BMW Motorrad has developed and tested a two-wheel drive version of its R 1200 GS Adventure, claiming it “the world’s first series-production all-wheel drive travel enduro with hybrid drive.” BMW’s xDrive Hybrid system uses a 45-horsepower electric motor housed in the front wheel hub. When activated and combined with the air/liquid-cooled, 125-horsepower, shaft-driven boxer twin engine that powers all R-series models, the R 1200 GS xDrive Hybrid makes a combined 170 horsepower (claimed).
BMW says that making the front wheel driven provides superior traction in slippery, low-traction conditions, much like all-wheel drive cars, and the xDrive Hybrid system was originally developed by BMW’s automotive division. All-wheel drive can be operated automatically or manually by the rider via the 2WD (2-Wheel Drive) switch located on the left handlebar’s switchgear, activating the wheel-hub e-Drive system that functions both as electric motor and generator. During braking, the e-Drive system captures and stores kinetic energy—also known as regenerative braking—which helps recharge the batteries and improves braking performance. Sophisticated management software ensures that power is supplied to the front wheel as needed given the riding situation, as traction permits. Riding modes customize how the all-wheel drive system operates and adjusts the hybrid system’s recuperation strategies, with everything controlled via LCD display.
The new xDrive Hybrid GS, it was subjected to thousands of testing miles in extreme conditions. Reiner Scherbeck, head of winter testing at BMW Motorrad, rode it to Norway’s North Cape and across the frozen Barents Sea to the North Pole and back again.
Article source : RiderMagazine