First Look: 2010 BMW R1200GS/R1200RT - Twin-Cam Tourers

BMW's big Boxers get a DOHC engine upgrade.

By Aaron Frank, Photography by BMW

BMW's all-conquering R1200GS adventure tourer comes gets some stiff competition this year in the form of Ducati's new Multistrada 1200. Though it looks unchanged at a glance, BMW's big traillie gets a major motor upgrade for 2010, which should improve its chances of keeping the 150-horsepower Multi12 in sight. The GS's old, single-cam Boxer engine has been replaced with the dual-overhead-cam, radial-valve powerplant from BMW's Boxer superbike, the HP2 Sport. This increases peak power five percent (now 110 hp) and bumps the maximum engine speed up to 8,500 rpm, with an even broader spread of power across the rev range. Interestingly, the new engine also features an exhaust flapper valve for the first time-though BMW claims this isn't to improve power delivery but, rather, to roughen up the wimpy exhaust note that has long been a complaint of Boxer buyers.

The GS isn't the only R-bike to benefit from this engine upgrade. BMW's venerable R1200RT also receives the DOHC engine in 2010, offering the same advantages to sport-touring riders. The RT further benefits from an improved, Mk. II version of BMW's Electronic Suspension Adjustment system, which adjusts damping, preload and now also spring rate at the touch of a button. The RT fairing and windscreen have also been reshaped to improve wind and weather protection, and a new audio system with iPod/MP3 interface has been added.

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