Review: 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

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View image at flickr

Motorcycles have been a staple of the Technic range since 1979, ranging in size from the 27-piece 2544 Motorcycle to the new 603-piece 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, the first one to be based on a real bike.

The large ones are released on a roughly two year schedule, with the last one being 42036 Street Motorcycle that I reviewed in January 2015. Recently LEGO has alternated between road bikes and off-road, with 42007 Moto Cross Bike being the last of the latter, which was also the subject of a review here, in January 2013.

So, let's see what this latest one, a model of a hybrid on-/off-road machine, has to offer...


The prototype

Before looking the LEGO version, let's familiarise ourselves with the real bike. It's a beast, with a 1200 cc 2-cylinder engine and shaft driven rear wheel, attached by a single swing-arm, capable of 200Km/h.

This is pretty much the the version LEGO has modelled, with knobbly tyres, panniers and a top box. View image at flickr

Here's a blue one, without the luggage:

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Construction

Parts are packed in un-numbered bags and building begins with the engine and shaft drive, which is a fairly complex mechanism.

Standard LEGO cylinder parts have been used but because they are not large enough the heads have been extended out by 4 units, leaving a gap between them and that of the cylinder part. I don't think I like it much but at least it gives the impression that you can see inside the cylinder.

The bike's frame is then added, including a spring for the front suspension. Unlike many bikes, this one uses a telelever rather than conventional front forks incorporating the suspension so its positioning here is accurate. image at flickr

Central bodywork...

View image at flickr

Front and rear bodywork...View image at flickr

Front forks...View image at flickr

Once the fuel tank sides and fairing have been added the bike is complete. All that's left is the luggage.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


The completed model

From certain angles, the bike looks fantastic. The general appearance matches that of the real bike well although although there are a few aspects I don't like.

View image at flickr

The main issue with the appearance is the unsightly gap under the seat that's evident when viewing it side-on. It's typical to have a large void there on trail bikes but not this one, as you can see from the image at the top of the review.

On the model it has to be there to accommodate the 15mm or so of travel in the rear suspension which, when extrapolated up to the size of the prototype, is way too much.View image at flickr

One thing that's definitely an improvement on this model compared to other Technic bikes is the shaft drive. Normally a chain drive is modelled and it never looks right but there's no such problem here.View image at flickr

The lid of the top-box can be lifted for helmet storage, if one was provided.View image at flickr

The other thing that does not look right at all is the front tip of the fairing. Compare it below with that on the real bike above which ends, as you would expect, in a aerodynamic point. I can't think of a better solution using Technic parts but perhaps judicial use of a few System parts would have provided one.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Compared to 42036 Street Motorcycle

It's bigger and chunkier but it's about the same scale.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Alternative model

The alternative model is odd, some sort of futuristic flying machine. I suppose it looks cool but not cool enough to warrant buying another set so you can build the two simultaneously.

Perhaps in an attempt to try and explain what it is the manual offers this concept art:View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Verdict

Ever since purchasing 8422 Circuit Shock Racer fresh out of my dark ages in 1995 I've had a soft spot for Technic bikes and generally speaking each iteration has been an improvement on its predecessors. There's no disputing that this latest one is an impressive model, one which raises the bar for Technic bikes.

The design and, importantly, the technical features of the real bike have been modelled accurately although, as pointed out above, there are a few cosmetic issues with the fairing and under-seat area but these are not sufficient to detract from what is otherwise an excellent model that would look fantastic sitting on anyone's desk or workshop as a display piece.

I think it's a set that'll definitely appeal to Technic fans, and perhaps it will draw a few BMW Mororrad fans into their fold, too.

From shop.LEGO.com it's £54.99 in the UK and €49.99 in Germany and France, which really illustrates the effects of Brexit on LEGO prices. In this instance I think those of us in the UK would be better off buying from BrickLink where it can be had for about £38 from German sellers.

I imagine it'll be released in North America in March.

17 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Neat review, but seems a little pricey..

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By in Finland,

Very solid set. If I were to buy a mid-sized Technic set, this would most likely be my choice.

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By in United Kingdom,

Think this one is going to be too hard to resist...
Not perfect as you say but so many creative attempts to mimic the real thing - very expensive for what it is but so are most BMWs but you get what you pay for...

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By in Netherlands,

The side panniers also open up at the top, if you've built them the right way (I didn't at first...)

