Each success story has a beginning. For the GS, it all began in 1980, when BMW Motorrad presented the world's first large dual-sport motorcycle in southern France with the R 80 G/S. Since then, the manufacturer has been setting the benchmark in this segment. And has constantly been writing success stories.
The path to the first enduro
1978 to 1980: There is no doubt that the roots of the BMW GS are in offroad sport. In-house engineers and mechanics developed their own bikes and created a prototype capable of being approved for road registration without an official development order. This prototype attracted attention on and offroad with the best ride characteristics – for instance at the Six Days. The management at BMW Motorrad GmbH was immediately convinced, and gave the project the green light – in under 21 months, BMW presented the results to the public.
The new class of vehicle
1980 to 1987: An allrounder for offroad and touring? Yes, there is such a thing. With the R 80 G/S, the perfect synthesis of offroad and road riding was achieved – simply G/S. With it, the large-scale dual-sport motorcycle segment was born and has been dominated ever since. On motorways, country roads, country lanes or unpaved terrain, the rider has the bike under control in every road situation and can enjoy the outstanding comfort even on long journeys. The single-sided swing-arm is a technical highlight – the rear suspension referred to as the monolever.
The second generation
1987 to 1996: More capacity is the name of the game with the new top model R 100 GS. The completely reworked GS would be the most powerful and fastest Enduro on the market. On the rear wheel, the BMW Paralever, a single-sided rear swing arm with torque bracing, ensures alleviated handling when offroad and guarantees incredible ride comfort on paved roads. Spectacular finale: at the end of the production time, the standard models R 100 GS PD Classic and the R 80 GS Basic emerged.
Four-valve engines and Adventure
1994 to 2003: BMW Motorrad continues to reinvent itself. In 1994, the R 1100 GS appeared on the market; the first Enduro with a four-valve engine. It captivates with light offroad handling, combined with outstanding touring characteristics on the road. The successor model R 1150 GS continues writing the success story of BMW Motorrad dual-sport motorcycles, as does the R 1150 GS Adventure, which appeared in 2002 and is tailored to meet the requirements of long-distance travellers.
The single-cylinder GS
2000 to 2007: After the great success of the "Funduro" models F 650 and F 650 ST, BMW Motorrad presented a reworked version of the single-cylinder machines starting in 2000. With the F 650 GS and the F 650 GS Dakar, even beginners can enjoy that typical Enduro feeling. With the water-cooled single-cylinder unit, the new addition to the family is sufficiently motorised and proves itself to be the ideal motorcycle for everyday life. The "little one" also has the winner's gene that is typical to the GS: at the Dakar 1999 and 2000, it was the first past the finish line.
The BMW R 1200 GS
2004 to 2012: BMW Motorrad continues to tinker with success and re-released the GS in 2004. The bike now has increased capacity, power and torque while weighing 30 kilos less. This results in an even more dynamic performance on all terrain. In 2005, the R 1200 GSAdventure followed for globetrotters. The R 1200 GS has been continually refined right down to the very last detail since its introduction: with the ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) available since 2008, the rider is able to adjust the chassis and suspension to suit the road conditions while riding.
BMW enduros with straight-twin engine
Since 2008: The successors to the F 650 GS with single-cylinder engines are the F 800 GS and F 650 GS. In the model year 2008, BMW Motorrad presented the completely redeveloped Enduro models with liquid-cooled in-line engine and chain drive to the rear wheel. With the two bikes, riders can experience pure adventure even in the mid range – with excellent handling. From the outset, the two models suitable for long distances occupied the leading positions in the registrations statistics.
The water-cooled R 1200 GS
Since 2013: An icon gets even better. The completely redesigned opposed-twin engine heralds a new era for the R 1200 GS. For the first time, the BMW Motorrad engineers fitted a water-cooled engine to the success model. Furthermore, the bike now has more HP and an even better performance resulting from the increased ride stability and ride precision thanks to the semi-active Dynamic ESA suspension. The rider can choose between five different riding modes.