SEPTEMBER 2013 / DIRT BIKE 65
Back in 1994, the BMW R1100 marked a
huge milestone in BMW history.
Our 2013 R1200GS has a brand-new,
liquid-cooled engine that makes 125
pension system employed linkage to neutralize the torque reactions, and the
suspension was actually allowed to work. The Dakar racers would have been
delighted to have this feature, but the rally program was dropped.
BMW’s next step in off-road evolution was nothing short of revolutionary.
The R1100GS was in production from 1994 to
1999. This was the biggest change for BMW
in decades. The iconic push-rod engine was
scrapped and replaced with an overhead-cam,
four-valve boxer that was cutting edge, even
though it retained the classic opposed-twin configuration. It was fuel injected at a time when the
technology was still very new to motorcycles.
The motor was classified by BMW technicians
as “oil-cooled” with oil jets. In the front, BMW
introduced the Telelever linkage suspension,
which eliminated the fork-dive issue.
Next was the R1150GS, which superseded
the 1100 in mid-1999. It was an incremental
improvement, with 5 additional horsepower,
a six-speed gearbox and new styling. It was
around until the coming of the 1200 in 2005.
That was when the light really came on. The
1200 made a cool 100 horsepower. It was 66
pounds lighter than the 1150. It became BMW’s
best-selling motorcycle, and in less than three years, the factory produced over
In 2009, BMW gave the GS a redesigned motor with double overhead cams.
It was essentially the motor from the HP-2, a limited-edition, high-performance
model that came out the previous year. That increased the output to 115 horse-