BMW R1200GS The Great Adventure

Nice one @Niels B
I prefer the wire spoke wheels myself; but couldn't resist the condition of this bike.
Maybe get a second set of spoke wheels and keep the minter cast wheels for when / if I ever sell it.
Got mine in 2010, I’m second owner - the bike had just passed 1000 mile mark when I got it and was like new. I paid $7000 for it including bags and top box with inner bags too, had a lot of added parts on it too - my guess is that the original owner spend in the range of $25K , and never really used it. I got it in the greater Houston area - a city full of money so I guess he didn’t mind the loss. Anyway I love that bike on and off road - served me well and still does. My XS’s are mostly for fun and to keep me engaged in something I like to do ( rebuild and repair). My downfall is that I get attached to all that iron - have a hard time selling a bike I have worked on :-( however just managed to split with a nice ‘78 XSE in original condition. Need to split with one or two more :) to make room
 
Looking back over the piccies of my GS I think front fender extender and frame plugs will be the order of the day.
 
First Proper Ride On Cream Puff!

IMG_0272.JPEG


Keep in mind I had never put a leg over a GS, let alone ride one, before purchase.

When I collected the bike from the previous owner I only had a very short ride up and down his street to check things were working OK.
Overall I was happy.

Today I went to the shop really early to get a proper first test ride before starting work.
First thing I did was to lower the seat to its bottom setting. I'm 6'2'' with a 32'' inseam trouser leg; and on the higher setting I was on Tippy Toes. On the lower setting I can almost be flat footed either side. Its not a bike for the vertically challenged.
The bike does feel really top heavy after the XS650 (Or Bandit 1200). Its a simple process to move the seat, with a two position bar that locks into the key mechanism.

Key on and the ABS brake warning light came on; it's supposed to go off when you get above about 3 mph.
On this occasion the red triangular warning light it stayed on, and the ABS light continued to flash. This didn't happen on my short purchase ride. Oh no I feared the dreaded ABS failure which is common on these bikes. The bike continued to ride well and brakes worked fine so I carried on. (More on this in another post).

Initial Impressions:

The Weight:

Its a heavy bike; a bit top heavy when you first get it off the main stand. As soon as you move off however the weight just disappears. The steering is positive in feel and incredibly agile for such a big machine. The bike happily falls into corners with confidence for the rider. It really belies it size and feels like a 600 on the move.

The Riding Position:
For me I feel totally at ease; the upright body position and wide set bars feel so natural. Arms are comfortable and without any wrist pressure. The seat is relatively soft yet somehow supportive; allowing me to feel exactly what the chassis is doing underneath my bum.
All controls fall naturally to hand, wether foot or hand operated. Even BMW's odd left for left / right for right turn signal switches became second nature after 5 minutes. (To be fair My XS650 has Revival USA Momentary switches set up in the same manner). Legs were comfortable with a slight bend at the knee. This is an all day bike without doubt. There is plenty of room to move around on the individual seats of both rider and passenger.

The Engine & Gearbox:
The Boxer engine does vibrate a little; with character in my opinion. Nothing like the XS650 which is far more agricultural.
It rocks to one side slightly with some revs in neutral. You know there are big pistons moving down there. From practically zero revs it has plenty of grunt (torque) to pull away. I'm sure it will easily convey Mrs C, full luggage and myself for many a mile without stressing the motor. It has real low down thrust and dispatches city and 'A' road traffic with ease.

Top end power is not lacking by any means, however there is a dip in the power and torque curve as you wind out the throttle.
You can feel it on the road but its nothing major. Probably to do with achieving acceptable sound and emission levels.
This can be seen in the dyno reading below:
DYNO.PNG

Ignore the Akrapovic lines my bike is bog stock.

The gearbox was a real surprise. I expected a clunky action but none of it. Its feels solid yes, but reassuringly so. Changes were quick and deliberate, and I didn't have any false neutrals or missed gears. I was only wearing leather trainers, rather than heavier biking boots; so I felt this as a positive thing. Ratios seem to be perfectly placed; and quick but smooth progress was easily achieved.

