2013 R1200 GS (Water Cooled)

August, 2019: I no longer own this bike

July 2013: on the ride home from the dealer

New GS

New GS

Still clean

Still clean

Only 22 miles

Only 22 miles

Sporky goodness

Sporky goodness

GS Farkles

The farkling started before the new bike arrived. Here’s the list of things obtained/modifications made to date. The list is in date sequence, newest entry at the top.

GS Maintenance

I’ve created a Service checklist for things that need doing on this bike during the 6K and 12K service periods. I am not 100% sure it is accurate. I’m making it available in pdf format. link

Thursday, July 11 2013 [8 miles]

Eight miles were on the odometer when I left the dealer parking lot. There were 60 miles on the odometer by the time I pulled into the garage. Tomorrow I’ll mount the panniers and then ride some more, time permitting. I’ve already scheduled the first service for the 23rd. I’ll probably wait until after the first service before installing the crash bars.

More farkles have been ordered.

New bike ordered

Sometimes called an R1200GSW by BMW. The W is for Water Cooled

That’s a BMW press photo of a 2013 R1200 GS in Alpine White. Mine will look similar—I’ve ordered wire wheels this time around.

On March 28th I took a test ride on the new water cooled GS. There was nothing wrong with my ‘05 model save that it was 8 years and almost 80,000 miles old. If I didn’t like the test ride I could always keep the ‘05. Not that I expected that to happen. The ride was about an hour long covering city streets, twisties, and a few miles of interstate. The route was Mountain View to Page Mill to Skyline to 84 to Sand Hill to I280 and back to Mountain View.


  1. throttle response: Wow. No hesitation or delay. First time I blipped the throttle to down shift I discovered that it doesn’t take much wrist action to generate lots of RPM.

  2. torque and power. The engine pulls. It pulls down low and it pulls up high. Well, as high as I took the test bike, anyway. This bike doesn’t need a booster plug or accelerator module to behave at low RPM.

  3. overall feel. The bike may be 15-20 lbs heavier but it felt lighter than my current GS. This is not a fair comparison as I probably had 50 pounds of farkles on the ‘05 GS.

  4. windshield. It seems to work. Adjustability is nice.

  5. riding position. Comfortable. My knees fit better than they do on the current bike. Not a big difference, but noticeable. I might not need risers with this bike.

  6. LCD pannel. The information is easier to read than my ‘05 GS and there is more info. Not sure how it will be in bright sun, though.

  7. cruise control. It works. It’s all electonic (like the throttle) so it doesn’t add any extra friction to the throttle.


  1. turn signal switch gear. I much prefer the old style paddles; the kind the press has been railing about since they were first introduced.

  2. speedo. The layout of the speedo is such that only 90º of arc are used to cover 0-60 MPH. That puts the numbers close together which requires a smaller font than I’d like. Tach is OK.

  3. shift lever/side stand. There is a tang on the side of the side stand to make deployment easier. My big feet hits the tang when I try to bring my foot in close to get under the shift lever. What works is to point my toes in and down to get them under the shifter without getting the side of my foot too close. I may be able to adjust the lever/pegs to minimize this. Or I can bend the tank out of my way.

  4. heated grip control. Would be nicer if it was in a different location. I think I went from 30 MPH to 50 MPH (in a 25 MPH zone) accidently twisting the throttle to reach the control. Related: It is hard to go only 25 MPH on this bike.

  5. highbeam control. The location of the control had me inadvertantly turning on the high beam when I turned off the cruise control.

The dislikes are mostly minor things that I’ll get used to. Minor enough that an order was submitted to BMW with just the options I wanted. The bike I ordered will be built sometime in May… 8 years to the month after my ‘05 GS. All I have to do now is wait (and start creating my farkle list).

What I ordered

  • 2013 BMW R1200GS in Alpine White
  • Cruise Control
  • Enduro ASC and Riding Modes
  • Saddle Bag Mounts
  • Wire wheels
  • Dynamic ESA
  • Heated Grips

What I didn’t order

  • On Board Computer Pro
  • Hand Protection
  • Chrome Exhaust
  • GPS Preparation
  • Tire Pressure Monitor
  • LED Headlight

R 1200 GSW Order Timeline