For 2017 BMW have added clever self-levelling next generation ESA and improved the DTC. Previously you could change the damping on the move to soft, medium and hard but now the damping is adjusted automatically, adapting to your riding by reading numerous sensors such as lean angle, brake pressure, speed, pitch and more.
In basic terms the ESA is always re-adjusting automatically and keeping the bike level. Brake heavily into a turn and it will increase damping at the front; accelerate hard and it will increase damping on the rear. Over bumps and imperfections, the ride is truly impressive.
You have two choices: the standard road version or the off-road version, which means opting for off-road biased rubber. You can then add sports suspension, with increased spring rate, longer struts and extended travel that push the seat height to 900mm, 20mm higher than standard.
The taller Rallye with sports suspension increases the ride height and improves the bikes off-road abilities. You have to make allowances for the off-road rubber and tall stance on the road, but it makes perfect sense off-road.
The new self-levelling ESA suspension means all the damping is done automatically and pre-load is automatically adjusted (at a standstill). Off road the new GS Rallye compliments the average rider while more inexperienced riders can rely on the clever off-road biased rider aids.
However, if you ride hard enough, the ESA makes it hard to feel the tyres working in corners. But you soon learn to trust the cornering ABS or excellent DTC, which is now lean angle sensitive.
The partially water-cooled Boxer motor remains unchanged for 2017 despite now being compliant with Euro 4. This mean peak power is still 125bhp@7700rpm with peak torque of 92.2 ftlb@6500rpm.
With its excellent fuelling and drive BMW made a big step with the Boxer engine when they updated it in 2013.
Re-sale values are high because BMW’s reliablity and service are top level. The new GS continues this high level of quality, feeling robust and secure.
At just over £15,500 the GS TE Exclusive comes fully loaded and the new styling and colours give an even greater impression of sophistication.
The base Rallye starts at £12,730, which is good value for money, but our test bike was priced at a staggering £18,318 – that’s an expensive bike to bounce over rocks.
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At £15,564 the TE Exclusive we tested comes fully loaded with a new style package, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic ESA, LED headlights, keyless ignition, daytime riding lights, hill start control, on-board computer, shift assist, Dynamic riding modes, GPS preparation, chrome exhaust, heated grips, tyre pressure control, cruise control, hand guards, LED indicators, ABS Pro and fairing fasteners.
The standard Rallye comes with radiator and frame guards, wide enduro pegs, single seat, sports windscreen, cross spoked wheels, riding modes, ASC, hand guards and fairing fasteners.
The Sport comes with additional Dynamic traction control, LED headlights, daytime riding lights, hill start control, additional dynamic riding modes, chrome exhaust, heated grips, tyre pressure control, LED indicators and ABS Pro.
Our Rallye test bike had also been ridden through the accessories catalogue and was equipped with the additional premium package (£1645) which includes Dynamic ESA, keyless ignition, on board computer Pro, GPS bracket and cruise control.
Furthermore, the sports suspension adds £290 and the lovely sounding Akrapovic exhaust adds another £860. Then add the engine protection (£322), cylinder head covers (£188), headlight guard (£87), adjustable back brake lever (£111), milled HP levers up front (£95 each) and it’s starting to look pricey.
The standard model starts at a more palatable £12,730 but our test bike was spec’d to the value of £18,318!