BMW Motorrad’s class-defining GS has received a major update for 2024 in the form of the new R 1300 GS.
Since releasing the R 80 GS over 40 years ago, BMW has been at the forefront of adventure bike development, and with sales skyrocketing since the early 2000’s, the GS has become a best-seller both here in Britain and beyond.
So, since BMW put an end to the rumours and announced the R 1300 GS earlier this year, all eyes have been watching Berlin to catch a glimpse of the new GS.
Now the time has finally come to reveal the R 1300 GS.
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Watch our walk around of the new BMW R 1300 GS
ABR Editor James flew to Berlin to be one of the first to see the new GS in the flesh.
Watch as he takes you through everything that’s new with the GS, and read on to discover all the details of one of the most hotly anticipated bikes in the world.
New boxer engine for the R 1300 GS
One of the biggest changes from the outgoing 1250 to the incoming 1300 is a newly developed engine with more power and torque, that BMW also claims is optimised for ‘running smoothness and efficiency.’
The key figures are impressive: the engine has the exact capacity of 1,300cc and features an enlarged cylinder bore but a reduced stroke (106.5mm x 73mm compared to the 1250’s 102.5mm x 76mm bore over stroke).
As a result, the new engine turns out 145bhp (9bhp more than the 1250) and a maximum torque of 149Nm at 6,250rpm, an increase of 6Nm over its predecessor.
BMW also claims that the 1300 GS produces more torque across the engine’s entire power range for extended pulling power, especially under load.
Compact new drivetrain
The new GS now features a gearbox which is located under the engine, rather than behind it. This creates a more compact unit and reduces the length of the transmission shafts, resulting in considerable weight savings.
The engine itself sheds 3.9kg from the previous motor while the entire powertrain now weighs 6.5kg less.
According to Jochen Beck, the Project Manager on the new R 1300 GS, one of the key design concepts was to ‘stop the trend of getting bigger and bigger’.
Instead, the design team focused on reducing the weight and dimensions of the bike resulting in a total decrease of 12kg over the the 1250, which can also be seen in the new suspension.
Reworked suspension and new frame
BMW has gone back to the drawing board with the frame and suspension for the 1300, which features an all-new main frame made from steel which is more compact as well as stiffer.
In addition, the rear frame is now low-weight die-cast aluminium rather than tubular steel, and the overall chassis has been optimised for size, stiffness, and riding precision.
Along with the new frame is the reworked suspension, which BMW says improves the handling and stability of the bike.
The front Telelever is now more sophisticated than ever. The technical jargon gets complicated here, but essentially BMW has combined a direct clamp between the suspension components for more precise handling with flexible elements that compensate for the long suspension travel and high handlebars, to create a new system that offers even more precision and stability than before.
The rear Paralever construction has also been stiffened and offers 200mm of travel, while there’s 190mm of travel at the front.
Braking on the new R 1300 GS
Up front, the 1300 has twin disc brakes with new radially mounted four-piston fixed callipers and a single disc at the rear with a two-piston floating calliper.
This is linked to BMW’s Full Integral ABS Pro, which activates both brakes when either the front or rear brake controls are actuated, with different settings depending on riding mode.
There’s also the Dynamic Brake Control which prevents unintentional throttle application while braking.
Brave new lights
It’s time to address the elephant in the room: the headlight. Gone is the iconic blinking light that has been around since 1999 beginning with the R 1150 GS, and in its place is a new X-shaped LED headlight.
Judging from the feedback already from leaked images, it’s a controversial move, but considering that the current design has been around for over 20 years, we think it’s not such a bad time for a refresh.
BMW says the new LED lamp possesses ‘unrivalled’ clarity, and integrates the low beam, high beam, daytime running lights, and side lights into the assembly.
In addition, the front indicators are embedded into the hand guards.
There’s also the option for a ‘Headlight Pro’, which allows for cornering lights that turn while banking, illuminating around bends.
Riding Assistant package
The new BMW R 1300 GS comes with a ‘Riding Assistant’ package, which includes Active Cruise Control, Front Collision Warning, and Lane Change Warning.
Active Cruise Control is a radar-linked adaptive cruise control, which determines the distance of vehicles ahead and adjusts the cruising speed automatically to maintain a safe distance while cruise control is on.
Meanwhile, the Front Collision Warning also uses the built-in radar to help prevent collisions by alerting the rider and intervening with the brakes if it detects an imminent frontal collision.
Finally, Lane Change Warning monitors the blind spots to the left and right of the motorcycle and warns of potential hazards by a light in the respective rear mirror.
As befitting BMW’s flagship adventure bike, the new 1300 comes with a suite of accessories included as standard. This includes a 12v power socket in the cockpit as well as a 5v fast charging USB-A socket in a fold-out smartphone compartment behind the handlebars.
In addition, the bike is now fitted with a high-end lithium-ion battery, which saves 2.5kg of weight and can be monitored via the new Battery Guard function.
Also fitted as standard are heated grip, keyless ride, hill-start assistance, and a 6.5-inch TFT display.
There’s also a host of optional equipment that can be added to the R 1300 GS, including a new version of the Dynamic Suspension Adjustment (DSA) system, adaptive height control which reduces the seat height when slowing and stopping, and an off-road biased sports suspension which increases travel by 20mm front and back.
Other optional equipment includes a variety of wheel options, heated seats, different seat heights, Driving Modes Pro, and a huge range of protection, luggage, and stylish parts.
Colours and variants
The standard 1300 GS is available in Lightwight solid paint, with a matte black frame, Night Black alloy wheels, and an Avus black powertrain that accentuates the boxer engine against the angular lines of the body.
The popular Triple Black option also returns with blacked-out styling, and includes a black luggage carrier, Comfort Seats, Comfort passenger footrests, a centre stand, and an electronically adjustable wind shield.
The GS Trophy variant also returns, finished in striking Racing Blue metallic. Included with the GS Trophy model is the rally style high seat, Sport passenger seat, cross-spoked wheels, and radiator guards.
Finally, there’s the Option 719 Tramuntana with cross-spoke wheels in gold, a gold anodised handlebar, and gold-coloured lining on body components. The tank, side trim sections, and front wheel cover are finished in Aurelius Green metallic.
Air/liquid-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine with two overhead, chain- driven camshafts, a counterbalance shaft and variable intake camshaft control system BMW ShiftCam
Bore/stroke: 106.5mm x 73mm
Output: 145bhp at 7,750rpm
Torque: 149Nm at 6,500rpm
Frame: Two-section frame with integral engine and bolt-on rear frame
Front suspension: EVO Telever, central suspension strut with 190mm travel
Rear suspension: EVO Paralever with 200mm travel
Wheels: Light alloy cast wheels as standard, 19-inch front and 17-inch rear