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2004 BMW R1150 GS

BMW R1150 GS

Since BMW launched the first of the GS models in September 1980 there are few corners of the planet that remain for its successors to explore. The GS series motorcycles are now the preferred choice of long distance riders and world circumnavigators and, despite a host of imitators, have evolved without influence as the definitive enduro and touring machines.

In 2000, BMW's famed boxer engine-powered GS received its biggest ever face-lift. Since then it has changed little testament to BMW's design concept and a policy of quiet evolution. The BMW R1150 GS has an RRP of £7,995 on the road.

Heart and soul

The very essence of the R1150 GS is its engine and transmission. The big, 4-valves per cylinder, oil and air-cooled boxer power plant has been enlarged and uses improved pistons and cylinders. The already impressive power output has been increased to 62.5 kW (85 bhp) and has a maximum torque of 98 Nm (90 Nm is delivered between 3,000 and 6,500 rpm). The latest generation of Digital Motor Electronics takes total care of engine management.

Unique in its market sector is the GS's upgraded, six-speed gearbox. Top gear has an overdrive ratio that helps to lower fuel consumption and reduce engine speed, vibration and noise. This gives a more refined ride and induces less rider fatigue. Clutch operation is now hydraulically assisted.

The engine and transmission improvements allow greater pulling power, fewer gear shifts, a more relaxed ride and in conjunction with the 22.1 litre (4.9 gals) fuel tank an improved touring range of up to 250 miles, depending on style and type of riding.

So functional it is beautiful

Nothing looks remotely like the BMW R1150 GS. But that distinctive upper front wheel cover is not simply a design whim; it has practical and necessary functions. Most obviously, the cover acts a secondary mudguard but is also an air scoop for the oil cooler and a wind deflector that increases downforce on the front wheel and improves stability at speed. The fully transparent windscreen offers better aerodynamics and greater protection from the elements. It is also adjustable to three positions and can even be removed when required.

Asymmetric dual headlight units, featuring ellipsoid technology, replace the original rectangular unit. This enables the free-form headlight to employ an H1 bulb giving vastly improve night vision.

The ultimate ride

Naturally, the R1150 GS uses BMW's Telelever front suspension. A synthesis of telescopic front forks and swinging arm, the Telelever's leading link largely decouples the front wheel from irregular and disturbing forces. Stopping power is also enhanced because braking forces are led directly to the frame and the engine block. The result is improved stability in every riding situation.

At the rear of the GS is BMW's equally innovative Paralever which, along with the suspension system, is mounted directly onto the swinging arm housing. This system reduces the effect of load reversals on the shaft drive, ensures excellent traction over all kinds of surface and delivers superb ride comfort.

Suspension preload can be hydraulically adjusted and rebound damping is varied mechanically. The GS comes with a dual seat, of which the rider's section is adjustable to two positions.

Stopping the plot

Although ABS (anti-lock braking) is available for £750 it is often not desirable for use on enduro-style motorcycles. For this reason ABS remains an optional extra for the R1150 GS. However, when fitted, the anti-lock system can be switched off if it is not required. For example, when riding off road.

The R1150 GS’s braking system uses twin-discs at the front (with 4-piston fixed calipers) and a single disc at the rear (employing twin calipers). Sintered brake pads increase braking efficiency and guarantee a minimal braking distance when carrying a passenger and luggage.

Cockpit and switching

The cockpit instrumentation of the R1150 GS has been rearranged and improved to a higher standard. The Rider Information Display (RID) which is an LCD combined information cluster featuring fuel and temperature gauges, gear indicator and digital clock, has been moved from the right to left side of the cockpit. All controls and switches are integrated into one unit on each handlebar and are the more ergonomic type first introduced on BMW's luxury cruiser. An electric power socket is also included.

Special equipment and options

The following options are available direct from the factory: Integral ABS anti-lock braking system (with deactivation), black engine and transmission, heated grips, hand guards, and Adventure windshield.

There is also a wide range of accessories and special equipment available for the R1150 GS rider. These include: BMW system cases (with inner bags) topcase, new tank bag, engine protector bars (hoop-shaped) and an anti-theft warning system.

Customers can call BMW's information line: 0800 777 155 or visit

Specifications for BMW R1150 GS

  • Engine Type - Air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine, one camshaft and four valves per cylinder
  • Bore x stroke - 101 mm x 70.5 mm
  • Capacity - 1130 cc
  • Rated output - 62.5 kW (85 bhp) at 6750 rpm
  • Max. torque - 98 Nm at 5250 rpm
  • Compression ratio - 10.3 : 1
  • Carburetion/engine management - Electronic intake pipe injection/digital engine management: Bosch Motronic MA 2.4 with overrun fuel cut-off, dual ignition
  • Emission control - Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter
  • Maximum speed - Approx. 194 km/h
  • Fuel consumption over 100 km at steady 90 km/h - 4.3 ltr
  • Fuel consumption over 100 km at steady 120 km/h - 5.6 ltr
  • Fuel type - Unleaded premium, minimum octane rating 95 (RON)
  • Generator - 600 W three-phase generator (700 W power supply optional)
  • Battery - 12 V/14 Ah (special equipment: 12 V/19 Ah) (low maintenance)
  • Clutch - Single-disc dry clutch, hydraulically operated
  • Gearbox - Constant mesh 6-speed transmission (Overdrive) (special equipment: redcuced 6. gear)
  • Drive - Shaft drive
  • Frame - Triple-section frame consisting of front and rear frame sections and load-bearing engine/li>
  • Front wheel location/suspension - BMW Motorrad Telelever; stanchion diameter 35 mm, central strut, spring preload mechanically adjustable in 5 stages
  • Rear wheel location/suspension - Die-cast aluminium single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever, rebound damping mechanically adjustable, spring preload adjustable by means of hand wheel to continuously variable levels.
  • Travel, front/rear - 190 mm/200 mm
  • Wheelbase (in normal position) - 1509 mm
  • Caster (in normal position) - 115 mm
  • Steering head angle (in normal position) - 62.9 °
  • Wheels - Cross-spoke wheels
  • Rim, front - 2.50 x 19, rear - 4.00 x 17
  • Tyres, front - 110/80 ZR 19 or 110/80 B 19, rear - 150/70 ZR 17 or 150/70 B 17
  • Brake, front - EVO brake system with dual disc, floating brake discs, 305 mm diameter, 4-piston fixed caliper, rear - Single disc, 276 mm diameter, 2-piston floating caliper
  • ABS, Special equipment - BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral), can be deactivated
  • Seat height, unladen - 840 mm/860 mm
  • Unladen, road ready, fully fuelled - 249.0 kg
  • Dry weight - 228.0 kg
  • Permitted total weight - 460.0 kg
  • Payload (with standard equipment) - 211.0 kg
  • Usable tank volume - 22.1 ltr
  • Incl. reserve - Approx. 4.0 ltr
  • Length - 2189 mm
  • Height (not incl. mirrors) - 1366 mm
  • Width (incl. mirrors) - 980 mm