Test Ride – BMW 1200 GS

I went to the BMW dealer to get the right switch gear replaced and as it turned out, they didn’t have the part in stock.  So, they offered me a loaner bike and asked what I would like.  After going through some options, I decided it was about time to ride something with a boxer motor so I choose to take a 1200 GS.

The GS is a rather tall bike with wide handlebars.  I didn’t really have trouble touching the ground, but it was a bit of a stretch.  I was pleasantly surprised at how light the bike felt.  It looks like a good-sized bike and with all that motor sticking out the sides, I expected it to feel heavier.

The riding position seems to be similar to my Versys except that the GS is just bigger and roomier.  I liked the peg location and appreciated the leg room.  The seat seemed pretty comfortable and I suspect it would be just fine on a long trip.

Riding some of the back roads around my house I started getting a good feel for the bike.  The power comes on strong above 4K and gets you up to speed surprisingly quickly.  Low-end power could be a bit better and I did feel some vibrations from the motor but it wasn’t enough to bother me.

As far as the gearbox is concerned, shifting gave a nice positive feel although it was a bit loud and clunky when shifting.  The gears seemed well spaced and neutral was easy to find.

The suspension is great for the rough roads here in Upstate NY.  The shocks seemed to soak up all nasty bumps making it very pleasant and easy to ride on roads that are less than perfect.

One of the things about the boxer motor that I wasn’t fond of was the sound.  I know it’s silly but the sound of a motorcycle is important to me and I just don’t like the sound of the boxer motor.

Overall, I liked riding the GS.  It had good power, was comfortable, handled great, and felt a lot lighter than it looks.  After spending a day with it, I can certainly see why they’re so popular.





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