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Old 04-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
CafeRacer99 OP
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Buying a used GS

What specific things should I be looking at? Based on prices I've seen on Craigslist, I'll be looking at 2005-2007 models. I've bought and sold a few used bikes and I do most of my own maintenance, so I have a general knowledge of motorcycles. But the collective knowledge on this site is amazing, so I thought I'd try to get "GS" smart before I go shopping later this summer.

Are there "bad" mods that people do that would make you steer clear of a particular bike if you saw them?
Are there mods that are desirable, that make the bike a better deal?
How much mileage is too much mileage?
What questions would you ask?
Would you be leery of a bike advertised as having been ridden to South America? (I have my eye on one such.)
Anything specific to the bike I should look closely at when I go see it?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
SkiFly01
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Those years I believe have the quick release fittings on the sides that cover the tank and are known to become unhinged and catch air. The EWS ring around the ignition key slot, sub-harness can breakdown. Servo brakes can be more difficult to do fluid flushes on. If you found a bike that has gone to South America, check suspension and final drive play. Others are bound to chime in.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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Avoid any GS with whizzy servo assisted brakes. That means 07 or newer which don't have them.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Against The Wind View Post
Avoid any GS with whizzy servo assisted brakes. That means 07 or newer which don't have them.
Really? Is there an upgrade for older bikes?
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
vintagerider
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The 2004 R 1150 R listed on Phoenix CL , 18K miles looks unmolested. If he's motivated then you might score a great deal. Use the left over cash for gas, motel?

edit: The 2000 R 1100 R looks pretty sweet as well. Has the final upgrades that BMW made to the 1100 engine and gear box.

If you are determined to get a 1200GS then look for newer, but imo, either buy 2012 or wait for price drop. Lots of these are ridden hard. Unless gas drops you will see more 40 mpg high $$ maintenance motorcycles for sale soon.

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Old 04-30-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
CafeRacer99 OP
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Originally Posted by vintagerider View Post
The 2004 R 1150 R listed on Phoenix CL , 18K miles looks unmolested. If he's motivated then you might score a great deal. Use the left over cash for gas, motel?

If you are determined to get a 1200GS then look for newer, but imo, either buy 2012 or wait for price drop. Lots of these are ridden hard. Unless gas drops you will see more 40 mpg high $$ maintenance motorcycles for sale soon.
I'm not locked in to a 1200. Is there any real downside to an 1150 that makes holding out for a 1200 worth it?
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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It's a value call.

vintagerider screwed with this post 06-24-2012 at 03:06 PM Reason: edit: mo info
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vintagerider View Post
It's a value call. How much rough off road will you be doing? The GS isn't a trail bike anyway. That R 1100 R might be had for $4,500. At that price the engine, gear box are value enough to retro a '95-'99 worn out 1100 GS. Or you can have the 1100 R plus a real trail bike for less than the cost of a 1200 GS

Look for one owner mc from mature rider. Check ALL service records. Most won't have those. Look for evidence of deferred maintenance like brown brake fluid. A $3K to $4K used BMW is often a better value than the >$8k mc.
People tend to undervalue old BMW if they are more than a few years old. Lots of great. well maintained ones in the $3k-$5k range.

The 1100 and 1150 models each have their pros and cons. I tend to have more faith in the 1100 for over-all low maintenance and reliability, rideability. The 1150 is a better long dx tourer by a hair.

Have an experienced R11xx BMW mechanic check over the prospect mc thoroughly if you intend to pay over $5k. Ride the prospect thoroughly and you will know.

If that Mesa 2000 R 1100 R rides strong, has no obvious issues, I'd drop the cash and start packing for a road trip :)
I really want a two-up bike for touring, with dirt road ability. I want to balance value with long life. I know if I go back far enough I can pick a bike up for next to nothing, but I want to be riding this bike for a good long time.

So I guess what I'm really saying is: my budget is in the neighborhood of $10K, and I want to keep this bike for 5-8 years. So which of the GS's should I be looking at?
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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I just found a 2002 R 1150 GS with 3000 miles and every option possible. Beautiful shape cost me 7k. Worth every penny.I think it rides as good as the new 1200 I just test rode.At least pretty close and a whole lot cheaper.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #10
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its a value call

vintagerider screwed with this post 06-24-2012 at 03:07 PM Reason: value call
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
marty hill
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CR99, I've had an 1150 R and several 12GS's. Get the GS/don't even think about the R just because it costs less. There is a reason it does. Look for an '07 and you will find one for 10k or less. Ignore guys asking 12/13k for them, that's just silly. I've owned every year from mid '04 when they came out to late '09. If you have any questions, PM me and I'll be happy to help.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
CafeRacer99 OP
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Originally Posted by marty hill View Post
CR99, I've had an 1150 R and several 12GS's. Get the GS/don't even think about the R just because it costs less. There is a reason it does. Look for an '07 and you will find one for 10k or less. Ignore guys asking 12/13k for them, that's just silly. I've owned every year from mid '04 when they came out to late '09. If you have any questions, PM me and I'll be happy to help.
I have plenty of time to be patient and look for a good deal. I did consider the R bikes, but decided a while ago that the GS style is what I want.

Are there any questions I should ask the owner right off the bat when I go look a used 1200GS?
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:03 AM   #13
mb90535im
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Yes -

"May I review your maintenance records please?"
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #14
vintagerider
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consider 1100 GS

vintagerider screwed with this post 06-24-2012 at 10:47 PM Reason: alternatives
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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Agree with Marty. Be patient. Good buys are out there and 07 is your best bet but check for 08 - 09 too. Consider what accessories you will want. If you find one with stuff you want, great. Consider holding out for a GSA. Big tank is great and Vario cases on reg GS are junk. PM me also. Glad to help
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