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BMW R1200GS ADVENTURE Adventure Motorbike Review

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BMW R1200GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

This is the last word in round-the-world motorcycling can do. With a monstrous 33-litre tank, grunty motor, shaft-drive and excellent reliability in all climes and conditions the BMW R1200GS Adventure redefines the giant trailie motorcycle class. And the BMW R1200GS Adventure is a giant – at nearly a quarter of a ton fully-loaded and with a lofty 910mm seat only the brave or foolish will venture far from the tarmac on this motorcycle.

 

Watch BMW's R1200GS Adventure take on the KTM 990 Adventure

Hear Charley Boorman talk about BMW's R1200GS Adventure

Watch the BMW R1200GS Adventure in our on and off-road test

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The new 1170cc, Boxer twin SOHC motor in the BMW R1200GS Adventure is taken from the best-selling motorcycle, the BMW R1200GS. It’s powerful, torquey and well-geared for effortless cruising at motorway speeds. The  BMW R1200GS Adventure's gearbox is pretty indifferent; clunky, with the odd false neutral, especially from second to first. Sixth is no longer the overdrive it was on the older BMW R1150GS Adventure, on this motorcycle the ratio is a normal accelerative gear.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

On the road the BMW R1200GS Adventure belies its weight and height and handles lightly and surely, though it takes a while to get used to the slightly detached feeling the front Telelever suspension produces. The servo-powered brakes are too powerful off-road, but work well on it, providing you swap the Continental Twinduro tyres to more road-biased motorcycle tyres like Bridgestone’s Battlewing.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

As stock the BMW R1200GS Adventure already drips with off-road protection like bash plates, hand guards and crash bars. There’s ABS, a sat nav system and heated grips as optional extras for this motorcycle along with a selection of hard and soft luggage. Find parts for the BMW R1200GS Adventure in the MCN Shop.

BMW R1200GS Adventure (2006-2009)

Detail Value
New price £9,755
Dealer used prices
£6,340 (2006) - £9,520 (2009)
Private used prices
£6,350 (2006) - £9,340 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1170 cc
Power 99 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Apart from an early recall over a faulty ABS switch the BMW R1200GS Adventure seems blessed with the same indefatigable reliability as its predecessors. The exhaust is fully stainless, the motor unstressed, the shaft drive is hassle-free and BMW R1200GS Adventure owners tend to keep their motorcycles in good condition and regularly serviced.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

There’s no such thing as a cheap BMW R1200GS Adventure and you can look forward to high prices and high residuals for this motorcycle for a very long time. Find a BMW R1200GS Adventure for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

1999: BMW R1150GS - 85bhp, 229kg, six-speed gearbox, twin headlights.
2002: BMW R1150GS Adventure released – 253kg, bigger tank, taller suspension.
2004: BMW R1200GS – 100bhp, 199kg, more powerful Boxer motor, new chassis.
2006: BMW R1200GS Adventure – new motorcycle.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Max power 99 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Weight 223 kg
Seat height 890 mm
Fuel capacity 33 litres
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 300 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 1170 cc
Engine specification 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake Single Disc, ABS Optional
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all BMW R1200GS ADVENTURE motorcycles for sale

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

2007 miles

£13,250

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

12200 miles

£15,495

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

54527 miles

£4,699

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

56300 miles

£6,995

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

2623 miles

£14,290

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(15 reviews)

  • All you could hope for in a bike.

    silverfish

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Previously, I had an 1150GS for five years and loved every one of the 50k miles I did on it. I then went to a Varadero which was nice, but bland, and a KTM 950Adv, which was fun but lost out on some practical things. The 12GSA is as quick as the KTM on the road, and a bit more stable too. It's more comfortable and has better weather protection than both. The enormous tank lasts for ages and I really dont miss the twin filler caps of the KTM - fun for the first day but a PITA each time you fill up afterwards! It holds its value very well, so the high initial cost is mostly returned back to you when you decide to move on - though you will probably get another GSA! You cant say the same for pretty much any other bike out there which depreciate horribly in the first year. The dealer network are very professional and capable. The servicing for the newer models is actually cheaper now than it was for the 1150.

    04 February 2008

  • An ideal bike for the Alps & Big Guys that normally dwarf lesser motos!

