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Old 03-25-2013, 04:59 AM   #7321
MaxReving
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
Yesterday I had a chance to test ride the new GS and of course, took it. Here are my impressions in no particular order.

Please note that my main reference is my current Triumph Tiger 800 (Road Model) which has been extensively enhanced, with proper suspension set up for my weight, aftermarket windshield, bar risers, and the like. I did own a 2010 R1200GS and think I still recall how that felt.
.
.
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There is also a good chance that the bike was set up completely wrong for me, I didn't fiddle with anything as there just wasn't enough time, so no adjustments done, nothing even checked.

Overall I came away unimpressed by the whole package. There are some things that are incredibly good, but also some that really put me off. I was not unhappy to give the bike back and to get back on my Tiger and ride the same roads just for comparison. Liked the Tiger better there. And if I recall correctly, I also liked my old GS better (which had ESA and Road Attack II tires).

I will do another test ride later this year, on a bike with dynamic ESA, just for comparison, but for now - there is no danger of me going out and buying the 2013 GS. I feared that I would want one after the test ride and have to say: nope, definitely not the bike I rode yesterday.
Thanks for sharing your impressions of the new 1200GS LC. It seams as your main objective towards the basic 1200GS LC without dynamic ESA is the suspension. If you have the opportunity sometime to take a 1200GS LC with dynamic ESA for a test ride then it could be interesting to hear your thoughts on the dynamic ESA. You may find it to be a very positive surprise.

Max :-)
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:10 AM   #7322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
Yesterday I had a chance to test ride the new GS and of course, took it. Here are my impressions in no particular order.

...

1) Riding off the lot the bike felt like it had a dog slow turn in. I was so put off, I tried to verify this for the rest of the ride over and over again, and it always felt like I really had to force it into turns. Riding a twisty mountain road I really disliked the slow steering feel. I had a hard time riding good lines in the corners, always felt like it wanted to go really wide. I don't know whether that was due to the wider, heavier tires, the suspension setup (it was a standard, not dynamic ESA), or whatever. I never felt this on my old GS. Really put me off.

...

9) Transmission and Shaft: didn't like it. Didn't like it at all. The transmission felt clunky, loud, and there was a lot of resistance when shifting, there was also lots of drive line lashing, throttle on/off transitions didn't feel good at all. First time in the last 10 years that I rode a shaft drive bike and felt it was not well done. Also it felt that it interfered with the rear suspension under throttle. Made it even harsher on bumps and felt like it had a hard time keeping the rear tire on the road.

There is also a good chance that the bike was set up completely wrong for me, I didn't fiddle with anything as there just wasn't enough time, so no adjustments done, nothing even checked.

...
Thank you for the report. Points 1 and 9 are surprising, however, since they are the almost exact opposite of what MOST (not all, but really most) people have reported. Yes, maybe the bike wasn't actually set up correctly for you. As for the transmission being clunky, it will probably soften a bit after break-in and a lot more over time. I know my old GS's and recent RT's did.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:28 AM   #7323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
Yesterday I had a chance to test ride the new GS and of course, took it. Here are my impressions in no particular order.

Please note that my main reference is my current Triumph Tiger 800 (Road Model) which has been extensively enhanced, with proper suspension set up for my weight, aftermarket windshield, bar risers, and the like. I did own a 2010 R1200GS and think I still recall how that felt.


1) Riding off the lot the bike felt like it had a dog slow turn in. I was so put off, I tried to verify this for the rest of the ride over and over again, and it always felt like I really had to force it into turns. Riding a twisty mountain road I really disliked the slow steering feel. I had a hard time riding good lines in the corners, always felt like it wanted to go really wide. I don't know whether that was due to the wider, heavier tires, the suspension setup (it was a standard, not dynamic ESA), or whatever. I never felt this on my old GS. Really put me off.

2) Wow, that engine is freaking strong. It feels like twice the power and torque compared to my 800cc 95HP Tiger, not just the 30% it actually is.

