BMW R1300 GS SPIED: Water cooling for the upcoming Bavarian adventurer

New spy shots have emerged of the upcoming BMW R1300 GS, which will seemingly feature a water-cooled engine and cast aluminium frame.

BMW R1300 GS spy shot. - Bernhard Hoehne/BMH Images

A new BMW has been spied while undergoing tests on public roads, and appears to be a development version of a new BMW R1300 GS. 

BMW’s GS range has long been established as one of the most popular adventure rosters in Europe. For 2023, it appears the R1250 GS will be replaced. The new bike, the R1300 GS, brings not only a new engine but also chassis modifications compared to the current R1250. 

New spy photos of a motorcycle appearing to be a test version of the R1300 GS have emerged, and they show a bike which is almost ready for production. The shots were taken while the bike was being tested, with this test in particular seeming to relate particularly to the bike’s off-road ABS system which has reportedly been jointly developed with Bosch.

More intriguing than the ABS, though, is the engine, which appears to be totally new. It remains a boxer configuration and continues with variable valve actuation, but now seems to be water-cooled rather than air-cooled. Looking at the cylinders from the front (below), the cooling fins which are present on the current-generation R1250 GS are gone, which leads to the conclusion that water cooling has been utilised for the R1300.

It also seems apparent that the R1300 GS will use dry sump lubrication, which has its benefits for off-road riding, and the slightly larger engine should also result in torque and power increases, of course. 

Whether that will be enough to match the 170 horsepower of Ducati’s Multistrada V4, which certainly would be among the new GS’s opposition, is uncertain for now. 

The cardan driveshaft also remains for the R1300, but the frame around the engine is revised. It is now made of cast aluminium, as is the rear subframe, the new swingarm, and the case mounts.

All of that is sure to reduce weight, which should create a more nimble riding feeling. Also adding to that is a slimmer construction, while the suspension travel on the new generation GS seems to be reduced. 

Aesthetically, the R1300 GS seems to take many cues from thee R1250 it will replace, but at the same time it is impossible at the minute to tell if the asymmetrical headlights that have become well-associated with the GS will remain for the R1300. That is because the front of the bike remained well-camouflaged during the test in which it was photographed. 

But, there is no camouflaging the GS’s traditional ‘duckbill’ nose, which seems certain to remain in 2023, but the active aerodynamics that BMW patented earlier this year does not seem like it will be making an appearance in the first version of this new-generation GS. 

At the back of the bike, there seems to be preparations for the arrival of blind-spot detection/warning technology, while cornering lights and radar is expected to come to the R1300 in the future. 

In addition to the R1300, these are expected on what is still an anticipated R1400 GS, and an M1300 GS which is thought to be BMW’s planned response to the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. These two additional GS models are not expected before 2024, though. 

In any case, it seems that there will be a new, larger GS in 2023, and while nothing is yet officially confirmed the signs are that a significant technical evolution is on the way from Munich.

Images provided by Bernhard Höhne/BMH-Images.

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