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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  • 1 Post By pecha72
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  #1  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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New BMW 1200 GS

I am planning to do a trip that may be RTW but starting as a no real plan and no time frame ride starting in the US for 6 months and then see where I go from there, with thoughts of doing Prudoe Bay to Ushuaia and to Africa. I read with interest the recent BMW gsa thread. After reading the thread I determined the Adventure would not be right for me. Now I am thinking of the new 2013 BMW 1200 gs which impresses me. I have read often that you buy the bike that turns you on, but I have also read not to buy a first edition bike until all the bugs have been worked out in subsequent years, and have also read you will never wish you had a heavier bike.

Any thoughts on the new BMW 1200 GS?? Thanks for a first time user Brian
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  #2  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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BMW have been making the old 1200 GSA for several years and from what I have read here and on other forums have never sorted it out. They seem to have quality control problems across the range which I doubt they have fixed with what is a completely new bike.
I would go for something more tried, tested and lighter, if you insist on a BMW perhaps an F800GS or a medium sized Jap bike such as a Yamaha XT660 or Honda Transalp.
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  #3  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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I don't really agree with Mark's post; the GS1200s are somewhere between "generally reliable" and "very reliable", but certainly not bullet proof. I would have no hesitation taking one on the route you're describing. There are a couple of spares I would bring, such as a fuel pump, maybe a EWS ring. In addition, you might want to swap out the OEM battery, and if you buy used, I would check the slave cylinder, I have had two of those go out (only one on a GS).

That said, I would not start such a trip with an unfamiliar bike; get one and ride around the US for a while, see how it works out; if all is good, go wherever. Also, I would probably not do such a trip with one of the new 2013 bikes, it has many new "features" and I would not want to find out how poorly they might work somewhere in Alaska.

As I'm sure others will point out, there are many other bikes you could do such a trip on. I don't know if the F800GS is any more reliable than the 1200 (haven't read that much about them). I would definintely look at the Tenere 660, but I don't think it is available in the US?
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Old 2 Nov 2012
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Are you so well off financially, that you'll stand to lose your brand new 2013 1200GS completely? The reason I'm asking is, that it seems extremely difficult to find anyone to insure a motor vehicle (the vehicle itself, I mean) for a complete RTW-tour.

In many 3rd world countries, if you wreck it, or it gets stolen, or drops into a river, or whatever, it is gone, and your insurance back home will be no use (at least some years ago this was the way it is, and I'm 99% certain theres been no major change).

I know it sort of belongs to this type of travel to take calculated risks. And some people are rich enough they don't care, or just simply don't care. But for me that also says try to choose a cheaper bike, because many of them will be fully capable as well. And I'm certain there will be other views than mine on this as well.

And even if nothing really bad happens to your bike on the trip, it will get more than a few scratches and look well used, when you return. So its resale value goes down, a new bike's value will naturally be worst hit by this.
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  #5  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdt149 View Post

Any thoughts on the new BMW 1200 GS?? Thanks for a first time user Brian
You will get opinions expressed in the HUBB about the BMW 1200GS (there is a thread in the BMW tech forum in here about the original version).
However, many of those riding the current bikes don't post in here; they just get on with enjoying the ride!
I try not to recommend other websites, but, in this case I think you could usefully take a look at this one that specialises in all-things-BMW-bikes:

1200 GS Liquid Cooled - ::. UKGSer.com .::

The discussion has been going on in there about the water cooled version to be marketed for 2013 and that discussion will continue right up to, and beyond, when the first "beta-testers" take to the highway.
That's not to say that you shouldn't continue to discuss this bike in here!!
By the way, you don't say what it is about the new version that impresses you.
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  #6  
Old 2 Nov 2012
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For what it's worth I rode a 2005 BMW1200GS from Alaska to Panama and then Cape Town to Nairobi. It's a great bike and I loved it ( I still have it now in the UK) I got one flat tyre and one flat battery. carried lots of spare parts around with me for a year!

