2006 BMW R1200 GS Classic Review – Is it any good?
Welcome to another in my occasional series here on the channel of classic bike reviews. The bike that im riding today is something that means quite a lot to me. Its a bmw, r1200gs from 2006. 16 year old bike, a model which im very keen on. I am an owner of a gs and i am a gs fanboy, but ive got the much later liquid cooled version. So what i want to find out in this review is: are these older bikes any good stick around stay tuned ill, tell you Music! So if youve been to my channel before and seen any of my videos or tours, you will have seen my bmw gs, which is a 2014 model, and that was one of the first of the liquid cooled bikes massive changes on that bike. This is the bike that came before then, and this is just properly air cooled far less in the way of electronics, all in all a much simpler bike, but a bike that was huge for bmw. Of course, it remains huge with the r 1250 incarnation and im sure the haunted, 1300 and 1400s that were expecting to see later in the year will also be huge for bmw this one sold in bucket loads and done this ride. I aim to find out why, before we talk about the ride, though, let me jump off this machine ill. Show you around this big route lets check out some of the differences between this aesthetically and the current bikes.
All right lets take a look at this big old beast, then, and see what the differences are between this, or at least the things i can spot and the more modern bikes first off. Of course, it does have a somewhat different look about it. The front and the beak is slightly different and theres quite a lot more uh plastics around the front here, the um, the engine itself looks a little bit more simple uh, because this is, as i said, the um air cooled version, not the partially liquid cooled version That you get on the modern day gss because of that underneath the shrouds at the front here we dont have um radiators, which you would have on the new bike. Of course, we can see um the suspension here on the front its got the what i call funny: bmw suspension, the tele lever front end, which means you get no fork dive when you brake, which is lovely, the engine itself, looks a little bit narrower as well. I think on the newer bikes, the gearbox is positioned differently, so the engine itself looks a different shape. Looks a little bit narrower to me. You may notice if youre, an arrak on gs is like me that the shaft drive is on the opposite side. Here its still a single sided swing on, but the shaft drive has migrated over to the right hand side of the bike, so that of course means that the exhaust is on the left, this particular bike fitted with a top box.
As you can see, this is the vario pannier, which is really handy to carry all my uh camera kit and what have you uh and its a bit a little bit narrower than the current vario pannier look and its folded form its a bit thinner than the Uh than the new one, this bike also comes with the side cases i took them off for the purposes of this review. Just so, i could show you more of the bike, but yeah the bike is unmistakably gs still, of course, in that the tank in fact reminds me of the tank on the gs, adventure and then weve got that older school display on there as well. Nothing complicated about this bike proper analog bike, one of the last of the analog gs, is really big hand, guards and uh yeah, all very, very nice. Oh something to point out, i suppose, is the rear suspension on here, which, as i mentioned, is not electronic there. We go weve got a preload adjuster there, but that is it and the ride isnt, quite as plush as youd get on a modern day, bmw, r1200 or 1250gs, but nonetheless, still a very capable bike right. Talking of riding lets jump back on and see how she goes. Okay, welcome back aboard the 16 year old gs, then and uh so much for what the changes are like aesthetically. How does she ride? What are the changes like there? Well, i have to say i thought when i jumped on this, it was going to be a bit of a nightmare.
First thing i noticed when i jumped on was actually it does feel a bit heavier than the modern bikes similar sorts of weights, but it actually feels heavier to get off the stand, its a longer haul. The side stand is shorter, but once youre riding it doesnt feel any different in terms of weight feels a little bit taller as well. When i stop im properly on my tiptoes on this, whereas on my gs im a bit more flat footed, but the riding position is super familiar. It feels just like my gs sat on here. The uh triangle between the foot pegs, where your hands are on your backside, is just perfectly positioned in that lovely, comfortable gs way, so it feels very familiar in that respect. The seat is very comfortable as well. Nice and padded and again, if, if i were blindfolded and asked what bike i was on, i would probably say a gs. It does have that familiarity about it. So no problem as far as comforts concerned, although again one big difference is immediately obvious – is the suspension. This just has standard suspension. It is adjustable, but the ride isnt as plush as the more modern gss that have the electronic suspension im surprised how much of a difference that makes one thing thats different is the indicators on here, the old style, bmw ones in that you have a button on Each side of the handlebars for each indicator, and then you cancel it with that button.
