View Full Version : I'm Going To Buy A 1200gs Need Advice

06-11-2007, 08:47 PM
I'm going to bite the bullet and buy an 1200GS new or used if I can find the one that I want.

90% of my riding will be on pavement or gravel. The other 10% will be on decent two track fire trails. I won't be riding the Paris to Dakar, unless I find the fountain of youth (real soon!).

I'm inseam challenged so the Adventure is out.

I want heated grips, ABS, hand guards, and a large windscreen.

I'm going to put Jesse bags on it and my large Givi top case. So I don't need BMW bags or top case.

What other trinkets from BMW, should I be looking for?

Wire spokes or the other?

What after market items should I expect to need to get?

Do I need to replace the factory shocks?

If I find a used one...were there any inherent problems in the '05s or '06s that I should look for?

Give me your opinions and advice.


Downhill Hunter

06-11-2007, 09:01 PM

I just bought one, my first GS. You're going to love it. I'm inseam challenged myself, but I manage the GSA. Still, it's a big bike and I think the standard might be a bit easier to throw around.

I bought a bunch of Touratech stuff for mine. They have the only tankbag solution (IMHO) and make some nice guards for various bits on the bike. If you're interested in a GPS, the Zumo is awfully nice, though not the only choice by a long shot.

You might want a taller windscreen and the accompanying brace to support it. Maybe a comfy seat. Cylinder head guards for sure. I like BMW's better than TT's. Remus exhaust?

I'm sure others will chime in. The bike is pretty "ready to go" out of the box. Much of what I'm recommending is more cosmetic than anything else.

Good luck; you're about to buy a bike that you're really going to like.

06-11-2007, 11:14 PM
DEFINITELY get yourself a copy of the Touratech catalogue- it's GS-porn for sure! :thumb

From that description of you riding, I'd venture a guess that the alloy wheels should be just fine.

Best of luck with it! I'm hoping to get myself a new GS for X-Mas this year, so I certainly understand the anticipation you must be feeling.

06-12-2007, 12:02 AM
Also check out Wunderlich. I have had their tank bag on my GS for a week now and absolutely love it. Bestrest products also has some pretty cool stuff.

06-12-2007, 01:02 AM
Another new GS owner here..Check out the SW-MOTECH crash bars. You can find them at twistedthrottle.com. Rated best GS crash bars by the German motorcycle magazine Motorrad. Only $169. They are well engineered, look great and testimony says they will take a whallop and still protect the bike. If you get them, let me know and I'll give you some tips on installation..learned the hard way! I love mine..

Good Luck and Enjoy!

06-12-2007, 01:20 AM
Don't know anything about the GS, but I do know that Touratech treated me very well when I encountered a problem. I absolutely would not hesitate to deal with them again. Good outfit.

06-12-2007, 10:46 AM
The R 1200 GS is an excellent machine right out of the box. You culd ride it in that condition for years. However, each of us like to customize oour bikes to suit our riding contitions and personalities. Here are some thoughts on accessories:

1. Get an oil cooler screen. There are lots out there ... Wunderlich, TouraTech, Hornig, etc.
2. Spokes are better if you are doing some serious pounding down the fire roads.
3. Accessory socket
4. If you are after a taller screen with a brace, check out Cee Bailey's offerings
5. Winglets (BMW from the GSA or Cee Baileys) ... got em, love em, will never be without em
6. A better horn ... stock is wimpy
7. LED tail lights and.or turn signals (clear lenses are optional but look good). I use the Brake!
8. Additional front-facing lights ... lots of options here
9. Wider/larger pegs ... GSA pegs from BMW or Fastway Evolutions
10. Headlamp protector
11. Upgrade windsheild mounting part - the plastic ones on the early GS's wear out and the screen starts to vibrate badly.

06-12-2007, 12:41 PM
I'm learning a lot!

Are the tank bags "strap-on"? Or has someone figured out a magnetic system for it?

My problem is that while my inseam is 30", I'm 6'1"! (I don't think I look as odd as you think I do! But maybe)

So unless I have a honken' tall windscreen, the wind flows over it and smacks me right in the kisser. At speed I pretty much look like a bobble head doll.

Unless some sort of deal falls into my lap, I'll look at some of your options at West Bend.

I have the BRAKE! with a clear lens, on my 1100GS and you're right...it's a great safety item.

