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ADV NewsNext-Generation BMW R1300GS Spied Out Testing

Next-Generation BMW R1300GS Spied Out Testing

Spy shots reveal an all-new GS with major updates is on the way.

Published on 06.29.2021

Judging by new spy shots out of Germany, posted by Motorrad, it looks like BMW is primed to turn yet another page in the evolution of its flagship GS and GSA models, both heavy sellers that have shaped the adventure bike market for decades.  

The collection of photos reveals a significantly overhauled version of the large-displacement GS may be on its way. Recent BMW trademark filings for an M1300GS suggest the next-generation flagship GS models will get a new 1300cc powerplant and that a higher-spec ‘M’ version may be on the way as well — as seen with the release of the 2021 M1000RR.

Shots taken at what appears to be BMW’s huge Enduro Park Hechlingen, outside of Nuremberg, show the shrouded prototype being tested alongside the current R 1250GS, likely to measure its evolution vs. the heritage elements GS fans would likely miss.


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While this 1300cc prototype is heavily cloaked, the disguise can’t conceal several radical departures from tradition. Firstly, drink in that unfamiliar headlamp. Ah, did the release of H-D’s Pan America kick off some kind of reverse beauty contest for ADV bike front ends? Sure, the beaked profile remains, but now the headlamp assembly is integrated into the nose, giving it a weirdly smooth ski-jump look. Clearly, the void between the headlamp and large windscreen is an ideal location of a radar lens that would allow for adaptive cruise control — a feature that BMW has announced is coming

Below the fairing, we see two large cowlings that jut forward following the line of the bike’s fork. The covers appear to house much larger radiators than current, and that clue, along with the shrouds completely blocking wind from the big boxer’s cylinders tell us this new model will most likely be fully liquid cooled, ditching the targeted air- and oil cooling system we see on today’s R1250 GS models. The bump in displacement to 1300cc will certainly add a tad more power, which feels gratuitous in relation to the bike’s intention as an over-landing machine. 

BMW R1300GS spy photos

The bike’s front suspension is more of a mystery. The spoked front wheel looks to be suspended by a traditional fork instead of a Telelever unit, long a staple on top of the line BMW GS models. The central spring and strut of the Telelever system is usually visible between the fork legs, but only a steering stabilizer can be seen on this prototype. It makes sense that nixing the sizable Telelever unit would create space for the more generous radiators, but the components could just be obscured from view. 

Another mystery is this new model’s frame. At first glance the white tubular frame looks traditional to the bike, but taking a closer look, noting how the frame tubes float on a black plastic panel, with the bike’s foot pegs attached to the hidden chassis, confirms the white “frame” is a decoy. We’re hoping the uni-fairing north of the frame is also a means to hide new componentry and possibly a new tank shape, because as is, the seamless, swoopy shell looks pretty ho-hum. 

The R1300GS’s test mule’s exhaust system appears to be stand-in or a work in progress, its small, stubby silencer looking unlikely to pass current regulatory standards. Around the back of the machine we see the license plate frame has a flat empty region similar to the space above the headlight, likely to house a future-forward adaptive cruise control system. 

BMW R1300GS spy photos

While the spy shots are all at once revealing, yet also rife with mystery, it’s unlikely we’ll see this next-gen adventure bike as a 2022 model since BMW has already gone through the process to certify its R1250GS and GSA with the California Air Resources Board for the 2022 model year.

Hopefully we’ll soon be able to share more info and photos documenting the evolution of this intriguing new development in BMW’s adventure bike stable. 

Judging by the free reign these “spies” were given to shoot the prototype, we’re guessing additional breadcrumbs will arrive soon.  

Photos: bmh-images

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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11 thoughts on “Next-Generation BMW R1300GS Spied Out Testing

  1. Pingback: Next-Generation BMW R1300GS Spied Out Testing - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

  2. My first car was a ’92 honda civic. These motorcycles have more horse power than that car did. These just seem excessive in the weight / price / hp categories but to each their own. I’ve found myself drawn to the smaller, more nimble bikes lately.

    • Exactly my thoughts also. My first car was a -91 Civic, ha ha. And my old GSA sits resting in my garage, now my Nomadized and adventurized Husqvarna 701 enduro long range is my choice when I’m going for Sunday trips with my buddies. We go up to 350 miles on twisty back country roads in the Norwegian landscape, and the 220 pounds lighter bike is just a dream to handle.

    • While I appreciate the technology of the big GS bikes and definitely acknowledge their value for long highway miles, I’ve always favored small displacement lightweight bikes for off road use, and that carries over into my preference for the G310GS for a back road and mild off road ADV bike. I wanted a 300-400cc ADV bike since 1975. At least we finally have small and lightweight ADV bikes, but I wish the manufacturers would show them more love. I’d like to see a rally (Dakar, Sertao, etc.) version of the G310GS with a few upscale features. Double the size of the fuel tank or a little more, and use that larger tank as a fairing for the upper legs. Better suspension. Maybe add an inch to the suspension travel and ground clearance. Give it a proper aluminum bash plate, engine guards and tank guard. Maybe some simple ride modes or lean angle traction control. USB charging ports, heated grips, heavy duty hand guards, full LED lighting and maybe a nice TFT display. Maybe some high intensity auxiliary lighting. But keep the weight as low as possible. Could we please have a lithium battery from the factory?

    • They will be parked beside the Harley Electra Glides. And in the other corner will be the Pan America owners. Arguing who’s commute back home will be longer than 5 minutes.

  3. My 2017 Nissan Rogue gets better mileage than most all large motorcycles do. I expect the BMW is not going to top 35 mpg. How does environmentally correct BMW get past that?

    • My G310GS gets over 60 MPG, and that’s when ridden for fun and not for fuel economy. BMW Motorrad just released their CE04 electric scooter for “sustainable urban mobility”.

  4. The current BMW R1250GS averages around 50 mpg. New technologies have actually allowed the fuel mileage on this bike and many other motorcycles to remain steady or improve, even as engines grow in capacity.

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