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Why Do I Ride this OLD Bike? My BMW R 1200 GS + Mods

Why Do I Ride this OLD Bike? My BMW R 1200 GS + Mods

this is my motorcycle this is my 2008
BMW r1200gs and we have been riding partners for the last year ever since I
got back from Africa so some of you have asked why I’m riding the motorcycle I’m
riding currently and what have I done to it so what i need the motorcycle do is
to fill specific missions and the mission for this bike is i’m in the united
states it needs to be very comfortable at high speeds on the interstate but
more than that it also needs to be capable for when i’m doing
adventure training and tours and this bike does a really good job on both
sides maybe it’s not the perfect trail bike is not the perfect touring bike but
it’s a great middle of the road it’s an old 2008 BMW r1200gs why an older bike
well frankly when I got back from Africa part of my decision was how much money
was left in the bank account and this turned out to be a real bargain for that
the 1200 has a very long track record for reliability and those things it may
have issues with are well known and easy for me to fix on the road so that’s how
I ended up on this one specifically now the process of a selecting a bike was is
what really is key here and I already mentioned a few of those one is it has
to be able to do the mission that I needed it to do which is highway and the
training the other thing is I want to make sure I have enough distance so I’m
looking for fuel economy and tank size so I don’t have to get fuel when I’m
off-road and so that can do the longer tours I’m looking for comfort so both
for the standing comfort and I’m looking for sitting and that’s going to be
different depending this bike just happens to fit me very very well so I’ve had to make a few modifications
to make it more mission capable for the specific needs most importantly for the
off-road capabilities and the first thing is protection because when these
tip over if you damage them off-road you’re a long ways out there so I
started with the belly pan I put a heavy skid plate on it it’s a heavy bike it
deserves a heavy skid plate I put a lightweight set of tip-over bars the
heads do a pretty good job of stopping the bike and I put some hand protection
on it to protect the levers those are the essentials the bare minimums for any
adventure bike going off-road a couple other small extras I put on where a
guard for the headlight so if a rock is kicked up I use this for tours which
means I’m riding with other riders so the likelihood getting something kicked
up is a little greater and if I end up out after dark I had some extra lighting
on it the other thing is I need the bike to be more comfortable when I’m standing
on it so what I did for that is the handlebars are rotated up and adjusted
and then I put a set of large foot pegs on it so that when I’m standing my feet
don’t get as fatigued it gives me a better perch on the bike so other than
the protection and the comfort factors this bike is almost completely stock
reliability is number one and the more things I change the more complex the
bike gets so my upgrades have been for suspension this is running the Touratech
Xtreme suspension both front and rear that gives me extra ground clearance
offroad also that allowed me to adjust the springs so it’ll support any kind of
luggage and extra weight that I have with me
the tires on this bike today… traction’s a little limited ,so I’m running some
large bike knobbies both front and rear and those tires change depending whether I’m
doing interstate in the summer when traction is good or if it’s in the
winter like this and the one other neat little addition I put onto this bike
I do carry a winch on it. I occasionally teach a class called Mission Impassable
where the whole goal is to go out and get stuck and to learn how to get out of
it and the riding skills to get out of that so that’s kind of essential for my
job and because I ride solo a lot it’s a nice piece of insurance so those are
the basic things I do to my bike and that’s how I ended up on an old R 1200

100 comments on “Why Do I Ride this OLD Bike? My BMW R 1200 GS + Mods

  1. Very sensible choice and buying old means you didn't take the initial depreciation hit. If you lived over here I would book a place on your courses. happy New Year. 👍☘

  2. came across this channel by accident, kind of a coincidence since i'm a ARR listener. Its nice to a face to the voice and nice to see the things you teach in action.

  3. Putting on wet gloves is really hardcore 👍🏽 that's a reason to give you a 👍🏽… can we expect more poser skills? I tried the standing stop (without the kickstand) on a gas station the other day to impress somebody with my "poser skills", alas it was closed for the day and nobody was there to be impressed 😉
    So, I like your vids and share your thoughts about the BMW, there is one in my garage as well, waiting for the next ride and the next visit on a gas station 😉 Happy New Year

  4. Ok, where am I missing your school and your tours? Great videos. I really like a BMS GS but concerned about a older one due to cost to fix a major problem. Is this a unfounded concern?

  5. Great piece of kit you have on it.It seems to be enough for the job.what bridge are you crossing at class.great to see you getting wet hate pussies that hide from the rain good for you.thanks for the tour.

  6. Hi Bret, Thank you for your videos. I was wondering what boots you have on in this video. I have just purchased the Alpinestar Corozal boots and found the ankles to be not nearly as flexible as say a hiking boot. This makes up shifting more of a task. I’m wanting to get into off road riding but think there might be a better boot then what I now have. Any thoughts you care to share would be appreciated. Thanks,

  7. At what point should one upgrade the suspension? I have an F800GSA with stock suspension, I find that if I mess around in anything that isn't paved I have a very shaky, uneasy feeling in the front, almost feels like I'm on ice – even when I know I should have plenty of traction. I took a basic off road training course, but they didn't even mention suspension at all.

