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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
£6,320 (2006) - £9,230 (2009)
Private used prices
£5,690 (2006) - £9,490 (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

4500 miles

£11,995

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

4919 miles

£10,475

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

4950 miles

£11,795

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

34275 miles

£6,499

BMW
R1200GS ADVENTURE

12025 miles

£12,975

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(15 reviews)

  • Not another one!

    Arrow

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    54 months old (not ridden for 6 months due to non bike related arm injury = 48 months), 74,000 miles and have just had to have the third set of final drive bearings replaced i.e. average approx. 25,000 miles per set of final drive bearings. Now if this was a BMW car ............... Needless to say this is my last and final BMW motorcycle.

    25 February 2014

  • Rear Drive.....!!!

    burrich

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Having owned my GSA for nearly two years, I can say it rides superbly, but like so many others the rear drive is a definite weak link. Mine has had two rebuilds and then BMW put a updated one on it. Corrosion is atrocious for a bike of this cost. Have BM heard of stainless steel fasteners!! Front engine casing...not a problem according to BMW.Other than that, a superb bike.

    05 April 2012

  • "Shaft drive hassle free"

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    I think that it is about time MCN updated their revue of this machine, stick three words, final, drive and failure into any search engine and see what comes up, pages and pages of BMW final drive failures. The fact that some do 100,000 miles with no problems and others only 10,000 smacks of poor quality control. The corrosion on the front engine cover is a result of poor design with the water channels behind the cover directing the water over the rigid foam noise insulation behind the cover - not very clever. The fixing bolts tend to rust but I have seen this on most other makes of bike when ridden in all weathers however at this price it shouldn’t be. My engine hasn’t missed a beat so far but in heavy rain water is getting into the electrics somewhere causing the tyre pressure monitoring system to pack up; again not very clever for a bike that is supposed to be an all weather, all terrain motorcycle. Its good points for me are that it has kept going in all weathers, has good weather protection (GSA), it handles really well even when loaded and fully fuelled, reasonably good on tyres and good fuel consumption providing you keep it legal and the finish, at least on mine, has been good although in the winter it has plenty of ACF50 sprayed all over it. Needless to say with 33 litres (actually it is probably nearer 35 if the fuel pumps are correct) the range is brilliant with 300 miles easily achievable ridden hard and over 400 when ridden gently. Overall I have to say I lack confidence in its ability to be fault free and hence took out the insured warranty, which at my current annual mileage will only be for this and another year after which I will probably look elsewhere if I haven’t changed beforehand.

    08 October 2011

  • gs1200adv

    gs12

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    Having owned 43 bikes since 1978 this is by far the best and with committment can be ridden as fast as any bike on the road. I have covered 26,000 miles from new 08 and toured 12 countries! It should be higher than 21st, TOP 5 for sure number 1 for me now nothing else comes close.

    30 March 2010

  • Value for money?

    richardlyz

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Value
    Engine

    Great bike let down by poor quality. Good to ride - I did 10,000 miles in a year on mine. The corrosion was atrocious & BMW didn't want to know. Got shot of it while it was still worth something and got a KTM. I'm very glad I did

    06 January 2010

  • Pros and Cons

    McCabe25

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Personally I think the 1200 GSA is a great bike and cant imagine going back to anything else. It's great in the winter or the summer, on short trips or long and you can carry a ridiculous amount of luggage etc etc. My only issue - and it is quite an important one - is that the build quality of BMWs is clearly not what it used to be. I bought my first Adventure in 06 thinking that I would have it for years and years but have just swapped it for a new one given the problems that I have had with it. If you are paying £12,500 for a motorbike that is built to go around the world (ish) then you shouldn't have to worry about the wheel starting to corrode or the rear suspension failing after a couple of years. The long and short of it is that there is no point owning an Adventure outright anymore as it wont last much longer than 3 or 4 years so just get one on the options scheme that BMW offer and you can get a new one every 3 years. Although there are still lots of reasons why you should buy a BMW - and especially a GS Adventure - they can no longer claim that they produce bikes that are of high build quality.

    16 September 2009

  • Poor Quality

    grahew

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    BMW should be producing bikes that are very high quality based on the cost of the them but they dont my 1200GSA has now been sold due to major brakedowns including three Final Drives,Master Cylinder and Slave Cylinders being fitted ALL under 6K Dealer was superb at trying to sort out the problems but i'am afraid after 14 previous BMW this was my last..to conclude very comfortable and great to ride when running but to unreliable for a bike that is built? to travel the world....buyers beware!

    15 September 2009

  • Reliable? Quality?

    Magni1200

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    My 2007 R1200GSA has done 21k (in Japan) and is as good to ride as everybody says. Vibey, rough engine between 4 - 5k rpm. The biggest let down is quality: 3 ignition blocks; 2 fuel pumps; new front suspension; new wheels (rotted); new crash bars (rusted); new stand (ditto); new disk retaining screws (ditto) and the list goes on. Very sticky 1st to 2nd gear change when cold and a generally clunky box. 3 breakdowns... Despite these shortcomings, a brilliantly devised and executed concept. BMW do need to get their act together on quality and reliability and I hear they have been listening.

    04 August 2009

  • Gobs of Range

    gloverll

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    I love this bike...it is fast enough, roomy enough, stable enough, fun enough to do anything. It commutes, it tours, it does track days... and I go over 300 miles between fill-ups. The only thing I would change is the wind screen... but I haven't found a viable alternative yet.

    06 June 2009

  • It just does it all...really well

    kyojitsu

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my bike 6 months old nearly 2 years ago. It had already got 14k on the clock as it had been used by a serious rider who did road trips to europe but had been very well looked after. I chose it for a number of reasons: I was sick of sportsbikes and wanted something different, I'm tall and so is the GS, I wanted a bike I could ride all year round without complaint, with great weather protection, could cope with traffic, inner city riding, A-roads and motorways in equal measure and wouldn't fall apart in a few months. In short it's been brilliant. Fabulous handling, grunty motor, very practical, you can see for miles and it's got enormous road presence so you don't get bullied by the traffic. The reliability has been superb and the fit and finish is remarkable. I've ridden through 2 salt encrusted winters and not really washed it much and it still comes up gleaming after a jet-wash. Shaft drive is a godsend - no fiddling around, chain lube or tensioning. Heated grips are great, BMW recovery are great (I ran out of petrol!!), fuel economy is around 45mpg, it's unbelievably practical and I'm struggling to find a reason to not buy another one. The downsides? It's bloody heavy stationary or paddling out of a parking spot (not noticeable on the move), the battery is a bit weak (replaced under warranty) and the gearbox is a bag of spanners but you get used to it. If you're a shortie you won't like it so much either. Overall, fabulous bike.

    23 June 2008

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