3) The engine revs super quick, supported by the super light throttle action. I liked that one. It takes away the tractor feeling a bit but not completely. The engine still vibrates quite a bit, but at a frequency I think can be easily tolerated on long days.

4) Excellent brakes. Much, much better than the ones on my Tiger. Really well defined action and great stopping power without too much force needed. I wish my Tiger had brakes like that.

5) Very good ergonomics. I rode with the seat in the low setting which I think was a mistake, but it was just what the bike was set up and I didn't want to play around, I wanted to ride. Leg room felt about the same as on my Tiger, thighs were about level with the ground. Lower pegs would be a good idea for me (34" inseam). Handlebar was spot on, about as good out of the box as my Tiger is now after serious adjustments and added bits.

6) The new handguards don't direct wind at the helmet anymore, but also have less coverage than the old style ones when the higher spoiler was installed. Still a significant improvement.

7) Windshield put the wind right on my neck under the helmet in the low position - useless for riding, super loud. Adjusted all the way up it was very good. I feel I could do long tours without thinking about a replacement windshield. A definite step up from that POS they used before on the standard GS and significantly better than the Adventure shield I had on my GS. About as good at the helmet as my Tiger with Palmer Large Shield, but much better around the rest of the upper body. Overall, the wind and weather protection is very good.

8) Love the tight turning radius. You can turn that bike on a dime. Especially coming from the Tiger which has oil tanker like turning radius.

9) Transmission and Shaft: didn't like it. Didn't like it at all. The transmission felt clunky, loud, and there was a lot of resistance when shifting, there was also lots of drive line lashing, throttle on/off transitions didn't feel good at all. First time in the last 10 years that I rode a shaft drive bike and felt it was not well done. Also it felt that it interfered with the rear suspension under throttle. Made it even harsher on bumps and felt like it had a hard time keeping the rear tire on the road.

10) Suspension was shit for my weight (156lbs without clothes). Sorry, but that's really what it was. This was a bike with a standard suspension, not dynamic ESA. The spring was fairly soft, compression damping was very harsh, especially in the front, rebound was better than compression but bounced the bike around quite a bit. The suspension was about as good/bad as my Tiger was when new and unchanged. Therefore - take that with a grain of salt, I ride a bike sprung for my weight, fully adjustable, and professionally set up. I'd have to do the same for the GS if I buy one. It's an expensive bike and I'd have to plan for another $2k for proper suspension. Maybe the dynamic ESA is much better - I certainly hope so. It's ~$2k either way - be that Wilbers or Öhlins or Dynamic ESA with one of the packages.

There is also a good chance that the bike was set up completely wrong for me, I didn't fiddle with anything as there just wasn't enough time, so no adjustments done, nothing even checked.

Overall I came away unimpressed by the whole package. There are some things that are incredibly good, but also some that really put me off. I was not unhappy to give the bike back and to get back on my Tiger and ride the same roads just for comparison. Liked the Tiger better there. And if I recall correctly, I also liked my old GS better (which had ESA and Road Attack II tires).

I will do another test ride later this year, on a bike with dynamic ESA, just for comparison, but for now - there is no danger of me going out and buying the 2013 GS. I feared that I would want one after the test ride and have to say: nope, definitely not the bike I rode yesterday.
Are you sure you were riding the 2013GS, perhaps the tyres were flat or perhaps you are 35 stone!!!

I have done just over 500 miles on mine, and it is a really quick turning bike at any speed, it tracks through corners more precisely than just about any other bike out there and certainly much better than the older GSes. There is almost no vibration from the engine. My bike is the standard suspension, I don't have dynamic ESA and the way it steers and corners is excellent - are you sure that you weren't riding a Triumph

P.S. the gearbox only clunks (sometimes) when going into 1st, just like almost every chain driven bike on the market.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:39 AM   #7324
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Did the demo bike have ASC automatic stability control? if so it must have been turned off, because the front wheel shouldn't be coming off the ground like that.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:55 AM   #7325
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Cool2 over 1 million reads to this thread...!!!! WOW

and to that end, many many inmates and friends will be reading ( this thread) more in the future. SO....IT WILL BE most interesting to see if more riders feel like CUG! If more reviews like his are posted, BMW may have to take the LC back to the drawing board. Than again maybe not.

