PDA

View Full Version : 2010 R1200GS, Best Sport Touring bike?


wonbyone
07-10-2010, 09:42 AM
Might as well see if you thought this was as interesting an article as I did.
August 2010 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News has review of three 2010 Sport Touring Bikes. The Kawasaki C-14, Honda VFR1200F, and Yamaha FJR1300 are the bikes reviewed.

But what they really wanted for the review included the BMW K1300GT, Ducati Multistrada 1200 and the KTM 990SMT, but things didn't work out when the test time came. They had 3 bikes instead of 6, and 4 riders.

Well why not take the BMW R1200GS that they still had in the garage from a review in the July issue and use that to haul the extra gear and 4th rider....

1700 miles later, every rider declared the GS the best Sport Touring bike of the 4 bikes on the trip.

" The GS was our unanimous favorite for its handling, engine character, riding comfort and pure mile-eating fun. At the end of the day, if it came to spending our own money for a sport tourer, we all pick the GS. How's that for a surprise!?"

Pauloregon
07-10-2010, 10:10 AM
Being a rather tall rider (6' 3"), I had to sell my BMW K1200GT a few years ago after having too many leg cramps. Maybe I'm just getting old, but bikes like the GT required me to fold up my legs and I could barely walk after a day of riding.

I bought a R1200GS in 2007 and the leg position is just right. But, I like the idea of being able to dive off the pavement onto gravel/dirt side roads whenever I feel like it. I do miss the sheer power of the GT, but at least I can walk upright when we get to our destination now. ;-)

Desert Skies
07-10-2010, 10:14 AM
" The GS was our unanimous favorite for its handling, engine character, riding comfort and pure mile-eating fun. At the end of the day, if it came to spending our own money for a sport tourer, we all pick the GS. How's that for a surprise!?"


No surprise for me mate, pretty much how I feel. If I am going on any trip one up, probably 90% of my riding, I will reach for my GS before I will my Goldwing.

gixxerjasen
07-10-2010, 10:25 AM
No surprise for me mate, pretty much how I feel. If I am going on any trip one up, probably 90% of my riding, I will reach for my GS before I will my Goldwing.Wow. That's a bold statement there. I gotta try one of those one of these days. Probably should wait till I have money in the bank. Or maybe not. :rofl:

DFW_Warrior
07-10-2010, 10:28 AM
I rode Sparky's GS for about 10 miles or so and just with that short ride, I was quite impressed. It really did nothing outstanding, but it did absolutely everything darn good.

gixxerjasen
07-10-2010, 12:20 PM
Yea, seems like it'd be the leatherman/gerber/swiss army knife. All the tools on those things suck compared to the real thing, but it's nice having them all in one package.

slowoldguy
07-10-2010, 12:36 PM
Sportbikes gone. Sport Touring bikes gone. Touring bikes gone. A BMW GS Adventure and a KLR for a Mexico bike and I've got everything I need. Hey. It's cheaper than owning four which was my previous business model.

Tslepebull
07-10-2010, 04:13 PM
I've done 900 mile days on my 05 GS (Johnson City, TN back to Tyler) and several 700 mile days including Terlingua to Tyler and Tyler to Chattanooga. It is very comfortable and very capable. It doesn't look like a Sport Touring bike; I call it my Dual-Sport Touring bike!:sun:

Morgan Buchanan
07-14-2010, 05:13 PM
As one can imagine, the ST riders on the various boards are amused. LOL

MotoMarkDFW
07-14-2010, 05:22 PM
What really convinced me that the R1200 GS Adventure was the right bike was the MC show last November. I rode that C14 and FJR at the demo rides. When I got on the GSA to head home it was heaven. Handled much better then the other 2 bikes. They seemed sluggish in turns after riding the GSA. I owned a 2008 C14, too.

I cannot think of a bike out there that would get me off the Beemer.

My 2 cents!
.

norhasken
10-27-2010, 09:10 PM
The GS is truly a do it all bike. I can ride it to Colorado in a day, hit the dirt roads and passes and ride it back like a touring bike.

poser
10-27-2010, 09:15 PM
ok I gotta ride one of these, and like jasen said, maybe I should wait until I have some scratch in the bank.
So anyone in the Katy area want to ride an FZ1 around for an afternoon :trust:

scar04
10-27-2010, 09:35 PM
I sat on one at the dealer in San Antonio. I have to admit the seat was awesome. I really thought about trading in both my Harleys on one. I figured I oughta test ride it first. They are really cool machines. I just don't know that I $20,000 like em.

