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2022 BMW R1250GS – A PILLION’S REVIEW

Happy wife, happy life...

It’s no secret the BMW R1250GS is one of the best bikes on the planet. BMW has been refining the GS for 40 years, and it’s reached a point where each time I ride one, I walk away muttering to myself: “If that’s not the best bike on earth…”

 

But none of that matters to my beloved wife, Lynette.

 

Her only concern is what the pillion is going through. And after many decades of being my pillion, she’s been through everything from stark terror to nodding off and belting me in the back of the head with her helmet.

So this is not my review of the GS. It’s hers. Mine will come later.

 

The Triple Black iteration of the 2022 GS arrived on Wednesday. I was instructed she would be pleased to enjoy luncheon by the Nepean River in Penrith on Friday. I was to take her via the Putty Road. And I was not to dawdle like an old woman.

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, Lynette has no objectivity when it comes to bikes. She likes what she likes for her own reasons, and she’s not shy telling me about it.

 

And she loves the GS. She likes lots of other bikes, but she literally loves the GS.

 

“That seat is amazing,” she said, as I was filling the bike before hitting the Putty.

 

“What’s so amazing about it?”

 

“It’s…well, it’s perfect. Everything about it is right. It’s wide, it’s soft and firm at the same time…”

 

“It’s heated, too.”

 

“Oh wow. BMW, huh? But it’s also the suspension. No jarring, no smashing me in the spine…it just flows along…”

 

That, of course, is the GS’s special ability. It does indeed just flow. And it can flow very fast. The long-travel suspenders do an amazing job of both informing the rider what’s going on, and keeping him from being brutalised by a crap road surface.

 

And that, when combined with a neutral riding position, wide handlebars, crazy, sticky dual-purpose Metzelers, and that shift-cammed boxer engine, translates into what is a stupidly fast motorcycle, if that’s what you’ve got in mind.

 

Or, if you’re not inclined to upset the Highway Patrol, it will just lope along like a cardigan full of cardigans,

 

But hey…it was a weekday, Lynette likes going quick, and I like doing what Lynette likes most of the time…except shopping for shoes.

 

Now and again, I’d slow down and ask her how she was doing.

“Great!” she’d yell. “It’s amazing!”

 

“Yeah, but much of that is my skill, and…”

 

“Shut-up, fool.”

 

Once onto the long open straights past the Grey Gums – a place where the uneven road surface pastes most bikes and riders if you’re belting along, I set the cruise control at 110, and made aeroplane wings out of my arms.

 

“What are you doing, dickhead!?” she yelled, hitting me in the kidneys.

 

“I’m testing cruse control. You know I can fondle you a little if you like…”

 

“You touch my boobs and I’ll hit you in the neck so hard your teeth will bleed.”

 

A dozen or so bikes went by going the other way. Then a car went by and flashed me with his high-beams. I buttoned off to 100-flat, and sure enough, there was a speed-camera car parked ahead.

 

The bikes did not flash me or warn me. The car driver did.

 

“Did the bastard get you?” Lynette asked.

 

“No. I was doing the limit. Couldn’t you tell?”

 

“No. It all feels much the same to me.”

 

She had a point. A fresh 160 feels much like 120 on the GS. It just lopes along.

 

We stopped for lady-toilet stuff at Colo Heights, and a bloke on a Multistrada left at the same time we did. He passed me with purpose just the other side of the fire station where the police often hide, but I caught him as the road started to wind down into the Colo River valley. He was going much slower, presumably because the corners were scaring him, so I passed him because they weren’t scaring me. And it’s always the rider and never the bike, just so we’re clear on that point.

 

We got to Penrith about an hour later, enjoyed a nice lunch – it’s cool having a son who works in hospitality – and headed back the way we came.

 

Now this is a big day’s ride for Lynette – nigh on to 500km – given her various health issues. And it’s a great indication of just how good a pillion-carrier the GS is. She was completely unfazed by the distance. It was hot, the temperature nudging 38 in places, and when we stopped at Grey Gums on the way home, she necked half-a-litre of water while I poured three times that much over myself.

 

“You should pour some over yourself,” I said to her.

 

She gave me one of those looks. “You’re a hippo. I’m a lady.”

 

We hit the last half of the Putty at a decent clip. And just before the Ten Mile, I came across a cavalcade of terror. Four bikes and one of them three-wheeled things, all humming along some 20kay under the limit.

 

To my eternal shame, I came upon them some 50kay over the limit, so there was a sizeable speed differential.

 

“What are they doing?!” Lynette shouted in my ear as I geared down, and checked the road ahead.

 

“Interfering with my day, shaming their ancestors, and all sorts of wrong, and un-manly things.”

 

I passed them. I’m pretty sure it was a big surprise, because none of them even noticed I was there, because none of them bothered to look in their mirrors. I’m also pretty sure there was a lot of tutt-tutting when the GS disappeared into the glorious Ten Mile. Tutt-tutting takes up a lot of peoples’ time thesedays. Time that could be far better spent learning to ride a motorcycle at the speed limit.

 

We pulled into our garage about half-an-hour later. Both of us grinning and sweating. Nothing like a fast, hot run on great, largely empty roads.

 

Lynette had and has nothing but praise for the GS. She said she could do another few hours without an issue. And that’s the GS’s special magic, right there. It’s not as opulent a pillion-carrier as the big K1600GTL or the majestic R18 Transcontinental, but it’s every bit as comfy, according to my wife.

 

From a rider’s perspective, I’m to hell and gone faster on the GS than I am on the behemoth-class Bimmers, with or without a pillion.

 

That’s the kind of bike the GS is. It will do things few bikes can equal and go places few bikes can even attempt.

 

Interestingly, Lynette found it easy to get on and off the GS. I didn’t think she would, and she was skeptical, but it proved not to be an issue. She struggled more with the big-panniered V-Strom we had a while back.

 

So just like a horse. Foot on the peg, and up and over.

 

The smaller, more integral panniers played a big part here. I also did not once smash my shin into them getting off. I used to smash my shin into the old ones all the time.

 

I’m thinking my review, when I do it, will be rather positive. As far as Lynette is concerned, the GS is brilliant – and I have learned not to argue with my wife.

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Boris Mihailovic

Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.

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