BMW R1200GS (2004-2012) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"A genuine all-round motorcycle that's equally at home on a trackday as it is on a grand tour"

BMW R1200GS  (2004-2012)

"A genuine all-round motorcycle that's equally at home on a trackday as it is on a grand tour"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The BMW R1200GS breezed into the motorcycle world in 2004 and changed it forever. It’s a genuine all-round motorcycle that’s equally at home on a trackday as it is on a grand tour. The BMW R1200GS' 1170cc Boxer engine is a pleasure to use, while the handling, braking, usability and comfort put this motorcycle in a class of one.

Watch the BMW R1200GS take on the Moto Guzzi Stelvio, KTM's 990 Adventure and the Triumph Tiger

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The BMW R1200GS exudes perennially unflustered excellence. The chassis is superb. The Telelever front end initially feels remote, but once you’re dialled in to the motorcycle and confident the BMW R1200GS can be leant and leant and leant. It’s 30kg lighter than the preceding model, the BMW R1150GS, and the servo-assisted brakes and (optional) ABS help haul the BMW R1200GS up with ease.

Engine 4 out of 5

The BMW R1200GS' trusty oil/air-cooled SOHC Boxer motor is flexible, punchy and revvy all at the same time. The motorcycle's throttle is light, the response is instant and the power is all you could hopefully use in the real world. There are pleasantly few vibes, too, thanks to new-for-BMW balance shaft fitted to the BMW R1200GS.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

BMW motorcycle reliability is legendary, but it’s as much down to the comparatively gentle use the BMW R1200GS tends to get and the meticulous attention to the service schedule of  BMW R1200GS owners . Avoid any motorcycle that can’t back up its history with a full, dealer-stamped, motorcycle service book.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

BMW R1200GS typically command top dollar for either new or secondhand motorcycles. But the good news is that you get back much more of your money when you sell the motorcycle than virtually any other motorcycle brand. Mileage is normally the bugbear of residuals, but BMW R1200GS buyers are much more tolerant, with only motorcycles showing over 50,000 considered high mileage. Find a BMW R1200GS for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

A man could beggar himself lavishing kit on his BMW R1200GS. Heated grips, ABS, crash bars, hard and soft luggage…but at least you get an ignition-based immobiliser and a height adjustable seat as standard on the BMW R1200GS. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1200GS in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

26 owners have reviewed their BMW R1200GS (2004-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW R1200GS (2004-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 3.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

BMWR1200GS ready to explore and tour

10 August 2016 by Egone

Excellent condition. Full luggage New tyres. A bike built to tour. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Excellent touring bike. At its true best in the country, mountain passes day ride outs to extended European trips. Comfortable cruising on motorways Great riding position.
Engine
5 out of 5
Does everything I ask of it on any roads from Finnish gravel roads to motorways. Never misses a beat
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Annual service with BMW
Equipment
5 out of 5
Many extras on the bike, full pannier set, crash bars, spot lights, gps,
5 out of 5

Dream bike!

24 March 2016 by TJ

Perfect bike. I have ridden and owned all kinds of makes, models, types of bike and nothing has come close to be being as good as this bike at everything. Engine pulls throughout the Rev range, handles like its on rails, breaks are more than... Read more sufficient, comfortable on motorways, A roads, B roads, lanes and off road. Handles any situation you can throw at it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Never missed a beat. 10 year old machine, looks factory new.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

I got a lemon

19 December 2015 by Former BMW rider

No more power than my '96 R11gs Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
Claimed 20 hp more than my '96 R11gs, couldn't feel any difference
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
Hydraulic cam chain tensioners did not work at temps over 70 degrees Fahrenheit!!! Engine leaked oil, brakes warped, BMW wouldn't stand behind it, couldn't get rid of it quick enough.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Too many trips to the dealer who would then say "they all do that".
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Poor dealer service, BMW said that their dealers didn't have to work on it if they didn't want to!?!?

4 out of 5

01 September 2015 by AleksandrL

good moto Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

I wanted to like it

20 July 2011 by RoadcraftNottingham

Bought this bike as I'm an instructor and wanted an all round bike to replace my Fazer 1000 and Pan European 1100. At higher speeds and handling it's superb but due to the lean fuel injection mapping, it's terrible in town and at steady throttle... Read more setting. I tried de catting the headers, fitting a boosterplug electronic richener amongst other things and the local dealer said this is how they are so I sold it and kept my other bikes. If you like the smoothness of a Jap 4, leave this bike alone and if you say you don't like it in a review, you'll upset a lot of blinkered BMW owners.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

UNRELIABLE?

11 November 2010 by joe1964

I really don't understand when people slag-off the GS. The bike is the "ULTIMATE IRON HORSE". It was built for high mileage in comfort with enough power to take you and your luggage almost anywhere. It comes standard with steel hoses, hydraulic... Read more clutch, spoked wheels but tubeless and unique front suspension. It's a big bike but it weighs less than a Suzuki bandit and all the weight is in the lower part of the bike. Why do you think all the other manufacturers are TRYING to copy it? BMW have never claimed the bike can do what a trail bike can, it is for doing serious miles, ask kevin Sanders whom I think is the king of adventure biking, do you think if he thought the bike was unreliable he would set off from London to China on it? Get off your high horse and get on the iron horse mate! :)

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
-
2 out of 5

Unreliable

09 April 2010 by JosephYossarian

1 word sums up - Unreliable. Engine - sounds like a sewing machine but is surprisingly useful. Annoying flat spot though. R&H - Handling surprisingly good. You get used to telelever very quickly. Ride - standard sreen buffets your... Read more head. Equipment. Good, if you spend a bundle. Heated grips hotter on one side than the other. Q&R - Disasterous. Will never buy another BMW. Fuel pump relay issue appears to have finally been addressed. Only left me stranded 3 times (that point - add in all the other failures and it's the most unreliable machine I'veever owned) Value - Given Q&R, very poor. Quite a laugh on dirt tracks too, nut better if its OPM (other peoples machine)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

bmw 1200 gs

15 October 2009 by bigklar

6 words sum up this machine the best bike in the world Read more

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
-
5 out of 5

Chuffed To NAAFI Breaks

29 April 2009 by andy2210

Mines a 2007GS. 30k miles. Owned from New.Excellent machine. Only one Nark, Its easy to get the front seat off but try re-fitting it on the quick. What a twat! Read more

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

Well pleased

28 March 2009 by kaybe

Can do most things, and so a bike for all seasons. Very comfortable and in the twisties can easily keep up with most sports bikes. Loads of ways of personalising the bike, and support from a well subscribed dedicated web forum. Should have done it... Read more years ago. Mine is a 54 plate, in terrific nick.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 26 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £10,550
Used price £3,900 to £10,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £150
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 136 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 206 miles
Specification
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type 8v Boxer-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis subframe
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2004: BMW R1200GS motorcycle launched.

Other versions

BMW R1200GS Adventure (see separate listing).

Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1200GS  (2004-2012)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2004-2012)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2004-2012)
  • BMW R1200GS  (2004-2012)
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