There very bizarre takes a bit to get used to, but once youre used to it its fine just a little odd. This uh air cooled engine its very similar to the one. Actually, they use in the current r 90s thats a bit more rock and roll than the liquid cooled ones. In that, when you start the bike up, you can feel that torque reaction, and when you stop the bike at a junction, you can feel a bit more vibration. Laterally in the bike, its not bad, though i mean i would put that down as character. I wouldnt put that down as a bad thing its just the way these engines are. Of course, the massive plus of these boxer configuration engines is the fact that the weight is nice and low. So, even though it is a heavy bike, it doesnt feel heavy when youre riding it and for a biker. This size of weight is relatively easy to move around, albeit not quite as easy as the current bikes. As i say, the dash on this, you can see how uh my version of gs, my 2014, how it came to look like it does, because this is obviously the forerunner to that two dials on here and an lcd panel, but not much in the way of Electronics, this particular bike, looking down, has done 18 280 miles, so barely run in very low mileage, actually for a 16 year old bike. One thing that is noticeably better on this than on the modern bikes is the gearbox who would have thought it.
The gearboxes on gss are often criticized as being agricultural, its lit by here Music plenty of gel on this, i have to say, yeah. The gear boxes on modern jss are always criticized by myself included as being agricultural. This one actually as smooth as you like, obviously theres, no quick, shifter or auto blip or anything like that, but yeah just going up and down the box nice and smooth now that clunkiness that you get on a modern gs. So thats a plus point and in terms of go the engine i have to say feels exactly the same as my 1200 gs. The new 1250s have got noticeably more poke, but this one yeah its got exactly that same low down, grunt and torque. That im used to and that i love on the bike and that so many other people, uh rate gss for its still got all that about it all right. Well, come back to the riding in a second lets, just jump back off the bike then and ill talk you through the specs on this bike, so starting off then with this air cooled engine on here. This is the 1170cc air cooled boxer, twin, uh, partial, liquid cooling came in around about 2013. If i remember rightly, this one puts out 98 brake horsepower at 7800 rpm. If you compare that with the new 1250 that was at 134 brake horsepower so considerably down on power, but it doesnt feel down on power.
Torque, wise 115 newton meters of torque, so yeah very grumpy bike front end. Looking at the brakes, bmw branded calipers in these days, these brakes work absolutely fine twin discs on here. They do feel if anything a little bit wooden, perhaps compared to the modern day stoppers on the modern day bikes the suspension on here uh the front has got the tele lever suspension. We looked at that when we had a look around just now. Didnt we, the rear, has got bmws, paralever suspension with an adjuster as well. We looked at that earlier on the seat on here, pretty high, actually 895 millimeters to 915 millimeters. It definitely feels higher than the current gs. I dont know if you could get a low seat for this, but that might be what you want to do if youre a shorty, a wet weight on here is 225 kilograms and that compares with 249 kilograms on the current 1250.. So this is actually 25 kilograms. Less than the current bike, which is interesting because it doesnt feel that it has to be said it probably youd. If you guessed youd say it was the other way around, perhaps because this feels heavier to move around, although once youre actually riding it its absolutely fine tank capacity on here, 20 liters um, so enough for a couple of hundred miles, probably electronics. Basically, none price of this one with 18 000 miles on the clock is incredible. Actually, 5 287 pounds at the time of filming.
