BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Allroad Touring MC
When you are interested in allroad motorcycle exploring beyond the tarmac roads and would like take long even global tours, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 provides one of the best ride, excellent performance and touring comfort with good riding ergonomics and extensive luggage capacity for two. The GSA is designed for riding long hours day after day on versatile roads. It is a big touring enduro which is at it`s best when making serious allroad miles and carrying a substantial payload. The German BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 has been the leader of the category and a bench mark showing what is important and functional in adventurous allroad motorcycle touring. There is a lot of history and experience behind the famous GSA.
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is without a doubt the leading allroad touring enduro in the big bore section. The GSA offers outstanding riding ergonomics, a huge luggage capacity, surprisingly capable offroad riding features being impressively agile for such a massive touring bike. The GSA is more of a touring bike than an offroad adventure bike. On top of the weight, it has relative small and wide 19 inch front wheel which is mainly designed for road use and not good on the soft ground or loose surfaces. By choosing knobbier tyres the GSA gets around and rides well on compromised dirt roads too.
Clearly the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is not the most adventurous touring enduro for highly challenging routing scenarios. It is one of the lightest big touring enduros, but still massive. Especially with the touring payload (total maximum 480kgs / 1058 lbs), it requires more support from the ground than the medium size and light adventure touring enduros. Once the GSA is down, the rider needs to know exactly how to pull it up alone. After few solo pulls the ride is basically over, unless the route becomes easy again. Never the less, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is at it`s best on versatile roads and the 30 liters fuel tank makes sure that long refueling intervals are not a problem what so ever.
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Features
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers a liquid and air cooled boxer engine delivering 125HP and 125Nm torque which is more than enough for touring and most of us. The GSA has a oil lubricated clutch that is hydraulically operated instead of the predecessors single dry plate. Finally the GSA is also ride by wire throttled and offers a cruise control as an optional extra. Since it is a basic feature for any touring motorcycle, I would rather include it to standard features. The tall and wide touring windscreen can be adjusted from the right side by using a single hand turn knob. The placement at the right side may be a safety feature, but still I would have placed it at the left and made it more practical to use while riding.
Surprisingly the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers a modest 510W AC capacity for electronic travel equipment which is 210W less than what the predecessor offers. Today everybody carries several kind of electronics onboard, even tablets and require fixed charging arrangements. This is even more vital when exploring the remote and basically camping. Devices simply must be charged also onboard while riding. What makes it even more strange is that the brother model BMW R1200GS offers slightly more 580W and the TRIUMPH Tiger Explorer 1200XC a staggering 950W alternator capacity. The key BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 features are:
- Seat height 890 mm. or 35.04in. (+2cm adjustment)
- Cross spoked rims
- Tyres 120/70 R19 and rear 170/60 R17
- Engine type twin boxer
- Max performance 125HP / 125Nm. or 92.2ft-lb.
- Alternator 510W
- 12V cockpit power outlet
- Shaft driven
- ABS partly integrated (off switchable)
- Automatic stability control system ASC
- Onboard computer (basic)
- Electronic immobiliser system EWS
- Weight fueled 260kgs or 573.2lbs
- Payload 220kgs or 485lbs
- Fuel tank 30L, 7.93USgal., 6.6UKgal. (min. 91RON – 87AKI)
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Refuling
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 has more economical engine with lower consumption and therefore the fuel tank is probably 3 liters smaller than before. That may be just fine for most of us, but when exploring the remote and riding through the wilderness the refueling range can be very long. Having the ability to carry fuel for well beyond 500 kms (311 mi.) is necessary and being able to locate the most of the fuel in the front as low as possible close to the center of gravity, is ideal from the maneuvering point of view. Note that the back of the GSA would be anyway quite heavy due to the touring payload and carrying an extra set of fuel canisters attached to the panniers would only reduce the agility. Since the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is already a kilo heavier than the predecessor, compromises are usually made. When exploring some of the most exotic countries you might have to use low octane fuel and since most of the modern motorcycles are using electronic mixture control systems, there is a need for an additional program and a knock sensor which provides the setup for at least 91 octane fuel. When riding fuel injected bikes take this into account when routing and planning new tours. The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 provides settings for low octane fuel as optional extra.
