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BMW R1150GS Adventure Motorbike Review

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BMW R1150GS motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

BMW’s R1150GS is heavy, pricey and relatively slow. It’s also an expensive, imperfectly finished motorcycle and the engine design is something Noah would recognise. On the flip-side the BMW R1150GS handles brilliantly, will run forever and will cheerfully see over 200 miles from the motorcycle's tank.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Even really healthy BMW R1150GS' struggle to make more than 77bhp from the antediluvian air/oil-cooled Boxer twin. However there’s immense torque from this motorcycle – over 70ft lb, so hauling ass past lines of cars is simplicity itself, requiring no more than a twist of the motorcycle's throttle. That’s something of a blessing as the BMW R1150GS' gearbox is robust, but imprecise and agricultural.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 0

For such a tall machine the BMW R1150GS is blessed with extraordinary poise. The wide bars give you total control over the motorcycle in bends (no need to hang off like a monkey, here), the tyres grip like a drowning man and the brakes are phenomenally good. In the wet there’s probably no better bike than the BMW R1150GS to be on, such is the motorcycle's balance.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 0

Factory options for this motorcycle such as ABS, hard luggage and heated grips are well worth seeking out and there’s a raft of aftermarket stuff for the BMW R1150GS from crash bars to race-style exhausts to bolt on. Compare and buy parts for the BMW R1150GS in the MCN Shop.

BMW R1150GS (1999-2005)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£3,640 (2001) - £4,700 (2002)
Private used prices
£3,310 (2001) - £4,310 (2003)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1130 cc
Power 85 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 0
Engine rating is 3 rating is 0
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 0
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 0
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 0
Value rating is 4 rating is 0

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Essentially the basic design of the BMW R1150GS means that, treated right, it’ll run forever. However, the paint on the motorcycle's cylinder heads flakes off, as does the finish on the forks, the petrol cap lets in rain, the downpipes go brown, the O-ring inside the oil filler cap breaks causing oil to seep out the seal and you really need to keep an eye on the BMW R1150GS' oil level.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 0

BMW R1150GS owners love their motorcycles. They dealer service them on time, ride them kindly and don’t tend to behave in a manner prejudicial to the motorcycle's longevity. Add in the cult of the BMW R1150GS and you can see why used motorcycles command such high prices. Find a BMW R1150GS for sale.


Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

1980: BMW R80GS introduced – 50bhp, 797cc air-cooled Boxer twin – the archetype giant trailie.
1987: BMW R100GS – 980cc, 60bhp, weighing 187kg. Bigger and better.
1994: BMW R1100GS – 1085cc, 209kg and 80bhp. Introduced the Paralever wishbone front end.
1999: BMW R1150GS released.

Other Versions

BMW R850GS: 848cc, 70bhp – essentially a BMW R1150GS with the BMW R850R’s motor.
BMW R1150GS ABS: Identical to the BMW R1150GS, but with switchable ABS.


Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Max power 85 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Weight 229 kg
Seat height 840 mm
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Average fuel consumption 37 mpg
Tank range 205 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1130 cc
Engine specification 8v Boxer twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel spine
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 305mm discs
Rear brake 276mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

See all BMW R1150GS motorcycles for sale


33017 miles



83000 miles



56136 miles



58800 miles



39020 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 0(0 reviews)

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