Mailing List
Get the latest news by email.

Your email:

New Members

In order to serve you better, select your area code in the drop down list below.

Aller à la version française

2008 BMW R 1200 GS Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Since its launch, the R 1200 GS has literally left its competition in the dust. But even though it's still a length ahead of its rivals, BMW decided it needed tweaking. The queen of adventure bikes went to the beautician's and came back with an upgraded version of the brand's famous Boxer engine.

The 1200 GS is a successful blend of versatility, comfort and power.

Electronic support
The 1200 GS has been playing with the big GT boys for a long time thanks to a successful blend of versatility, comfort and power. With that in mind, BMW refined it down to the last detail for 2008. More generous than ever, the R 1200 GS proves stunningly nimble and reassuring in all conditions. Its tubular frame and premium components still work wonders. The addition of a traction control system assists the outstanding frame in its exploits, imparting an unequalled sense of security on slippery terrain. This highly sophisticated system cuts the throttle at the slightest hint of a difference in front and rear wheel speeds. Even though the system no longer allows for controlled slides on gravel roads, it'll serve as a guardian angel to those who, on occasion, push their luck a little too far.

This year, BMW's best-selling bike inherits a slew of electronic driving aids. No less than four systems make life easier on board. The traditional ABS brakes are joined by a traction control system, tire pressure monitoring and the famous ESA system derived from the Bavarian brand's GTs. ESA offers a choice of three pre-defined suspension settings ranging from comfort to sport and is adjustable on the fly. The novel system works together with the fine Paralever and Telelever suspensions that perform fantastically in all conditions. The updated beast also gets a new seat and adjustable handlebars that considerably improve comfort when seated and ease the transition to the standing position.

In great shape
The flat-twin engine powering the GS is as healthy as its stable of horses, to which a few more snorting beasts have been added, and now revs higher. It frankly ups the ante thanks to its new 12:1 compression ratio. The Boxer has never been this charismatic, offering breathtaking acceleration between 3,000 and 7,500 rpm and pushing hard until the red zone. The improvements derived from the brand's HP2 models are apparent here. On narrow, tortuous country roads, acceleration is vigorous and the flat-twin engine is always readily available.

The R 1200 GS' engine offers breathtaking acceleration between 3,000 and 7,500 rpm.
1 - 2 >>