Find out why the BMW GS is so special

Posted 7th May 2020

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The Beginning.

The BMW GS story began in 1980 in the South of France with the introduction of the R 80 GS. Since then, BMW Motorrad has been setting the benchmark in the large dual-sport segment. Read on and take a trip down memory lane as we look back at some of the most iconic BMW GS models.

The root of the GS can, unsurprisingly be found off-road. Before 1980, in-house engineers at BMW Motorrad developed their own bikes and created a prototype off-road machine that they put to the test on gruelling events such as the Scottish Six-Day trial. The public loved the bike and BMW noticed, giving the green light to an official G/S project.

The first of its kind.

The first production model to wear the G/S name arrived in 1980, the G standing for Gelande (Terrain) and the S for Strasse (Street). The R 80 G/S was a perfect all-rounder for off-road riding and long distance touring; something that had rarely been seen previously but is so common in today's market. The R 80 G/S proved its toughness and reliability by taking the top two places in the 1984 Paris - Dakar Rally; something that future models would look to emulate.

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Bigger and bolder.

The original R 80 G/S ran until 1987, until the all-new R 100 GS took over. The R 100 GS was new from the ground up, and as a result was the most powerful, fastest Enduro on the market at the time. Such was the success of the R 100 GS, it remained in production for nearly 10 years before the next generation arrived.

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From off-road to on-screen.

The R 1100 GS arrived in 1994 and was the first dual-sport off-road bike to feature a four-valve engine. The further improved R 1150 GS arrived in 1999, and with it a new model in the GS range; the Adventure. The R 1150 GS Adventure was tailored for those rides who wanted to travel long-distance, with a larger fuel tank, more luggage options and taller suspension. The R 1150 GS Adventure became a house-hold name around the world in 2004, when Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode 18,887-miles from London to New York City on the GSA.

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A growing family.

The new millennium is a key date in the history of the BMW GS, as it marked the arrival of the smaller ‘Funduro’ models. The F 650 model series featured a single-cylinder engine aimed at beginner riders that wanted to experience the Enduro style of riding. The F 650 models proved they still retained the original GS durability by winning the gruelling Dakar rally in 1999 and 2000.

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Setting the standard.

From 2004 to 2012, the GS range continued to grow in popularity. The new R 1200 GS featured increased power and torque over the previous model, while weighing 30 kgs less. This made for an even more dynamic riding experience on all terrain. The new R 1200 GS Adventure arrived in 2005 and featured all the key long distance elements first seen on Ewan and Charlie’s machines. In 2008, the successors to the F 650 arrived, the F 800 GS and F 650 GS were completely redeveloped Enduro models that featured a new twin-cylinder liquid-cooled in-line engine and chain drive.

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Cool runnings.

2013 saw the introduction of what is possibly the most popular GS model to date; the new water-cooled R 1200 GS. For the first time in the big GS history, the top model now featured a water-cooled engine that produced performance and refinement that no other bike could match.

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The GS range today.

Throughout history, the BMW GS range has always pushed the boundaries of what a dual-sport bike can achieve. The combination of riding feel, latest technology, superior build quality and unrivalled capabilities are what make the GS the envy of other motorcycle manufacturers.

The modern GS range prides itself on offering a package for every rider wanting to be part of the GS community. From the light and nimble G 310 GS, to the ever-improved F 850 and F 750 ‘Funduro’ models, to the unmistakable R 1250 GS and GSA; the GS range has something for everyone.

To learn more about all the current models in the BMW GS range, please click below or enquire online today to contact one of the team at Dick Lovett Motorrad.

View BMW Motorrad Adventure RangeContact us

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