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Old 04-27-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
BlindManJack OP
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Test Drove new liquid cooled 2013 R1200GS-So Glad I Did!!!!

Hello all- I have been reading a lot about the new Liquid cooled R1200GS and how great it is. It seems every review from the World Launch in South Africa is a raving review. I test drove one last week and I wonder what the hell was in the water that all those reviewers where drinking.

I was sorely disappointed with this new BMW. It was such an utter let down that I was almost speechless after the test ride. That was until I rode a 2012 R1200GS Adventure over the exact same route.

First off it is hard to even call this new version a 1200GS. It is so skinny it feels like the 800. The front end is hopeless and is almost scary. The wind screen might as well not even be there, It does almost nothing. As a result of the skinnier frame you slide around the bike a bit and it feels more like my Triumph Tiger 1050 or the Ducati Multi Strata. Not only is the wind screen useless the slimmer frame results in much more full body wind buffeting as well. Far more than my Tiger 1050.

The crazy thing is, that the guy at the dealership said I am not the first one not to like it. Actually many people don't and many of the staff are not a fan either.

The only good thing about this bike is the engine. It is fun, alive and has great torque throughout the whole range. It once again does not feel like a GS. It feels like my Tiger or a Multi Strada.

All of the BMW GS's competition has spent years chasing the clear winner in the class....the GS. With this liquid cooled offspring, it seems to me that BMW took two steps backward to join them instead of staying in the lead.

I am so glad I test drove the Adventure right after. Now that is what the GS should feel like. Big, stable and amazing. I do wish it has a little more get up and go, but all the other advantages far outweigh that.

So I pulled the trigger today on a 2013 R1200GS Adventure Triple Black. I will add a full Akrapovic exhaust system to get a little more power and I can't be happier.

I am curious to hear the thoughts of others who have test drove the new water cooled GS or who have a new one, that also had the air-cooled version.

Cheers and looking forward to your responses.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
oz97tj
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The new bike certainly is different than the old, but I completely disagree with some of your thoughts.

I agree the motor is fun. However, it's quite different than previous boxers so I suppose it's what you're used to.

Handling is much quicker with the COG lower. I like it, but I'm sure some may not. To me, even though it's dimensionally very similar in size and weight to the outgoing model, if feels much smaller. Combine with the motor, it feels almost as if I'm on a sport bike without the cramped riding position.

I disagree with the windscreen though. I'm curious as to your size. My '07 GS with the stock screen sucked. Very loud and turbulant. I also had a '13GSA on loan while I had some warranty work done to my new bike, and even with the winglets and larger screen, the air was loud with lots of buffeting to my helmet. The GSA does win in blocking air to the lower body with the big gas tank but that's obvious. I did order a new CalSci windscreen for my GS which I'm still waiting for, but even the stock screen offers much better wind management than the previous models.

I also disagree with the "sliding around the bike." Huh? Do you not grip the bike with your legs?

Lastly, how is the front end scary? I don't get that at all either.

Personally, I like the freer revving much sportier feel of the bike while still offering everything I liked about my previous gen GS. Also, while I loved my old GS, it did feel big and and semi lethargic in comparison. It's all personal taste obviously and I'm sure many may not like it. I can respect that, but there are a few issues you mentioned about I'm quite confused about.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
BlindManJack OP
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Hi oz97tj

I do not know how to exactly explain the front end that I experienced but it felt very unstable and finicky to the slightest touch. My other bike the Tiger 1050 had horrible stock front suspension so I upgraded it. Maybe compared to that I am used to something different. It just felt very unbalanced while turning at slow speeds.

I believe there has been one recall regarding the front suspension so maybe the on I test drove had an issue, I don't know.

As far as the wind. I realize the Adventure screen is not perfect but because I rode it directly after and down the exact same path it was night and day between the two. I thought the new GS windscreen was a bit bad but then after the Adventure I realized how bad.

I am 6'0 so it might be better for someone smaller. As far as sliding around I guess it was more that the bike was (to me) uncomfortably skinny. My Tiger is thicker at the legs than the new GS. I like the beefiness of the GS bikes that they come to me vs I have squeeze me legs like I am riding a horse at full gallop. I do a lot of city riding and lots of starts and stops and want to feel like the bike and I are one. I did not feel that way on the new GS. Just not what I expected and I am glad I am getting the last year of the air cooled.

I don't see how they are going to make an adventure version of that bike without changing it drastically.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
oz97tj
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Compared to your Tiger, the front end will feel different due to it's design but compared to the '13 GSA, it should feel pretty similar. I think the new bike feels more planted though in corners and such, but I believe that has a bunch to do with the tires as well. As for the recall, the recall affected only a few very early bikes and they were fixed. All the rest were held up at the ports before they even made it to the dealers so this shouldn't be the case. At parking lot speeds, it shouldn't be much different than the GSA. Its hard to say what you felt, but it doesn't matter really if you liked the GSA.

