40 years of BMW GS

- A concept that changed the motorcycle world.

Photo: BMW Motorrad

An equally legendary and sophisticated motorcycle concept will celebrate its round birthday in 2020: the BMW GS models will be 40. In the autumn of 1980, BMW Motorrad presented the R 80 G/S, a motorcycle that for the first time combined two very special areas of application: terrain and road. With the unique combination of road, touring and off-road suitability – without compromising on everyday use – the R 80 G/S has become the conceptual pioneer of the new motorcycle type of the reiseenduros created by BMW Motorrad. And more: The BMW GS models became the successful synonym of the perfect partner on two wheels to explore even the most remote corners of our planet. To date, BMW Motorrad has been able to hand over more than 1.2 million BMW GS models to customers.

Photo: BikeReview.info

By the way: A few years ago we were also allowed to travel with an R 80 G/S in the Alps. Our conclusion: For his age a really fast, comfortable and reliable travel companion!!! So who is allowed to name one of his own - just don't sell ;-)!

Photo: BikeReview.info

Legendary BMW GS talents: driving dynamics, off-road competence, comfort and robustness.

But it wasn't just motorcycle adventures that the BMW GS was tailor-made from the start, the R 80 G/S and its descendants quickly proved their qualities in racing. In 1981 Hubert Auriol won the equally prestigious and challenging Paris – Dakar Rally. Just one of the numerous motorsport successes that BMW Motorrad was able to celebrate with a GS. The outstanding talents of the Boxer GS models – driving dynamics, off-road competence, comfort and robustness – have been continuously maintained and developed by BMW Motorrad over the past 40 years and successfully transferred to other BMW Motorrad series. In 1993, for the first time, a BMW Enduro with a single-cylinder engine enriched the market with the F 650 "Funduro". While this motorcycle drew its driving dynamics from conceptualweight advantages and the start of the 47 hp single-cylinder engine, the BMW GS models with boxer engine were replaced at the same time.

Innovation driver GS: four-valve technology and telelever.

With the BMW R 1100 GS, BMW Motorrad not only presented the first GS with four-valve boxer and 80 hp of power, but also showed new ways in the field of big travel enduros. For the first time in an Enduro, the engine and gearbox functioned as supporting elements of the chassis, eliminating the need for a main frame. While the BMW rear wheel guide Paralever eliminated the drive reactions of the gimbal drive years earlier in the models with two-valve boxers, the BMW engineers now also created an innovative type of front wheel guidance with the Telelever. With their brake nick compensation and the highly sensitive response, they set new standards here. In addition, the new R 1100 GS was the first enduro ever to feature ABS – a safety increase that all BMW motorcycles now have as standard.

Photo: BMW Motorrad

The GS models of the F-series: Fascination GS for the middle class.

In addition to numerous new and further developments, including the F 650 GS (first single cylinder with electronic fuel injection, catalytic converter and ABS), which was manufactured in Berlin from 2000 onwards, the F 650 GS and F 800 GS models, which were presented in 2007, marked another outstanding milestone in BMW GS history. With their high-performance and high-torque two-cylinder in-line engine and the torsion-proof lattice tube frame, they interpreted the topic of BMW GS in their own, but quite BMW typical way. With these new models, BMW Motorrad not only presented the successors for the extremely successful F 650 GS with single-cylinder engine, but also expanded the enduro range in the middle class.

Advanced DOHC boxer with two overhead camshafts.

Another highlight was BMW Motorrad in autumn 2009 with the presentation of the model-maintained BMW R 1200 GS. Now equipped with the even more revolving DOHC-boxer with two overhead camshafts per cylinder, it had 81 kW/110 hp and even increased driving dynamics. In the anniversary year 2010, BMW Motorrad honoured the 30th birthday of the GS models and their successes in series motorcycle construction and motorsport with the special models "30 Years GS" painted in the house colours of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

In autumn 2010, BMW Motorrad continued the success story of the GS models. With the BMW G 650 GS, BMW Motorrad expanded the BMW GS family by another attractive member. With its slender, wiry off-road stature, the new single-cylinder enduro looked cheeky, light and adventurous. At the same time, it stood out from its competitors in terms of quality, equipment and comfort. Combined with its comparatively low weight and low seat height, it thus embodied the attractive entry into the passion of motorcycling and the fascinating BMW GS experience world.

