EICMA: BMW Urban GS is a new, old-school, air-cooled adventure bike

Photo: Costa Mouzouris

When the 2013 BMW R1200 GS was announced, with its liquid-cooled engine, some BMW enthusiasts were bummed that air-cooled GS was a thing of the past. But now, what’s old is new again, with the Urban GS.

Based on the air/oil-cooled R NineT platform (110 hp), the Urban GS is more a retro-styled scrambler than a technologically-advanced adventure bike, but it does bear the GS badge and certainly brings back memories of BMWs of days gone by — it bears quite a similarity to the Paris-Dakar bikes of old.

However, while it may not be as high-tech as BMW’s latest water-boxer, it packs much more gadgetry than the airheads of old, with four-piston Brembo brake calipers (radial mount), ABS, and optional traction control. Don’t expect semi-active suspension anytime soon, though — this bike gets standard forks which don’t appear to be adjustable.

The spoked wheels in most of the photo gallery are options — cast rims are standard, to keep costs down. However, users with off-road intentions will be well-advised to upgrade their wheels. The stock front rim is an 19-incher, but we haven’t seen any information on the size of the spoked front rim — it’d be nice if it was a 21-inch unit, but don’t expect that.


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