German magazine says big boxers will get performance upgrade to remain the big dog in the travel-enduro realm

According to Germany’s Motorrad Magazine, BMW R 1200 GS engines will soon be equipped with variable valve timing, and get a displacement increase to 1250cc. The speculation is that the goal of more power and potentially reduced maintenance will put the big boxers in a more competitive position in the market.

(Hard to imagine how they could be more competitive. The R1200GS has consistently been Europe's best seller for a number of years. –Ed)

Since the R 1200G S series accounts for more than half of BMW sales worldwide, the company has apparently decided to strengthen that position even further, and provide more tractable power delivery. The so-called adventure bike category has grown significantly in the past few years, driven largely by concerted design and engineering work by BMW, KTM, Ducati, and Triumph.

Variable valve timing was introduced to the genre by Ducati three years ago - with what Bologna termed DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing). The technology, which debuted on the 2015 Multistrada, allowed both the intake and exhaust valve timing to be altered independently. The benefits provide smooth engine operation at low speeds, better control of emissions output, and peak power at high rpm.

While the engineering involved in BMW’s non-desmo VVT system will be altogether different, the function will be fundamentally the same. With more consistent and controllable power delivery throughout the range, accompanied by the probable reduction in fuel consumption, the company is obviously aiming for an overall improvement in the GS performance profile. And one that delivers more power at both ends of the torque and horsepower curves.

Just when the VVT boxers will appear, and what the technology will add to an already substantial price tag, have not been specified thus far. But given the competitive nature of the adventure category, and the recently renewed interest in it symbolized by Honda's Africa Twin and the upgraded Yamaha Ténéré, it won't be long.

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