October 14, 2022 By C! Magazine Staff Words and Photos by Maki Aganon

Celebrating A Milestone: 40 Years Of The BMW GS

A brand that needs no introduction. One of the most desirable vehicle manufacturing companies that speaks prestige, ultimacy, and a personal dream for anyone into cars and motorcycles alike.

BMW Motorrad Philippines’ flagship product, the BMW R1250 GS received a unique design to mark 40 years of adventure. Inspired by the #SpiritOfGS, the 40 Years GS editions pays homage to the pioneers of touring enduros, the R 80 G/S 40 years ago. Nicknamed as the “Bumblebee”, the line up suits up with the iconic black and yellow design. The rims and handlebars are in gold, and the “low” rally seat is in black and yellow. GS fans can relive the victories of the German motorcycle in the 1970 big enduro championships.

Such an imposing stance.

The base model, BMW R1250 GS is one of the most desirable bikes in the market today. According to BMW Motorrad Certified Instructor, Mr. Toto Villanueva, almost 80% of big bike sales come from selling the said model. Go big or go home. “BMW is BMW, GS is GS, there is no question about it. Write ups and reviews are underrated. There is no other way to answer your questions about the GS, but to ride it yourself and experience it.” Toto, added.
And so we did.
I received a call to pick up a GS for a write up. I froze and thought. Damn, I’m riding a GS. Yes, I’m riding a GS! Let’s look at this article from my point of view. I only started riding big bikes in 2016, I’m 5-foot-6, strong legs and plenty of upper body strength. The first thing that came to mind, can I handle it? Will it manhandle me? I have so many questions, I’m sure you also do.
There is no other way to ride the GS but take it around Bataan. You can basically experience different road conditions on that route. Traffic escapes from the Metro, full straights in the highways, and twisty roads from Morong to Mariveles.

A mile munching masterpiece.

My first impression of the BMW R1250 GS 40 Years is grand. Provided it wears legendary colors, the saddle height is low at around 825mm. All of these Philippine spec models are offered OE low seat height. Next is weight. The heaviest motorcycle I’ve ridden is a Yamaha Bolt-R spec which is about 545lbs(wet), but with a very low ground clearance. The GS is about 590lbs(wet) and can carry up to 30L(approx 60lbs) of gasoline. To saddle a bike from the side stand, it’s really manageable. But some muscle is required, and probably intermediate riding experience. When I first took it outside EDSA, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate. It only gets heavy on idle, like all other big bikes in general. From the saddle point of view, the side panel may look big because of the dual radiators on both panels. The protruding boxer engines are not as exasperating in this point of view. But from a watcher’s perspective, the GS is huge and really intimidating. Even cars will move, just to let you through, and also look at the bike. Call it Moses, parting the Red Sea.
The throttle is really tame. The clutch is buttery smooth and the transmission is spotless. The ergonomics is upright and the wide handlebars make good maneuverability. It’s easy to navigate at around 30-40kph with no throttle abruptions.
On the straights, it’s a completely different story. The bike can perfectly cruise at the tollway maximum speed limit and it begs for more. I’m sure it can go way beyond its paper spec 200 kp/h without a doubt. Whenever you need speed, it provides output, like pulling-you-off your-seat-kind-of acceleration.
If there’s any surprise I’ve felt with the GS, it’s the suspension. I can’t seem to find the right term for it, but it’s perfect. BMW Dynamic ESA is an automated damping regulation and spring preload that basically thinks for you, depending on any road condition offering the maximum comfort, and less fatigue. It’s built for the long haul and keeps you less tired on longer road journeys. I have never felt comfortable, now I understand how they often kid about the GS like riding a couch on two wheels. The bike is outrageously comfortable to ride. All the bumps happen below, on top of the saddle, you can barely feel anything.
Other than that, the GS is adequately packed with tech features all necessary for the pursuit of travel. 3 riding modes to select, big color TFT with all the necessary information, cruise control, and adaptive LED headlight that can think on its own. The bike’s high tech.
Can it go off-road? Sure does.

R1250GS in its element.

I’ll mention the boxer engine. This type, the BMW ShiftCam, has very minimal vibrations. The low power output on slow speed and the power outburst on the upper end simply makes it the best of both worlds. When you shift to ECO mode, you can see a gauge  that empties when you abruptly open the throttle. It shows how to manage your throttle input on how to best conserve fuel. It’s brilliant.
I’m a believer. Like a commoner who saw and felt the good news. I remember what Kuya Toto told me about GSs’. You have to try it to believe it. It’s one bike to dream of having one. Traveling far with a car is great, but touring with the GS is something else. In my wife’s pillion riding experience, this bike tops the list. This is one of the best long haul tourers I’ve ever ridden so far.

Maki taking advantage of the low-seat height model.

The BMW R1250 GS 40 Years edition is one bike to keep because of its timeless make. If you’re into luxury and efficiency, prestige and presence, comfort and power, then this bike is for you. Don’t miss the chance to pass on a bike with legendary imprints.

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