BMW R1200GS vs R1100GS comparison

R1200GS vs R1100GS Comparison

The following is a subjective comparison of the two BMW models by Hari Ahluwalia. In 2004, Hari bought a R1200GS and traded in his faithful R1100GS (purchased new in 1997). During those 7 years he used his R1100GS for touring and trackdays on tarmac (no offroad) and covered 90,000 trouble-free kilometers. It was dealer serviced as per manufacturer's recommendations throughout but no major components ever needed replacing. Indeed, when traded it still had its original clutch and brake discs! So far his R1200GS has covered 20,000 kilometers without incident including track days at Magny Cours, Hockenheim and the old Nurburgring, Nordschleife.

  gs12_red_black_left.gif gs11_green0.gif




  • more powerful (18bhp, 22%)¹
  • lighter (wet: 18kg, 7.5%)¹
  • improved power:weight ratio (wet: 32%)¹
  • more torque (13ft/lb, 18%)¹
  • better brakes with improved feel
  • much easier to change gear
  • easier to clean wheels
  • sounds better, deeper and throatier
  • better headlight
  • additional instrumentation:
    second trip meter and
    fuel count-down display
  • more chuckable
  • more fun!
  • cheaper
  • thicker more comfortable handgrips
  • easier to read RID
  • easier to put on mainstand
  • more stable feel to handling
  • more engine braking
  • better looks (subjective I know)


  • very noisy screen
  • six speeds and no overdrive
  • no clock unless ignition on
  • very noisy screen
  • design 10 years older
  • stock seat painfully uncomfortable

Wet weight (kg) 237 257
0-100 km/h 3.5s 3.9s
50-120 km/h in top gear 7.1s 8.0s
Top speed (km/h) 218 199
Fuel capacity: main/reserve/total (l) 16/4/20 17.5/4.5/22
Consumption - general (l/100km) 5.7 6.0
Consumption - Autobahn @ 130km/h (l/100km) 5.2 6.6
Range, main/reserve (km) - general 260/90 330/85
Range, main/reserve (km) - Autobahn @ 130km/h 340/110 300/80

¹Calculated based on manufacturer's official figures.
²Performance figures from German motorcycle magazine, Touren-fahrer; R1200GS 6/2004, R1100GS 9/1999.


Both are tough, reliable allrounders. The R1100GS is easiest to ride with fewer gears, more engine braking and a more stable feel to its handling. The R1200GS is lighter, faster and more modern. Riding either is liable to put a big grin on your face!

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Updated 1 January 2006