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how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:51 pm
by ellaguru
hi, i will be selling my 1981 r80 to keep up with my mates more modern bikes, i was really keen on the 1200 gs but i have read many a scare story about there reliability , not the engine but electrics, shaft drive, gear box, shocks, corrosion ect. am i looking to much into this and all makes have there lemons or are there real issues ?

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:58 pm
by Rugbycoach
I have had 4 in various guises 1200 SOHC 28K on clock, 1200GSA DOHC 58K on clock. 1200GSA LC 12k on clock and now a 1200GS with 8K on clock other than regular servicing I have not had any issues except on this latest having to replace rear brake shoes after 4k from new!!!! There are a lot of electrics on the new machines. I thing the 1200GSA DOHC without the bells and whistle was the best of the lot. Wish I still had it. I ride all year round.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:14 pm
by kent_instructor10
I have a 2012 gs which is great. Earlier style switchgear with later fuel float rather than the strip. I guess they are as reliable as any!

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:41 am
by Old Foxy
I hired a 2011 R1200GS when I was in Australia in 2013. The bike had been well used (including off road) with 112,000 km on the clock. It ran like a sewing machine, with no issues and I added another 9,500 km in three weeks. I know this is not the same as owning a bike over a longer period, but it shows that at least one bike made by BMW was fairly reliable!

Old Foxy

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:44 pm
by mike pace
I have a 55 plate 1200. Brilliant to ride anywhere. Only issue has been the gear selector indicator or potentiometer. It wouldn’t show neutral. This is a known issue and had my bike been built in Oct 55 it would have had the upgraded bit.This came after riding for about six hours in pouring rain. I have a new one to fit on but not got round to it. The fuel strip reads full to about 110 miles and then drops to show an accurate reading. so if you can afford it that’s the one to go for.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:45 pm
by P-K
I had, until last year, an 08 plate 1200GS which I bought brand new.
Had it 9 years and put 50,000 on it.
Only let me down once when the Ring Antennae broke.
There was a recall just after that. Sorted.
Great bike, I still miss it.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:50 pm
by Ruralman
I have a 2006 R1200GSA Riding all year round has added a pile of corrosion but the bike just keeps going.
It’s not the smoothest ride but you get used to the clunky gear change and personally I love the bike especially on long journeys.



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Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:27 pm
by andys
hi, i will be selling my 1981 r80 to keep up with my mates more modern bikes, i was really keen on the 1200 gs but i have read many a scare story about there reliability , not the engine but electrics, shaft drive, gear box, shocks, corrosion ect. am i looking to much into this and all makes have there lemons or are there real issues ?
I don't think the GS is a lemon.
Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:32 pm
by andys
hi, i will be selling my 1981 r80 to keep up with my mates more modern bikes, i was really keen on the 1200 gs but i have read many a scare story about there reliability , not the engine but electrics, shaft drive, gear box, shocks, corrosion ect. am i looking to much into this and all makes have there lemons or are there real issues ?
I don't think the GS is a lemon.
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
You have to remember that where BMW are concerned, there are a lot of haters, many of whom have never even ridden one.
I've come across many of them.
A lot of people especially hate the GS due to it's association with film celebs.
It was a long time ago, but it's stuck in a negative way for some.
Take with a big sack of salt opinions on non specialist forums.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 pm
by ellaguru
i never said that all gs,s were lemons or i would not consider buying one, i have had an r1100s and also my r80 and loved them that is why i would like another i only ask the question as i have read some bad reviews, mcn owners reviews, just want as much info as poss. before i spend my hard earned.
i will have between 4 and 5k looking at maybe a 2006/7

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:44 pm
by Jockboxer
First question: how much cash can you spend?

Below £5k. You are looking at an older "hexhead" GS. Some issues with the final drive and the earlier ones may have the servo brakes. These can and do fail. Try to find one which has had the servo removed.

Above £5k. You are looking at later hexheads with non servo brakes and after 2010, the twin cam engine. In general but with some exceptional bikes, the more cash you spend, the better bike you will get. For my money, the twin cam engine is worth spending the extra cash on.

Over £8 - £10k, the earlier liquid cooled models. If you can get a good one from a dealer with warranty or a private sale with existing BMW warranty, then you will be on safer ground. The early LC models did some reliability issues, variable engine paint quality.

Yer pays yer money ...

Ignore the knockers. The GS has been BMW's best selling bike for years. There's good reasons for that!

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:09 pm
by mike pace
Have a look at Regency Supersports near Chesterfield. It’s where I got mine. He has a similar one in at the mo. Really good chap and knows his bikes.

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:32 pm
by HughMcQ
I think potential buyers are right to be wary - £1800 for a new shock for a 4 yr old bike thats only done 18k?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsJgcL-MA4w
It sounds like you have your heart set on one and buying a different bike isn't going to satisfy that itch. If you are worried about the costs or potential costs buy an older bike and fix it yourself if anything goes wrong without worrying about it affecting re-sale value...

Re: how reliable 1200gs

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:05 pm
by jfcoleman
I have a 2008 GS (not the GSA), with factory lowered suspension, which I've owned since Oct 2012. Due to health issues over the past 15 months I haven't ridden it as much as I should but, even so, the only real fault has been two failed fuel sensor strips - both times leading me to run out of fuel unexpectedly! I also replaced the rear tyre pressure sensor last year and now the front one needs doing. None of these faults you'll note actually rendered the bike immobile. The only time that happened was about a week after I bought it (from a Motorrad dealer) when the throttle potentiometer failed; it was replaced under warranty. More generally I personally prefer the non-servo brakes, but guess the DOHC non-liquid cooled could still offer some improvement over mine in terms of performance and rideability. You pays your money and takes your choice!