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New BMW R1200GS first ride!

Published: 07 January 2010

Updated: 19 November 2014

The first test of BMW’s eagerly-anticipated new twin-cam R1200GS will feature in the January 13 issue of MCN.

The twin-cylinder adventure bike, made famous by the globe-trotting TV exploits of actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman and in recent years one of the UK’s most popular machines, has for 2010 received its biggest engine makeover in years.

Although remaining at 1170cc, the classic, air and oil-cooled boxer twin unit gets a new four-valve, twin cam cylinder head design (the old version boasted just a single camshaft per cylinder) as developed on the HP2 Sport.

The result on paper isn’t that dramatic: a slight boost to both peak power and bottom end grunt, thanks in part also to the equally new exhaust valve, plus a slightly higher rev-ceiling.

But on the road, as our test back-to-back with the old two-valve version found out, the improvement is significant: the 2010 GS is faster, quicker away from the line and more flexible, with the unexpected bonus of there being no change in fuel consumption.

Add all that to the GS’s unchanged and peerless ergonomics and versatility and it looks like the GS is set to stay at the top of the pack – until, at least, Ducati’s new 1200 Multistrada arrives in the Spring.

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