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Thread: Impact of Low Suspension on GS handling

  1. #16

    handling the F700 GS

    Quote Originally Posted by rguy View Post
    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.
    I wonder why maybe because I'm small don't weigh enough to matter. My suspension lowering kit wasn't factory. You can check with the dealership it was made for my bike height and weight. I'm not having any handling problems. She turns on a dime and gives you 9 cents change on road and off road on rocks, dirt, sand might be an issue for me. I will learn to ride in sand! This is a 2017 maybe things are different. My suspension doesn't look like the factory it came with. Mine is blue shorter and a lot wider. I don't know anything about bikes. I own 4 bikes, 650 shadow, 250 rebel, CSC 250 GS which I hate the handling for me is awful. I couldn't get comfortable riding it. Now their is my baby 2017 BMW F700 so perfect feel like I have been riding her all my life. Selling the rest of my bikes keeping only her. You guys and ladies know a lot more than me about bikes. I just know what I like. Sorry if I offended anyone. Sassy17 I have a 2016 Z06 corvette with a lot of power. She handles great also. I just know what I like. How they feel when driving and riding. Just my opinion... You can see my car on Facebook carol lynch Beautiful Corvette, so need to find riders to ride with.live around willis - conroe tx

  2. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Ordered my bike in dec 2014- 2015 GSA model..factory lowered, with standard seat. (adjustable). Im 5'7- inseam about 30" . This was the best decision my dealer helped me with. And it fits me like a glove..... Handling is great... even off road.. Very well balanced, with both feet flat on the ground at stop lights. 28,000 miles on the GSA so far...

    Not really sure how after market lowering kits would effect performance ... Go factory done... it wasn't that much more $$ .. then you
    know its done right and works correctly.

    Not comfortable and safe, if your on the tips of your toes.... . remember the seat is adjustable high or low to find that seat spot of a comfortable
    safe, ride.

    Off road, I feel I'm really in control (body control) and able to balance well , like my old mountain biking days...... Great bike !!!


    Thank you,
    Lowered 2015 GSA.

  3. #18
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    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 have lowered 2016 R1200GS. I handles very well.

    I have also sat on a lowered R1200R and I can hardly notice any difference in seat height between the two. In fact until I checked the specs I assumed they were the same height

    The only concern I would have for you is that with a 31" inseam your legs might cramp up on a long ride with a lowered suspension. You may however be able to get lowered pegs if that's a problem.

    In any event the R1200GS is a great bike and you won't be disappointed.

  4. #19
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
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    My '13 RT came with the lower sit and my knees couldn't take it on long rides so I got the standard sit. I went from sitting flat footed on the lower seat to the balls of my feet. Think about the whole sitting position from feet, arms, shoulders, to head.
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  5. #20
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roofus View Post
    I have lowered 2016 R1200GS. I handles very well.


    ...The only concern I would have for you is that with a 31" inseam your legs might cramp up on a long ride with a lowered suspension...
    Don't know if the factory-lowered GS is different than a factory-lowered GSA, but on my '15 GS Adventure, which is factory-lowered, there is no difference in the seat/peg relationship between the regular suspension GSA, and the lowered GSA. Also the lowered GSA comes with a regular GSA seat, not a low seat.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  6. #21
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    Don't know if the factory-lowered GS is different than a factory-lowered GSA, but on my '15 GS Adventure, which is factory-lowered, there is no difference in the seat/peg relationship between the regular suspension GSA, and the lowered GSA. Also the lowered GSA comes with a regular GSA seat, not a low seat.
    Perfect!
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  7. #22
    Cowboyatheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapz View Post
    Perfect!
    When you order a lowered suspension you also get a low seat. So order a regular seat instead. The peg to bum relationship then is the same as a standard suspension with regular seat.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    Don't know if the factory-lowered GS is different than a factory-lowered GSA, but on my '15 GS Adventure, which is factory-lowered, there is no difference in the seat/peg relationship between the regular suspension GSA, and the lowered GSA. Also the lowered GSA comes with a regular GSA seat, not a low seat.
    That's good point which I hadn't considered! The lowered suspension shouldn't affect the relative foot peg position. However the seat position will!

  9. #24
    therideistheway therideistheway's Avatar
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    Cool Lower Suspension Has No Major Effect On Street Handling

    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?
    May I suggest you do a test ride on both low and normal suspension GS/GSAs? I think you'll find that the engineers at BMW did an excellent job of making the feedback to the rider from the low and normally suspended R1200GS and GSAw quite uniform. I don't ride much off road because everyone I know without exception who rides off road has broken one or more bones doing so. We do 90% street and some fire break and forest service roads and I can't tell any major difference between low and normal suspension under those mild conditions. My wife and I have about 55K miles on our 2015 low suspension GSAw's (she has her own) but we started with normally suspended GS's.