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Riding Modes
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers 2 standard riding modes, the ROAD and the RAIN. More riding modes are available as optional extra. The RAIN mode provides a soft dosage and response with more readily ASC actions to support the ride. The ROAD mode ensures optimal performance, a spontaneous, linear throttle response with a homogeneous torque build-up.
The optional extra riding modes such as the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 DYNAMIC is the sportiest mode for road riding with direct throttle response and less stability control. The ENDURO mode is designed for offroad riding, giving a soft throttle response, restrained stability control intervention and an optimum brake distribution. This is ideal for less experienced offroad riders, giving more time to adjust to the bike and surfaces. The ENDURO Pro mode provides spontaneous engine response without the rear ABS and allows considerably more slipping. This mode is designed to be used with studded offroad tyres.
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Instrumentation
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers a wide range of instrumentation and riding controls to choose from. Also the GSA has now the advanced multi controller unit to manage the onboard computer settings and the BMW Navigator. The BMW rotating controller is in the left hand grip. The rider can change settings and view display info without looking at the controller or moving the hand from the handlebar which is safer and more practical than pressing separate buttons and following the display rotation. The standard BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 onboard multifunction display offers information about:
- Odometer total
- Trip 1 & 2
- Fuel level
- Fuel consumption rate
- Oil level
- Gear indicator
- Average speed
- Outside temperature
- Riding mode in use
- Upshift indicator
- Grip heating level
- Service due indicator
- Ice warning indicator
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Equipment Accessory
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 comes as standard quite equipped, but there are few upgrades that may be necessary on top of basic travel equipment such as panniers. The standard GSA skid plate is very small and provides little protection for the exhaust pipes in the front. I would install at any case the cruise control to the GSA, since it is a basic feature of any true touring motorcycle nowadays. It may be irrelevant in the remote outside tarmac, but otherwise it is very practical. A set of LED auxiliary lights would be good too, in order to see better and wider in the darkness, but also to be seen better in the broad day light. Since the GSA has a modest alternator it may be wise to install a full LED lighting system and save some energy for other devices. A 12V power outlet in the cockpit would be practical to backup some of the travel equipment such as the HD action camera, tablet and the phone. For the navigator I would anyway bring a fixed power cord from the CAN system and leave the plug for other devices.
Where the BMW factory checks out several equipment providers continue. All major producers keep close eye on the BMW. There is basically everything you need. I would recommend to invest on aluminium side panniers with the frame, but the rear top case is simply an option for urban touring especially when riding with the passenger. The more routing challenges are taken, the less weight can be placed at the rear. The rear top case has enormous effect on agility.
BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 Comparison
Compared to the urban brother BMW R1200GS 2014, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is a lot alike, but there are also clear differences. The GSA is 22kgs (48.5lbs) heavier, provides 8kgs (17.6lbs) more payload capacity and 10L (2.64US gal./ 2.2UKgal.) more fuel capacity. The GSA has more flexible cross spoked rims instead of rigid cast aluminium wheels. A taller & wider GSA touring windscreen offers more wind protection and riding comfort. 20 mm. higher suspension travel offers more ground clearance and better terrain response for reasonable offroading. Also 1 degree more aggressive steering head angle supports adventure riding on demanding surfaces.
On the other hand the GSA comes with the same urban touring tyres MICHELIN Anakee III which is perhaps just fine for a lot of riders, but against the bike`s true nature. I would return back to MICHELIN Anakee II at least or perhaps even to MICHELIN Sirac since they match the bike`s potential. In addition the GSA offers crash bars, hand guards, wider offroad foot pegs, quick adjustable footbrake lever and gloves compartment as standard. Clearly the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is better designed for adventurous allroad touring out of the urban.
