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Thread: Impact of Low Suspension on GS handling

  1. #1

    Impact of Low Suspension on GS handling

    I'm considering a new 1200GS. With a 31" inseam, I "fit" on a standard height suspension, but find the bike generally 'tall' and a bit top heavy...especially coming off the side stand. My primary concern is how handling is affected by a factory-lowered suspension. I should confess that I am an exclusive road rider and have few to NO plans to ever take this bike off road or the dirt. (I know, I know.) Can anyone share their experiences with a factory-lowered suspension: Pros? Cons?

  2. #2
    My advice: get a 1200R and be happy. Get a 1200GS, look cool, and be unhappy.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
    Fastman Fastman's Avatar
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    I also have a 31" inseam and about 3-1/2 months ago, bought a '16 R1200GS Adventure with the lowered seat/suspension. I have no issues with the height and actually ride with the seat in the higher position. Adjusting the suspension from solo to solo w/bags to 2-up will put the bike higher off the road. I'm about 205 lbs, ride with the aluminum panniers (empty) on all the time and set the suspension to solo. At a stop, I'm just about flat footed. I came from a K1300S and while the GSA handles differently, I find it's actually lighter in maneuvering.


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  4. #4
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    My advice: get a 1200R and be happy. Get a 1200GS, look cool, and be unhappy.
    Or a R1200RT
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  5. #5
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    While inseam appropriate height/handling is a major factor, so too is seat to peg distance. Be sure whatever seat height you end up satisfied with, also provides acceptable leg comfort for those "longer" rides. Assume potential to bottom out sooner comes with lower suspension, but as you say, you'll be staying on road so that should be minimal.
    '17 RT
    MOA #46783

  6. #6
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    My wife has a 2016 R1200GSA lowered and she absolutely loves it. She rode a 2010 G650GS and a 2004 1150RT before and she says the handling of her 1200GSA is way, way better than either of those bikes. She says it is balanced better. She can rip through the corners with the best of them. Last summer she completed a 1,700 mile trip with 500 miles of mud/gravel/dirt on this bike and did absolutely great. She only dropped it once and then it was in the middle of Vancouver, BC at a stoplight in rush hour. She was hot, tired and exhausted from a long day of riding. She's 5'7". She can flat foot standing the bike. Not sure what her inseam is. If interested, PM me and I can get you her email address for any questions you might have.
    -don
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    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  7. #7
    got, got, got no time... rguy's Avatar
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    Handling is excellent - no complaints whatsoever. Lower COG is definitely a factor affecting handling. The shocks and springs are appropriately designed for the application. I would imagine the low suspension firms up faster in the compression stroke (compared to the 'tall' suspension) on the same settings but both are probably going to bottom out at the same height. 40k miles on low 1200 GS's and nary a bottom out or scraped hard part from dragging in the corners. Mostly pavement with a mix of forest roads and good dirt occasionally. I love the GS because of the ergonomics and handling. Buy the one that fits you best.
    Neal - '16 R1200GS / '81 R65
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  8. #8
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebeemermary View Post
    I am an exclusive road rider and have few to NO plans to ever take this bike off road or the dirt.
    Another vote for the R1200R since you plan to stay on pavement. The R1200R weighs less and is 2.4 inches lower. The base price of the R is $2,400 cheaper than the GS.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  9. #9
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    First off, as a bit of an aside, buy the bike you want, not what others say you should want. Just over a year ago, I bought a factory-lowered 1200 GS Adventure. I've got 12,000 miles on it, and I've had absolutely zero issues, or concerns, with the suspension and how it performs in the twisties (or anywhere else, for that matter). I'm 5'8", and weigh about 170+. I always have the BMW aluminum panniers and topcase mounted when I ride. I bought it as a road bike (to replace my '06 RT), so most of the time I'm on pavement. When I venture off the pavement, it's fire roads, and hard-packed dirt. This past summer I rode from D.C. to Montana and back, spending lots of time on twisty mountain roads. I wouldn't hesitate to engage in "spirited" riding on any sort of road.
    Last edited by marcopolo; 01-12-2017 at 12:39 PM.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    First off, as a bit of an aside, buy the bike you want, not what others say you should want. .
    Just trying to help.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #11
    DigtlArtst
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Another vote for the R1200R since you plan to stay on pavement. The R1200R weighs less and is 2.4 inches lower. The base price of the R is $2,400 cheaper than the GS.
    +1

    I'd say try one definitely.

