Lowered vs standard GS - Page 2 - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-Sep-2017, 09:31 AM (605)
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That was what I liked the most about the low suspension. The rider geometry was unchanged. One has the exact same rider triangle (seat, foot peg, handlebar distances) on both bikes. There is a reduction of about 1 inch ground clearance, but for my usage I didn't need it. I can ride a pretty good pace on the highway without any contact. I was even told that the reduced height coil over shock used on the low suspension has a higher spring rate, and therefore is a little more sporty feeling on road and bottom resistant off road. I can't confirm that story about the springs, but it's what I heard. I really love mine, and in fact, I kinda feel like it's the motorcycle equivalent of my old Subaru Outback. Really comfortable on road, very serviceable off road, and hauls a lot of stuff. Actually, now that I think of it, they're both boxer engines. Maybe a sign....
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-Sep-2017, 06:47 AM (491) Thread Starter
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I think I will test one out one of these days
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-Sep-2017, 07:46 AM (532)
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TALL.. They are TALL! I am 6'3" and my bike came with the LOW SEAT option (purchased used with 12K miles on the odo). I went with the Sargent adjustable seat that I like very much. Some claim the ride is OFF on the LOWERED GS's. Well I can testify that the ride sucks on the tall unmodified model also! I don't know what machines you have previously ridden, but the R1200GS is a streetable 1200cc dirtbike..
I'd put it in the class of a 1200cc Super-moto race bike (fun). It is at home on Forest Service maintained dirt roads, other than that you are just trying to prove something to yourself. Other bikes are better at true single track off-roading!

My Over-all review of my 2005 R1200GS (like new).. The ride is harsh. The front end comes straight thru to the bars, very little softening of the SMALL road seams and small impacts. While off road and standing it's a great 1200cc dirt bike. My front spring preload is backed off and still the shock dampening is not good. A very RAW street bike experience.. as popular as they are for street use, I expected more.

If you want one.. and you need it lower.. get it that way and don't worry about effecting the ride quality because it is poor from the start.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-Sep-2017, 03:56 AM (372) Thread Starter
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"Well I can testify that the ride sucks on the tall unmodified model also! I don't know what machines you have previously ridden, but the R1200GS is a streetable 1200cc dirtbike..

I'm not an offroad expert coming from a Ducati Monster. However, I have been riding a long time. I cannot not disagree with you more. My 2017 GS standard height is amazing on road and on busted up roads it really is amazing. I think the suspension is fantastic especially the option to go soft or hard at the touch of a button. The stock seat suckled balls so I got a Sargent low. Its ok but nothing great. It does let me shift easier side to side and is more supportive. Let me tell you I am a whole lot more comfortable on the GS than the Ducati. The Ducatio was made for the street and I prefer the ride on thew GS. Maybe there is a huge difference between the 2005 and the 2017 even though yours is "like New"
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-Sep-2017, 01:27 PM (768)
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Bought the standard height GS this time

I was looking for a factory Low GS Rally and found one but it wasn't prepped and I could not ride and make a decision if I needed it.

Always found the GS a little too tall as I"m five 9 , 180, and 30 '' inseam but just for kicks I got on one of the new 17 GS "Exclusive" . It had two things I really preferred , one was alloy wheels , cheaper and in my view, better suited for street and lower maintenance. So this one came with the optional "Comfort Seat " along with all the latest electronic wizardry that I had on my RS. So I took it for a spin and found with the new suspension you can set it for "Min" on the preload and it squats and with the seat in the low position , I'm almost flat footed. Add full tank of gas and some weekend panniers full and I'm good to go . You can set it under way also though you do have to stop for the actuation of the leveling but that would be fine once the pillion's on board and so I just fell in like with the dang thing even though I really wanted the blue color way .... My RS was the blue and White and all my gear purchased last year matched that color ..... l know OCD are my middle initials.