kurt
10-27-2010, 09:41 PM
LSBMW has a used 2009 GSA on consignment for a decent price.

http://www.lonestarcycle.com/uinv011.htm

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 09:41 PM
:tab I love the GS. I really miss the 02 1150 I had. I have an 05 1200 right now. I think I actually like the 02 better. It just seems to ride better. I guess it is the heavy Cadillac ride versus the light sports car ride :shrug: The only thing is that the 1150 still handled awesome and was very easy to toss around in the twisties. You just had to REALLY pay attention to where you parked because hefting that beastie off the stand or backing it up an incline could be a real pain, hehe. I almost tossed a 1200 over on the other side the first time I lifted it off the side stand :doh: I really don't like the EVO brakes on the 05. My 02 did not have that. Both bikes rock though.

:tab Jason, if you ever find your way up here to Huntsville, I might be inclined to go ride with you and swap bikes. The FZ1 is a real hoot :twisted:

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 09:43 PM
I sat on one at the dealer in San Antonio. I have to admit the seat was awesome. I really thought about trading in both my Harleys on one. I figured I oughta test ride it first. They are really cool machines. I just don't know that I $20,000 like em.

I am pretty sure the bike they were talking about was the standard GS and not the GSA. The standard GS's are cheaper.

gixxerjasen
10-27-2010, 09:46 PM
Sorry Tourmeister, but you misspelled my name, but we can do the swap for sure. :mrgreen:

M38A1
10-27-2010, 09:46 PM
I don't have the 1200, by my 1150 rocks. Just turned over 80K and it hasn't missed a beat. And you can drag toes in the twisties with these things. :mrgreen: If you haven't ridden a GS, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 09:50 PM
The head lights suck, on the 1150 and the 1200. My crappy old KLR 650 has a better head light... This is why you see GS's with tons of after market lights stuck all over them.

Super 950r
10-27-2010, 09:52 PM
I own a fleet of KTM's and bought my first GSA in July. The BMW is my first pick for any long adventure,but sucks on any sand or very technical switchback although it does turn much sharper than any of the big KTM's. I love them all

M38A1
10-27-2010, 09:53 PM
The head lights suck, on the 1150 and the 1200. My crappy old KLR 650 has a better head light... This is why you see GS's with tons of after market lights stuck all over them.

I'll agree 100% with the above. That's why I've got a set of PIAA's.

Oh, and the stock alternators will run headlights/highbeams, PIAA's, heated grips on high, electric heating vest and a GPS still leaving you some excess capacity. Many folks forget about that little benefit of a GS.

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 10:01 PM
Didn't they lose the EVO brakes somewhere along the line in the last few years? I would not mind having a newer 1200 without the EVO nonsense.

As for the GS in the sand, I learned to ride in the sand on the 1150 GS. With Tourance/Anakee style tires, it can be challenging. With TKC-80's it is actually not too bad. I found it easier to ride the 1150 in sand than the KLR simply because it didn't wiggle as much. You really have to stay on the gas though...

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 10:06 PM
Here is what I have been lusting after... :drool:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=617510

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 10:10 PM
Here is what I have been lusting after... :drool:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=617510

I just need a fewwww more Forum Supporters... :trust:

scar04
10-27-2010, 10:52 PM
Here is what I have been lusting after... :drool:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=617510

I think lone star has an 04 for sale.

Tourmeister
10-27-2010, 11:15 PM
I think lone star has an 04 for sale.

Yeah, but I REALLY like that blue/white color scheme.

Fort Bend Rider
10-28-2010, 01:02 AM
I'll agree 100% with the above. That's why I've got a set of PIAA's.

Oh, and the stock alternators will run headlights/highbeams, PIAA's, heated grips on high, electric heating vest and a GPS still leaving you some excess capacity. Many folks forget about that little benefit of a GS.


Very simple to covert to HID's. You can do both for about $150.00 or less. Best investment I have made for my GS concerning lights. I don't even hardly turn on my PIAA's anymore.

WoodButcher
10-28-2010, 01:29 AM
TM, the brakes changed in 07, if I remember correctly. Much more normal feeling.

I find the headlight to be fine, but then again I'm running the stock GSA fog lights on all the time.

Tourmeister
10-28-2010, 02:10 AM
Very simple to covert to HID's. You can do both for about $150.00 or less. Best investment I have made for my GS concerning lights. I don't even hardly turn on my PIAA's anymore.

