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The BMW R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure are motorcycles manufactured in Berlin, Germany by BMW Motorrad, part of the BMW group. It is one of the BMW GS family of dual sport motorcycles. Both motorcycles have an 1,170 cc (71 cu in), two-cylinder boxer engine with 4-valves per cylinder. The Adventure has a larger capacity fuel tank and longer travel suspension. As of 2012, BMW's R1200GS bikes are their top-selling models.
At its launch in 2004, the R1200GS was 30 kg (66 lb) lighter than the R1150GS it replaced, and produced 100 bhp (75 kW), an increase of 19%. BMW continued to produce the R1150GS Adventure, releasing a final run-out special edition model, before launching the R1200GS Adventure at the end of 2005, for the 2006 model year.
Upgrades for model year 2008 included increased power to 105 bhp (78 kW), a new Integral ABS II anti-lock braking system was released without servo assistance and new options were added including electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) and the Automatic Stability Control (ASC) traction control system.
In 2010 model year, both models had a revised cylinder head with double overhead camshaft, an increased redline limit to 8,500 rpm, and an exhaust flap to give the exhaust a different tone. Power is increased to 110 hp (82 kW) @ 7,750 rpm.
At the 2012 Intermot, BMW announced that the 2013 model would have water cooling, deliver an additional 15 horsepower (11 kW), and weigh approximately 20 pounds (9.1 kg) more than the outgoing model.
As of 2007, the R1200GS was BMW's best-selling motorcycle, exceeding 100,000 units. In 2006, the R1200GS was the best-selling motorcycle in the United Kingdom, with combined sales of 2,227 units. The next-best-selling bike, the Honda Fireblade, sold 2,067 units.
Nearly one third of the 100,000 units sold by BMW Motorrad worldwide in 2006 were R1200GS. In 2008, the R1200GS was again BMW's best-selling motorcycle, with 22,845 standard models and 12,460 Adventure models delivered.
In 2012, Cycle World called the R1200GS "the most successful motorcycle in the last two-and-a-half decades" and credited it for creating the adventure touring category.
In popular culture
In 2007, the Adventure model of the bike was used by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for a trip from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Agulhas in South Africa. The trip was documented in a book and television series Long Way Down.
The R1200GS appeared in several episodes the BBC Two television programme The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook, ridden by chefs Dave Myers and Si King.
Noted motorcycle journalist Kevin Ash died from injuries sustained in a crash while test riding the R1200GS at its 2013 press launch.
Drummer Neil Peart from the rock band Rush traveled North America on a 1994 BMW R1100GS after his wife and daughter died, subsequently authoring a book about his trip.
The R1200GS has been affected by a number of safety issues since launch. The United Kingdom Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has issued nine separate vehicle recalls covering the front brakes, anti-lock braking system, throttle cable, fuel pump, clutch, final drive assembly, brake pipes, and gearbox. Similar recalls have been issued in other countries.
Early reports described the bike as having a front end "head shake", and deliveries of the motorcycle were delayed while BMW revised the front end design.
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