MCN BMW R1200GS Review (2004 – 2012)

MCN BMW R1200GS Review (2004 – 2012)

New price£8,995
Parker’s used price range£5,485-7,995
Engine size1170cc
Top speed136mph
Insurance group13
 MCN ratingsOwners’ ratings
Overallrating is 5rating is 3.5
Enginerating is 4rating is 3.5
Ride & Handlingrating is 5rating is 4
Equipmentrating is 4rating is 4
Quality & Reliabilityrating is 4rating is 3
Valuerating is 4rating 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’ ratingrating 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’ ratingrating 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’ ratingrating 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’ ratingrating 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’ ratingrating 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).