BMW R1200GS (2013-on) Review

Published: 02 January 2014

"Fully revised in 2013 and the result has improved the already class leading GS in almost every aspect"

BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)

"Fully revised in 2013 and the result has improved the already class leading GS in almost every aspect"

  • At a glance
  • 1170cc  -  125 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  190 miles range
  • Medium seat height (850mm)
  • £11,650

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

For 2013 the legendary GS (it was the catalyst of the whole adventure bike class back in 1980 and has become BMW’s best-selling bike world-wide) has received its biggest update yet. Almost every component has been changed; it’s more powerful thanks to a new partially water-cooled motor and is laden with the latest gadgets and rider assisting technology.

The result has improved the already class leading GS in almost every aspect. The engine is a measurable step forward right through the rev range yet retains its boxer character. It looks cleaner and neater, is more comfortable and sophisticated and handles better too.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

Throwing a leg over the new BMW it’s recognisably a GS, but easier to touch the floor on due to the slightly thinner seat. Incidentally the new comfier seat can be moved up and down, you can also change the angle and tilt, even the pillion seat can be moved backwards and forwards. Handling-wise, the new bike is far less likely to wallow and move around whilst cornering over humps and imperfections.  The radial Brembo brakes are really strong and the ABS is excellent. Despite being an Adventure touring bike the GS is rather sporty. Handling is so good you could even take the GS on track and that from a bike which is also capable off road.

Engine 5 out of 5

Power has increased from 110 bhp to 125bhp and there’s a big extra dollop of torque right through the rev range. You can feel the extra torque from 4,000rpm to 7,000rpm. The old air-cooled motor was always a weak point of the old bike especially when compared to sportier competition; however that gap should have been vastly reduced thanks to the new twin. There’s also a lovely bark even from the standard exhaust.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

BMWs haven’t always lived up to the badge’s formidable reputation but we’ve no reason to doubt the new GS yet. It’s classy, quality and rugged. No wonder used values stay so high…

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

In base spec, the GS’s tag doesn’t sound that bad and is on a par with many of its competitors. Trouble is, no-one buys or wants a base-spec BMW and once you’ve ladled on all the ‘vital’, defining extras (ABS, heated grips, luggage etc etc) you’re quickly looking at the thick end of 14 grand or more…

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Our test bike had all the extras, even had the excellent satnav. The new clocks are stylish, informative as ever, typically BMW. There’s an optional new LED headlight, the first on any bike, and all around there are subtle, small changes like the new switch gear . What’s more, as ever there are so many optional extras available you could use their brochure to sink a small boat.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200GS (2013-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

typhoon afterburner

26 May 2014 by gsbiker

3 weeks into buying the GS LC TE, the kill/starter switch jammed, the unstoppable became the unstartable. Compared with the old air cooled I had, this one is so, so noisy through the fairing, like having a speaker blasting out the sound of a typhoon... Read more fighter on afterburners. It may be the tyre choice by BMW (MICHELIN) or a bad design fault. It is certainly noisy. Good points - it feels much more agile (like a 650)and lots of gadgets. Overall disappointing attempt from the Germans. Surprised this was not mentioned in MCN review?

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The King is dead, long live the King

17 January 2014 by k1200ser

After being persuaded to part ex the Triple Black, I have to say the bike is a major step forward in nearly every way! It will do 2000 miles touring Europe, it does track days well, it does the commute on the famous A12, and quick sprints to the... Read more local towns... And if your mates workplace is up a farm track, it does that too... Value? Of course, you only need one bike.. The GS Only reservation is the clunky gearbox in first three gears, the rear pads that only lasted 4500 miles, not even a full service interval, and a bolt on the screen working loose..

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £11,650
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 125 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type Air/liquid cooled, 4v boxer twin, shaft drive, six gears
Frame type Front and rear tubular steel subframe only
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 238kg
Front suspension Telelever monoshock, preload adjust
Rear suspension Paralever single swhock, preload and rebound damping adjust
Front brake 2 x 305mm discs, 4-piston radial calipers, optional ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc, twin piston caliper, optional ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 R19
Rear tyre size 170/60 R17

History & Versions

Model history

2013: New model launched

Other versions

R1200GS Adventure: To be launched in 2014

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2013-on)
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