BMW R1150 & R1200 GS - any cop ?

#1
Looking to get a new bike. Fancy doing a lot of touring. Something that can sit on a ton all day, two up with luggage. Don't want anything sports-bike looking. Something sit-up-and-beg. Need my wrists for other things (ahem).

The Beamer seems to tick all the boxes. Can't afford a new one. Say 2004 to 2007/8 sort of vintage.

Anyone here got/had one and have any advice ? e.g. what's it like for a pillion ? I'm a short-arrser at only 5'9" tall (albeit with the weight of a man of 6'9" ) so am i too much of a midget to straddle the beast ?.

Any particular weak points ? Cost to run ? Crap corosion resistance etc ?

Anything to make sure it comes with ? Panniers, heated grips, handguards, wheels etc ?

Cheers in advannce.

D_B
 
#2
#4
5'7 and I owned one of the first R1200GSA in 2006.
By far the best bike I have ever ridden or owned (and that's quite a selection)

I used to ride from Bordon on a Friday evening to Munster (Germany) and then back again on the Sunday afternoon.
I did this twice a month for about 4 months, the journey got boring, the bike didn't.
I could get up for work on Monday as though I had just ridden to the shops at the weekend, not a 900 mile round trip on a bike.

It was expensive to buy, but I wish I had never sold it, I will own another one day.
Yes they have their issues, although mine didn't have any in the 24 months I owned it, and I know the bloke who got it from me has ridden it extensively since then with no problems either.

Go try one at a dealers, but take your wallet
 
#5
I preferred the Honda Pan European, the seat height is a little lower +/- 31". Cos I'm a bit of a shortass.



Army 617.................."Bordon", you poor barsteward; I don't blame you for getting away from the place at week-ends!
 
#6
Difficult to buy an outright 'bad' bike nowadays. Ridden a few GS including a mates on a 250-miler, they tick the boxes but there are alternatives of similar shape and performance, settled on the DL 1000 V Strom from Suzuki for now and saved £4k, and the fun of watching mates massaging their aching backs and hands on sports tourers. Can't match the Bordon - Germany run, but happy to do 1500 miles a week for fun or 60 a day for work on it. Watch Charlie Boorman's 'Long Way' shows to pick up on the GS weaknesses - frames had to be welded because they couldn't deal with load on jarring roads, other bits and bobs too.
Every bike of this design should have 4" bar-end handles fitted, as used on mountain bikes - stops your little finger getting trashed between the bar and deck if you come off, and protects your brake/clutch levers. The plastic brushguards alone cant do the job. Fit them with rawlbolts where the bar end caps should be.
Saw one mate simply lose balance on a GS whilst stationary, about £600-£800 of damage - rocker cover, peg, lever, bar and tank scratched: fit whatever topple protection you can, considering its meant as a Gelande-Strasse off-on road bike where such things are facts of life.
Learn the BM Owners Club secret signal too - wave an upturned empty wallet at them, they'll understand. MK
 
#7
I use a BMW R1150 GS pretty much daily (in the summer ahem)and being 6ft find the seat set at the lowest position quite comfortable. The bike is a bit on the heavy side and I had a very low speed 'moment' early on that caused a red face but hardly any damage, engine protector bars are the next thing on my shopping list. With the BMW 'pizza box' case the pillion has quite a comfortable sitting position but I really can't comment on pillions any more as the wife won't go near it. Engine & gearbox are strong, build quality is excellent and with a huge following there are numerous GS websites with how-toos etc. I personally didn't fit too well on the GS Adventure as it is a couple of inches taller than the normal GS.
 
#8
Having originally had an 1150 ADV in the UK and now an 06 1200 I would strongly recommend the 12 over the 1150, as the increased power is certainly noticeable.
If you can try & find one with a straight through Y-Piece exhaust i.e a remus or suchlike it will feel a lot less restricted tho maybe an issue for MOT.
I would go for a late 05 model onwards, the original 12 had a lifetime final drive without a drain plug, which is certainly needed.
The links above are good as are the lads on UKGSer  ::::  For BMW GS Enthusiasts - I have just had an issue with my dealer out here in SEA which was resolved satisfactorilly due to the knowledge base from the lads on ukgs.
I would suggest if you are thinking of getting panniers to avoid the BMW 'concertina' ones.
The early versions with the top box had a tendency to eject when slabbing it and the side ones weren neither very robust in a spill nor waterproof.
I use Touratech sideboxes and the ADV topbox. Expensive but simple and robust.
Heated grips are nice in the UK as is a heated seat, but the corbin one I had on my 1150 was uncomfortable, heavy & bl****dy expensive.
There was an interesting ride off in a recent issue of BIKE between the GS/Yam Tenere & gorgeous new Ducati Multistrada - BIKE still gave it to the GS.
PM me if you have any queries.
Cheers & goodluck.
Rhodie

PS imo engine covers and rocker covers are a must.
 
