R1200 GS LC as a cross country tourer - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-Jan-2017, 11:39 PM (235) Thread Starter
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Thumbs up R1200 GS LC as a cross country tourer

Hi, thought i should post my recent experiences with my 2014 model R1200 GS LC for anyone else contemplating long distance touring with the GS. Currently my wife and I are in Cambodia travelling from Dubai home to Australia overland. Since leaving Dubai 4 months ago we have clocked up over 20,000klms on some of the worst roads you can imagine. My observations of the bike -
Reliability - totally awesome. This bike has not missed a beat and always started first hit of the button every time. The roads in Ladakh nth India were attrocious. The GS heavily loaded with gear and 2 people was a handful on the mountain tracks and the clutch took a pounding, but was faultless. It might look like a sweet thing but believe me these LC models can take the hard work.
Decompression cam tick - this is annoying at idle. The idle is rough and causes a tick from the RH decompressor. Many of them do it, mine more than most. BMW say its normal and I have not been able to get Dubai BMW to do any fix. Still annoys me. Interesting above 1500 metres ASL the idle smooths out and the tick goes away. When I get back to AUS plan to try richening the idle mixture to see if that helps.
Front telelever - this front end is the bees knees for rough pot holed roads. Some of the pot holes in India swallow the bike. The telelever takes the thumps like no other front end I have experienced and so solid under hard braking.
Tyres - I started with Tourance which were great. These worked well on all road surfaces even the goat tracks through the Himalayas. In Thailand I changed to Karoo 3 for what I thought would be better dirt grip. In hindsight probably a mistake since the Karoo are so noisey on road and quite rough at town speeds. They have smoothed out considerably after 2000klms but for me Tourance is better all round.
Panniers - I have the BMW Vario cases and was a little skeptical on their ruggedness but liked the easy quick removal. These have taken a pounding with heavy loads and not a problem. Nothing has moved bent or broken in 4 months on the road so am very happy with these clever cases.
Fuel - most countries only have 91 RON fuel and some places 10% ethanol blend. The motor does ping with these low grade fuels especially pushing up mountain passes but has never let me down.
All in all .... could not have picked a better bike for trans continental touring .....
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-Jan-2017, 08:01 AM (584)
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Great feedback

After taking mine across the US and back, over mountains in through rivers, I too am very impressed with the whole package (after 4 years on a GTL). My average day on the pavement when trying to get somewhere I want to ride is long, I'lll leave it at that and the only two things needed to make the bike perfect was a larger windscreen and some rubber inserts for the foot-pegs (old knees get sore after a while). Its not hard at all to sit on for a whole talk of fuel (GSA).

I have dropped the bike several times with gear and without, and the BMW cases have taken a beaten. Several dents and now the left one isn't water tight. I also had to straighten the mounting bracket on the left side as it was (is) off by 3/8" or so. I won't replace them for now as I'm sure I will drop it again on my next adventure.

Other than that , all of the farkles that came with the bike work perfectly and haven't let me down yet.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-Jan-2017, 08:39 AM (610)
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Your experience certainly better than mine....I once had my oil light come on while riding over to local grocery store in Indiana....but I made it. Enjoyed your travel summary.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-Jan-2017, 03:47 PM (907)
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^^^^

Danno that must of been a harrowing ride,roads of India have nothing on a grocery store parking lot..glad you made it back unscathed...

Jota,it's a great tourer..safe travels
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-Jan-2017, 05:19 PM (971)
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Originally Posted by Jota View Post
Hi, thought i should post my recent experiences with my 2014 model R1200 GS LC for anyone else contemplating long distance touring with the GS. Currently my wife and I are in Cambodia travelling from Dubai home to Australia overland. Since leaving Dubai 4 months ago we have clocked up over 20,000klms on some of the worst roads you can imagine. My observations of the bike -
Reliability - totally awesome. This bike has not missed a beat and always started first hit of the button every time. The roads in Ladakh nth India were attrocious. The GS heavily loaded with gear and 2 people was a handful on the mountain tracks and the clutch took a pounding, but was faultless. It might look like a sweet thing but believe me these LC models can take the hard work.
Decompression cam tick - this is annoying at idle. The idle is rough and causes a tick from the RH decompressor. Many of them do it, mine more than most. BMW say its normal and I have not been able to get Dubai BMW to do any fix. Still annoys me. Interesting above 1500 metres ASL the idle smooths out and the tick goes away. When I get back to AUS plan to try richening the idle mixture to see if that helps.
Front telelever - this front end is the bees knees for rough pot holed roads. Some of the pot holes in India swallow the bike. The telelever takes the thumps like no other front end I have experienced and so solid under hard braking.
Tyres - I started with Tourance which were great. These worked well on all road surfaces even the goat tracks through the Himalayas. In Thailand I changed to Karoo 3 for what I thought would be better dirt grip. In hindsight probably a mistake since the Karoo are so noisey on road and quite rough at town speeds. They have smoothed out considerably after 2000klms but for me Tourance is better all round.
Panniers - I have the BMW Vario cases and was a little skeptical on their ruggedness but liked the easy quick removal. These have taken a pounding with heavy loads and not a problem. Nothing has moved bent or broken in 4 months on the road so am very happy with these clever cases.
Fuel - most countries only have 91 RON fuel and some places 10% ethanol blend. The motor does ping with these low grade fuels especially pushing up mountain passes but has never let me down.
All in all .... could not have picked a better bike for trans continental touring .....

And this is why it's BMW or nothing. Well, if BMW wasn't available I would still have a motorcycle...

- John
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