The New Year brings new excitement to BMW’s middle-class segment. After last year’s launches to the extremes of their model range from the K1600B to the G310GS, BMW Motorrad introduces the next generation F-models, the F750GS and F850GS. These Goldilocks of motorcycles gives many riders a new GS choice that’s not too big and not too small. This issue reviews the larger, re-engineered engine now made in China, new chassis and electronics, while comparing features of both models to their predecessors. Also covered in this issue is another mid-size revealed for 2018, the C400X urban scooter, which expands BMW’s current lineup of maxi-scooters.
Speaking of the extreme ends of the model range, the recently launched G310GS has been fully road-tested for this issue. No stone on the trail has been left unturned to determine if its power, ergonomics and handling are worthy of the GS nameplate. And the six-cylinder models have a new sibling with the introduction of the K1600 Grand America. This full dress, “American-style” tourer is based on the K1600B bagger but includes additional wind protection, luggage space and accessories.
One of BMW’s most anticipated new technologies, the fully-digital, smartphone-connected cockpit is tested in this issue. BMW Connectivity combines gauges, on-board computer and smartphone info on a large, modern TFT display while navigation prompts, music playback and phone conversations can be heard through a Bluetooth headset. The description of its basic functions, photos of the multiple menus and details of the controls will help you decide if it’s a technology you’ll want on your next motorcycle.
Distinctive beemers are constantly being created around the globe and this issue includes an award-winning ’79 airhead from County Cork in Ireland, a ’93 R100R from Austria described as a ‘functional piece of art,’ a Dakar Rally-ready ’93 GS by HPN, and a new R1200RT from Roland Sands Design in California commissioned by rock star Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
For the 40th anniversary of the R100RS, legendary designer Hans Muth has authored an exclusive inside story of his years at BMW. As the mastermind behind the R90S and consequent development of the R100RS, Muth is widely credited with turning around BMW Motorrad and saving it from the Japanese invasion of the ’70s. His insights into this era are priceless.
The Garage section shows how to remove the Telelever from an R1200GS and replaces it with an upside-down fork. The pros and cons of this radical change are discussed so you can decide if you want to perform the same surgery. Then in the Workshop, the important maintenance topic of throttle cable play and replacement is covered with step-by-step photos and instructions.
Well-known adventure rider Jim Hyde pens the Skills column featuring insights and tips from his off-road training center. The Destinations section gives advice on traveling solo in dangerous areas, using the author’s experience in Honduras. Next is a two-up tour through Europe, paying respect to ancestors who fought 100 years ago in WWI. Finally, a sunny Arizona day-ride up a twisty mountain on the Devil’s Highway is mapped.
The latest innovations on the market are in the Gear section, featuring jackets, boots and gloves from the 2018 BMW Motorrad Rider Collection. Smart brake tech from Admore Lighting is tested, as are Michelin’s Anakee Wild tires, now re-sized for classic GS models. The full Rizoma line of parts for the R nine T Racer is showcased, while the R nineT Urban GS gets a third wheel thanks to a matching Watsonian sidecar. Accessories for the Bagger, S1000XR, G310GS and others wrap it up.
All this, plus up-to-date racing results, a calendar of upcoming events and more exciting BMW news can be found in the Spring 2018 issue!
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 BMW dealerships across the USA and Canada as well as digitally to your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch through Apple’s App Store at appstore.com/bmwmotorcyclemagazine.