All Duels – BMW Duel: the new 2013 R1200GS versus the old one – The City Test

BMW Duel: the new 2013 R1200GS versus the old one

All Duels - BMW Duel: the new 2013 R1200GS versus the old one - The City Test

After a first test of the 2013 BMW R1200GS in South Africa this winter, the editorial staff of Site wanted to compare the new big German trail to the old 2012 model. Will the segment benchmark remain so? ? Fratricidal Duel !

The city test

Against all expectations, it is the old Boxer which makes better impression when stationary: the 2012 pot sounds a melody both deeper and drier than the 2013 model, whose engine lets out slight noises of distribution.

The first rotations of the throttle levers are also surprising: the new ride-by-wire system is much more sensitive than the cable of the old model. The wireless control is hyper reactive on the first degrees of opening and at the beginning, some will tend to make the motor scream for nothing !

This reactivity is even exacerbated in "Dyna" mode while the 2012 engine – devoid of any mapping mode – is much more docile and easy to learn..

We observe occasionally that the reversing torque, already not very strong when stationary on the 2012 GS, is even less sensitive on the 2013, especially during gear changes at full load. Balance shafts are more and more efficient, no offense to purists !

On the other side of the wide handlebars, on the left, the 2013 clutch lever is softer than the 2012 model. Also the first starts at the controls of the new R1200GS are more brutal than with the 2012 version whose letting go is more gradual. By concentrating at the beginning, then with practice, we manage to make the novelty take off smoothly. Though !

On the new GS, it is impossible to engage first gear without making a loud click. In general, the 2013 box is noisier and drier to handle than its predecessor. As for the neutral point, it is not always easy to find … Too bad, because the selection is fast and the display of reports particularly effective.

Last checks before setting off for good: the turning radius and ground clearance. The first point is extremely satisfactory on both frames. According to the Germans the values ​​are exactly the same, and MNC can attest to this.

No problem to maneuver therefore, except the significant weights of the two motorcycles, located relatively high. "Kein Problem" either as regards the descents of sidewalks: the 8 mm less ground clearance than the "old" version allows the vast majority of sidewalks to descend.

The duel of the two R1200GS begins on the Parisian asphalt, quite damaged by the vigorous winters, the parades of July 14 … and a flagrant lack of maintenance! Under these conditions, the advantages of our trails (and 4x4s!) Are less and less superfluous…

With the ESA of our two GSs set to "Soft", we crossed the capital in remarkable comfort. Pavers, coarse concrete joints, manhole covers and even potholes – more and more numerous – are absorbed without a hitch.

Boxer Fight

Still in town, you can take full advantage of the flexible and lively footwork of the two "Boxers". Site however gives the advantage to the air / oil mill, our air / water version not being as inclined to start from idle on third gear. The 2012 mechanics show a hint more available and flexible.

Then, worrying transmission noises can appear on the new model when driving on a trickle of gas around 3000 rpm. Curiously, this inconvenience – which we had not observed on any of the three copies tested during the international launch a few months earlier (read our) – suddenly disappeared during our test.

It was only at the cost of a methodical retest, at the controls of a second BMW France model, that MNC unraveled the mystery … The 2013 gimbal actually makes noise at very low revs in a configuration a bit special: when riding alone on a motorcycle set up as a duo (two small helmets instead of one are displayed on the dashboard).

"There has been some customer feedback on this subject", testifies BMW France,"but we can assure you that this slight inconvenience is safe for transmission". Moral: as soon as the passenger gets off the motorcycle, the pilot must imperatively adjust his GS for solo !

Those who step off a 2012 R1200GS will have to beware of another small detail: the speedometer has been rotated slightly counterclockwise. Thus, lying horizontally on the left, the needle which indicated 40 km / h on the 2012 points to a good 80 km / h on the 2013 !

Fortunately, a red line indicates the limit of 50 km / h on the two motorcycles, because the numbers of their meters are written in very small, far too small for some bikers. We finally regret that the speed display is not digital: a quick glance is enough for example to read the gear engaged.

Tall and heavy, both bikes become incredibly light and easy as soon as the engine takes over from the rider’s legs! The geometry of their different chassis having changed very little, their behavior is extremely similar.

Looking carefully, the 2012 seems to turn a bit more easily, probably due to the slightly wider tire widths on the 2013..

In traffic, the two BMWs require a certain restraint. By keeping them above 3000 rpm, they go like bullets, with a small advantage for the new 2013 R1200GS whose respondent and niaque – in "Dyna" mode especially – will be greeted by the "commuters" eager to get ahead of the hordes of scooters and cars.

On the braking side, the installation of radially fixed calipers is virtually transparent. More athletic in sight, they neither bring – nor take away! – nothing in terms of touching. The lever attack is always so considerate, allowing to measure to the millimeter its stops at "dark orange" lights…

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