MCN Fleet: BMW R1200GS Rallye's first 1000 miles

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With 1100+ miles already racked up over the last three weeks, I know I was right to be excited by this latest addition to the GS family. In daily duties I love the commandingly dominant road presence, the versatility of panniers, and the inherent promise that you can go anywhere with the minimum of fuss.

The new Dynamic ESA is hugely impressive, the drivetrain mods have added smoothness and refinement, and when the Rallye’s beak sniffs dirt, you can let it follow its nose, selecting the absurdly flattering Enduro Pro mode, and relying on the bike to get you into – and out of – scenarios that are only limited by your bravery (or tyres).


  • 1170cc liquid-cooled boxer twin
  • Claimed power 125bhp @ 7750rpm
  • Claimed torque 92.2ftlb @ 6500rpm
  • Next generation Dynamic ESA
  • Fully-loaded ‘Sport’ edition
  • Updated drivetrain for 2017

Talking of rubber, my bike came fitted with Michelin’s Anakee IIIs, and I can’t wait to take them off. They’re a perfectly adequate option, offering acceptable grip in most situations, but I don’t like them on the GS. They feel vague in the wet (and skittish on white lines and overbanding) and numb at aggressive pace in the dry, and having back-to-back tested many dual-purpose options the Anakees are close to the bottom of my preference list – with the Tourance Next being by current favourite. I’ll be testing other options as soon as I can.

Plans for adventures this year include a visit to Wales to take part in the GS Trophy qualifiers, a lap of Scotland’s North Coast 500 route, and my most ambitious plan is to do an entire lap of the UK coastline in a week, covering a 5000-mile route. 

See more updates on our R1200GS Rallye longtermer.


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Richard Newland

By Richard Newland