The long-awaited next-generation BMW R1300 GS is here, and it appears to be a major update on the current model in several ways. It has more power, it weighs less (down 12 kg, to 237 kg curb weight), the chassis is more compact, the suspension has been refined and the electronic features and other niceties have been improved.
Starting with the engine: This is an all-new liquid-cooled design, with larger bore and shorter stroke that leave us with engine capacity at 1300cc. It makes a claimed 145 hp at 7750 rpm and 110 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. That’s an increase of 9 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque over the previous model. The new engine is supposed to have a broader powerband than the previous model, have roughly the same fuel economy, and comes with 13:3:1 compression (the R1250 model had 12:5:1 compression). Ride-by-wire throttle manages ride modes that control the engine’s power profile, and also tie into the electronic safety systems such as ABS.
The new GS has a redesigned final drive, which cuts weight, and the engine itself is lighter and also more compact. BMW stuffed the six-speed gearbox below the engine, which centralizes mass more efficiently.
Moving on to the suspension, there are new EVO Telelever and EVO Paralever systems. Obviously they are similar to the old designs, built along the same principles, but BMW says they’ve been fine-tuned for the new machine. If you want to pay more, you can get a suspension system built for more sporty dirt capability, or even a self-adjusting system that will automatically adjust the stiffness to suit terrain and speed.
The frame itself is made of sheet metal, not tubular steel, with a new die-cast aluminum subframe.
Cast rims are standard on the base model, in 19-inch front and 17-inch rear sizes. Pay more, and you can opt for a wire wheel set, with a standard or upgraded/forged Enduro option. These dirt-friendly wheels can also be had as stock on some sub-models; to this point, BMW has announced the Triple Black, GS Trophy and Option 719 Tramuntana sub-models, but not an Adventure option. No doubt this will be forthcoming, as people will want the larger tank and windshield, upgraded bash bars and other trick bits that are standard on the Adventure models.
Until that bike exists, you can build something similar from BMW’s accessory line. However, it seems you will likely have to be happy with the stock 19-liter fuel tank at least (it’s made of aluminum, and BMW claims almost 400 km of range).
The new R1300 GS comes with a manually-adjusted windshield, but you can have an electric-adjust option for extra money. New four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers mated to ABS Pro are standard (including the option of deactivating the rear wheel’s ABS for dirt riding). Heated grips, adjustable engine braking, cruise control, TPMS, and Bluetooth-enabled TFT dash all come standard as well.
If you want to pay more, you can add not only the wire wheels and other gadgetry above, but also latest-gen safety features such radar-governed adaptive cruise control (which maintains a constant speed until it detects a vehicle in the lane ahead; then, it maintains a constant following distance from that vehicle). Adaptive ride height is also available, a self-lowering feature for the bike that has been introduced by BMW’s competitors in recent months. Cornering headlights, which beam “into” turns at night are also available. There’s also a new lane-changing safety warning option, and a Front Collision Warning system that helps you slow down when there’s an imminent crash detected in front of the bike.
BMW says the MSRP starts at $22,795 in Canada. For more details, photos and specs, check out BMW’s Canadian website here.