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BMW GS1200 review
I met a nice guy last night at bike night. I always look for ADV type bikes at bike night with the pirate rigs, you very seldom see them…..you’re missing a lot of fun guys. I have never had anybody give me any crap…as if I would even care anyway.

So, I am coming in to the lot and see the BMW with an empty space beside it. For giggles I parked superVee right next to it. After walking around and looking at myself in all the chrome and $5,000 dollar paint jobs for a while I decided to go back to my bike and get money for some tea (no alcohol on bikes). Mr. GS was there looking at my bike very closely.

Turns out Mr. GS had sold a 07 strom just like mine to get the GS. His bike looked friggin awesome and I have been considering trading my Road King for one…not very seriously though. He went on and on about how much he loved his Vee and how much better it was on the road. He went the GS route for better dirt riding. But, commented that after only a few months he realized he should have kept the Vee, bought a dual sport, and would have had enough left to buy a nice used car. The GS looks awesome…but you have seen the pictures before. The thing sits go high the dirt bike rider in me got an uncontrollable woody.

He lives past my house and not far from me and we had a 40 mile ride home. Mr. GS asked if I would like to try his BMW and I said naw, my brother has the GS1150 and I have put many miles on it. After that he asked, well can I ride yours?

I almost declined but thought what the heck, a nice free backroad demo ride. So off we go. I almost got a nose bleed the beast sits so high and could not flat foot it when stopped. The new GS is quite a bit lighter than the older 1150’s but still feels heavier than my Vee. As soon as we hit clear road I see a wad of blackish smoke come out of my tail pipes and Mr. GS is gone reliving his strom days. I downshifted one gear on the BMW (major clunk) and let the german bike have a good right hand twist. The GS hung on my bikes tail well and to me, felt like a pretty dam strong bike.

Underway, the bike got lighter and shorter feeling. It has such great low end torque and grunt, I instantly feel in love with the two wheeled tractor. Something about the looks of this machine gets my blood pressure up….I’m not sure why. It felt almost the same as the 1150 so no big surprises but it does have a little more HP if my butt dyno isn’t out of calibration. The GS bikes turn great and I love the telelever front end. It has almost zero front end brake dive. It feels weird to have the front end get very stiff under braking then hit a bump and see the shocks suck it up…very weird, but works great.

All in all, I loved the GS. We rode all the way to my house without switching bikes again. Mr. GS commented that the Vee is considerably faster than his GS and a better road bike (he put 30,000 on his prior strom). However, Mr GS said the GS will spank the strom in the dirt…..I believe him on that. I got him a cold drink and we continued BSing. Turns out after Bfarkling he had $20,000 tied up in his toy. I told him I had $4,400 in mine, he looked a little sad.

He asked me if I would ever sell my Vee. I explained that I had decided to keep this one to see how long it will last. He had no interest in my Harley or a trade either….damm
 

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Nice writeup! I've heard wonderful things about the telelever.

How is the GS better off-road? I'm not familiar enough with these kinds of bikes to understand. I was surprised at how uncomfortable I felt on the Wee when it got slippery -- the high center of gravity made it feel like I was trying too hard to balance the bike, where my old sportbike was *so* easy to balance at low speeds.

I was thinking I'd hate to have something bigger like a big GS because when the mud got slippery, it'd be impossible to balance.

Or do you just mean it handles better off-road because of the ground clearance?
 

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Better off road due to more suspension travel and ground clearance. I am not sure about center of gravity but it feels lower on the GS. The GS has less breakable and dentable stuff on it.

Of course I am not letting cost be a deciding factor. If you look at cost, its a no brainer. But with bikes....I don't always look at cost.

The GS feels and looks like a big dirt bike you can ride on the road.

The strom looks and feels like a small street bike you can ride in the dirt.
 

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Of course I am not letting cost be a deciding factor. If you look at cost, its a no brainer. But with bikes....I don't always look at cost.
Yep. Bikes are toys anyway. I'd love to have an F800GS or R1200GS some day. Will have to get a ride or two. And some more cash :) The Wee is definitely where it's at for bang for the buck, but as you say, we don't always make rational decisions. Nice to hear from someone who doesn't have the typical brand hate. :thumbup:
 

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They are horrid off road. Not that Stroms are any better. Upgrade the suspensions and it is close to a wash. Off road is for light small bikes. They are still pigs and get stuck easy and are very difficult to lift. I know all the MSF stuff about proper lifting , but off road is is really anyway you can get it up, it's not a parking lot surface. I just spoke with a poor fellow with a 800 GS. Had tried his first water crossing and failed. Halfway through it died when he popped the clutch , fell over and was under water. He had to get a ranger to get assistance in getting it out. The ranger also pointed out that it maybe a EPA fine is involved on top of the 14k dead bike. To say he was sad is an understatement. I ride gravel, fire and Forest Service roads and the Strom is just fine


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 
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