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Thread: Anyone have the 1200 GS?

  1. #1

    Anyone have the 1200 GS?

    Howdy folks.

    My first post on the board. I have been a BMW MO member for 9 years.

    I have or have had the following BMW's 1978 R100RS, 1994 PD, 1996 R1100RS, and a 2004 R1150R.

    Currently have the R1100RS and the R1150R still in the stable.

    I test drove a 1200GS this past summer and liked it (except don't try to do with it what I do with the R!). Was a very tall bike. I am about 6'.

    This summer I am planning my half century tour and was wondering for those of you that have the 1200GS what your experience has been with the bike.


  2. #2
    In a word, excellent. Long distance, short distance. Curvy roads, dirt roads, city commute. Does it all. Understandable how this thing has won all kinds of international awards. Used to ride an 1150GS and really like how this 12GS shed 60 lbs or so and gained some extra HP. Nice power to weight improvement.

    Have several horses in barn. Of all the two wheeled memories, more come from the GS than any other. Perhaps because it takes me down more strange roads with a sense of adventure than any other. Give the GS a good look. It rarely disappoints.

  3. #3
    Gfi! In other words, Go For It!

    Having owned both the 1150 and the 1200, I can easily say the 1200 will do
    you just fine.

    Oh, and what you do with the S? The GS can do too


  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    I've had one for going on two years now (where does the time go?). It is, without a doubt, the most capable motorcycle I've ever owned. Want to scratch with R1 guys on the backroads? You bet. Want to pile your camping junk on it and go ride 200 miles of dirt roads? No problem. Want to rip off an 800 mile day? No sweat.

    It's absolutely amazing.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    The GS stands for "Get Summathat..." I'm starting to feel guilty for loving it so much, my K75 is gonna need some attention this spring.

    Every time I ride my '06, when I get off the bike, my first or second thoughts are usually "Hot DAMN what an awesome bike" and "Why did I just park? Where else can I sneak off to before I have to..." usually in that order.

    Something around 1900 miles now, and I absolutely adore it. I spent half the afternoon today playing gutless putter on dirt roads (hard dirt, lazy day, still learning how it reacts to things on gravel and dirt... stock dunlops, and no air compressor to pump the tires back up... so full pressure and easy riding for now) but as soon as I hit the asphalt, crack the throttle open and the fires of hades fill the heads and I'm doing 80 before I can blink twice. It's got at least 3 different personalities I've detected clearly, and probably more where that came from....

  6. #6
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    N. Dallas 'burb
    I've had my 12GS for three months and 3,200 miles. I sold my R1150R when I got it. The 12GS is a great bike. Pulls beautifully. Leans effortlessly. Light enough to be really flickable. Some additional thoughts:

    - IMHO, the 12GS has a lousy screen for highway speed particularly in heavy cross winds. The taller you sit in the saddle the worse it is. I'm 6'0" with a 30" inseam, so I have a lot of torso sticking in the air. I added a Laminar Lip which got rid of the massive buffeting on the upper arms and shoulders, and greatly decreased dirty air generally. Now its a much more tolerable highway machine. I'll give it a good summer season, then I may consider an Aeroflow.

    - Speaking of upper arm buffeting, it can be misinterpreted as twitchiness on the part of the bike. What's really happening is the wide bars make the rider a human parachute. As a result, the arms buffet and a tight grip makes the buffeting arms impact the handlebars and, therefore, the ride of the bike. I've come to believe that the 12GS is best ridden with a light grip.

    - Also realated to the so-called twitchiness in the 12GS is preload settings. Make sure your front isn't set too high, and your rear isn't set too low. The more you weigh, the higher your rear preload ought to be. I weigh 240 lbs and my rear preload is nearly maxed out. Adjusting it did wonders for the bike's stability at high speed. Now, even with heavy winds, the bike is planted at 80+ MPH. If I keep the bike long enough there may be Ohlins or Wilburs in my future.

    - The stock seat sucks. That was true with my R1150R, too. An Alaska Leather buttpad has helped, but not cured the problem. I loved my Sargent on the R1150R, so I'm waiting for the Sargent folks to get off their butts and begin selling their 12GS seat.

