For a while now, we’ve known that BMW has something up its sleeve, an ADV lineup overhaul. Back in the fall of 2019, we saw our first hints of this, when the company registered regulatory paperwork for a new M1300 GS model. Now, we see spy photos of a machine that could be that new bike undergoing testing.
The photos ran in European and North American mags; there’s a good selection of them here at Motorcycle.com (we aren’t running them due to the murky waters of the spy shot scene). The photos show a bike that’s built along the general GS lines, including a flat twin engine … but it’s an obvious generational leap over the current model.
Most notably, those cylinder heads are changed from the current arrangement, showing what appears to be a tighter liquid-cooled engine. No surprise there; Euro regulators are cracking down on emissions, and customers want more power. BMW currently lags behind KTM in the flagship ADV bike horsepower wars. Team Orange’s 1290 series makes around 160 horsepower, while BMW’s current 1250 only makes about 134 horsepower.
The answer to both those problems is improved efficiency—at least that’s part of the answer. Air cooling is inefficient, with greater tolerances between moving parts, so it’s out. Improved liquid cooling is in.
Note that BMW’s regulatory paperwork was for an M1300 GS, not an R1300 GS. This indicates BMW is working on something ADV-oriented in its M-series motorcycles. Remember, the Motorrad M-series is built for performance, just like BMW’s M-series cars.
With that in mind, we’d expect to see an M-series adventure bike that was not just more powerful, but also more nimble. The spy shots certainly hint that that is the case. This new ADV seems to be more tidy and trim than the outgoing model.
We also see new bodywork, including a new headlight. Exactly the sort of thing you’d expect on a model overhaul, nothing shocking there.
BMW is unlikely to release this machine before late 2022, at the earliest. Don’t expect a proper reveal on this fall’s show circuit; 2022 is an Intermot year, too, which would align with BMW’s general preference to announce its most important models on home turf (the Intermot show runs in Germany).