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Old 10 Sep 2002
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Carrying capacity - GS1150

I'm curious about two-up adventure touring on a GS. According to a road test I read, the carrying capacity of the Adventure model is only 375-ish pounds. I'm assuming the standard model is similar. I'm 200 lbs, and my wife is 140. With luggage we'd be hitting the max pretty quickly. Are there frame/suspension upgrades that can improve the bike's carrying capacity? Or has BMW given owners a very conservative number? I see lots of people riding heavily loaded GS bikes...
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Old 11 Sep 2002
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Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,549
The numbers are about right for a bike AS DELIVERED. Lots of people do greatly overload their bikes, of all models and brands, and get away with it. To a point. The suspension and handling suffer, and frames and saddlebag mounts break etc.

So we beef them up as appropriate to deal with the extra loads.

Touratech makes "hard parts", Ohlins Works and others make better shocks, lots of companies make better saddlebag mounts etc.

Keep reading the HUBB, cruise the links page and the Trip Planning pages for more, read the story on our bike for ideas (see Grant & Susan's RTW link below), there's lots of info out there on what's needed.

So when do you leave

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 12 Sep 2002
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Thanks for the feedback, Grant!

This trip is really just a gleam in my eye right now. The plan is
- Ride from Toronto to Alaska
- Take the "marine highway" ferry system to Vancouver.
- Ride the west coast down to Baja.
- Cross to Mazatlan.
- Ride through Mexico and Central America to Costa Rica.
The GS seems the likely choice, although the Suzuki V-Strom also appeals. By the way Grant, I met you in Trenton, and I really enjoyed your presentation. Keep up the great work!
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Old 18 Sep 2002
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Girdwood, Alaska, USA
Posts: 29

I have riden most of the trip that you describe. Almost all of it was done two up on a heavy loaded GS. Performance is minimal, but the experience is wonderful. If you plan on two up travel, try to get custom or aftermarket hard cases(panniers) that get your load as low as possible. Balancing that load will do wonders. During your travels you will see two up riders that have high loads, end even a top case in the back. After trying both methods, I finally built costom cases to put the load closer to the ground and I try not to put anything behind my wife. It made the difference between fighting the load at low speeds and enjoying the closeness of traveling two up in comfort. Try adding some weight to the tank area using some tank panniers... That helps add capacity and bring the center of gravity toward the front.
Good luck. chuck
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Old 5 Oct 2002
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Poole, Dorset, UK.
Posts: 67

We're two up on a GS1100 and our loaded weight is over 550 kilos. We've done approximately 17,000 miles like this without a problem. I think the manufacturers are massively cautious with the maximum weight limits they suggest for fear of litigation blah, blah. The GS is built to take the knocks and it does it well.

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