Off Road on a BMW 1200GS
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  1. #1
    Senior Member ChipBeck's Avatar
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    Gentlemen,



    About a month ago I was off roading (in Yamaha Rhinos) with a group of friends and way out in the middle of East Jesus on a steep loose rocky trail we passed two guys going the other direction on BMW 1200 GS motorcycles complete with hard aluminum luggage. This was no hard packed dirt road, this was a tough trail. So today while waiting to get the oil changed in my TW I went over and sat on a and rode a new 1200 GS. About 560 lbs and really tall, I couldn't even imagine taking it half of the places I ride the TW. I only rode it on the street where it was not as smooth or comfortable as my HD Road King. The bike appeared to me to be neither fish nor fowl. Not a great road bike and a very cumbersome dirt bike. YET....it is the biggest selling BMW boxer twin by far. I would hate to dump that $21,000 bike in the rocks and try to get it off my leg. Have any of our ranks ridden one of these off road? What is it like? There has got to be something cool about it as BMW sells a ton of that model. What gives???



    Chip
    The road to hell on earth is paved with the good intentions of liberals.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Beck View Post
    There has got to be something cool about it as BMW sells a ton of that model. What gives???


    It weighs 560 lbs. and costs $21,000. 3 people on the entire planet can ride one well offroad, and you've already met 2 of them.



    GS's are one of those bikes that "seem like a good idea at the time".



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  3. #3
    Member tok-tokkie's Avatar
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    Here in South Africa those bikes are extremely popular. SA is the biggest market for the GS in the world. BMW offer a country wide backup service - they will collect you no matter where you have trouble & that includes if you crash (but you have to pay the costs). That is part of the attraction of the bike here. They are also not at as much of a price premium here compared to other bikes; unlike the US where they have a big price premium.



    They are brilliant on gravel highways. Guys take them on technical sections but then they are at a disadvantage to lighter bikes. They have 19" front wheel which is also a disadvantage.



    I have never ridden one. Know plenty of people who have them. Not the sort of bike that appeals to me. There is a big image thing attached to them & that is an image that repels me.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member uktw125's Avatar
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    Ewan and Charlie wannbes with too much money buy them.



    But saying that I have a BMW R80G/S, the first model GS. It's actually quite light at 420 lbs for an 800cc bike and the weight is low down. It makes an interesting and useable classic but no serious off roader.

    It is widely accepted that for the first few hundred miles you will probably hate it, the back end rises and falls when you accelerate and decelerate and the bike pitches from left to right as you rev the engine due to the torque reaction of the in line crank, flywheel and shaft drive.



    I really like it for what it is but I would not buy an unreliable,overcomplicated and overweight 1200GS even if I could afford it.



    Have a look at this guys desert racers > http://www.moorespeed.co.uk/bmw-r100gs

  6. #5
    Senior Member Hobopoet's Avatar
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    Years ago, I traded a Suzuki GS1100G for a BMW R80-GS. One of the worst decisions I ever made. The BMW didn't do anything well. It was uncomfortable on the highway, incompetent on anything approaching a trail and totally unreliable. After a year of disappointment, I traded it for a Kawasaki KLR 650. If I wanted one bike that would do almost everything, it would be the KLR.

  7. #6
    Senior Member xdac's Avatar
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    How dare you even consider a bike with a skinny rear tire..that's like having an affair with your wife's best friend!!!! Just make sure your bike doesn't find out about this..it might throw you off this weekend.
    2008 TW200 with a super cool exhaust

  8. #7
    Member OakCliffThumper's Avatar
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    I was in Big Bend National Park a few years ago. There were three guys in my group riding those big Beemers. I thought, how in the world would they get those things through. I'm telling you, these guys rocked those things.



    I was amazed at how fast they were able to go (not that fast appeals to me. I own a TW200. Duh!) and how they handled more technical sections. It can be done, but to me, this is one of those situations where, just because it can be done, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    There have been a handful of those BMWs at the last few poker runs I have done. They actually performed pretty well. I was surprised to see how nimble they were. The track snaked through the sagebrush and the terrain included sand, rocks, dirt, whoops, and hills. They are big bikes, but they seemed to tackle the terrain. I did see one guy dump his and I helped him pick it up because he physically could not. It took both of us to upright the bike. Those things are HEAVY!
    If you can't find it, grind it

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  10. #9
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdac View Post
    How dare you even consider a bike with a skinny rear tire..that's like having an affair with your wife's best friend!!!!


    Dat dere wuz funny.



    Purchasing a Beemer requires an honest pre-purchase self-assessment of your skill level. The technology, horsepower and cool factor are the "hook" that make them attracti9ve impulse buys. BMW's done an excellent job in those regards, but most end up being stylized touring bikes for most riders. Most of us would probably be better served by one of the smaller BMW offerings if owning a Beemer were a priority.



    I had an R80 and an 1150. The R80 was arguably the more viable offroad bike for someone like me, in retrospect, and an old GSPD is still on my "dream bikes" list, though I couldn't tell ya why, cuz I'd prolly not enjoy trashing such a rare bike by dropping it. The 1150 was gunna be my around the world bike, but I listed it the day after I tried picking it up alone on a 115 day with a day's worth of arm pump. Fortunately I bought it used and was able to recoup my losses.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    It's an even bigger tank than my KLR but if I won the lottery I'd buy one in a heart beat and farkle the thing to death!

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