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  #46  
Old 20 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by engjacques View Post
but, kidding yourself about the reasons for buying is a sure way to be disappointed. I think this is more so in the case of BMW. Some people seem to buy to them because they are 'overlander cool', and they like the image. I think BMW sell more lifestyle products/accessories than anyone else (except maybe KTM).
I really don't understand why people keep repeating this point over and over and over and over...the simple fact is that R1200GS (and other BMW bikes) are very good bikes, and I expect that is why most people buy them.

And saying that BMW sells the most lifestyle products/accessories is laughable, since they've got, what, 1% of the bike market? At least in the US, Harley Davidson is way, way, way out in front on the lifestyle products.
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  #47  
Old 20 Jun 2010
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Went to the motorad dealer in Glasgow today and had a look at the 1200GSA 30 year Anniversary.....hmmm what a tasty looking machine....and a lovely colour too....
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  #48  
Old 20 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I really don't understand why people keep repeating this point over and over and over and over...the simple fact is that R1200GS (and other BMW bikes) are very good bikes, and I expect that is why most people buy them.

And saying that BMW sells the most lifestyle products/accessories is laughable, since they've got, what, 1% of the bike market? At least in the US, Harley Davidson is way, way, way out in front on the lifestyle products.
it is a decent bike. but, here at least, it's topped the sales charts for 2 (3?) years. they are expensive, and they are the commuter bike of choice for the relatively well off.

lots of them in london, just like X5's and Range Rovers. and equally absurd; so many seem to get stuck filtering. there's no way most people buy a 1200 GS because it's simply a good bike (there are other good bikes at less than half the price).

it's the lifestyle, the image, etc. which is exactly why you should buy a bike (assuming you've got lots of cash), something that makes you feel good.

who buys a play-bike because of it's supposed reliability ? totally different set of priorities at work here, compared to picking a distance/RTW bike.


"Went to the motorad dealer in Glasgow today and had a look at the 1200GSA 30 year Anniversary.....hmmm what a tasty looking machine....and a lovely colour too...."

so......................................... did you ride it ?
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  #49  
Old 20 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by DougieB View Post

who buys a play-bike because of it's supposed reliability ? totally different set of priorities at work here, compared to picking a distance/RTW bike.

I think you "hit the nail on the head" there Doug !
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  #50  
Old 21 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by DougieB View Post
.

who buys a play-bike because of it's supposed reliability ? ?
I did. Imagine in pre-internet days, a young barely needing to shave TWB straight into a decent job from Uni, a little biking experience (MZ's), the ill gotten gains of cheap student loans still burning a hole in his pocket, close to damaging his copy of Chris Scotts book. Knowing nothing of practical use (engineering degree!), the question of what to buy is based on a desire to do the trips, right now, with no learning curve plus what's in the book and what people who claim to be in the know tell you. People tell you BMW's are the best bike for the job, so that's what you get. Many years, several rides on the recovery truck and one walk in the desert later I'm no longer a BMW owner (had four of the things as part of the learning curve) and not one to pass on this notion. My collection of Touratech gadgets likewise records my often failed attempts to buy perfection.

I'm not saying the R1200 is a bad bike and if the looks and gadgets float your boat that's great, but IMHO go into this with open eyes. The CAN bits put me off, the price puts me off, the rumours of BMW using customers for testings rings true, the claims of constant shaft failures etc. don't. As the saying goes you pay your money and make your choice. Personally I'd wait two years to see what the big Tenere is like or buy an 18 month old Tiger but that's just my choice based on my experience and preferences.

Andy
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  #51  
Old 31 Jul 2010
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R1200gsa

I rode around a fair amount of South America on an 06 R1200GSA that I bought new in Australia. I was two up with my ex, 3 panniers, tank bag and 100 litres of canvas bags. The bike got dropped countless times, once at 100kms per hour on ice and other times low speed dirt stacks due wind, other drivers and me being a bit unco at times. We travelled in a range of conditions; freezing, wet, hot, high altitude and windy for around 25000kms and I don't have a bad thing to say about the bike. It was perfect for the trip we did and I only wished I was a little taller so I didn't drop it as often. I don't criticise other bikes that I don't have experience with and I met guys on transalps, ktm's, teneres etc (no Harleys?) and they all seemed pretty happy with their bikes. The 1200 was a big bike but was very easy to handle once you were rolling due to the low centre of gravity and with a sheepskin the missus and I travelled very comfortably. It had the power to haul us up big hills in Bolivia at 4000+ metres with shit fuel and could eat up kms on a motorway with ease. Take what you read with a pinch of salt especially if the comment is coming from someone who has no experience with the bike they are talking about.
Goodluck with your choice.
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  #52  
Old 31 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Nottles View Post
...
Take what you read with a pinch of salt especially if the comment is coming from someone who has no experience with the bike they are talking about.
Good luck with your choice.
+1 that sums it up nicely
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  #53  
Old 31 Jul 2010
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I think some of the posters are ignoring the question..