    Conclusion: Almost all of my riding is highway commuting and the occasional 300 mile day on highways in the country. I am not and have no intention of becoming a dirt and trail rider. But I do like being comfortable should I have to take gravel and dirt roads. I don't know if the 12GS is the end-all be-all of motorcycles for what I do. There may well be a 12RT or the new K1200GT in my future. But I certainly enjoy riding the 12GS. The issues I mention are pretty minor and are, IMHO, part of the fun of tweaking a bike to be your very own. The 12GS is a great all-round bike that handles beautifully and, if you get one, I suspect you'll enjoy it.
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  7. #7

    I used to....

    have an R. Wish I still did. One day when I can put multiples in the garage I will get my R back and then a GS. Probably have to do it in that order to get the R with low enough miles. Had a loaner 1150GS while my CLC was being worked on once....had it for two hours. Got it stuck riding on a dike through an old cranberry bog. I ran out of trail...just petered out. Bog on either side. Dike got about as narrow as the bike. Had to turn it around with a 300pt turn. SUCKED. But light enough to manage. Had it high centered for a little while. Jumping up and down on it to get the back wheel to grab. Good time. Loaded with chiggers afterwards. Worked up a nice sweat. GOt back on the road and was thankful for no screen. Laid on the throttle and had a nice cooldown to the shop to pick up my bike. Definitely want a gs. Could never have done that with my CLC. NEver would have taken a CLC in there either. So much missed with a road only bike.

  8. #8
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    My R1200GS has been great. Over 28,000 miles and no problems. Huge fun to ride and is comfy for my somewhat large frame.

    There are some links off of this page that show a few minor modifications i have made to mine.

    Eventual Master of the Obvious
    SE Mass - SOHC4 - DoD - BMWMOA - EMOTO #1

  9. #9
    I've had quite a few beemers too, including the new k1200s but the GS is my favorite ( I am warming to the k bike ) 21K on the GS so far, no real problems. It's versatile, suprisingly quick and gets decent mileage, both from
    the engine and the tires; and the saddlebags hold a bunch. Had an
    encounter with a cadillac and other than some scuffs and knocking
    the luggage off it held up very well.

    only mod so far is a kaoko throttle lock. New stock seat from after he crash
    feels a little taller\harder than the old one, maybe it'll pack down.



  10. #10
    These are great comments guys.

    I had that 1994 PD and it was a cool bike. Tall though and the Black Hills of SD and the Beartooth Pass in MT were not as fun to countersteer into the corners as my R1150R is.

    I test drove the 1200GS this summer and liked it. I had been on the R1150R too long that day however and it felt "clumsy" in the turns. Probably just not used to being that high above the Center of Gravity for awhile.

    What do you all think about the 1200GS cornering ability?

    I agree the stock seats are not the greatest. If I take a long long trip I have thought about going with a gell seat.

    EMOTO, cool site. I bookmarked your motorcycle page.

  11. #11
    I don't like the Dunlop tires I got on it at delivery, and I haven't been on my usual roads for real nice twisties yet, but so far, it's been comparable to and in some ways better than what I think would be the equivalent for my '75. In all respects, it beats the heck out of my kawa in a corner.. though I had that thing set up so I could literally ramrod throw it into a corner and live.

    Once i get my confidence up in the real handling of the bike, I know exactly what I'm going to find out... it surpasses both Too many cold wet roads, too many new places to explore, so I haven't done my "old familiars" that I feel confident to really pour it on in the twisties.... that being said, at 75% of my usual comfortable/agrressive pace, it tracks brilliantly.

    Once Spring rolls around, I'm gonna put some decent tires on it and really put her through her paces.... so I'll have a much better answer then.. but frankly, I don't see any surprises coming... it's an awesome bike.

  12. #12
    oh, allright, allright, more like 80%... I've been breaking the speed limits again out on relatively unpatrolled stretches... but the roads I've been on lately have been unfamiliar, so I'm still memorizing the corners, angles, and safe entry/exit speeds.... that being said, I have done a couple of nice 70-degree reverse-S corners at twice posted, on the ones I know.....

    The real test will be when I run the ridge :=)

    Edit: Rather than make a third post, I'll just add to this one. I read over my responses... and I think the summary is simple. I feel confident enough in the bike to roadrace it.... to plan and anticipate doing such; and I know exactly what I need to do to achieve that ability... namely real tires, a little more fine-tuning of the preloads front and rear (namely the front now) and a tad bit of warmup when tires have sticky traction.

    It handles like a dream.

  13. #13
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Disclaimer: that's not me in the picture (although the GS I test-rode was that same colour ).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  14. #14
    Okay. I admit defeat. That cornering picture convinces me that it is me and not the bike that does not corner as well.

  15. #15
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Plainsscout

    What do you all think about the 1200GS cornering ability?
    It's a sportbike in disguise. Michelin Anakees are terrific for that kind of riding.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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