The R1200GS has for decades been the king of the big off-road enduros, but now the new S1000XR “adventure sport” is poised to give it some serious competition. In the latest issue of BMW Motorcycle Magazine, the two models are taken out for a serious comparison test. While they both target similar riders, they are very different bikes. Can the Superbike-derived four-cylinder with its sporty chain-drive and telescopic fork really challenge the familiar two-cylinder Boxer with its traditional shaft drive and Telelever suspension? The results might surprise you.
Meanwhile, BMW has rolled out a couple of concept bikes at this summer’s events that hint at what’s on the Bavarian brand’s horizon. The BMW Lac Rose shows what happens when an R nineT gets a retro Paris-Dakar Rally GS makeover. And the cruiser-styled R5 Hommage celebrates the 80th anniversary of one of the most aesthetically beautiful models in BMW’s history. Both may see their way into production, in one form or another, as part of the recently developed Heritage line from BMW.
Individual approaches to favorite BMWs from owners, customizers and even a former Motorrad director, are also featured in this issue. The results include a trimmed-down muscle K1600 roadster, a 1980s Suzuka 8 hour race replica S1000RR, and a half-faired R1200R café racer, among others.
Road tests of two new tires on the market, Metzeler’s sport-touring Roadtec 01 and Michelin’s knobby Anakee Wild, are featured in the Gear section. And for the inevitable cooler weather coming up, an innovative set of electric jacket, pants and gloves, along with an aftermarket heated seat, are also tested and reviewed.
Recent news brings readers the BMW Motorrad 2017 model updates, an introduction to the Intelligent Emergency Call accident button, the latest female world record holder, a BMW comic book based on the G310R, and the story of an adventure traveler who used his GS to power a raft and cross the Darien Gap.
The DIY Garage section presents step-by-step directions on adjusting valve clearances on the 1993-2009 four-valve boxers. The Destinations section in this issue features two rides to add to your bucket list. A one-week tour of Oregon’s “Mild West” takes us from viewing giant sea lions along the Pacific coast to riding through dense conifer forests, over high mountain peaks, around deep lakes and quad riding in vast sand dunes. A two-month tour of the classic Cairo-to-Cape Town ride down the length of Africa is also covered, in all its exotic beauty and wild life. The Skills column considers the importance of having a “professional attitude” toward riding.
BMW Motorcycle Magazine can be ordered as a subscription or as individual issues online at bmwmcmag.com. It’s also available through bookstores, newsstands and select dealerships across the USA and digitally to your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch through Apple’s App Store at appstore.com/bmwmotorcyclemagazine.