The R 1200 GS Adventure LC
Don´t you ride no pony - if you can ride a horse
why the R 1200 GS Adventure ?
Two worlds seemed to collide, that's at least how it felt: It was a memorable moment when BMW promised support to the ride of smiles, just because they were convinced and they shared enthusiasm for the project. Not for advertising, but because the idea itself reached the men and women with BMW.
If there's a message linked to the ride of smiles, one couldn't put it better in words than the ones in charge at BMW Motorrad Germany : "We don't want a marketing success but support you in a great idea with everything we can do for you."
This statement was given again and again and in every step forward by the BMW-Motorrad-Staff. And that's what they are first and foremost: Humans with a (biker´s) heart. And of course they're bikers by choice. To sense all this made it an easy choice to go for a BMW again. Not only that the F 650 GS Dakar carried my best mate Hombre and me altogether 50000 k each in 2008 - from Germany via Vladivostok to New York.
And not only that in 2012 und 2014 we rode 5000 k each with five GS BMW, built in 1992 to 2012, quite often off-road to Romania, Moldavia, Transnistria and Ukraine; 2014 also to Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia.
Not even because my „Almighty“, my beloved GS 1150 with more than 140000 kilometers reliably makes her rounds without ever complaining.
No. It used to be and it still is the team at BMW Motorrad, that carried me with it's enthusiasm through tough times as well as through the good ones. That's why it had to be BMW. Because I found the humans connected to the label inspiring. And now back to the two worlds colliding.
As an enthusiastic fan of simple technology, that basically could be inspected and maintained all by myself I can well imagine writing a wish list to the BMW-Santa Claus. Dual carb, classic cable wiring instead of Canbus, 35 liter tank right above the engine (fuel goes downwardly by gravitional force, no fuel pump necessary), a spare kick starter, classical valves and brakes to be easily maintained on the road, a 21 inch front wheel, a 18 inch rear wheel, rims in the cross-spoke design, short first, long sixth gear, a chassis that can be driven on any terrain, decent lights and brakes, all together with a weight of maximum 200 Kilo filled up ...Well, nothing wrong with having a dream, or rather a vision, I suppose.
Finally, after so many kilometers on many different bikes since 1982, even I reached modern times.
More than once the ABS of the 1150, even more the one of the 650 GS prevented overthrows and saved me from injuries and worse. Preemptive driving won't stop the necessity of dealing with similar situations every now and then.
Using brown plastic bottles in Mongolia to pour even browner brew into the little Dakar, push the button and the engine electronics transforms the mess in your tank into something that easily allows to start and just drive - well that certainly is convincing. Especially in comparison with kicking 50, 60 times 1991 in Argentina, wearing a rain suite, when both Suzukis wouldn't start. That's traveling reality as well - skillfully suppressed but not forgotten ;-)
Efficient windscreens, fuel consumption with 4-5 litersper 100 kilometer with considerable progress in chassis, framework, aand suspension at the same time, not to mention lights and brakes - and yes I do love the heatable handles the GS provides. Todays arguments.
In the end there are many reasons for not grieving the past, not to lament the loss of ´transistor ignition, rear double shocks or 6 V ride-without-vision-bulbs of the socalled „good old days“.
Bikes were definitely easier to work on in the old days. I still do it frequently and with joy - but on the other hand one had to screw on bikes a lot more, because there were quite a few things lacking reliability. So there is always two sides of each medal.
And this is exactly the reason why after many test rides on various models and manufacturers BMW is my first choice again. And why there's no alternative to stepping into the high tech world of latest technology.
Baba meets liquidcooled GS-Boxer in R1200 GS Adventure LC in 2015 !
On May 1st, 2015 I'll start the Ride-of-smiles on the latest Adventure model of the BMW R1200GS.
I'll start with all my trust in the technical skills and competence of the men and women in the company. The whole project thrives from trust in people, and now there's also the benefit of advanced technology.
Even though there's an initial higher weight I chose the Adventure Version: Raised seating position and therefore an improved knee angle, reasonable stored fuel supplies, a chassis with even more cross country mobility, further and even more effective protection against roadcrashes, higher enginetorque f- all this relativizes, even compensates for the higher weight. The test driving of the Adventure was like entering a cockpit: As soon as she's moving, it's almost like riding a mountain bike. To actually feel her weight I had to push her backwards up a hill. Yet then the weight is less than most competitive bikes of the „big“ enduro section.
I do trust in the people I'll meet to give me a hand, when she has fallen down and needs to be picked up - experience shows that exactly this is going to happen sooner or later.
If there's no one available at this point, there's nothing to do but to stay calm, put off as much stuff as possible, use the right techniques in lifting heavy weights - and if there's really no other choice for a short time develop superhuman powers.
My GS1150 has almost the same weight and never once stayed on the ground. Neither shall the `Adventure`! Scotty ...lift her up :-)