BMW is adding TFT displays to its bikes

BMW is adding a new colour TFT display as an option in place of the usual instrument cluster on R 1200 GS and Adventure models from the autumn. The 6.5-inch unit has a high-definition display and can show a number of different menu functions according to the rider’s preference.

In its default screen, the digital speedometer is at the centre of the screen with gear position indicator on the side and a tacho reaching around the rest of the screen. It can also show the rider which riding mode is currently engaged as well as other usual features like odometer, time and fuel range. It looks neat and should look especially good at night.

Different menu screens on the ‘Connectivity’ screen can be selected via the handlebar-mounted multi-controller. Riders will also be able to view incoming call data if they have a Bluetooth helmet paired to their device, and this also extends to music that is streaming from a smartphone to the helmet. In both cases, again, the multi-controller is used to scroll through different options.

The BMW Motorrad Connected App can be used to plot a route, and this can then be relayed to the rider via arrow navigation on the TFT display. However, this doesn’t provide as much detailed route information that you would find on a stand-alone sat-nav unit, so if you want to plan a longer journey with waypoints, or look for points of interest along a route, you’ll need to stick with a sat nav. But if you’re just trying to make it to a business meeting this new system should get you there without a fuss. The app can also record your routes and show information and statistics from these.

Some of the other neat features that the screen can show are the tyre pressure monitor, but also what the recommended tyre pressures are. Some riders might find this useful if going from off-road back to on-road or vice-versa.

BMW Motorrad hasn’t yet announced what the cost of the new Connectivity option will be ahead of its introduction later this year. We’ll keep you updated on this.