MCN BMW R1200GS Review (2004 - 2012)

Detail Value            
New price £8,995
Parker's used price range £5,485-7,995
Engine size 1170cc
Power 100bhp
Top speed 136mph
Insurance group 13
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 3

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The R1200GS breezed into biking in 2004 and changed it forever. It’s a genuine all-rounder that’s equally at home on a trackday as it is on a grand tour. Its 1170cc Boxer engine is a pleasure to use, while the handling, braking, usability and comfort put it in a class of one.


MCN rating       rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5


BMW’s trusty oil/air-cooled SOHC Boxer motor is flexible, punchy and revvy all at the same time. The throttle is light, the response is instant and the power is all you could hopefully use in the real world. There are pleasantly few vibes, too, thanks to new-for-BMW balance shaft.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating       rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Perennially unflustered excellence. The chassis is superb. The Telelever front end initially feels remote, but once you’re dialled in and confident the GS can be leant and leant and leant. It’s 30kg lighter than the preceding model, the 1150GS, and the servo brakes and (optional) ABS help haul the 1200 up with ease.


MCN rating       rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

A man could beggar himself lavishing kit on his GS. Heated grips, ABS, crash bars, hard and soft luggage…but at least you get an ignition-based immobiliser and a height adjustable seat as standard.

Quality and Reliability


MCN rating       rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3


BMW reliability is legendary, but it’s as much down to the comparatively gentle use the bikes get and the meticulous attention to the service schedule of GS owners . Avoid any bike that can’t back up its history with a full, dealer-stamped,


MCN rating       rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

BMWs typically command top dollar either new or secondhand. But the good news is that you get back much more of your money when you sell it than virtually any other brand. Mileage is normally the bugbear of residuals, but BMW buyers are much more tolerant, with only bikes showing over 50,000 considered high mileage.

Model History

2004 BMW R1200GS motorcycle launched.

Other Versions

BMW R1200GS Adventure (see separate review). 

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