Brand MotoBMW

BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) Review: Unleashing the Beast of Adventure Riding

The BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) has long been hailed as the king of adventure motorcycles. With its powerful engine, rugged design, and exceptional off-road capabilities, the R1200GS has become the go-to choice for thrill-seeking riders. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the BMW R1200GS model years 2013 to 2016, exploring its features, performance, and overall riding experience.

BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) Review: Unleashing the Beast of Adventure Riding

Design and Appearance

The BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) boasts a distinctive and imposing design that immediately catches the eye. Its iconic asymmetrical headlights, muscular fuel tank, and sharp lines exude a sense of power and adventure. The motorcycle’s tall stance and wide handlebars provide excellent maneuverability both on and off-road. With its rugged appearance and high-quality build, the R1200GS is a head-turner that commands respect on any terrain.

Engine Performance

At the heart of the R1200GS lies a potent 1170cc, air/liquid-cooled, boxer twin-cylinder engine. This powerhouse delivers an impressive 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque, giving riders a thrilling and exhilarating riding experience. The engine’s smooth power delivery and strong low-end torque make it equally adept at tackling long highway stretches or traversing challenging off-road trails. Whether you’re cruising on the open road or conquering rough terrain, the R1200GS’s engine performance never disappoints.

Overall rating

For 2013, the legendary GS (which was the catalyst for the adventure bike class back in 1980 and has become BMW’s best-selling bike worldwide) has received its biggest update yet. Almost every component has been changed. It’s more powerful thanks to a new partially water-cooled motor and is loaded with the latest gadgets and rider-assisting technology.

The result has improved the already class-leading GS in almost every aspect. The engine is a measurable step forward throughout the rev range, yet retains its boxer character. It looks cleaner and neater, is more comfortable and sophisticated, and handles better too.

Ride quality & brakes

Throwing a leg over the new BMW, it’s still recognizable as a GS, but easier to touch the ground due to the slightly thinner seat. Incidentally, the new comfier seat can be adjusted up and down, and you can also change the angle and tilt. Even the pillion seat can be moved backwards and forwards. Handling-wise, the new bike is far less likely to wallow and move around while cornering over bumps and imperfections. The radial Brembo brakes are really strong, and the ABS is excellent. Despite being an adventure touring bike, the GS is rather sporty. The handling is so good you could even take the GS on a track, which is impressive for a bike capable of going off-road.


Power has increased from 110 bhp to 125 bhp, and there’s a big extra dollop of torque throughout the rev range. You can feel the extra torque from 4,000 rpm to 7,000 rpm. The old air-cooled motor was always a weak point of the old bike, especially when compared to sportier competition. However, that gap should have been vastly reduced thanks to the new twin. There’s also a lovely bark even from the standard exhaust.

Reliability & build quality

BMWs haven’t always lived up to the badge’s formidable reputation, but we have no reason to doubt the new GS yet. It’s classy, quality, and rugged. It’s no wonder used values stay so high…

Value vs rivals

In base spec, the GS’s price doesn’t sound that bad and is on par with many of its competitors. The trouble is, no one buys or wants a base-spec BMW, and once you’ve added all the ‘vital’ defining extras (ABS, heated grips, luggage, etc.), you’re quickly looking at the thick end of 14 grand or more…


Our test bike had all the extras, even the excellent satnav. The new clocks are stylish and informative, as ever typically BMW. There’s an optional new LED headlight, the first on any bike, and all around there are subtle, small changes like the new switchgear. What’s more, as always, there are so many optional extras available you could use their brochure to sink a small boat.

Handling and Suspension

One of the standout features of the BMW R1200GS is its exceptional handling and suspension system. The motorcycle’s advanced Telelever front suspension and Paralever rear suspension provide unmatched stability and control, even when navigating treacherous terrain. The suspension is fully adjustable, allowing riders to customize the setup according to their preferences and riding conditions. The R1200GS’s precise steering and responsive brakes further enhance its handling capabilities, making it a joy to ride in any situation.

