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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I'm desperately looking for some advice. It happened so that a friend of mine gave me his BMW GS 1200, with 25 k miles on it, made in year 2013.
I never rode a bike before, so I took some lessons, got the driving license and it's almost a week I ride on it. Although, I'm not sure if I should continue doing that because:

1. It's not a beginner bike as people say, but if I drive very responsibly (I'm 38 years old), I don't understand what the problem can be about being a beginner? I will learn and become a pro :)
2. I'm 6 feet tall, so able to touch the ground when I sit on it. Extra 2 centimeters would have been great to have more traction on the ground, but I'm able to move the bike around, not extremely easily, but doable.
3. If it tips, and it did already :) I can't pick it up alone, period. I know there are techniques, but my back is very weak, with herniated disc so I surely need to ask someone for a helping hand. But if I don't go really off road, I'm not sure if it should tip often.. I mean, do you guys have to pick up your bikes often from the ground? :))

What do you think I should do, keep the bike? do you think I will be a happy GS 1200 rider despite the above arguments?

I appreciate all your comments! I really love it already and don't want to give out, but I definitely respect your more experienced views and will certainly make serious considerations.

Cheers,
Levan
 

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Hi Levan, I will start with your last sentence. Hear what your heart talk. If this bike is comfortable, this is for you. You found correct bike from first shot. Every one rider early or late drop the bike. This is not everyday thing but happens. Only people that not ride, is not possible to drop the bike.
I think you have correct answers in your head, but something doubt you.
Good luck!
 

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There are ways to get your feet lower to the ground. Not sure about the 2013 model, but on my 2018 there is a quick adjustment under the seat to get the seat lower on the bike. There is also an adjustment on the suspension that will make the bike ride lower, but I'm not sure if/how that is done on the 2013. Maybe the guys with a similar production year can comment.

Also, it is totally normal for a new rider to drop a bike simply because you haven't learned all the mistakes yet! :p
If you have crash bars or something else that protects the cylinder heads, you're not going to damage anything on the bike if you tip over on pavement.

The reason people recommend getting a smaller bike for a new rider is usually related to power. Easy for young guys to get over confident and not be able to control it. While the GS is not a bike known for acceleration (like a liter-class sportbike) you can set the throttle to Rain mode which will dampen the throttle response until your confidence is higher.
 

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I think a GS can be an ok first bike. The power while decent at top end, comes on smooth to keep you out of trouble. Once moving the low center of gravity makes it handle well. As you have found though...you can't hide the weight at low speed and when stopped.

Regarding picking it up, as mentioned get engine protection. There are various assist tools, here is an example:

My personal recommendation? Buy another bike. Keep the GS and find a cheap reliable cruiser or dualsport at least 200 pounds lighter to build your skills on. Then at some point sell that bike and enjoy more confidence on the GS.
 

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I can relate, up to a certain extent. I got the R1200GS after a 25 years motorcycle break. Not my first motorcyle, but the biggest bike I had. Before that I had mostly small dual-sport bikes.

Was it my brightest decision... no. Would things have been easier if I did re-start on a smaller bike, sure.

At first, even if I liked the bike, I found it big and intimidating, specially off-road. I took courses, practiced and played it safe on the first year (no pillion, shorter rides, etc). Now, i'm in my 6th year of ownership of that GS, I would not trade it for any other bike.

My advice would be : Get some training, if there is a BMW owner's group near you, join them.
 

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Levan, my two-cents:

I had always wanted to see, explore, experience, be part of the world on a motorcycle. However, aside from tooling around Annapolis on my Vespa and taking the MSA class (very worthwhile) and getting my license, I had virtually no prior experience. At the age of 54, if I was going to achieve my dreams, darn it - I needed to learn “how” to ride.

04.19 - I took RawHyde’s 3-Day Intro to ADV class in California. All It was outstanding and yes, we learned how to pick up the bike (something I mastered through reptation). I was hooked and decided to take the plunge!
06.19 - Bought a 2018 GSA and then practiced as much as I could.
08.19 – Took off and rode around the country. I was on the road for a little over a month.

This summer I again rode around the country (with a higher degree of focus on the mountain states) and again took RawHyde’s 3-day Intro class.

