Wednesday, 12 August 2009

ROAD TEST: 2004 BMW 1200 GS

First impressions of the famed 'Round The World Bike' centre around its size. This is a big bike, I'm nearly 6"2 and throwing your leg over is still a tricky yoga move. Once aboard though, BMW have mastered a near perfect riding position with the GS. Wide, thin gauge bars provide such a delicate feel when seated that at first the GS belies its 200kg dry weight. The wide protruding cylinder heads remain distinctive but also add to the wind protection on offer.

The hand controls retain the BMW quality but still lack imagination when it comes to innovation (except the love 'em or hate 'em indicators), at this price.

Pulling away on a light clutch and selecting second rewards with a positive and reassuring clunk, and as the revs rise the 105hp flat twin immediately catches your attention with a torque rich surge through every gear all the way to illegal speeds. In fact, no matter what gear you happen to be in, a firm twist of the throttle sees you hunkering down and searching out the next planet to conquer.

Sheltered behind the adjustable windscreen, the effect of wind buffeting is highly reduced which in turn allows the innate ability of the GS to carry the rider at speed over less than perfect surfaces with consummate ease. The thought of riding the big BMW day after day is a pleasant one, which for me explains why this bike has been so popular. A bike famous not only for it's TV appearance but because it takes you places you never thought you could reach.

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