This story begins in July of 2016 when I read this story about the 2017 BMW Refreshes to their popular R1200 GS line. In summary:
All liquid-cooled boxer models will undergo a technical adjustment process to ensure conformity with the new emission regulations, and BMW has also redesigned the gearbox’s output shaft, selector drum actuator, transmission shafts and bearings. For all boxer models there’s also the option to add the Dynamic Brake Light to the list of equipment.
Continuing a trend that started several years ago, 2017 will also see a new Triple Black special version of the R 1200 GS Adventure. Differing only in looks, it features a combination of black components (engine, gearbox, swingarm, fuel tank cover and side panels, front mudguard, wheel rims) with dark grey frame tubes to create the dark look that has proven to be very popular.
The liquid cooled GS introduced in 2013 is a brand new system compared to my 2009 GS which cools itself with the ambient air passing over the cylinder heads and through the front-mounted radiator. When you sit still, the engine heats up and well…it overheats. This is the key difference between bikes made after 2013 and before. With a new bike, you have 2 fans that pull air through dual radiators containing coolant aka “liquid cooled” engines. The benefit aside from a bike that doesn’t overheat in traffic is that BMW was finally able to add power beyond the 99 horsepower on my old bike to a bump of 125 horsepower.
Other changes have been made to the “LC” GS such as a 2-piece frame making more serious maintenance cheaper, more composite materials up top that make the bike’s center of gravity lower and easier to flick around and a host of other major changes I’ll layout. Note, I’m including changes that the LC GS introduced along with things included as of the 2017 model year specifically with an asterisk
- Liquid cooled Engine allowing for more top end horsepower at a lower RPM than oil cooled
- LED Headlights
- Lighter top-end weight using more hardened plastics over steel
- Wider wheels & tires
- Fully adjustable suspension with riding modes that impact both suspension and throttle response via a ride-by-wire throttle
- *Self-leveling suspension that detects rider, passenger and luggage weight to auto dampen
- More intelligent ABS
- *Cornering ABS (a Bosch product) that allows you to brake in a turn without low-siding
- More intelligent traction control that has a rain-mode for reduced throttle response and aggressive wheel slip detection using internal gyroscopes
- Adjustable Windscreen
- Larger Guages
- Larger on-board computer screen offering more data than the ’09 and much clearer gear indication
- GPS integration with BMW’s Navigator IV, V and VI with the built in “wonder wheel” allowing you to monitor tire pressure and 50 other motorcycle stats in real time along with making changes to navigation all without having to take your hands off the handlebar
- Wet clutch (the ’09 was a dry clutch and aside from being a dozen hours of work to replace, it was not as forgiving as the easier to work on wet clutch we have now)
- *Lighter clutch and other transmission features which reduce clunk and smoothen shifting
- *Dynamic brake light which registers braking pressure and will flash the brake lights & indicators under hard braking to let people know behind you that you’re stopping much faster than normal
- “Shift Assist Pro” which is a clutch-less shifting system allowing you to shift from 1st to 6th and 6th to 1st without engaging the clutch. The rider shifts and holds the shift until the bike responds (usually under a second) and the bike will release the clutch and shift without any driver intervention. You still need to modulate the clutch when coming to a stop and starting from a stop
- Redesigned seats allowing the 2nd rider to sit up higher and more comfortable than the stock ’09 seats
- 50 mile longer fuel range
- Higher fuel economy but requires 91 octane over 87
- No fuel strip and support for ethanol fuels without issue
- Cruise Control
- Integrated LED Auxiliary lights from the factory with a special button built into the controls
- 12v power socket under the onboard computer to integrate powered accessories easier without having to run a fuse-block to the battery
- Relocated battery in a more user accessible area
- Tool case included with the bike now sits connected to passenger seat versus loose under the main rider seat
- Swing arm relocated to right side of bike
- Keyless Ride allowing the rider to keep their keys in a pocket and open the fuel tank or start the bike
- Ride modes for rain, dirt and road
- Better mount points for racks, crash bars, engine guard, headlight protectors and other accessories. The amount of liquid cooled accessories is much higher than the oil cooled models
- Easier maintenance accessibility. You can access the air filter, coolant, fuses and battery without any fuss or fanfare.Oil still requires you removing the engine guard to access drain plug and oil filter
- adjustable wind-screen
- Higher allowable weight for rider & luggage
This entire list was entirely from memory. There are most definitely things I missed out on but what you have with the 2017 Liquid Cooled R1200 GS Adventure Premium + Touring Package with Shift Assist Pro + Keyless ride (yes that’s the build sheet I received from the dealer) is a bike that is in every way a vast improvement over my 2009 GSA. Every aspect of the bike even down to how the turn signals are entirely activated by the left hand without needing to remove my palm from the throttle on the right side to activate a right turn signal paddle. It’s not a huge issue but each time, my carpal tunnel shoots pain down my wrist that I have to turn right and unlike most BMW owners, I still use my turn signals.