  8. I like the R1200GS but those cylinder heads scare me. I ride with other folks that have 1200's and its super common for them to fall over and break one open. For highway and light off road they are king but I would not take one through China or SE Asia. Plus the newer GS's are becoming fat pigs. Love the videos BTW.

  9. Love your video and your sensible approach to customise your bike. I wonder what that thing is (4:29) under your key barrel, like a velrco to attach sth.?


  11. Happy new year to the Mototrek / Inventive Pictures staff! ✌🏻 This is a great bike for sure, and this is SO NICE to see it being ridden off-road in your videos. In Paris where I live, the R1200GS is one of the best-selling bikes, but it makes me a bit sad to think that most of them will only be used daily for filtering in the urban traffic, and will certainly never be used off-road…

  12. I bought a clean, used 2007 R1200GS Adventure 3 years ago with 26k miles on it and couldn't be happier. I use it to commute regularly, riding Death Valley and local desert trails, camping trips here and there – etcetera.
    I made the same upgrades as you did (Incl. Touratech suspension, Clearwater lights and more) and haven't spent half the money of a new GSA yet.
    Sure it is nice to have the latest and greatest, but I never feel too bad dropping it as much, as I would, with a shiny new model. Besides, I have money left for my other 3 (used) bikes. The activity is more important than the latest "gadgets" but most people can't enjoy things unless its new and perfect. I think you did a great choice!

  13. I appreciate your support. And also would like to mention that I love the tone and the tuche of Matt the drummer. It has ans extremely musical feel. Thanks for the music /  percussive music too. I love him listening while watching you. High class. Thanks Guys.

  14. Great Videos Bret, I really enjoy them. Are you still liking your Shinko 804/805 Combo tires (Stinko's?) I've been a TKC80 guy for years and am considering trying a set of 804/805's on my AT. Just wondered what your thoughts were.

  15. I was curious about your saddle and luggage rack what brand are they I ride an 09 g650gs and I haven't been able to find anything like it

  16. i sold mine as way way too heavy for solo off road riding, you drop it and it stays where it is, ,its a road bike make no mistake, all the marketing hype is fine if you ride with 4 mates, if not, buy a sub 200kg bike

  17. …I'm with you – I've an 06 R1200GS, mostly stock that has been to the Arctic Circle and countless other places, much of it's travels off-road. However, I'm approaching 90k miles on it and though its showing little in the way of ware and pulls like the dickens, burning no oil at all while doing it, I should probably be thinking about selling it for a bit new model with a lot less miles then my current baby…

  18. I buy almost all my bikes used and there are so many good deals its difficult to pass them up. An additional thought is that bikes are so much better today than they were when I started riding years ago. In many cases, a ten year old bike isn't that far removed from its 2018 version. Factor in the savings and its a good buy. The savings can go in your gas tank for your trips!

  19. Well, just came off the COBDR and ended up snapping the tip off my brake lever. Time for an upgrade! I'm strongly considering going with shorty's but a little worried about losing leverage for aggressive stopping (not that I do that, just a precaution) Thoughts? I'm liking Pazzo's. Figured I'd skip the folding type and just go ahead and upgrade to Barkbuster hand guards.

  20. Hi Bret, awesome videos! Would you recommend the GS1200 for a beginner? Seems like I could get a used one for the price of a new GS700 or 800?

  21. Hello Bret,
    I noticed what to me looks like the front tire is mounted backwards just by looking at the tread pattern. Am I seeing it wrong or is there more to it?

  22. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in so many great videos… May I ask your opinion of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 as a bike for mainly on road use, with occasional light off road?

  23. Hi Brett, Thanks for all the video’s. Living in Australia, have my first bike a DR650, but looking at getting a bigger bike to put my wife on with me for touring but also for me to have fun on with the lads for weekend camping trips. I am very confident that the GS will suit my needs, but how many miles (if looked after) can you expect to get out of one of these bikes. Shops have been talking up the boxer engine, but don’t trust them as I know they are trying to sell it to me!!!! Thoughts?

  24. I heard a lot about the front frame cracking or the suspension colapsing.. are that model really realible? I ask that because i took one test riding and i really like it.. Just afraid of not being has realible has it should… what you think?

  25. Love your videos and I share them with other riders. That bike is almost exactly my last bike for three years and it wa amazing and a perfect choice for this type of riding.

  26. It’s hard to take you serious when you and the bike are unnecessarily standing in a pool of water when you’re surrounded by dry land

  27. Bret, great video as usual but I’ve just read a reliability survey where BMW comes last with 40% of the bikes having problems in the first year. Yamaha is first with 6%. The report mentions final drive and electrics as the main problem area. I guess the 2008 model is not overloaded with software yet but the mechanical issues suprised me just like you considering it reliable. On the other hand i am sure you come accross many bikes and wouldn’t have bought a lemon.

