Doing The Wheelie On A BMW R1200GS - Over And Out!

A Wheelie Tall Tale

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Carlos Ballester

What do you say when a wheelie for the camera goes magnificently wrong and a BMW R1200GS Adventure tries to thumb you into the ground like a golf tee? We have no idea, but here's what Euro Webmeister Tor Sagen came up with while assessing the $17,000 debris field. "If you're going to screw up," he said, "screw up in front of a camera. Now let me try to remember what I told the insurers." Wait, it gets better...

"Standing up at 50 mph over a crest," Sagen says," I was caught out by the same bump I've hit a million times." Are you buying this? We didn't think so. "Heavy side-wind, full-throttle and whoosh, I'm off balance quicker than my A-Star Tech 10s can stomp the ground. Right hand cues full-throttle. Everything happens in slooow motion, then quicker than Gordon Ramsay can say the F-word. The beast hit the ground, seemingly gained momentum and exploded through a stone wall.

"Thankfully, the photographer was still alive, but the GS was dead: broken Paralever. Apart from that, the bike would have been rideable. Later, the police photographer called asking if I'd like some photos for my Web site. 'No thanks,' I said, 'we've got our own.'" Is there a moral to this story? No, Sagen says, just this: "You won't get far with a broken driveshaft, and all farmers should be paramedics." MC

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