You could almost justify buying the Rallye Sport even if you had no intention of riding it off-road. It blue frame and gold calipers contribute to an air of refined aggression generated by its wire-spoked wheels and Akrapovic silencer, plus (in the test bike’s case) the accessory crash protection and longer-travel suspension. There’s a hint of the old HP2’s legendary madness yet this is a down-to-earth all-rounder that, if fitted with road-biased tyres, would make almost as efficient a commuter as any R1200GS.
But the Rallye Sport is one big boxer that really only makes sense if you plan to equip it with chunky off-road rubber (at least some of the time) and get it coated in dust or mud. It’s not a tuned-and-lightened warrior like the HP2. But BMW’s recent advances in engine technology, suspension and electronics mean that, with a few key extras in place, the Sport is as brilliantly controllable off-road as it is capable and comfortable on tarmac.
Price tag of our bike: £16,560 (R1200GS Rallye Sport £14,625, plus Premium Package £1645 and Sports suspension £290. The standard R1200GS Rallye costs £12,730.)