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2011 BMW R1200GS Comparison Review Photo Gallery
Having shaped this class over decades, BMW’s R1200GS is a standard in the adventure touring world.
Sift through photos of the 2011 BMW R1200GS as it competes in the 2011 Adventure Touring Shootout. Read the full report in our
2011 BMW R1200GS Comparison
BMW has refined its iconic do-all motorcycle into a near perfect blend of durability and function.
This may be the last year that BMW offers an air-cooled 1200GS, but it’s still has to fend off the new wave of challengers.
Suspension and handling are excellent on the BMW. Despite its somewhat ungainly appearance, the Beemer carves corners with agility and surefootedness.
Year after year our testers make note of the Boxer’s torquey, soulful output.
BMW’s Flat Twin uses dual camshafts and four valves per cylinder.
With an engine that riders enjoy on many levels, the BMW isn’t as well-liked for its drivetrain.
Driveline lash causes some jerking in slow, technical riding, but the BMW has plenty of usable torque to pull through.
A tire-pressure monitor is especially useful and proved its worth after we suffered a rock puncture on the 17-inch tubeless rear tire (19-inch up front, spoked wheels optional).
BMW has the formula for adventure touring all figured out. Where it might not dominate any particular area, it’s at or near the top in every category.
The traction control is very intrusive but can be toggled between two levels or completely disabled while the bike is in motion.
Maximum torque is 71.26 lb-ft. and the German mill produces more than all but the Ducati, though it hangs with it until peaking at 6200 rpm.
An onboard computer adds even more information to the analog/digital display. Our testers praised the GS unanimously for its wealth of info and the ability to scroll through using the provided thumb control.
It has more engine braking than the other bikes. At low speed the throttle response becomes very choppy while easing along with slow traffic.
The Telelever wishbone up front uses a central 41mm shock. Combined with the rear shock, the BMW settles as a singular unit rather than pitch fore and aft.
A rider can select preload settings as well as Soft, Normal or Hard damping for both front and rear suspension.
Where the Yamaha suffers from being too ‘vanilla,’ and the Ducati is an uber-technical Superbike engine, the BMW Boxer oozes character.
Braking on the GS comes from dual four-piston fixed calipers up front squeezing 305mm rotors. The rear is a single 265mm disc with double-piston floating caliper.
On the dyno the GS curve isn’t as smooth as the others, but our riders don’t mention any surges or lapses coming from their right wrists.
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