The Chassis:
Apparently BMW build a bike around the engine, and It certainly seems that way. Everything is literally hung off the engine, which is the main structure. The front end is planted to the road, and you get great feel through the bars. The 'Telelever' fork system just works; tracking true without deflection, even over badly pot holed surfaces, better than any bike I have ridden before on real roads (And I have owned some exotica). The Paralever shaft drive back end follows smoothly and surely without drama. Its all very informative from the cockpit, but seems 'plush' as you ride along. This bike communicates wonderfully with you as you ride. OK it does not handle like my old Honda VTR SP1 which was basically a World Superbike on the road; but it will hustle without complaint if you want it too. Brakes: For this type of bike they are nothing short of astounding. One finger action is all that is required. The servo / ABS actuation is so powerful, yet completely controllable; I like it!

My bike has been well cared for during 18 years by its 2 previous owners. They (the bikes not the PO's) usually rust at every bolt and screw head; especially around the front engine cover; which bubbles up and looks unsightly. My machine looks like a showroom new bike; I hope I can keep it looking like that.

The Negatives:
It was an expensive bike new back in 2005; I could not afford one for sure. They are far more affordable now and there are plenty to choose from at all price points. BMW Parts are very expensive! Even from Motorworks UK a simple speed sensor for the rear drive housing is £160.00 plus £1.60 for the 'O' ring. So maintenance may be a bit spendy; especially by BMW main dealers. My bike is in such condition however I may keep up the BMW servicing. Truth is you dont (shouldn't) by a BMW and expect to pay Jialing money to keep it going!

Verdict:
Its a polarizing bike the BMW, much like Harley Davidson, some bikers love 'em others disdain them (even though they have never ridden either brand). What you cannot ignore however is the absolute efficiency of the machine; and how it just works. I am totally taken by the GS1200 and it's already a 'Keeper' in my stable; Just like my Welsh Flat Tracker (Called 'Taffy' now by the way). If you are considering one, and can get on one, dont hesitate; Its a great machine.

IMG_0271.JPEG

This bike is too nice to be called 'Cream Puff' but I'm yet to officially name it; maybe Bratwurst!? :laugh2::lmao::love:

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Agree with Adamc, the Bimmers are fairly expensive to maintain, however with the exception of a few things i do it all myself, they are easy to work on, what i stay away from is the electronic ignition and what relates to the fuel injection. I have rode all kinds of Harley's, British bikes and a few Jap's, when i got my first BMW (2002), a brand new R1150R, i was sold, unfortunately i lost it in a fire, then came along my 2005 1200GS - oh what a sweet ride. If i have to point at anything I don't like it's the "ugly" front :)
safe rides out there
 
First Proper Ride On Cream Puff!

View attachment 247829


Keep in mind I had never put a leg over a GS, let alone ride one, before purchase.

When I collected the bike from the previous owner I only had a very short ride up and down his street to check things were working OK.
Overall I was happy.

Today I went to the shop really early to get a proper first test ride before starting work.
First thing I did was to lower the seat to its bottom setting. I'm 6'2'' with a 32'' inseam trouser leg; and on the higher setting I was on Tippy Toes. On the lower setting I can almost be flat footed either side. Its not a bike for the vertically challenged.
The bike does feel really top heavy after the XS650 (Or Bandit 1200). Its a simple process to move seat, with a two position bar that locks into the key mechanism.

Key on and the ABS brake warning light came on; its supposed to go off when you get above about 3 mph.
On this occasion the red triangular warning light it stayed on, and the ABS light continued to flash. This didn't happen on my short purchase ride. Oh no I feared the dreaded ABS failure which is common on these bikes. The bike continued to ride well and brakes worked fine so I carried on. (More on this in another post).

Initial Impressions:

The Weight:

Its a heavy bike; a bit top heavy when you first get it off the main stand. As soon as you move off however the weight just disappears. The steering is positive in feel and incredibly agile for such a big machine. The bike happily falls into corners with confidence for the rider. It really belies it size and feels like a 600 on the move.

