BMW R1200GS Exclusive
Our R1200GS goes back for its recall and returns with some bonus bling
THE GREAT PHILOSOPHER Beyoncé once mused, “If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.” It seems BMW must like my R1200GS Exclusive a lot, as it recently added shiny rings to its fork stanchions.
Why? The stanchions (the chrome tubes) have cast aluminium caps pushed into their tops. Multiple heavy impacts can warp or distort the tube, creating a gap between stanchion and cap. If the gap gets big enough, the stanchion could separate altogether – in English, the forks could fall off. And this isn’t just theory; it has actually happened.
So earlier this year BMW recalled every R1200GS and GS Adventure built from November 2013 to June 2017. That’s around 169,000 bikes worldwide, with my test bike one of the 11,185 affected in the UK. The official fix starts by measuring the gap with a feeler gauge: if it’s less than 0.2mm the solution is to press a pair of steel reinforcing collars (my shiny new rings) on the stanchions; if it’s bigger, they are replaced.
For peace of mind, I buy a set of feeler gauges to check for myself. When I pull down the rubber sleeves covering where stanchion meets cap, there’s not the slightest sliver SPEC BMW R1200GS EXCLUSIVE £15,930 + 1170cc flat twin + 123bhp + 244kg + 20-litre tank + 850mm seat + Miles so far: 5195
of space. So it’s no surprise that when my GS goes in for the official check, it only needs the collars. But not all bikes get off this easy – contributor Nathan Millward had replacement stanchions fitted to his 2014 R1200GS.
“My bike had done 26,000 miles. It was an ex-off-road Skills school machine and I’d ridden it all across the US and Iceland, so it had seen some hard use and been off-road a lot. I’d measured the gap myself and it seemed within tolerance; I think my dealer was erring on the side of caution. I didn’t think there was anything to worry about – I would have been happy to carry on riding it. And I was pleased with the service I got from BMW UK and my dealer.”
Other owners have experienced delays while dealers wait for supply of the collars, but then I guess making 338,000 of them isn’t a quick process. I can’t lie – the whole shebang did slightly sour my trust in the R1200GS for a month or two. Still, now it’s over I’m positive the GS and I can move forwards together. MARTIN FITZ-GIBBONS
On MFG’S GS, there was no gap at all The solution is a pair of shiny steel collars