Bob’s One-Of-A-Kind 2018 BMW R1200GS Rallye
The R1200GS Rallye is a continuation and refinement of the strong heritage of the GS namesake. The name of this iconic motorcycle comes from the German words Gelande and Strasse, which roughly translates into street and dirt. While the new R1200GS models excel fantastically on the asphalt, there are a few modifications and refinements needed to really excel when hitting the dirt.
There are a few details that separate the GS Rallye from a standard 1200GS, beyond the red, white, and blue livery. The Rallye comes equipped with stiffer suspension rebound and longer travel, and the dynamic suspension adjustment is more tuned to compensate for the forces at play when both wheels leave the ground. The Rallye also comes with radiator guards, which are critical in protecting the sensitive screens from rock impacts. While these features are great for an occasional fire road, a more intrepid rider needs to take the necessary steps to protect their machine so here’s what we did…
One of the most critical aspects of an off-road motorcycle is the tires. So Bob’s BMW did away with the stock Michelin Anakee 3 tires and their 90/10 street/dirt bias, and fitted the Rallye with the Anakee Wilds. These are a very aggressive 50/50 tire with a tread block pattern that allows for ample channeling of dirt, mud, sand, and other debris. However even with such an aggressive tread pattern the casing of the tire is reinforced to provide stable and predictable handling on twisty back roads.
The next addition to the Rallye was some crash protection. For those with an affinity for the boxer motor know that the compromise of the wonderfully low center of gravity is the vulnerability of horizontally opposed cylinders off road. We negated this by adding on the BMW crash bars to protect the cylinders from impact, and added a bash plate for the boxer’s undercarriage as well.
The 1200GS has a gorgeously designed and wonderfully bright headlight, but its beauty could be easily tarnished by an errant rock. That’s why we also added on a headlight guard that fits in perfectly under the angles of the dark tinted Rallye windscreen. To go one step further, the Rallye was outfitted with adjustable hand guards, since the riders hands are much more susceptible to impact than plastic. These guards go one step further than just standard protection however. While in stock form they block the cold wind from blowing over the controls. But upon removing the center panel the rider is able to get airflow through the guards in warmer conditions without sacrificing protection.
One of the key principles of riding off road is being able to get up onto the pegs. Doing so gives the rider much more control in situations of compromised traction and tight low-speed maneuvering. Doing so requires ample grip on the pegs, but if the trip to the trails covers a great distance the metal teeth of an enduro peg can grow uncomfortable. The pegs we installed from BMW created a brilliant solution to this problem. In the center of the pegs are rubber inserts to maintain comfort, but once the rider stands up and shifts their weight the inserts retract into the peg allowing for better grip.
The Rallye seat is is contoured to allow the rider to easily shift around their body positioning for off road maneuvers, and the two-tone black and white pattern adds to the gorgeous design of the bike. For a final aesthetic touch the Vario cases were custom painted to match the Lupin Blue paint of the Rallye, which really accentuates how fantastic this bike looks.
If you’ve always wanted to get behind the bars of an R1200GS but were afraid about taking it off the beaten path then look no further. We’ve done all the work to create a GS that is ready for whatever Mother Nature can throw at you.
Bob’s One-Of-A-Kind BMW R9T Scrambler
Images of 2017 BMW R9T Scrambler at Bob’s BMW
The evolution of BMW Motorrad and the bikes that have rolled off the line in Berlin has been a story of incredible progress and change. From it’s inception, the Boxer engine and the creative minds behind it have represented a fine balance between mechanical simplicity and cutting edge technological innovation. The bullet proof carbureted and air cooled boxers of the past paved the way for incredible progress in terms of performance and an electronic hand in the riding experience. However this push towards modern technology has shifted away from some of the classic soul and character of the BMW Boxer. It’s with the R Nine T Scrambler that Motorrad was able to combine modern innovation and the ethos of the original boxer into one machine.
Upon first sight the strongest characteristics of the Scrambler are its strong visual lines. The boxer engine sits in a trellis frame, allowing the iconic boxer footprint to stand out. The gas tank is sculpted with gentle contours that create indents for the rider’s knees. Our decision to paint the tank a matte black further highlight its figure, with every line catching the light in an arresting manner. The cylinder heads and valve colors are painted to match as well, in with the same shade of black as the engine case and swing-arm. Even the speedometer was painted, to ensure that the bike has a strong visual flow and a sense of continuity. The now black headlight harkens back to the R100s of the past, a round headlight bucket with a a minimalist profile. The stock seat has been replaced with a Roland Sands Design seat that follows the flow of its OEM counterpart, while wearing a jet black finish that promises to develop a lovely patina to one lucky rider. To provide a subtle degree of contrast we left the handlebars and footpeg brackets the stock silver to help set off the deep and rich tones surrounding them. Nothing on this bike is extravagant or flashy, and the coat of black paint furthers this sense of simplification. Even the stock mirrors and their large footprint were done away, replaced with the slender profile of a pair of Rizoma bar-end mirrors made of CNC cut aluminum with a glossy black finish. Pictures don’t do the fit and finish of this bike justice, and it truly deserves to be seen in person.
As much as the aesthetics of a motorcycle are held in high regard, they remain secondary to how the motorcycle rides. When you swing a leg over and turn the key on the scrambler, theres an immediate sensation not found on a more overtly technical motorcycle. The engine rumbles to life with a a droning pulse as the two oil-cooled pistons eagerly await the first crack of the throttle. With a set of high-mounted pipes that come stock from Akaprovic, the exhaust note comes in the form of an urgent bark that burbles back down to idle. The Air/Oil cooled engine of the R Nine T still maintains the rich low end torque of the original boxer, but with a throttle response that is immensely sharp and responsive. Even the slightest twist of the wrist sends the Scrambler surging forward with aplomb. Once in motion the bike is an absolute joy to ride thanks to the time-honored characteristics of the boxer. The low center of gravity makes easy work of low speed maneuvering and traffic. When the roads open up and yield flowing curves, the bike deftly dips into every corner and holds a solid line aided by it’s rear monoshock configuration. This bike truly nails the vintage aesthetic without compromising safety or performance. ABS and Traction control intervene in the most tasteful manner, softening those sudden stops and keeping the rear end from breaking free. BMW Motorrad truly has a winner with this platform, by incorporating their cutting edge innovation into a show stopping package that evokes a rich lineage of motorcycling without compromising progress.