Честный обзор BMW R 1200 GS
I travel a lot in different adventure bikes and this is a review of BMW R 1200 GS. Well, welcome to the second season, where there will be a comparison of hippos. Your favorite BMW hater got in touch again. I have already fully tested all competitors, except Triumph and Harley - I will get to them while I do other reviews. Spoiler - as always, I will scold BMW.
If you are owner and watch reviews to please your High Self-Esteem, it is better to quietly close video. Otherwise, you will be upset that not everyone in the world dreams of your GS, you will begin to notice disadvantages in your favorite motorcycle, your appetite will deteriorate. This is the first review in the class, so I made a trick - there will be a lot of water and a story about 1200 GS, and the next will be a review of 1250 GS with an artistic reading of characteristics from a piece of paper. And in general, I will not pretend that there are people in the world who do not know about existence of such a motorcycle and that it does not fall flat, but on protruding cylinders. I tested 3 different GSs on three types of suspension - basic short suspension, semi-active short suspension, and oversized Rallye version with spoke wheels. There is also an enlarged semi-active suspension, which is available for a surcharge on Adventure version.
Suspension of latest generation 1200 and 1250 do not differ, so information will be relevant both there and there. This video will mainly feature 2017 Rallye - a version with spoked wheels, small semi-enduro windshield, enlarged suspensions, tricolor paintwork. A flat one-and-a-half saddle is also standard, but when ordering, you could immediately choose a different saddle and a standard suspension - earlier people could buy a version because of cool design, so now Rallye is just an option with a cool paint on any motorcycle.
In 1250 generation, something similar is HP package. There is a myth that Rallye is the most richest version. The most richest one is in BMW press park, but in fact, Rallye has nothing from special options in stock at all. There is even a funny nuance - standard windshield is taken away from base, but there is no Enduro mode - you have to pay extra for it.
It's like with panties and a cross. Life hack when choosing old versions of motorcycles. If you are thinking about 1200 GS - look at 1250 GS reviews - the same people who salivated over ideal 1200 GS will quickly tell you that the last generation had monstrous vibrations, dull dynamics, a gearbox and quickshifter like on a tractor, a shameful windshield, light, ugly mirrors, nozzles with a chain rattled. They just forgot to tell in past review - who does not happen to. I am sure that many who buy such motorcycles without looking, in reality expect something different.
What exactly do you want from this class? In city, such motorcycles are fat and more difficult to squeeze between cars - 10 centimeters wider on handlebar than ordinary mid-sized bikes. When wide stripes are not a problem, where narrow stripes are a tangible difference. Permeability obviously suffers from weight.
No matter how low center of gravity is, no matter how wonderful suspension is, off-road factor # 1 is weight. And there is a catch here when it comes to travel. Let's say base 1200 GS has a good weight within 244kg class, with a 20 liter tank. In reality, medium-sized bikes with such a tank volume can easily travel 400-450 km. GS claims a consumption of 5.35 l/100 km. This is the only motorcycle in class, which does not converge so much with official consumption of real.
At the end of mini-trip I rode on all motorcycles on highway - here it is without traffic jams, with thin traffic and without speed reduction zones - I just rode steadily on 127 km/h cruise control for a couple of hours, reset and measured consumption. More precisely, on all other motorcycles I rode with cruise control, because BMW does not have it in stock. I kept my hand plus or minus exactly - there is no tremor yet. So, most competitors,
apart from very old models, in this mode without panniers and with standard windshield, have a consumption in the range of 5.2-5.5 l/100 km. On 1200 GS, I rode a lot on highways, not exceeding speed, and consumption in this mode was kept in range of 6.4-6.8 alone without panniers and cargo with low rally windshield - in sterile conditions. 1250 GS eats about half a liter less, but still more than its peers. Standard tank is sorely lacking for travel: a maximum of 300 km is beyond bounds for a tourist. If you are going to ride
from 140 km/h and more, consumption on GS flies into space and tank is enough for 200 km. Faster than 160 km/h - they say that tank is already enough for 150 km. Aerodynamics of a motorcycle are worse than ever, GS does not like high speeds - keep this in mind.
