New R1200GS

The hardest part about picking a motorcycle is the large number of available choices. In this area there are many dealers for most of the major brands. There is no one best motorcycle and the variety of choices allows many people to find the bike that is just right.

My ride is the R1200GS from BMW. This is in the Enduro class of motorcycles, but it is not fully outfitted for off-road adventures like the R1200GS Adventure. The R1200GS has road tires and a more modest size fuel tank. The 2007 R1200GS has a 5.3 gallon tank compared with the 8.7 gallon tank on the adventure. So far, I have not needed the larger tank, and I typically stop for fuel after about 125 miles.


According to various reports on the Internet, the earlier model years have not correctly shown the amount of gas in the tank. The 2007 R1200GS shows the fuel level decreasing pretty uniformly during a ride, but the low fuel level warning comes on after about two and half gallons are used. The warning counts down the miles for the next gallon of fuel for a total of three and half gallons. I regularly reach the low end of the countdown and do not worry about reaching zero. The warning light is a bit irritating, but it is better than a late warning. Fueling the R1200GS when the gas light turns on results in only half the tank being used. Aside from that, the rate the tank is emptied is accurately displayed on the gauge. On the F800, the tank indicates full until most of the gas is used, and the countdown for remaining fuel is extremely accurate. It would be nice if BMW would upgrade the R1200GS countdown to be more like the F800.


The controls on this bike are typical of most of the other BMW motorcycles. The turn signals are located on each grip with the signal cancel on the right hand side. The turn signals are self-canceling after about 600 feet. The hazard lights are engaged by pressing both the left and right turn signal simultaneously. A switch on the right grip also controls the heated grips, and I sometimes hit the turn signal when adjusting the heat. I expect to learn not to do this with more experience on my motorcycle.

The instruments are clear and easy to read with a quick glance. The onboard trip computer keeps track of: gear indicator, fuel level, engine temperature, ambient temperature, oil level, fuel range, average speed, average miles per gallon, and time. Optional equipment allows the onboard computer to track tire pressure.

Riding R1200GS

The best part about this motorcycle is riding it. Of the all the models of motorcycles I tried, the R1200GS was the most comfortable. I was looking for a bike with an upright riding position and mid controls. I also wanted a motorcycle that I could use for some touring. The R1200GS has three easy to install and remove lockable luggage compartments. The nifty thing about the ones from BMW is that they are easily expandable. Inside each of the cases is a lever that can be rotated to increase the carrying capacity. I got a set of case liners form Kathy's Journey Designs, and they slide easily into and out of the rigid luggage cases. Kathy's liners can be expanded using a zipper and help provide a water barrier in case it rains. It is also nice to take the case liners inside when packing or arriving at a hotel. The outside of the luggage can easily accumulate dirt and grime from the ride.

	  aftermarket breaklights

Reviews on this motorcycle are not hard to find since many of the magazines routinely review this class of motorcycle. I really like having the anti-lock breaking system. Some the videos on the impact of anti-lock breaks are quite impressive. At the DC motorcycle show, the BMW display had a video showing professional riders trying to stop on slippery surfaces. The outriggers prevented the non-anti-lock breaking bikes from hurting the rider. I hope I never need to use them, and so far I have not noticed any pulsing or other distracting features.

I got my motorcycle at Bob's BMW in Jessup, Maryland. Everything about Bob's is the best that it can be. The friendly people in the store are ready to help out with any questions and I consider all the staff my friends. When I was looking at motorcycles, they answered all my questions and gave me additional information and suggestions to help me make the best choices. They suggested aftermarket bright LED breaklights that flash before staying on constant. They all know me by name and know the bike I have. When I stopped in for the extra luggage, I asked Karl if they had any in stock and they took care of everything. You can sit on all the bikes (except the ones in the museum) without having a salesperson hovering around. If you are interested in a BMW motorcycle, the best advice I can give you is stop by and visit Bob's BMW.

Enjoy your ride!