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BMW TechBMW Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to BMW riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
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There are a few posts below discussing rear drive problems, have a look at those. Still, at this point I have assumed that all new 1200 owners are too busy off riding around to post many 'ownership' reports!
OK here’s my 43,000 km report. It's not a huge report and I’ll stay away from stuff like passion and all that crap and just report the facts first. Then I’ll get into the passion stuff so you can sign off if you want. I have no modifications to speak of. I have the factory panniers and tank bag and a Givi top box and windscreen.
I purchased the 2004 R1200GS from Motor Sport World in Ottawa. Rider Profile: 5’9, 230-240. 17 years street riding. 3 years trackdays and road-racing. 2 years motorcycle drag racing. Very little off-road experience prior to purchase of 12GS. Previous trips done on VTR, and RC51 to East coast of Canada.
Just over 43,000 km as of this morning.
Usually 100 out of every 1000 kms is off-road
1 rear tire Tourance due to a flat (see below)
Front Tourance tire lasted 26,000 km
Burned about 700-800 ml of oil between 2, 000 and 18,000 km (still have bottle left in the bag). Hasn’t burned anything major since
2 burned out headlight bulbs @ 20,000 km and 40,000 km respectively
1 broken support bar for the windscreen after something “big” hit it. I’m still not sure what it was a bird or a rock since I clipped both in the same day
Longest ride in one time frame: over 1,400 km from Moncton NB to Ottawa Ont.
Fastest I’ve been: over 180 kph, with luggage on in expanded position, consistently over a 45 min period running with a couple of VFR’s and ZZR1300
Best gas mileage with bags mounted and expanded. 436 km
Worst gas mileage with bags mounted and expanded 375 km
Longest trip just under 7,000 km – Maritimes
24,000 km. This has primarily been a weekend run of the following. I usually go for a 600 to 800 km ride on Saturday, followed on Sunday with a 100-150 km run thorough the trails outside Ottawa. There are plenty of trails wide enough for a big bike like this as well as ATV trails and wider paths for jeeps and such. I also go along the K and P Trail up by Calabogie. This is nice trail wide in some areas and thin in others with terrain from smooth rock to larger stones but no major elevation changes to really speak of. The tarmac miles have also included three runs down to Windsor from Ottawa that usually ends up being a run of over 2,300 kms round trip, back roads mainly. I’ve also gone up to Algonquin Park numerous times this summer, the Adirondacks, Manitoulin Is. and the Maritimes, specifically the Cabot Trail. I had a longest run of 1,400 kms from Moncton NB to Ottawa in one day. I usually average a speed of 120-140 kph and find it just purrs well @ this speed.
My off-road has included dirt roads, logging roads, ATV paths. I’ve had no issues riding on dirt. I’ve dropped it twice and no ill effect. I’ve had the bags on and they have taken the brunt of the hit and I’ve kept the cylinder heads clear. Both times it was in a mixture of sand, mud and muck, so no real damage to be had. Being magnesium heads I know they wouldn’t take a hit well so of course I’ll be getting some engine guards. I’ve also taken through deep waters just above the cylinder heads and no ill effects. Note a snorkel will be needed to g any deeper than just above the cylinder heads.
So as you can see my issues have been negligible therefore my gripes are none. I love ever aspect of the bike and for the first time ever I’m really regretting the end of the riding season. In my mind it’s perfect because it does everything I ask of it and it never leaves me wanting for more or for other bikes.
So there is my long-term report. Hopefully it is of help to those who are interested in this bike. While I would still say that a test ride is a good gauge I honestly believe that even that won’t tell you if you have made the right choice. But I’d say go with your gut choice I know I have. Also I think it is a good idea to decide what type of riding you are going to be doing.
<font face="" size="2">How would you rate the tourance's for your style of riding (as you mentioned 10%/90% off/on)</font>
If you want circa 50/50 "off/on" tyres, then there's basically only one option: Heidenau K60 tyres - cheap, high quality and adequate mile resistance. Mine done now 9Kkm, rear is about 70% worn, rear 60%, so i say the rear go about 12Kkm, front goes 15K or more. I highly recommend trying them. It's very unknown-undiscovered tyre for GS people, here's the introducing thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...light=Heidenau
All other known tyres - TKC80, Tourances, Karoos, Scorpions etc for GS are circa 10-20/90-80 or vice versa "on/off" oriented tyres, so take proper care on travelling choosing the right one. If going into unknown, Heidenaus seem to be proper 'bulletproof' choice, because it's the only tyre filling the gap between street and knobby tyre on R-GS tubless tyre specs. Others, as Tourances they call dual-purpose tyre and i say it's complete lie, never go into mud with them and don't drive fast on gravel or you end up crashing multiple times as i've done on Mezeler Enduro 4 which are very similar - so called "dual-purpose", but they have zero traction on real offroad conditions, so it's plain wrong classification they put on them.
Good luck, Margus
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 13 July 2005).]
As for R12GS overland report maybe considering buying Touratech DVD "Bolivia - Adventure South America" where one R1200GS and R1150GS travel around there on varing chilly till extreme conditions. Haven't got the DVD yet myself, only story from TT Catalogue, but seems a well done film by professionals judging from feedback from ADVrider. You can get the Touratech store link here above.
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 13 July 2005).]
If you haven't found it already, check out the Hor. Unlimited-related 'Big Dog' website at http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/bigdog/ (also run by Grant Johnson). Here, you'll find info. on real r1200GS durability. Some of these guys (Jim Key, Ray Childs, etc.) are full-time BMW employees or aficionados who ride on the lunatic fringe at this event. If they don't know the GS' limitations, no one does!
For RTW, probably the weakest point would be the "computer" electronics. The electronics craps out, you can only get it serviced in an authorized BMW shop that has the diagnostics equipment. At the least, you want to be very familiar with how to reset things if your battery dies, your ABS system faults.
Another weakness may be the cast wheels. These tend to break where spoke wheels tend to bend (and possibly straightened enough to make it to a repair shop).
Personally, I decided to go with a 650GSDakar instead of an 1150GS because it's lower tech, less electronics.
i also prefer the f650 dakar to the new 1200. i was with two of them in south america this year. one had rear wheel oil spotting from rear drive unit and bent cast wheels that needed tubes installed to cure. the other one lost the servo pump early on then he had to ride the whole month with crappy brakes.
i rode one for two weeks in turkey this june and was severely under-impressed
the power was great, but you don't need it to RTW since the world travels at 100 kph or less and smaller bikes have better mileage with gas at 8.00 US per gallon. the power, the stress on all the running gear and tire wear is not what you want on RTW.
the suspension is very harsh, even with all of the adjustments, very harsh. harsh suspension equals harder impacts which equals frame and shock bolts fatigue.
the light flywheel make the pig very hard to keep a steady speed on rough roads. the throttle just is very difficult to hold steady with the harsh ride
in my opinion, and this is an opinion, this bike is a way overpriced turd built to magazine editors specs and not the real world.
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