The Power GS: Newly designed boxer with vertical flow.

The dynamic development of the BMW GS theme continued in the fourth decade with undiminished dynamism. When BMW Motorrad presented the new R 1200 GS at Intermot in autumn 2012, the interest was particularly high for the completely redesigned engine. The air-/liquid-cooled boxer introduced cylinder heads with vertical flow, had an integrated gearbox and a cardan drive arranged from there on the left side, complemented by state-of-the-art chassis technology and electronic control systems such as ABS, traction control or semi-active chassis. With 92 kW (125 hp) power, the new R 1200 GS also achieved superior driving performance. Barely a year and a half later, in March 2014, the 500,000th BMW motorcycle of the GS model series with boxer engine was launched from the production line at the BMW plant in Berlin – an R 1200 GS Adventure.

The GS for the displacement segment below 500 cm3: G 310 GS.

In autumn 2016, BMW Motorrad once again relented in the GS world. This time with the G 310 GS. She transferred the core competencies of a BMW GS to the displacement segment below 500 cc and embodied them there in an independent interpretation. Extremely compact, yet grown-up and comfortable, she opened up a whole new world of experience in her segment and became unique above all due to her versatility in the entry-level segment. In the same year, BMW Motorrad relented on the R 1200 GS and expanded the GS portfolio not only in the form of further product optimizations, but also through an additional possible spread of vehicle characteristics. For the first time, a BMW GS could be increasingly designed in the direction of enduro and touring via the orderable style packages Rallye and Exclusive in terms of their preferred application area.

In the same year, a completely different interpretation of the theme GS debuted: the R nineT Urban G/S. She re-seized the genes of the very first and legendary 1980 BMW R 80 G/S and transferred them to the modern era with modern technology in the form of a classic BMW motorcycle with enduro-style boxer engine. As with the other R nineT models, the powerful, air-/oil-cooled Boxer engine with 81 kW (110 hp) was used in combination with a six-speed transmission.

New engine, new chassis: The new GS models of the F-series.

In 2017, BMW Motorrad continued the GS history with the two completely redesigned Enduro models F 750 GS and F 850 GS. With the aim of making good things even better, BMW Motorrad consistently focused on the expansion of the typical GS strengths in the successor models of the successful two-cylinder F 650 GS and F 700 GS and F 800 GS. As always, the abbreviation GS stood for the ideal combination of touring and long-distance suitability, sporty dynamics and sovereign off-road capability. In short: A BMW GS is the perfect companion to discover even remote corners of our world by motorcycle. At the heart of the new development was a newly designed, powerful two-cylinder in-line engine with two balancing shafts and 270/450 degree ignition distance for optimized running culture and emotional sound. The F 750 GS 57 kW (77 hp) developed from 853 cm3, while in the case of the F 850 GS it developed 70 kW (95 hp) and thus provides sovereign drive power for both GS models.

Even more power, torque and efficiency for the large GS with boxer engine.

In autumn 2018, BMW Motorrad again attacked the boxer engine of the large GS models in depth in order to significantly improve power and torque yield as well as fuel consumption and emission values. For this purpose, the BMW ShiftCam technology was used for the first time in BMW Motorrad series engines, a technology for the variation of the valve control times and the valve stroke on the inlet side. In addition, the inlet camshafts were designed in such a way that an asynchronous opening of the two inlet valves resulted, which led to an increased swirl of the incoming fresh gas and thus to a more effective combustion. Other technical changes to the engine included the propulsion of the camshafts, which has now been carried out via a tooth chain (previously a roller chain), an optimization of the oil supply, two-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.

 

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