The BMW GS models powered by the boxer flat-twin engine have been the perfect companion for anyone wishing to explore the furthest reaches of our planet for over three decades. Be it the Himalayan mountains, the Saharan desert or the polar circles – the “GS” has always provided motorcycle adventurers with the ideal combination of touring and long-distance travel qualities, dynamic performance, endurance and off-road capability.
R1200GS xDrive Hybrid: the world’s first all-wheel drive travel enduro.
With the world premiere of the near-series test version of the R1200GS xDrive Hybrid, BMW Motorrad opens up a whole new chapter in GS history and launches the world’s first series-production all-wheel drive travel enduro with hybrid drive.
The new R1200GS xDrive Hybrid is based on the legendary R1200GS Adventure. The air/liquid cooled flat twin generates an output of 92 kW (125 hp) at 7,750 rpm as well as a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6,500 rpm and delivers it to the rear wheel via shaft drive in familiar fashion.
Hybrid drive with 125 kW (170 hp) overall system output ensures supreme performance in all riding conditions.
The unique all-wheel drive of the front wheel of the new R1200GS xDrive Hybrid ensures even better traction on slippery road conditions, deep sand or mud. This technological feat was achieved using the system developed by BMW Automobiles. All-wheel drive can be operated automatically or manually by the rider via the 2WD (Two-Wheel Drive) switch located on the left handlebar operation unit. It activates the wheel-hub e-Drive system which functions both as electric motor and generator. With the additional output of 33 kW (45 hp) and overall 125 kW (170 hp) system performance, the innovative all-wheel drive system opens up a whole new dimension of performance and offroad-suitability.
A new generation of batteries, derived from BMW i battery technology, stores the energy recuperated during braking. The e-Drive system on the front wheel is supplied with this energy and the R1200GS xDrive Hybrid rider can use it for accelerating in addition to the power delivered by the combustion engine. Thanks to sophisticated management technology the power is always supplied to the front wheel in the right amount and appropriately depending on the riding situation. This means that the front wheel only receives the amount of power as the traction conditions permit – for example in wet or deep snow conditions. The rider can use a number of riding modes to customize how the all-wheel drive system operates and adjust the hybrid system’s recuperation strategies to suit his needs. Everything can be controlled using the innovative LCD display.
Optimized braking performance and balanced weight ratio thanks to intelligent recuperation and single disc brake.
Apart from the significant advantages achieved with regard to ride performance, the xDrive Hybrid all-wheel drive also benefits braking greatly. Thanks to the recuperation process, which has been integrated into the BMW Motorrad ABS system, braking performance has been improved even further.
This intelligent combined solution also made it possible to reduce the conventional double-disc hydraulic braking system at the front to a single-disc brake system thereby saving approximately 2.9 kilograms (6.4 lbs.) of weight. In combination with the wheel hub e-Drive, which only weighs 880 grams (2 lbs.), the bike’s agility was also optimized. Thanks to the bike’s positive weight balance, the weight level of the current R1200GS Adventure could be maintained in spite of the additional hybrid all-wheel technology.
This bike will get you anywhere, on any surface — even to the North pole.
In the past months the test version of the new R1200GS xDrive Hybrid covered countless thousands of kilometers in the toughest of riding conditions. The most extreme demands were placed on the bike last winter, when Reiner Scherbeck, the head of winter testing at BMW Motorrad, rode it to the North Cape on a first stage and from there across the frozen Barents Sea to the North Pole and back again.
Scherbeck: “We were absolutely amazed how problem-free and reliable the all-wheel drive worked even at minus 56 degrees. Thanks to our functional BMW rider equipment, the cold temperatures were no problem for the rider, too. Probably the most thrilling conclusion we can draw from our test runs, is that for the first time we can offer a motorcycle that makes riding a motorcycle a pleasure at snow depths of 1.25 metres [49 inches] in high winter with the new R1200GS xDrive Hybrid. Special front section components have also been developed for this purpose as well as high-speed suitable M+S all-season tires. This was also necessary in order to meet the necessary requirements for high-speed winter operation.”
The new BMW R1200GS xDrive Hybrid will be presented to the public in a suitable location very soon. It will be available from the second half of 2017. BMW Motorrad will announce special tire combinations and optional equipment features as well as the official sales price at a later date.
Editor’s note: Place your order soon, as this may only be available on April 1st…