Wider, fatter pegs from BMW? I'll check out the difference between the GS and those on the GSA. I'll bet they're spendy.

Any other ideas?


Downhill Hunter

06-14-2007, 03:41 AM
#1. is to get a Sargent saddle. I love this saddle! The stock saddle is very uncomfortable. It's pitched in such a way that one constantly slides forward and ends up sitting on the male "anatomy". Not fun for distance riding.
#2. windshield upgrade to either Cee Baily or Aeroflow
#3. Kaoko throttle control ... a blessing for distance riding. You won't regret having this.
#4 Stebel compact nautilus horn, because SUV drivers don't care about you while they're drinking coffee and talking on the cell phone. The horn will blast them into "the moment" and make them aware of you.
#5 shock upgrades may be nice, but I find the stock shocks to be just fine

Otherwise, the 1200GS is the perfect bike!

06-15-2007, 09:35 PM
Thanks, PGODS,

I took my first test ride yesterday:

First - 1st gear is really, really tall! What the ...? For a dual purpose why would BMW do that? Commuting with this thing in stop and go traffic has to be a bear.
I can't imagine trying to muscle it around off road, in anything very challenging.

Second - It's about an inch taller than my 1100GS...and you're right about the seat. It's also very wide at the front and it splayed my legs out so I lost even more
leg length.

Third - While I have short little legs (charter member of the Penguin Adventure Riders Club) I am long waisted. Wind screen blasted me right in the face. Needs a taller Screen

Fourth - Once I got it up on the Tach a little....lots of power. It was very happy to work it's way out of some RPM holes that I put it in. Lot's of power in 5th and 6th for passing.

Fifth - The controls were more friendly than my 1100. And the foot peg height was much better. I didn't feel like I was sitting in a 'jockey's saddle'.

Sixth - The brakes were better than my 1100. I rode a '07 which I was told didn't have the servo assist and the brakes weren't linked.

I was told the previous 1200s did have the servo and the brakes were linked.

If that's correct, I would like to ride one of them.

Overall, with my short 20 mile test ride, I think the 1200 is a great bike. but frankly I'm disappointed that the difference between it and my 1100 didn't impress me a little more. My 1100 has side cases and a top case, all loaded with junk. The 1200 was bare. And even with that...I didn't notice the 1200 being any lighter or more agile than the 1100. Maybe it was a matter of seat height.

I'm disappointed that my fire to get a 1200, has cooled a bit. I'm not sure that I'm willing to shell out the additional money for a new '07.

Maybe I'll wait for a real deal on a '05.

What'dya think? Any ideas on how to fire up my interest again?

Downhill Hunter

06-16-2007, 03:16 PM

That's the nice thing about test rides. You can get the lust for some machine out of your system in a real hurry, and save tons of money.

I've had the hots for the K 1200 GT for about 2 years. Just rode one and saved myself $25,000.


06-17-2007, 03:36 AM
I was able to finagle another test ride at another dealership.

The difference between this one and the first one seemed like night and day.

I've got my chubby back for getting a 1200GS. Bad news for my bank account!

This one lugged away from a dead start without much problem.

First gear is still too tall IMHO, but it was much easier to get going with this one

Both were '07 GSs (not Adventures), the second had 22 miles, the first had 56 miles! I have no idea what the difference was.

But I am fairly certain that the difference wasn't in my imagination.

I just can't figure out how the two bikes could be so different?

I think I'll look for a '05 or '06 to ride.

Then I'll still be keeping my eyes open for a deal on a used '05 or '06.


Downhill Hunter

06-17-2007, 01:06 PM
The brakes were linked on the 07, they just didn't have servos. I do not like the servos on my 04 GSA, They work well, but I have sereral bikes and they just feel so much different. It feels odd to jump from bike to bike.

The 1200 GSA windscreen is really good stock, I think much better than the regular 1200.

I did not think there would be much difference between the 1150 & 1200 Adventure, but I was very wrong.

The 1150 is collecting dust.

FWIW, I ride everything bone stock.

06-19-2007, 12:46 PM

Which do I need/ what?

Are the spoke rims worth the extra $?

90% of my driving will be on pavement, with the other 10% on decent two track trails.

What's your advice (and remember you're spending my money)?


