Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   BMW Tech (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/)
-   -   R1150GS,how good is it?convince me! (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/r1150gs-how-good-convince-me-7940)

Slugnugget 26 Aug 2003 14:08

R1150GS,how good is it?convince me!
Hi all

i am interested in the R1150GS,i would like to know how good this bike is,i have read all the reveiws and they sound great but i want to hear from owners who have lived with them,tell me all good and bad.

cheers Jason

mcdarbyfeast 27 Aug 2003 05:08

I recently returned from an aborted (due to illness in the family not a bike problem) trip overland from the UK to Australia on an old R100GS. On my return it was my intention to buy a brand new GS1150. I had been warned by a friend to expect surging when cruising at certain speeds. I rode two bikes, a brand new demo bike and a used one. On both bike this problem was noticable. The dealer told me that this was "normal" and said "you get used to it" My friend recieved the same information from another dealer. He found the problem so unbearable that he sold the bike at a loss after only a few months of ownership. I didn't buy one and would seriously recommend a test ride before you buy. Maybe you can put up with it but I couldn't. Imagine a BMW car with such a problem, it just wouldn't happen. My nine year old R100GS ran much better than either of the 1150's. I'm sure my comments will recieve alot of criticism from loyal GS owners, but I'm only telling it the way it is.

Timo 27 Aug 2003 06:10

Apparently, BMW is switching to a 'dual plug' head (adding a second plug off to the side of the combustion chamber) to reduce the surging problem noted above. They have done this on the new Rockster model, and presumably will follow through with the GS and other models. There are also plans for a new and revised GS (lighter!?) in a year or two, so if you can you might want to wait for either of the two changes to come into affect.

I talked with a host of 1150GS owners at a recent rally and got mostly positive reviews, and no comments about the surging. People who just shelled out $22,000 for a new bike are rarely in a critical frame of mind tho'.....


Grant Johnson 27 Aug 2003 12:37

I just spent three weeks 4500km on a dual spark R1150GS broken in and prepped by BMW, with 1500km on it when I picked it up from BMW.

Unfortunately the surging is still there, but VERY minor, and I'm extremely fussy, I like my bikes perfect. More miles and a good tune again should help. It was noticeably more "ragged" at the end of the trip. I DID ride it hard.

Great bike though, very impressive, awesome brakes and great handling, especially in it's native habitat, Germany autobahns and the Swiss Alps...

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

simonrjames 27 Aug 2003 19:18

Im doing an overland trip to OZ in January and after much research I have bought a used 1150GS. The main reasons were:-

- I am going two up and after test riding a number of other bikes it seemed the most comfortable loaded up with luggage.
- The size of the engine, again bearing in mind there will be two of us with luggage. The 1150 can comfortably cruise two up with luggage at 90/100mph.
- Ease to work on. It's a very simple bike to work on yourself (even with my limited skills). For example shaft drive, single sided rear swinger should make fixing rear punctures a breeze.
- Crash resistance. Ive fitted crash bars, a steering stop hard part, if I drop it at low speed hopefully the damage will be minimal.
- Even though I wont be doing much offroad the GS will cope very well with dirt tracks.

So far (ive had the bike about 2 months) I have nothing but praise for the bike. Its a big contrast to the sports bikes Im used to but I have to say that I dont think I will have another sports bike on the road in the UK again after riding the GS.

Hope this helps.

lkyphl 28 Aug 2003 10:32

G'day Jase.
What sort of riding do you want your 1150 GS for ?
I've had an 1150GS for 80,000km and find it competent for keeping up with almost all sportsbikes. It loves high speed dirt roads -gravel, potholes, corrugations are all taken without any fuss. It can handle fire trails, but it will remind you of the weight at every opportunity. It tours better than my previous R1100RT, due to longer - travel suspension. You'll probably want an aftermarket screen ; try Givi or MRA vario or even some Tobinators (www.stopthebuffeting.com) with the standand screen. Ohlins help considerably, and you'll probably want to fit a Touratech "hard - part". If you're buying new, BMW have just released in Australia what's basically a standard GS with a 30 litre tank and Adventure screen. The standard GS gearbox / rear drive ratios are suitable for autobahn riding but not acceptable for riding in 6th at 100km/h into a headwind with (slab-fronted Zega aluminium) panniers, as the engine is not revving enough. First gear is also poor for trickling along at 4 km/h. Therefore I'd suggest the Adv. gearbox, which I'm sure you can specify when the bike is ordered. The other way to fix the problem, as I did, is to fit a 3.2:1 ratio(as opposed to the standard 2.8:1) rear drive unit. This still doesn't remove the (standard GS's) too-large step between 5th and 6th, but it helps considerably.
Servicing is quite simple, and I've had no mechanical problems with the bike thus far.
So apart from the weight in the really tight stuff I'd recommend the 1150. I'd buy another one tomorrow.


