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What I LOVE about BMW (Motorrad)

Eric Hall



As if anyone cares. :) The "What I HATE about BMW" is the entry that got so many views and generated so much discussion on the Interwebs.

That last screed was more about BMW's GS brand becoming more "gS" (less dirt, more street), but I should note that there are a few things that are known to make the new GS/A 1200 LC bikes better in the dirt: longer swing arm that allows for more efficient rear suspension, a higher snorkel for those deep water crossing and the ability to retain front abs which makes it a lot more fun in dirt cornering. I'm sure the list is longer but since I don't own one yet, I can't say (although I would love to do an XLADV "project bike" :) ).

As far as my own '11 GSA (oil head) goes, what's not to love? The thing will go nearly anywhere, tractors well with that low enduro gearing, cruises comfortably on the highway and is arguably one of the most versatile bikes ever made. I can tour with a pillion, carve canyons, do track days or just ride out and do some very challenging desert tracks.

That versatility is a real value in that I don't need a truck and/or trailer with all that extra gas and time; I just hop on my bike and I go.

You have to love the heritage as well. I wish I could find it but there's a graphic I saw on FB somewhere showing an old R100 and said "a 40 year old BMW still looks better than any new Honda." BMW has really been around a LONG time. KTM, not so much. And even if it weren't for people like John Penton, KTM would still be making lame scooters. BMW's heritage shows in their attention to detail and the degree to which they will spend engineering time to not only make something work properly (rather than the cheap route), but will go back to fix things that may not have worked so well ('13 and half of '14 LC GS frames).

I can also admit to loving the GS riders. Many will call us smug, arrogant, etc... but my experience has been nothing but positive. I have met some really wonderful, kind and interesting people riding GS's over the years. They're amazing ride organizers too! They really know how to put an event together and have a great reputation (GS Giants). Other bike mfg's don't really have that halo.

I've bashed BMW for seeming to care less about the dirt rider over time but they do stand out for their support of off road training and do still hold the bi-annual GS Trophy competition.

BMW has become like a good friend to me. Sure, some of their traits may grate on my nerves from time to time, but they are still special to me and worth keeping around.


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The big GS motorcycles certainly keep getting better with time. The frame is stronger now than ever before, and the stock Dynamic ESA is much improved over the ESA on my previous 2011 GS offering better damping and bottoming resistance. The ride modes are a plus for dirt roads/tracks and on and on. But, yes it is not a step back in any way from it's predecessor.

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If you really want to know what the heritage is about, try an R80G/S.


Smaller, lighter, simpler... purer. But I remember my first reaction to riding my 1986 when I bought it back then... good GOD, this thing is big!!! (XLADV)


Now I call it my "small" bike.


Progress is inevitable, but the big GS has gotten rather BIG... which is what spurred the idea for the name "GS Giant."  ;^)


What I'd like to see in a GS is along the lines of my HP2e, but with a few more amenities.


Maybe the new Honda CRF1000 / Africa twin will shake things up.

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I've not ever Been a BMW fan, until I started dreaming of going on long off road trips. Just to much asphalt out there and I felt like it was all the same no matter where I went  ( Big Harley Miles). Let the shopping begin ! Google was my friend and Adv sites , It needed to be a bike that two can ride on loaded for weeks at a time. Through exhausting reading, testing and talking the GS Adventure was the bike to have.08 GSA and now after 48k miles the bike is such a part of me with who I've met and rode with and have seen, I cant see me going back full time to a dedicated road bike. It changes something in a guy when a bike can open the world (My eyes) to life that has been missed for many years. But having the time of my life catching up !! My two cents you Smug Arrogant Bastards !!  :)

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