It’s time for another LEGO Set Review here at The Lego Car Blog! It’s big, it’s blue, and it’s an officially-licensed replica of an awesome real-world vehicle. OK, it isn’t that big blue officially-licensed Technic set, but it is quite an exciting product nonetheless.
BMW’s Motorrad division has made some mighty products over the years, from the ridiculous 200bhp S1000RR (until recently the fastest production motorbike in the world) to some of the finest long-distance adventure bikes ever made. It’s the latter LEGO have chosen for the 42063 set (although we hope an S1000RR will follow!), and since our Set Preview back in 2016 we’ve been itching to get our hands on it.
The R 1200 GS Adventure is BMW’s best-selling bike, and in TLCB’s home nation it’s the best selling bike, which seeing as we have no deserts or tundras to cross is somewhat of a surprise. LEGO must be hoping for a similar success, but does the 42063 set deserve it? Let’s find out…
Containing 600 pieces 42063 joins LEGO’s ever expanding line-up of officially-licensed replica vehicles, a range that we think is the best decision LEGO have ever made. The instructions feature exactly 200 steps to turn a pile of blue, black and grey into an authentic replica of BMW’s desert-crossing motorbike.
Well, not just blue, black and grey, as like some of LEGO’s other recent Technic sets 42063 contains pins, connectors and axles in almost every possible colour. There’s even a brown one! This is to make finding said parts easier (with the side benefit that the instructions are clearer to read too), and it doesn’t impact too much on the finished aesthetic, but this TLCB Writer is from a time when every single Technic part was either black or grey, and he managed OK. What’s wrong with teaching kids perseverance?
Anyway, upon emptying all that lot on to the floor it seemed that around a third of the parts were black Technic connection pins, which may help to explain the decision above. In fact there are 123(!) of them, which we suspect might be the greatest ratio of pins to bricks of any Technic set ever.
As always the instructions are masterfully designed, combining single-part steps with more complicated sub-assemblies, and they make the building of 42063 both pretty fun and reasonably challenging too. There’s a 3-hole Technic beam printed with the 40th Anniversary of Technic decal (which is pretty pointless but a nice easter egg) and a cool-looking sticker sheet with a raft of BMW/GS/R1200 decals so there can be no mistaking what you’ve built.
The build flows nicely and begins to look quite bikey fairly early on. As it progresses though that huge pile of black pins seems to hardly diminish at all, leading you to wonder what the hell they’re all for. The final few steps as it turns out, as almost all of them seem to end up in the R 1200 GS Adventure’s panniers, which are some the most robustly engineered Technic items we think LEGO have ever designed. Come the nuclear apocalypse they’ll just be cockroaches, Toyota Land Cruisers, and the panniers from 42063 sets remaining.
The finished bike, complete with the world’s toughest panniers, is a marvellous thing. Looking mostly accurate (but not perfect), 42063 is a set where the stickers really bring it to life, completing the aesthetic and making the model appear genuinely authentic.
There’s working steering, rear swing-arm and front double-wishbone (it’s weird writing that for a bike) suspension, and a flat-twin engine that spins freely as the rear wheel turns. All of that lot works pretty well, although the suspension only uses about two-thirds of the possible travel in the shock absorbers before hitting the bump stops, and is – as is often the case with LEGO sets – much too soft.
Overall 42063 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is a set worth having. It’s not completely accurate to the real bike aesthetically, but it’s close enough and the Model Team-style detailing and plentiful decals make it one of coolest-looking motorcycles to come from LEGO in ages.
It also performs well, with each of the working functions operating as they should (even if the suspension is too soft), and it’s decent fun to build. Whilst 42063 doesn’t really move Technic motorbikes forward in functional terms (although it is the first officially-licensed replica, and is all the better for it), it just does everything very well. A really good effort from LEGO and BMW, 8/10.