New Tech Bundles Give The GSA A Leg Up For 2018

BMW->rub175] carries its R 1200 GS Adventure over into the 2018 model year with new tech bundles and color packages, but much the same hardware as the MY2017 units. The “Adventure” builds on the base GS to deliver a more capable machine to its adventure-some buyer base. It comes with a split personality — one for road and another for dirt — to give the bike a bias to match your own. Beemer gives it enough power to qualify as a ’super’-adventure with 100-plus horsepower, and of course, throws in the electronic systems that help you safely use as much of that power as possible? Sound good yet? Let’s get into the details.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.

  • 2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Flat twin
  • Displacement:
    1170 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:
    19145
  • Price:

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Design

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- image 786858
Not a bad-looking ride, but methinks it could stand some stock sidebags, at the very least.

The factory doubles down on the pointy front end with a bird-beak extension that, while it certainly adds something to the looks, it’s ultimately superfluous as the front fender actually does all the heavy lifting in the fling-control department. Laced wheels make a strong statement and get things headed in a dirt-tastic direction right out of the gate, especially when combined with the engine-guards that come as part of the stock equipment package, something the base model lacks, and a feature that makes it onto both the “Rally” and the “Exclusive” packages.

Stock handguards are a constant across the board, and even if you are disinclined to traipse around the wilderness, the guards still provide some comfort since they keep the worst of the wind off your meathooks. An asymmetrical headlight arrangement sports a DRL ring below a stepless, adjustable windshield, and while the Exclusive package rocks a decent-sized screen, the Rally’s glass (plastic/whatever) is cut down a bit.

In spite of the camel-like 7.9-gallon fuel capacity, Beemer found room in the fuel-tank hump for a small, lockable glove box that will store a few small possibles where you can easily reach them, even under way. The tank slopes dramatically down the backside to the comfortable rider’s seat, and since the subframe has such a gentle rise to the tip of the tail, the tank and fairing really give these models an all-up-front panache.

Seat height comes widely variable through the use of optional saddles and suspension components, and it’s quite a mish-mash to try and break it all down here, so let’s just say that you can sling your butt as low as 31.1 inches off the ground and as high as 35.2 inches. Stock bags would be nice, but that is not to be as the factory gives up only a small luggage rack for its off-the-floor storage.

The front is a bit overdone, but the rear is actually pretty clean as it runs a minimal mudguard — just large enough for the tag, really — and takes care of the fling via a compact hugger. Not a bad-looking ride, but methinks it could stand some stock sidebags, at the very least.

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Chassis

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- image 786869
The steering head holds the fork at an angle for some pretty sharp handling characteristics, and it comes with a steering damper to keep the front end stable and help stave off the dreaded death wobble.

Beemer uses a two-section assembly that treats the engine as a stressed unit with a bolt-on subframe to complete the skeleton. A single-side, cast-aluminum swingarm articulates the rear wheel and leaves a wide-open view of the rear wheel from the right side of the bike while doubling as a housing for the shaft-type final drive. The steering head holds the fork rake at 24.5-degrees with 3.7-inches of trail for some pretty sharp handling characteristics, and it comes with a steering damper to keep the front end stable and help stave off the dreaded death wobble.

Unsurprisingly, the factory uses its curious Telelever front-suspension system that, rather than using traditional forks, instead uses a central coil-over shock to support and dampen. The stock front end comes non-adjustable, but if you want to spring for the premium package, you can look forward to an electronically controlled suspension adjustment feature to continuously tweak the front end.

In back, the stock bike rocks Beemer’s Paralever system with a pair of handwheels that allow you to quickly tune the preload and damping values. Dual, 305 mm discs and four-piston anchors haul down the front end, and a single-pot caliper and 276 mm disc slows the rear all under the supervision of the switchable ABS feature. The wire rims mount a 120/70-19 up front and 170/60-17 out back, and of course, the Rally package gets you some gnarly-looking knobbies where the Exclusive rolls with street-friendly hoops.

