‘You could ride it round Europe for a month without any complaints’
a capable continent crusher.
By comparison, the BMW’S screen is lower, to the point of being useless. There are a few more vibrations from the parallel-twin, too – and the seat is thinner and can’t match the plushness of the Suzuki. I was expecting big things of the 798cc BMW, but I was left a little disappointed on longer rides. The 16-litre under-seat tank sees the fuel light illuminate at around 130 miles, at which point the fuel trip resets to count distance travelled, rather than giving you a fuel range. The Suzuki will travel for another 100 miles before tripping its fuel light.
As well as more advanced electronics, the BMW’S Dynamic package has electronically-adjustable rear suspension which can be changed on the move. The ride is certainly more sophisticated on the GS – it copes with large potholes and imperfections with ease, where the softly sprung Suzuki will, in extreme circumstances, jolt you out of the seat. But given the choice I would still opt for the cheaper Suzuki over long distances.
TEST 2 B-road blasting
The heavily off-road-biased tyres fitted, negatively affect the BMW’S handling and stability. It feels like you’re riding on conventional rubber which is under-inflated. The GS tends to move around on the blocks of the tyres which transmit a vague feeling. At high speeds a small weave starts to emerge, and both the ABS and TC can easily be triggered on wet roads. On test we were caught out in some torrential rain inspiring an immediate flick of the TC and ABS back on, while opting for the softer power delivery of Rain mode. But much of this negativity would be immediately overcome by simply choosing more road-biased rubber.
The ABS brakes on the Beemer are certainly sharper than the Suzuki’s, which also has much more lever travel, and less bite. Interestingly, you can deactivate the TC on both bikes and even turn off the ABS on the GS – but not on the Suzuki. There are also switchable power modes on the GS which change the delivery and character of the parallel-twin, but the Suzuki doesn’t have this option, relying only