BMW R1200GS Ex­clu­sive

Our R1200GS goes back for its re­call and re­turns with some bonus bling

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

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

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