2013 Overland Motorcycle of the Year: BMW R1200GS

It took but a few seconds of deliberation before all the heads in the room started to nod in agreement; the 2013 Overland Motorcycle of the Year had to be the BMW R1200GS. Anchoring BMW’s record breaking global sales numbers, the GS was their number one seller for the year. In fact, it was the best selling first-year model in the brand’s storied history with more than 25,000 units sold. A number that could have been bigger if supply had been able to meet demand.

We had the good fortune to have two R1200GS motorcycles in our test fleet for the year. One model was decked out in full Touratech trim and the other––bone stock. Our team put those two bikes through the proverbial ringer and both come out the other end unfazed and begging for more. Nearly everything about the new GS is perfect. There are some aesthetic peccadilloes that not everyone loves, but the rider experience is what really makes this new adventure tourer something to behold. The new shape is sleek and well balanced. The engine is even more refined than before, and the ABS and traction control systems are simply brilliant. It’s a great motorcycle that is as much at home on twisty tarmac as it is navigating rugged backroads.

With several newly redesigned motorcycles hitting the market for 2014, the year ahead will have lots of competition for this award, but for 2013 the R1200GS was the only choice.

Scott Brady gives the R1200GS the beans on the Greasy Spoon trail near Sedona.



We so loved this bike, we just couldn’t stop jabbering about it. Here’s the proof:

Building a Water-Cooled BMW R1200GS

12 Reasons to be Excited About the new Liquid-Cooled R1200GS

Oil and Water: Comparing the New Water-Cooled GS to its Predecessor

The New R1200GS: Ride Impressions

Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.