The Riding Position:
For me I feel totally at ease; the upright body position and wide set bars feel so natural. Arms are comfortable and without any wrist pressure. The seat is relatively soft yet somehow supportive; allowing me to feel exactly what the chassis is doing underneath my bum.
All controls fall naturally to hand, weather foot or hand operated. Even BMW's odd left for left / right for right turn signal switches became second nature after 5 minutes. (To be fair My XS650 has Revival USA Momentary switches set up in the same manner). Legs were comfortable with a slight bend at the knee. This is an all day bike without doubt. There is plenty of room to move around on the individual seats of both rider and passenger.

The Engine & Gearbox:
The Boxer engine does vibrate a little; with character in my opinion. Nothing like the XS650 which is far more agricultural.
It rocks to one side slightly with some revs in neutral. You know there are big pistons moving down there. From practically zero revs it has plenty of grunt (torque) to pull away. I'm sure it will easily convey Mrs C, full luggage and myself for many a mile without stressing the motor. It has real low down thrust and dispatches city and 'A' road traffic with ease.

Top end power is not lacking by any means, however there is a dip in the power and torque curve as you wind out the throttle.
You can feel it on the road but its nothing major. Probably to do with achieving acceptable sound and emission levels.
This can be seen in the dyno reading below:
View attachment 247826
Ignore the Akrapovic lines my bike is bog stock.

The gearbox was a real surprise. I expected a clunky action but none of it. Its feels solid yes, but reassuringly so. Changes were quick and deliberate, and I didn't have any false neutrals or missed gears. I was only wearing leather trainers, rather than heavier biking boots; so I felt this as a positive thing. Ratios seem to be perfectly placed; and quick but smooth progress was easily achieved.

The Chassis:
Apparently BMW build a bike around the engine, and It certainly seems that way. Everything is literally hung off the engine, which is the main structure. The front end is planted to the road, and you get great feel through the bars. The 'Telelever' fork system just works; tracking true without deflection, even over badly pot holed surfaces, better than any bike I have ridden before on real roads (And I have owned some exotica). The Paralever shaft drive back end follows smoothly and surely without drama. Its all very informative from the cockpit, but seems 'plush' as you ride along. This bike communicates wonderfully with you as you ride. OK it does not handle like my old Honda VTR SP1 which was basically a World Superbike on the road; but it will hustle without complaint if you want it too. Brakes: For this type of bike they are nothing short of astounding. One finger action is all that is required. The servo / ABS actuation is so powerful, yet completely controllable; I like it!

My bike has been well cared for during 18 years by its 2 previous owners. They (the bikes not the PO's) usually rust at every bolt and screw head; especially around the front engine cover; which bubbles up and looks unsightly. My machine looks like a showroom new bike; I hope I can keep it looking like that.

The Negatives:
It was an expensive bike new back in 2005; I could not afford one for sure. They are far more affordable now and there are plenty to choose from at all price points. BMW Parts are very expensive! Even from Motorworks UK a simple speed sensor for the rear drive housing is £160.00 plus £1.60 for the 'O' ring. So maintenance may be a bit spendy; especially by BMW main dealers. My bike is in such condition however I may keep up the BMW servicing. Truth is you dont (shouldn't) by a BMW and expect to pay Jialing money to keep it going!

Verdict:
Its a polarizing bike the BMW, much like Harley Davidson, some bikers love 'em others disdain them (even though they have never ridden either brand). What you cannot ignore however is the absolute efficiency of the machine; and how it just works. I am totally taken by the GS1200 and it's already a 'Keeper' in my stable; Just like my Welsh Flat Tracker (Called 'Taffy' now by the way). If you are considering one, and can get on one, dont hesitate; Its a great machine.

