Rode my brother's 2014 1200gs

Xclimation

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Ft. Worth, Texas
A couple of days ago I rode my brother's 2014 1200gs. Pretty well farkled at that. My brother is a BMW/Harley guy. He recently sold his 2011 Harley Ultra Classic and kept this bike. He's owned several beemers of various types throughout the years.
I rode his bike and wanted to give my impressions. My S10 is my 2nd S10 and had a 2012 before. Before that...I rode cruisers. Before buying and ADV bike I did a LOT of research. Made a spreadsheet of the pros and cons. I did not test ride all the ADV bikes. Never rode a 1200gs. I've ridden a 2002 1200rs and 2019 r nine t. Was always curious about the the gs/gsa. Never had the chance on demo days everyone is in line for the gs/gsa and I get there too late. I ride with guys who have gs/gsa but feel uncomfortable riding other's bikes unless they really push me to it. Always notice guys on gs/gsa pulling wheelies.
So I rode for 50 miles all on the road and in various modes. I'm 5'10" and weigh about 170lbs. My brother is shorter by a couple of inches and more heavy.
Sorry...trying to give as much reference as possible.
BMW has been sending me all these great offers including 0% interest/cash back blah blah blah as of late. (Y'all are probably getting them in your mailbox too)
So...after my ride....Nothing Wowed me. It was Okay. I was expecting more.
The bike definitely felt lighter. I strangely had a little trouble getting the bike OFF the center stand. In trying I lifted the rear end of the bike off the ground! I can't do that with the S10! In the pictures, you can see my brother has panniers and they had stuff in them as well as a Bumot tool box. The bike felt sooooo light! I could actually pivot/turn the bike around pivoting on the center stand like it was nothing!
I started the bike and it started right up. Noticed right away it seems to have the exact same handlebars as the S10? The hand guards were more flimsy than the S10 and less protection (If you can believe it!)
I enjoyed that you can tell what gear you are in while the clutch is held in. I first road in the "road" mode. Bike road nice, reminded me of the S10 Touring mode. I wanted to feel the acceleration. I wanted to see how the extra 22 hp felt compared to the S10.....Didn't feel it? My S10 is chipped with after market exhaust and modified intake..but I don't think I've gained 25 hp and the S10 feels like it weighs more. My S10 feels like it has more pull and acceleration. Tried the "Dyna" mode. Felt a little more pull and acceleration and a LOT of engine braking. Still didn't feel as powerful or spirited as my S10? This is contrary to what I read in ALL other reviews?
The braking on this bike was EXCELLENT! No dive, no nothing! Just stopping! My S10, if I brake hard, I have to hang on straddle the gas tank or I feel like I'll fly over the front end. Smooth stopping on the gs. My brother says it has to do with the suspension. Shifting was smooth! Required little to no effort pulling in the clutch! I was worried at first. Bike supposedly has quick shifting I didn't test it on purpose. I think I did it on accident 1 time. Just not in to quick shifting. In traffic after 30 minutes my clutch hand gets a good workout. On this beemer, soooo effortless! My father claims I have something not adjusted properly on my S10? My previous S10 had the same feel on the clutch and the s10 is my first bike with hydraulic clutch. Honestly I don't notice a difference on my S10 compared to my previous non hydraulic clutches.
As far as riding...the bike (gs) just felt stiff? Hard to explain. Just seemed like the bike wanted to be going in a straight line. Felt like I was putting more effort in to leaning in corners. The gearing seemed Identical to the S10. This is going to sound weird, but riding the gs remind of riding a VW with manual transmission. I wish I could put in to words what I mean. The bike has a lot of road noise. Almost seemed like the beak on the front end was amplifying the road noise. The bike has Anakee 3 tires. Another thing I noticed...the engine seemed to vibrate. I felt the engine throughout the frame. Just seemed to me the S10 engine is more smooth. Even the idle on the S10 is more smooth. My brother keeps up with maintenance and has the work done at BMW dealerships.
Again, nothing Wowed me. I like my S10 better and can honestly say this. I don't get the gs/gsa hype? Most definitely not the price tag?
Someone please tell me what I missed? You don't have to be kind ( I have a thick skin) I want to "get it." I test rode a T7 recently and would take the T7 over the gs.
 

