What looked like an ordinary R1200GS rolled off the production line at BMW’s Berlin-Spandau plant today but it was very special. That’s because it was the 500,000th BMW GS motorcycle with a flat-twin (boxer) engine to be manufactured at the plant. Since 1969, motorcycles have been manufactured for the world market in Berlin-Spandau with the GS model series added in 1980.
In the autumn of 1980, BMW Motorrad presented the R80G/S, a machine which combined the qualities for two very special fields of use: offroad and street. What began with 798cc of displacement and 50bhp of output has developed into a fascinating high-tech travel enduro in the shape of the R1200GS with 125bhp and 1170cc over a period of three decades. Furthermore state-of-the art suspension technology and electronic systems such ABS, traction control or semi-active suspension have been added. This ongoing and consistent development of the boxer-engined BMW GS models is a major reason for their status as top-selling travel enduros worldwide.
Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad said, “By combining street, off-road and everyday qualities, BMW Motorrad created the new travel enduro species with the R80G/S. The flat-twin GS became the synonym for this segment. The outstanding talents of the boxer-engined GS models – ride dynamics, offroad qualities, comfort and endurance – have been continuously nurtured, developed and transferred very successfully to other BMW Motorrad model series.”
Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Motorrad Berlin Plant added, “As a plant it is a privilege for us to continue building on the successful history of the legendary flat-twin GS. With the precision-cooled drive unit, a new evolutionary stage was reached last year. Manufacturing half a million units underlines the fact that the boxer GS represents a cornerstone of our motorcycle production more than ever before.”