View attachment 247828
This bike is too nice to be called 'Cream Puff' but I'm yet to officially name it; maybe Bratwurst!? :laugh2::lmao::love:

Ads.:thumbsup:

That was a great write up Adam! You should write for a motorcycle magazine! 😃
Your bike sure is a beauty. I have never had the opportunity to ride one but I have ridden a couple other really tall adventure bikes and it really is amazing how as soon as you are rolling they feel so well mannered, and that height just disappears. I had a ‘77 BMW R100/7 and I can tell you that even those old bikes are expensive to get parts for. For the most part the only option was genuine BMW parts and you paid through the nose for them. On the upside, they are super dependable and don’t need all that much work, they just plug away like an old tractor. 😄
Congratulations on your beautiful new Beemer! 👍🏻
 
Following the ride to Hay on Wye on The Brat (GS1200):
https://www.xs650.com/threads/just-ride.54772/page-167 #3,336

I had a couple of wobbly stops at junctions.
Although I put the seat in the 'low' position, the bike rides tall. Even though I'm 6'2'' my inside leg is only 32''.
I can get the balls of my feet firmly down on the road; but if the road is cambered it sometimes feels a little precarious.
More so when Mrs.C is moving on the pillion.

I decided to fit some SW-Motech engine bars to help out in a low speed or stopped fall.
Seemed a simple enough job with all the parts and fittings required supplied in the kit (Although very poor instructions).
Left hand side went on fairly easy once I tried a test fit.
Moved to the right hand side and my troubles began.

The top mount has a captive nut welded to the frame spar to take the 5mm Allen head fitting and spacer.
InkedIMG_0344.jpg

The thread on mine was filled with a sheared screw, by some PO. Try as I might it would not budge.
IMG_0343.JPEG

Simply drill it out.... this screw must be made of Cryptonite; A gallon of WD40 and 4 drill bits later and it moved.
Note: Didn't have any left hand drill bits; must get some.
IMG_0346.JPEG

A few taps with a hammer and punch and the nut came away with the screw still stubbornly inside!
At least its out and the frame spar hole is in place. No chance to weld a new nut to the spar (No welder, No Access.... Oh and I cant weld!)
Out with the JB Weld, a few dabs to hold the nut in place and let it cure.

All went to plan after that, and the crash bars went on without too much of a struggle.
IMG_0350.JPEG

IMG_0351.JPEG

IMG_0352.JPEG

Bars match the frame colour very well.
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Yours look a different than the type on mine, or maybe it’s the pictures, mine is connected left to right - looks like yours only attach to one side.
Seems like a royal pain in the neck you had getting the right side fitted :)
 

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Yours look a different than the type on mine, or maybe it’s the pictures, mine is connected left to right - looks like yours only attach to one side.
Seems like a royal pain in the neck you had getting the right side fitted :)
Hi @Niels B
Yes, sure is different. I Prefer the round tube front cross pipe you have. Mine is a recent purchase so maybe the design changed over time. RH side was a pig due to PO snapping a bolt in the captive nut.
Happy now, but prefer the naked look without the scaffolding!
Ads.
 
Hi @Niels B
Yes, sure is different. I Prefer the round tube front cross pipe you have. Mine is a recent purchase so maybe the design changed over time. RH side was a pig due to PO snapping a bolt in the captive nut.
Happy now, but prefer the naked look without the scaffolding!
Ads.
yea maybe, or different brand, mine was on when i bought it - actually thought it was standard (I'm second owner), looked back and found this list of aftermarked parts original owner added to the bike - he must have spend a fortune, I got for 8K back in 2010 with ridiculous low miles (under 7000), now i see it's BMW head protectors but not sure if that's the black plastic protectors on the head or the guard itself he refer to.
 

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A worthy addition, and they look factory! 😉
BMW did offer an OE crash bar back in 2005; possibly original fitted to my recently acquired bike. Maybe the PO snapped the bolt removing them and sold separately. I’m the third owner of this 2005 machine with just 7400 miles. I want to keep it as factory spec as possible as it’s a minter. The SW Motech bars were the nearest I could find to OE. It’s a superb machine and changed my perception of BMW riders. You don’t know until you try one. :D
 
yea maybe, or different brand, mine was on when i bought it - actually thought it was standard (I'm second owner), looked back and found this list of aftermarked parts original owner added to the bike - he must have spend a fortune, I got for 8K back in 2010 with ridiculous low miles (under 7000), now i see it's BMW head protectors but not sure if that's the black plastic protectors on the head or the guard itself he refer to.
Hi @Niels B
my response is above. Thought I’d cut your comments with Bobs.
kind regards
Adam
 
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