BMW R1150GS ADVENTURE (2002-2005) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"The ultimate round-the-world, do it all motorcycle; as Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman proved"

BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding

"The ultimate round-the-world, do it all motorcycle; as Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman proved"

  • At a glance
  • 1130cc  -  85 bhp
  • 44 mpg  -  180 miles range
  • High seat height (900mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure is the ultimate round-the-world, do it all motorcycle – as Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman proved in their ‘Long Way Round’ motorcycle adventure. The BMW R1150GS Adventure is a jacked up, kitted out, heavy duty version of the already excellent BMW R1150GS and is the Hummer of the motorcycle world. Awesome in every way…

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure is far better than it has any right to be. The BMW R1150GS Adventure is a tall, heavy and ungainly version of the already tall and beefy BMW R1150GS – but once you bin the standard equipment knobbly tyres it’s a great road motorcycle with neutral (if hefty) handling and superb long distance ride and comfort.

 

Engine 4 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure has since overshadowed by the newer, 110bhp BMW R1200GS, this version of BMW’s venerable boxer twin all-round motorcycle is able and bulletproof – if a little on the soft side power-wise. But for peace of mind, not many motorcycles come close to a BMW R1150GS Adventure.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure is about as rugged and reliable as motorcycles get. Paint is good (although the logos etc are stickers that are not lacquered in come off far too easily), metal finishes are hard wearing. BMW R1150GS Adventures get a hard life – but they’re a well made motorcycle, too. Don’t worry about seemingly high mileages. It’s what these motorcycles were built for…

 

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure was Range Rover money when new (well over £10K fully BMW R1200GS (which some don’t rate as highly) they’re still in demand now which limits depreciation on this motorcycle. Find a BMW R1150GS Adventure for sale.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The BMW R1150GS Adventure has everything including the kitchen sink. Well, almost. Compared to the stock BMW R1150GS, the BMW R1150GS Adventure gets a bigger tank, knobbly tyres, taller screen and jacked up suspension. Other goodies (like the metal panniers and top box, engine guards etc) are extras on this motorcycle – but definitely recommended if you want the full monty Camel Trophy Land Rover look for your motorcycle. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1150GS Adventure in the MCN Shop.

 

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their BMW R1150GS ADVENTURE (2002-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

forgot to mention...

09 July 2009 by miles8160

I forgot to mention that the fuel economy is outstanding. I just got 550km from the last tank of juice before the fuel light came on, which has another 40km in reserve... which is welcome in comparison to the TL1000S I just traded in which got barely... Read more 200km before it ran out of fuel. The brakes are unbelievably good, it just takes a bit of getting used to the servo assisted brake motor sounds. This bike had already ridden 56,000km and the BMW dealer assured me that these Adventure models run to about 300,000 km before needing an engine rebuild... they also gave me a 2 year guarantee which adds credibility to this claim. The bike was in tip top condition and will remain so. Wrapped to say the least.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a surprise!

07 July 2009 by miles8160

Just bought my first BMW after 7 Suzukis and am totally schocked how well this bike handles... better than any other bike I've ever ridden. It's deceivingly agile for a bike that in a stationary position appears to weigh quite a lot. But, get going... Read more and you don't notice it one bit. This bike is so perfectly balanced it goes through hairpins and tight corners faster than most R1 riders can manage. Rough roads are eaten up by this bike... you can take it over anything and still ride it fast. It goes off road and through the mud also, just keep the momentum going and try not to stop as this is where you will notice this bikes kilos. Probably not my preferred bike for the autobahn (this is where I would prefer the Hayabusa) but it does most things with exceptional poise. If you love corners and touring, then it's absolutely fantastic. Heated grips, big screen, big protective cylinder bars which you can rest your legs on for that lounge chair feeling, ABS, the list goes on. OK the motor could use a few more PS but what you get as an overall package can't be beaten. Acessories are damn expensive, so if you're in the market for a used one then find one with all the extras on it like a Remus exhaust system and alu panniers. These are really expensive... even used ones which you'll see on eBay. The motor does use oil and it's best to check after your ride when hot... but all boxer motors use oil I'm told. 9/10 thumbs up!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

better bike than the new ones

20 January 2008 by zardon

I had a 1150GS adventure before and I sold it to get the new model. what a mistake ! I am currently on the hunt for a mint 1150GS adventure again as the bike is better made, has more torque down low (if you fit the y piece and a remus) and handles... Read more better with a more front oriented bias. Also has less plastic than the 1200GS, stronger battery anad an overall better package.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2002
Year discontinued 2005
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 85 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Top speed 133 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1130cc
Engine type 8v boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tubular type
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 900mm
Bike weight 227kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 304mm discs
Rear brake 276mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2002: BMW R1150GS Adventure model introduced.
2005: BMW R1150GS Adventure model discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Rear view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Rear view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Rear view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Rear view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycle review - Side view