The underlying point here is to invest in real instruction, learn, practice and get as much seat time as you can. Even with the 20K miles I logged over the past 14 months, I’m still a noob.

Is a GSA the right for you? Levan, since the GSA is the ONLY bike I’ve ever been on … I am not the person to ask. All I can say is that I am incredibly happy with my GSA – It’s the best bike I’ve ever owned!
 

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Hello Levan,
Welcome and congratulations on the new bike.
I have had many motorcycles, road and off-road, while the GS 1200 is a large bike I can't think of a safer bike to start on. Without ABS, traction control, etc you there is no shortage of opportunities to get yourself in trouble with a smaller bike. I think this is an excellent bike to start with, be safe and conservative as always, and don't be tempted to take it off tarmac too soon. Get to know the bike, braking, power to the rear wheel on tarmac, and then explore off-road very conservatively, highly recommend staying off trails until you have quite a lot of experience with the bike and proper off-road tires.
Other than that as mentioned above, you know what is best for you, if you feel comfortable and confident on the bike, I think you will find it rewarding, fun and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for such useful advices, so appreciate all your comments. I took it today to a technician for overall diagnostics. And, they are kind of leaning towards changing the gearbox :(( the issue is that - when you put it in the first gear, sometimes it makes several nudge, or push back and forth.. hard to explain.. the bike itself goes back and forth about two three times.. anyone had or heard of such an issue?
 

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Hi everyone, I'm desperately looking for some advice. It happened so that a friend of mine gave me his BMW GS 1200, with 25 k miles on it, made in year 2013.
I never rode a bike before, so I took some lessons, got the driving license and it's almost a week I ride on it. Although, I'm not sure if I should continue doing that because:

1. It's not a beginner bike as people say, but if I drive very responsibly (I'm 38 years old), I don't understand what the problem can be about being a beginner? I will learn and become a pro :)
2. I'm 6 feet tall, so able to touch the ground when I sit on it. Extra 2 centimeters would have been great to have more traction on the ground, but I'm able to move the bike around, not extremely easily, but doable.
3. If it tips, and it did already :) I can't pick it up alone, period. I know there are techniques, but my back is very weak, with herniated disc so I surely need to ask someone for a helping hand. But if I don't go really off road, I'm not sure if it should tip often.. I mean, do you guys have to pick up your bikes often from the ground? :))

What do you think I should do, keep the bike? do you think I will be a happy GS 1200 rider despite the above arguments?

I appreciate all your comments! I really love it already and don't want to give out, but I definitely respect your more experienced views and will certainly make serious considerations.

Cheers,
Levan
 

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I'd leave it and never look back.
The R1200GS is a beast. Way heavier and more complex than any bike has a right to be. A 500 pound motorcycle ain't no dirt bike, I don't care what anybody says. A lighter motorcycle is always a better proposition, you'll discover that as you progress as a mototorcyclist. And yes I've had a few, including two BOXERS, one of them a R1200 GS.
 

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Hi everyone, I'm desperately looking for some advice. It happened so that a friend of mine gave me his BMW GS 1200, with 25 k miles on it, made in year 2013.
I never rode a bike before, so I took some lessons, got the driving license and it's almost a week I ride on it. Although, I'm not sure if I should continue doing that because:

1. It's not a beginner bike as people say, but if I drive very responsibly (I'm 38 years old), I don't understand what the problem can be about being a beginner? I will learn and become a pro :)
2. I'm 6 feet tall, so able to touch the ground when I sit on it. Extra 2 centimeters would have been great to have more traction on the ground, but I'm able to move the bike around, not extremely easily, but doable.
3. If it tips, and it did already :) I can't pick it up alone, period. I know there are techniques, but my back is very weak, with herniated disc so I surely need to ask someone for a helping hand. But if I don't go really off road, I'm not sure if it should tip often.. I mean, do you guys have to pick up your bikes often from the ground? :))

What do you think I should do, keep the bike? do you think I will be a happy GS 1200 rider despite the above arguments?

I appreciate all your comments! I really love it already and don't want to give out, but I definitely respect your more experienced views and will certainly make serious considerations.