Technology and Electronics

BMW has always been at the forefront of motorcycle technology, and the R1200GS is no exception. The bike is equipped with a range of advanced electronic features designed to enhance safety, comfort, and convenience. The model years 2013 to 2016 come with features such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), traction control, multiple riding modes, cruise control, and electronic suspension adjustment (ESA). These technologies not only make riding safer but also allow riders to adapt to different road and weather conditions with ease.

Engine size1170cc
Engine typeAir/liquid cooled, 4v boxer twin, shaft drive, six gears
Frame typeFront and rear tubular steel subframe only
Fuel capacity20 litres
Seat height850mm
Bike weight238kg
Front suspensionTelelever monoshock, preload adjust
Rear suspensionParalever single swhock, preload and rebound damping adjust
Front brake2 x 305mm discs, 4-piston radial calipers, optional ABS
Rear brake276mm disc, twin piston caliper, optional ABS
Front tyre size120/70 R19
Rear tyre size170/60 R17
Mpg, costs & insurance
Average fuel consumption42 mpg
Annual road tax£111
Annual service cost£320
New price
Used price£7,000 – £11,000
Insurance group13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty termTwo year unlimited mileage
Top speed & performance
Max power125 bhp
Max torque125 ft-lb
Top speed125 mph
1/4 mile acceleration
Tank range190 miles

Comfort and Ergonomics

Long-distance touring is a breeze on the BMW R1200GS. The bike’s comfortable seating position, adjustable windscreen, and well-padded seat make hours in the saddle a pleasure rather than a chore. The spacious ergonomics allow for easy movement and ensure that riders of all sizes can find a comfortable riding position. Additionally, the R1200GS offers ample storage options, including integrated luggage cases, making it a practical choice for those who like to embark on extended adventures.

Off-Road Capabilities

The BMW R1200GS is renowned for its off-road prowess, and the model years 2013 to 2016 continue to impress. The bike’s high ground clearance, durable frame, and robust suspension enable it to tackle even the most challenging terrains with ease. The R1200GS comes equipped with off-road-specific riding modes, allowing riders to adjust throttle response and traction control settings to suit the terrain. Whether you’re conquering rocky trails, sandy dunes, or muddy paths, the R1200GS is a beast that can handle it all.

Fuel Efficiency

Despite its powerful engine and impressive performance, the BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) is surprisingly fuel-efficient. With an average fuel consumption of around 45 mpg, this adventure motorcycle offers a decent range for long-haul rides. The bike’s fuel tank has a capacity of 5.3 gallons, meaning you can cover a significant distance before needing to refuel. The R1200GS strikes the perfect balance between power and efficiency, making it an excellent choice for riders who love both adventure and economy.

Maintenance and Reliability

BMW motorcycles are known for their reliability, and the R1200GS is no exception. Regular maintenance and servicing are essential to keep the bike in optimal condition, but owners can expect a robust and trouble-free ownership experience. The model years 2013 to 2016 have proven to be reliable performers, with few reported issues or major concerns. BMW’s extensive dealer network and strong customer support further add to the peace of mind that comes with owning an R1200GS.

Community and Resale Value

The BMW R1200GS has a dedicated and passionate community of riders worldwide. From online forums to local riding clubs, R1200GS owners can connect with like-minded individuals who share their love for adventure riding. This sense of community adds to the overall ownership experience and provides a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and tips. Additionally, the R1200GS has a strong resale value, making it a wise investment for riders who may want to upgrade to a newer model or explore different motorcycles in the future.


The BMW R1200GS (2013-2016) is a legendary adventure motorcycle that continues to set the benchmark for performance, versatility, and reliability. Its powerful engine, exceptional handling, and advanced technology make it a formidable companion for both on-road and off-road adventures. Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country tour or seeking adrenaline-fueled off-road escapades, the R1200GS is the perfect machine to unleash your inner adventurer. With its timeless design and enduring appeal, the R1200GS remains a favorite among riders who crave the thrill of the open road and the call of the wild.





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