If the prospective adventure tourist's first question is which bike do I buy, question number two usually comes down to which BMW GS. If you're asking me, the next question is standard 1200GS or Adventure? Judged strictly by the numbers or a quick visual once over, the more heavily armored Adventure looks an obvious choice for any serious adventurer.More fuel, more suspension travel, more wind protection, a more intimidating arsenal of protective accoutrements and a two-tone seat. Everybody wants to ride something that looks like it could bunny-hop a Chevy Tahoe. Bigger is better. The 1200 Adventure a slam-dunk, right?
That's what I thought before the 2010 1200GS coming out party and Donner Party reenactment in Yosemite last month. Climbing from the standard model to its superficially superior brother after lunch, I was about to learn otherwise. The Adventure is 44 pounds heavier before you top off its 8.7-gallon tank. Those 3.4 extra gallons bump the total difference to about 64 lbs. Just to keep things…interesting, longer suspension travel lifts the seat another inch and a half above whatever surface you're dealing with. And when you're fighting off a post-lunch food coma through rock-infested ruts followed by a bona fide blizzard, the big boy isn't worth the extra $2550 you pay for a fully optioned example.