#9
Looking to get a new bike. Fancy doing a lot of touring. Something that can sit on a ton all day, two up with luggage. Don't want anything sports-bike looking. Something sit-up-and-beg. Need my wrists for other things (ahem).

Then you need a Gold Wing or, at a push, a touring Harley. Two up on the most comfortable seats in the business and loads of purpose designed storage all round. The Harley is cooler, the Honda is faster. Take your pick!
 
#10
Thaks for the advice all. Have subscribed to the GSers website already and getting loads of info off that.

Rhodie, thanks , I may well be in touch soon ! The whole inside leg issue is difficult to gauge. I'm planning a few test rides including an 1150.

Blokeonabike ...... NOOOOOOOO !! On so many levels a Harley is all wrong for me personally. It's too much of an American icon and image for me to swallow. Kraut I can deal with ! :) I just keep thinking of 50 something bank managers putting on a wife beater t-shirt, chaps and calling themselves 'Mad Dog' or somesuch for the weekends LOL

D_B
 
#11
To be fair, a PanEuro would be an easier, more comfortable, cheaper & efficient machine if rather bland - providing you are keeping to the black top.
H-D is a lifestyle choice.
To echo a post previously ensure that the GS [esp the 12] has had all its recalls done.
 
#12
Looking to get a new bike. Fancy doing a lot of touring. Something that can sit on a ton all day, two up with luggage. Don't want anything sports-bike looking. Something sit-up-and-beg. Need my wrists for other things (ahem).

Then you need a Gold Wing or, at a push, a touring Harley. Two up on the most comfortable seats in the business and loads of purpose designed storage all round. The Harley is cooler, the Honda is faster. Take your pick!
Harley D - UK, called me out of the blue to offer a test ride on a 800 Sportster.

With nothing to lose I accepted and turned up at the dealership, and was offered the 1200 model to test, full tank, all day.

I rode the thing like it was stolen, as they say, and had a blast.

Apart, that is, from all the attention HD always attracts !

Not a bad bike, but not ready for the whole ' Wild Hog ' malarkey just yet.

Can't comment on the GS tho, far too much of a shortarse at 5' 8'' to even consider it.
 
#13
Can't comment on the GS tho, far too much of a shortarse at 5' 8'' to even consider it.
Ah but if you were a fat shortarrse like me then you would be seriously compressing the springs once mounted. Just gonna need a crate to stand on to get on in the first place !

I'm going to miss my W650 when it goes. Turns as many heads as an H_D but without attracting those 'Wild Hogs' jibes. (Funny movie though).
D_B
 
#14
Ah but if you were a fat shortarrse like me then you would be seriously compressing the springs once mounted. Just gonna need a crate to stand on to get on in the first place !

I'm going to miss my W650 when it goes. Turns as many heads as an H_D but without attracting those 'Wild Hogs' jibes. (Funny movie though).
D_B
I know a lad who's equally shortarrsed and had a GS for years.

When he was in stationary traffic, he'd just balance by resting his feet on the cars next to him.

Bet drivers loved him !

Might get a bit hairy when you have to stop / give way on an adverse camber,in the wet, and it's an even longer reach to the deck.
 
#15
The only issue I have is with the seat; it was so bad I bought another one (seat not bike).

It's suprising really, the bike is great but they haven't really thought about crew comfort.
 
#16
Shortarsed?
I'm 5'7, how much shorterr do you want?

Just be sure to ask the dealer for the lower seat- most have them in stock, I test rode a GSA in central London, at rush hour thanks to the dealer lending me one with the short seat fitted.

Anyone with a modicum of riding experience and confidence should have no problems!
 
#17
I had an 800GS and had a 1200 GS when it went if for a service and some mods, and I have to say that the 800 p1sses all over it. The 1200 is a lumbering lump of sh1te.

I sold the 800 and my Gixer 750 and bought a Tiger 1050 a year back and it's the best bike I've ever owned. Comfortable, well specced and pacy. It's got a great engine, unlike the 1200.
 
#18
Assuming BMW is the brand of choice and not negociable (I can understand that as I have my own prejudices and wouldnt be seen dead on a Gold-Wing, no matter how technically good it might be), would one of thier more road-oriented tourers not be a better fit? Or are you actually intending to do some off-road(ish) riding?

I am constantly amazed at how many people fixate on a particular type of bike that is actually not appropriate to what they will be using it for (which is all very well if you hardly use it anyway but a significant issue if you really do intend to use it).
 
#19
The R1200RT or K1300GT are looking good from the comfort of my computer seat!
 

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