"IS IT WORTH IT ?" Not , "is it capable"

Any bike is capable....And the BMW has proven that it can do it. BUT... Is a 1200GS twice as good as a Transalp, Vstrom etc etc, because it DOES costs twice as much.

Frankly, I cant see how !


I have never owned a 1200GS, but I have ridden them and delt with them in the bike trade.

How much is a decent second hand 1200GS ?? About 6-7k ?

You could have three very good, capable, fairy new bikes for the same price as the big bulvarian.

So, I think the answer is that THERE IS NO ANSWER !! Something's value is what someone is willing to pay for it. Whatever the reason.

If the question was "Would buying a large expensive bike be a good idea for bugeting a long overland trip", then I think most people would say NO !!

Ted
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  #54  
Old 31 Jul 2010
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Smile

It is a good , solid bike with an engine that has evolved for many years.
37,000 miles on the clock, fabulously looked after- only 2 fuel pump controllers fried- and 2 rear seals- hardly what I call a problem bike- they are great 'tractors' with ooomph!
Speak to actual owners who are living with them daily to get an unbiased opinion.
As to 'worth it' - that will always be down to personal perception and expectation so cannot be generalised -
I'd say yes but then I own one-
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  #55  
Old 31 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
...
As to 'worth it' - that will always be down to personal perception and expectation so cannot be generalised -
I'd say yes but then I own one-
+1 spot on
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  #56  
Old 1 Aug 2010
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DO IT!
I've had 14,500 trouble free miles on my two 12GS's, an '09 and now a '10.
I might not need 1200cc's and big suspension...........I might not need a crash helmet and big boots either.
Decide what you'd like and take one out for a test ride. Ain't nothin' to lose but your savings.

Can't be any more unreliable than a Land Rover anyway

Don't fear the Jeeper.

Last edited by Starbeck; 28 Aug 2010 at 17:43.
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  #57  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Speak to actual owners who are living with them daily to get an unbiased opinion.
How very true! Most of what I read before I bought my GSA was hearsay. There's also a very biased attitude towards BMWs on this forums based largely on the buzz that Ewan and Charlie have created doing their LWR and LWD movies. I always wonder what would've happened if they would've done the trip on KTMs...

Anyhow, as an actual 2009 GSA owner who bought his in November 2009 (because I did not want the 2010 engine) and with 11.000kms on it already it I can share what little experience I already have.

Why did I buy this bike and not one that costs half as much?
When you're travelling two up there's one thing more important than anything else. I call it rule #1: keep the pillion happy. You can have the best bike ever, one that never breaks, is light as a feather and reliable as a Russian tank but the joy you will have on any given trip is reciprocally proportional to how miserable your pillion is. Personally if it was for me we wouldn't be riding anything larger than a 600cc single like the Tenere. Infact that's what I've had before I bought the GSA. However, my wife was not too happy with it because of limited space due to a rather short(ish) seat. We did a lot of research, rode a bunch of bikes and eventuelly both concluded that we both felt most comfortable on the 1200 GS, especially my wife. She simply loved the space she has in the back, key for long distance riding, without feeling disconnected from me. We ended up buying the GSA because the GS felt too small for me (6'2") and lacked a bunch of extras that the GSA comes with by default, like decent crash bars, engine guard, rack, additional headlights, spoked wheels, etc.

