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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
The more I read about GS1200s the more moans I see about poor reliability and corrosion. Batteries that last a year, dicky fuel pumps, immobiliser rings and dropped valves. Now I see Pete's one has just chucked another final drive :( (how many is that now Pete)

Now I know forums tend to attract posts from pissed off people but it seems the GS12 has more than its fair share. A quick look on ukgser and here the percentage of bad vs good posts is so much different.

Can anyone explain why this should be or are GS12's just not up to the expected BMW standard or is there a fundamental difference in the people that own them.

I still fancy a 1200 GSA but the more I read the more I'm concerned I'm just letting myself in for a whole load of trouble.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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6,170 Posts
The more I read about GS1200s the more moans I see about poor reliability and corrosion. Batteries that last a year, dicky fuel pumps, immobiliser rings and dropped valves. Now I see Pete's one has just chucked another final drive :( (how many is that now Pete)

Now I know forums tend to attract posts from pissed off people but it seems the GS12 has more than its fair share. A quick look on ukgser and here the percentage of bad vs good posts is so much different.

Can anyone explain why this should be or are GS12's just not up to the expected BMW standard or is there a fundamental difference in the people that own them.

I still fancy a 1200 GSA but the more I read the more I'm concerned I'm just letting myself in for a whole load of trouble.
If you want one buy it my fathers got the 1150 and thats a far better bike than the 1200 the way it's put together and lasts. End of the day if you want to do long distance in comfort get the Varadero far superior and underated mile muncher
 

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Senile member, who r u ?
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If you want one buy it my fathers got the 1150 and thats a far better bike than the 1200 the way it's put together and lasts. End of the day if you want to do long distance in comfort get the Varadero far superior and underated mile muncher
He has a Varadero :confused:
 

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Despite this is my 4th final drive going on the bike ,i think they are good bikes.
I think you got to have a look at ALL the R-series bikes from BMW(and there are a LOT out there).
Yes they have final drive problems,some of them.Mine is the exception,none of the dealers i spoke to heard of any BM eating that many drives.
Again with all the other probs,most of them where fixed in recall
Batteries-mine is still the first one
Paint- yes mine is peeling of but its the same as it was on the twin i bought with the same milage and other bikes i seen with the same use/milage/age
Fuel pumps-Hmm must say i have not come across anyone which had a problem with these but on my Vara it went at 24k and both my @'s had the pumps replaced
Immob and dropped valves-again i do not know of anyone personally but yes there are a few post on the gs'er forum but again look at the membership(amount of people which own this single make of bike)and how many had problems
It is still in my opinion the best bike in the world and i will get another one:thumbup:
 

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I had an R1150GS. It was a very good bike. I have no experience of the GS 1200. I blagged a test ride on an R1200S: fantastic engine....reminiscent of my old TL1000S!

But... as I said I can't comment on the reliability of the 1200.

However, I am very wary of all these anecdotes. I'm sure that there have been issues, but the problem is that if someone has a complaint they will scream it from the rooftops, because they feel betrayed.

People who have not had a problem do not scream from the roof tops. Why? Because they got what they paid for and know that is just the way it should be! What's to scream about? They will only pipe up if you ask them if they are happy, but they won't bother otherwise.

So, all that means is that for every complaint you read about there could be 10, 20, 50 very happy customers.... there may be only 2...

I have no idea if they are reliable or not, but anecdotes are only just that: anecdotes...
 

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Senile member, who r u ?
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NO he has the 1150 gs, i have the Varadero
Yes Jason my little Varadero owner friend, your Dad has a 1150GS, but Boris has a Vara, and I have a Transalp, and Lord Fu$kwit has a 1200gs, how do I know 'cause I'am interested in Boris's Vara and have seen Vader's 1200gs, but not your Dad's 1150gs, is he selling it ? :D
 

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When I was looking at the Transalp, the one thing I searched for besides the fuel economy was the amount of reports of faults.
I did not find any, if I was looking at getting a BMW and the search turned up the problems with the final drives and other faults I would be inclined to go elsewhere.
The mate at work was going to get a BM but was put off by Petes problems and now has a Vara.
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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3,270 Posts
The GS R1150 was top of its evolution tree. The GS R1200 is in its developmental stage and is being modified at nearly every new model. Bmw are also recalling bikes to up date things like immobiliser rings, fuel modules, The paint on the early ones was a water based paint, now they have switched to a cellulose base paint. Like all good chefs say, if you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs or is it final drives :rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

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I guess you have to suspect that in the fact the BMW has become the market leader by a country mile, build quality in mass production has suffered slightly. There are plenty that havent had a tap of problem out there its just always the bad that gets noticed. Still a great bike... but still a Heinkel:D
Its the bomb doors opening that kills the final drive:D
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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6,170 Posts
Yes Jason my little Varadero owner friend, your Dad has a 1150GS, but Boris has a Vara, and I have a Transalp, and Lord Fu$kwit has a 1200gs, how do I know 'cause I'am interested in Boris's Vara and have seen Vader's 1200gs, but not your Dad's 1150gs, is he selling it ? :D
Not that i'm aware of but everything is for sale for the right price:thumbright::thumbright::thumbright:

I was just making the point that having ridden both bikes long distance the Varadero is more comfortable, has wind protection that works, headlights that work and the chain drive on the Vardero has never needed adjusting or lubind while i've ben away due to a scottoiler







 

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I've had one GS 1200 and three GSA 1200. My average is mileage is 24,000 miles per year. The reason that have I owned four is that BMW kept bringout "must have changes" for the first ones i.e. removing the servos on the ABS system from '07. My current one is the '08 model and this saw many improvements, the gearox being one example. Sure I've had recalls (Antenna Ring) but no faults. The Antenna Ring problem is now yesterday's news - as may well be the fuel pump controller. The fuel pump controller was a failure point. I carry a spare as I do on my Afric Twin.

I'm convinced that many of the faults reported - especially on UKGSer, are caused by some of the ownrers that the model attracted. Questions such as being "unable to do a hill start without a servo self check failing" beggar belief. Many whinges are in comparison with their cars. Some owners expect untreated aluminium panniers not to be affected by salt on the roads and others are suprised when their bikes corrode when not washed. Yes, there have been some issues with the front engine cover, but BMW are exceptional when it comes to warranty claims.

The much critised electronics (CAN Bus network) are incredibly reliable - I don't remember reading of a failure; although there must me some.

Much of the sniping comes from 1150 owners upset that their heavy, cumbersome beast has been supplanted by the vastly more nimble and superior 1200. :thumbup:

Comfort? GSA 1200 - marvellous all day long me and the missus. She much prefers this to our Pan European days
 

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Mines a big red one
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I've had four GS's an 1150, a 1200 and I'm on my second 1200 GSA. I've also ridden a few Varaderos.

When you look at the number of 1200's on the road the percentage of breakages isn't that bad. When the 1150 was introduced it was the subject of recalls and unnecessary breakdowns. As J says when the 12 was introduced the 1150 was at the end of it's life and all the problems were long gone. Having said that my 1150 ate it's final drive. As for reliability have a look on Gsers about Timolgras ride report through Mongolia and Sid Horman's Calums Road ride. 1200 GSA's completed both trips with no problems. Believe me they were subjected to much abuse.

As for finish try riding any bike, including Hondas, through a winter without washing or anti corrosion and see what happens! I used to be a bike valeter and I've seen some sorry examples.

If I thought they were unreliable I wouldn't be on my fourth. :thumbright:
 
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