My advice would be to think hard about a new bike. Not only could there be some issues that need to be ironed out but have you thought about the cost? Whatever bike you take (I think) you need to be prepared to walk away. If it breaks down, gets stolen (very unlikely) or something happens which means you need to leave it? And have you come across the Carnet yet? It will make travelling thought certain parts of the world ( Egypt) extremely expensive.
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  #7  
Old 4 Nov 2012
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Thanks

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions .... very helpful and things to consider :-))
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  #8  
Old 5 Nov 2012
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I've owned four BMWs and ride with a number of folks who own fairly new BMWs. Based on observations over the last few years, I believe their reputation for reliability is a myth. The Beemers seem to have a lot of issues that are not fixable by the average 'shade tree' mechanic.

For going into remote places...I think a mid-weight Japanese motorcycle (Wee-Strom, KLR, DR, etc) would be a much better choice. Oh...and a lot easier to pick up than a R1200GS.
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  #9  
Old 5 Nov 2012
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2013 bmw 1200 gs

The more research I do the more I discover that there isn't a best bike or even a better bike for that matter. I have read blogs of people who have traveled the world in scooters to Harleys to Sports bikes to adventure bikes. They all have there pro and cons ...and I guess the cons are part of the adventure :-) This actually gives me some comfort in that it really doesn't matter what kind of bike I get as long as "I" love it.

As for reliability it seems that everyone as there perspectives on which bikes are reliable and which ones aren't. I heard that Suzikis are relaible then read a blog where they had nothing but problems with them on their trip. Same with BMWs. But then you can read other blogs and they love them. So I guess I come back to my new premise that the most important thing is that "I" love my bike.

As for the Carnet issue and if I am "financially well off" I guess that is a relative term. When I worked in Africa I was RICH. But when I am back home in Canada ... not so much. But yes ... I could afford a carnet for Eygpt. But by the time I get there my bike would be a couple of years old and yes ...have a few scratches on it.

Ever since I was young I have had a preference for buying new vehicles and then using them until they are ready for the junk yard. A lot of people thing I am crazy but it is my preference. I like it because I enjoy the new car experience and because I take good care of my vehicles and so I know they will last a long time .. and they do. And yes ...that first scratch is a tough one ha ha ha.

I think the best advice I have gotten is ride the motorcycle that turns you on!! And then have fun with it.

Brian
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  #10  
Old 5 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdt149 View Post
Ever since I was young I have had a preference for buying new vehicles and then using them until they are ready for the junk yard. A lot of people thing I am crazy but it is my preference. I like it because I enjoy the new car experience and because I take good care of my vehicles and so I know they will last a long time .. and they do. And yes ...that first scratch is a tough one ha ha ha.

I think the best advice I have gotten is ride the motorcycle that turns you on!! And then have fun with it.

Brian
My thoughts exactly
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  #11  
Old 5 Nov 2012
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RTW insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
The reason I'm asking is, that it seems extremely difficult to find anyone to insure a motor vehicle (the vehicle itself, I mean) for a complete RTW-tour.
I believe Sports Travel Insurance Quote - Get quotes for single trip, annual multi-trip and ski travel insurance from Dogtag offer RTW insurance... expensive, but not in comparison with cost of an R 1200 GS

Charles
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Old 5 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by Charlemagne View Post
I believe Sports Travel Insurance Quote - Get quotes for single trip, annual multi-trip and ski travel insurance from Dogtag offer RTW insurance... expensive, but not in comparison with cost of an R 1200 GS

Charles
This seems to be for travel as in medical insurance which covers you for motorcycling not motorcycle insurance which covers your bike, as has been said I think motor insurance for the whole trip is not available from one place but has to be bought as you enter individual countries. Some cover can be had for entire continents, green card in Europe and a yellow card in Africa, whether much of this is worth the paper it is written on is a different matter but it satisfies the local police when you get stopped.
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Old 5 Nov 2012
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You're absolutely right Mark and Pecha, my apologies. I was told this by Bennett's on Saturday but clearly it is only adventure activity travel insurance.

Maybe we just rely on getting it country by country - even Turkey offers it now at the border, which is very convenient and not expensive.

Charles
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