BMW GS Adventure

HiLift Jack

Adventurer
Op Ed

I have ridden the 1200 Adventure,but still pefer the old 1150 Adventure, slower, and less complex on the road. Seems to be easier for me to ride in the dirt as well. Lots of used not abused units for sale, check at advrider.com

Camping in Moab on the river, looks like a garage sale.




Potash Road into Canyonlands

 

Scott Brady

Founder
Great pictures. I like the 1150 too. Your comparison is helpful, as dirt performance is my greatest concern at this point.
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
I've never ridden one, but have talked with a few who have. Invariably, they all say it is tall, heavy, the weight is up high and not suited for anything technical. One of the big concerns are the heads sticking out so far from the bike--they are begging to be smacked on rocks. Even if you cover them up (crash bars, etc), they still stick out there waiting to grab things you get to close to. For wider trails and forest roads where catching things on the heads aren't really an issue, and where you won't need to pick the bike up all day long, people seem to like 'em.
 

mountainpete

Spamicus Eliminatus
No trail riding, but I have done an hour of street/highway riding on a 2006 R1200 GS Adventure.

First of all, it's a big bike - no doubt about it. With a full fuel tank it is extremely heavy. To the point that you really don't want to drop the thing because getting it back up again won't be fun... especially with the bags loaded. It is also a very tall bike. I'm not sure how long your inseam is, but it is a concern for many riders even with the low seat (depending on their skill and confidence of course).

However, once you are riding, the weight of the bike disappears. The centre of gravity has a lower feel then an 1150 GS Adventure. It was amazing actually - after 10 minutes on the bike, I could navigate the GS Adventure through traffic and around obstacles better than the R1200C I have been riding for years. I have always prefered a stand-up style bike though.

It is an EXCELLENT highway cruiser and the suspension soaks up a lot. The fairing design is almost perfect for the bike. It's also nice to be able to stand up on the pegs at 100 km/hr and take in the sun.

As a trail bike, the overall size and weight means that it will take a huge amount of practice before you can throw it around. As a result, the bike is best suited to fast, wide fire roads and trails. Once you are experienced with the weight it will get better, but this bike isn't designed to be a dirt bike. It's rather a travel bike that will see mixed tarmac/dirt use. Just take a look at the BMW promo pictures of the bike - you never see it on a tight trail. Rather crossing a wide desert or on a secluded silk road type terrain.

Pete
 

Scott Brady

Founder
I am 6'1" with a 34" inseam.

Thanks for the comments. I guess the GSA is more like a F350 with a custom camper than a Jeep Rubicon.

I am still really looking towards the 650 Dakar for trail-ability, but cant help but be intrigued by the 1200 GSA as an option. :roost:
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
expeditionswest said:
I am 6'1" with a 34" inseam.

Thanks for the comments. I guess the GSA is more like a F350 with a custom camper than a Jeep Rubicon.

I am still really looking towards the 650 Dakar for trail-ability, but cant help but be intrigued by the 1200 GSA as an option. :roost:
Actually, that comparison probably isn't far off.

After yesterday, I would DEFINATELY recommend the Dakar over the standard F650GS. I cannot tell you how many times I drug the belly of the bike going over small steps on the trail.

Oh, food for thought Scott....there is a "big bike bypass" on the TAT.
 

dhackney

Expedition Leader
I've ridden an 1150 GSA extensively domestically and internationally, most of that two-up except an off-road solo ride down the Continental Divide.

Details of the trips and the bike are at http://www.hackneys.com/travel/

I'd agree with all the comments here, with a few suggestions for improvements and ways to mitigate some of it's challenges.

First, the loss of weight between the 1150 and the 1200 is a very, very good thing. the big GS is big, and very heavy, so any loss of weight is a step in the right direction. Having said that, a friend of mine did an item by item comparison between the two (1150 - 1200) and netted out less of a weight savings than you'd think based on the marketing hype.

Second, and this is very important, the big GSA (or the little GS) is not a dirt bike. This is something many first-time GS riders, who have not been dirt bike riders, don't understand. It is very important to keep the bike within the parameters that it does well.

Jimmy Lewis, one of the best GS riders in the world, who was on a GS in the Baja 1000 a couple of years ago, told me during the race at a rider change that "you have to take it over bumps one end at a time." That's one of the funniest things I've ever heard about a bike, but a line that many GS owners don't get, but one every dirt bike rider in the world does.

As noted previously, the GS is a capable fire road bike, reasonable mild two-track bike and a handful in real offroad riding. On the CDR I was able to keep up most of the time with my buddies on real dirt bikes, but there were more than a few times when I had it well over the edge.

It does not compare with any dirt bike I've ever owned or ridden in any important off-road category. Yes, I have ridden our GS on real off-road, single track trails & through some stuff that was well beyond it's design brief. But unless you are just out to prove it is possible, there are a lot better bikes for that type of work.

However, for expedition type adventure travel, especially two-up, it's fine for what we've run into in five of the seven continents. And we tend to wander around and see what we can find. Importantly, we can ride it two-up with both of us standing up, which makes a big difference when you are riding off-road, especially in deep sand & silt.

Regarding riding the GSA in real off-road conditions keep in mind we've got the two of us to pick it up. It is a load to pick up by yourself. Don't ask me how I know this...

If you are going solo, the 650 is probably the best choice if you plan on really getting out there and pushing the envelope. As Glen Heggsted told me after his circumnavigation, "man, I picked that bike [GS650] up so many times, and put it on so many boats, I can't imagine doing it with the big GS."

Regarding ride height: I'm 5' 10" with a 29" inseam. We had Stig make us up custom shocks at stock GS length. We put on springs calibrated for our load & ride height. We put a GS centerstand on it. We put the GS two piece seat on it. We had a custom seat made for both of us, with mine cut out to lower it. Result was a ride height that worked fine and a much improved suspension: plush, compliant and capable.

And lastly, the GSA is a very big bike...


Doug
 
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goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
Wow, I couldn't even imagine running 2-up on a big GS while "off road". I'm impressed--even more so that your wife actually went along with the idea! :bowdown:
 

dhackney

Expedition Leader
goodtimes said:
Wow, I couldn't even imagine running 2-up on a big GS while "off road". I'm impressed--even more so that your wife actually went along with the idea! :bowdown:
I am very, very fortunate to have her as a riding partner. Her favorite all time bike trip was a two-up dual sport / off-road trip through Mexico on a DR. That's where we started the two-up-up (standing-up) thing. The intercom system we have on the GS makes it a lot easier.

 

Hltoppr

El Gringo Spectacular!
Maybe I'm just a bit nutty, but I really enjoy my 1150 GSA on technical roads....

Now for single track...she's too big, but for anything else, the combination of extra suspension travel and lower first gear is excellent! At low revs she'll just crawl over most stuff. Breakover angle has to be watched when you're going off a ledge...and she is pretty heavy, but once you stand on the pegs the weight for the most part disappears.

Would an XR be easier on dirt...you bet! But doing 400 miles on road to get to your destination should be banned by the Geneva convention as torture!

-H-

Dropping off the rim to Jerome....





Washed out roads in S. Utah....

 
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Hltoppr

El Gringo Spectacular!
That being said...I think Sr. Scott would be very pleased with the F650GS Dakar....all around great bike, and much better than the big GSs in two conditions....sand and mud!

My 1150 wallows like the big swine she is in both conditions!

When this one dies...I'll find another one like it!



-H-
 
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