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Low suspension or low seat on BMW GS 1200 Adventure

Discussion in 'Adventure/Enduro' started by kevan draper, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Am about to take the plunge and buy a BMW GS adventure, more likely used than new. Would appreciate any advice from other vertically challenged riders who have overcome the seat height issue with the Beemer. I am 170cm tall and due to the weight of the bike would like to plant at least one full foot on the ground. To drop the seat height to appears i can buy a low suspension factory fitted option or fit a low seat option, maybe , both. I believe this drops the seat height by around 25cms each. Has anyone done either or both and does it effect the riding position, would you have to also adjust the handle bars ? I have been informed low suspension or are difficult to resale ? Lastly do the factory actually adjust the frame height or do they just install different shocks to drop the height. The main use of the bike will be the planned trip around Australia, mainly camping.

  2. I'm unsure the GSA is available with low suspension? I didn't bother looking. The standard GS is and it's just spring and shock differences.
    BMW low seat options are not comfy on longer rides for many people.
    The lowered factory bikes were not available with the ESA when I was looking a couple of years back. It was one or the other.
  3. I'm unsure the GSA is available with low suspension? I didn't bother looking. The standard GS is and it's just spring and shock differences.
    BMW low seat options are not comfy on longer rides for many people.
    The lowered factory bikes were not available with the ESA when I was looking a couple of years back. It was one or the other.
  4. I thought that the major difference between the GS and the GSA was that the extra A was for added height.
  5. The "A" is for Adventure. It has taller ride height, larger fuel tank, driving lights and a few other minor changes.
  6. probably easiest and cheapest way (depending on how short you are) to get your feet on the ground is to modify the seat.

    it's usually the width rather than the height that is a problem the wider the seat/bike the more bow legged you are and less able to comfortably reach the ground.

    you buy your used bike, then get the seat customised for you get, it thinned out and made narrower through your crotch, thus hopefully getting your feet planted on the ground. while doing this you get some gel inserts or something inserted as well and the seat recovered and you got your self a very comfortable ride for the duration of your ownership.

    Shouldn't set you back more than $3-400 and leave the bike suspension unchanged.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Oh, so not only is it taller, but it's probably heavier, too.

    I've never paid too much attention to the GSA given the GS is too big for me.
  8. The 2015 R1200GSA can be optioned with low suspension from factory, but I think you miss out on a centre stand.

    This link is a good one for checking seat heights that matches BMW bikes.
  9. What did you decide to do? My husband's looking at moving up from a 650 to a 1200 but the height is something of an issue for him too. I have a 650 and we're looking at getting the lowering kit for it and also getting the seat done, unfortunately there's not enough padding in the sides of the seat to make that an option. I'm also vertically challenged at only 5' 1", so just getting more than the tips of my toes on the ground is a real priority!
  10. I bought a 2015 R1200GS a month ago, optioned with low seat. I am 165cm in height with a typical inseam (for my height). I've only been using the big bike on road. I'm comfortable with the bike during my commute to work and getting better with the twisty roads. I don't feel the weight when riding, in fact it's a very agile bike once I was able to get confidence in myself to handle it in slow riding.

    Took it to Tassie within one week of ownership. I had a pillion + full luggage, but I kept the pre-load set to one rider mode so that the suspension would compress, that way I could keep more of my foot on the ground when we stop. Here's a photo of me just after I finished one the best twisty roads in Tassie.

    If you're going to do more offroad riding, then consider the low suspension option, as well as the low seat.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. At 5'1" a lowering kit on the 650GS is a good option.

    For anyone going on to a 1200GS, I agree that anyone around 165cm in height can comfortably and easily get one flat foot on the ground on the ESA's single rider pre-load. Rider with luggage pre-load ESA should also be comfortably easy, but rider with pillion, you may have to shift your leg a little, but that depends on the total load the 1200GS is carrying.

    At 170cm, I ride and commute on a 1200GSA, and I can comfortably get one foot on the ground with the stock seat and with rider ESA pre-load, but my preference pre-load is rider with luggage, and with that, I do have to shift my arse a little. Although that has never been a problem in the last last 15 months with the GSA, and that is with almost daily commute through the CBD.

    With the GSA's crash bars (although I do recommend additional protection plate for the cylinder heads), I am fully prepared to drop the bike if necessary, and I have dropped in unintentionally a couple of times, and all low speed or near stationary on flat ground, dirt and on bitumen. No problems. With the standard GS, definitely get aftermarket engine bars fitted, then any topple over at the lights will not be an issue, other than some scratches on the protection bars. This is an ADV bike afterall, not a Toorak tractor.

    Hope this helps.
  12. Hello all,

    I am from Belo Horizonte, Brazil and just joined NetRider. I had the opportunity to vist Autralia a couple of times and find it georgous!

    Would anbody here know if confort is missing when selecting the low seat option for the BMW GS 1200 Adventure, or if they just tackle something in the internal seat mechanism? I am 1.72m height and fit well on both the Triumph Tiger 800 XRc and the Explorer 1200 using the stock seat in the lowest position i.e., can put both feet on the ground with only the heels a bit lifted.

    All the best,

  13. My current bike (F700GS) is the low suspension model.
    I have found the reduced cornering clearance is a problem when you push it a bit in the twisties. The RHS just scrapes, but the LHS actually digs in and causes the bike to skip out a bit. Very off-putting!
    In my opinion, you'd be much better off going with the low seat option.
    (Comfort with a low seat isn't a problem for me because, as a female, I have inbuilt seat padding ha ha)