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BMW R1200GS Adventure Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 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.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 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.

BMW R1200GS (2013-current)

Detail Value
New price £11,650
Dealer used prices
£11,460 (2013) - £13,170 (2014)
Private used prices
£10,630 (2013) - £11,890 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1170 cc
Power 125 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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…


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

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: n/a

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Model History

2013: New model launched

Other Versions

R1200GS Adventure: To be launched in 2014


Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 125 bhp
Max torque 125 ft-lb
Weight 238 kg
Seat height 850 mm
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 1170 cc
Engine specification Air/liquid cooled, 4v boxer twin, shaft drive, six gears
Frame Front and rear tubular steel subframe only
Front suspension adjustment Telelever monoshock, preload adjust
Rear suspension adjustment Paralever single swhock, preload and rebound damping adjust
Front brakes 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

See all BMW R1200GS motorcycles for sale


43000 miles



7035 miles



30571 miles



4348 miles



5865 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(2 reviews)

  • typhoon afterburner


    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    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 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?

    26 May 2014

  • The King is dead, long live the King


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    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 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..

    17 January 2014


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Grip heaters

 The grip heaters are all but useless in cold weather, after investigation by my local dealer following the 600 mile service they tell me that all new BMW bikes with the Cab-Bus system have grips that do not heat up as much as the previous models (5deg c or more difference) and at the moment there is no fix.

Not on really for a 14k bike, 

11 February 2014 09:16

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