As a result, only Adventure version is needed for travel - this is already 263 kg. Moreover, Adventure is also not so cool - real power reserve at 130 km/h is about 460 km. For example, basic V-strom 650 or Versys 650 will pass in same conditions without a load commensurately.
For traveling in Asia or Africa, most add a canister. Only GS of a five-liter canister is enough for 80 km, and for an mid-size one for 110-120. Of course, you can ride very slowly - but in 1200 GS, consumption will not drop much lower than 6 liters anyway . In all situations, I had a consumption of 6 liters and more - where competitors have 5 with a penny. And this is with my law-abiding retired riding style without traffic jams.
With 1250 - yes, it's another matter, you can achieve a consumption of 5 liters in energy saving mode . Distracted. 1200 GS is a normal bike, I've seen worse, but not perfect. And most of saliva elicited by GS in reviews is class-wide. Of course, after Stels, it will delight, but in fact there are other similar motorcycles. Oftentimes, GS is the first adventurer after a change from some other class, because bike is touted as something that will fundamentally change life. Straight the most versatile station
wagon, only off-road you can’t go in and out for traffic jams, and so - yes. Sometimes a reasonable thought slips into sea of saliva that, in fact, this motorcycle has a rather modest ground clearance in base, suspension and wheels are something not endurous, but these opinions go unheeded. The main thought that you should take from my reviews on 1200s is that they are all good, for all manufacturers these are flagship models in their genre, where they tried to stick maximum of their philosophy. But all companies have a different view - there is no best motorcycle for everyone, pay attention to nuances. My task is to explain these nuances to you, and your task is to feel which of the motorcycles is closer to you.
GS is still hostage to its fan base like Harley. Fundamental changes can lead to the fact that those people who, with each update, changed old GSs for new ones, suddenly refuse to do it. Imagine what would happen if GS was suddenly equipped with a modern V4 or a normal suspension. However, they tried with
K-series rowers - it did not take root. Compared to competitors, GS has a dull dynamics, it is far from the most comfortable, not the lightest, not the best off-road, not the most reliable, not the cheapest. But with all introductions, big GS is the most popular adventure bike. This has nothing to do with quality. Or do you think that no one can make anything tastier than Coca Cola, since this is the # 1 soda? It's just default choice. I'm not even talking about BMW's aggressive marketing, even without considering the fact that, according to the laws of marketing, a leader needs to spend less money on promotion.
There is a vicious circle. Instructors and guides have GS, in many ways to show and tell on a motorcycle familiar to everyone how to do what. Or BMW skill improvement schools - they teach tricks on their motorcycles and build a logical chain that BMW is omnipotent, although if you give a person a ride on KTM there, he will understand who is the daddy. Or a case in point with McGregor documentary. They wanted KTM, but they were given motorcycles by BMW. The rest of brands have marketing somewhere at the level of the 17th century. Or that BMW is
making sure that you take bike to test with its top package. When I take motorcycles of other brands, they are often naked. Like the last KTM 890 and 1290 on test without a quickshifter and advanced electronics, I had a dealership NC750X with manual gear. Here I was lucky only because I took GSs from Italians who are engaged in Harleys, and not from official BMW dealers. People who did not have a adventure bike before, look - see what can be done on a big GS and buy it. GS is often bought for purpose of riding off the pavement, but in reality it is just not very suitable for this, even within the class.
The worst thing is when people with short stature want a big GS, then they ride with stretched hands, barely reaching handlebar and are afraid to tilt motorcycle a couple of degrees. For what? It's like wearing sneakers 3 sizes larger - well, yes, more spacious, better ventilation, look more brutal, only you can't run in them. And the most important thing is that in order to ride comfortably off-road on such a heavy motorcycle, you need a skill, it is not very suitable for study. If on a light motorcycle you can stop and lower yourself, or ride slowly somewhere, then in order to ride a big GS in the same place, you must always go on open throttle and not stop. And if a light motorcycle is easy to catch when it starts to slip or fall, then when front wheel begins to slip on a big adventure bike, chances of catching are less. And angle at which you can
hold motorcycle is different. Lightweigh you can turn as you wish, hippopotamus more than necessary, tilted it, slowed down - and will fall. Especially at short stature, a light motorcycle is much easier to handle. A big difference on not too hard ground - not even mud yet. When soil is saturated with moisture,
on a light motorcycle you calmly ride on grass or walk with your feet, and a heavy adventure bike on loose soil begins to fall into hell when you turn off throttle. Now about the very feature of motorcycle, which determines its character relative to competitors. GS has a class-unique Telelever front suspension. But how many reviews I have not seen, no one talks about the main thing . What is the point - instead of usual telescopic fork in front, the main role is played by shock absorber, which is attached with a bracket to a point almost in the center of motorcycle. To put it simply, what is all this for - with a conventional telescopic fork, when compressed and unclenched, wheel relative to motorcycle moves diagonally, as if changing geometry of motorcycle.