I enjoyed the build very much, there are some nice touches and interesting techniques. Yes, there are some things that don't quite live up to the real thing, but on the other hand especially for a licensed model this is actually quite good value for money. So I don't mind the inaccuracies that much, the overall look will immediately be recognizable for someone that is interested in motorcycles and knows this model in real life.

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By in Ireland,

Great review Huw, but the 2 parts on the right in the 4th picture are assembled wrong.. they should be.. just messing ;D I really like the build of bikes, they are so different from the other stuff like cars, trucks ect, this one is a must buy for every Lego and bike fan..

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Mine aren't built properly due to applying a sticker to the wrong part, which necessitated a quick redesign :)

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By in Germany,

For me the weak points are the missing seat (the model just looks unfinished at that area), the missing levers or other details at the steering handle and cockpit and the overall missing picture that this is THE one and only travel motorcycle. If you compare the side view of the real monster (thanks for the prototype pictures in this review!) And the LEGO model you will understand what I mean.

Even if it is an oldtimer these days, I personally prefer the 857 motorcycle with sidecar (http://brickset.com/sets/857-1/Motorbike-with-Sidecar)

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By in United States,

I'm really impressed with the B model for this set. I've said before that I kinda miss the days of the late 90s and early naughts when the Technic theme included more sci-fi and fantasy stuff, like the old Competition theme, the Bionicle Rahi sets, and various sets based on robots or concept vehicles. It definitely got a bit silly sometimes, but nowadays I sometimes feel like the pendulum has swung too far the other way, with modern Technic sets being too strictly realistic.

A licensed BMW set is the last place I'd have expected to see a revival of this sort of sci-fi subject matter, but I'm glad BMW was cooperative and allowed LEGO to create a B model that wasn't just another bike! I wish Brickset reviewed Technic alternate models like they do for Creator alternate models, because I'd have enjoyed hearing how well the hoverbike's functions work. Great coverage of the A model, though!

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By in Ireland,

Compared to 42036 it may look ok but that set was a disappointment after 8051.
You're right that at first glance it looks good from certain angles but if you look a little closer you'll notice there's a lot of detail missing; where's the dash, brake and clutch levers, pedals, seat, rear mudguard? I'll get the set, being a biker and Technic fan, but I feel they could have done a lot more with this set.

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By in United Kingdom,

There is a dashboard of sorts, a sticker on the windshield which I omitted to mention.

^ It would be great of we could review B models as well but it would take more than double the time to do so, time that might be better spent reviewing other sets?

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a fantastic design in aiming to replicate the real life vehicle in Technic format. I agree though some aerodynamic elements would benefit from system parts. TLG used them in the Bucket Wheel Excavator for the driver's cab and lights, so I don't see why they couldn't be used here for the mudguard etc.

The price is high, but the set still seems like 'OK' or should I say 'bearable' value. I'm still reeling from the price of the Joker's Low Rider but this just generally seems like a more substantial and rewarding build experience. Thanks for the review, as usual!

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By in United States,

No interest in the bike itself but that B model looks great. Agree with Aanchir's comments; would love to see more sci-fi/fantasy Technic models.

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By in United Kingdom,

The main model does not interest me, but the alternative model, now that looks more like my kind of thing.

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By in United Kingdom,

So we've had Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, what's next? A technic Audi or Volkswagen?

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By in United Kingdom,

Not for me. Yet again, there's no seat and the rear looks too thin and fragile. Even if I did like this monstrosity, it's way over priced, like all BMWs!

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the review, but being technic spoils the looks of this bike for me. In comparison, this system built BMW bike is amazing: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/160838
(and checkout the sidecar that has been newly listed in a recent update)

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By in United States,

After seeing the side by side comparison with the 42036, which I have, its hard to decide whether I want this bike or not now. I had thought it would be larger, but its only slightly bigger but the price is $20 USD more, guessing the BMW license had something to do with that. I will likely pick it up at some point as its just now going to be released in the US, but I might wait for the almost sure Amazon discounting at some point. I guess 2 other things kind of bug me. The past cycles Lego has produced all had chunky front suspension and the chain drive. I realize that this is the way that BMW designs this bike, but I always liked that better. But, like I say, I'm a Technic nut and usually buy every set, so I know I will get it and it will grow on me. Thanks for all the pics, one about Brickset is reviews, while possibly not containing pics are written professionally and really hit the key points.

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