So my point is, you definitely should try out the factory low as you can raise it up easer than lowering it but if you are kinda needing leg room as in my case the standard with low settings and low comfort seat will work .
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-Sep-2017, 03:09 AM (339) Thread Starter
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I am 5'5" with a 28 inch inseam and I have about 3500 miles on a GS standard suspension. Honestly no issues at all yet. Also, love the ability to set the suspension on the fly. I do have to look into what you said about having to stop for it to take effect. I did not know that.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-Sep-2017, 08:52 AM (578)
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low suspension great

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Originally Posted by Scubaman View Post
I am 5'5" with a 28 inch inseam and I have about 3500 miles on a GS standard suspension. Honestly no issues at all yet. Also, love the ability to set the suspension on the fly. I do have to look into what you said about having to stop for it to take effect. I did not know that.
I have had 2 GS in the past, 1 an 2012 ADV, 1 a 2013 std GS I now have a 2016 GS1200 with low suspension and I LOVE it! I honestly can't tell any difference except I can reach the ground flat footed and feel more secure in any situation driving. I had the low seat option on both my previous bikes, and while it lowered the bike seating, it was not that comfortable on long rides because you are basically sitting in a sling. Its hard to move front and back while riding due to the angles to used to lower the seat. I highly recommend trying a low suspension before buying if you are vertically challenged. I am 5'10" w/ 30 inseam. Its a lot easier to carry passengers as well as raising the suspension when carrying luggage. My dealer in Asheville, NC said 1/2 the GS's they sell are low suspension, so there are a lot of riders out there going this route.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-Sep-2017, 08:37 AM (567)
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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.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-Sep-2017, 11:39 PM (194)
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Thumbs up Factory Low Suspension- My best decision ever

I've had my GS for just over 12 months now. Like some others here, I had always avoided the GS as it was too tall (I'm 166cm tall/short ) until I discovered the factory lowered version. I haven not regretted my decision. It is the best bike I've ridden in my 40 years of riding. Most of my riding is on sealed roads and the handling is superb. The only down side in having the low suspension is that, for the first time in many years and several bikes, I'm back to scraping my boots on seriously windy roads and I'm having a ball. I also occasionally ride on unsealed roads (but bot rough bush trails) and haven't had problems there either. I even did the first level BMW Off Road course recently to help me understand how to ride on unsealed roads etc. Best decision I've made since buying the bike. And I only fell of once in the weekend. It helped with both my off road confidence and my approach to road riding. Now even more fun to be had on the GS. All of this because I bought the lowered suspension model. For those of you with a 31"+ inside leg I think you should stick to the full height version though.

PS: For those of you either with a GS or contemplating buying one always make sure you look for on line or tell the shop that you have the lowered version when buying accessories. some accessories, eg kick stand foot extenders, are different for the lowered suspension models.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-Sep-2017, 04:14 AM (384) Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neveraboreingride View Post
I've had my GS for just over 12 months now. Like some others here, I had always avoided the GS as it was too tall (I'm 166cm tall/short ) until I discovered the factory lowered version. I haven not regretted my decision. It is the best bike I've ridden in my 40 years of riding. Most of my riding is on sealed roads and the handling is superb. The only down side in having the low suspension is that, for the first time in many years and several bikes, I'm back to scraping my boots on seriously windy roads and I'm having a ball. I also occasionally ride on unsealed roads (but bot rough bush trails) and haven't had problems there either. I even did the first level BMW Off Road course recently to help me understand how to ride on unsealed roads etc. Best decision I've made since buying the bike. And I only fell of once in the weekend. It helped with both my off road confidence and my approach to road riding. Now even more fun to be had on the GS. All of this because I bought the lowered suspension model. For those of you with a 31"+ inside leg I think you should stick to the full height version though.

PS: For those of you either with a GS or contemplating buying one always make sure you look for on line or tell the shop that you have the lowered version when buying accessories. some accessories, eg kick stand foot extenders, are different for the lowered suspension models.
Thanks for the input. I actually went on a seriously rutted gravely road the other day and had a pucker factor of 7. I may be taking a course as well.
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