About BMW GS
I think that the BMW GS doesn’t need an introduction. You say GS. People know what you are talking about. BMW paved the road to adventure-touring dominance with this motorcycle. Whenever a new “big GS” enters the market, people talk about the bike. These bikes are notorious for their comfort, amount of tech, and reliability. So, let’s dive a bit.
My first impression
BMW was never on my radar as a “next motorcycle”. I was a Honda guy for almost all my motorcycle life. In my head – you ride Honda, you don’t care about anything else. But I always knew about the hype around GS motorcycles. So, it was always in my head to experience BMW and answer all those questions. So here we go, riding GS, trying to understand why it is so popular, why people like this bike, and why they never return to any other brand after BMW.
So, just as I expected – BMW is comfortable. It focused on comfort first, with a very relaxing seating position, cushy suspension, and superb ergonomics. But to be transparent, that is not coming out of the package. You have to pay for all those extras. This bike has optional packets for around $ 5,000 over the starting price tag. That included ESA, comfort seats, heated grips and seats, cruise control, adaptive headlight, multimedia, etc. Of course, riding a bike in such a package provides luxurious comfort over any distance.
Handling and weight
The bike is well-balanced on the road. This is one of the best handling bikes on the market, a heavy machine on paper. But once you start riding it, you don’t feel that weight. The reason is that a horizontally opposed engine keeps weight low. However, moving a motorcycle back and forth is a bit difficult, especially if you are not a “big guy” by any chance. When you cursing highway miles, the bike is super stable. It is well planted, and all that heaviness is contributing to that. Then you ride twisties, a shorter wheelbase, and a low centre of gravity, making it nimble and clickable. That’s a paradox for me: a heavy bike that feels like a tourer on straight lines and a sports bike on curves.
BMW is notorious for its ergonomics—very well-organised buttons on both handlebar sides. First, I like their navigation wheel, which allows you to go through the menus and operate with the dash. Dash itself is very informative and easy to read under any conditions. There is nothing wrong with it. There’s not much to say. Everything is in the right place except the day heated grips activation button.
Sitting position and comfort
You don’t have any wind buffeting when you are doing long stretches. Also, the seating triangle is very upright, especially with a comfortable seat and electronically adjustable suspension. This motorcycle flies above the road. You don’t feel anything independent of the road surface. This GS has a specially designed front suspension, unlike any conventional motorcycle that uses front shock instead of the fork. The problem is that you don’t feel like a motorcycle or have no feedback from the road. That is a negative side, as I don’t want to be unaware of what is happening with the bike. Rather than that, having a good set of road tires will extend your options with the bike.
I like the bike. I like what BMW does. It reminds me of a car. You have all those creature comforts, but I am not excited about riding this motorcycle. On the one hand, it is a versatile bike that can do anything at a high standard. Still, at the same time, I’d like to know if I’d use this motorcycle anywhere but the road. It is a premium SUV or motorcycle, suitable for any situation. Still, it will likely spend most of its life on paved roads.