BMW R1200GS (2004 - 2012) review

The best BMW just got better. Don’t risk a test ride unless you’re prepared to part with your cash. Yup, it’s that good.

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Fri, 25 Jun 2010 - 12:06

Details
Manufacturer:
BMW
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 10225
Overall
5
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Fast, fun, and makes you feel like you could ride to the other side of the planet, should the mood take you.
Far from pretty, and far from cheap too. Even second hand bikes hold their value.

Clamber aboard the GS and the feeling of sheer, designed-in competence hits home within 100 feet of leaving the gas station. Where the Tiger and Varadero do well in spite of their design/size limitations the BMW plain old works.

And while it looks odd, it doesn’t feel odd and this is where BMW has put the work in. The old 1150 felt different – strange even – until you spend some time in its saddle. Not so the 1200. Once I was acclimatised to the weird view ahead of me (far-away clock binnacle, vertical screen and wheelbarrow-style handlebars), which took 20 seconds, I settled into the superb seat, relaxed in the still pocket of air created by that little piece of clear plastic and got on with eating up motorway.

There’s no getting away from the BM’s sortedness. Its 1170cc flat twin engine isn’t super strong off the bottom but has great midrange and revs on like a good ’un, making power all the way. And the servo-assisted brakes are incredible. The only other slight concern was a vagueness from the front that crept through fast ton-plus sweepers.

With its tight steering lock, the GS will almost turn back on itself. The BMW is also superbly well balanced at walking speed and very manageable – you can also switch off its ABS.

The BMW R1200GS is without doubt the daftest (and possibly the best) all-round motorcycle that those clever Germans have ever built. It’s just a shame it looks like an unmade bed.
Clamber aboard the GS and the feeling of sheer, designed-in competence hits home within 100 feet of leaving the gas station. Where the Tiger and Varadero do well in spite of their design/size limitations the BMW plain old works.

And while it looks odd, it doesn’t feel odd and this is where BMW has put the work in. The old 1150 felt different – strange even – until you spend some time in its saddle. Not so the 1200. Once I was acclimatised to the weird view ahead of me (far-away clock binnacle, vertical screen and wheelbarrow-style handlebars), which took 20 seconds, I settled into the superb seat, relaxed in the still pocket of air created by that little piece of clear plastic and got on with eating up motorway.

There’s no getting away from the BM’s sortedness. Its 1170cc flat twin engine isn’t super strong off the bottom but has great midrange and revs on like a good ’un, making power all the way. And the servo-assisted brakes are incredible. The only other slight concern was a vagueness from the front that crept through fast ton-plus sweepers.

With its tight steering lock, the GS will almost turn back on itself. The BMW is also superbly well balanced at walking speed and very manageable – you can also switch off its ABS.

The BMW R1200GS is without doubt the daftest (and possibly the best) all-round motorcycle that those clever Germans have ever built. It’s just a shame it looks like an unmade bed.

Clamber aboard the GS and the feeling of sheer, designed-in competence hits home within 100 feet of leaving the gas station. Where the Tiger and Varadero do well in spite of their design/size limitations the BMW plain old works.

And while it looks odd, it doesn’t feel odd and this is where BMW has put the work in. The old 1150 felt different – strange even – until you spend some time in its saddle. Not so the 1200. Once I was acclimatised to the weird view ahead of me (far-away clock binnacle, vertical screen and wheelbarrow-style handlebars), which took 20 seconds, I settled into the superb seat, relaxed in the still pocket of air created by that little piece of clear plastic and got on with eating up motorway.

There’s no getting away from the BM’s sortedness. Its 1170cc flat twin engine isn’t super strong off the bottom but has great midrange and revs on like a good ’un, making power all the way. And the servo-assisted brakes are incredible. The only other slight concern was a vagueness from the front that crept through fast ton-plus sweepers.

With its tight steering lock, the GS will almost turn back on itself. The BMW is also superbly well balanced at walking speed and very manageable – you can also switch off its ABS.

The BMW R1200GS is without doubt the daftest (and possibly the best) all-round motorcycle that those clever Germans have ever built. It’s just a shame it looks like an unmade bed.

Length (mm) 2210
Width (mm) 915
Height (mm) 1430
Dryweight (kg) 199
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 840
Suspension Front BMW Motorrad Telelever;stanchion diameter 41 mm, central spring strut,
Suspension Rear Die-cast aluminium single-sided swinging arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping),
Adjustability Front Spring pre-load 9-times mechanically adjustable
Adjustability Rear Spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable to continuously variable levels by means of handwheel, rebound damping adjustable
Wheels Front 2.50 x 19
Wheels Rear 4.00 x 17
Tyres Front 110/80 ZR 19
Tyres Rear 150/70 ZR 17
Brakes Front EVO brake system with dual disc, floating brake di
Brakes Rear Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, double-piston
Tank Capacity (litres) 20
Chassis Three-section frame consisting of front and rear section, load bearing engine-gearbox unit

Length (mm)2210 Width (mm)915 Height (mm)1430 Dryweight (kg)199

Seat Height (mm)840

Suspension Front-BMW Motorrad Telelever;stanchion diameter 41 mm, central spring strut

Suspension Rear-Die-cast aluminium single-sided swinging arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping)

Adjustability Front-Spring pre-load 9-times mechanically adjustable

Adjustability Rear-Spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable to continuously variable levels by means of handwheel, rebound damping adjustable

Wheels Front-2.50 x 19 Wheels Rear-4.00 x 17

Tyres Front-110/80 ZR 19 Tyres Rear-150/70 ZR 17

Brakes Front-EVO brake system with dual disc, floating brake disc

Brakes Rear-Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, double-piston

Tank Capacity (litres)20

Chassis-Three-section frame consisting of front and rear section, load bearing engine-gearbox unit

Cubic Capacity (cc) 1170
Max Power (bhp) 98
Max Power Peak (rpm) 7000
Torque (ft/lb) 85
Torque Peak (rpm) 5500
Bore (mm) 101
Stroke (mm) 73
Valve Gear Single cam
Compression Ratio 11
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Cooling Air-oil cooled
Fuel Delivery Electronic intake pipe injection
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Shaft

Cubic Capacity (cc)1170

Max Power (bhp)98

Max Power Peak (rpm)7000

Torque (ft/lb)85

Torque Peak (rpm)5500

Bore (mm)101 Stroke (mm)73

Valve Gear-Single cam

Compression Ratio11

Valves Per Cylinder-4

Cooling-Air-oil cooled

Fuel Delivery-Electronic intake pipe injection

Stroke Type-Four Stroke

Drive-Shaft

Top Speed

Top Speed-140mph

Score Breakdown
Overall
5

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