Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. BMW realized that this was not at all restricted to track weapons and seeing an increasing demand for capable off-road machines, they re-entered the ISDT in 1979 as a means of publicizing its forthcoming range of flat-twin dual-purpose bikes. Their first offering, the R80G/S, was announced in September of 1980, equipped with a 21in. front wheel, raised fenders, high-level exhaust system and single-sided swingarm to assist tire changes in the wilderness. It was a bit heavy for really rough terrain, but nevertheless the Gelände/Straße (offroad/street) proved to be an excellent cross-over machine, supremely well suited to the new market sector of “adventure tourer”, a sector dominated by the brand ever since.
Introduced in 1999, the 1150GS was the first with a six-speed gearbox, an electrically servo-assisted combined braking system replacing the predecessor’s ABS system and a twin-spark head, to smooth the power from the boxer twin. This GS Adventure model adds to that versatility with slightly longer suspension travel, a bigger 7.9-gallon gas tank, a larger windshield, standard crash bars and handlebar guards. As Cycle World magazine put it, the 1150GS exemplifies “the very essence of a two-wheel Swiss Army knife.”
An inevitable increase of capacity came in the R1200GS, engine sourced from the HP2 Sport, now with 110bhp and 88 lbft of torque, makes the R1200 quite a formidable machine. With renowned BMW handling the behemoth GS can embarrass a crotch-rocket through the canyons. 2013 marked the 90th anniversary of the firm: “90 years of character. 90 years of yearning for adventure. BMW Motorrad is marking the anniversary of the exciting boxer model and its irrepressible pioneering spirit – 90 years of motorcycle construction motivated by sheer passion.”
The anniversary outfit of the R1200GS Adventure comprises a matt black/gold paint finish. Like all the special models, it also bears high-quality model inscriptions and an exclusive brass plate on the fork bridge. The 90th came with a host of options:
L & R Pannier Fastenings for Aluminium Cases
ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
Tire Pressure Control
Additional Fog Lights
Anti Theft Alarm System
Off Road Tires
ASC (OW 630)
The Swiss Army knife on offer here has been owned from new by a local Southern California collector of cars and motorcycles. A meticulous owner, the collection is kept in a climate-controlled environment and in top running condition. Enjoyed to the tune of 3,800 miles, the bike has been sparingly used, as can be seen by the general condition. The bike starts easily and rides like new. Brakes and suspension feel equally new and all electrical systems work as they should. Excellent throughout, this motorcycle is steeped in options, from hardshell side and top cases, Touratech rear luggage shelf, emergency gas bottle, Leo Vince exhaust to capitalize on the naturally throaty BMW sound, spotlights, sidestand footpad, headlight protection grille, additional power outlet, heated grips, bar risers, etc. etc. It also has a fantastic handle that assists in getting the bike on the center stand. The replacement windscreen is just about the most fantastic screen I’ve ever experienced – it completely kills the airflow. Completely.
Made famous by Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman in their epic adventure, riding from London to New York the “Long Way Round”, the BMW GSA epitomizes Adventure, by name and nature.