Frame: Two section frame, front- and bolted on rear frame, load bearing engine
Front wheel location / suspension: BMW Telelever, Ø 37 mm, central spring strut
Rear wheel location / suspension: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) via handwheel, rebound damping adjustable via handwheel
Suspension travel front / rear: 8.3” / 8.7” (210 mm / 220 mm)
Castor: 3.7” (95 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.5°
Wheels: Cross-spoke wheels
Rims, front/rear: 3.00 x 19"/4.50 x 17"
Tires, front/rear: 120/70 R 19/170/60 R 17
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 305 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral, can be switched off)

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Drivetrain

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- image 786871
This has some serious power for a twin and is plenty for just about any reasonable demands you'd put on the machine from pulling serious hills to hauling butt on the interstate.

Ever a fan of the flat-twin engine, Beemer blesses the R 1200 GS family with a 1,170 cc boxer that churns out a stump-pulling 92 pounds of grunt at 6,500 rpm with 125 horsepower on tap at 7,750 rpm. That’s some serious power for a twin and is plenty for just about any reasonable demands you’d put on the machine from pulling serious hills to hauling butt on the interstate to the tune of a possible 125 mph. Yeah, plenty fast enough to get the “folks” down at the Highway Patrol all excited, to be sure.

The base model comes with a basic traction control the factory calls its Automatic Stability Control, and again, the top-shelf stuff is reserved for the premium models with a corner-sensitive TC feature that factors in cornering G-forces when calculating levels of intervention to prevent loss of traction. Rider modes come stock as well, two of ’em anyway — “Rain” and “Road” — the Rider Mode Pro power curves are, again, reserved for the premium package.

A ride-by-wire throttle transmits the pilot’s inputs to the ECM, and it manages everything from the induction to the ignition, after washing it through the filter of the traction control and rider modes, of course. Power flows through a six-speed gearbox that runs helical gears for strong, quiet operation with a shaft final drive that delivers reliable service with none of the problems associated with the old-school shaft drives. A closed-loop exhaust and catalytic converter helps the Adventure meet Euro-4 emission standards.

Engine: Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine with balance shaft, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft, wet sump lubrication
Bore x stroke: 101 mm x 73 mm
Displacement: 1,170 cc
Rated output: 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) at 6,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.5 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Drive: Shaft drive 2.91:1

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Pricing

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- image 786866
MSRP starts under $20k, but can quickly climb to well over with the Premium or Technology package.

The 2018 base-model R 1200 GS Adventure will set you back $19,145. It can be had in Racing Red. Depending on which style package you get, you can also choose between Black Storm Metallic/Dark Slate Metallic Matte/ Achat Grey or Light White/Cordoba Blue. Beemer presents plenty of opportunity to inflate that sticker with a handful of packages that present various levels of added tech, and of course, price.

PackageIncludesAdditional Price
Style 1: Light White/Cordoba Blue +$550
Style 2: Black Storm Metallic/Darl Slate Metallic/Achat Grey +$500
Premium: Dynamic ESA, LED Headlight, Keyless Ride, On-Board Computer Pro, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, GPS Preparation, Heated Grips, TPM, Cruise Control, LED Auxiliary Lights, ABS Pro, Saddle Bag Mounts for ALU Cases +$4,100
Technology: DTC, LED Headlight, Hill Start Control, Ride Modes Pro, Heated Grips, TPM, ABS Pro +$1,500

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Competitors

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt
- image 785821
2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
- image 786872
Beemer gets a minor win at the checkout against Triumph, but looses it when adding the package to match the electronic fandanglery.

Triumph quickly presents itself as a worthy competitor with its top-shelf Tiger 1200 XRt. The Tiger brings Trumpet’s adventurous line to its pinnacle with all sorts of yummy-goodness that should give the Bavarians a run for their money.

A bird’s-beak fairing leads the way all around, so if you ain’t into the pointy front ends I’d direct your attention to Honda and Yamaha at this juncture. The Tiger carries a much more robust windshield that is certain to provide more coverage than the streetwise Adventure to say nothing of the smaller Rally shield.

Flylines are similar, though the Brit is certainly more dramatic with a measurable rise to the p-pad so the rider is placed even more deeply in the machine, but I don’t think that gets you anything performance-wise, it’s just for looks.

