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BMW R 1200 GS DOHC “Camhead” (2010-2013) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

2010 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure GSA DOHC Camhead red

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the second generation of BMW R 1200 GS, released in 2010 and made up to the 2013 model year with the dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine, earning it the nickname “Camhead”.

This also includes the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure with the same “Camhead” engine (released in approximately the same years), but with the adventure spec options (including spoked wheels).

The BMW R 1200 GS is a now-iconic motorcycle, continuing the GS legacy of adventure motorcycles. The Camhead (a name given by fans, not BMW) generation is built around a DOHC air/oil-cooled 1170cc boxer twin that makes around 110hp, putting its power down through a six-speed transmission and a shaft drive. It’s a significant update to the original “Hexhead” single cam engines of 2004-2009, smoother and more reliable all-around (anecdotally).

Maintenance for this generation DOHC/Camhead BMW is quite similar to that for other Camheads of the same era, e.g. the BMW R 1200 RT, and the latest BMW R nineT which kept the same old school engine.

From 2014, BMW started producing its first liquid-cooled motors (though they maintain they’re only “partially water-cooled”), known informally as the “Wethead” or “Wasserboxer”, including the water-cooled BMW R 1200 GS and GS Adventure.

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Maintenance schedule for the 2010-2013 DOHC BMW R 1200 GS “Camhead”

Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1200 GS “Camhead” made between 2010 and 2013.

This maintenance schedule is presented in a simplified format from the manuals and various references, which have different checklists for different times. It’s consolidated into one table below for your convenience. The “Dealer” items are at the bottom because not everyone has a BMW diagnostic system lying around in their toolkit.

Notes on the schedule

  • Some of the items have to be done every 10,000 km (e.g. change the oil, or checking the valve clearances), and some less frequently (e.g. change gearbox oil or alternator belt)
  • The original schedule is in Km in most markets; miles are added for convenience for US and UK riders.
  • The maintenance schedule for many items follows a “per x years” or “x distance” schedule. Follow whichever comes first (e.g. if you have the bike for a year and don’t put 10,000 km on it, change the oil anyway)
  • The spark plug replacement interval has halved since the earlier Hexhead (i.e. it’s every 20K km now)
‘000 miles0.661218243036
‘000 kmEvery X years1102030405060
Change engine oil change and filter1XXXXXXX
Change rear-wheel drive oil2XXXX
Change gearbox oil1, then 2X
Check/Adjust valve clearanceXXXXXX
Replace spark plugs (4 x NGK MAR8B-JDS)XXX
Replace air filter elementXXX
Replace generator belt6X
Visually inspect hydraulic clutch system1XXXXXX
Visually inspect brake pipes, brake hoses and connections1XXXXXX
Check front and rear brake discs for wear1XXXXXX
Check front and rear brake pads for wear1XXXXXX
Check brake fluid level, front and rearXXXXXXX
Change brake fluid (including in ABS system), front and rear1, then 2
Check freedom of movement of Bowden cables and check for kinks and chafing1XXXXXXX
Check tyre pressures and tread depth1XXXXXXX
(Spoke wheels) Check spoke tension, adjust if necessaryXXXXXXX
Check ease of movement of side and center stand1XXXXXX
Check lights and signaling equipment1XXXXXXX
Function test, engine start suppression1XXXXXXX
Check/correct engine synchronisationXXXXXXX
Check battery charge state1XXXXXX
Final inspection and roadworthiness check1XXXXXXX
Dealer checks:
Set service due date and countdown distanceXXXXXXX
Read fault memory with BMW Motorrad diagnostic systemXXXXXXX
Perform bleed (brake) test with the BMW Motorrad diagnostic systemXXXXXXX
Read error memory with (BMW Motorrad) diagnostic systemXXXXXXX
Confirm BMW Service in on-board documentation1XXXXXXX
BMW R 1200 GS Camhead maintenance schedule

One new addition in this generation GS is the “countdown distance” to next service. Very handy! (The dealer has to set it, though.)

About the 2010-2013 “Camhead” BMW R 1200 GS

The BMW R 1200 GS is BMW’s big bore, long-distance “all-bike” motorcycle. It caused quite a stir when it arrived in 2004 because it was more powerful, more refined, and a LOT lighter (30kg or 66 lb) than the outgoing BMW R 1150 GS, which already was very well-loved (and still is).

This updated 2010 BMW R 1200 GS has a significantly improved engine over the original 2004-2009 GS. Even though it has the same general layout and capacity (an 1170 cc air/oil-cooled boxer twin), it has a lot of updates on the inside.

The 2010-2013 Camhead BMW R 1200 GS takes the twin-cam design from the HP2 Sport, detuning it slightly from the raucous 128 hp down to a more torque-rich 110 HP (82 kW), with torque peaking around 6000 rpm. The R 1200 GS maintains the dual spark plug design, unlike the HP2 Sport.

torque curve and dyno chart for BMW R 1200 GS 2010-2013 camhead
Engine torque and power curve from press release

In fact, the R 1200 GS became one of BMW’s most popular motorcycles, even in Europe which has no tundra to cross. BMW didn’t invent the “adventure touring” motorcycle category but they did become synonymous with it, thanks in large part to the R 1200 GS.

The updates to the engine also gave it a higher rev ceiling of 8500 rpm, up from 8000. This, coupled with the broader spread of torque, gave the DOHC R 1200 GS a much more powerful feeling all around, even if the peak power number is only up 7%.

Another change for the DOHC is Electronic Suspension Adjustment or ESA. This lets the rider configure suspension parameters by pushing buttons rather than adjusting knobs with 15 settings for on- and off-road conditions. Awesome and very convenient, though on older models I’d be wary of yet another thing that may inevitably fail…

And a more subtle change for the DOHC R 1200 GS is the electronically controlled exhaust flap, controlled by an electric motor. This lets the exhaust have adequate back pressure down low to keep low-RPM response, while opening up at higher RPM for higher power and what BMW calls a “particularly throaty boxer sound”.

The Adventure version of the BMW R 1200 GS (known as the GS Adventure, or the GSA on forums) comes with a bunch of options as standard equipment. You can usually pick an Adventure from the wire-spoked wheels. But other stuff it has as standard equipment include:

  • Hand guards
  • Support for aluminium cases
  • A short first gear
  • Additional halogen headlights
  • Enduro footrests
  • Adjustable footbrake lever
  • Cylinder head cover protection
  • An engine protection hoop (crash bars)

The chassis and styling are unchanged between the Hexhead and Camhead versions, leading many to think they’re possibly the same bike.

Manual for the BMW R 1200 GS

BMW R 1200 GS DOHC 20K maintenance schedule
BMW R 1200 GS DOHC 20K maintenance schedule screenshot

The above maintenance schedule was assembled from PDFs of checklists from dealers. You can get some of those from this website.

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