In fact, you are riding a motorcycle with a range of parameters and behavior in different states of fork is fundamentally different. Hence the effects of either understeer or oversteer when fork is swinging. And in Telelever, when front suspension is compressed and released, wheel relative to motorcycle moves clearly up and down. Firstly, it allows you to better extinguish dive (there is still, but less). Secondly, geometric parameters change less and differently - for example, wheelbase practically does not change, trail does not decrease, as on a telescope, but increases. In short, all parameters stabilize motorcycle when diving. I’ll explain right away, until pictures
disappear, what is the main claim to Telelever off-road. Telelever works great on waves, but there is a nuance with hard irregularities. Imagine riding through a curb at speed - when wheel does not just roll over wave, but a small bump occurs on wheel. At the moment of impact, wheel pushes diagonally back and up - just in line with direction of compression of fork. If telescopic fork is energy-intensive enough, it completely dampens force of impact, wheel is compressed while the inertia pushes motorcycle forward, and rode on. Telelever, when hitting curb, dampens vertical force, but does not fully absorb rebound of wheel back - there is a blow to fork, which is transmitted to handlebar, even if stone is only 7 cm high.Telelever has such a
characteristic effect of breaking fork on stones. Many people say that, like, since there are no dive, then it slows down better. Well, that's half the truth. All heavy motorcycles are excellent brakes and it's a matter of taste.
Personally, I like to brake on telescope more, because feedback is better - you can more clearly feel the moment when wheel locks, but this is taste and I do not insist. Once a car from the oncoming lane decided to turn through my lane before a closed turn, and also got up, blocking lane. I had to urgently brake on GS. There is definitely nothing surprising - there is no feedback and all the difference. Only from work of ABS do you understand when you overdid it.
There are test results for emergency braking distance - there are no advantages to motorcycles with Telelever even on paper. Nice brakes, but they don't do anything phenomenal. By the way, 1200 GS still has Brembo brakes, 1250 saved them and put on Hayes brakes, which immediately resulted in several recalls, as is usual at BMW.
Why test, right? Brakes are good, but all competitors are good - there is not a single 1200 that would slow down badly. Keep in mind that all heavy bikes have the best grip. Due to weight, rubber is pressed into road - off course, control and stability of braking are on a completely different level.
Even if we are talking about more enduric bikes, there tires a narrow. Even, for example, Africa Twin has narrow tires - this is another fad why Africa Twin cannot be as good on asphalt. And along the way - the same tire model behaves differently in different classes. Even stiff tire is sticky on a heavy adventure bikes - more difficult to slip, but wears out faster. Some say that due to Telelever, GS somehow phenomenally swallows irregularities. Not true.
If we compare with competitors and talk, for example, about riding on a moderately good road - plus or minus, everyone goes like that, many are definitely more comfortable. But if we compare behavior on bumps, where there are pronounced steps - for example, if we are riding a perpendicular track, large potholes on asphalt or stones - then GS loses in general to all competitors, except for Crosstourer with its purely asphalt suspension. This is a design feature of Telelever. Secondly, BMW uses 37 mm fork tubes. For understanding - diameter of fork tubes, even in cheap 300-cc adventure bikes, is not less than 41 mm, and in 1200 class, most competitors have a diameter of 48 mm. In this case, BMW pipes
are something like handlebar rails. It is logical that they wanted to lighten pipes, but a nuance arose. Physics cannot be fooled and BMWish pipes as there is nothing to bend under a hard impact. And if you think that a hard blow means that you need to throw off a motorcycle from a nine-story building - no. I have had occasion to bend a 43 mm fork - for this it was enough to hard hit an obstacle with a wheel at a speed of 30-40 km/h. There are reviews from GS owners who were charged with replacing bent front suspension - this is about 5,000 euros, while owners did not even ride on normal off-road and did not crash.
