1995 BMW R 1100 GS
A scrumptuously, absurdly, ruggedly and uniquely beautiful machine
Hall Effect (ignition timing) sensor at 80,000 miles.
Starter noisy (needed internal lubrication) at 90,000 miles.
Rear differential outer seal at 75,000 miles.
A magnificent bike, through and through. The quality of BMW components do more than merely justify their high cost. The cost/durability ratio easily matches or exceeds even Japanese counterparts, and the value of being able to rely on a twelve year old motorcycle with nearly 100k miles on the clock -- while traveling down a 2500 mile offroad trail (Continental Divide Trail) -- is immeasurable. On no other bike would I have even considered this challenge.
Its performance on-road continually amazes me and -- much to their chagrin -- many a sport-bike owner. Even with Michelen Anakee's (60/40 street/offroad), this bike will hold a corner til your heels bleed, no exaggeration. Offroad takes a period of personal adjustments in comfort and riding style, but after riding with a friend of mine (rides a KTM 450), he expressed his awe from watching the capabilities of this bike in scrambles and tight single-track.
It is isn't the fastest bike out of the showroom. But it isn't sluggish either (especially at low rpm), and there are many effective, yet healthy upgrades for it. After re-chipping this with a very inexpensive aftermarket product (<$100 US), I gained significant improvements in both mid-range performance and fuel efficiency (<= 55 mpg).
My only complaint (and no doubt that of others') is of course the weight. I've managed to trim mine by 40-45 pounds at the peril of the ABS system. The only time this becomes a real drag is when uprighting the bike from its side, or in the kinds of scrambles that this bike has no earthly business attempting in the first place.
I positively love this bike, and I am one tough customer (in general). I'd say that I'll always buy BMW, but I seriously doubt that I will ever need to buy another bike again.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th January, 2009