Originally Posted by BradMotorWheels
Hello to all. I'm new to this forum.
I'm considering buying a 2008 BMW R 1200 GS which has very low miles, but since I've never own one of these motocycles before, I'm not sure what to expect as far as problems in the near and distance future.
Can anybody tell me what I may or may not encounter during the ownership of this vehicle ?
Thank you all in advance, I look forward to learning about this community.
Sure. Pretty much any part on the bike could fail, and has at least once, and the person for whom it broke posted about it somewhere on the internet. That's the nature of mechanical things. On the other hand, the vast majority of these bikes run a long time and long distance without anything breaking. BMW has a well-deserved reputation for longevity and reliability.
A couple years ago, after buying an '06 with 50,000 miles, I stumbled upon an online registry
in which people had entered, and then occasionally updated, information on a few hundred GSs. Like many things on the web, the registry was more or less abandoned in place a few years after being started, and is now rarely updated. But I did harvest data on about 100 bikes with non-trivial mileage in the 2005-2009 period. Never got around to posting the results of my analysis, but the numbers did reassure me that I would probably ride the bike for many years without encountering a major problem. An '08 ought to be even better, as most of the problems I found in the registry were on '05-06 models (the R1200GS had a lot of new tech compared to the R1150GS, and there were some teething problems).
If you are in the USA, you can access the NHTSA database with the bike's VIN to verify that all recall work has been done, particularly the fuel pump update and rear wheel flange replacement.
Another point I should mention is that in my view the '08-09 should be the easiest to maintain. It's old enough to still have screw-and-locknut valve adjusters (vs. replaceable shims on the later models), but new enough to have conventional (non-servo) ABS and a final drive with a drain plug. Not a huge deal (not enough to make me trade in my '06), but rather nice if you're doing your own maintenance.