To understand the process - imagine that you are knocking with a hammer weighing 250 kg, and instead of a normal handle, hammer has a pipe from a mop. Do you think that's all? Welcome to the BMW Fatal Flaw website with stories of who and under what circumstances on 1200 GS had a fork ripped out on move due to poor pipe fastening. As a result, achieved start of a fork recall, although problem concerned as many as two generations of motorcycles from 2013 to 2017 - and BMW refused all this time, despite massive nature of the phenomenon. So why is BMW holding on to its technology? And all because due to Telelever, motorcycle almost always has minimal distortions in geometry, as I said - when accelerating, when braking and when riding through small irregularities. I'll start from afar - GS has
the shortest wheelbase in the class, and even when compared with mid-range, it is already very short. A short wheelbase, as we recall, directly affects how easily bike turns. Hence the squeals about how GS easily do wheely.
Well, yes, and stool in kitchen is even easier to stand on its back legs - this does not mean that it is powerful or with perfect suspension. With Telelever, short wheelbase and short reach, GS is phenomenal, especially at low speeds. No other adventure bike cuts into tight corners like GS. Control in city is gorgeous - passages in narrow city circles, U-turns, turns after a stop - all this is done very easily and stably - you can fall in love with it, really. And also on GS because of wheelbase and large turning angle of handlebar, turning radius is like that of some 400 cc bike. With dexterity, GS turns around
within one lane on the go. And don't get fooled by the way gymkhanists perform tricks on GS - it is much easier to do it on it than on most motorcycles, and because of fat shapes it seems very difficult. And this is main characteristic feature of GS that sets it apart from others. In Europe, where tight corners and lots of serpentines are great experiences. And now let's face it - almost all of Russia is flat, roads are wide and fast, in cities there are turns and circles with a huge radius and there is no place to feel the difference with other competitors.
Moreover, semi-active suspension technology is used on almost all 1200s and is able to quite effectively dampen dive effect. If you switch, for example, suspension to sport mode on KTM 1290, there won't be any significant difference with BMW, on both motorcycles I got same pleasure on serpentines, if we talk purely about steering. But! At BMW, suspension range is limited only to moderately good asphalt or some kind of smooth gravel, and KTM rides on bad roads and off-road with some large stones on a fundamentally different level. Today, compared to semi-active suspensions, Telelever concept is outdated. However, BMW themselves understand this and are slowly replacing Telelever with a telescope in many models. It is still relevant for
road tourers. Actually, Gold Wing also has not a telescope, but a double-wishbone suspension with a similar effect. But it does not fit GS if we say that this bike is not only for asphalt.
Now impressions of different suspensions. I didn't like the most basic manual suspension. I am talking about suspensions available from competitors in recent years. 10 years ago, I would have spoken differently, really. It is still stable, but it works out even minor irregularities so-so - it transfers everything into hands, range of possibilities, where it is comfortable, is narrow.
Shock absorber twisted back and forth - it does not help, but there are no complaints about shock absorber at all. An important nuance - I am talking only in comparison with other 1200 competitors, or with near-1000-cc crossovers. Of course, this suspension doesn't compare to cheap 650s like Versys / V-strom / NC. Suspension with regular travel, but semi-active is the most optimal. Motorcycle steers perfectly, it is quite comfortable on any asphalt roads, even where asphalt is imperfect, but on hard irregularities it hits hands - there is nothing you can do about it.
But if you do not get fanatical about off-road, and only ride on roads, I really like it, there is nothing to complain about. Special thanks to BMW for Auto mode in load settings - bike will automatically detect load level and adjust to correct height. And as usual - there are modes: 1 rider, rider with a load, with a passenger, and with a full load, or as on KTM in percentages from 0 to 100.
