BMW R1200GS Rallye first ride

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It’s been a long time coming, but if any bike’s deserving of a commemorative special edition model surely it’s the BMW R1200GS. The class-defning German adventure bike has been a market leader throughout all its guises since the original and radical-for-the-time R80G/S of 1980.

To celebrate that, and no doubt to encourage more sales of the current, ageing version before an all-new water-cooled R1250GS is expected to arrive in 2013, BMW has introduced this special version of the current R1200GS, dubbed the ‘Rallye’, for 2012.

It’s daubed in a retro-inspired colourscheme, laden with a host of normally ‘extra’ optional goodies and, BMW claims: ‘It is the perfect combination of nostalgia and ultra-modern technology’. But is it worth the extra?

At first glance, in my opinion, this has to be the best-looking GS to date. The big, quirky twin has often never been the best-looking bike and some incarnations have been downright ugly (purple 1991 R100GS anyone?).

But its styling has matured over the years, its lines have smoothed out and today, partly thanks to Ewan and Charley, the GS has a cool all of its own. The Rallye, however, all bold, brazen and crisp, adds another dimension.

To find out if the Rallye is worth the extra cash, pick up a copy of the March 7 issue of MCN.