Posted 20 hours ago

Riding Out: A Journey of Love, Loss and New Beginnings

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On the road, we had the standard Eco, Rain and Road riding modes, plus the optional Dynamic/Pro, which optimises the rider aids, suspension, and power characteristics to the moment. The short version is that the suspension can now automatically adapt to offer a better ride across a wider range of use cases, from sporty solo riding, to fully loaded two-up cruising. We flew to Malaga for two days and close to 500km of extensive testing, both on and off-road, to put the all-new GS through its paces. However, with so many model variants, so much new technology and so many tweaks, upgrades and general improvements we will have to visit the 1300 GS again (and again...) and put some serious mileage before we can say that it's fully tested. BHS Qualifications (BHSQ) is an awarding organisation recognised and regulated by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, SQA Accreditation in Scotland, Qualifications Wales (QW) and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland. BHSQ works in partnership with a variety of organisations to develop and award qualifications for the equestrian industry. This ensures BHSQ qualifications are fit for purpose for the sector.

The frontal area is pleasingly neat and gives the new GS a slimmer look and feel. Even without lowering the electronic suspension, I could get two feet securely, if not quite fully, on the ground. Shorter riders can opt for a lower seat option or the adaptive vehicle height control, which automatically drops the seat height from 850mm to 820mm at slow speeds. We did get the opportunity to play with the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which uses the new radar. You set the cruise control the same way as before but now it’s adaptive, adjusting the bike's speed depending on the distance between you and other traffic. This combined with the Lane Changing Warning (SWW) system helps make touring near effortless. Standard equipment also includes a new lighting system, with indicators built into handguards, and a brand-new LED headlight that’s certain to split opinion. Where every GS since the 1150 has used an asymmetric, two-light face that’s become synonymous with the model, the 1300 boldly switches to a brand-new X-shaped unit.We have developed our assessment model for Stage 4 Senior Management to allow candidates to be assessed via video call. An assessment centre is not required and the assessment will be arranged by the BHS. So, yes, much like the 1250 GS only more so. What I wasn’t expecting was the performance higher up in the rev range. A jump from a 134bhp peak to 143bhp doesn't look too dramatic on paper, but on the road, it feels it. The new 1300 has some serious get up and go, revving with a freedom unimaginable by Boxer owners of a decade or so ago. In Dynamic mode especially it responds to handful of rpm by piling forwards, chewing up cars, zipping up mountains... It grunts, drives, punches, revs – the whole damn lot, and gives its rider aids a decent workout in the process. Instead, BMW has created a completely new model that shares nothing with the older bike and in the process reminded the world what they can do. To improve an already excellent bike is hard work, but BMW has done it, and not by a fraction but by a significant step, one that will send current GS owners scrambling to the BMW showroom and owners of other brands questioning if they should, too. I rode the old 1250 GS recently and didn’t think it needed to be improved one jot. But the game moves on and with the new R 1300 BMW has improved the GS in every way. Watch out; the stampede to BMW showrooms is going to be alarming.

Power and torque figures both represent a healthy increase over the 1250. Peak power is up from 134bhp to 143bhp, making for the most powerful production Boxer engine ever. Maximum torque is up from 105lb·ft to 110lb·ft, but more importantly BMW say there’s more grunt “across the entire engine speed range”. As evidence, they offer the factoid that the 1300 motor makes at least 95lb·ft of torque (more than the 2013 R1200GS’s peak torque figure) all the way from 3600rpm to 7800rpm. Maximum revs remains the same 9000rpm as the 1250, hopefully offering reassurance that the new motor hasn’t become any revvier than before, despite its shorter-stroke design.In short, this uses the radar sensor to anticipate potentially dangerous situations ahead even when the cruise control isn’t engaged, and can alert the rider, then even apply the brakes, in an attempt to avoid a crash or at least reduce its severity. The third element is Lane Change Warning, which uses a rear-facing radar to monitor traffic approaching from behind, and warn a rider if vehicles are travelling closely, or approaching at speed. There’s a real difference between fully lowered and fully upright. At motorway speeds, you can hear the wind noise vastly reduce as the screen rises. From low to upright the wind protection is greatly increased, too. There’s still some air cooling the rider, it’s not a complete bubble like a BMW RT, but I found the wind protection to be noticeably better than it is on the older GS. And I have to say that the adjustable screen is a game changer, not just for 5ft 7inch me but taller riders too. Shame it’s not standard. Peak torque is a fraction higher than before at 6500rpm, while peak power arrives at the same 7750rpm and, to be frank, you really don’t need to rev above 7000rpm, even when your brain is in sport mode. I deliberately rode the GS in a gear too high as I carved up the multiple Spanish hillsides and was blown away by the endless surge of instantaneous and immaculately metered torque on tap. We all know how fast a GS can be but the way the new bike delivers whilst only using 60% of the rpm is truly impressive. It asks so little of the rider.

BMW has made the GS lighter, more compact, more adjustable, more accessible, more responsive, more comfortable, faster, gruntier – and done so without sacrificing the usability of the Boxer platform. It’s now easier to live with, but equally more fun with more punch and better handling. The level of usable technology is, as they say, off the scale. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the biggest shakeup in the 40-plus-year history of BMW’s beloved GS legacy. The all-new R 1300 GS – and by ‘all-new’, we really do mean every single component on the bike – is more powerful, torquier, lighter and more sophisticated than the R 1250 GS it takes over from. The R 1300 GS is a true, literal, clean-sheet design: a totally redesigned engine, in a completely new chassis, featuring technology that’s never been seen on any production road bike before . And, perhaps most controversially, there’s also a dramatically different look from nose to tail. Despite the wealth of bigger numbers, not everything has gone up in size. BMW say this is a more compact Boxer engine than before, thanks to moving the six-speed gearbox from behind the engine to a new location underneath it. This means the motor is shorter and better balanced – in fact, the engine alone is now 3.9kg lighter, while the weight savings increase to 6.5kg across the whole powertrain. The first is Active Cruise Control (ACC) – which uses a forwards-facing radar to adjust the bike’s cruising speed to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front. On top of this is a new Front Collision Warning (FCW) system, which you can read more about here . You feel the difference between the old 1250 and new 1300 as soon as you throw a leg over the new seat. For a vertically-challenged rider like me, it is much more accessible, especially as a flatter and smaller (by one litre) fuel tank makes the bike instantly more manageable.

What Curators Say

The central LED unit at the middle of the X contains both low and high beams, while the four lines surrounding it serve as daytime running lights. BMW aren’t subtle in singing its praises, claiming it “illuminates the road with a hitherto unrivalled clarity, ensuring even better perception in traffic”. There’s also an option to equip the R 1300 GS with Headlight Pro, where the LED beam turns into the corner, informed by the bike’s lean angle sensor. Despite making the new Boxer unit massively oversquare and upping peak power by a claimed 11bhp, you don’t have to chase the revs. The R 13 drives very much like the older bike –it certainly sounds like the old bike –but does so with more of everything. There is a now a deeply satisfying spread of torque from as low as 3000rpm, and I found myself accelerating briskly out of sleepy Spanish villages in high gear with effortless laziness.

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