:tab Does it improve the dispersion pattern or just make them brighter? On my bike, by the time I have the low beam angled up to where it gives decent coverage, the high beam is literally up in the trees because they cannot be adjusted independent of each other. Also, the high beam is more like a pencil beam pointing directly ahead instead of having a wider coverage. I like having the road lit up from side to side. My V-Strom 650 rocked in that regard and the 98 and 01 VFR 800's were exceptional. So coming from those bikes to the GS has been a tough adjustment for me ;-)

Fort Bend Rider
10-28-2010, 02:53 AM
:tab Does it improve the dispersion pattern or just make them brighter? On my bike, by the time I have the low beam angled up to where it gives decent coverage, the high beam is literally up in the trees because they cannot be adjusted independent of each other. Also, the high beam is more like a pencil beam pointing directly ahead instead of having a wider coverage. I like having the road lit up from side to side. My V-Strom 650 rocked in that regard and the 98 and 01 VFR 800's were exceptional. So coming from those bikes to the GS has been a tough adjustment for me ;-)

I did not have to make any adjustments after installing the HID kits. You definitely get an improved horizontal and distance pattern. The Hi Beam is a more narrow projection, but it lights up the road far better than stock.

One has to remember that the reflectors in the GS are pure crap. As far as I am concern the stock lights are far below what I would call marginal for even limited night time riding. The HID does the best with nothing, they improve the lights on the GS 150 percent, and makes those times when you do need to ride at night safer.

I first installed the low beam, and after testing it out I liked it so much I did the Hi Beam. The last time I was in Big Bend with the GS, we started a bit early a couple of days and I found no need to even turn my PIAA's on. Matter of fact I have given some thought to taking them off, but in the end, I think I will leave them on in case a light goes out.

If you do the conversion, do not go above 5000 on the lights. They get more blue the higher you go. I have a 5000 low and 6000 high, and the high is a bit to blue for my taste. If I had to do it again, I would do both at 4300.



Hope this helps.

kurt
10-28-2010, 05:10 AM
TM, the brakes changed in 07, if I remember correctly. Much more normal feeling.

Correct.

hardybaker
10-28-2010, 06:03 AM
Scott,
I have noticed your comments before on not liking the servo assisted brakes. My previous 1150cc 03 gsa had servo brakes and my 1200cc 05gs has servo brakes. I absolutely LOVE them. OK, if repairs become necessary, it might be expensive, but in the meantime I feel that my gs has the very best brakes that ANY motorcycle could or should ever have. And to top that off, it even has abs. Like doesn't get any better than the brakes on my gs. Just my opinion. Hardy

The Bruce
10-28-2010, 07:15 AM
I own a fleet of KTM's and bought my first GSA in July. The BMW is my first pick for any long adventure,but sucks on any sand or very technical switchback although it does turn much sharper than any of the big KTM's. I love them all

Yeah, ask Bob. :giveup:


:-P

Doons
10-28-2010, 08:02 AM
I miss my 02 1150 GS and this thread has just dredged up the feeling of loss. Thanks, no really thanks!!! ;-)

My 02 is/was the best Touring bike I ever owned. I really like my RS but would trade it in a heartbeat for a GS... Oh the pain of it all....:-(

Hey mister, got any spare change?

Tourmeister
10-28-2010, 03:38 PM
Scott,
I have noticed your comments before on not liking the servo assisted brakes. My previous 1150cc 03 gsa had servo brakes and my 1200cc 05gs has servo brakes. I absolutely LOVE them. OK, if repairs become necessary, it might be expensive, but in the meantime I feel that my gs has the very best brakes that ANY motorcycle could or should ever have. And to top that off, it even has abs. Like doesn't get any better than the brakes on my gs. Just my opinion. Hardy

:tab I have no problem with the ABS. What I don't like is how the EVO brakes feel. To me, they kill the feel between the hand and what is really happening. The ones on my 05 GS are NOISY, all that whirring and buzzing. I do not like when I am sitting on the bike and the engine may not be running yet and I need to hold braking, like to keep the bike from rolling backward, and I have very little braking force. I do not like the snatchy feel at low speeds when I want to give VERY little braking but the EVO engages at its lowest level of force which is still more than what I want. In essence, I see no real benefit to having power assist brakes on a bike given the added weight, complexity, and cost :shrug: I suspect this might be why it was eventually dropped.