I'm also 6' and I have exactly the opposite feeling about the windscreen. Did you adjust it up? All the way down, it doesn't block much wind at all, but up it does block the wind fairly well and what does get around it is fairly smooth and quiet. At least that's my experience.

As for the narrowness, I grew up on dirt bikes and grip the bike with my legs. I prefer narrow, but again it's all what you're used to.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Thumb 2012 R1200GSA vs 2013 R1200GS

I have a 2012 GSA and I have tested the new water cooled GS. The new engine is very different from the outgoing one. It's a hell of a lot of fun. It's great! I got off it and wanted one immediately- in a different frame/model. I prefer the one I own and not just because it's in the garage. When BMW comes up with a package I like better, I'll buy it- but the new GS isn't it. These camhead "old style" GSA's may just become collectible classics due to the different direction BMW has chosen.
YMMV
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:42 PM   #6
NeelsK
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Well Ladies & Gents,

I've owned the 2011 GSA, 2010 F800GS and now I ride the 2013GSA.

Yes, it is different. But that was to be expected with such a radical redesign. There is actually very little I DONT like about it. Only 2 things come to mind:

1. New indicator switch. It is awkwardly placed so that I have to shift my hand to signal a left turn. That is if I am covering the clutch while riding. When I DONT cover the clutch, all is fine.
2. There are no trumpet blasts from heaven signalling the cavalry charge ;)

To be honest, the front end IS a slight bit more skittish than the GSA. But in my opinion, that is also to be expected. The GSA is a TANK fer g'dsakes. This is just the GS. The screen has NO problem, the fact that it is adjustable just counts more in it's favour. Granted, I didnt like the big GSA screen and had it replaced with a smaller one.

Just remember what the GS actually IS: an adventure TOURER, not a dirt bike (although apparently it is quite good at that if handled correctly)
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:53 PM   #7
oz97tj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeelsK View Post
1. New indicator switch. It is awkwardly placed so that I have to shift my hand to signal a left turn. That is if I am covering the clutch while riding. When I DONT cover the clutch, all is fine.
Do you have the GPS wheel on your bike? I like the single turn signal switch, as it's now the same as my other bikes, but I do feel like I have to stretch for it because the switch pod is further over due to the gps wheel.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:13 AM   #8
tornillo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindManJack View Post
Hello all- I have been reading a lot about the new Liquid cooled R1200GS and how great it is. It seems every review from the World Launch in South Africa is a raving review. I test drove one last week and I wonder what the hell was in the water that all those reviewers where drinking.

I was sorely disappointed with this new BMW. It was such an utter let down that I was almost speechless after the test ride. That was until I rode a 2012 R1200GS Adventure over the exact same route.

First off it is hard to even call this new version a 1200GS. It is so skinny it feels like the 800. The front end is hopeless and is almost scary. The wind screen might as well not even be there, It does almost nothing. As a result of the skinnier frame you slide around the bike a bit and it feels more like my Triumph Tiger 1050 or the Ducati Multi Strata. Not only is the wind screen useless the slimmer frame results in much more full body wind buffeting as well. Far more than my Tiger 1050.

The crazy thing is, that the guy at the dealership said I am not the first one not to like it. Actually many people don't and many of the staff are not a fan either.

The only good thing about this bike is the engine. It is fun, alive and has great torque throughout the whole range. It once again does not feel like a GS. It feels like my Tiger or a Multi Strada.

All of the BMW GS's competition has spent years chasing the clear winner in the class....the GS. With this liquid cooled offspring, it seems to me that BMW took two steps backward to join them instead of staying in the lead.

I am so glad I test drove the Adventure right after. Now that is what the GS should feel like. Big, stable and amazing. I do wish it has a little more get up and go, but all the other advantages far outweigh that.

So I pulled the trigger today on a 2013 R1200GS Adventure Triple Black. I will add a full Akrapovic exhaust system to get a little more power and I can't be happier.

I am curious to hear the thoughts of others who have test drove the new water cooled GS or who have a new one, that also had the air-cooled version.

Cheers and looking forward to your responses.
seems like i wrote this!!!
that was exactly what I did and felt ... and the guy that rode the wc before me did the same too!
picked up a 2013 gsa last friday...done 500kms...love it!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:08 AM   #9
NeelsK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tornillo View Post
picked up a 2013 gsa last friday...done 500kms...love it!
Surely you jest, good sir! [Edit} Ahhh you mean the air cooled one .... got it
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:39 AM   #10
Mtbcoach
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Maybe its the kind of bike one comes from or has their "roots" built upon.

I love the feel of my K50 as compared to by '09 GSA, might be that I'm from a dirt background and prefer the feeling as compared to the top heavy beast the previous generation GSA is.

I've only got ~300 miles on mine, only a short stint on gravel road, I've not given it a proper off-road test, maybe my impression will change. Yet, at this point, its a game changer IMHO...
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:20 PM   #11
maybilcatchfire
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a skinnier bike is best for off road. Either way I stay where i decide to sit on the bike regardless of how skinny or fat the bike is. I commend them for making it skinny though.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
CTerrySGD
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250 miles on my new 2013 1200gs wc and absolutely love the bike!

