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2004 BMW R1200GS Photo Gallery

BMW's class-defining adventure-touring bike takes lessons from the sportbike world, becoming faster, lighter and more powerful. Check out what we thought of this bike after our 2005 BMW R1200GS Bike Test.

Slideshow
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The GS’s windscreen (seen here in its lowest setting) is adjustable over five positions.
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The GS sports attractive new aluminum wheels that are much easier to clean than the optional cross-spoke wheels offered for heavy-duty off-road travel. Note the 50mm axle hole.
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BMW has made the new GS’s frame entirely of steel tubes instead of using an aluminum steering head casting as previous.
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Getting instruction from off-road rally ace Jimmy Lewis: For the first time in 38 years, someone other than his mom told Duke to keep his wheelies low.
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The mini luggage rack at the rear can be augmented by removing the passenger seat to reveal a huge, flat area on which to strap down all manner of gear.
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An exhaust valve in the muffler is closed at low throttle openings and opens up to release a decent exhaust note at full throttle.
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2004 BMW R1200GS
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The writing says '2 Spark,' but the magnesium head on Duke's bike should've read '4 Spark' for the amount of times he dropped the bike in the rocks.
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2004 BMW R1200GS
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2004 BMW R1200GS
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One button too many. From top: starter button/kill switch; grip warmer switch; signal cancel button; right turn signal.
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BMW's EVO power brakes worked better than expected off-road and can really haul down the GS from speed on the pavement.
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Bystanders hang around expectantly for Duke to get dunked in the drink. Their wait was fruitless, as the new GS offers more low-speed stability than expected.
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Despite its significant size, the R1200GS like to be ridden like a dirt bike, feet up and sliding.
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2004 BMW R1200GS
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In addition to slow-speed turning, brake and clutch modulation, and riding on hills and in the sand, the Jimmy Lewis school also instructs how a bike behaves with its brakes locked up, including the front as demonstrated here.
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Slow and methodical is the best way to navigate the GS off-road, but it nonetheless held up to merciless thrashing at higher speeds.
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By triangulating the smaller steel tubes (and using the engine as a stressed member), BMW says the frame is stiffer and just as light. Note the forged aluminum A-arm of the new Telelever.
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Looking like the nose of an F1 car, the front fender is distinctly GS.
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You'd be surprised by the rugged terrain the GS is capable of traversing.
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Before stranding Duke out in the desert, Jimmy Lewis gave journalists instruction from his fun and educational Jimmylewisoffroad.com dirt bike school curriculum. Here he demonstrates the balance point of the R1200GS.