Cheers,
Levan
it will make a fine first bike. Us bike people like to talk back-and-forth about all kinds of different types of bike is good for this that’s good for that, while it goes on forever. It’s just because we enjoy bikes. But don’t let it worry you it’s all minutia. A 1200 GS is a perfect place to start is any it has some driver aids to help you when you don’t know. My back has been broken five times, never on a motorcycle, I ride a 2012 or 1200 GS. And I can pick it up. I know a lot of people that can’t pick their bike up a ride anyway if something happens they get help in the beginning they ride with other people and they help that’s how it goes. But if you don’t get on it you’ll never ride it.

you’ll drop it a few times, don’t let it bother you to get a neck and then you won’t drop in hardly at all. Then you’ll get comfortable and you’ll go to Park and drop it on the other side it happens. And it’s a GS so when you do drop it it won’t cost you anything.

all you need now is fuel.
 

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My GS is the best combination of comfort and handling I have experienced. I did go to an aftermarket seat. I believe you have a great bike and may be disappointed if you switch. I understand that everyone is different and the ergonomics are a personal thing. The GS is often touted as the pinnacle of adventure bikes. So, if it feels good, ride it and enjoy. You’ll get better with practice. I do agree with several others as it is not a light “dirt” bike leaning adventure bike. I ride mine on gravel and dirt roads, but not serious off road. There are better bikes for that, but they won’t have the same road performance and smoothness. Welcome to the forum.
 

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I just came to the GS world from 50 years of strictly dirt bike riding/racing. My last dirt bike was a 2019 KTM 350xc-f that weighed 225lbs. My 05 GS weighs
more than twice that! Just learn to keep it balanced and you can hold it with one hand. Take your time and get to know how it works. Sounds like you're already
hooked to me. I know I am.
 

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I think the main question is what about the gearbox? That can make the decision for you.
Second question is where are you going to ride? If nothing but around town and maybe a couple of weekend rides that is far different from touring the continent.
Third are you serious about off road and how "off" road? Sand? boulders? out of cell range? well maintained forest roads? Just 4,6 lane carriageways?
All of those things make a difference.
Esp with a bad back, picking it up will be difficult and maybe not a good idea for you and your back. There are devices that help with that...dirtnapper for one.
On the keep it side is that you love it. It is a great bike, but I've never heard of someone coming to it as a first bike because it is big. That said, it's in your garage now.
Main thing is there is nothing you have to do right now. See what they say about the gearbox and decide if you want to throw $$$$$ at it.
 

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First, you have a great friend!
Second, I think you are making all the right moves and being very conservative about your riding.
Last, don't stop with the basic MSF class... there are plenty of more advances classes to take and they improve your skills considerably. Learning should be a lifetime event!

So... is the GS a good first bike? Given what you say, I would answer is seems to be a good for for you and your approach to riding and learning. Good luck!
 

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Hi everyone, I'm desperately looking for some advice. It happened so that a friend of mine gave me his BMW GS 1200, with 25 k miles on it, made in year 2013.
I never rode a bike before, so I took some lessons, got the driving license and it's almost a week I ride on it. Although, I'm not sure if I should continue doing that because:

1. It's not a beginner bike as people say, but if I drive very responsibly (I'm 38 years old), I don't understand what the problem can be about being a beginner? I will learn and become a pro :)
2. I'm 6 feet tall, so able to touch the ground when I sit on it. Extra 2 centimeters would have been great to have more traction on the ground, but I'm able to move the bike around, not extremely easily, but doable.
3. If it tips, and it did already :) I can't pick it up alone, period. I know there are techniques, but my back is very weak, with herniated disc so I surely need to ask someone for a helping hand. But if I don't go really off road, I'm not sure if it should tip often.. I mean, do you guys have to pick up your bikes often from the ground? :))

What do you think I should do, keep the bike? do you think I will be a happy GS 1200 rider despite the above arguments?

I appreciate all your comments! I really love it already and don't want to give out, but I definitely respect your more experienced views and will certainly make serious considerations.

Cheers,
Levan
Being both tall and fairly heavy, I agree that the 1200GS is no beginner bike. BMW certainly has some somewhat smaller GS style bikes that would be a better option....IMHO.
 

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I personally wouldn't want to ride a bike that I couldn't pick up if it fell over. But there are many Goldwing riders out there who would need help if their bike tipped over. So, if you love the bike, keep it. It is a wonderful bike
 
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