ekaphoto 28 Aug 2003 11:05

Im not picky, but a brand new bike should NOT surge. It is not normal it is bad engineering. I hope BMW is not going the way of many companies and trying to ride on their name while their product quality takes a dive. I was considering getting a Dakar next year to add to my Suzuki, now I am wondering. If BMW is listining pay attetion. Correct the surging problem, then fix the bikes you already sold, your name will increase with the masses and in the long run profits will go up. If not people will tell all their friends what an expensive pice of crap you sold them after the newness wears off. Just my humble opnion.


Slugnugget 28 Aug 2003 18:30

G'day all

thanks for all the posts i didnt expect such a big response so quickly,hmmm the sort of riding i will be doing,in my head i will be roaring across the simpson like Peterhansel
but in real life it will be mostly the daily grind and the odd weekend until i get some time off bloody work! but it's nice to have the goods when you need it,i must agree with the surging,this sort of thing is not on in a modern vehicle,especially a Beemer,it sounds like this is a pretty common thing and to be honest is a little off putting,but i havn't bought one yet so i will give it a little more time.
thanks to everyone and keep the info coming!

cheers Jason

lkyphl 29 Aug 2003 05:13

From the large number of oil-head owners in the BMWMCCVIC I've not heard one complaint about surging, nor have I heard any complaints whilst on three BMW safaris. I've ridden plenty of GS's and RT's and I don't know what the hell surging feels like.
All the complainants seem to be outside Australia - maybe it's petrol related ?

It's amazing what a bit of time with feelers and a Twinmax'll do.


R1150GSAdventure 1 Sep 2003 20:53

No surging so far at my Adv.

Was riding 8000km's the last 3 months on my new GS Adv. all arround Europe, especially the montain sumits and many of gravel-roads and I can tell you, THIS is the love of my life!!

This bike is just incredible! I'm not realy tall, so to feel save when the bike is standing still, is the worst thing. But as soon as it's moveing (no matter if this is slow or fast) it simply feels like a bicycle.

paulwebac 2 Sep 2003 04:39

I have owned a 2001 1150 GS for about 1.5 years and found the bike to be extremely capable and a lot of fun. My main problem was buffeting. I tried a Givi screen, which did not help much. I ended up riding mostly without a windshield preferring the steady wind flow to the turbulence. My GS had no surging at all. I very much agree with “Ikyphl”s post. This is one of the most competent bikes I have ridden.
The GS was replaced with a R1150RT. The adjustable windshield (tall version) is very effective. But the bike surges heavily between 40 – 55 mph.
I am planning a trip to Central- and later South America two-up. I just bought a new black 1150GS Adventure (w/t black Jesse bags). For me this seems to be the best bike available for my purpose including the two-up riding (The new 1200 GS won’t be available in time).
For the occasional weekend dirt ride I have a Honda XR650L. Fun for its’ purpose. But I could not imagine to use this bike as a daily ride or for extended traveling as it is way to unstable at highway speeds, uncomfortable and a nightmare two-up.

Alaska to Tierra del Fuego

lkyphl 2 Sep 2003 11:45

Jase, a) have a look at the UK GS'ers site :
http://www.ukgser.com/forums/forumdi...014&forumid=62 and b) go and see Dave at Procycle and take a GS for a LONG test ride. A lot of people coming from non-BM bikes aren't initially impressed by GS's ; a ride around the block's not long enough. I'd suggest Laver's Hill and back ........

Nick1150gs 6 Sep 2003 19:51

I have ridden an 1150GS for 3 trouble-free years now and before that an 1100GS and pardon my ignorance but what is surging?

kmuggleton 7 Sep 2003 11:43

Only put 30,000 miles on my 2000 1150gs.. Surging happens, but you tend not to pay attention to it. The bike other than tire and oil changes has been a dream.. Except 1 month after the warrenty expired the rear wheel bearing blew out.

Pedro Rocha 7 Sep 2003 21:42

i would also like to know what "surging" is, i´am familiar with the term. Thanks

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:29.