The biggest difference between each model
was horsepower. The new bike is a rocket.
THE GS TIMELINE
The first of the line was the R80G/S in the early 1980s.
Even though this was the best twin-cylinder bike in BMW’s
history, the air-cooled, two-valve, pushrod motor was
already a fossil. The bike also had very peculiar handling
traits. The driveshaft created such strong torque reac-
tions that the rear suspension would completely extend
under acceleration. The fork was soft and had startling
dive under braking, making it a very unlikely platform for
an off-road racer. Yet, Hubert Auriol and Gaston Rahier
won Dakar four times on factory BMWs. The company was
building a storehouse of off-road knowledge.
In 1987, some of that knowledge began to creep into
the production bikes. With the R100G/S, the motor grew
to 980cc. More important, BMW addressed the handling
issues created by the driveshaft. The Paralever rear sus-