DFW_Warrior
10-28-2010, 05:57 PM
I don't see why any motorcycle "needs" assisted brakes. Having ridden several Ducati's that have true one-finger braking, I've seen first hand how you don't need extra assistance to slow down a moto. :trust:

But the feel of a GS... very nice! I got the chance to ride Sparkyphotog's 5 or so miles and it was a darn good ride. The braking forces were strange to me, because every bike I've ever owned had normal forks, so the lack of dive was different. But I could really get to like owning one of those bikes. I just wish for a double sided swingarm, and I would probably own one.

james.cain
10-28-2010, 06:56 PM
Scott,
I have noticed your comments before on not liking the servo assisted brakes. My previous 1150cc 03 gsa had servo brakes and my 1200cc 05gs has servo brakes. I absolutely LOVE them. OK, if repairs become necessary, it might be expensive, but in the meantime I feel that my gs has the very best brakes that ANY motorcycle could or should ever have. And to top that off, it even has abs. Like doesn't get any better than the brakes on my gs. Just my opinion. Hardy

+1:sun:

gixxerjasen
10-28-2010, 11:19 PM
I've really got to give one of these a try. No I don't. Yes I do. No I don't. Yes I do.

Ok, can you guess which one is my bank account talking?

I agree Bill, I fail to see the need for any kind of braking assistance and wonder what it was supposed to accomplish. I wonder though, what's the deal with the double sided swingarm?

Kit_McConnico
10-28-2010, 11:27 PM
Yeah, but I REALLY like that blue/white color scheme.

Me too!! That is one sweet 1150.

Scott,
I have noticed your comments before on not liking the servo assisted brakes. My previous 1150cc 03 gsa had servo brakes and my 1200cc 05gs has servo brakes. I absolutely LOVE them. OK, if repairs become necessary, it might be expensive, but in the meantime I feel that my gs has the very best brakes that ANY motorcycle could or should ever have. And to top that off, it even has abs. Like doesn't get any better than the brakes on my gs. Just my opinion. Hardy

I love them also. They absolutely STOP. One rainy day they, along with the ABS (only time I've engaged it on the street), they saved me from becoming the newest farkle to the lift gate of some idiot's minivan.

One thing TM mentioned was the noise. I even like that when I fire the old girl up in the morning. Sounds like an R2-D2 greeting.

DFW_Warrior
10-29-2010, 06:35 AM
I wonder though, what's the deal with the double sided swingarm?

Were you asking me?

poser
10-29-2010, 07:13 AM
Were you asking me?

probably so, I was going to ask why you prefer a double swing arm. I would think tire repais on the trail would be easier with a single

for the longest time I had a huge man-crush on these bikes, and it got worse after I watched "Long Way Round" [talk about being a poser :rofl:]. I definately want to try one out, but I love my FZ1 so much I would have a hard time parting with it to get something else. What I need it both :trust:

gixxerjasen
10-29-2010, 08:38 AM
Yup, it was directed at you Bill.

DFW_Warrior
10-29-2010, 03:46 PM
Yup, it was directed at you Bill.

For me, it would be because of the shaft drive failures that plagued the GS lineup in the past. I will admit that in the past two years the reports of failures have been less and less. But on a bike that isn't exactly "sexy", I personally would rather have the tried and tested setup for wheel bearings that a traditional axle provides. Keep the shaft drive, and just make a setup like a regular shaft driven bike like an FJR, Tenere, Connie, and so forth.

I know, I know... I'm being nit-picky.... But a boy can dream can't he? Plus tire changes are pretty darn simple even with a regular swingarm and shaft drive.

Fort Bend Rider
10-29-2010, 06:25 PM
For me, it would be because of the shaft drive failures that plagued the GS lineup in the past. I will admit that in the past two years the reports of failures have been less and less. But on a bike that isn't exactly "sexy", I personally would rather have the tried and tested setup for wheel bearings that a traditional axle provides. Keep the shaft drive, and just make a setup like a regular shaft driven bike like an FJR, Tenere, Connie, and so forth.

I know, I know... I'm being nit-picky.... But a boy can dream can't he? Plus tire changes are pretty darn simple even with a regular swingarm and shaft drive.

I agree with the single swing arm as being the cause for the rear drive failures. I don't think the single rear drive bearing is enough to carry the load.

I have noticed that most of the failures seem to have common issues. They were bikes that did a lot of two up riding, or they were bikes that carried a heavy rider and load.

This has been a problem from day one and there has been a lot of speculation as to the cause. Some even say it is dino oil vs syn oil, and others have said it is the shimming of the bearing.

