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HomeNews & FearuresNewsBMW Motorrad–Centurion Launch The BMW R 1300 GS

BMW Motorrad–Centurion Launch The BMW R 1300 GS

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Friday the 16th saw the BMW faithful flock to Bavarian’s superb facility in Centurion for the launch of the long-awaited, and much anticipated, R 1300 GS. BMW’s GS range has been a motorcycle success story unparalleled in the annals of adventure motorcycling. With their latest offering, BMW has pulled out all the stops. I wonder if Max Friz had any inkling of what a revolution he was starting when he came up with the ‘boxer’ engine design for the R32 released in September of 1923? The horizontally opposed twin made huge sense then, and in many ways makes even more sense now.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The original air-cooled, pushrod, 2-valve per cylinder of the R32 is a far cry from the engineering masterpiece that is the R 1300 engine, but its advantages remain relevant. It carries its weight low, makes gobs of low-down torque, places the crankshaft longitudinally in the bike making shaft drive a doddle, and allows easy access to the valve gear for servicing. Let’s chat about the engine powering BMW’s latest GS, shall we?

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Firstly, you must understand that it is a totally new design, unlike any boxer motor that has come before. The design brief for the R 1300 was ‘lighter and tighter’. BMW has succeeded in meeting those requirements admirably. To make the motor more compact they moved the gearbox under the motor. Obviously, this also centralises and lowers significant mass. Whilst horizontally opposed motors are inherently well balanced, with the movement of the one piston being negated by the movement of the opposite piston, there are still “rocking couples”, secondary vibes which need calming. Typically, this is where balance shafts come into play. BMW have been fiendishly clever. Using a bobweight on their left cylinder cam drive gear, and a combination of a weight and balance shaft on the right-side cylinder, they have kept it relatively simple and achieved a beautifully balanced motor.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The R 1300 GS also utilises the now familiar “shift-cam” technology, albeit modified for application to the fresh motor. So, there you have it. A totally new motor to power a totally new GS. Visually the bike looks smaller, and as is so often the case, just looks stunning in the flesh. Or should that be metal? I do not doubt for a second that the 1300 will be a huge sales success. It may well be the pinnacle of GS design before European bureaucrats stuff it up for all of us. Now comes the hard part, trying to figure out what the 1300 that you want is going to cost you. I spent some time on the online ‘configurator’ trying to spec my GS and eventually gave up.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Do yourself a favour, go into your local BMW Motorrad dealer and chat with them. The chaps at Bavarian managed to bring clarity to my confusion in no time, making it all seem so easy. The price of your GS will vary, based on how you want it specced, and it will not be cheap. But then again, this is a state-of-the-art motorcycle that we are talking about. The pleasure and pride of ownership of a premium GS makes it feel worth every cent. Thank you, BMW, it was well worth the wait! I cannot wait to sling a leg over the 1300 and tell you all about the riding experience. Watch this space.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

BMW R 1300 GS

For more information on the bike featured in this article, click on the link below…

2024

BMW R 1300 GS

Pricing From R355,410 (RRP)


Brand: BMW Motorrad
Dave Cilliers
Dave Cilliers
My name is Dave Cilliers. I consider cars as four wheeled shopping baskets and only worth using as a last resort! For years bikes have been my primary transport. Racing, touring, commuting or just kicking up dust on African tracks, I have owned over 270 motorcycles and ridden millions of kilometres. I am happiest when sharing my passion for motorcycles with like minded people whilst traversing Africa in search of adventure.
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