Thursday, December 3, 2015

2016 BMW R1200GS Technology Revelations

Hey, it’s been a month and I’ve covered 1,700kms, completed my first service and incidentally had two revelations riding the 2016 BMW R1200GS.

Admittedly I was weary of so much technology. My experience with this much technology tells me that what it really means is, stuff can go wildly wrong. And by wildy, I mean wildly expensive.
 And technology the 2016 GS has by the bucketload. Fortunately for me, touch wood, I have had nothing but complete and utter manic joy associated with my latest bike, and all of its technological marvels. This bike makes me go wheeeeeeeeeeeee! The first revelation was immediate.

Clutch-less downshifting.

I had a Quickshifter on the S1000R but it only shifted up, with the GS now it includes both upshifts AND downshifts. Being able to shift that fast without coordinating your hands with your feet, is something to be experienced, and the beemer does it so well that the learning curve is minute. Going fairly-goddam-hard-at-it on the infamous GAR or Snow Road as most know it, it truly was a motorcycling revelation. Removing that from the equation when you are acting at speed riding swiftly, is a blessing.


Yes, that is my toothbrush on the ground.

Gone is the arm pump associated with riding hard and shifting lots. I just keep my left tootsie hovering around the gear shift and apply pressure as required to shift down, with no clutch. It’s amazing.

It’s different and weird but effortless, exciting and I love it. It shifts down perfectly with a auto-blip of the throttle and a chortle of delight emits from the pipe, making me grin like a wanker. The snow road is full of tight riding as you head out of Omeo and make your way up to, and out of, Mt Hotham; usually this is where I suffer the most fatigue.


Not so now though. I didn’t often need much more than third so it’s a quick shift up and down between second and third, hammering away at every turn with no clutch. Joy.

I’d say that the second revelation is the telelever front end, but that is old news and has been talked and argued about to death for centuries, so I’m just gonna say in my humblest of humble opinions, it is amazing. No nose dive, and heaps of feel at the front wheel. Heaps of feel.

I'm also gonna say read this if you don't know what a telelever front end is.

Flying over dirt roads standing up, no fear. Caning it tipping in like a maniac on the tarmac, no fear. It’s as solid as a rock. 

The second revelation is something altogether even more baffling.

Cornering ABS

Now, again, this particularly techno wizardry has been discussed far and wide across the motorcycling community so I’ll just speak from my experience, which is coming from a position of one of very little mechanical or technical know-how.

Why the f**k isn’t this fitted on every bike? Seriously, it is capital A, mazing. Why?

Try braking hard mid corner on your average sportsbike. Know what happens next? Ahuh.


It stands up and you shoot of the edge of the Snowy Mountains, flying, free like a bird soaring into thin air, before plummeting to your fiery death below.


Not so with cornering ABS. In the middle of the tightest corner, tense with downward thrust on the heavy deceleration you’re causing with your ham-fisted front brake action, which you just jammed on in a panic fully expecting to wash-out and fly, or die. But no, nope.

The big twin just brakes like it would normally, and it doesn’t stand up at all. In the middle of a corner. It just washes off some speed, tracks to your line and does what it is supposed to do. Slow you down. I could not believe it. I don’t know, or really care how they do this, all I know it is has already saved me from some pretty stupid manoeuvres that prolly would have resulted in an Off on just about any other bike.

Also, a good post on a more technical explanation is up on gizmag here. These two revelations complete me and my thoughts on how much fun you can have motorcycling while remaining relatively safe.

I kid you not, this is the most technologically incredible bike I think I've ever ridden. Hope none of it f**ks up like the Ducati did :D Oh, and I made a video so you can hear it, and check out the different mounting options for a GoPro.

Two thumbs up, ten potatoes, 5 star etc etc. Until next time, stay upright and subscribe below for weekly updates. Total kms: 1690 Avg per km: 4.6L [mc4wp_form]