And if a rider weighs 100 kg - what should he choose? And if you put a bag of groceries in a top case - is it already loaded or not yet? Without a lot of experience , it's unlikely to figure out that suspension is working somehow incorrectly, and it's too lazy to change parameters when you ride around city. Rallye version's oversized suspension is already controversial. On the one hand, it is much better off-road, but still not at level of great adventurers, and on the other, it is too soft in a bad sense of the word. Motorcycle always sways and BMW magic is no longer on serpentines - already sweat like everyone else, not bad for adventure bike, but worse than on good crossovers.
For example, this is how a motorcycle sways in the softest position ... But how in the hardest one. As a result, I was riding alone without a load in the most rigid position and it is still not rigid enough than I want for active riding on serpentines. And if you put a passenger in and hang a load, it will be controlled like a melted jelly, or an Africa Twin. Surely, electronics
in semi-active version of this suspension compensates swing and is easily controlled, but manual version are definitely not worth taking. Oh yes. With right suspension setting, I can't fully reach the ground with my feet on Rallye with a height of 188 cm. Ground clearance is different. BMW does not indicate, I measured 225 mm on Rallye in the highest position of shock absorber. To me, very good and even overkill for such a bike - it's never a KTM or Africa Twin off-road competitor. However, the existence of a
Rallye version in this design is a mystery to me. In stock alloy wheels. If on light motorcycles it is not so important, then on heavy adventurers I only drown by the spokes when moving off asphalt.
Spoke wheels are more expensive and heavier, so they put alloy wheels in base model - there is no other reason. On a heavy adventure bike, crushing alloy wheels is like there is nothing to do, even just on asphalt with potholes. Again, a lot of people criticize BMW wheels, but all heavy bikes have the same story. Spokes help soften
impact - this is their only significant advantage. All 1200 motorcycles have tubeless spoke rims and do not require any maintenance. Occasionally, after riding off-road, simply squeeze spokes in pairs with your hand and tighten the loose ones - this is an intuitive procedure. If you hit hard, spokes may fall out, but it's okay too - you can go, spokes separately cost a penny. By the way, 1200 GS has a delicate paint on spoked wheels, as if pupils was using a spray can.
For many, paint peels off from some kind of impact, like on a test motorcycle. It is necessary to change tires on GS very carefully. And then price problem comes up.
Stock GS seems to be quite in the market, but completely naked - suspension is simple and with less travel, only Rain/Road modes, halogen light, primitive dashboard, no heating, quickshifter, cruise control, keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring, spoked wheels , advanced traction control systems and other electronic assistants. And to hide outdated halogen light, owners immediately put a protective grill on headlight. Usually BMWs in press parks or partner rental companies are in the top package, but I managed to ride with full stock. This, of course, is the bottom line - you go on such a road and feel that you have been toughly deceived. GS only makes sense in a rich package. Now let's talk about comfort and ergonomics.
Seating fit is normal for the class. Many may have high expectations. The fact is that entire class has a handlebar slightly forward - this is not a cruiser fit.
People of average height 100% need to stretch slightly behind handlebar. Handlebar itself is wide and in inverted position you will have to stretch very hard behind it. This was done for a compromise, so that it was more convenient to ride in a rack, as I understand it. With 21 years to GS is not just offered optional 3 cm handlebar risers. From the point of view asphalt
tourism, the most optimal handlebar in the class at Super Tenere. It is closer to rider, sitting relaxed, and riding at standing - to many people in this class is not necessary at all. In any case, all motorcycles in class are comfortable in terms of seating fit for tall people - there are local features that can be customized with risers or changing handlebar. Knee angle on all motorcycles is
not annoying. Saddle on a BMW is regular for class, but not ultimate dream, a strong middling. Any custom gel saddle will do stock, but this is the case for all models. In any case, choice of ready-made
seats for GS is much wider. In terms of ergonomics, there are still comfortable good turn signals and cruise control buttons, if it were - even unusual for a BMW. Starting from next year, GS was produced with a multiwheel, because of which turn signals are critically inconvenient to use. There were already two dashboards in this generation. One is trendy, like on new bikes, and basic analog.
