Before 2005, we didn’t take BMW seriously. Even though the GS line had been around for two decades and had won the Paris Dakar Rally and all
that, BMWs were still street bikes to us. We thought BMW’s marketing guys
had carefully crafted an off-road image and were exploiting it to an elite circle
of riders who didn’t know the difference. Who could blame them?
The 2005 R1200GS was a wake-up call. It really worked well on dirt roads.
It had well-thought-out features that could only have been designed by
people who actually rode in the dirt. As it turned out, BMW had been making incremental improvements all along right under our noses. The 1200 just
brought 30 years of evolution into focus.
Since then, there have been two major revisions of the big BMW. To keep
from falling behind on our BMW history, we gathered an example of each one
for a local adventure ride in the San Bernardino Mountains. We wanted to
document the BMW’s evolution on a back-to-back ride.
Tracking the evolution of the BMW 1200GS
BMW 1200 COMPARISON
We gathered three examples of the BMW
R1200GS to track the evolution of the species.