The R1200GS in its previous form was not only a class leader, it had also become an icon in the motorcycle world and was the de facto bike of choice for far-flung adventures, making it also a leading choice among those whose escapades occur much closer to home.
So when it was revealed that the next GS would contain no parts of the older Gelande Strasse, GS-ophiles held their collective breath, fearing BMW might lose the plot with its new-from-the-ground-up replacement, including its new liquid-cooled Boxer engine.
Dread was unnecessary, as BMW has knocked it out of the park with its wasser-Boxer. The new GS has all the positive attributes that made its predecessor so venerable, but it’s also added nearly 15 horsepower (with no loss of low-end grunt) plus the incredible Dynamic ESA, a semi-active suspension system that automatically adjusts damping circuits to provide a magic-carpet ride in every possible situation.
It’s out on the road – any road – where the GS shines brightest. It excels wherever it’s ridden. It’ll scythe through traffic on your way to work, and it can play in the dirt on weekends. The GS will speedily cross state lines in comfort, and adding saddlebags from an extensive array of options will ensure you won’t have to leave anything behind. An adjustable windscreen deflects air to suit the rider and conditions, while nicely tuned traction control and ABS enhance safety. For its vast scope of capabilities in a ruggedly handsome package, it’s difficult to imagine a better one-bike-in-the-garage choice. And for these reasons, BMW’s R1200GS earns our Motorcycle of the Year award.
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