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MonkeyBut

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Jul 21, 2018
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Armpit of America, NJ
I appreciate the honest review and pointing out the positives and negatives of both. I believe no motorcycle is perfect. Just my opinion. There are always trade offs. My 2017 Tenere is my 1st ever new motorcycle and I did a lot of research before pulling the trigger. I did test ride the GS, Africa Twin, 2014+ Vstrom and the Tenere. As nice as the GS is, I didn't need all the additional electronics or the almost extra $10,000. That's a lot of scratch!!! If I had a disposable income, sure but at this stahe of my life, it's a lot of scratch!! AT and Strom, as nice as they were didn't have a shaft drive or cruise control. Those were deal breakers. I came off a virtually maintenance free 2004 Vstrom 1000 and swore off chains. The Tenere is what it is and great at what it does. For me. I can't speak for anyone but I do enjoy this motorcycle. As Henry Ford said, 'there's an ass for every seat' and a different motorcycle for anyone out there that wants to ride. He didn't say the last part. Haha. Have fun, be safe and enjoy your ride.
 

Sierra1

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DFW-TEXAS
. . . . I don't get the gs/gsa hype? Most definitely not the price tag? Someone please tell me what I missed? . . . .
My dislike, and negative comments, are from personal experience, not hearsay. I feel the Tenere is better than the RT I rode. . . . while it was still a great bike. To be fair, it was the 1150; not a 1250, or even a 1200. The brakes were fantastic, due to the electric servos. I heard that they were a weak spot, but I never had any issues.

The reason that the RT/GS doesn't dive under heavy braking is that huge, honking telelever front suspension. It's hard to believe the Beemer is lighter with that suspension. To me, it makes sense that BMW feels lighter than the Yamaha, the boxer engine has to have a lower center of gravity. I still think the Yamaha is more flickable though.

My personal opinion is that the Beemer hype is like the Emperors new Clothes. If it says BMW, it has to be good. I'm not saying that they're not, I'm just going to risk it. Furthermore, at one time, they were more technologically advanced than the offerings from Japan. They're not anymore. Nowadays, it's going to be the little things, the intangibles, that's going to make a person choose one bike (any bike) over another.

So, to answer your question. . . . I don't think you missed a thing. You have your bike exactly the way you want it; it's comfortable. And, with the amount of money that a person saves with the initial purchase, you can address any shortcomings it might have.

Ride more, worry less.
 
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Longdog Cymru

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FWIW, I owned a BMW R1150GS for several years, I swore it was a keeper but the poor powder coating on engine, hubs, etc caused me to fall out of love and I sold it.

I had 5 other bikes and rode 2 variations of my friends R1200GS, the latest being the 2017 model, before I bought my SuperTen 3 years ago. My impressions? The BMW R1200GS felt lighter and more lively and handled really well with no dive on braking due to the telelever forks. In comparison, my SuperTen feels more like my old R1150GS in the way it makes power. It also feels heavier than the R1200GS but it does handle well and I like it. Oh yes, and I should add that the finish on my SuperTen is MUCH better!
 

MIKE R

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Lancashire, UK
I've owned 3 S10s and every incarnation of the GS since the 1100 back in the 1990s. At present I own both a Gen 2 S10 and a 1250GSA.

The GSA is faster, has more torque, brakes better and has better handling but on the road these are marginal. A good rider on a GS should be able to beat a good rider on a Yamaha but we are not all riding gods. I don't perceive any difference is speed when I ride my GS compared to the Yamaha. The S10 is more reliable with a bullet proof engine and has a basic old world charm as well as being smoother.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine (I had a 1200GSA then) was looking for a shaft driven adventure bike and asked me what advantages the BMW had over the Yam. I told him that the BM had keyless ignition, cornering abs, quickshifter, hill start assist etc. He then asked the obvious question of the advantages of the S10.

'The Yamaha's got none of those', I replied

He bought the Super Tenere

He's a fast rider and can easily beat me on the twisties regardless of which bike I am riding.

I personally think the BM gives a better ride but with all the complex electronics I wouldn't like to keep it of of warranty. My Yamaha is now almost 4 years out of warranty and I do keep looking at newer models but I don't see the point. It's covered 46k miles and the only major problem has been a misfire caused by dirty petrol and a blocked petrol filter. I don't think I can blame Yamaha for that although a headlight bulb did blow at 38k

In the UK I rate the local BMW dealer mechanics far higher than the Yamaha ones although I've found an excellent independent who now services the S10 (I'm useless with a spanner!)

