BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Review

2011 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure from United States of America

Year of manufacture2011
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 10 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 miles
Most recent distance5000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki KLR650

Summary:

As advertised. It's a great adventure, probably worth the money

Faults:

Starter was bad in the box from factory. Would start to fail when hot. Scared me a couple times off road. Turned off the bike to take a rest, and it would barely crank. Dealer fixed it up no problem though. Replaced the battery too.

Stock knobbies were eaten up very quickly, but their performance off road was superb.

General Comments:

BMW does what it says it will. Owned KLRs and other bikes for decades. "BMWs are nice sure, but how can you justify the price". Then I sold a few things and bought one. Is the bike a "VALUE?" No. Is it more than what you get for $5-15k less? Absolutely. Like all high dollar name plates, you're paying a bit for reputation, but there's nothing like it. The ABS, traction control, heated grips, quality of engineering and construction are not available elsewhere. Yamaha comes close, maybe even surpasses in some areas, but when getting into their higher end bikes, you're right at BMW prices anyway.

My KLR performed sufficiently, but the BMW blows it away in every category. It's even easier to pick up, even though it's quite a bit heavier.

The power is on all the way from idle to top end, the traction control and ABS are amazing. Anyone that complains about linked braking is ignorant or stunt riding. It's wonderful to just grab a handful of front brake and squeeze as hard as you can and just stop. With a motorcycle, it's so easy for, at least us non licensed racers to leave too much traction in the bank on stopping quick. The BMW ABS leaves nothing. Brings you right up to lockup without flipping or flopping.

On road, it's a BMW. It's no LT or RT, but it's plenty comfortable for anyone that's ever ridden dual sport bikes. Handles so well. Like nothing I've ridden. I used to own a Buell XB, and this handles at least as well, and is a lot bigger and heavier.

Off road, I'm amazed at how well I get by. I'm no moto crosser. I chug along fairly slowly, which means I tend to drop the bike occasionally. I can't get this bike to fall over (OK, recently my KLR was staying shiny side up too). I have, however managed to knock it over a couple times. I bring this up, because I dropped it once, putting it on the center stand in the rain, sick. My foot slipped off the nub and I was too weak to catch it. Another time, put the kick stand down on something in the garage, and it popped back up before I could notice it, and another time when I just plain kicked it over, trying to get on when the bike was parked on a hill off road. It suffered no damage at all. None. No scratches, scuffs... nothing. The stainless crash bars protected it perfectly.

The only damage the bike has managed to pick up could have easily been avoided by a common aftermarket accessory. I was traveling through what I thought was a 6" puddle. Turned out it was about 30 inches deep. Hit something half way through. Stayed upright, but put a dent in my header pipe. Water was above the intake, but the intake is hidden in the tank, and the wake from the bike passing through kept it above water. I had muddy water up to my knees standing on the pegs, and no problem at all.

The adventure has everything you want on a GS if you do any off roading. The pegs, guards, tank, hand-guards, suspension, tires, wheels. You'll miss em if you don't have em. Things can be added to the GS "regular", but it's kind of like the Jeep Rubicon vs built up Wrangler X. Are you rock crawling or just using it as intended? As intended, the GSA is great.

The windshield on the GSA is nice as well. I ride mine year round here in Maryland.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2012

Average review marks: 8.8 / 10, based on 1 review