BMW R1200GSW – my progression with the GS family
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I always wondered if I would ever get the Giant GS model – 1200. I have had a 2010 BMW F650GS and that was when I got bit by the Dual Sport bug.
Although truly meant as a road bike my 650 took me across countries, USA/Canada in 2010 and rode thousands of miles in and around the PNW and BC, Canada. Sold that bike with over 60 thousand KM.
I loved the concept of the GS bike. Added some Heidenau Tires
LOVE this pic, Glen got a Tat of the K60 Tread…now that is LOVE
right from the get go and found roads in the back country to stay away from traffic as much as I could.
Not a technical hardcore off road rider, more like explorer, checking out scenery you can’t see from the pavement and meeting like minded riders has made me crazy in love with this type of riding.
It was clear that long distant riding was also my calling. Power trips, long trips, commuting…anything to ride. I ride to escape reality, enjoy the outdoors, challenge myself and test my skills. Riding is my “happy” place that many who do can relate. After a few years of owning the 650 the logical upgrade was the F800GS.
I got my F800 after I was fortunate enough to borrow a 2011 Triumph Tiger XC to ride the remote lands of the Yukon, Canada and Alaska.
You can see my ride report that I did LIVE from the road that year by clicking Triumph & Alaska
Oh that front 21 inch wheel. Wider handle bars and suspension. While the Tiger really peaked my interest in a more “off road” bike, when it came to spending my money…back to BMW I went. Not sure why. We all have our attractions and in the end I was very pleased with buying a stock height, lowered seat 2013 BMW F800GS. Now we were talking about a great touring bike and very competent off road machine as well.
At first I wasn’t sure about the stock height. Like many I am vertically challenged. My sales guy Sheldon who knows how I ride back in the day when I was contemplating ordering a low suspension told me height is a state of mind. He encouraged me to not lower the bike, trust my riding abilities and after a week on this bike I would be thanking him for not lowering this bike. Well, history speaks for itself. Sheldon was CORRECT. At a mere 30.5 in-seam the height was not an issue at all but a blessing.
I wrote a BLOG post on “How Tall is too Tall” awhile back that got a lot of attention and tons of messages from all types of riders. I stand by my post, should add the secrets of the 1200 suspension but you can read it here.
I am very fortunate to been able to own or ride the top DS bikes out there minus the KTM. 👀 Each experience was different than the other. Hardly any negatives to be honest and as my life changes, having a new partner in my life who likes being a passenger, my bikes evolve.
Evolution of a GS rider. Now what? Yep, I got myself a real beauty…to be honest, I never test rode the new liquid cooled 1200GS. Why? I was afraid I was going to want one before my time. Instead I bought without really knowing too much about the bike other than I knew one day I would own one.
Lou, Joey and Ben, a young very intelligent owner made my buying experience a pleasure at GOLD COAST MOTORSPORTS plus, the almost $2100 rebate didn’t hurt too.
It’s funny, AltRider gave me a T-shirt 2 years ago with the 1200 on it. Foreshadow? Perhaps eh?
I was told by many “you are GOING to love this bike”…others? It’s too tall and too heavy. Well…it’s not too tall at all and I haven’t dumped it yet so as far as riding weight? It feel lighter than my F8, more nimble and so incredibly well balanced. Funny though, I haven’t had a top gas filler in so long. Filling up for the first time was interesting as I sprayed myself with gas. Got it down to a science now but having the filler towards the back side of the bike, (F650/F8) made this as simple as it sounds just different.
Since I have been riding these types of bikes for awhile now I knew how to protect her and exactly what my pannier choice would be….Jesse Luggage.
I like the the other Aluminum bags companies offer but for ME, I want to stay within my handle bars, Have a mount that looks good without the bags off and that look symmetrical while on the bike.
8″ Odyssey II
- Our 2mm thick 5052 aluminum is welded inside and out
- Jesse Luggage multi-angle construction means stronger boxes
- Offers maximum capacity yet maintains a narrow profile
- Durable powder-coated inside and out — in your choice of 3 colors
- Even our lids offer 10 liters of storage space
- Jesse Luggage friction hinges mean precision movement
- Luggage includes locking handles
- Enjoy the security of our watertight seals
- First and only with adjustable mounting system
- Quickly attach or detach bags from the mounting hardware
Dimensions: 8″D x 18″H x 20″L
Left Side – 44.0 liters
Right Side – 34.9 liters
Total width: 32″
Weight: 10 pounds each
Again many have chimed in that they are so heavy. But I have dumped my other bikes with these on and only scratches. They are tough, keep their shape and are H20 proof after bumps. Plus, they don’t look half bad. 👌
This USA based Seattle company has earned my respect big time. Small company BIG adventure riders. They know what we want, or at least what I want. It was a no brainer to make sure this unbelievable machine was well protected as well as me. Oh, that would be KLIM gear that protects me.
Crash bars, upper and lower….very well designed. Kick stand enlarger, skid plate that makes changing the oil filter and oil in general easy. Other gadgets as well…in the end I felt do it all now and be ready for the road. My passenger, a little blog shy is a true trooper. Never been on a bike before has entrusted me from the get go with her life. As we get her better gear slowly I will do my best to make her comfy back there and if I had to buy a new bike LOL than perfect for us both.
I am enjoying finding out what secrets this 1200 offers. If you are short? I use the suspension adjustments to help me ride and park in all situations. The one up setting lowers me in awkward parking areas. 2 up great for 2 up and off road. One up plus luggage? I think you get the picture. Dyna Pro, Enduro Pro, Rain, Road all are amazing settings that work. Cruise control? I have used it on straight pavement and LOVE it. Techno bike? Yep…will things go wrong? Probably but got to love the BMW warranty and roadside. 😉
I can’t compare this bike to my other GS versions. It’s like apples to oranges. What I can say I am experiencing a whole new riding set up. Learning about this bike is half the fun. I took it off road at Touratech’s first East Rally. Real basic dirt and gravel. 20 mins into the ride I was craving more technical conditions. Business as usual on this bike and really didn’t take long to fall in love.
I hope all bikes eventually get a LED headlight. So much brighter, safer and serves a HUGE purpose riding at night. I am so impressed with lumen out put. I got the BMW aux lights as well and that doen;t hurt at all for night and day visibility.
I have decided to stay on Long Island. My move from BC, Canada back to my birthplace has been an adjustment. Having a bike on LI feels a bit like I am in flat land lock. Good news is I can easily take two ferries off the Island to get to proper riding states. Where is my next trip going to take me? I hope in September to ride up to New England with my other half and catch some fall foliage. I have not been on the east coast during fall for 19 years. I look forward to those crisp cool mornings, warm days a cold nights.
Side note…On the way to TT rally I had to ride my 1200, bags on through NYC…this is me, cars honking at me, guys asking me while at a traffic light, “WTF are you riding”…it was hysterical.
That’s it for an update…and this is why I ride…