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  #1  
Old 31 Oct 2004
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Reasons to by a GS?

Hi all,

After having ridden the Americas for a year on my trusty Honda Africa Twin, I find myself with the prospect of traveling around the UK with work - lots. They want to give me a car allowance which I will of course transfer into a new bike.

I would like to get the new 1200 but its a) bleeding edge (ie new) and b) bloody expensive for a debt ridden pauper like me.

So, are the GS1150 and GS1150 Adv. good bikes for the commute? I've seen a ton of them in and around London - all doing the 9-5 thang.

Would just like some comments and thoughts on this bike - looking to own it for a very long time and also take me to China (when I've finished with the debts from my last trip).

- yes I know its heavy.

Fanks!

Brian



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  #2  
Old 31 Oct 2004
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um, upset as to how I just spelt "buy" - also has anyone noticed 2nd hand prices of 1150's to drop in the wake of the 1200 release?

ta

Brian

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  #3  
Old 1 Nov 2004
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I have 1998 R1100GS with TT 41 litre tank and some other modification. Have ridden some ATs too. And was confused in the end witch to to choose till i went to GS. And now can tell:

Compared to AT the R11xxGS is a real torque monster! It has around 90Nm @ 2000 rpm (!) and constantly goes till 100Nm 6000rpm and then the maximum horsepower starts to support it and boxer engine produces the full power. Thus you really don't have to change gears that much as with AT you should and it makes riding much more easyer on solo or with two up and lots of luggage.

Second thing is the centre of mass - altough AT is a bit lighter i think from feeling the beasty boxer GS has a lower centre of mass and it feels a bit more controllable on quickly changing curves. Not saying the AT isn't curve capable - they both are exellent, but still i think the GS is more suited for those conditions because of the huge torque to accelerate and to slow down with engine stopping on curves. Maximum speed on autobahns in Europe comes as advantage to GS too - engine isn't rpm-stressed much on high speeds.

And yes - the prices have fallen on R11xxGS

I think if you ride more solo and not much gear, get newe AT (a bit cheaper!). Some two up and lotsa gear to take with you - GS.

Also consider R1100GS - you may find one with Öhlins suspension and full TT equipent very cheap that can easyly rival out even ADV model because lot of (cash capable) owners prefer to own more stylish R1200GS so they sell their older ones quite cheap.

Sure testdrive them all. But you'll find little difference between them (R1100/1150ADV/1150GS)

Margus

Quote:
Originally posted by colesyboy:
Hi all,

After having ridden the Americas for a year on my trusty Honda Africa Twin, I find myself with the prospect of traveling around the UK with work - lots. They want to give me a car allowance which I will of course transfer into a new bike.

I would like to get the new 1200 but its a) bleeding edge (ie new) and b) bloody expensive for a debt ridden pauper like me.

So, are the GS1150 and GS1150 Adv. good bikes for the commute? I've seen a ton of them in and around London - all doing the 9-5 thang.

Would just like some comments and thoughts on this bike - looking to own it for a very long time and also take me to China (when I've finished with the debts from my last trip).

- yes I know its heavy.

Fanks!

Brian

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  #4  
Old 1 Nov 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by colesyboy:
um, upset as to how I just spelt "buy" - also has anyone noticed 2nd hand prices of 1150's to drop in the wake of the 1200 release?

ta

Brian

I planned to buy an 1150GS this time last year but decided to wait & see if prices dropped with the intro of the 1200 - they did & I bought an 1150 end of May & have since covered 9,500 trouble free miles inc. a trips to Brittany & Budapest.

There have been quite a few problems with the 1200, I'd stick with the 1150. In addition, the 1200 only comes with electronic servo ABS - not to everyones liking.

1150 prices have dropped even further since I bought mine & may well drop further with the onset of winter. Check out this site, bargains for sale quite often:

http://www.ukgser.com/forums/

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  #5  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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Ah Colesyboy...trusty Africa Twin exchanged for BMW...my god! why?..........languishing in blighty after enjoying the pleasures of central and south America the young man decided to develop the final drive and gearbox rebuilding skills to take on the world with a BMW....... we will save a space for you in the BMW owners psychological support group.