I grew up riding dirt and had a few sport bikes I'm my college days. Rode a Harley for the past 6 years and sold it to buy this bike.

All I can say is that I don't have any other BMW's to compare this bike to other than riding my father's '08 k bike but this new bike inspires confident riding! The front end is just light enough to have fun with it but allows carve paved roads and is good enough to go off road at the same time. I've never ridden a bike that was so comfortable, handled the street so well and could also blast down fire roads with such confidence.

Wind protection seems adequate and the adjustable fairing is very nice.

I also dislike the turn signal switch but that's about it!

Again.... I don't have the older bike to compare this with but I love riding this bike more each time I take it out. I guess that's not hard to do after riding a Harley for the 6 years though :-). It's just nice to have a bike that turns again!
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindManJack View Post
Hello all- I have been reading a lot about the new Liquid cooled R1200GS and how great it is. It seems every review from the World Launch in South Africa is a raving review. I test drove one last week and I wonder what the hell was in the water that all those reviewers where drinking.

I was sorely disappointed with this new BMW. It was such an utter let down that I was almost speechless after the test ride. That was until I rode a 2012 R1200GS Adventure over the exact same route.

First off it is hard to even call this new version a 1200GS. It is so skinny it feels like the 800. The front end is hopeless and is almost scary. The wind screen might as well not even be there, It does almost nothing. As a result of the skinnier frame you slide around the bike a bit and it feels more like my Triumph Tiger 1050 or the Ducati Multi Strata. Not only is the wind screen useless the slimmer frame results in much more full body wind buffeting as well. Far more than my Tiger 1050.

The crazy thing is, that the guy at the dealership said I am not the first one not to like it. Actually many people don't and many of the staff are not a fan either.

The only good thing about this bike is the engine. It is fun, alive and has great torque throughout the whole range. It once again does not feel like a GS. It feels like my Tiger or a Multi Strada.

All of the BMW GS's competition has spent years chasing the clear winner in the class....the GS. With this liquid cooled offspring, it seems to me that BMW took two steps backward to join them instead of staying in the lead.

I am so glad I test drove the Adventure right after. Now that is what the GS should feel like. Big, stable and amazing. I do wish it has a little more get up and go, but all the other advantages far outweigh that.

So I pulled the trigger today on a 2013 R1200GS Adventure Triple Black. I will add a full Akrapovic exhaust system to get a little more power and I can't be happier.

I am curious to hear the thoughts of others who have test drove the new water cooled GS or who have a new one, that also had the air-cooled version.

Cheers and looking forward to your responses.
I have to ask myself: How large/fat are you? The windscreen is a perfect fir for me. No wind on my body, no buffeting on my helmet. It is easy to drive and still plenty large. I do have to say I am not the largest.
Done about 1800 miles on mine and very pleased with it. There are some minor details that could be better,but overall it is fine.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:49 AM   #14
Bionicflite
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New WC GS

After test riding the new WC it confirmed all the mods I have on my 2010 GSA make it better in all departments...sure the cost was an additional 10K but from slipper clutch , Ohlins and Wunderlich EGRO fairing and Sargent heated seat greatly add to the comfort and is much better than the stock WC.

There is no doubt the full Akro pipe PCV and Auto Tune have the WC feeling weak.
But in the days end to really know what the GSA can do you have to have the riding skills.Crash it and pick it up a few times and take a Rawhyde course then hop on the new WC and ride it the way it's intended.
Judging the GS by a street ride is only expected by all the posers out there.
The slimmer gas tank did feel like it might be easier to correct and throw around but what can you say about a dual sport which still has its skid plate bolted to the oil pan...,
RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT then compare.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:31 AM   #15
Mtbcoach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bionicflite View Post
After test riding the new WC it confirmed all the mods I have on my 2010 GSA make it better in all departments...sure the cost was an additional 10K but from slipper clutch , Ohlins and Wunderlich EGRO fairing and Sargent heated seat greatly add to the comfort and is much better than the stock WC.

There is no doubt the full Akro pipe PCV and Auto Tune have the WC feeling weak.
But in the days end to really know what the GSA can do you have to have the riding skills.Crash it and pick it up a few times and take a Rawhyde course then hop on the new WC and ride it the way it's intended.
Judging the GS by a street ride is only expected by all the posers out there.
The slimmer gas tank did feel like it might be easier to correct and throw around but what can you say about a dual sport which still has its skid plate bolted to the oil pan...,
RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT then compare.
I guess I'm a poser then. I'm not sure how/where one can test ride a new K50 in the dirt before buying. My dealer (whom I've bought 3 bikes from) isn't comfortable with me taking it down the road for a quick jaunt into the woods.

Yet, I feel comfortable enough with my years and variety riding motorcycles that I was able to assess enough differences from the road ride that one can apply through experience and knowledge, how it will perform off-road.

One can only read through this is that the only qualified opinion is one who has ridden a K50 off-road...
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