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BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X | Latest

We’re going on record to say that the BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X is proudly Australian made.

Sure, Germany may have had some influence but the Rallye X is derived from years of BMW GS Safaris and Safari Enduros.

The latest offering in the BMW R 1200 GS range, the Rallye X, is a carbon copy of a Frankenstein bike built by enduro legend Geoff Ballard.

GB, who had both a GS and GS Adventure, preferred the slimness of the GS but the suspension of GSA so he pulled both bikes apart and built a hybrid. He sent BMW’s Miles Davis photos of his work and Miles sent them to Germany. You can guess what happened next. The Rallye X was born.

You can’t miss the Rallye X version of the R 1200 GS thanks to a BMW Motorsport-inspired livery. Everything from the knobby tyres to the taller ‘Rallye’ seat (890mm instead of the 870mm of the standard R 1200 GS), and wide, aggressive dirt footpegs contribute to this bikes off-road prowess.

And then there were the less noticeable features like more ground clearance (20mm more than standard R 1200 GS), a radiator guard and a frame guard to protect a section of the suspension from unwanted boot marks.

But what makes it the ultimate ADB readers GS machine is the suspension and mapping.

The Rallye X is still powered by the 125hp air/liquid-cooled boxer donk but it runs an altered catalytic converter and new data for the ECU to meet Euro 4 emissions standards.

Mountains of torque, plenty of top-end and a gentle power curve means the engine is an adventure rider’s wet dream. Short shifting, no problem. Revving the tits off it, also no problem.

BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X

The biggest change this year is in the rider modes. The Rallye X comes with two “Pro” modes, Dynamic and Enduro, as well as the standard rain and road. Each mode incorporates lean-angle-sensitive dynamic traction control (DTC), Hill Start Control and ABS Pro. The hill hold, as we are calling it, lets you focus on clutch and throttle control when stuck on a long rutted hill and afraid of rolling backwards.

Essentially, BMW have simplified the previous mapping, traction control and ABS into one package, Enduro Pro.
In the Enduro Pro mode you get no rear brake ABS, only front, minimal traction control and the rain mode engine (slower throttle). This equates to one of the easiest 1200cc adventure bikes to ride in the bush.

You can still turn off everything, but that would be a bad decision. Enduro Pro was designed for the hardcore off-road rider, so I would suggest you don’t mess with it. It is far better at braking and accelerating than you or I will ever be.

The suspension is why the Rallye X is the off-road adventurer’s pick. A stiffer set of springs with longer shocks and more travel scream erosion mounds and potholes.

Aside from the silence once filled by a banging centrestand, the longer travelling suspension on the Rallye X was far better off-road and also firmer than any GS suspension before it. And that includes the GSA, even though it’s the same suspension.

It’s better because it’s not carrying the extra weight of the GSA. I could confidently jump the Rallye X and fly five metres down the road and a metre in the air, I never bottom the suspension.

Ballard was on our launch and I pulled up next to him while he was on cornerman duty just to see if he felt the same way about the suspension and he did. He was mounted on the stocker and his words were: “This thing is nowhere near as good as that off-road! The longer travel, firmer suspension on the Rallye X just gets so much more drive.”

The engine, chassis and ergos might be the same as previous models but the off-road suspension, electronics and engine modes make the Rallye X a whole new beast off-road.

The Rallye X is for the serious off-road rider. Never before have I been able to fly so far or brake so late. BMWs have shown their prowess in tough conditions previously but have always fallen behind when it comes to serious dirt. Not anymore.

If you thought the 2017 GS was already out than you’re not wrong. V1, as Miles Davis put it, came out in November, but it did not have the Pro maps and suspension. It was pretty much a facelift. So the Rallye X is a V2 of this year’s range.

Higher Rallye seat (890mm)
Sports suspension with increased spring rate, longer travel.
Pro mapping modes
Knobby tyres
Lower windscreen
Cross-spoked wheels

Words: Mitch Lees
Pics: iKapture

See the full test in ADB Issue #453


Type: Twin cylinder, DOHC four-valve
Displacement: 1170cc
Bore & STROKE :101 x 73mm
Cooling: Air/Liquid
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Fuel metering: BMS-X
Tank capacity: 20L
Transmission: Six-speed
Clutch: Wet multi-plate
Wheelbase: 1507mm
Seat height: 850/870mm
Ground clearance: N/A
Weight: 244kg wet
Front: BMW Telelever, 37mm
Rear: BMW EVO Paralever
Front: Dual disc, 305mm, four-piston
Rear: Single disc, 276mm, double-piston
ABS BMW Integral ABS
Running Gear
Handlebar: BMW
Front Tyre: Continential TCK80
Rear Tyre: Continential TCK80
Price & Contacts
THE BILL $27,250rrp
BLOWER 1800 813 299
Warranty 2 years unlimited

BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X