Thursday, September 18, 2008

Question from a reader

A blog reader wrote to me today:
I'm considering purchasing a 2008 R1200GS but after reviewing your blog I'm having second thoughts. Do you think BMW has made a serious attempt at addressing the issue of reliability with their product? Are you aware of fixes in the later models which addressed mechanical problems incurred during your trip?
I have often received similar inquiries, so I thought I'd post my response:
If I had the cash, I don't think I'd hesitate to buy a 2008 R1200GS.

But it depends upon what you will be doing with your motorcycle.

I've done roughly 5% of the mileage (>5,000 miles) off-pavement. That's hard on a big, heavy bike, and you pay for it (driveline, brakes, struts, wheels, tires, and repairs from falls.) If you're going to ride North American or European highways, it's a blast. If you're going to ride the Pan American to South America, it's great. But if you intend to do much of your riding where there are no roads, it's going to take a toll on your wallet, I think. Consider something smaller and lighter.

BMW has addressed a number of the problems encountered on early models. (But if you've seen "Long Way Down", 2 of 3 new GSs in the film blew out their rear struts in the first leg of their trans-Africa trip. And they weren't even heavily-loaded - they had support vehicles carrying gear. So they still have "issues" to work on!)

The bike can take abuse, but every machine has its limits.

All that said, I love riding it, and can't imagine riding anything else. (And it's my only vehicle, so I'm "stuck" with it!)
Note: in the comments below, reader "Sunny" corrects the record:
It should be said though that they changed the standard rear suspension to Öhlins. It were the ölins that broke, when they changed them back to the standard ones, everything went fine.
Thanks, Sunny.

2 comments:

Sunny said...

It should be said though that they changed the standard rear suspension to Öhlins. It were the ölins that broke, when they changed them back to the standard ones, everything went fine.

timtraveler said...

Sunny,

I was not aware of that. Yes, it should be noted.

Thanks for the clarification.

Tim