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Thread: Impact of Low Suspension on GS handling

  1. #31
    [QUOTE=henzilla;1075159]

    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.

    I know the topic is more likely regarding the "big"GS, but my G650GS is factory lowered AND has a Kouba link also, which drops it again approx. 3/4". All my bikes need lowering and I find that if the bike comes from the factory lowered, and as long as you don't just get too crazy with a little more, it will handle flawlessly, and I do ride aggressively at times. Now, I have had other brands that have been lowered, and this wasn't the case. Paul is tall enough and has enough strength to ride anything he wishes, but he too prefers the minimalist Roadsters.
    I am so envious of H being able to even think about a 12 GS, as this would be my bike of choice...if only. It should be against the law .
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  2. #32
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H View Post
    If you can only own one bike, this may just be the one. It is for us.
    I can only own one bike because my mudroom has space for only one bike, and it is a 2015 R1200GS.

    I agree with your assessment of the bike.

    I am 6'4" tall with a 36" inseam and I have the tall seat mounted on my GS.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  3. #33
    Registered User DENKAR55's Avatar
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    GS Adventure

    Plain and very simple.

    I own a R1200GS Adventure. It has lowered suspension from the factory. Two words. It rocks!

    I have rode with standard suspension, and being 5'8'' I found it sometime scary.

    As for handling, no difference. Seriously. Try it and you will see for yourself, that it is incredible!

    I drive off road as well as on road. Again, try it and ENJOY...
    Dennis and Karin Trovato
    2009 BMW R1200RT (In Europe) //// 2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure (In USA)

  4. #34

    Low Suspension and its impact on handling

    I have both a '14 R1200GSW-low and a '16 R1200RTW-low. I also have a 28" inseam. The only problem I have with either bike is reaching the sidestand when the bike is parked on any surface that isn't flat. So what I did in both cases was extend the little bar that helps you to lift the sidestand from a parked position. I also put custom seats on both bikes for better comfort and to lessen the distance BMW calls "reach" (I believe). If you would like to see what I did, private message me and I'll send you more information and pictures.

    BTW here is the BMW Guide for seat heights:
    http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en/...ts_config.html

    Take it with a grain of salt -- if I were to use it the only bike it would recommend for me is the lowered F700GS and I think after riding for 30+ years I know myself better!!!
    Lisa Malachowsky, "Ex" MOA Director
    2014 BMW R1200GSW-L / 2016 BMW R1200RTW-Low / 2017 Ural Gear-Up
    lisa.malachowsky@gmail.com

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa_st View Post
    I have both a '14 R1200GSW-low and a '16 R1200RTW-low.
    Lisa, was the RTW low from the factory or aftermarket?

    Thanks!

  6. #36
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    The way I saw it, the rider geometry of the bike is the same whether you get the LOW or STANDARD. Changing out the seat height should not matter to rider geometry as the settings are the same on both bikes. Like most have already pointed out the lower center of gravity is a nice benefit. I got the LOW and while I do go off roading I know my limits and I am not going to take a ~570 pound bike over large boulders and fallen trees.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by roy_reuter View Post
    The way I saw it, the rider geometry of the bike is the same whether you get the LOW or STANDARD. Changing out the seat height should not matter to rider geometry as the settings are the same on both bikes. Like most have already pointed out the lower center of gravity is a nice benefit. I got the LOW and while I do go off roading I know my limits and I am not going to take a ~570 pound bike over large boulders and fallen trees.
    Exactly..... True that!! 29,000 miles on my Low..... never regretted it... amazing machine.... rides like it was built for me....

  8. #38
    Just picked up and rode 500km on my '17 factory lowered GSA. Perfect for me and I'm 5'9". Handles great on the roads, I was using Rain and Road mode, also 1 rider and luggage for suspension, and also tried Normal and Soft modes... didn't go to Hard or Dynamic yet.

    Obviously preliminary reports, but can't get too crazy on the break in runs... However as they say, get the bike you want.

  9. #39
    lost in the USA
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    I agree with everything Mark H said in post #28. We too have factory-lowered suspension '15 R1200 GS bikes (we are 5'4" and 5'6") and have now been riding them, since new, around the UK, Europe and the US with no problems whatsoever. My in-seam is 27" and my feet are flat on the ground when the bike is fully loaded. We are in our 60s and the weight of the bikes can be an issue, particularly for me, but Don helps when needed or when I'm humble enough to ask (pride does get in the way sometimes). But the reality is, I'm not very strong, and I do need help now and then. That psychological 'moment' can happen when parking on uneven surfaces, which I generally manage to avoid by choosing very carefully where to stop. Also, when the bikes need to be pushed around in tight circumstances it is better to have two people 'on the job' rather than one.
    We see the bikes as armchairs that are carrying us very comfortably around the world in our retirement. They deal with all sorts of road surfaces, have plenty of power, and tons of comfort. Each bike has two panniers and one top box and other sundry items, and handling has not been affected.
    Well, that's our 'two-bobs worth'.
    Happy riding! Hope to see you somewhere on the road riding whatever suits you best.
    Susan and Don
    Susan and Don
    2015 R1200 GS x 2

  10. #40

    Cool Im vertically challenged!!

    Quote Originally Posted by nakwakto00 View Post
    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.
    Im 5'7" as well, looking at a 2016 normal ride height to purchase, no low suspensions available. What did ur wife do to flat foot on her 1200 GS. Did she change out seat, modification(s) etc. I am new to the forums so I do not know how to pm. Thanks in advance!

  11. #41
    Registered User jr3_esq's Avatar
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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'm 5-8, 209lbs. Probably a true 29" inseam. My wife is 5-4 115lbs. I rented and rode 2 up, a 1200GSA in the Italian Alps in 2018. The only issue I had was during mount and dismount of my wife, if she was not real careful to stay close to centerline. So, flash forward to 2020. I order a 1250GSA Low, thinking that would solve the minor issue, and not present and other real issues. Last week I'm doing a week in the NC, TN and North GA mountains, and riding two up, I'm scraping pegs a lot. I set the suspension in the highest setting on Dynamic. That solves about 90% of it, but I'm still dragging in extreme corners when two up. My buds never touch theirs down, and one has a pillion that is much heavier than my wife. Handling? I can't tell a major difference in "handling" but I have set the seat on the highest setting, and ride with my "low" suspension in Max/Dynamic. I wish I'd just bought the standard, and in fact, you can see my post just above here asking about replacing my suspension with a Wilbers standard height.

    Bottom line: Don't buy a low suspension bike unless you simply cannot handle the bike at a standstill otherwise. When it's moving, you don't need it low to the ground. JMHO, YMMV.
    Converted Harley Davidson rider.

  12. #42
    Registered User jr3_esq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NPD338 View Post
    Im 5'7" as well, looking at a 2016 normal ride height to purchase, no low suspensions available. What did ur wife do to flat foot on her 1200 GS. Did she change out seat, modification(s) etc. I am new to the forums so I do not know how to pm. Thanks in advance!
    I'll sell you mine.
    Converted Harley Davidson rider.

  13. #43
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NPD338 View Post
    Im 5'7" as well, looking at a 2016 normal ride height to purchase, no low suspensions available. What did ur wife do to flat foot on her 1200 GS. Did she change out seat, modification(s) etc. I am new to the forums so I do not know how to pm. Thanks in advance!
    Welcome to the forum!

    This thread- https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-the-MOA-Forum

    ought to help you get started on the forum.

    Enjoy!

    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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