ZOMG it's the 2010 BMW R1200GS!

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Making a mountain out of a mole hill, rumors and renders of a heavily re-styled, re-worked R1200GS have been swirling around various publications all summer. MCN is even claiming a “world exclusive” with a blurry spy shot of an out-of-focus cylinder head. Here’s what the 2010 BMW R1200GS will look like and it just gets some minor engine modifications to help it meet Euro4 emissions standards and remain competitive with pretenders to its adventure touring throne.
Already in production at the Spandau factory, the 2010 GS essentially
inherits the DOHC cylinder head from the BMW HP2 Sport (pictured above)
and adds a second spark plug per cylinder for more efficient combustion
and reduced emissions. Visually, the main difference is that the new
head uses two retaining bolts instead of the previous model’s four.

Of course, these changes should also result in a little more power.
Solo Moto Treinta, which went to all the trouble of ‘shopping the HP2
cylinder heads onto these images, suggests a 10bhp increase to 115bhp.

It’s logical to assume that we’ll see these changes come to the 2010
BMW R1200R
and 2010 BMW R1200RT since they share the same engine.

  • Rich

    Wes, thanks for the article. You say”…it just gets some minor engine modifications …” but then say it “…inherits the DOHC cylinder head from the BMW HP2 Sport….” I don’t consider replacing a single cam in head design with a true DOHC design to be a “minor…modicication.”

    Also, you say the that the new head “…uses two retaining bolts….” The bolts I believe you refer to are not head bolts but valve cover bolts (BMW – who I worked for for almost 20 years – would call them cylinder head covers).

    Sorry to quibble but I believe in a modicum of technical accuracy. I do love your site and check it daily for news and information.


    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I appreciate the help with the correction, I must confess I’m not terribly familiar with BMW’s internal technical terms or the construction of the boxer-twin. We rely on our readers to help us out with specifics like this.

      Also, I realize that the swap to DOHC might be a big deal for the relatively low-tech engine, but any change that results in less than a 10% power increase seems relatively minor to this layperson.

      • Rich

        To get a 10% increase in power is quite significant. But power increases is not what I’m referring to. It’s the fact that they have added a second camshaft, and moved both of them to a position above the valves. While I realize that the engineering work was primarily done in the development of the HP2 Sport, it’s a big change – to me at least.

        And Wes, I didn’t mean to imply you should know BMW’s term for the cylinder head (re: Valve) cover. I apologize for not being clearer. If you remove those two fasteners you see on the head cover, you would expose the valves – as you might do when performing a valve adjustment. The cylinder head would stay bolted to the engine (its bolts are underneath the cylinder head cover).



  • Doctornine

    The best thing about this news, is that BMW have committed to a gradual evolution philosophy on the bike, and maintained so much of what is good about it, while at the same time improving it in important ways. If more manufacturers would think this way, we would all be better off.

  • Charlie

    I liked the last body style better. I have a HP2 Sport and love the engine and bike. I hope they totally rework the RT for 2011…great bike, but styling is weak.

  • http://www.motohol.com Shaun

    Regardless, it’s good to see that the GS hasn’t radically changed it’s design. Classic, great handling, do-it-all machine.

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave


    But really, us BMW folk get excited at little things. I suppose the drawback to us old timers is the more complicated task of adjusting valves (which you must do every ~6k miles or so). The new design uses shim stacks and are probably a drag to adjust.

    BMW is slowly moving into the type of bike that must only be touched with factory-trained hands and a large computer. Already I think the new final drives are sealed and use ‘Lifetime Oil.’

  • jconli1

    > “Already I think the new final drives are sealed and use ‘Lifetime Oil.’”

    They backed down from that idea pretty quickly and now its back on a regular change schedule. Most good BMW shops were recommending changing it out anyway.

    The article also clearly states that as just being a doctored image, and not the actual bike. There could still be some design surprises in the 2010.5 release.

    Wes – the general philosophy of the boxer twin is low tech, but the current generation’s engineering is anything but. Its pretty amazing the simultaneous power and efficiency that is achieved with the current design, and as Rich mentioned, the much-anticipated jump to DOHC will mean this high tech low-tech engine will continue to soldier on for a few more years while still being a strong contender.

    As Sasha alluded to, they’re already backed up against a displacement and emissions wall, and the higher tech they go to stay within tightening regulations, the harder it is for DIYers (a large portion of BMW’s market) to maintain. Maybe the end is in distant sight, but for now the move to DOHC is actually major news, and should be seen as a great thing for all fans of the venerable boxer.

  • http://www.schnellpanzer.de Schnellpanzer

    Quote: “..and adds a second spark plug per cylinder for more efficient combustion and reduced emissions..”

    The R 1200 GS has 2 sparkplugs/cylinder since 2004, so please don’t state that as a novelty

  • http://www.tommygun.it Tommygun

    Actually, the twin spark is there since the 1150 model.


    Hola, desde Colombia los saludo a todos, es apresurado pensar que una fabrica como BMW en tan solo 2 años, cambie de forma radical un diseño como el de su exitoza GS 1200 R. y esto es algo que le combiene de gran forma a quienes invirtieron su dinero en un bello jugete como es esta MOTO, Considero que de forma respetuoza con el cliente final, BMW ha mantenido sus productos vigentes en el tiempo.
    Y como buen amigo de la GS 1200 R creo que el cambio que tanto se presume va a tener le quedara de maravilla (DOHC), pues el diseño BICI en esencia no se tocaria, mas si la potencia de su motor, cabe esperar que el comportamiento en bajas de este motor sea mucho mas sereno. Y que su caja de cambios refleje mucha suavidad. Asi como el famoso sonido en nuestros cascos cuando estamos cruzando por los 170KH de la cadena que va a las valvulas.


  • http://(none) Jack Shaw

    Well, throw away your feeler gauges because (unlike the new Concept sixxer with hyd. tappets) you now need the good old pallet assortment to do valve adjustment.

    And what’s with the rumor that the HP2 heads have to be completely torn down and rebuilt every 36K miles? If these new heads share the same low durability, who needs it??

    FWIW, the comment about the added plug per head was relative to the HP2 heads being carried over and not that the two-plug head is new to the GS. The HP2 heads have only one plug per head. Oh, and the twin spark wasn’t put on the 1150 GS until 2002.

  • Jairo Guerrero

    I have a hp2 mega and since you are talking about
    the heads covers,I which to fix them in my motorcycle,is that possible? is 2007 model.

    Jairo Guerrero jan.06.2010

  • http://mannypacquiaoshirt.org Daron Sawney

    It is great that you took your time to write all this up

  • http://n/a Pat Thompson

    Great write up all the info thanks a million. I own the 2001 r1150gs version and its still a great bike despite the odd bad review buy hey you cant keep them all happy its all in the trying. Cheers.

  • larry villacorte

    We’re Filipino and I intend to acquire this monster bike this year. Where and who to contact?