    Having written that, I've talked to guys who ride almost exclusively off road and they ride hard! Most of them say that they prefer the height of the normal suspension mainly because they push the suspension to the max. Also, they really don't care if they can get both feet flat on the ground, or not.

    Pros: For street riding you can probably get both your feet down at your inseam with low suspension giving you more stopped stability at, for example, oily intersections and pea-gravel shoulder stops. If you want slightly bent knees when you stop, consider purchasing a low seat from the usual people who make great GS/GSA custom seats. We use Corbin in Hostile (Hollister) CA, but there are other makers who are superb.

    Cons: Going off road where more height is desireable than on the street, the suspension won't have the reactive range needed for rough terrain.

    Generally: The handling difference between low and normal suspension is not remarkable when street riding. Some folks feel that the lower kickstand that comes with low suspension is still a bit too long and they reduce it's length by 0.5", or so, or they purchase an aftermarket adjustable kickstand.

    The foregoing is my opinion. It's always best to make your own tests and form your own ideas of what works best for you. Ride Well!
    Last edited by therideistheway; 01-18-2017 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Spelling corrections

  10. #25
    therideistheway therideistheway's Avatar
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    Heavy off the side stand...

    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?
    Try turning the handlebars all the way to the right, then lifting the motor off its sidestand. It really helps reduce felt weight.

  11. #26
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    Usually a lowered bike will have a lower maximum load carrying capacity. This could be an important concern for two up touring.

    Usually a lowered bike, with its accompanying shorter suspension travel, will "handle" slightly better in rapid twisties. The suspension will transition slightly quicker between fully set in one direction to fully set in the other. Depending on riding style, the difference may not even be noticeable and would not be worth worrying about.

    Given the same rider load, a longer suspension travel (non lowered) should give a slightly more compliant (smoother) ride.

    The load carrying capacity is your biggest concern. If it meets your needs, you should have no problems with the factory lowered suspension.

    As previously stated, foot (peg) to butt distance, in the riding position, is controlled by what seat is fitted to the bike. A low seat also helps in the butt to ground distance.




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  12. #27
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Think you can count on BMW having engineered the lower model pretty well--surely to the point you'll have no worries.
    Kent Christensen
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  13. #28
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    The most surprising thing about the R1200GS is just that - it is such a surprise.

    My wife and I both have a 2015 R1200GS. My bike is standard suspension and standard seat, her's is lowered suspension and standard seat.
    I was coming off and R1200R and she from an F800R.

    The fact is, for a shorter rider with less brute strength (male or female) the R1200GS and particularly the GSA, are noticeably bigger bikes, and when you need to push them around, park them, or do the everyday maneuvering we all do at traffic lights and car parks, they can be challenging (sometimes more psychologically than physically).
    However, we ride together most of the time, so when it is required, I help out with the heavy lifting. Not because my wife can't, but because it's a little easier. And that's what life is all about. Don't make it harder unnecessarily.

    But back to my first point about being surprised.
    Until you ride a GS you really can't imagine just how universal and chameleon like these bikes are. We thought we were branching off into the "off-road" or "off paved road" experience, and no doubt these look and act the part off-road, but the surprising and quite honestly amazing thing about the GS is how it behaves as a sports bike, long haul tourer and urban machine. Not dedicated to any one niche and not at the bleeding edge of any either, it will certainly outstrip most peoples skill levels in all of them and empower you with a super capable and smile inducing ride experience.

    If you can only own one bike, this may just be the one. It is for us.
    Mark Hubble
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  14. #29
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Well said there from the southern hemisphere

    H has ridden a few lowered GS's, BMW's version or with lowered shocks and my GSA once or twice with a low seat... she still likes the minimalist Roadsters better, but wouldn't shy away from a 12 GS.

    And on occasion, sometimes without being asked will move her bikes to wherever she wants me to...or a good push back...all good as I too have needed a push back on occasion and not afraid to ask
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  15. #30
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Well said there from the southern hemisphere

    H has ridden a few lowered GS's, BMW's version or with lowered shocks and my GSA once or twice with a low seat... she still likes the minimalist Roadsters better, but wouldn't shy away from a 12 GS.

    And on occasion, sometimes without being asked will move her bikes to wherever she wants me to...or a good push back...all good as I too have needed a push back on occasion and not afraid to ask
    ...like that Ready Kilowatt avatar.
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