[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 02 November 2004).]
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  #6  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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seduced by the dark side?

the GS Adventure has a raised pillion section on the seat. my pillion reckoned it was better than the standard GS seat (she could see more. And better than the AT seat.
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  #7  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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I own a GSA 1150 and am very happy with it, the only problem I see is its ride height and heavy weight, more when I run on full tank.
But it twists the roads like a snake and loads all kinds of luggage like a burro!
I was thinking to change it for a new 1200 GS or buy an extra 650 GS and asked a good friend, an expert on the BMW subject and this is what he recomended:

"Humberto: Keep the GSA and buy a 650GS. You'll have the best of both worlds. The GSA to take you on long trips relatively comfortably and the 650 on shorter trips where you can play in the dirt. When I first heard about the 12GS I thought about buying one. But the more I know and hear about it the less likely I am to buy one anytime soon. There are 2 main problems with the bike in my opinion. First, it is a new bike and there have been lots of problems with it such as the rear wheel falling off, failed final drives, fuel pump problems, electrical gremlins, etc. BMW does not have a good reputation for fixing design problems. They are so arrogant that they usually deny that there is a problem at all. Then, maybe after years of complaints, they may do something about it.
The second problem with the bike is that it is just too complicated to be an adventure tourer. For example, the single wire, digital electrical control system cannot be repaired out in the campo. And, to date, many dealers even here in the US, do not have the correct equipment to diagnose and repair the bikes. There are many new bikes, some with only a few thousand miles, sitting in shops waiting for repairs. What do you think would happen to you in Mexico if something went wrong with the bike? It could be months before you could ride it again.
The final reason that I don't rec. the bike to you is that it is not significantly lighter or easier to handle in the dirt. If you get rid of the GSA for a 12GS you will have exactly the same problems in the dirt: too hard to handle, too heavy and almost impossible to pick up by yourself if it falls. So what would you have gained?
On the MX trip in Feb there will be my GS, a GSA, a 12GS and a KTM 950 Adventure. The bike that worries me the most is the 12GS. If something goes wrong, even minor, it'll probably have to be put on a truck and shipped back."

Also I will consider, if you want to travel a RTW tour maybe a lighter one like the 650GS will be a better choice. See Benka Pulko´s webpage and youl find why.
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  #8  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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Christ on a bike! Its news to me that the 1200 has a problem with the rear wheel falling off! That's a pretty serious problem in my book.

The MAIN reason I am considering buying a GS is that I can see MANY MANY motorway miles ahead of me in my new jobbie. I LOVE my AT but feel that the beemer will be a better bet on the motorway from what I hear and see. I feel that I am being suduced by the dark side and regularly check in with yoda to see if I am doing the right thing. I think he has gone off in a huff, never to advise me again.

I'm seeing a GS tommorrow for 5k - policeman owned, spent a fair bit of time in garage. I may completely change my mind after riding it - thanks for the advice guys its been very helpful.

Brian

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  #9  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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If you're set on an 1150GS of some kind, check what top gear it's fitted with.

There's options, a "sports" top gear where top/6th equates to 18mph per 1,000rpm or the "overdrive" top/6th which equates to 20mph per 1,000rpm.

If planning a lot of motorway miles, make sure it has the Overdrive 6th gear, better fuel economy & slightly more relaxed cruising at the same speed.

Only problem with this is the huge gap between 5th (15mph per 1,000rpm) & 6th gears.If you try riding fast on twisty roads, you may find yourself coming close to locking up the rear wheel if you change down to 5th too early. It could be that on twisty roads, 6th is too high, leaving you thrashing in 5th where the Sports 6th gear would allow you use 6th most of the time.

The Sports 6th is better for sportier riding & still returns pretty good mpg on the motorway between 70-80mph. I recently averaged mid 50's fully loaded in Europe.

