[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: R1200GS

Bob Hadden wrote:

"The GS is high up in the air.  This becomes a non issue after a day or 
so, as long as you are tall enough to handle the bike.  Say 5'11" or 

You have to be 5'11" or taller to handle the R1200GS??? Nope. I'm 5'8",
30" inseam, and it's no problem. I also have no problem with my airhead
GS. And, I had no problem with the F650 Dakar at Hechlingen, which seems
to have a higher seat than either.

There seems to be a myth that one needs to be tall enough to flat foot a
bike in order to ride it. Maybe so, if you are tall, and never learned
to deal with not being able to get both feet on the ground.

Maybe an introduction is in order...

Some of you might know me from the airheads list. I'm an Wisconsinite
who has been working in Berlin, Germany for the past three years. I keep
a nice '88 R100GS back in WI, and have a '94 R1100RS here in Germany. I
also have an HPN project that is mostly about acquiring parts before I
move back to the US in March.

My experience with the R1200GS comes from renting one when a buddy from
the US visited. I only have the one motorcycle here and we needed two.
We took a trip through upper Bavaria and then Franconia, ending at BMW's
Enduro School in Hechlingen, where we took a three day course on rented
Dakars. Some conclusions, after riding the 1200GS in the city and on thr

1. The R1200GS is a far superior city bike, easily balanced at very low
speeds, providing a good riding position and having a commanding view of

2. The R1100RS is a far superior high speed bike. It is far more
comfortable above 120 km/hr (about 75 mph). Fuel burn is less at high
speed, more in town. The R1100RS has 5-10 km/hr of top speed on the
1200GS (when both are "dirty" with luggage), and provides far less drama
up there. Mine will reach 215-219 km/hr on a cool day without its bags,
in a tuck, and me wearing leathers. (A synthetic riding suit cuts that
down by at least 7 km/hr.)

3. A good rider can do amazing things off road with the 1200GS. But, the
21" front wheel of the Dakar or the airhead is so much easier for
mortals in sand or slime.

The first time my buddy visited, we had an 1150GS. I was not so
impressed with this bike. The 1200GS seems superior in all respects. The
1150GS seems to be a combination of all things I find disadvantageous of
the airhead GS and my oilhead RS. I think the R1100RS is superior to the
R1150GS for all things pavement.

My 1100RS has been a fine machine. I am ALMOST as fond of it as my
airhead. It has served wonderfully for me alone, or with my wife along.
It now has about 90k km on it, a bit more than 40k are mine. I have done
two ADAC courses with it. (Think MSF ERC, except with skidpads, wet
braking and a closed course with various corners, grades and straights
good for 150 km/hr or so if one wanted.) The tranny did need to be
brought up to the latest stand, and a rocker bearing failed in one head.
(Luckily, all survived except for the exhaust valves. And, the machine
brought me home!) No surging, but no cat either. Nor ABS. I would love
to bring it home, but the US has ridiculous laws on importing vehicles.
So, after March I will be using its sale proceeds to finish airhead #2
(the HPN), and hopefully be in a position to pick up a used R1200ST in a
couple of years. If the improvements to the ST over the RS are a quarter
of those bewteen the 1150/1200 GS's it should be a marvelous machine.

Best regards,
David Paulus
Berlin, Germany