By Wade Thiel
BMW Has Been Making GS Motorcycles For Decades
Of all of BMW’s bikes, the R 80 GS might be the most important. It’s the bike that essentially created the adventure-touring segment. When it came out, it was a bit of an odd duck, but that was partly because people didn’t realize that by compromising a little bit on some things, you actually gained so much more. The R 80 GS started something new and different, and BMW is celebrating 40 years since it came out.
Since that very first GS, BMW’s adventure bikes have gone through some massive changes from the second generation R 100 GS to the four-valve third-generation R 1100 GS of the mid-1990s and on to the more modern iterations of the motorcycle.
The current crop of GS motorcycles are the best that the company has ever produced, and the fact you can follow the bike’s lineage back through four different decades is a testament to that first design that became the R 80 GS and what it stood for. The bike, while not perfect, changed the motorcycling industry forever. It’s cool to see BMW celebrating it. Below, you’ll find a video that goes through the GS’s transformation throughout the years. It was posted to BMW’s YouTube channel back in 2016, but it’s still worth a watch.