Adventure models (I think?) have the low sports 6th gear & a slightly lower 1st gear also as some regard 1st as too high anyway although I think this may be an off road scenario only?

FWIW my 1150 has the lower 6th gear & 1100's only have a 5 speed box. Can't comment on the ratios yet as my new to me crash damaged 1100 is not yet up & running.

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  #10  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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in 1999 i traded an 1990 AT for 1989 r100gs. biggest mistake i ever made, IMHO.
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  #11  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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Quote:
FWIW my 1150 has the lower 6th gear & 1100's only have a 5 speed box. Can't comment on the ratios yet as my new to me crash damaged 1100 is not yet up & running.
[/B]
I find the 5-gear version more comfortible to ride myself. Indeed, i think the 1150 version doesn't run good on lower speeds with sixth gear - engine doesn't rev enough. And some people say 1100 version is more fuel-economic this way too. And top speeds are nearly identical to 1100 and 1150 models withch clearly shows the 6th gear is a bit over-ratiod(?) Only good for autobahn-like use probably as Brian really seeking for it, so it could come as positive option option in the end.

Margus
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  #12  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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Brian, you virtually can't go wrong with oilhead boxer engine. I say the boxer engine itself is rather a virus - the nature of that beast quicky becomes the favourite part for for rider - lot of torque till the start and no point revving it makes all the difference from any other engine type, that's why they're so resistant too (lot of high mileage GSes around as you see, ADV rider lately reported 500K mile oilhead GS that sill runs like new! Sure ther always are some defective ones statistically, as with other manufacturers too).

Let us know how the testdrive went.

Margus

Quote:
I'm seeing a GS tommorrow for 5k - policeman owned, spent a fair bit of time in garage. I may completely change my mind after riding it - thanks for the advice guys its been very helpful.

Brian

[/B]
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 02 November 2004).]
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  #13  
Old 2 Nov 2004
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Hello. Just thought i'd mention at the Creel travellers meeting a couple of fellow Canadians rode down on a pair if 1200GS's. Unfortunately, her's blew the final-drive bearrings and the wheel wobbled almost 10mm. BMW advised here to ride home carefully?!? Or back to the US anyway. Has anyone heared from them, hope she made it alright. Nice bike, but it took both Grant and I to pick one up from a fall. My R100GS/PD with 80lb.fuel is a featherweight to pick-up compared to this beast! Personally, if you can't pick up the bike, don't ride it!
Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 3 Nov 2004
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Your reasons for a big bike are its suitability for commuting. I think if you put big miles on a BMW you will pay for it in servicing/running costs. Does Bill Bun do BMW's?

Commuted Edinburgh to Glasgow for a year on a GT550. Cost virtually nothing to run it, just oil and petrol. Bike cost me £1100, did the basic servicing myself. It also never let me down.

Just thinking, if your real dream is to travel to China...running a BMW in the meantime might cost you a packet. Maybe something more commuter suitable and cheaper to run might get you to China quicker, financially anyway. Trade up when the time comes?

Must admit though, a CB500 ain't quite as sexy as a matt grey GS Adventure.
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  #15  
Old 3 Nov 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by DougieB:
[B]Your reasons for a big bike are its suitability for commuting. I think if you put big miles on a BMW you will pay for it in servicing/running costs. B]
Depends if you do the servicing yourself?

I service my oilhead for the cost of a service kit & the necessary oils - £70 max.

I know that official BMW dealers are not cheap, with £50 + VAT per hour being common but there are also smaller independent outfits out there offering sensible prices. Sherlocks in Devon spring to mind (£30 per hour?) & the ability to carry out just about every repair in house inc. machining. In adition they have a large selection of used spares on site at competitive prices.

GT550's are not the easiest bike to work on (shims, cam removal etc). I'd rather work on a boxer that a GT.

Oilheads are a fine choice for commuting on UK motorways, for a trip to China, you maybe better off with an airhead/XT/XR/KLR for simplicity.

Good luck with whatever you end up with.

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