If you had to choose one vehicle to have for doomsday, what would it be? For me it would be BMW’s latest off-road wonder: the 2016 R 1200 GS. This is one is not like the others. It is not for beginners. It is for the rugged wayfarer who is not part of the status quo. The wizards in Bavaria added the latest in safety and stability control to a rugged Enduro chassis along with plenty of storage. Along with me the Adventure is turning 33 this year, but I don’t feel as rugged as their latest machine.
First things first, it’s a tall bike. I am 5′ 10″ on a good day and it required fancy footwork at slow speeds. Unladen the seat is almost 34″ from the pavement, but the suspension is adjustable. The boxes also take some getting used to but they are easily removed. Even with a decent load they don’t affect impede handling as much as you would think. Since the engine is low and flat, the Adventure offers a lower center of gravity than other dual purpose bikes. Almost eight gallons of fuel at 57 mpg will offer a range of 430 miles, so bring an extra battery for your GoPro.
The water-cooled 1,170 cc two-cylinder engine cranks out 125 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque. Heated grips are nice to have for night riding, and the illumination comes from a brilliant LED headlight. Brakes and handling offer several riding modes for rain slicked roads or rough terrain. The intake is mounted high on the frame allowing you to ford water up to 23″ deep. On the street you will need to be nimble as this bike is heavier than most dual sports. At speed it requires some manhandling to change direction, which makes for a nice balance between trails and the turnpike.
Because an average rider and a full tank will be easily over 600 lbs, the flywheel is heavy to help get you moving. Shifting is just as smooth as a six speed E46 M3, BMW builds one of the best transmissions on 2 wheels. The auxiliary lighting is great for dark roads, but it also works well to blind careless drivers. The perfect Bug Out Bike, BMW is asking you to get lost for 16,495. After a few days you will leave a note and head for Sedona, so don’t say we didn’t warn ya!
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