expression to the machine’s qualities.

The flyline of the new BMW R 1200 GS.

The characteristically marked flyline now runs even more dynamically as compared to the predecessor model. It runs boldly from the typically dipping “beak”, creating a spray guard above the front wheel and also enhancing aerodynamics, via the fuel tank down to the low seat and up again, finishing with the elongated rear. Even at first sight it conveys the familiar GS look but with fresh aesthetic appeal.

High-quality surfaces increase the sense of value.

The machine attains a high level of visual quality due to the interplay of varying high-quality surfaces. In addition to various selected paint finishes and grains, visible construction parts such as the gold-anodised fork and various naturally anodised components such as the upper fork bridge and the axle clamp blocks reflect the technological aspirations of the new GS.

Purist frame concept, light rear section.

The new R 1200 GS also gives visual expression to its functional construction. The torsionally stiff tubular space frame lends the new
BMW R 1200 GS a purist technical touch due to the almost freely visible structure in the central and rear area. In order to create a more dynamic appearance, the visual focus of the new GS was shifted clearly towards the front. With its much slimmer waist and the lightness conveyed by the rear, the design of the new BMW R 1200 GS underscores its agile, dynamic character.

Vertical lines due to new air through-flow of the boxer engine.

The new water-cooled boxer engine creates revolutionary vertical lines. Nonetheless the machine echoes the model’s hallmark appearance, still remaining faithful to the classic BMW boxer look. The line now runs from the matt black grained intake openings via the granite grey panels on the fuel tank down to the new engine, expressing a sense of lightness. This effect is underscored by the striking new radiator cover which makes for perfect flow through the radiator due to an elaborate tear-off edge.

New GS logo.

The radiator cover bears the BMW logo and a revised GS inscription. For years, the GS logo has been defined by the typical stencil typeface with its robust character and vertical gap. The horizontal gap now gives the GS graphic an added touch of dynamic flair. The type designation R 1200 likewise boasts a new design.

Powerfully expressive front section highlighting the bike’s resolute character.

The highly expressive front section of the machine has also been redesigned. The innovative triple-section front panel carrier in magnesium bears the detailed instrument cluster, windshield adjustment, lighting and “beak”. The carrier was deliberately designed for greater visibility in the side area of the instrument cluster and headlight so as to achieve a robust enduro look.

The new handwheel-adjusted windshield offers optimum wind protection with its wedge-like shape in spite of being smaller. The headlights of the new BMW R 1200 GS remain faithful to the typical GS dual headlight concept. These are now more closely merged, thereby adapting to the new technical modernism conveyed by the vehicle as a whole. The newly designed “beak” is now more angular and clear-cut at the ends, giving the machine a resolute character.

High quality in detail.

A love of design is reflected in every detail of the BMW R 1200 GS. Every component has its own distinctive sense of quality, achieved by BMW Motorrad, based on refinement and excellent workmanship. For example, all the body screws bear an engraved BMW inscription, and the key also has a high-quality finish with a small BMW emblem.

Body features of the new BMW R 1200 GS.

The body features of the new BMW R 1200 GS range from the hallmark “beak” above the front-wheel to the fuel tank and the side trim panels through to the seat, highlighting the bike’s powerful appearance.

More compact fuel tank design for improved knee grip and centre of gravity, and adjustable handlebars for further improved vehicle handling.

The much slimmer waist of the new R 1200 GS in the knee grip area makes for further improved off-road manoeuvrability, much simplifying the act of riding while standing up. What is more, the shape of the fuel tank was calculated in such a way that the decrease in fuel tank capacity barely influences the centre of gravity of the new R 1200 GS, ensuring maximum consistency in terms of ride response.

Ground reach for the feet was also improved due to the slimmer waist. The inner leg length is now 1870 mm at a seat height of 850 mm (-20 mm to predecessor model) or 1910 mm at 870 mm seat height (-30 mm to predecessor). For solo riding and for more active off-road riding the passenger footrests can now be dismounted quickly and simply complete with extensions.

The new handlebars in double-butted aluminium tubing have increased in size in the mounting area from 28.5 to 32 millimetres. The enlarged diameter results in greater stability as well as increased torsional stiffness - achieved by greater surface pressure. Within the two clamps, the handlebars can now be twisted by 10 degrees, resulting in a change of grip height of 20 millimetres to adapt to the rider’s individual needs.

Seat with multiple adjustment functions for perfect ergonomics.

BMW Motorrad has always attached particular value to refined ergonomics in the products it develops. After all, riders will only ride well if they really feel comfortable on their motorbike. For this reason, the seat of the new R 1200 GS is narrower in the front section for greater freedom of movement off-road, but has a broader thigh rest for tangibly increased ride comfort. What is more, it is adjustable to two heights (850 and 870 millimetres) as well as in terms of tilt angle. The passenger seat also offers a length adjustment function. The front position allows the passenger to select a seating position closer to the rider. It also provides a big enough gap from the topcase, allowing a leaning seated position for increased comfort. Closer contact between the rider and passenger supports ride stability and agility, and, when accelerating sharply, the rider benefits from a pelvis support on the passenger seat, too. Meanwhile the back position provides both rider and passenger with generous space.

But BMW Motorrad also offers a range of alternatives here as part of its extensive range of special accessories. For example, there are adjustable, lower (820 mm) and higher (870 mm) seats as well as the rallye seat.

Innovative lightweight construction: front carrier made of magnesium.
As mentioned above, the innovative triple-section front panel carrier in magnesium bears the detailed instrument cluster, windshield adjustment, lighting and “beak”. It is made of a particularly tough, and therefore extremely break-proof, magnesium alloy (AM50) and is manufactured using the die-cast method. The surface is initially treated for anti-corrosion protection with a final powder coating in Nürburg silver. As compared to the predecessor model, this solution has meant a weight saving of 60 per cent. The development process ensured that lightweight construction and the use of innovative materials did not allow the robustness of the motorcycle to suffer in any way.

Windshield with one-hand operation for excellent wind and weather protection.

The windshield was also optimised in keeping with the character of the new R 1200 GS. It now offers improved wind and weather protection and can also be simply adjusted by means of an easily accessible wheel in the area of the instrument cluster, which was developed according to ergonomic principles. Technically speaking, the adjustment is effected by means of a worm gear mechanism patented by BMW Motorrad. By means of intensive work in the wind tunnel it was possible to significantly reduce noise (-5dB(A) at 180 km/h with the windshield up) and turbulence in the head area of the rider and passenger.

Nonetheless, the extensive BMW Motorrad program of special accessories once again offers alternatives here. For example, the new R 1200 GS can be customised with a tinted windshield.

Number plate carriers quick to dismount for off-road riding.

For energetic off-road riding, the number plate carrier of the new R 1200 GS has been designed as a quickly dismountable unit. It is attached simply by means of two screws under the seat.

About the BMW R1200 GS