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2014 BMW R1200GS Cast Wheels Can't Really Take Potholes

This piece may bring in some hatemail, but the things I plan to write about are real and I was present as the story unfolded. Last weekend I was taking part in a motorcycle rally close to the Danube delta, in Romania. I barely got there and shook one or two hands of both old and new friends, when a guy prompted me to make some room for a van.
2014 BMW R1200GS Cast Wheels Can't Really Take Potholes 4 photos
2014 BMW R1200GS Cast Wheels2014 BMW R1200GS Cast Wheels2014 BMW R1200GS Cast Wheels
Out of it jumped a chap with a very grim figure, and his face was an ever-changing mixture of frustration, exceptional rage and hard-to-describe disappointment, all spiced up with a dash of vengeful tones in his voice. He opened the back doors of the van and pulled out two wooden slabs, while several bikers helped him unload a bike.

It was his brand-new 2014 BMW R1200GS. And when I say brand-new I mean that the guy had received the plate and the “good to go” that very week. As he was riding to the Seawolves Tulcea MC rally, he ran into one of the many holes in the road, and only managed to remain upright by pure luck… or possibly thanks to the steering damper.

His front wheel was so messed up that I asked the fellow how fast he was riding and how come he remained rubber side down. He told me that he was doing around 70 km/h (43 mph) when he could not steer clear of all the potholes in front of him so he ended up hitting one. He also told me that he had ridden other motorcycles and been in more or less similar predicaments before, but no such thing happened. “And it’s not only the f-ing bent rim, man. Look at the stupid wheel: it’s all cracked! I’ve got a 20 cm (8 inches) crack in the wheel… what sort of an adventure bike is this,” he kept on saying.

I took a look at the bike and snapped two photos with my cell phone. The light was rather poor and they had to move the bike and the van so I didn’t have the best conditions. However, the crack can be effortlessly observed in one of the photos.

I won’t pass any judgement on BMW or its new GS, but I WILL say that a bike selling for around €15,000 ($20,300) and advertised with all the hype as being the ultimate adventure machine could be at least equipped with wire spoke wheels which can take on rougher roads. As for the roads, I drove to and from the rally on the same route, and save for few rather nasty holes, there was nothing an adventure bike could not deal with…

 
 
 
 
 

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