  12. #12
    wanderer
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    My advice: get a 1200R and be happy. Get a 1200GS, look cool, and be unhappy.
    Another vote for the R1200R.
    Also note the R1200R "may" have more suspension travel than a lowered GS...check the specs out

    But as one of the post said.....Get what makes you happy

  13. #13
    got, got, got no time... rguy's Avatar
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    Roadster 5.5" / 5.5" GSW Low 6.3" / 6.7" GSW 7.5" / 7.9"
    Last edited by rguy; 01-12-2017 at 02:12 AM.
    Neal - '16 R1200GS / '81 R65
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  14. #14

    2017 BMW F700 GS Lowered

    Quote Originally Posted by bluebeemermary View Post
    I'm considering a new 1200GS. With a 31" inseam, I "fit" on a standard height suspension, but find the bike generally 'tall' and a bit top heavy...especially coming off the side stand. My primary concern is how handling is affected by a factory-lowered suspension. I should confess that I am an exclusive road rider and have few to NO plans to ever take this bike off road or the dirt. (I know, I know.) Can anyone share their experiences with a factory-lowered suspension: Pros? Cons?


    I had my bike 2017 BMW F700 GS lowered. BMW in Woodlands, TX lowered it. They sent for a lowering kit that came from Germany. I have a 35' RV with a hydraulic lift which holds 1,000 pounds with ease. (2 bikes) the lift goes to the ground for loading and unloading bike. I have rode all over Terlinqua, TX, Big Bend, 212, etc. I am 5' 118 pounds and wear boots. My feet hit the ground firmly. BMW woodlands did an excellent job getting this bike ready. I have not had any problems with gear shift or anything else for that matter. In my opinion this motorcycle is well balanced, ride is smooth. Perfect bike for any woman. The bike is heavy had to pick her up. I was riding in sand and dropped it. I was able to get the bike up with little or no struggling. I would suggest going to a BMW dealer and talking to them. Sit on one see how much you would have to have lowered. Please forgive me, but I have heard a lot of rants about lowering suspension. Again no problems at all. So smooth I love this motorcycle. Please gear up I wear Kelvar leggings which are very comfortable and look good not heavy and hard to ride in. you can go to GoGo.com look up Kelvar leggings and jacket. Believe me they are great. A lot of people told me not to buy a GS, but I'm a LEO when you tell me I can't do it I will show you I can. Only you know what you can handle. I'm single and make my own decisions. Buy what you want you will regret if you listen to others. My daddy use to say no guts no glory.. I am so happy with my bike which can be seen on my profile. BMW F700 GS white and red. Thank you Woodland service and sales for all the hard work. Couldn't be happier Carol Lynch PS I have nothing to do with GoGo.com I just buy their leggings. This is an honest review. I paid cash for my bike upfront and yes it is costly. You will never need another bike. Get what you want! If you buy leggings go one side up I wear a 2 but bought a 4. They fit great! Good luck Sassy17

  15. #15

    2017 BMW F700 GS Lowered

    Quote Originally Posted by sassy17 View Post
    I had my bike 2017 BMW F700 GS lowered. BMW in Woodlands, TX lowered it. They sent for a lowering kit that came from Germany. I have a 35' RV with a hydraulic lift which holds 1,000 pounds with ease. (2 bikes) the lift goes to the ground for loading and unloading bike. I have rode all over Terlinqua, TX, Big Bend, 212, etc. I am 5' 118 pounds and wear boots. My feet hit the ground firmly. BMW woodlands did an excellent job getting this bike ready. I have not had any problems with gear shift or anything else for that matter. In my opinion this motorcycle is well balanced, ride is smooth. Perfect bike for any woman. The bike is heavy had to pick her up. I was riding in sand and dropped it. I was able to get the bike up with little or no struggling. I would suggest going to a BMW dealer and talking to them. Sit on one see how much you would have to have lowered. Please forgive me, but I have heard a lot of rants about lowering suspension. Again no problems at all. So smooth I love this motorcycle. Please gear up I wear Kelvar leggings which are very comfortable and look good not heavy and hard to ride in. you can go to GoGo.com look up Kelvar leggings and jacket. Believe me they are great. A lot of people told me not to buy a GS, but I'm a LEO when you tell me I can't do it I will show you I can. Only you know what you can handle. I'm single and make my own decisions. Buy what you want you will regret if you listen to others. My daddy use to say no guts no glory.. I am so happy with my bike which can be seen on my profile. BMW F700 GS white and red. Thank you Woodland service and sales for all the hard work. Couldn't be happier Carol Lynch PS I have nothing to do with GoGo.com I just buy their leggings. This is an honest review. I paid cash for my bike upfront and yes it is costly. You will never need another bike. Get what you want! If you buy leggings go one side up I wear a 2 but bought a 4. They fit great! Good luck Sassy17
    Buy BMW great bike

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