Leaping ahead in motorcycle technology is the BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid, the world’s first series-production all-wheel drive travel enduro with hybrid drive. Designed to conquer any sort of terrain, anywhere in the world, the R1200 GS xDrive Hybrid is based on the legendary R 1200 GS Adventure.

What sets this particular GS apart is the air/liquid-cooled flat-twin that generates 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6,500 rpm with a unique all-wheel drive system that provides better traction on slippery road conditions, deep sand or mud. Derived from the system developed by BMW Automobiles, the XDrive Hybrid is also powered by a wheel-hub e-Drive system which functions both as an electric motor and generator, with the system activated by a switch on the left handlebar pod.

Adding a further 45 hp, bringing the total power figure up to 170 hp, the R 1200 xDrive Hybrid uses a new generation of batteries, derived from BMW i-battery technology that stores the energy recuperated during braking. The test version of the new R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid covered countless thousands of kilometres in the toughest of riding conditions.

The most extreme demands were placed on the bike last winter, when Reiner Scherbeck, the head of winter testing at BMW Motorrad, rode it to the 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,” said Scherbeck.

Special front section components have been developed for the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid as well as high-speed suitable M+S all-season tyres, along with a selection of upgrades and accessories from the BMW Motorrad catalogue. Although no information on pricing or availability is available, for the first time BMW is offering a motorcycle that makes riding a motorcycle a pleasure at snow depths of 1.25 metres in high winter.