BMW R 1200 GS

BMW R 1200 GS Triple Black: Who’ll dare?

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

The Triple Black adventure bike is the lat­est from BMW.

The BMW GS is a mod­ern two-wheeled icon. It sin­gle-hand­edly con­verted the mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket from ’90s crotch rock­ets to some­thing with a lit­tle more flair and prac­ti­cal­ity. While many purists be­moan the fact that ‘adventure’ bikes like th­ese mostly see just a quick trip to Star­bucks or your lo­cal cof­fee hang­out, it can­not be doubted that the way the GS has trans­formed the mo­tor­cy­cle land­scape is noth­ing short of ex­tra­or­di­nary.

It is the bike of the noughties. When mo­tor­cy­cles took the leap into generic ‘do any­thing’ ma­chines, the GS de­cided that ‘do­ing any­thing’ is a class of its own. Here is a bike that is equally at home on a twisty moun­tain road as it is on a twisty dirt trail or a high­way cruise. That it’s a jack of all trades and master of, well, all, is part of what has made it so spe­cial to many peo­ple. Most en­thu­si­asts don’t have many com­plaints about it apart from one thing—the in­dus­trial styling.

It has al­ways had a po­lar­iz­ing de­sign aes­thetic. Some peo­ple swear by it, while oth­ers have never been a fan of the uniquely asym­met­ri­cal head­light and a de­sign that put func­tion over form. Rid­ers, for the most part, love the bike; those who have more of a four-wheel in­cli­na­tion have mixed feel­ings on the de­sign. It can be ar­gued that the lines are too busy, that the looks be­lie the idea that a mo­tor­cy­cle should be a sleek ma­chine carv­ing the roads with aplomb. But this would be miss­ing the point. The GS, which started the ‘beak’ craze in the adventure mar­ket, re­mains one of the purest expressions of two-wheeled adventure. Just a quick glance at all the de­tails of the bike and one re­al­izes how func­tional ev­ery­thing is. Even if you’re rid­ing it for a quick trip to the shops, you still feel that, adding a bit of lug­gage, you’d be able to take a cross-coun­try adventure into the un­known.

Sur­pris­ingly, though, de­spite a plethora of var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions of col­ors over the years, the GS has never ac­tu­ally had a stealth op­tion. Un­til now, that is.

BMW Mo­tor­rad Philip­pines has just in­tro­duced the R 1200 GS Triple Black. With a name that looks more suited for Scotch than for a mo­tor­cy­cle, this sleek com­bi­na­tion of Black­storm Metal­lic and Agate Gray will have any­one do­ing a dou­ble take at the sheer badassery of it all.

The ag­gres­sive look is achieved through the ap­pli­ca­tion of gray on the front and rear frames to pro­vide con­trast against the mainly black bike. The cen­tral fuel-tank cover, stor­age com­part­ment lid, front mud­guard, en­gine, gear­box, and swing arm are done up in ei­ther black or Black­storm Metal­lic. The 850mm high seat comes equipped with an em­bossed ‘GS’ logo.

While the Triple Black gen­er­ally has the same equip­ment as the reg­u­lar R 1200 GS (it’s also pow­ered by BMW’s sig­na­ture 125hp 1,170cc twin-cylin­der boxer en­gine mated to a six-speed gear­box), an over­looked dif­fer­ence is that it ditches the reg­u­lar GS’s rims for spoked rims. Those in the know would re­al­ize that th­ese spokes add oo­dles of off-road cred­i­bil­ity to what is al­ready a very ca­pa­ble mo­tor­cy­cle. In fact, th­ese rims seem to have come off the much more ex­pen­sive GS Adventure line of mo­tor­cy­cles, ef­fec­tively putting the Triple Black on the mid­dle ground be­tween the reg­u­lar GS and the Adventure in terms of spec­i­fi­ca­tions and equip­ment.

The Triple Black has a P30,000 pre­mium over the reg­u­lar R 1200 GS, bring­ing the list price to P1.445 mil­lion. On paper, this seems like a lot of money for what is mainly a cos­metic up­grade, but when your hard-earned cash can buy you what can only be de­scribed as at­ti­tude on wheels, then you know it’s money well spent. If the gen­eral rule is that money can’t buy you road pres­ence, this here is one heck of an ex­cep­tion.

The GS’s in­tim­i­dat­ing stance is al­ready enough for it to rule the road

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