In conclusion, they are both excellent bikes. If I had to chose one it would definitely be the ????33 Road between Dent and Hawes 31 May 2020.jpeg7 1250 GSA AT BLIND BECK.jpeg

Mike
 

bmac

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Mar 17, 2012
Messages
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Location
Florida, Wisconsin
As far as riding...the bike (gs) just felt stiff? Hard to explain. Just seemed like the bike wanted to be going in a straight line. Felt like I was putting more effort in to leaning in corners. The gearing seemed Identical to the S10. This is going to sound weird, but riding the gs remind of riding a VW with manual transmission. I wish I could put in to words what I mean. The bike has a lot of road noise. Almost seemed like the beak on the front end was amplifying the road noise. The bike has Anakee 3 tires. Another thing I noticed...the engine seemed to vibrate. I felt the engine throughout the frame. Just seemed to me the S10 engine is more smooth. Even the idle on the S10 is more smooth. My brother keeps up with maintenance and has the work done at BMW dealerships.
Again, nothing Wowed me. I like my S10 better and can honestly say this. I don't get the gs/gsa hype? Most definitely not the price tag?
Someone please tell me what I missed? You don't have to be kind ( I have a thick skin) I want to "get it." I test rode a T7 recently and would take the T7 over the gs.
You didn't miss anything.

The road noise are a result of the tires as well as the handling quirks you experienced. Put Dunlop Roadsmart 3's on it and it will handle like a dream.

The engine does vibrate on the 1200. That is one of the main reasons I chose the Super Tenere. At higher road speeds it is annoying as hell.


The 1250 is the game changer which went into production in 2019.
 

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
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The 1250 is the game changer which went into production in 2019.
I have to disagree. Noisy, complicated, and unreliable variable valve timing to meet emissions is not conducive to off grid adventure. Flat spot and huge torque loss when cam profiles shift is going to be unbearable to some. BMW is not quite up to par with VVT technology yet. Time will tell.....
 

gunslinger_006

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I have to disagree. Noisy, complicated, and unreliable variable valve timing to meet emissions is not conducive to off grid adventure. Flat spot and huge torque loss when cam profiles shift is going to be unbearable to some. BMW is not quite up to par with VVT technology yet. Time will tell.....
I wish they had used a design like kawi did with their centrifugal variable valve timing/duration.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bmac

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Florida, Wisconsin
I have to disagree. Noisy, complicated, and unreliable variable valve timing to meet emissions is not conducive to off grid adventure. Flat spot and huge torque loss when cam profiles shift is going to be unbearable to some. BMW is not quite up to par with VVT technology yet. Time will tell.....
The endless BMW bashing is getting tiresome. It is always best to limit oneself to subjects with first hand knowledge rather than wild speculation and assumptions.

The purpose of the VVT was to broaden the torque curve across the RPM range which it does successfully. There is NO huge torque loss when the cams shift. It is undetectable which has been reported by EVERYONE that has actually ridden one. At least ONE person would have reported it if your statement had any basis for validity. I have yet to read about a single failure and I am quite sure your simply assuming it is going to be unreliable without a shred of evidence to back it up.

I am sorry to say but it is time for me to hit the ignore button. I should have done it some time ago.
 

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
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The purpose of the VVT was to broaden the torque curve across the RPM range which it does successfully. There is NO huge torque loss when the cams shift. It is undetectable which has been reported by EVERYONE that has actually ridden one. At least ONE person would have reported it if your statement had any basis for validity.
Take it easy there. Mine is only an opinion formed by the many reports I have read. Here are 19 pages of complaints and those who are justifying the noise and power loss.

This dude explains it better than me:


Over time BMW might perfect it. IMHO, I would recommend waiting at least 2 or three model years before purchasing one.
 

moto.monk

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Aug 19, 2019
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los angeles
Great looking bike I currently own an 1996 r1100r and I like it. But the egos kinda bad and on looking at the history it's a fairly reliable unless it sits. I next rode a 2008 gs for one week on/off road and loved it. At the time when I was looking for a adventure bike the gs made little sense when compared to the st. I did some more research on reliability, parts, services were other issues. With regards to this shift cam tech, electronics in an engine are not good. Case in point are electronic lockers on jeep fail after a few 10s of thousands of miles.
 

Jlq1969

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Argentina
IF the VVT system fails, it's not that bad ... anyone who has driven an engine with VVT ... will feel that "little push" or "a change in engine sound" when the system is activated., "that little push" occurs in the rpm range where the torque starts to run out and the hp starts to play. The "normal deactivated" of the system occurs in the normal rpm zone ... "the activated system" occurs in the high zone of the tachometer .... If the system fails, you will lose some hp ... but the motorcycle should keep going ... probably the annoyance will come from the side of the check engine light
 

Jlq1969

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Here is the clearest example ... a little more torque ... “and” a little more hp. if the engine didn't have VVT ... they would have had to choose between torque or hp ... or something in between ... but with the VVT, they magnify both
 
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