  28. Hi there. Been following your videos for a while and I must say that you have the best and most informative ones. Well done. Now, I have been riding road bikes for over 15 years and I am looking to get into adventure riding. My question is what is your opinion about the BMW 800 gsa 2013 model. Thank you in advance . Cheers from Australia.

  29. Totally get it. I have a 2012 r1200gsa with ölins mechatronic system and a nice seat, otherwise factory. I’ve looked and ridden newer ones but I just like the way I don’t even feel the bike it’s so familiar, it’s like being sort of weightless when on a good day you have the bike moving on whatever and tractoring onward with momentum and gyros. I like that model engine, Etc etc. I think they last on and on and for now I can get parts. Africa twin is enticing once this is somehow past efficient repair, but chains are a bit of a drag in the real world. But anyway. Yep. Old shoes.

  30. Hi Bret, great videos.
    I am searching for a new (used) bike to replace a little Honda CB500x (too small for my size).
    A 2009 gs 1200 is on radar, but Africa Twin (2016) and F800gs (2016) are contenders. I won't do serious off road but would like to some easy trails. Can't decide and can't have all. Please some thoughts.

  31. " The problems are well known and I can fix them on the road" This generation is known for horrible unreliable final drives and no, you won't be able to fix it on the road.

  32. Its a shame that trail-off road riding is prohibited in the Netherlands due to protected forest laws. You can go to other countries to go offroading but it is always a sort off a hassle.

    But I do understand what you mean my "17 Honda Africa Twin fits me very well and if you and the bike fits each other then you can take of anywhere you want.

  33. Sir you are so knowledgable & thorough. I just acquired a 2019 BMW GSA 1250. So far with the whole 100 miles I have put on the odometer I just love the machine. When I get back from my travels I will continue my journey. Thanks for sharing your adventures and experiences.

  34. Sir you are so knowledgable & thorough. I just acquired a 2019 BMW GSA 1250. So far with the whole 100 miles I have put on the odometer I just love the machine. When I get back from my travels I will continue my journey. Thanks for sharing your adventures and experiences.

  35. Hi Bret,
    First of all: I really like your show and it has taken my adventure riding to a whole other level because of it! Keep it going!

    I'm currently comparing the 1200GS and 1200GSA for becoming my new bike.
    In regards to you choosing the 2008 R1200GS you mentioned that the reasons good onroad and offroad capabilities, good comfort, good fueleconomy and tanksize. So I was wondering why you choose the GS instead of the GS Adventure. What's your opinion in windprotection and movebilaty between the two?

  36. Loving all the videos. Super helpful. Excellent filming and scenery and super inspiring too!

    As a new rider altogether, starting out with a R1200 GSA, my 2015 bike is pretty large. If you continue the channel and eventually change bikes it would be awesome to see you guys wrangle around a full sized GSA through all this terrain.

    Until then, your 2008 GS is totally awesome man.

  37. Hi Bret, great and informative videos I ride my 2005 GS off road ,mainly duel track in the Pyrenees in France and Spain and yes it is a heavy bike for off road trails but I can go touring on road all over Europe in comfort and after 14 years I'm getting use to it! Keep up the good work

  38. Nothing wrong with that bike, I have a 2010 like that, I find many people here in SA have the adventure with all the bells, and they don't even know how to ride on a basic sand road, I also find the GS ADVENTURE too bulky.

  39. Bret, just bought a 2012 R1200GS everything is stock right now. I really like your low profile tip over guards for the engine. what make are those ?

  40. Great video ! , I bought a 2002 1150gsa with only 23k miles on it and lots of upgrades about a year ago, and she runs and looks like almost new, at least to me, I love her strength forward simplicity, but I think in a few years my next new bike will be a 2008 -2010 1200gs, like this one, and one thing I love about living in the USA is that you can get amazing deals on used clean, well maintain, low miles motorcycles from guys that had put a lots of upgrades but no longer have the time to ride 😁

  41. I like the way you say "old" to a bike that's just slightly over 10 years old.
    Considering the frame is the only irreplaceable thing, and everything that breaks is being replaced, the only "aging" thing is engine. And as far as I know, these engines are capable of insane mileage if serviced properly. Motorcycles are not as much of a subject to "aging" as cars due to how they are made.
    I am riding a Honda VFR800 2004 and I'm not even close to considering it's an "old" bike.
    Or is it just a local habit to disqualify things as soon as a "newer" one releases to the market?

  42. I like your video a lot. Just a word of advice for the who read the comments.. STAY AWAY FROM USED BMW. Buy new with warranty. PLEASE.

  43. Boxer engines offroad is dumb. So fragile. A 500 plus # bike offroad is a pig. These bikes are touring street bikes with offroad marketing.

    "Old" lol.

  44. well done that was my 1st gs same colour and same year 😉 and I have changed the suspensions as well … the old engine has definitely more character

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