They wanted to make an analog dashboard similar to old GSs - there used to be a huge full-fledged speedometer and a tachometer on top right. But now it was necessary to stick a large LCD and bit off part of speedometer. If vertical position of arrow on old GS was at 120 km/h, now vertical is 180 km/h - entire working part of speedometer is in a couple of centimeters - it is impossible to instantly read speed indicators. Wind protection. Windshields, of course, are not about anything, but for all manufacturers, stock works for an average height and, most likely, beats in shoulders. But again, this does not matter, because third-party windshields for any model, especially BMW, are sea, and with a motorcycle cost under 20,000 euros, I think you can afford an accessory for 200 euros.
In Rallye version, stub is even less than standard - such a windshield does not even hit visor, but already throws camera on chin. This is what helmet looks like in evening after a ride with Rallye windshield on a flagship motorcycle. This is if someone is suddenly going to travel with him. And a good illustration for those who ask me to do reviews on scramblers - I might be glad, only camera is quickly covered with midges. One plus - you don't have to dine on such motorcycles, you just need to open your mouth on highway and a stomach full of delicacies. With a normal visor, you look over windshield and you can ride with an open visor - not a single fly will fly in a day.
The second part of wind protection is how it blows into legs. Situation is twofold. Lean GS has, to put it mildly, poor leg wind protection. The fact is that from top of tank air flow is directed lower, and cylinders from bottom direct air up. All this directional airflow blows clearly into knees.
It is imperceptible in city, but if you ride along highway in cold weather, the problem is obvious. There is no such thing on Adventure version - there is just tank expanded at bottom and protects knees. But the problem that exists on all versions is that it splashes both rider and passenger from rear wheel, so there is a bunch of different tuning to cover holes. This problem is known to everyone and has been going on from generation to generation. Competitors do not have this.
This is a response to opinion that GS - 40 years of perfecting and the most advanced technology. In 10 years, a normal mudguard and fairings will be invented. In general, GS is not an advanced one. They switched to a liquid-cooler engine almost the very last, and almost everyone refused from opposites, on new engines ShiftCam system is a tracing paper with VVT, which Japanese began to use already in 80s.
It's all just being solved. For example, VFR has a skinny tank, but Honda corny added plastic spoilers that take flow off knees. A solution for 3 penny - you just need to want to improve something. At Triumph, in general, wind protection has been brought to perfection, and at BMW, no one cares who blows where.
Now let's talk about sacred cow BMW - boxer engine. Yes, moderately low, but actually cylinders are not located at bottom, but in the middle of frame. On old-old GS, cylinders were located lower and for sure it was the lowest center of gravity. On modern GS, cylinders are
lifted, while other motorcycle manufacturers, on contrary, have learned to underestimate location of V and L engines in frame. Well, low center of gravity does not negate weight of motorcycle - if you get stuck, it is hard to pull it out, when you need to lift and rearrange motorcycle from rut, or push it from behind. Even just push on a hillock. In such cases, center of gravity no longer plays a role. When riding at low speed
or at stops - yes, there is an effect, but a light mid-size bike with a high center of gravity is still easier to turn and tilt. Argument that bulging cylinders make motorcycle easy to lift is also half the truth. Cylinder covers break when dropped. Falling into the ground on spot is one thing, but putting it on a stone at speed is another, so few people ride without protection of cylinders. And how is this different from simply making wide crash bars yourself, like on cruisers? By the way, crash bars for cylinders still extend motorcycle by 10 centimeters.
In the city, cylinders do not interfere, in traffic jams on such motorcycles are determined only by handlebar, hand protection and mirrors, except for very exceptional situations. GS has standard broad ratings for the class. These bikes are about 10 cm wider than mid-sized bikes. Most competitors are of
similar width, only VFR and KTM 1290 are noticeable, which are much better between cars, especially if hand guards are removed. Now I'll reveal a terrible secret: GS has the strongest vibrations in entire class. Someone may not notice them, but they are and impressive. Of course, single-cylinder mid-size bikes, as a rule, vibrate more, but there it is understandable - no one promised comfort.
I searched forums and a very common story is this: "Dudes, I just bought a GS and at some revs or speed there is vibration in footpegs or handlebar. Is my motorcycle broken? Defected?" And answers: "This is a boxer, so it should be." Almost everyone is not serious about vibrations - well, like, you're a man, be patient.
