BMW goes adventuring with new G310 GS and R1200 GS
BMW GS bikes have been elevated to legendary status in recent years, thanks to a number of highly-publicized trips at the hands of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman in Long Way Down. Rather than resting on its laurels, BMW Motorrad has rolled out two new bikes wearing a GS badge on their flanks: the all-new G310 GS and an updated R1200 GS.
BMW G310 GS
Just like the G310 R launched earlier this year, the G310 GS is aimed at a global audience, meaning riders of any level should be able to jump right on and feel at home.
Power comes from a 313cc single making 25 kW (34 hp) and 28 Nm of torque. Because the bike is expected to find plenty of homes in south-east Asia and India, the engine has been designed to run on fuel of essentially any quality, although you can expect it to do its best work with a tank full of premium unleaded.
BMW Motorrad has borrowed more than just the engine from the G310 R - the newest member of the GS family rides on the same tubular spaceframe chassis and bolt-on rear section as its road-going relative. It was chosen for its stiffness, which the company says provides a good balance of direct steering response and stability. Front suspension is a solid upside-down fork, while the rear uses an aluminum swinging arm with a spring strut.
When it comes to the seating position, BMW says the G310 GS offers up the same relaxed riding position as the rest of the range. It's designed to be comfortable for long-haul stretches over rough terrain, with upright bars and easy-to-access controls for the modicum of electronic aids and trip-computer functions on offer.
BMW R1200 GS
At the other end of the spectrum sits the R1200 GS, the jewel in the BMW GS crown. Power comes from the same air/liquid-cooled boxer engine as before, punching out 92 kW (125 hp) of power and 125 Nm of torque, but there's a modified catalytic converter and revised engine management to make it meet Euro IV emissions standards.
As well as cutting down on emissions, the new engine management software brings a new set of drive modes to the table. All R1200s will come standard with road and rain modes, but ticking the right option boxes will expand that selection to include four extra modes, along with traction control tuned for smoother, safer acceleration while the bike is leaned over. The expanded suite of driver assists even includes a hill-start assist, which holds the bike for those tricky takeoffs.
The electronic cleverness doesn't stop with the riding modes, because the R1200 GS can now be spec'd with "next generation" electronic suspension adjustment. Not only will it adapt the damping based on the road conditions, it'll also keep the bike level when it's loaded to the gills with outdoor gear.
If that doesn't sound like enough, or you're still worried the standard bike won't be capable off-road, there's even a Rallye version running a stiffer spring rate, longer spring struts and greater spring travel.
Although there are plenty of significant changes under the skin, BMW hasn't messed with the formula on the styling front. Beside a few aerodynamic tweaks to the mudguard and air intakes on the front end, it's business as usual for the R1200 GS, which means it has the same brutishly handsome asymmetrical look we've come to know and love.
Although we don't have pricing details, the current R1200 GS costs US$16,495, so the new model should stay in that ballpark. As for the G310 GS, the road bike it's based on is worth £4,290 (about $5,300) in the UK, but no mention has been made regarding a US price for the base version, let alone the GS.
Both bikes were launched at EICMA, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action.