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BMW GS 1200 Used Bike Review | Used Bikes

Buying used: Since its introduction in 2004 BMW’s R 1200 GS hasn’t just made waves, it’s owned the heavyweight adventure tourer segment.

Arriving with a 75kW (100hp), 115Nm 1170cc two-cylinder boxer engine, the BMW GS 1200 was 19% more powerful (and 30kg lighter) than the R 1150 GS it replaced.

In the years since the BMW GS 1200 has enjoyed a number of significant upgrades. In 2008 power was boosted to 78kW (105hp), and again to 82kW (110hp) in 2010 thanks to a DOHC cylinder head and an 8500rpm redline (up from 7750rpm). From 2006 BMW added the “Adventure” model to the line-up, featuring longer-travel suspension, larger 33L fuel tank (up from 20L), taller windscreen and protective items such as handguards. In 2008 Automatic Stability Control (ASC) was added and the ABS was upgraded, replacing the earlier servoassisted brakes.

Perhaps the biggest triumph was the Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) system which adjusts ride height and damping characteristics at the push of a button.

Australian experience with the machines has been enormously positive and revealed very few issues.

The BMW GS 1200 has received its fair share of accolades, as the highest selling adventure bike in the world with over 170,000 units sold to date.

There are plenty of well-looked after examples on the second-hand market, which is great for buyers, though they tend to hold their value well.

There’s also a large catalogue of accessories on offer to personalise your Beemer.

Read our review of the BMW GS 1200 and its rival 1000cc+ adventure motorcycles



Riders looking for more suspension performance can upgrade to a Wilbers fork and shock which integrates with the ESA


It’s worth carrying a backup ring antenna for your ignition, as one ADB GE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient found out when his ignition refused to authorise his key and left him stranded in the hills.


Using a UniFilter pre-filter in the long airbox snorkel not only helps keep moisture away from the airfilter, but significantly reduces the number of filter changes.


The fuel pump controller (designed to limit the fuel pump to 80% speed after start-up) has been known to fail on some pre-2008 models and instead deliver 0%. An aftermarket bypass cable is available to get you home.


The swap in 2006 to a new rear wheel placed the rear wheel bearing outside the differential housing and has been known to allow water and other contaminants to find its way into the bearing during river crossings.