I do know this however. CUG rode two vastly different machines. They have over 75 yrs difference of technology ie forks compared to Telelever, chain compared to Paralever, throttle cables compared to fly by wire...on and on.
In the past when I would ride a friends bike that was not the modern BMW but old school forks and chain etc, I kinda felt like CUG but in the opposite direction. ............JUS SAYIN.......

Life is sure interesting.....yes?
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #7326
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Racegun..have any other new bike models generated as much interest as the new GS LC???
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:43 AM   #7327
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Originally Posted by leafman60 View Post
You didnt mention anything about cockpit heat. You didn't notice that ?
The heat must have been quite noticeable on the example you rode.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:45 AM   #7328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjon View Post
Did the demo bike have ASC automatic stability control? if so it must have been turned off, because the front wheel shouldn't be coming off the ground like that.
Shouldn't but I bet it was a hoot.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:47 AM   #7329
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Life is sure interesting.....yes?
Sure is.

Thing is, cug didn't like the bike even before he rode it.
Read his older posts.

Anyway all comments on a new machine are welcome and fit in the puzzle. I agree.

Now a varadero rider that moved (or wants to move) to crosstourer? I am sure he will (have to) hate the new GS too. Same for some MS12 riders and others.

(all these are as common as older GS riders that need to justify NOT getting a new one - happens about a million times a day)
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:51 AM   #7330
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Originally Posted by mrjon View Post
Did the demo bike have ASC automatic stability control? if so it must have been turned off, because the front wheel shouldn't be coming off the ground like that.
Well... it all depends.
You cannot do a proper wheelie with ASC on, but wheel CAN rise with ASC on, it is just that when wheel speed difference varies much that ASC cuts in and drops the wheel.
In "old" GS with ASC in dirt mode (I used to switch it there as initially I found it hypersensitive for Greek bad tarmac) you can do even more.
Now if new GS has a smarter ASC and/or tuned differently (AND the bike is more powerful AND e-gas with the shorter throttle turn helps) I am pretty sure little wheelies like that are entirely possible even with ASC.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:52 AM   #7331
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This seems like a contradiction to me
Actually he talks about two different things.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:56 AM   #7332
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Racegun..have any other new bike models generated as much interest as the new GS LC???
i was thinking the exact same thing. Only a few to be sure....
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:56 AM   #7333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
Yesterday I had a chance to test ride the new GS and of course, took it. Here are my impressions in no particular order.
.
Great review and maybe more "objective" than a lot of reviews I've read here. In my case there is only the BMW, I'm brainwashed and therefore Triumph's don't even exist in my world.
I don't think I'll even test ride the 2013, I need to be content with my 2010 for a couple more years and then the 2015 GSA!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:13 AM   #7334
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Originally Posted by GSBruce View Post
I paid a deposit the day after the press release, ordered by detail the day that was possible, was told my bike was built the first week in January, now am told it is "in route to warehouse". I called BMW to ask them to define that, they could not. What warehouse? They don't know. Where was the alleged bike physically located? They don't know. BMW seems committed to generating bad will and they are succeeding quite well. I have bought 4 new BMW cars and one new BMW motorcycle. I will never have another good thing to say about BMW. Period.
I ordered my RT in Oct. The bike was built and shipped to the US in the beginning of December. Then it went to the magic warehouse land. The bike eventually showed up in time for Valentines day.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:57 AM   #7335
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Okay, doing my best to react to most of the points made above about my initial impressions in one post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ_92606 View Post
Wow, sounds like we rode different bikes. Just curious which dealer?
San Jose BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ_92606 View Post
Another thought on the power....how much of it is simply throttle mapping do you think?
No idea. I didn't even think about or check which mode it was in. It was definitely not the "pamper me and take care that I'm no going into the weeds"-mode, more the "bring it on right now"-mode.

