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BMW R 1150 GS Adventure 2004



  • BMW


  • R 1150 GS Adventure


  • 2004


85.00 HP (62.0 kW)) @ 6750 RPM

Top speed: 

200.0 km/h (124.3 mph)

Frame type: 

Three-section composite frame consisting of front and rear section, load bearing engine.

Cooling system: 

Oil & air



Engine type: 

Two cylinder boxer, four-stroke

Front brakes: 

Double disc

Rear brakes: 

Double disc

Dry weight: 

232.0 kg (511.5 pounds)

Power/weight ratio: 

0.3664 HP/kg

Overall height: 

1,435 mm (56.5 inches)

Overall length: 

2,180 mm (85.8 inches)

Overall width: 

980 mm (38.6 inches)


1130.00 ccm (68.95 cubic inches)


98.00 Nm (10.0 kgf-m or 72.3 ft.lbs) @ 5250 RPM

Bore x stroke: 

101.0 x 70.5 mm (4.0 x 2.8 inches)

Valves per cylinder: 


Fuel system: 




Fuel consumption: 

4.30 litres/100 km (23.3 km/l or 54.70 mpg)

Greenhouse gases: 

99.8 CO2 g/km. (CO2 - Carbon dioxide emission)

Front suspension: 

BMW Motorrad Telelever;stanchion diameter 35 mm, central strut, spring pre-load 5-times mechanically adjustable

Rear suspension: 

Die-cast aluminium single-sided swinging arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load adjustable to continuously variable levels by means of hydraulic handwheel, rebound damping adjustable

Front tyre dimensions: 


Rear tyre dimensions: 


Front brakes diameter: 

320 mm (12.6 inches)

Rear brakes diameter: 

276 mm (10.9 inches)


1,501 mm (59.1 inches)

Fuel capacity: 

22.10 litres (5.84 gallons)

Reserve fuel capacity: 

4.00 litres (1.06 gallons)

Seat height: 

860 mm (33.9 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.

Alternate seat height: 

900 mm (35.4 inches) If adjustable, highest setting.



Weight including oil, gas, etc: 

253.0 kg (557.8 pounds)

Front suspension travel: 

210 mm (8.3 inches)

Rear suspension travel: 

220 mm (8.7 inches)
After failing to pick up all 229kg of the bike from the sand on my own, with the tide lapping at my ankles, I started to curse Ewan and Charley for drawing me into their epic adventures. God damn them all the way to Munchen! What made it worse was that to help my bike to safety I had to get the assistance of an old lady walking her dog. My travelling companion sat perched with his working bike a few hundred metres away, soaking up the sweet rays of schadenfreude.
I’d bought the bike with virtually knowing nothing about ‘beamers’ other than the assurance nothing would go wrong, which was exactly the ride I needed when traversing from Melbourne to Perth to complete my ‘big lap’. I was only meant to keep it for 6 months. 4 years on it hasn’t missed a beat, and repeats the same trick unerringly. In short, it’s a beast of a machine that belies its 16 years, a wonderful juggernaut that handles incredibly lightly: it’s like a pirouetting hippo dancing the fandango.
The BMW R1150GS and R1150GS Adventure were built in Germany just before the clock ticked over to the 21st Century (1999-2005) – the GS standing for Gelände/Straße, which means offroad (open country)/street.

The R1150GS models are part of the BMW GS family of dual-sport adventure motorcycles that have been produced from 1981 to the present date. The bikes have a 1,130 cc horizontally opposed flat-twin engine and shaft drive, which to me means that the weight is kept down low, there is plenty of torque and I don’t have to oil the chain – all things a fair-weather motorcyclist enjoys.

The step up from the R1150GS is the Adventure, which weighs a good 10% lighter and also comes with a slightly larger tank at 30 litre compared to my good lady’s 22 litres. Still, the R1150GS will easily get 400km out on the open road and as mine has just clocked over 204,000 km, is a class act mechanically. The bike has built in ABS, which with age needs a constant reminder that it actually exists – like any muscle memory, it occasionally needs a work-out, which involves going over some dirt and pulling a few skids here and there to get its heels clicking into action.
To drive
To drive the BMW is surprisingly light: the weight is kept down low and the bike is extremely well balanced. The 6 speed gearbox clunks along smoothly, the last gear being reserved for overdrive which is reached, thankfully, often on the long Australian roads. Since it’s air and coil cooled twin cylinder, 40 degree days do mean you need to keep moving regularly – an easy feat if you’re somewhere less hotter than the sun. As a 5’8” dude I can almost get my heels on the ground on the lowest seat setting
In the Media
The R1150GS or Adventure is of course synonymous with Ewan and Charley on their Long Way Round, and the adventure was used on their Long Way Down. It’s also been used by endurance record holder Simon Newbound and, according to Wikipedia, used by Kevin Sanders on his record breaking traversal of the Pan-American Highway.

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