But in fact, all this is from ignorance of what harm to health is caused by constant exposure to vibrations. I will not stretch video - delve into topic yourself. The trick is that vibrations affect tendons and slowly destroy bones. BMW should be given milk for harmfulness. GS vibrations gradually increase, so it is highly dependent on riding style.
To bring observations to some kind of system, I divided them into two parts. At first, I rode every motorcycle with cruise-control at 110 and 127 km/h in sixth gear - standard long-haul travel mode for those who obey traffic rules. In general, all bikes in class run at this speed between 4,000 to 4,500 rpm range (except for Multistrada V4). I don't think I'm asking for much from flagship touring bikes - no vibration in this range. To further understand vibration - I also drove in low gears in same rev range - this eliminates vibration factors from wheels, driveshaft, and windscreen issues. Seriously, put in second or third gear and just ride GS evenly at around 4200 rpm and you will feel pounding on your hands. In 1250 GS, vibrations
are especially felt somewhere from 4200 to 5000 rpm. On 1200, the same disco already with 3800 rpm. Then they become even stronger, but frequency increases so much that everything turns into a mess.
Many, on contrary, are annoyed by vibrations of GS precisely from 5000 rpm. What does cruise control have to do with it? Because when you turn a knob back and forth in a city or in mountains, it is rather hard to feel that something is wrong with vibrations, only after a few hours your hands get hammered. And so that there were no ultimatum arguments "I'm okay with it", in addition, each motorcycle was tested with a vibrometer.
I didn't really hope that measurements would lead to anything. First, I measured vibration only on handlebar. There is also often vibration on footpegs, but this greatly depends on what footpegs are and can easily be treated either with bots on thick soles or by replacing footpegs themselves. With handlebar, everything is more complicated and there is no one hundred percent solution.
Wait to write, I know about existence of anti-vibration handlebar risers, they remove vibrations only partially. Grip pads also have side drawbacks, so they will not work for everyone. Maximum is cruise control, at least you can give your hands a rest. Based on the results of experiments, I realized that the most stable parameter that coincides with my feelings and has a repeatability with the smallest error is vibration acceleration at high frequencies. Different motorcycles with different
mileage, but with same engine, showed similar values with an error of 7 percent - and then this is more due to the fact that it is quite difficult to keep RPM at a stop with your hand and on one it can be 3900, on other 4100. I am interested in general dynamics, so one value does not affect overall picture. It was fun, but it turned out that study was pretty clear about feeling. After a series of tests, I have compiled top motorcycles for vibration levels based on feel. Then filled in table data from vibrometer and positions in ranking converged. I do not share numbers, because
accuracy is still low. I ordered a more powerful vibrometer, with which I can make measurements more accurately, but overall picture will not change. For about a week I traveled on different GSs all day long - seriously from morning to evening, I got into rhythm. On all GSs, my hands fall off in the evening and throughout week I fell asleep with phantom itching all over my body. KTM also has specific vibrations - I'll talk about that later.
On all other models there is nothing like this and it is great to travel, and on Japanese there is a completely different level of engine softness. If after GS immediately change to Super Tenere - you will be amazed, I guarantee. In general, there are vibrations in hands and on footrests. On Rallye, default spiked footpegs without rubber bands, but through standard rubber ones, there are also plenty of vibrations. If boots are serious with thick soles - in general, not scary, as well as pinching of ass, the main problem is only on handlebar.
In terms of dynamics - even GS fans confirm that it is dull and, to put it mildly, does not feel like its volume - I would give about 900 cc. But the main thing is that it is even here throughout entire range, 1250 has a nonlinear thrust. At the same time, there is still no feeling that slightly twist handle and release devil - everything is too smooth. Without a spark, what's on that on the other motor. Why Road mode is needed - I don't understand at all. A motorcycle in Dynamic mode is calm
and will not scare a person who has just moved from a balance bike. But if you ride on fast enough roads, where you don't have to slow down too much, 1250 is noticeably more cheerful. For lovers of dynamic riding, it's only KTM or Ducati, BMW will disappoint. For lovers of a comfortable quiet ride, it is suitable, on the other hand, many say that you need to constantly click gears, but in my opinion, they are quite comfortable. In the sense that on serpentines, you can turn on third gear, which works well in desired range from 30 to 100 km/h. For example, on Multistrada in same conditions, you have to constantly shift between second and third gear.