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Some of your comments totally disagree with feedback from other people (some even contrast my own feedback on Tiger 800 - but yours is customized to you) and given your previous posts on this thread, well takes a bit of their objectivity.
You can take it however you want. I had a 2010 R1200GS and I really liked it and I have it in very good memory. Luckily I recently also rode another R1200GS, although that was outfitted with aftermarket suspension (full Wilbers setup).

The bike I rode on Saturday was a big letdown for me after all the hype of how well it handles on road, how much less vibration there is, and so on. I actually didn't want to ride for fear I'd get the "bike switch bug" again, but that I came back quite underwhelmed was a big surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
but you even commented on (quite a few) things actually worse than previous GS that I don't think anybody else reported (which is weird as most people here HAVE the previous GS).
That's what I was so surprised about. Maybe there was something wrong about the bike I rode or maybe it really is all about coming from a bike that is completely adjusted to my liking, I don't know. Still, compared to the Tiger, the handling felt so slow and heavy. Btw, two other people in the shop commented about the same behavior. One I heard before I rode it and I couldn't believe it (he said "steering felt heavier than my GSA"), another I talked with after my test ride. We just chatted whether that weird and different feel came from the new tire dimensions.

There are so many things that can cause this behavior, I don't put too much value on it right now. At least not until I had a chance to ride one with Dynamic ESA and had time to adjust it to my liking and give myself more time to re-wire my brain to the vastly different handling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
It is great that you already have the bike you want.
It makes it a little less expensive right now. Although my wife is fighting me for the Tiger more and more ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBMW View Post
This seems like a contradiction to me
Not at all. Turning radius has absolutely nothing to do with lightness in handling and quickness in turn in. If you don't know the difference, go ride a sport bike with a real aggressive front set up - you think about turning and it nearly falls over, but when you try to turn it around in your driveway, you go back and forth three times ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by leafman60 View Post
You didnt mention anything about cockpit heat. You didn't notice that ?
I noticed heat on my left leg on the way back to the dealer. I was on the highway, going about 55mph, transitioning between two highways and thought that I felt some weird heat around my left knee. It could be heat blown there from the left side radiator. Not certain. Not enough time to check this out properly. Ambient temperatures wasn't high, so I guess it came from the bike. I was wearing Sidi Adventure boots, jeans, but with knee protectors and I mainly felt it between boot and knee protector.

I did not notice any cockpit heat. Where would that have been? It was about 70F or so outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxReving View Post
Thanks for sharing your impressions of the new 1200GS LC. It seams as your main objective towards the basic 1200GS LC without dynamic ESA is the suspension.
Yeah, I think that's about right. I believe that the suspension (and possibly the tires or tire dimensions) is responsible for most of the handling quirks I encountered.

Btw, the bike was equipped with Metzeler Tourance Next. I had Tourance EXP on my 2010 and when I switched to Road Attack II, I also got improved handling and quicker turn in. Could be a characteristic of the tire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
Thing is, cug didn't like the bike even before he rode it.
That is actually total BS. I didn't like some of the policies BMW brings to the customers nowadays. Trying to save a penny here and there.

I did love my 2010 GS, and I was super excited to ride the new GS, just fearing I would like it so much that I'd trade in my Tiger on the spot. Didn't happen though. And THAT surprised me quite a lot as I was expecting a different outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldpeg View Post
Thank you for the report. Points 1 and 9 are surprising, however, since they are the almost exact opposite of what MOST (not all, but really most) people have reported.
That was what caught me by surprise. I expected it to handle about as easy/quick as my Tiger, and was surprised when it didn't. Maybe that also set a wrong baseline.