Downhill Hunter

06-19-2007, 01:00 PM
A lot of the uprgrades being suggested are stock on the GSA.

I'm 5' 11" with a 29+" inseam and I negotiate the GSA without a problem. It's tall, but it's doable. Don't succumb to the illusion that both feet have to be planted firmly on the ground. Besides, it's incredibly well-balanced.

With it you get the taller windshield, the wider pegs, bigger alternator, crashbars, crossbar, spoke wheels. . . . By my estimation, the value of the added features would cost far more than the difference in the price of the bikes.

Alloy wheels are infinitely easier to clean; spokes are stronger. Spokes are standard on the GSA, a $500 option on the standard GS.

Glad you test-rode the second bike. I wonder what was up with the first one?

Can't wait to see what you decide. :lurk

06-19-2007, 01:49 PM
Again, I don't know much about the GS, but SNC touched on an interesting point. As to "flatfooting" it, I find myself setting up my RT so that I will be able to only "flatfoot" one foot. Although I have maybe 24 years of experience, I don't consider myself any place close to an "accomplished" rider. I still am comfortabel, though, with only one foot on the ground, and tippy-toeing the other side...either side.

Were I not looking forward to traveling two up, I would be doing my best to make the taller GSA work for me. I really am fascinated by the concept.

I don't like the tall low gear on the RT, either, but I am getting use to it. The only time I made the clutch smell was when I absentmindedly tried to start out in third. It works, but with a lot of RPM and clutch. It may have ben that I realized that the tall low isn't really so bad.



06-19-2007, 02:47 PM
"My problem is that while my inseam is 30", I'm 6'1"! (I don't think I look as odd as you think I do! But maybe)"

1) You can lower the bike a few inches but it is expensive. I have a friend that did it and loves the biike. Little if any compromise on the bike.

2) Rumored but an F800 GS is supposed to be coming out soon. I am waiting for that. Regardless, you won't make a mistake.

06-19-2007, 03:54 PM
I'm a traditionalist - spokes here.

06-19-2007, 04:00 PM
Thanks, Guys!

I'd love to have an Adventure, but I gotta' have 'em both on the ground.

Not as young, agile or strong as I once was....(damn that's hard to admit)...
the Reg GS is at my limits for seat heat/weight.

I suppose that I could take the original shocks off an Adventure and put on an after market shock. (can anyone else hear the money being sucked out of my wallet?)

I have no clue what was the difference in those two bikes. The first thing that you look at is the variable in the equation and that would be me with human perception...but I tried some of the same little things with both bikes and got
strikingly different results.

You can bet whatever I end up with...I will give it a decent test ride first!


Downhill Hunter

06-19-2007, 05:06 PM
I've got the alloy wheels on my '06.

1) They look better
2) They're easier to clean
3) You won't have to worry about sending the wheels out for an adjustment years down the road.

Some friends that ride GSs always argue that spokes are better, saying that you can bend an alloy and not be able to fix it. My thought is that if I do something to bend my alloy- I'm probably going to hurt myself and the rest of the bike in the process- and therefore not be too worried about the bent alloy! Just my opinion!

I've never pretended that I'll spend a significant amount of time off road- so whats the point in spending more for the spokes? I wander around, and if I see a temping forest service road, I'll turn off- thats about the extend of "off-roading" I see.

06-21-2007, 01:08 PM
Maybe you really love your 1100 and simply have an itch some something new? Spring is a bad time - you end up looking at all the new stuff out there and start jones'n for it.
It's like being in a 20 year marriage and now you go on a beach vacation ...whoa!

Perhaps you should stick with what has been a great bike and avoid the costs involved?

That in mind, first impressions are tough to draw accurate conclusions. Most of my riding years have been on K75s. Everytime I got on a boxer I hated them. The K was sooo smooth and what I was used to. Then I took a trip to New Zealand last year and rented a R1200GS for a week. I rode 2 up with my wife, fully loaded with luggage, and THAT bike sold me. Unbelievable experience!
It took a full week of riding this boxer to realize and appreciate it's "personality". I've come tp appreciate the throaty grumble, and the torque is exhilerating! Plus, I enjoy the option to go basically anywhere I want- pavement or dirt.
I still miss the smoothness of my K and everytime I hear that distinctive sound in the distance I think "K bike". Someday I'll have 2 bikes in the stable....