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The 500,000th Boxer-powered GS model – a new R 1200 GS – has rolled off the production line at the BMW Motorrad factory. Construction of BMW motorcycles commenced at the Berlin-Spandau plant in 1969 and the first ever GS entered production in the autumn of 1980.

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Since then, over three decades of GS motorcycles have been manufactured in Berlin and delivered all over the world. The Boxer-powered models, from the original R 80 G/S to the all-new R 1200 GS Adventure this year, have become icons in their own right.

What started as a revolutionary 798cc, 50bhp dual-purpose model has evolved into an iconic, genre-defining 1170cc adventure motorcycle, making 125bhp and offering riders state-of-the art technology and performance-enhancing aids, including on- and off-road ABS, traction control and semi-active suspension.

The Boxer-powered GS range changed the motorcycling landscape around the world, creating the adventure-sports category – now one of the fastest growing sectors – and breaking sales records along the way in the UK and Europe.

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The liquid-cooled R 1200 GS was the UK’s best-selling motorcycle over 125cc in 2013, as well as the best-selling motorcycle outright in Europe. With over 25,000 registered worldwide, the first-ever liquid-cooled Boxer GS became BMW Motorrad’s fastest-selling new model in the company’s entire 90-year history.

Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad, said: “By combining street, off-road and everyday qualities, BMW Motorrad created the new travel enduro species with the R 80 G/S. The flat-twin GS became the synonym for this segment. The outstanding talents of the Boxer-powered GS models – ride dynamics, off-road qualities, comfort and endurance – have been continuously nurtured, developed and transferred very successfully to other BMW Motorrad model series.”

Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Motorrad Berlin Plant, said: “As a plant it is a privilege for us to continue building on the successful history of the legendary flat-twin GS. With the precision-cooled drive unit, a new evolutionary stage was reached last year. Manufacturing half a million units underlines the fact that the Boxer GS represents a cornerstone of our motorcycle production more than ever before.”

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For more information on BMW Motorrad UK products and services visit www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk or call 0800 777 155.

The first ever GS entered production in the autumn of 1980

The first ever GS entered production in the autumn of 1980

Tony Carter

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