All these impressions are related to where you're coming from, and although my GS experience is just one year ago, I was riding my Tiger for that year and set it up explicitly for me. Therefore it behaves pretty much the way I want it to behave (raised rear, new suspension, set up for my weight, ergonomics put in the right places for my size, and so on) which means that a bike that behaves differently is out of my target zone for how it should be. It's definitely not a very fair comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldpeg View Post
As for the transmission being clunky, it will probably soften a bit after break-in and a lot more over time. I know my old GS's and recent RT's did.
Again, it's a point of view problem: Most people here come from the old GS, and compared to that I'd say the transmission is likely better. It was a new bike so hard to say how it'll be in a few thousand miles, but my general experience with boxers is that they need one or two services to be sorted.

The Tiger has a super nice transmission. One of the nicest I had on a bike in general.

Also, it might not have been the transmission alone, but the on/off throttle response with all the lash I'm not used to anymore. For that I can't really say whether my 2010 did the same, possibly, maybe, but I don't think so because I never felt it so much. Again, the comparison is tough as this is one of the areas where the Triumph triple is pretty damn hard to beat. That thing runs fine from 1300rpm all the way up to 10k rpm, producing less vibrations in the whole range than the GS in its sweet spot. And much less power, too, but that power is fairly useless anyways for 90% of my typical riding. Could be bad for my license though if I had it. Behaved like a hooligan on the highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UK_Engineer View Post
Are you sure you were riding the 2013GS, perhaps the tyres were flat or perhaps you are 35 stone!!!

I have done just over 500 miles on mine, and it is a really quick turning bike at any speed, it tracks through corners more precisely than just about any other bike out there and certainly much better than the older GSes. There is almost no vibration from the engine. My bike is the standard suspension, I don't have dynamic ESA and the way it steers and corners is excellent - are you sure that you weren't riding a Triumph
Yeah, very helpful. You obviously have a different comparison point or your bike matches your expectations better. Whatever. I might have noticed if the tires were flat or anything else was obviously wrong. Maybe you should ride some other bikes on the market to get a broader view of what's out there and how the GS compares?

If you think the GS has almost no vibration at all, you should go and ride some really smooth bikes. Like the Tiger Explorer, or the 800s, or some Honda V-Four bikes, or ... whatever. I haven't said that the vibrations were annoying or problematic, just that this is not a very smooth bike. The boxer vibrations are better than those of many four cylinder bikes as I can tolerate the frequency better, but they are still there. That's all I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallguy-09 View Post
Great review and maybe more "objective" than a lot of reviews I've read here. In my case there is only the BMW, I'm brainwashed and therefore Triumph's don't even exist in my world.
I certainly have a different point of view, recently coming from a different engine concept (triple vs. boxer), a different suspension concept (traditional forks vs. Telelever), a suspension set up for my weight vs. one that is likely not very good to start with, and also probably set for a different weight as I might be on the lower end of the typical BMW rider. But it all comes down to likes and dislikes. For example I absolutely hate chain drives for their stupid maintenance, that you have to replace them often, that they are messy. But I was now also very surprised to see quite a few benefits of their more inconspicuous behavior. I also love twins and the triple is still sometimes weird for me, but I got so used to that "automatic" feeling where you pick about any gear and just ride.

You are certainly right that I'm coming from a completely different bike than most here and therefore see things differently or with different emphasis. Like a lot of people here will have noticed the increase in power, but probably not as hard as I did coming from an 800cc bike. Or the difference in feel the Telelever gives as I rode the last 6k miles on conventional forks. That's why I said that some folks need to go out more and ride something different to get a more realistic view of the world. The GS is a fantastic bike, no question about that, but the whole market has caught up very well and some of the concepts are either so different that a switch is necessarily felt either very positive or very negative, depending on the taste of the rider. So all this is totally relative and on its own completely useless.

It might help to get some views from people that are not Jürgen Schwarz from Touratech or people riding the "Ride of your Life" or others owning GS bikes for the last 20 years and never riding anything else.
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