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BMW R1200GS GS1200 Adventure and RT1200 launch

Visordown tests BMW's latest boxer-twin offerings in Spain

THREE new bikes from BMW got the chance to show off their charms on Spanish roads yesterday. All three use the latest version of BM's 1200 boxer motor, which last year got a big performance upgrade courtesy of double overhead camshafts and radially-disposed valves.

This new layout, which made around 130 hp in the HP2 sportsbike, has naturally found its way into the bikes best known for the boxer engine: the R1200GS, GS Adventure and 1200RT. All three share several new features. The motor has been detuned to around 105 hp with both power and torque showing a healthy increase over the old "Hexhead"design.

A flap is fitted in the exhaust to help meet noise regulations and they get the ESA 2 electronic suspension adjustment fitted last year to the K1300.

The RT has had a subtle yet noticeable redesign along with a rethink of the optional on-bike entertainment. The bulky old CD player has gone, replaced by ports for iPod or MP3 player.

Riding the three bikes, the power hike was immediately apparent, the GS in particular feeling much more urgent than its predecessor. The RT feels more refined, which is as it should be. Also noticeable is the effectiveness of the new ESA 2, which offers a more distinct difference between the Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.

Prices for the basic models are £11,775 for the RT, £9,925 for the GS
and £10,745 for the Adventure. They will be in UK dealers on 6 February.

There is one question; what to call the new DOHC head. Visually it is not that distinct, the sleek cover giving no hint of the complexities beneath. But it is radical and it does have radial valves.

"Radhead",anyone?