Riding around the outback on a BMW R1150GS Adventure

Submitted: Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 22:20
ThreadID: 92574 Views:3596 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
Interested in hearing from anyone that has done the outback on one of these bikes (ie Long Way Round type of bike) or similar bike.

What modification would you make to it if doing it again? Any bike trouble? Spare parts to take? Service quality from dealers? Was water an issue? Tyres and what type did you use? Tyre pressure that you ran? Time of the year that you went? Direction (clockwise / anti clockwise)?
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 22:31

Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 22:31
Have you triedthe HUBB ?

AnswerID: 480583

Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 22:54

Friday, Mar 16, 2012 at 22:54
thanks Dicky Beach. Had a look great website
FollowupID: 756026

Reply By: workhorse - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 08:00

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 08:00
Hi Carl.
I rode around Aus in 1987 on a precursor to the 1150. Mine was (and still is) a 1986 BMW R80GS, the Paris Dakar. 33 litre tank, single seat, touring rack and panniers with tank bag.
I left in March and heading through the centre it was so hot I would stop at every town, roughly 150-200km. Soak my head, fill my riding boots with water plunge my feet in and ride off. Bloody hot.
If you've been riding for some time questions like tyre pressures you will decide to change up/down as required. Fuel, no problem even in my days. Spares, as you would for a big adventure.
Would it be fair to say you haven't done much long distance touring? Now there is so much traffic all over Aus, the biggest challenge will be finding quiet parts of the outback.
Service the bike, become familiar with it's mechanicals, wear good gear and head off, you will love it.
Hope I've helped.
AnswerID: 480596

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 16:19

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 16:19

Just wanted to confirm what Workhorse said about the heat. Sometimes, even in March, temps can be over 45 deg, and locked under a helmet can be very uncomfortable.

We were mustering one day, on bikes, in late March, and was really feeling the heat, in days before Camel Packs. By the time we got to the trough, I was buggered, and spent so much time with my head in the trough, that I nearly drowned!!! LOL. Found out later it was 47 degs.

I see a few blokes on bikes heading across the Barkly Highway, some in pairs, while others are loners. Just watch for the blast of air as you pass roadtrains, it can be really severe at times. And don't do any night riding, but you probably know that....

Enjoy your trip,


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 756077

Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 13:16

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 13:16
If you are going to use a BMW`make sure you don't buy it and then go.
Many BMW bikes seem to have problems with switch gear and batteries and electrical. R1150 have poor switch gear not made by BMW.
Use the bike for a while before you go.

I recently met 3 BMW parallel twin 800cc riders at Oddnadatta. One of them was cursing about his bike, because in less than 2000km from new the battery failed and he had to use a small car battery, purchased outback, strapped to the luggage rack for it to operate.
I owned a R100gs and in 30.000km it is incredible the things which went wrong with it. Mostly electrical component failures I haven't seen happen to other bikes. The bike itself might be good but is let down by the component suppliers of the gear to the BMW company. I found it to be very inferior compared to Japanese based componentry.

I have owned 14 different bikes and mechanics is my base trade along with a depth of understanding in electrical. If I didn't know how to repair my BMW I wouldn't have been able to afford to keep it for a few years. I only owned one BMW and others have been Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki. No trouble at all with the latter makes and for more economical on fuel too. BMW has a big tank cos it guzzles fuel.
My current Vtwin1000cc Suzuki is 30% better fuel economy than the 1000cc BMW doing the same work.

I know of people with some of the modern BMW's and they have had their money refunded after a 12 month period, the bike spent more time in a BMW dealer workshop than in their own garage or on the road.

Do your home work on the bike you choose. BMW doesn't necessarily mean reliability. If you are an average bloke who can't repair most things then make sure you can afford the service costs and component replacement costs that might be expected. Look deeply into the expected costs plus the running costs.

A BMW dealer won't come to you in the outback , you have to transport your bike to them.
This combined with the repair and service fees will determine if the BMW is for you.
Not being negative, just realistic. Some people have good runs out of their BM's
AnswerID: 480630

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 15:54

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 at 15:54
"A BMW dealer won't come to you in the outback , you have to transport your bike to them. "

A little bit off-topic but don't forget if your bike is under warranty and you're using it for a valid activity (flogging it along kms of corrugated roads may not fit the manufacturer's intended use) the seller/manufacturer will have to pay for repairs, transport and possibly compensation. The rules are slightly different depending on whether the bike was purchased before or after 1/1/2011.

New consumer laws
FollowupID: 756151

Reply By: Member - Carl- Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 23:14

Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 at 23:14
Thanks again for the comments. My knowledge of bikes is nowhere near as good as vehicles so I appreciate everyone's expereince.

The ability to get something repaired in the outback is underestimated by people. You see people using European 4WD's in the outback instead of Toyota and I do not understand this.
AnswerID: 480678

Sponsored Links