If buying a 2005 GS. What to look for?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Piersonjc, May 15, 2019.

  1. Piersonjc

    Piersonjc Adventurer

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    My 2016 GS is so sweet, my buddy wants to try out the GS space. He's looking at a 2005 GS with 86K miles. Says the guy has all service records.

    What can he expect to be going bad or wearing out on this bike?
    What should he be inspecting for?
    What service should have been done by now by the seller, if he was keeping up on things?

    Asking price is $4500. Advice please! Thanks.
    #1
  2. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    For me the #1 question/issue would be the clutch. I'm a pretty handy wrench but the clutch change is a major project. I've completed just about every other service you can do on a BMW except that. In my book it's major and expensive. I'm sure we'll get guys say they can do a clutch change in their sleep but it is a formidable task. Have him watch a YouTube video of it first if you don't believe me. Every thing else short of major engine work is fairly straight forward.
    #2
  3. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    If there are plenty of service records and the recalls have been done, then so long as it isn't leaking and a test ride feels good it's almost certainly a reasonable candidate.

    There is a long list of things that "could go wrong"; from clutch, to driveshaft, to stick coils, and on & on, but pulling together an exhaustive list would be, well, exhausting. That model year was pretty good, though first year BMWs can admittedly be risky.

    If neither you nor your buddy are comfortable making an evaluation, consider paying a decent indy-shop a labor hour to pour over the bike. You'll get good bang for that buck.
    #3
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  4. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Biggest issue specific to the early hexhead GS is the servo assisted brakes.
    Make sure it has had routine full brake flushes every year or two.
    If the ABS module goes out it can be rebuilt,new ones are $$$ from BMW.

    JR356
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  5. FireSpaceLigers

    FireSpaceLigers Been here awhile

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    Depending on where you are, I think 2005 came in a 1150 AND a 1200. I assume you mean an 2005 r1200GS. I think all the 1150's were last manufactured in 2003 but were registered as the year lean released from the factory, but I'm not certain.

    As far as I'm concerned, buy the person, not the bike. Go talk to the guy and see if he tells you about the great trips he's had on the bike and get a feel for why he's unloading it.
    #5
  6. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    2005 1150 models were all GSA, IIRC, at least in the U.S. They were actually left overs from prior year production. Same goes for the unicorn 2006 1150, I believe.
    #6
  7. Piersonjc

    Piersonjc Adventurer

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    Yes, this is the R1200GS. Sorry, I didn't realize the ambiguity.

    Just learned that he hasn't had anything done to it. It's just had regular maintenance. Didn't know if there was anything that would definitely have to be done to it at that mileage, like a clutch. I think we're to the point of going to see it and ride it. It's a bit of a drive, so I wanted some ideas of things to look for or listen for. The clutch, for sure, as well as any leaks. I'll definitely have him get it inspected by a dealer before purchase.

    Thanks. I continue to learn a lot from ya'll.
    #7
  8. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    If the bike's still wearing its OE clutch, then I'd just presume it to be near the end of its service life. Plenty of those bikes reached six digit miles on the original clutch, but actually checking by measurement is almost as much work as replacement.
    #8
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  9. FireSpaceLigers

    FireSpaceLigers Been here awhile

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    I bought mine basically sight unseen from blurry photos and a vague description. Talked to the guy on the phone pretty extensively a couple times. Price was right even for a mediocre bike. Drove down a few hours with rental vehicle.

    Turned out to be phenomenol bike in immaculate condition. it was ridden hard all over the world, but no expense was spared on updates, repairs, and maintaining the custom paint.

    I think the guy was just getting old to pick up the big adventure bike and wanted a small motoguzzi instead, and the dealer lowballed him on trade so he was giving me the low tradein price.

    Super cool guy, kind of wish he was my dad...

    Had a similar experience with another guy I talked with 1200 miles away. He was super honest about his 1200gs, saying “the bike looks beaten in but is ready to go, just got back from a 3k trip down to mexico”.

    Moral of the story, if the person on the phone isnt evading direct questions or wishy washy, go check it out with the plan to buy.
    #9
  10. JxA0

    JxA0 03 R1150GS, 10 R1200GSA, 16 Husky FE350s

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    I'd balance the person with the facts... I recently went through this on a new-to-me 2010 R1200GSA that I'm doing all the work myself (shout out to JVB and Youtube!)

    List of things I'd check:
    1. Look for leaks. I like to not have them clean the bike before I get there.
    2. Check service records and make sure they are close to BMW recommendations
      1. http://www.jimvonbaden.com/R1200GS-Maintenance-Schedules.pdf
    3. Check to see if the Front Boot is not split (where driveshaft comes out of engine)
      1. If it is you will want to replace it. It may also have rusted the shaft, so that may need some grease, etc. Not a bad job if you have some experience turning wrench.
      2. My guy said this would be a $500 repair
      3. Repair Video:
    4. Wheel bearing play
      1. Put the bike on the center stand and grab opposite sides of the Rear Wheel and move it to see if there is bearing play
      2. Again - $500 repair with my mechanic
      3. Do the same with the front wheel
    5. Front Ball Joint & Boot
      1. straddle the bike, put the front wheel against a wall or simply hold the front break and attempt to rock the bike back and forth. If you hear a clunk, have your buddy put his hand on the ball joint or listen to see if this is an issue.
      2. Ball joing is ~$150, boot only can be found for ~$20.
      3. Pay attention to steering wobble while test riding. Mine had wobble that I tried to account to the Shinkos Front Tire, but it turns out I was fooling myself and it is likely the ball joint.
      4. Threads with info:
        1. https://advrider.com/f/threads/front-brake-thunk.643632/
        2. https://www.r1200gs.info/forum/2-general-chatter/3484-top-yoke-bearing-failure.html#/topics/3484
    6. Heated Hand grips
      1. Make sure they both work
    7. Check brake wear service on rotors is 4mm according to JVB video, I read 4.5mm elsewhere.
    8. Test the ABS while riding :)
    9. If you have the electronic shock sit on it and set it to the 1 helmet icon, then shift it to the mountain icon and ensure the ride height changes. (This is what I read for my 2010, not sure of the ESA settings on an 05)
    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    Hopefully someone will correct any mistakes I made if they see them!

    Happy buying!!
    #10
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  11. Piersonjc

    Piersonjc Adventurer

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    Awesome JxA0! Thank you!!
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  12. JxA0

    JxA0 03 R1150GS, 10 R1200GSA, 16 Husky FE350s

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    #12
  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    This! :deal
    #13