Triumph sticks to traditional equipment with a proper set of hydraulic forks up front and a monoshock out back, both from WP, and they sport an almost full-spectrum adjustment feature that Beemer can’t match at the base level. Switchable ABS is another constant, and so is variable seat height though Trumpet lets you do it with just an adjustment while Beemer has you buy an entirely new saddle.

Triumph also boosts the rider-mode function up to three channels for a slight advantage in electronics, but nothing to write home about. Displacement is neck-and-neck with Triumph ekeing out a few extra cubes with a total of 1,215 cc, and the numbers are predictable; the Tiger’s triple punches up the ponies with 141 horsepower on tap, but falls off in the grunt category with only 90 pounds o’ grunt, and that’s about what I’d expect going from 2 barrels to three. Beemer gets a minor win at the checkout though against Triumph’s $21,050 sticker.

He Said

“Will that price difference make a difference? Doubtful at this bracket. The GS Adventure has a lot to offer, and you have some decisions to make; go for the street version, or get all “Long Way Down” about it and go for the Rally machine. Yeah, that’s the one I like, even if I’d never ride it as intended.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The TFT screen is so awesome. I have long disliked digital displays because my old-lady eyesight just can’t take in the information at a glance. I have to stare at it much too long to read it. These new TFT screens are awesome, though, and it only takes a glance to take in all the data it shows. This is a very comfortable bike, unlike the KTM Super Adventure that has a very hard seat.”

2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine with balance shaft, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft, wet sump lubrication
Bore x stroke: 101 mm x 73 mm
Displacement: 1,170 cc
Rated output: 125 hp (92 kW) at 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 92 lb-ft (125 Nm) at 6,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.5 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Drive: Shaft drive 2.91:1
Chassis:
Frame: Two section frame, front- and bolted on rear frame, load bearing engine
Front wheel location / suspension: BMW Telelever, Ø 37 mm, central spring strut
Rear wheel location / suspension: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) via handwheel, rebound damping adjustable via handwheel
Suspension travel front / rear: 8.3” / 8.7” (210 mm / 220 mm)
Castor: 3.7” (95 mm)
Steering head angle: 65.5°
Wheels: Cross-spoke wheels
Rims, front/rear: 3.00 x 19"/4.50 x 17"
Tires, front/rear: 120/70 R 19/170/60 R 17
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 305 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral, can be switched off)
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 88.8” (2,255 mm)
Width (incl. Mirrors): 38.6” (980 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 57.1” (1,450 mm)
Wheelbase: 58.9" (1,469 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight: 31.1 in – 35.2 in (depending on style package and options)
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: 71.7 in – 78.3 in (depending on style package and options)
Unladen weight, road read: 1,058 lbs (480 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 485 lbs (220 kg)
Maximum speed: Over 125 mph
Fuel consumption: 47 mpg (WMTC)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Usable tank volume: 7.9 gal
Reserve: Approx. 1 gal
Electricals:
Alternator: Three-phase 510 W generator
Battery: 12 V / 11.8 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: Integral ABS (disengageable), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), 2 Riding Modes (Rain/Road), Cross Spoke Wheels, Steering Damper, Hand Protection, On-Board Computer, LED Rear Light, White Turn Signal Lenses, Accessory Socket, Height Adjustable Rider Seat, Stepless Adjustable Windshield, Aluminum Engine Guard, Center Stand, Toolkit, Longitudinally Adjustable Passenger Rider Seat, Passenger Rider Foot Pegs (Removable for Off-Road Riding)
Colors: Light White/Cordoba Blue, Black Storm Metallic/Dark Slate Metallic Matte/Achat Grey, Racing Red
Price: $19,145

References

Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt
- image 785811

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure

2017 - 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
- image 786874

See our review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure.

BMW R 1200 GS

2017 - 2018 BMW R 1200 GS
- image 784040

See our review of the BMW R 1200 GS.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, triumphmotorcycles.com, ktm.com, KTM photographer: R. Schedl

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