Quickshifter, as on all BMWs, is stiff. Between first and second it jerks strongly, between second and third it is also harsh, then it is ideal, but in normal revs range. If you switch at high revs, it also twitches. The problem is in program itself, that it does not know how to smooth switching normally. It is possible and still more convenient to live with it than without it, but quickshifter works better on other competitors.
Sound of engine is just disgusting. At idle, it sounds like a broken car in GTA before it explodes. Stock muffler is bad, but microphone will not transmit it - phone delicately smoothes sound. A bucket of bolts or a tractor is about GS.
In addition, at traffic lights, a gear is stuck in with a roar and a shock wave passes through entire motorcycle . Must already move on to results. You have probably already forgotten that 1200 has the main advantage - it rides better than any adventure bik of any cc - this is a fact. But how important is it? In Russia, it doesn't matter at all, we only need to go to Caucasus around sharp turns. In Europe, it depends on where and with what to compare.
It's definitely better in city. When traveling - if you compare with Africa Twin or Super Tenere - heaven and earth, yes, but with KTM, Multistrada, VFR - not really. Here are groups riding along serpentines on different motorcycles. Can you imagine owners of, for example, Ducati shouting "GS-riders, wait, we can't keep up with you!"? And this is the only advantage of BMW - it is clearly not in the top three in terms of overall comfort in long-distance travel, in terms of dynamics it is also far from leaders, in terms of suspension comfort - no, in terms of weight - no, in terms of range and economy it can only win against sporty competitors, in terms of convenience in city - not a leader.
GS's leadership is a thing of the past, now living off of his iconic status. From the point of view of reliability, there are no critical complaints about motorcycle, except for complaints on shaft and global problem with forks. The latest generation had at least 4 recalls, brand new 1250 GS already has 5 in US. It's a BMW - that's okay. As in all BMWs, it's all about little things - somewhere sensor is frayed, somewhere is leaking, etc. Most motorcycles are under warranty, so owners don't even realize that something is wrong. Now, if motorcycle suddenly fell apart in middle of the road - then yes. For example - over the past
10 years I have had 5 Hondas and nothing has leaked anywhere, not a single sensor has failed, etc. Not only Honda is so unique, Yamaha or Suzuki have the same approach to motorcycles and it is fundamentally different from European one, where you need to carry oil with you for topping up and constantly check something. The term "reliable motorcycle" is a little different for GS-riders and rice growers.
If I have nothing against 1250 GS, because motorcycle is new, with a five-year warranty, and this is not your problem, and it's easier to find a dealer, then 1200s are already old and all breakdowns fall on your wallet. Plus, GS are overpriced secondary bikes. The last generation is in good condition - from 11,000 to 16,000 euro. In most cases, you can buy a new motorcycle for same money in rich package - for example, Super Tenere or a V-strom 1050, but blind faith in GS and desire to own it pushes to buy an old GS in a homeless package with off-scale mileage, but become a GS-rider. To me, this is stupid. Just like old Africa Twin and any iconic motorcycles from 30 years ago, whose wires are crumbling and everything turned sour, is overrated, but there is a cult status. As if same Africa Twin has
no competitors, especially not a competitor is old Super Tenere, which is lighter, longer-range, with more energy-intensive suspensions, higher ground clearance and at same time lower on saddle, and other manufacturers have been picking their nose for 30 years , yeah. Personally, I don't find big GS in any way interesting compared to competition. If I were now choosing a new motorcycle of this class, I would be pondering between KTM and Triumph, well, I would also keep Super Tenere in my mind, if there is not enough money, BMW is definitely not at at. This time there is no comparison with other motorcycles, because requests for 1200 and 1250 are practically the same, it is better to transfer block to next review. That's all! Well, press-write. Be sure to write how finicky I am - I read all comments with pleasure.
Next we will have remaining hippos and a huge comparison of the entire class. Subscribe not to miss, and don't switch.