Is that how a GS is supposed to be?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Dadson, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Dadson

    Dadson Been here awhile

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    I've ridden a number of bikes and all of them have pretty much been the same when it comes the sound and feel. Naturally they have some small difference here of there, but for the most part, yeah, the same.

    Being a GS noob, I can't decide if my 1150 is running right or about to fall apart. Starting the bike up makes me think I'm sitting on R2D2. There's all these buzzes and wizzes as the servos wake up. Lights on the dash blinking like a Christmas tree. It takes about 20 seconds before I can shift from neutral to 1st. Somebody watching me would think I'm tapping my left foot to a real catchy tune. No. I'm trying to get into gear.

    It's a boxer engin. While I understand that means it's different from my FJR 1300, beyond that I don't know what to expect. The bike sounds, to my ears :ear rough. I'm used to that Japanese engin hum. Instead I'm hearing what I can best describe as a Volkswagen. Is that supposed to sound like that?

    Being a duel purpose bike it makes sense that the gearing is different, right? Accelorating onto the freeway I notice that 1st and 2nd gear hardly exist. It's not a zippy bike.
    At freeway speeds it's not the kind of 'smooth' that I'm used to hearing. I'm not saying it misses or sputters. Nothing like that. It just sounds... noisey.

    The bike starts up with no problem. All the fluids are clean and at the right levels. It hasn't doen anything to make me think it's breaking, broken, or unsound. But I need to hear from others who know this beast and can tell me that 'yes' that's just how the bike is, or 'no' it's going to explode under your butt and launch your nuts into another zip code. :eek1
    #1
  2. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    If you ride a boxer, wear earplugs anytime the motors running and you will be much happyer. :lol3 Back when my 1150 was quite new to me, I about shit my pants listening to what I was sure was a rod knock. Guess I was wrong because it's still banging away 75K later.
    #2
  3. rsimpson

    rsimpson Long Way OK?

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    My 07GSA sounds like crap:D When pulling into parking lots where other bikes and riders are present, I'll kill it and coast to a stop.:rofl
    #3
  4. uncreative

    uncreative Been here awhile

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    it took me a really long time to get used to all of the noises my GS makes. earplugs really do help me enjoy the bike for what it is. I have ridden an fjr, and the bmw engine is nowhere close to that engine in terms of acceleration and smoothness. sometimes, the only thing the right grip seems to do on the bmw is make a bunch of bustling sounds rather than propel the bike forward.

    if you think about it, it should sound exactly like a volkswagen. air cooled boxer vs air cooled boxer.
    #4
  5. jdc_va_usmc

    jdc_va_usmc Been here awhile

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    Easing out on the clutch just a bit will help you get it into 1st gear more quickly...
    #5
  6. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    That is just how they sound. Look at the good parts of what it does well. Like roaming the planet like no other bike can. I LOVE MY 1150GS.
    #6
  7. peter_j_r1200gs

    peter_j_r1200gs Adventurer

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    when it does'nt have the tick of a sewing machine, is when you worry.......i had a 2000 1150 gs, made all the same sounds, and was worse when it got hot. she was running like a champ when i traded her in with 92k on the clock
    #7
  8. Knollwood

    Knollwood Ol'frt

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    cause my 99' R1100 GS sounds like a $1000 hooker that whispers in your ear "do me like that again and the night is free"

    And no earplugs needed, and she cruises all day above 90 without burning oil (only 87K on her).[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    #8
  9. izzy's

    izzy's Been here awhile

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    Dadson, I know where you are coming from. I put over 40,000 miles on an 04 Yamaha Venture but wanted to have the off road ability. An 04 GS Adventure with 18,750 miles is what I bought. The first 500 miles I was pretty sure I had screwed up, to the point that I hung onto the Yamaha for about a month. I felt the GSA had too much wind noise, too much engine noise, was too tall, transmission shifted too noisy and I sat too upright. In 20 months I have put 19,000 miles on the BMW. The Yamaha is long gone. The gs bikes are built to be ridden hard, and they WILL take it. They are not as quiet as a nice road bike. Ride it hard, higher RPM, lower gears. You will get used to these new sounds and will fall in love with your GS unlike any other bike. Try different types of helmets, I like the motocross type. I added an auto-comm, J & M helmet speakers, my I Pod, GPS, and XM Radio. Crank the tunes and don't notice those GS sound anymore. Stick with it. Izzy
    #9
  10. Clayton Bigsby

    Clayton Bigsby Ready

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    After the first year, you'll still be wondering if its going to fall apart. But, you'll probably have ridden more in that year than you have with any other bike.