It could be a bit of everything, but my solution is to change the rear drive bearing and seals every 35000 miles. It is not that difficult to do, and it does give me some peace of mind.

aggie81
10-29-2010, 06:43 PM
Here's a perspective from someone who's owned a 2006 and 2008 BMW 1200. The final drive failures are probably the result of the inadequate design of the single-sided swingarm. It's possible to do it properly, just look at the reliability of the Gold Wing. The bearing that tends to fail is not in an oil bath, so oil type is irrelevant. The final drive in my '06 failed, but the '08 seems to be fine at 11,000 miles.

As for brakes, both felt fine, but the servo brakes being somewhat more sensitive felt more powerful. In reality, both will easily activate the ABS with moderate pressure. I had one quick scare with the servo brakes when they momentarily locked the front wheel one day as I was coming to a normal stop. There were no fault codes, and the problem never repeated, but I'll take the conventional brakes any day.

Fort Bend Rider
10-29-2010, 07:22 PM
Here's a perspective from someone who's owned a 2006 and 2008 BMW 1200. The final drive failures are probably the result of the inadequate design of the single-sided swingarm. It's possible to do it properly, just look at the reliability of the Gold Wing. The bearing that tends to fail is not in an oil bath, so oil type is irrelevant. The final drive in my '06 failed, but the '08 seems to be fine at 11,000 miles.

As for brakes, both felt fine, but the servo brakes being somewhat more sensitive felt more powerful. In reality, both will easily activate the ABS with moderate pressure. I had one quick scare with the servo brakes when they momentarily locked the front wheel one day as I was coming to a normal stop. There were no fault codes, and the problem never repeated, but I'll take the conventional brakes any day.

Sorry for the correction, but as I remember the big rear drive bearing is in an oil bath. At least was on my 97 1100GS and is on my 01 1150GS. Don't know about the 1200, never have changed one on them.

kurt
10-29-2010, 08:18 PM
I've had servo and non-servo BMW's. I'll take either but prefer the simplicity of maintenance on the non-servo.

poser
10-29-2010, 10:04 PM
between you guys and finally getting around to watching "Twist the Throttle: BMW" from the HD channel I've had in my DVR I really need to try one of these out.
Hmmmm.... I wonder if I can find an older one and hide it in the garage w/o the wife noticing?

Tourmeister
10-30-2010, 12:00 AM
between you guys and finally getting around to watching "Twist the Throttle: BMW" from the HD channel I've had in my DVR I really need to try one of these out.
Hmmmm.... I wonder if I can find an older one and hide it in the garage w/o the wife noticing?

You coming to the Pie Run tomorrow...? ;-)

poser
10-30-2010, 07:00 AM
You coming to the Pie Run tomorrow...? ;-)

unfortunately no :tears: some of the wife's family are coming to town and we're doing something. And to top it off, yesterday they called manditory work saturday at work :miffed:

gixxerjasen
10-30-2010, 07:15 AM
Well poser, I'll think of you sitting there at work having no fun at all while I am......wait for it....also sitting at work. Blah, this schedule sucks. I need some pie.

poser
10-30-2010, 07:38 AM
You coming to the Pie Run tomorrow...? ;-)

Maybe I'll talk my way into making the trek up to Montgomery thursday night bike night one of these days :thumb:

MIKEYLIKESIT
10-30-2010, 08:12 AM
i'm here at work as well. :doh:

BlueStreak
11-01-2010, 11:35 AM
Being a rather tall rider (6' 3"), I had to sell my BMW K1200GT a few years ago after having too many leg cramps. Maybe I'm just getting old, but bikes like the GT required me to fold up my legs and I could barely walk after a day of riding.

I bought a R1200GS in 2007 and the leg position is just right. But, I like the idea of being able to dive off the pavement onto gravel/dirt side roads whenever I feel like it. I do miss the sheer power of the GT, but at least I can walk upright when we get to our destination now. ;-)

Being a rather short rider (about 5' 8"), the GS is simply out of the question for me. I suppose if I never had to stop it would be ok, but....

Aside from that, I've ridden a number of BMW boxers, both air and oil-head, and just can't get excited by them. Not to say they're not fine motorcycles in their own way, just not right for me. It's nice to have choices.

Tourmeister
11-01-2010, 05:02 PM
:tab My wife is 5'5". She loved my 1150 GS, at least before I mounted the rear Ohlins and that raised it about 3/4". She accuses me of doing it to keep her off the GS :lol2: The 1200 is actually better with respect to the height issue. First, it is not as heavy so getting it off the sidestand and/or moving it around is not as bad. Also, the seat can be set to a low position. Because of the nature of their suspension bits, I don't really know what might be involved in lowering one an inch or two :shrug: