Caught Testing: The Next-Generation GS from BMW Motorrad

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The next generation of the popular GS series from BMW Motorrad has been spotted testing in Germany, with what is being touted as the 2023 BMW R1300GS.

Featured in spy photos run that are being run in Italian, German, and even American publications, the new GS is a fairly sizable departure from the BMW R1250GS that we know and love.

There are a few items of note on the spied R1300GS, the first being the name that is quoted in the press, which denotes a displacement increase into the 1,300cc range.

The second obvious item is the revised headlight and front-end, which while being still on a very rough prototype machine, and thus not destined to be the final production shape, it still shows the great lengths BMW Motorrad is going to make this GS stand out.

The headlight is considerably smaller, and slants down more into the front fender. There seems to be a considerable amount of space left above the headlight, and below the taillight, where BMW could stick Bosch’s adaptive cruise control sensors.

Also, the windscreen makes up the bulk of the forward-facing bodywork, and we imagine the overall effect is to allow riders better vision on the terrain directly in front of them.

The design looks rather lithe too, which bodes well as the GS can always stand to lose a few pounds.

The next thing that really catches our eye in the spy photos are the two covers over the cylinder heads on the boxer-twin engine.

The fact that BMW saw fit to hide the cylinder heads gives rise to the suspicion that the engine powering the BMW R1300GS is significantly different from its predecessor.

Besides the engine displacement increase, we would expect this new GS to continue BMW’s Shiftcam technology, but with actuation on both the intake and exhaust valves – a fact that could be hidden by those canvas covers.

In 2013, BMW added “targeted” water-cooling to its boxer design, which was the German company’s half-measure for getting away from its iconic air-cooled boxer arrangement.

Covering the cylinder heads now, it is logical to conclude that this test mule doesn’t need too much air flow to stay cool, which perhaps tips BMW Motorrad’s hand that this 1,300cc machine is completely liquid cooled.

If that’s the case, then we could expect some big performance numbers from this new GS, which would help BMW Motorrad take on bikes like the KTM 1290 Adventure and the Ducati Multistrada V4.