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Thread: 2016 R1200GS Adventure Low suspension

  1. #1
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    2016 R1200GS Adventure Low suspension

    I'm wondering what you all think about this issue.
    I want to purchase a 2016 R1200GS Adventure....I'm 5'8'' and I sat on a 2015 GSA.

    My toes touched, but that's it. My wife rides with me and when she is on, my heels almost touch.

    I (this is personal) feel better when my heels rest on the ground when I stop. So, my options are a lower seat by BMW which is the new "comfortable" seat made with memory foam. Not like the BMW low seat without padding....Ouch! OR the low suspension option from BMW. Or both? My question I guess is, has anyone purchased a bike with the lower suspension option and how do you like it? Good, bad, or? Any information or ideas or views on this matter will be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks!!!

    Dennis
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2005 BMW R1200GS (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  2. #2
    Worked through a similar situation this spring. Test drove a 2015 GSA with the factory lowered suspension but ended up buying a 2015 standard suspension GSA.

    I'm 6 foot - 34 inch inseam - 180 lbs. Initially I put my name on the next lowered suspension GSA to be received by the dealer but after giving it lots of thought I switched to the standard version.

    As you know this is a tall bike. One thing I noticed (and the dealer said to expect) is the suspension will settle a bit after about 500 miles. I wish I would have taken a measurement when it was new versus now but I would estimate a half inch to three-quarters of an inch.

    I get the desire to be able to plant both feet - and I can - but just barely. And I would tell you that hasn't proved to be a issue. I can swing a leg over the seat, but if the side cases are on its a bit of a struggle.

    One thing I considered was going with a GS, adding the engine and body guards, wire wheels, lights, pro computer, etc but it priced out about the same as the factory equipped GSA so it was pretty much a wash.

    But . . . while the GSA is a fabulous machine and I have no regrets, if I were to do it again I'd probably go with a GS and add the optional equipment. Less weight, lower seat height, same great motor. Especially for 2-up riding. Test ride a GS, GSA lowered, and GSA standard. All great bikes but one will likely feel more right than the others.

  3. #3
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    I have a 2014 GSA standard suspension and seat, 5' 10 with 30" inseam, 240 lbs. and love the bike. I get the balls of my feet on the ground on a flat surface which is OK, but pay attention. The issue I've run into several time is uneven surface such as a gravel road, fire road or the uneven shoulder of a paved road. All of a sudden when stopped there is a 1-2" depression or slope in the surface area. That makes a big difference to me and has been the potential for a drop several times. Something to consider and I will have to address it soon. Sadly I took a slow speed low side fall 3 weeks ago, 4 broken ribs and can't ride for a bit. Adjusting the seat to the low setting will be my first attempt to deal with the bikes height, then go from there.
    Janda
    2014 GSA
    2011 R1200R [sold]

  4. #4
    Hi Dennis,

    My .02

    You wrote that you are considering buying a 2016 GSA, so the current discount pricing on 2015 GS LC won't effect your decision.
    You want a GSA.

    I'm 5'9" 30" inseam.

    I own a 2014 RT LC and a 2015 GS LC.

    My GS is standard height and I ordered it with a low seat. IMO, my footing with this bike is pretty good, ideally, I'd like it to be a bit better.

    I test rode a GSA with Low suspension. The GSA Low suspension components might be exactly the same components as a GS with standard suspension.
    Interestingly, I found that the GSA with Low suspension provided better footing for me than my GS with standard suspension and the low seat.

    Anyway, for me, and if I could go back and do it again, I'd buy just one bike. That one bike would be the GSA with Low Suspension. I'd decide what to do about the seat down the road after I got some miles on it.


    PS
    Full disclosure, I'll add that I'm not completely enamoured with the LC engines and trans...so I might not buy either, but that's just me, and not what you asked about.

  5. #5
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    Wow! Great help everyone. I think I am going to give both the GS and GSA a chance. I will probably go with the GSA and a lowered suspension. I like touching with my heels! I will let you know how it stems out. Thank you everybody!!!!!
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2005 BMW R1200GS (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  6. #6
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    I have a 2015 GSAW with low suspension and lowered seat. I'm 5' 7"ish 29" inseam. I love the bike, did 7276 miles on it this July with no problem touching the ground in all the settings. You do have to pay attention to the ground differences in the stiffer suspension settings. Seat? I did a SS1000 going to Billings with no issues using a "Jell Pad".

  7. #7
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    Great! The more and more I look into the bike the more it seems likely I will get the lower suspension bike. Thank you for your imput..
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2005 BMW R1200GS (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  8. #8
    Dennis...

    I had a 2013 R1200GSA. I had to put the TT Low Seat on it to get moderately comfortable at stop lights/signs; I still was not both feet flat footed. And still, it was a bit high for my likes.

    Something to consider, if you plan on riding 2 track Forest Service roads or similar unpaved tracks, consider how many times you will be stopping on off-chamber situations. I am 5'10" with a 32" inseam, 145#. I have a KTM 690 Enduro R. It is a tall scoot. I can tippy toe on level ground.

    We recently rode the IDBDR after the Billings MOA Rally. I can't begin to count the number of high side, off-chamber falls I had. It got to be ridiculous. Even to the point I had to plan my stopping points early so as not to have a high side, off-chamber stop, especially on the right side which seemed to be my un-doing!. Off-chamber stops riding two up is something that would cause me great anxiety if I could not flat foot the scoot. Upon returning home, I installed a Ohlins shock with 10mm reduced stroke to reduce the height of the scoot 1". This has helped a lot, but, still can not flat foot both feet.