    :1drink
    #10
  11. izzy's

    izzy's Been here awhile

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    Dadson, I know where you are coming from. I put over 40,000 miles on an 04 Yamaha Venture but wanted to have the off road ability. An 04 GS Adventure with 18,750 miles is what I bought. The first 500 miles I was pretty sure I had screwed up, to the point that I hung onto the Yamaha for about a month. I felt the GSA had too much wind noise, too much engine noise, was too tall, transmission shifted too noisy and I sat too upright. In 20 months I have put 39,000 miles on the BMW. The Yamaha is long gone. The gs bikes are built to be ridden hard, and they WILL take it. They are not as quiet as a nice road bike. Ride it hard, higher RPM, lower gears. You will get used to these new sounds and will fall in love with your GS unlike any other bike. Try different types of helmets, I like the motocross type. I added an auto-comm, J & M helmet speakers, my I Pod, GPS, and XM Radio. Crank the tunes and don't notice those GS sound anymore. Stick with it. Izzy
    #11
  12. tbarstow

    tbarstow Two-wheelin' Fool

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    Try this when trying to get into first gear:

    Pull in clutch. Press down on shift lever and hold. Start letting out clutch. It should drop into first, but not lurch or kill the engine.

    It will also help your upshifts to preload the shifter, then start pulling in the clutch. It should gently slip into the next gear with no audible sound.

    Stop short shifting out of 1st and 2nd gear, wind it out to 6000 rpm, then shift.
    #12
  13. Mojaveboxer

    Mojaveboxer Adventurer

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    Dadson, same boat as you, right down to being a fellow feej owner. Bought my GS brand new. Man did it rattle and shake. Remember that you are also used to a transmounted I-4. This is boxer with the fly in-line with the frame of the bike. When you twist the throttle the bike will even tweak to the right a bit, like a car. Cool feeling but takes a bit to get used too.

    All those shakes and rattles are more likely normal. You are on a sterioded out dirt bike after all. Built like a tank, runs and sounds like one too.

    You will come to appreciate all the rattles and shakes. Even so that when you are on the feej it will be quiet, too quiet.

    Love my GS but nothing beats the feej for power and comfort, especially two up.

    Best of both worlds IMHO.
    #13
  14. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    You'll soon be a loyal dog and hear every tick and kurplunk and love it.

    I like the noises... it reminds me I'm on a motorcycle.
    #14
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I feel my R1150GS is not a good bike to tool around town. It's wide, it's heavy, it sounds like shit at idle, it doesn't like it when it's hot. When I load up for a trip and hit the road it's the BEST bike I've ever ridden, and I've ridden hundreds.

    the famous james
    #15
  16. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Been here awhile

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    The boxers are certainly creative sounding, but for true, UJM-rider-jaw dropping clatter, run the primary chain on a Buell a little on the loose side. Sounds just like a handful of nickels in a blender.:lol3
    #16
  17. Devil Dog

    Devil Dog Q-Tip With Ears

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    They all do that, sir :norton
    #17
  18. PukaWai

    PukaWai Been here awhile

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    I would guess that all those other bikes you have ridden were all along the lines of the FJR. Take a ride one one of the K bikes and it will feel familiar. For the GS, think taking two XR600 engines, bolt them together and make sure they are not in sync, and then add a gameboy for all the sound effects. As far as the tranny goes, well its gotta vibrate at the same frequency as the bolted together engines. Sometimes all you need to do is let the clutch out and pull it in again before kicking it into 1st. :1drink
    #18
  19. Kongo

    Kongo Dog's best friend

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    Just put a Remus Staintune on it. Solves everything. Over that louder exhaust I have to listen close to notice things like my right throttle body rattling from a loose butterfly bearing. (Gotta get that fixed this winter :D ).
    #19
  20. Grad

    Grad Wannabe

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    I haven't ridden an 1150, but I would definitely describe my 1200GS as "zippy," in fact I would describe it as "quick." And I am coming from an FZ1 which is even faster than your FJR. The boxer has its own sounds but if you adjust the valves correctly and sync your throttle bodies, it isn't too bad. You will grow to love the bike though, almost everybody does. The first day I had my 12GS I wondered if I had made the right choice, and now I can't imagine trading it for any other production bike.
    #20