Am I happy with it?
Short answer yes, long answer yes, but... after 11.000 kms including a 8.000km trip through the UK on- and offroad with my wife and full gear I absolutely LOVE that bike. Sure, it's about as big as the Arc de Triomphe but as soon as you get going it feels surprisingly light and handy. I did hairpin turns with it in the Alps in which a Yamaha XJ900 Diversion and a KTM 950 Adventure had to reverse and take it in two turns! Fuel economy is amazing for a bike that size - I manage 4.5l/100kms (52 mpg) solo and 4.9l/100kms (48 mpg) two-up fully loaded. The 'but' part of my statement above is rust: it's already taking overhand, especially around the crash bars and pillion hand rails. I am a bit worried about the fact that if the bike breaks I won't be able to fix it myself. However, the 2008/2009 model is supposed to be the most reliable one and I'm hoping for the best. The truth is that every new bike you buy has more technology and electronics built-in than the moonlander so it's not a problem specific to BMW. I did the research on that topic and was shocked. The only way to escape is is getting a used bike between five to ten years old but that'll only buy you some time. Eventually, a few years from now we'll either all end up with computers that happen to have a motorcycle attached to them or we'll all start buying Royal Indians. Let's face it, that's what's going to happen.

Would I buy it again?
Too early to tell. If BMW continues to blame me for the rust (first time I tried I was told it was totally my fault, I should be cleaning and polishing it more often...) I might even return the current one and demand my money back. Don't get me wrong the bike is great but I'm not willing to pay for a piece of rust that already started to flourish after a month! If it's true that you get what you pay for then this is just bollocks. I've already asked a lawyer (always good to have one in your family ) and was advised to not let go and get that fixed or replaced.

What else would I get?
Well, that's the problem - there isn't much left that wouldn't violate rule #1 (keep the pillion happy!) but that would also be capable of going offroad. Yamaha has already recalled all first generation Super Teneres (in Germany at least) and is replacing most of them with revised editions because there's just way too many things that went wrong. The Super Tenere is also heavier than the GS/GSA and has just as much electronical bits and gadgets built-in. The 660cc Tenere violates rule #1, so does the Transalp and the F 800 GS. We've tried half a dozen bikes that are all absolutely perfect for going solo but completely inept for taking a passenger.
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  #58  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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With NO reference to BMW's here I have to point out that many people will swear to high heaven they love their bike and it was the correct purchase even if they know it wasn't.

I used to be a motorcycle dealer and i've really heard it all !! It's staggering how many people just won't admit to themselves that they're uncomfortable and unhappy with their bike. They "usually" do eventually, but it takes a while.

Some people would INSIST on buying a certain bike because they had convinced themselves it was the right bike for them. They'd scoured the forums, got all the magazines, looked at the brochures, matched up their riding suit etc etc .. You simply couldn't talk them out of it. After spending £10,000 then another £3000 on goodies you wouldnt even bother to ask them if they had any regrets.

eg. A 5'3 guy in his 70's wanted a a MASSIVE Honda Cruiser. I told him time and time again that he should reconsider. He woundn't listen, paid his money and when coming to pick the bike up, he couldnt even lift it off the stand. He got to the end of the carpark and walked back with the keys. The GM gave him £1000 less back for it than he paid 3 hours earlier. (what a c**t I know)

eg2: New rider wants a ZZR1400 to commute through the city on. 5 mile round trip. Spend £12000 in total for a bike that he couldnt get out of first gear and cost him a fortune to run. He simply wouldnt consider a bandit, hornet etc etc. He didnt even like bikes or know what a ZZR1400 was. His mates at teh pub just told him he should buy it. He was back 6 months later for a PX and £3000 lighter in depreciation.

Anyway, the stories go on and on and on !!

These people would ride into the dealership on their "perfect bikes" on the weekend for their bacon butties and still INSIST they loved their bike and it was the right bike for them etc etc just because they were too proud, stuborn etc to say otherwise.

You could see the pain and dissapointment in their faces everytime they walked past the bike they should of bought. Always asking the PX value of theirs etc then laugh it off.

12 months later, they'd come back to you , throw the keys at you and say "I HATE IT, I'VE ALWAYS HATED IT, PLEASE TAKE IT BACK"

I'm not suggested you fine fellows here are one of these guys, but I know for a fact that there are plenty of people sitting astride their bikes arguing until they're blue in the face that their bike is better than X, Y or Z because they can't admit to themselves that they blew their life savings on compleltely the wrong machine !!

Anyway, just food for thought......
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  #59  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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All people that manage to hate a piece of metal and plastic over long time should sell it and visit a shrink.
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  #60  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
All people that manage to hate a piece of metal and plastic over long time should sell it and visit a shrink.
In my experience, the vast majority of people who buy bikes don't test ride them and have done very little research on them etc !

They do eventually sell them, and that's where I buy my bargains from
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