    Zinny8

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Versatility is the key strength of the new GS1200 Adventure. One late morning in July I loaded it up with 2 weeks of luggage, my Italian wife and rode with one fuel stop directly from Zurich to Savona (with time to spare to catch the over night ferry to Corsica). How that!! It's a long way on motorways, yet the riding position and tall screen made it seem easy. A sore backside of course, but even my RT hurts after an hour or three. It bucketed down as I rode over the congested San Bernadino pass but the sure footed GS passed cars on the wet corners with ease, and when in Corsica the bike handled every road surface and twisty with aplomb. Of course ducking down sandy and rocky back roads to beaches only accessed by 4wd's was a breeze for the Adventure (I could never do that on my ol RT). And the huge amount of lockage luggage space meant no easy temptations were left for the casual tea-leafs to pinch. Strengths: Versatile, as mentioned above. At home on any surface on any road at any speed. The much improved gear box, almost as good as a Jap' one, with a first and second gear that makes even the tightest off-camber hairpin simply an easy and smooth throttle roll. The riding position and handling is great (though you need to be a 6 footer plus). The storage is unbeatable with room for 2 helemts and plenty of touring gear. Even a big briefcase fits in. And the sound from the exhaust is a big improvement. Weaknesses: Its' only for long legged 6 footer riders for sure. Yet the one thing that really annoys me, is the roughness at 4kRPM. Unlike my other Beemers this rasping, vibey range is very harsh and not an acceptable in a quality bike. I am talking to BMW about it. They say there's new tuning software, so maybe this will smoothen it out.

    23 September 2006

  • Fully loaded, ABS, Heated Grips, BMW 3 Piece lugage, High Seat, and more

    tobygunnee

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought this bike Specifically to do a 3000+ mile trip to Scotland as at 6'4" I din't think my Sprint ST would be comfortable enough. Whilst it is undoubtedly a great bike I had a few niggles. Firstly though the plus points. Great handling, better than you'd imagine. Loads of torque and can really fly if you want it to. Great riding position, you can see everything. And of course the build quality is excellent. Now the niggles. Firstly I found the seat pretty uncomfortable. After an hour in the saddle my backside was screaming at me. I could push on for another 30 mins but I really had to get off! After that I was having to rest every 45-60 mins. Had gel inserts fitted but didn't make much difference. Also, the vibes through the bars on long motorway rides made my hand go completely numb after an hour, to the point where I found it difficult to use the controls. Plus I don't like the servo assisted brakes. Still searching for a bike under 250kg that'll give me genuine all day comfort. Strengths: Build Quality, Riding position, Handling. Weaknesses: Servo brakes, seat comfort, vibes on motorway riding.

    09 August 2006

  • All New Biking Experience!

    blackhill

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is a different type of biking experience. I still have a Falco and changing between the two is always an eye opener. Great views and lower speed thrills are the name of the game, which is important if you want to hold on to your licence. A genuine car replacement that you can use everyday, all year round (luggage, if anything, adds to the appearance of the bike). Strengths: The low down effort of the engine, the attention that the bike draws, the detailing and the handling, especially on the rougher B-roads. The rider computer is great and the tank range is a bonus when you want to cover ground, although a full tank makes low speed manoevres tricky. Heated grips are fantastic. Weaknesses: The seat is uncomfortable. No really! other owners on forums agree about this, I can scarcely believe it (the falco is better)! The engine is quite coarse in the upper revs region which is annoying.

    31 July 2006

  • The Adventure Bike of Bikes!

    bmw525

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Compared to "normal bikes",  this bike is HUGE! After deliberating, went for white with on board computer, alarm, ABS, pannier frames, driving lights, heated grips and knobblies. Depending on the type of riding you do, I would recommend to go for the road tyres as the knobblies do upset the handling and ultimate grip - but they do look so good, in keeping with what the bike is all about. A very competent bike that feels very well built but maybe not as solid as 1150 adv.. Hopefully will have very good resale value and not be outdated within a year as most Jap' sportsbikes seem to be. The riding position is good and it gives an amazing view, even allowing to see over 4x4's. Brakes very strong with minimum lever pressure and maximum stopping power. Engine alot smoother than 1150, with more power right through the rev range. MAKES A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO THE RUN OF THE MILL BIKE. Strengths: Build quality, being able to spec bike with various options, brakes, resale value looks (debatable I know). Weaknesses: None so far.

    23 April 2006

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