BMW R1200GS Exclusive TE provides on-road luxury

Published: 03 April 2017

Like the Rallye the Exclusive TE has a Euro 4-compliant engine, a revised shaft drive and gearbox and, for 2017, clever self-levelling Dynamic ESA and improved DTC – same as the Rallye.

Previously you could switch the GS’s damping between soft, medium and hard. Now the damping adjustment is done automatically, adapting to your riding by reading numerous sensors measuring lean angle, brake pressure, speed, pitch and so on. In basic terms the ESA is continually re-adjusting and automatically keeping the bike level – ‘self-levelling’.

Brake heavily into a turn and the system will increase the front’s damping; accelerate hard and it will increase damping on the rear. Over bumps and imperfections it’s really impressive, with noticeably improved comfort and ride quality.

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My only criticism is that the new ESA takes away the natural feeling you get from the BMW’s front tyre. In extreme, hard riding situations it’s hard to feel the rubber working. But you soon learn to trust the cornering ABS and excellent DTC, which is now lean angle sensitive.

The new ESA system changes the damping on the move but not the spring preload, which is adjusted automatically but only when stationary. If a pillion jumps on the back the system quickly works this out and adds more preload on the rear.

The next-generation ESA and DTC both increase comfort and safety, and the automatic preload will make a huge difference if you’re always adding luggage or a pillion. Just when you think the GS can’t get any more advanced, it does. BMW have improved on perfection.

 

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