BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid 2WD Set for Mid-2017 Release

Editor’s Note: Yes, it was an April Fools’ Day joke. Well played, BMW Motorrad.

This is no April Fools’ joke. BMW has unveiled the world’s first all-wheel drive hybrid travel enduro.

Meet the BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid, a two-wheel drive motorcycle based on the R 1200 GS Adventure. The front wheel is powered by a 45-horsepower e-Drive, an electronic system contained in the front wheel hub that derives from BMW Automobile technology.

Providing usual power is the iconic air/liquid cooled flat twin that produces 125 horsepower @ 7750 rpm and 92 ft/lbs of torque @ 6500 rpm. When two-wheel drive is engaged, this R 1200 GS will produce a combined 170 horsepower.

BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid Unveiled | 170 HP All-Wheel Drive GS
BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid

BMW says the all-wheel drive can be operated automatically or manually via the 2WD (Two-Wheel Drive) switch located on the left handlebar. This switch activates the wheel-hub e-Drive system, which functions both as electric motor and generator.

The R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid uses BMW i battery technology, which stores the energy recuperated during braking.

BMW says “the e-Drive system on the front wheel is supplied with this energy and the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid rider can use it for accelerating in addition to the power delivered by the combustion engine. Thanks to sophisticated management technology the power is always supplied to the front wheel in the right amount and appropriately depending on the riding situation. This means that the front wheel only receives the amount of power as the traction conditions permit – for example in wet or deep snow conditions. The rider can use a number of riding modes to customize how the all-wheel drive system operates and adjust the hybrid system’s recuperation strategies to suit his needs. Everything can be controlled using the innovative LCD display.”

Just as it increases traction, the new xDrive Hybrid system also helps braking duties. The xDrive Hybrid system is integrated with the BMW Motorrad ABS system.

BMW says “This intelligent combined solution also made it possible to reduce the conventional double-disc hydraulic braking system at the front to a single-disc brake system thereby saving approximately 6.4 lbs. of weight. In combination with the wheel hub e-Drive, which only weighs 1.9 lbs., the bike’s agility was also optimized. Thanks to the bike’s positive weight balance, the weight level of the current R 1200 GS Adventure could be maintained in spite of the additional hybrid all-wheel technology.”

BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid price
BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid 2WD control

BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid: North Pole Testing

BMW spent some serious testing on the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid, covering thousands of miles in the North Pole.

Test rider Reiner Scherbeck piloted the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid to North Cape on a first stage, and from there across the frozen Barents Sea to the North Pole and back again.

“We were absolutely amazed how problem-free and reliable the all-wheel drive worked even at minus 56 degrees. Thanks to our functional BMW rider equipment, the cold temperatures were no problem for the rider, too,’” Scherbeck says.

“Probably the most thrilling conclusion we can draw from our test runs, is that for the first time we can offer a motorcycle that makes riding a motorcycle a pleasure at snow depths of 4 feet in high winter with the new R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid. Special front section components have also been developed for this purpose as well as high-speed suitable M+S all-season tires. This was also necessary in order to meet the necessary requirements for high-speed winter operation.”

The new BMW R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid will be unveiled to the public soon, and is expected to be on sale in the second half of 2017. Prices will be announced shortly.