2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure

2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure

 Cycle World review (edited)
March 17, 2008

BMW’s best-selling model, the highly versatile R1200GS, has undergone a general revision for 2008 that goes a lot deeper than slightly refreshed styling. The GS looks as neat and sharp as ever, but on the road, it feels a million bucks stronger and much more fun. The new steering geometry is not only more modern and responsive, but also improves weight distribution. A slimmer tank at the junction with the seat moves the rider forward, further improving weight distribution. These changes make the steering more neat, precise and responsive while still feeling solid; despite its tall (34.3-inch) seat height, the new R1200GS is a natural leaner around even very tight corners. It feels surefooted, with great feedback through the grips, and is perfectly neutral and stress-free even when ridden hard.

The motor gets important revisions as well. The 1200cc Boxer Twin now produces 105 hp (a 5-hp boost) and redlines at 8000 rpm. The motor is responsive; torque peak of 85 ft.-lbs is at a mere 5750 rpm, but it starts pulling strongly from as low as 3000 rpm. The beefed-up six-speed gearbox has received more accurately spaced ratios, so the engine feels ready to respond in any gear.

This teams up beautifully with the more precise, solid and responsive chassis, to make the new GS a great pleasure to ride and a versatile, comfortable bike in the process. But it is the solid throttle response that sets the new R1200GS in a class of its own. The bike produces very good acceleration (0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds) and surges down the road at a twist of the grip with a vengeance. Pulling a wheelie is just a matter of yanking the throttle open in any of the first three gears. And it does it all with the class of a great BMW Boxer Twin, which is also part of the fun.

The GS Adventure was another $2,000 on the MSRP. For that the budding Ewan or Charlie got a bigger gas tank, 8.7 gallons, good for a range of well over 300 miles. Also, a slightly bigger windscreen. And bigger footpegs, all the better to stand up on; the shift lever and foot brake are easily adjustable. Wire wheels and knobby tires are standard.

It is more tumble-proof, too, with crash bars that protect the gas tank and the cylinders. Head guards also protect the cylinder heads. The hand guards are stock items as well.

The powertrain is the same as on the standard GS, but there are a couple of minor chassis differences.

Beyond that, there are an immense number of options and accessories. The pannier bags and top trunk are squared-off aluminum containers, providing a nice rough ‘n’ ready look. ABS/ACS, Enduro ESA, all that adds to the price.

The motorbike offered

The 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure comes to us from an enthusiastic collector. The meticulously cared for bike was recently serviced and a new rear tire installed. It has covered 29,231 and comes with Leo Vince exhaust for a more purposeful note (the original accompanies the bike), and the hardshell luggage set that has never been removed from their original shipping boxes (top box taken out to photograph). The luggage frame, brand new soft bags, all keys, sump protection plate, and a seat tail bag all accompany the sale.