VS TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2014
Compared to the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2014, the basic BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers sophisticated riding aids that are very interesting for urban travelers. The GSA is 7kgs (15.4lbs) lighter, carries 2kgs (4.4lbs) less payload, offers 10L (2.64USgal./ 2.2UKgal.) more fuel capacity, but no cruise control as standard feature. In addition the GSA provides 440W less AC alternator and 12HP less engine performance, but 4Nm more practical torque. The Tiger Explorer is sportier from nature. On paper they seem quite similar with few exceptions and they are designed for the same purpose, but the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 offers slightly more touring capabilities, versatility and it is more comfort oriented than the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200XC Explorer 2014.
VS KTM 1190 Adventure R 2013
Compared to the KTM 1190 Adventure R, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is 25kgs (55.1lbs) heavier, offers at the front 10mm. less suspension travel and 23HP less engine performance, but provides 7L (1.85USgal./ 1.54UKgal.) more fuel capacity and is shaft driven. In addition the KTM has bigger 21 inch front wheel, a steering damper and offers tyre pressure monitoring as standard. The bigger wheel and the steering damper are clearly better on loose surfaces and outside the tarmac roads. On the other hand, the GSA offers much more better wind protection with the tall and wide touring screen. Also adjustable GSA rider seat provides better ergonomic features and comfort than the more adventurous KTM seat, although the KTM has adjustable foot pegs.
These touring enduros seem very different even though, they are both designed for adventurous touring. The KTM 1190 Adventure R is clearly much more sporty and capable for demanding solo adventure riding. The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is more comfortable and capable for extremely long global tours with a heavy payload and a passenger.
VS YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2013 WorldCrosser Upgrade
Compared to the YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere WorldCrosser, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is only 1kg (2.2lbs) lighter, offers 15HP / 11Nm more engine performance, 11kgs (24.3lbs) more payload and plus 7L (1.85USgal./ 1.54UKgal.) fuel capacity, but 90W less alternator performance and no low octane settings. The SuperTenere offers lower rider seat for shorter riders, robust skid-plate and a 12V power outlet in the cockpit, but less wind protection and no quick wind screen adjustment. These allroad touring enduros are corresponding models, but the YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere WorldCrosser is slightly less comfortable and adventurous for demanding routing. The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is slightly more advanced at every level and more comfortable globetrotter.
VS MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2014
Compared to the MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2014, the BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is 36kgs (79.4lbs.) lighter, offers 21kgs (46.3lbs.) more payload capacity, 20HP/12Nm. more engine performance, but it also offers 2L (0.5USgal. – 0.44UKgal.) less fuel and 40W less alternator performance. Rather small weight reduction comes from the STELVIO -pannier set with the rack. From the equipment point of view, the STELVIO has a less advanced traction control system and the GSA has on top additional stability control features as optional extra. They both have cross spoked rims, 12V power outlet in the cockpit, modern instrumentation, average alternator performance, a little bit crash protection and the shaft drives, but the STELVIO has also a pair of aluminium panniers as standard. The GSA has partially integrated ABS which can be additionally switched into offroad mode. The GSA is ride by wire throttled and offers cruise control unlike the traditional MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2014 which has no low octane fuel settings either.
The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 has better ergonomics and more versatile adjustments than the STELVIO. They both have very good wind cover, but the GSA windshield can be also adjusted on the move with one hand. The GSA carries more payload and is more agile to handle off-roads. They both allow to quick set the suspension according to the load, but the GSA offers additionally an electronic suspension system which is not available for STELVIOs. The GSA front suspension is also very different from the dynamics point of view. The GSA -Telelever supports the weight much better on pavement emergency braking situations unlike the traditional USD -fork. After all, the GSA enjoys the benefit of the widest equipment range and equipment producers close attention which guarantees the best selection of accessories around the world. The BMW R1200GS Adventure 2014 is clearly more sporty, agile, advanced and highly versatile for various touring preferences. The MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2014 is more traditional allroad touring bike for less challenge hungry riders.