Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Portland, Oregon
4 months: tipped my 2017 R1200GS Lowered twice already
I'm 5'6" with a 26 inch inseam. I knew that a standard R1200 GS was way too big for me, but then I sat on a lowered version and it felt doable so I bought it. Mostly, I can manage it OK, however, I have tipped it over twice, always in exactly the same manner: virtually stopped, and flips to the right side. That, in itself doesn't really bother me, and I am not dismayed by it. My previous bike was an F800GT and the same thing happened twice with that one, too! My point is that slow speed manuevering is definitely hazardous if you have trouble touching the ground, especially on an incline.
I also have boots with 1" soles, as a further assist.
I find the factory-lowered R1200GS seat uncomfortable after a while and am looking for a more comfortable seat, but one that doesn't raise the height any more. Most of the "cushy" ones tend to raise the seat height a bit.
At the Utah rallye, all the BMW bikes were available for test drives and I sat on a factory-lowered Adventure model and it felt fine, too. I had thought that even a lowered Adventure would have been too tall for me, but after sitting on one I don't think that is the case. I'm a little annoyed that I didn't get one.
I am SO grateful that I had installed crash bars before I tipped it over!!! There was no damage whatsoever, other than minor scratches to the crash bars, and I've got gigantic aluminum panniers on the rear. I installed Hepko-Becker crash bars, both engine and tank. Some people say you don't need the tank guards on a non-Adventure GS--engine guards alone are sufficient-- but my tank guards have scratches on them so I would argue otherwise. And since 1) crash bars are so important, and 2) since the factory-lowered Adventure already comes with crash bars (and more,) and 3) that I found that the factory-lowered Adventure fit just this short guy fine, it might more sense just to get the factory-lowered Adventure model initially rather than buy a straight GS and then add all the goodies to it (though I am content with mine.) The crash bars and luggages racks that I added (but come standard on the Adventure) cost around $1000, plus it took a fair amount of time to install them (they didn't fit exactly right--natch--without modifications, trips to the hardware store for fasteners, etc.)
One other thing: since a short guy is more likely to tip the bike over, you should give more thought (than a tall guy) to how you are going get the bike back up after a fall. You'll see videos on YouTube with women getting a big bike back vertical, but be skeptical! Those are in relatively ideal conditions and in the real world it isn't that easy and may be impossible without some assistance. Crash bars are helpful in that they provide an intermediate fulcrum point on which to get the bike to a better position for the final lift. A GS Adventure with a load of fuel will be more difficult than a regular GS to right.