    Another thing to consider, is weight and balance of the GSA. Due to the GSA's increased fuel load, you will have more weight higher and outboard of the frame's longitudinal axis (centerline) than on a GS. This will affect your ability to balance the GSA v GS while at a stop on your tippy toes. It will not be a comforting thing IMO; especially with the pillion rider moving about while stopped. I have always felt I could handle the GS better in slow speed and technical terrain better than the GSA simply due to the weight of the GS being closer to the longitudinal axis of the frame. This feeling is probably due to my age (60) and the fact that I have the KTM 690 and 350 to toss around in single track and other technical environs.

    Another option to consider (expensive)...an acquaintance with a R1200GS who is ~5'8" with perhaps a 28" inseam had Ohlins reduced travel shocks installed front and rear on his GS which allows him to flat foot the scoot. I don't know the travel of the shocks, but the scoot is low to the ground, yet, does not prevent or inhibit him from riding very technical, single track, jeep trails. Yes, he is a very good technical terrain rider. I don't know if there is an increased cost for the factory low suspension, but, if there is, my personal preference would be to put the additional coin into Ohlins.

    Today, I am picking up a new 2015 R1200GS with standard suspension and regular seat. While specs can be good for comparing same models, they can be misleading even comparing same model, different year. The new GS "feels" shorter than my '13 GSA that had the low seat installed. I plan to install a Saddleman's Track seat on the new scoot soonest.

    Just my 2 cents and worth what you paid for my opinion....

    Good luck!

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Bill makes some good points.
    The weight of the gas has not effected me much. I'm used to a Honda GL1800 with 6.6ish gallons, so the added gallon of the GSA is not a problem.(8lbs?) The 300+ mile range is great. The factory lowering set-up works fine for my 28-29" inseam.

  10. #10
    The BMW website has a an "Overview of all seats" chart and a "Seat Height Configurator" that's a good baseline for comparison for the all current models . It's under the main menu under "Gear and Parts".

    It considers Inner Leg Curve as well as seat height. Just something to study before a dealer visit.
    Last edited by daveh10st; 08-23-2015 at 02:36 AM. Reason: typo

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENKAR55 View Post
    Wow! Great help everyone. I think I am going to give both the GS and GSA a chance. I will probably go with the GSA and a lowered suspension. I like touching with my heels! I will let you know how it stems out. Thank you everybody!!!!!
    Hello, you may have already made your decision, but I will add my 2 cents anyway. Im a short guy with in the 5'7 5'8 range,
    So when I ordered my beast, my dealer recommended the Low suspension, with standard seat. And let me tell ya, Im flat footed on the
    ground, and I am not stretched in the saddle to the handle bar area, so no bar risers needed like my last bike. No strain in the arms
    or back shoulder muscle burn (lol)... Love the pulled back handle bar design.

    With the bike loaded and filled with gas, there's no issue with weight or balance, actually the complete opposite.

    This low suspension handles like a dream, very well in tight radius turns, highway, fire road, well balanced in the 5 mph range at stop lights, I challenge myself to not have to put my feet down, in slow, mo, traffic....and very, very agile and adapts to any
    situation for me, that I put it through, I am at 10,000 miles in 5 months, and there's no issues or major complaints.

    My fastest MPH was 110 with no shakes or wobbles, This is a very confident Ride in My Opinion.

    My best most favorite bike to date, and my wife said its my last (lo, lol, lol) thats why I chose the GSA 15 low suspension, my last
    bike to last me until I cant ride or stand any more......

    just keep in mind you still have the option of higher or lower setting within the standard seat.... Ordering the lower seat and the
    lower suspension may have lead to leg cramping,,,,
    Another tip, also, your ESA settings may help drop the height lower but I don't have any data to support this theory.

    Peace!

  12. #12
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    Leg cramping is a good point. 28-29 inseam my legs don't cramp with lowered seat. When I was at the dealer I had the opportunity to measure a lowered and standard seat. Using a tape measure which wasn't very accurate. the two seats were just about the same EXCEPT lowered seat was a little narrower. I guess in theory would bring your legs closer to the ground.

  13. #13
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    Wow

    What an awesome gathering of information from everyone!!! Thank you all. I am going to Scottsdale AZ to ride a low suspension GSA and I will either order it or ? If it turns out that the GSA allows me to be flat footed, then its a no brainer. From all my calculations I should be able to be flat footed with the lower suspension and the stock seat in the mid to low position... I will report back on what happens...

    Thank you all for your information!

    Dennis
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2005 BMW R1200GS (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  14. #14
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    Well I'm back.

    Went to my home in Scottsdale AZ. Ordered my 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure. I ordered it loaded with all options (love them all) and the lower suspension as well. It fits me very well. I am pleased. I am happy. I am ready! Will arrive in Scottsdale at GO AZ Motorcycles BMW the first week of October. I was able to get one of the very last shipped 2015's. Very lucky. Usually gone by now getting ready for the 2016's. So I was able to work out a deal as well......double bonus!

    Thank you all for your imput. It was all good.

    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2005 BMW R1200GS (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  15. #15
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    Congrats. You'll love it

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