What is up with the 1250 GS suspension?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by WildAnCrazymtl, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    I just took out a new 1250 for a test/demo ride and was sum what surprised at the lacklustre performance of the rear suspension. I had a 2009 GS with the ESA and we both loved it. Never a complaint, best handling bike ever. Fast forward to 2018 and got a deal on a new 2017 Triumph Tiger 1200 with what they call semi active suspension from White Power. Wifey falls in love with it and claims best suspension ever. She basically feels nothing even over fairly rough roads. We can actually hit speed bumps at 30 mph and it does not send us off the bike. Expansion joints and choppy pavement are a thing of the past for us.

    I really was leaning towards a 1250 GS for a few reasons, I said if you think that is plush, wait till you try the new GS suspension. However, after a test ride on the same roads, wifey says the suspension is not even close to being as good as on the Triumph. I tend to agree, the bike feels somewhat softer sprung and seems to transmit choppy pavement impact back to the riders. After the test ride I noticed it may have been a lowered suspension bike. Do they have lower grade suspension because they are lower, what gives?

    My question is does BMW have any plans for a semi active suspension or some suspension updates?
    Anyone else ride both bikes and share my opinion? I was expecting BMW to be the best of the best, leader of the field.... :dunno

    :ear
    #1
  2. Trackjunkie21

    Trackjunkie21 Been here awhile

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    Did you have the suspension set in dynamic by mistake? It's a good bit stiffer than the road setting.
    #2
  3. Subaruvich

    Subaruvich Been here awhile

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    I agree, suspension was rubbish both on my 2018 Rally and on 2019 HP. Ended up buying new shocks from Tractive and it’s the best upgrade I’ve done.
    #3
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  4. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    We tried both setting and saw little difference, like you wrote, the dynamic setting was a bit stiffer. For some reason, I thought dynamic was BMW’s word for semi active... I even tried taking it off auto and plaed with the manual settings... Nothing even came remotely close to the Triumph’s sit and and ride while the suspension does everything for us. At first the lack of control annoyed me, but the bike always gets it right, whether I am alone, two up or fully loaded the suspension knows what to do... Best suspension ever, I was really expecting BMW to outdo the Triumph...
    #4
  5. USMCEngineer

    USMCEngineer Been here awhile

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    I'm a 270lb rider and I put mine on Max for best performance. Auto seems to be dialed in for an average rider so the preload just isn't enough for me. It's hard to get a motorcycle suspension to work for everyone. The minimum I may use on the trail if I get into a hairy spot, but otherwise, it's all over the place.
    #5
  6. Gmania

    Gmania n00b

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    I was interested in this post because I am currently riding a dealer demo loaner while my 2017 is in the shop. I too felt the suspensions was somewhat lacking. I dialed through different ride modes looking for an improvement, but found the ride less compliant than my 2017. Solo rider here, but a big boy at 265.
    #6
  7. RobLS

    RobLS The Navigator

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    I had a 2017 gsa. I typically rode that in dynamic. I recently tested a 1250 gs and kept it in road and was totally cool with it. I weigh about 180-185.
    #7
  8. side-burn

    side-burn Been here awhile

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    I feel this is going to be another one of those "exhaust too loud" or "exhaust sounds fine to me" posts.

    I'll bite. I found the suspension quite good on the 1250 and to me the difference between Dynamic and Road is staggering where you said "We tried both setting and saw little difference" so I don't know man.

    I'm 185 not including gear and 6 foot. I prefer a stiffer/feedback driven suspension so I ride almost exclusively in Dynamic mode.
    #8
  9. tentative_rider

    tentative_rider Wanna Be On Gravel

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    Agree with above!

    I will bite too.

    Love my 1250 GSA. It’s my 5th GS. Absolutely no complaints about the suspension or anything else.

    I certainly would not call the performance of my suspension lackluster.

    Wondering if the OP’s experience might be related to the low suspension with stiffer shorter spring.

    TR
    #9
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  10. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    When I wrote we felt little difference, I ment in the choppiness of the overall feel. Yes road was softer than dynamic, but neither were anywhere near the comfort I was expecting or anywhere near the comfort level of the Triumph tiger with semi active suspension... This is still shocking to me...
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  11. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    Maybe I should have mentioned I am 240 ish and she is 135 ish
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  12. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    Great pun! Stick with the Triumph, as it suits your riding needs better.

    Life's too short. Worry less & ride more!
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  13. side-burn

    side-burn Been here awhile

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    Must be subjective. I'm coming from a Triumph and they seem similar when in Road setting. Road feels like it's riding on pillows, too soft for this boy. That said, I have little experience with 2up suspension feel on the 1250. Maybe it starts to lose the softness? Are there any pre-load or adjustments for this one can do?
    #13
  14. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Was preload properly set for two up?
    Since you have had a prior ESA bike,I assume you are aware.

    JR356
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  15. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    I hope it does not become one of those posts... I was really hoping someone else had tried both bikes as well and could also compare the two...
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  16. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    I kinda wanted another GS for many other reasons, I can live with a lesser suspension... Wifey on the other hand wants to keep not feeling the bumps in the road. Seriously you can hit a speed bump a 35mph and not feel it as the pillion...
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  17. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    It was set to auto for the first part of the ride then When I figured how to manually adjust it it was only marginally better.
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  18. WildAnCrazymtl

    WildAnCrazymtl Political Prisoner

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    A Triumph tiger 1200 with the white power semi active suspension ? What year?
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  19. ironsinker

    ironsinker Adventurer

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    I have a 1250gs with low suspension. I weight little under 200lbs. The difference between dynamic and road are quite noticeable to me, road being much smoother. I keep the leveling on auto. I have had pillions up to 120lbs. I feel the suspension is smoother with a pillion than without. I can definitely tell the suspension raises when I have a pillion.

    The only issue I have with the ride is anything over 70mph or so gets a little choppy feeling. I'm hoping its due to the adventure tires that came on the bike. I probably have another 1K miles left before they need to be changed. I will be putting on pilot road 4 or 5's. Hopefully the high speed bumpiness goes away. I don't need knobby tires.

    Maybe demo a different 1250 just to make sure there wasn't something wrong with the one you tried. Maybe try one with standard height suspension or possibly sport suspension if it's a GS.
    #19
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  20. GSbyname

    GSbyname Adventurer

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    I'm 70kg. Wife 60. Never ride over 110km/h. Miche AA tyres, 1250GS.
    Always use Auto so ride height is set for whatever load is on.
    2-up, with or without luggage, use Road for comfort, Rain when wet, Enduro off-road/potholes/dirt. Wife agrees to those choices.
    Solo/tarmac, always Dynamic, whether luggage or not, Rain only when torrential, Enduro when potholes/offroad.
    Dynamic on tarmac is closest to my 1200R/Wilbers setup (just sold).
    On tarmac, shocks not as precise as Wilbers, but overall for variety of use I give it, quite ok; off-road solo or 2-up, big improvement over roadster.
    Nothing's perfect, but this is a good all-rounder, IMO.
    #20
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