Believe it or not, I actually road one of these last year while my bike was getting maintenance. Fun video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6DBuwd-TUY
Now that we covered the key aspects of ’09 to ’17 in the GSA Lineup, last year before my road trip south, I emailed my local BMW Dealership indicating I was heading down to Florida and maybe they’d be interested in doing a trade for a 2016 before my trip now that 2017s were on-site. They weren’t really willing to offer any incentives and took 4 days to get back to me so I was in Florida already when I heard from them.
In May in Jacksonville, FL I tried again to trade my bike before heading back north. The 2016 Demos were gone and 2017s were selling at MSRP so again, i drove my bike home and road it all summer.
Last week, I decided to list my 2009 GSA online. If it sold for my asking price, I’d buy a new bike if a dealer was willing to give me a good price and if not, I’d wait until Spring of 2018 to buy a new bike and hunt for a great deal.
The stars basically all aligned at once.
A few days after posting my bike online, I received an offer for $10,000 for my motorcycle. I bought it 17 months prior for the same price. I met the gentleman in Portland Maine ( a 3 hour drive for me) and handed him the title and we went our separate ways. The only wrench was that I planned on selling the GS luggage (a $1500 value) separately but included them when he asked about it. I wasn’t having any luck selling them individually and they did come on the bike so it’s only fair I include them.
At the same time, I had been speaking to a guy in Pennsylvania with a GS Adventure for $22,000. It was a 2017 with 1200 miles and the $1300 side-cases with every single option added including the $950 GPS unit that integrates with the Wonder Wheel. There were a few issues working against me here.
- The cost of flying down and riding back
- Getting a loan & bank check sight-unseen of the bike and going down at my own expense and hoping there’s no huge issues
- A used bike meaning a 1.5% increase in interest of financing it
- Unknowns around how the bike was treated and handled but usually dropped bikes show scars pretty easily and I was assured it was never taken off road
I was also talking to a dealership in St. Louis. They had a red 2016 GSA, also maxed out with additional front lighting, light guards, uprated engine guards and crash bars along with $800 soft luggage at the cost of $21,000. These bikes were demo models with 200-500 miles, never titled so I’d benefit from the 1.5% interest savings but the 17 hour ride back from St. Louis is a harrowing one. Other than that, these bikes were well equipped but lacked 2017’s improvements to the transmission and other engine internals, were not the color I wanted and lacked everything I put in asterisk above.
It was after a week of back & forth with the PA & MO sellers that I heard back from the guys at my local BMW dealer. They knew I was asking about demo bikes but they wanted $23,115 for a 2017 demo that was loaded but had no extras and clearly the 21 and 22K bikes a bit further away were a better deal.
After a few back and forth emails, I shared with them the VINs and full info of the bikes I wanted to buy. They came back with this:
- 2017 GS Adventure ($18,895)
- Triple Black Paint Scheme ($400)
- Demo Model with 407 miles ($1410 Discount)
- Premium Package ($3,350)
- Gear Shift Assist Pro ($475)
- Keyless Ride ($295)
- Chrome Exhaust ($150)
- BMW Navigator VI (Free Extra – A $950 Add-on)
- Touring Package
- Dynamic Brake Light
- MSRP: $25,010
- discount of $1410
- Discount of $1400 (Employer + BMW Loyalty Discount)
- Final Cost, $21,250
Before my discounts, they took $2360 off for being a demo and I had another $1400 in individual rebates.
I asked them to throw in the 600 mile maintenance (a $150 dollar value) for free since just getting it home and back I’d be at 600 miles and they agreed.
I won’t bore you with the financing details but in short, I’m paying the $399 for GAP insurance up front and not financing that portion, I put money down and lowered my interest rate from my last bike by 3% given changes to my credit history and relationship with the bank. My payment of the new bike is within $30 of my old bike. Insurance went up $200 annually from $370 to $570 and registration will increase from $105 to $225 to New Hampshire. I don’t pay sales tax in this state.
Once I have some time on the bike, I’ll share more information here but I am very excited to have this in the virtual garage and have already ordered luggage boxes, a tank bag and some guards to keep it safe. A day after picking it up, it’s already going out on the trail with me for my birthday ride on muddy dirt trails that traverse the length of new hampshire north to south.
Thanks for reading!