Motorcycles

BMW goes adventuring with new G310 GS and R1200 GS

BMW goes adventuring with new ...
The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable
The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable
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The BMW G310 GS on the ground at EICMA
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The BMW G310 GS on the ground at EICMA
A look at the 313cc engine in the BMW G310 GS
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A look at the 313cc engine in the BMW G310 GS
BMW GS bikes have traditionally aimed at experts, but the G310 GS is firmly aimed at developing markets and new riders
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BMW GS bikes have traditionally aimed at experts, but the G310 GS is firmly aimed at developing markets and new riders
The display on the BMW G310 GS is simple, and should be easy to read at speed
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The display on the BMW G310 GS is simple, and should be easy to read at speed
BMW has gone all-out with the buttons on the R1200 GS
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BMW has gone all-out with the buttons on the R1200 GS
The R1200 GS is powered by a revised version of the boxer it used before
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The R1200 GS is powered by a revised version of the boxer it used before
The R1200 can be spec'd with an even more advanced suite of electronics than before
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The R1200 can be spec'd with an even more advanced suite of electronics than before
The BMW G310 GS is a new entry point to the brand's famous off-road lineup
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The BMW G310 GS is a new entry point to the brand's famous off-road lineup
The BMW R1200 GS and the Rallye variant side-by-side
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The BMW R1200 GS and the Rallye variant side-by-side
The BMW R1200 GS Rallye runs with an even more capable suspension than the standard car
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The BMW R1200 GS Rallye runs with an even more capable suspension than the standard car
An optional professional suite of drive modes will make the BMW R1200 GS more capable than before
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An optional professional suite of drive modes will make the BMW R1200 GS more capable than before
The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable
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The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable
The R1200 GS has a complex instrument display, but it's home to a lot of different options
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The R1200 GS has a complex instrument display, but it's home to a lot of different options
The simple driver readout on the BMW G310 GS
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The simple driver readout on the BMW G310 GS
The BMW R1200 GS is powered by a boxer engine, just like the flagship GS models that have gone before
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The BMW R1200 GS is powered by a boxer engine, just like the flagship GS models that have gone before
The BMW G310 GS is aimed at developing markets
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The BMW G310 GS is aimed at developing markets
The BMW R1200 GS Rallye is revised for even better off-road performance
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The BMW R1200 GS Rallye is revised for even better off-road performance
An Akrapovic exhaust gives the R1200 GS Rallye a bit of extra growl
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An Akrapovic exhaust gives the R1200 GS Rallye a bit of extra growl
The BMW G310 GS will run on low quality fuels, although it will do its best work on premium
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The BMW G310 GS will run on low quality fuels, although it will do its best work on premium
The G310 GS provides an affordable gateway into the world of all-terrain BMW bikes
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The G310 GS provides an affordable gateway into the world of all-terrain BMW bikes
Optional guards on the BMW R1200 GS 
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Optional guards on the BMW R1200 GS 
The scorpion has made its way on the R1200 GS
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The scorpion has made its way on the R1200 GS
Optional bash plates on the R1200 GS
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Optional bash plates on the R1200 GS
The BMW R1200 GS on show at EICMA
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The BMW R1200 GS on show at EICMA
The BMW R1200 GS Rallye at EICMA
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The BMW R1200 GS Rallye at EICMA
View gallery - 25 images

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

BMW GS bikes have traditionally aimed at experts, but the G310 GS is firmly aimed at developing markets and new riders
BMW GS bikes have traditionally aimed at experts, but the G310 GS is firmly aimed at developing markets and new riders

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

An Akrapovic exhaust gives the R1200 GS Rallye a bit of extra growl
An Akrapovic exhaust gives the R1200 GS Rallye a bit of extra growl

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.

The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable
The R1200 GS has been given a slight styling revision, but it's still instantly recognisable

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.

Source: BMW (1, 2)

View gallery - 25 images
2 comments
DavidRogerBrown
Surely BMW will bring the G310 GS to the states. The more reasonable priced starter bikes by the manufacturers,the more newbies it will bring in. The average age of riders keeps creeping up with the ageing baby boomers quitting or dying.
possum1
The 310 looks like it could be a good thing - pricing will be a major consideration as the Japanese manufacturers are bringing 250 class ADV bikes online. The 1200 on the other hand is still the King.