10 Things to Know About the 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure
The king of adventure touring gets improvements in nearly every category.
The new 2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure is the top of the GS model line. It’s a no compromise machine that offers cutting-edge technology, performance and sophistication. The Adventure model is the off-road focused version of the standard R1200GS, that includes enhancements for long-distance touring over difficult terrain.
For many, the BMW R1200GS Adventure is the quintessential globe-touring Adventure Bike that stirs up fantasies of world travel with just a glance. The model is the most recent version of the bike made famous by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in their Long Way Round series. A popular choice for world travelers because of its incredible range, comfort and durability.
An all new R1200GS Adventure has been released for 2014 and several motorcycle publications have completed full tests of the machine. We’ve summarized the most important points so you can better understand how the new R1200GS Adventure compares to last year’s model.
1. The Engine Is Smoother
The new R1200GS Adventure’s flywheel has been made 2.0 pounds (950 grams) heavier to smooth low-rpm power delivery. The heavier flywheel softens throttle response during off-road riding and in city traffic, making it easier to manage at slow speeds. A new vibration damper between the gearbox and shaft drive is designed to improve powertrain smoothness as well.
2. It’s Even More Comfortable
The new GSA includes a larger windshield with a convenient hand-wheel adjustment that offers more weather protection and airflow around the rider. Comfortable ergonomics make it easy to cruise all day at 80 to 90 mph for both a rider and passenger. Uneven surfaces are effortlessly absorbed with the electronic suspension in the “Soft” setting.
3. More Powerful Liquid-Cooled Engine
Both the standard R1200GS and the R1200GS Adventure received the same redesigned liquid-cooled boxer engine. The new engine gained 15 horsepower (now 125 hp at 7,750 rpm) and 3 pound-feet of torque (now 92 lb.-ft. at 6,500 rpm) while also offering a broader spread of torque in the midrange. The engine still relies heavily on air cooling, but uses strategic water cooling to increase power while reducing weight with smaller radiators.
4. Weight Has Been Reduced
The R1200GS Adventure has always been a heavy bike because of the huge gas tank it carries. The additional off-road protectors and luggage racks also add pounds. On the new GSA, some weight has been saved by replacing the old plastic tank with a new, narrower aluminium tank. The bike is 7 pounds (3 kg) lighter than the previous model, now weighing 573 pounds (260 kg) wet. The standard R1200GS is 48 pounds (22 kg) lighter without the weight of the big tank and protective guards.
5. Fuel Economy is Improved
In an effort to save weight, the fuel tank capacity was reduced by .8 gallons (3 liters). However, with improved gas mileage (55 mpg vs. 51 mpg highway mileage as reported by BMW) the range is roughly equivalent with a smaller 7.9 gallon (30 liter) tank. The new R1200GS Adventure promises a range of roughly 435 miles per tank, down just 10 miles from the previous model. But the range is still impressive and you get 135 miles more than the standard GS. The incredible range of the GSA is useful for riding in remote areas where gas stations are hard to find and also saves time with fewer gas stops.
6. It’s Even Better Off-Road
The new R1200GS Adventure has improved off-road performance because of its lighter weight and smoother engine response. The larger flywheel allows the bike to tractor through rough terrain at low speeds without getting disturbed. The bike also gets .4 inches (10 mm) of extra ground clearance to make it easier to get over obstacles. Suspension travel remains the same as the previous R1200GS Adventure.
7. Reaching the Ground is Easier
Seat height has not changed even though the new GSA offers more ground clearance. Seat height is adjustable between 35.0 inches to 35.8 inches (889 mm to 909 mm). A new seat design is narrower at the front reducing the spread of the legs to make reaching the ground easier for shorter riders.
8. The Electronics Are Impressive
The same electronics package on the standard R1200GS is available on the Adventure as well. ABS and 2-mode ASC (Automatic Stability Control) are standard on the Adventure. But the majority of buyers choose the Premium Package option with ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) which adds three performance driving modes (Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro Modes). Dynamic mode is used for sport riding, Enduro is for relaxed off-road riding and Enduro Pro is for aggressive off-road riding with knobby tires. Electronic suspension, ABS and traction control settings have all received high praise by reviewers for their effectiveness and adjustablility.
9. It’s Extremely Versatile
The new R1200GS Adventure is friendly and easy to ride, even though its weight, height and bulk can be intimating at first. There’s no denying it’s a heavy bike, but it hides its weight well. The smooth power and torque give it excellent traction off-road and the suspension is stiff enough to keep from bottoming during spirited off-road riding. The power and handling give it the performance of a sport touring bike on twisty pavement and it has nearly the same comfort as a dedicated touring bike on the open road. However, the bike’s true purpose is to travel to the ends of the earth and get you there in one piece.
10. The Price Tag Is Higher
Most purchasers will buy the R1200GS Adventure with the Premium Package that includes all of the advanced electronics options. The GSA with the Premium Package option runs $21,550 USD, an increase of $1,055 USD over the previous model. A 5% price increase seems reasonable for all the new updates. Many will criticize the new R1200GS Adventure because of its commanding price tag, but is it worth the price? For those that appreciate its advanced technology and can afford it, apparently it is. The R1200GS Adventure is one of BMW’s best selling models and with all the new improvements, sales are likely to remain high.
2014 BMW R1200GS Review Video