Now those prices do vary at superbike factory ill put a link below to this bike in case its still for sale. It may well have gone by now by the time you see this review, but do check out the link below if youre interested in this particular bike uh, if not theyll, have plenty of other gs available for around about that price. So a lot of bike for the money just looking over this one and just looking at how the sort of longevity of the fit and finish actually it looks pretty good uh, the plastics arent, scuffed um, or certainly not on this side anyway. Well, come around the other side, the engine looks in good order and no no corrosion. I can see on the engine cases or anything like that, a little bit of corrosion, maybe on the exhaust, but you know thats always the case on exhaust isnt. It uh otherwise yeah the paint on here actually on the um. Shaft drive the swing arm. There is absolutely fine on my bike, its slightly blistered, but this one, no no problem there. The exhaust looks like its held up pretty well yeah, its all. Looking all looking pretty good on a cursory glance, i cant really see anything wrong with it. The screen may be a little bit scratched. You could replace that now. I think for a 16 year old bike, its held up rather well. Okay, welcome back aboard the 16 year old gs.
Well, i have to say im having a lovely ride, its uh. It rides really nicely this. The engine is as sweet as a nut. I said before we went through the spec that i thought the gearbox was actually better on this bike than on the newer bikes. What about it? Isnt so good? Well, the indicators im still getting used to thats. Just a small point lets electronics, i think, is actually probably a good thing, but of course it doesnt even have abs strike. That just noticed got an abs button on here. It does have abs on here and it looks like you can defeat it as well. If you want to go off road, so uh yeah, what do i know it does have abs on this bike and, as i mentioned earlier on in the review, the bike does feel a little bit heavier to pull off the side stand than the current bikes do. But once youre moving, it feels exactly the same weight wise other than that. You could argue that the newer bikes look better. I would certainly argue that its entirely a subjective thing, but this thing still looks purposeful and rugged. The engine sounds nice. The engine actually sounds. Quite different to the liquid cooled variant, its got more of a sort of a whine about it, its quite nice, more whiny, less farty than the newer bikes. The clutch on here, as well as the gearbox is, is nice, its nice and light.
I guess the other thing thats noticeably not as good is the suspension electronic suspension on the modern bikes. This doesnt have that and its not quite such a plush ride as the newer bikes, its not a million miles away to be fair, the beauty of getting a bike like this. If you do like to do proper adventure touring, by which i mean big miles on motorways and stuff and touring and then doing a bit of off road as well, if youve got a bike at this vintage and price, you dont have to be too precious about It if you do take it off road, which is to be very capable at im, sure you dont, have to worry too much about dropping it and damaging it, because its not such an expensive piece to repair theres a little bit more vibration through the handlebars. I guess on this bike, this engine does have more character, its not intrusive, though so i wouldnt put that down as a bad point. The comfort is all here, though, the comforts just as good as a modern as a modern bike. So when i kicked off the video i said, are these any good? Are they as good as the new bikes? Is it worth having an older one? Well, i have to say yes, its a very nice bike. Still its got all that dna of the current gs. So you can see how that bikes been developed to the point where it is its got all the good things about this, that grunty engine comfortable, nice and protective for the weather, its got a better gearbox, just quirky things, less electronics, not quite such a plush ride.
But overall for the money, an awful lot of bike, i dont really recommend it to the house to you so uh, yeah, dont, just think new is always the way to go check out. The links below to the website for superbike factory ill have loads of older gss for sale. There, ronnie thats it for now. I hope you enjoyed this latest of my classic reviews. There will be more coming along soon do put any suggestions in the comments below of bikes youd like to see on the channel. I can basically get hold of stuff up to 20 years old, so dont go asking for really old, stuff or stuff from the 80s. As much as id love to do those only bikes in the last 20 years, i could probably get hold of and what i shall do is select the bikes. That basically means something to me, bikes that i missed out on before i started riding back in 2012. Bikes that were kind of my poster bikes, if you like at that time – maybe things that i was afraid to ride, because i was intimidated by them. Cant wait to bring you more of those reviews, so massive thanks to superbike factory, for making these bikes available to me do go and check out their website. They are europes, largest used bike dealer. They have over 2 000 bikes in stock at any one time. Its just an incredible place, if youre in the area then go and check them out good, cafe and stuff its just a good destination to go for a little bit of a ride out as much as anything or if youre, not in the area, check out the Website you just stick in the bike and model that you want and that pops all the box theyve got available and they usually have pretty much everything there and theyll deliver the bikes to you as well anyway.
Thats enough of an advert hope you enjoy. The video look forward to speak to you again soon.