Jump to content

Making My GS More Comfortable


Recommended Posts

I have about 6000 miles on an '08 R1200GS, which I got when I traded an R1100RT. I'm still having trouble getting comfortable on the GS for anything longer than a couple of hours, especially at highway speeds.


I bought a Bill Mayer seat, which delayed that burning, aching butt by about an hour -- from one hour to two.


I get a lot of fatigue in both shoulders (deltoids, mostly) and a little bit of neck pain. Before I spend the money, I thought I'd get on here and ask if that sounds like something that would improve with bar backs. I'm also considering a bigger screen to cut down on the buffeting, but that would also reduce the ventilation, which is one advantage of the GS over the RT.


So, is there more I could be doing to improve the comfort of this bike?

Link to comment

Quit hunching up your shoulders and loosen the death grip on the handlebars. Bet your hands get cramped up too. Once you get those things taken care of, your knees will start hurting.





Link to comment

HA! Funny but I had the SAME symptoms when I owned my 1997 R1100RT ... the cure was sell it and buy a GS! That fix worked fine for me. Honest .... for me anyway the R1100RT which was a great bike was just not a good fit. The GS fit like a glove. I did try a lot of seat, bar riser configurations with no luck.

Link to comment

The problem I have with my GS is also shoulder pain. I also figured out what the problem is and how to make it go away (at least for me). The natural position of my arms when on those wide bars was causing me to raise my shoulders a little. The problem is not so much with the shoulders, its actually with the elbows. The bars almost force your elbows way out and up. Fine for standing up riding offroad, but terrible for street riding. I didn't realize I was doing it until I spent a day in a Ridesmart class this spring. My instructer pointed it out and I tried to get me to make a consious effort to tuck my elbows in. I can't believe how much of a difference it has made. I still find myself with my elbows out from time to time, but when I start to feel the that shoulder soreness I know exactly what I'm doing wrong. I tuck my elbows in towards my sides more and it instantly relaxes my shoulders and the pain goes away.


Don't know how much that will help you, but it works for me. As far as the seat.......if you are only getting 2 hours out of a Bill Mayer seat, then you need to send it back for an adjustment. Something isn't right. I rode a stock GSA seat for a a few months and hated it. I bought a Mayer seat for cheap off of ADV, but it didn't work for me. It was a low seat (I don't need a low seat), but the price was just too good to pass up. A few months later I ended up trading that for a Rich Maund seat that was built for someone more my size/weight. That has allowed me to do handle 600+ miles in a day with no seat pain at all.

Link to comment

2 hours in saddle.


Whatcha wearing?



Toss 'em.


Try moving and stretching to help.

Wear proper fitting riding pants that allow airflow when hot.


The GS is the best all around mc IMO.

But, it is the one I have seen the most issues wrt getting airflow/saddle/bars "right" for some riders.

Sold a bunch of them, most no big problems.

But, for some, a never ending search for comfort.

Hope you get it worked out.

Link to comment

Two hours is wearing Joe Rocket riding pants. Maybe a little longer in the 'stich. In jeans, I'm only good for an hour or even less.


Interesting thought on the elbows, Keith. I've wondered if maybe the wider bars had something to do with it. I went to the BMW Off Road class shortly after I bought the bike. They're all about keeping elbows out for that off road stuff. I'll try tucking them in and see what that gets me.


And, yes, I probably do need to relax. I've tried to adapt the Master Yoda Riding Position to the more upright seating of the GS, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Link to comment
And, yes, I probably do need to relax. I've tried to adapt the Master Yoda Riding Position to the more upright seating of the GS, but I don't seem to be getting anywhere.


Its tough to figure out for me as well. I really have to pay attention to my body position and how I'm riding. The 1100RT felt so natural to me that I never had to think about it. The GS gives me fits and I still don't feel comfortable on it yet. I was used to riding on the balls of my feet with very little to no weight on the seat. That is much tougher on the GS because the pegs are lower and more forward instead of directly under you like on the RT. It also doesn't help that the previous owner installed lower offroading pegs and bar risers. I want to screw around with the adjustable settings, but haven't had the seat time to do it. The only thing that helped with the seating position for me was to set the front of the seat high and the rear of the seat low. This allows me to sit farther back while having more of a forward lean. This has given me the best shot and balancing my weight on the pegs and off of the seat. At first, it was killing my thighs, but my muscles are are adapting and its getting better.


I'm still no where as fluid as I was on my RT.

Link to comment

Well, I moved from a 09 R1200RT to a 12 R1200GS. Rode it

around for 1000 miles stock and noticed the same things

you are mentioning. So just to make sure I rode it to Helen GA and back. Once home the upgrades needed were clear.


Givi Airflow Windscreen

HP2 Enduro - by Motorrad Verholen bar risers

Go Cruise Throttle Control

Ultimate BeadRider Seat had this before the trip worked great.


I've ridden it around for a couple of hundred miles and the upgrades seem to

have done the tick. Will test it out long distance in June on my way to WV for the RCR.


Link to comment

I once went shopping for a new seat, and wound up buying one with a bike attached. That may happen again.


Assuming I don't trade the bike, a new shield makes a lot of sense. Resisting the buffetting makes it hard to have a relaxed neck.


Tell me about those bar risers. Did you have to change any cables?

Link to comment



I'm definitely not a good one for specific advice on which adjustments you should make simply because I found the move to my GSA has resulted (so far) in my feeling more comfortable than I was on my RT (in more ways than not).


Nothing whatsoever against Keith and Roger ... they've given great personal advice/experience ... but how would you know if their advice would be applicable to you? Just as a custom seat and custom shock builders want to know your dimensions and how you ride, the same qualifiers would probably better help you know whose advice is more applicable. I recommend you add more information to your post:


How tall are you?

Are you long-legged, long-torsoed, or one of those perfectly proportioned people?

Long armed or short armed?

Thick or thin?


Cheers and good luck with your fitment issues.

Link to comment

I did not have to move the cables.

I wanted risers that moved the bar back over an inch

and these do.

As to Craig's point, it's well taken, I'm 6,1 and 205 lbs

so my needs are probably different than yours.

Link to comment

These are the ones that are on my bike Rox Risers. Lots of adjustment


Currently they are tilted slightly forward, so the bars are actually the same reaching distance as stock, but they sit higher.

Link to comment

5' 10", 185#, 30-inch inseam, average length arms, generally poor posture and a bad attitude...... :grin:

Link to comment

OK, on the subject of risers, what kind of wrench do I need to remove those bolts with the star-shaped heads?


Or, does someone who has to ask that need to have the dealer do it?

Link to comment
OK, on the subject of risers, what kind of wrench do I need to remove those bolts with the star-shaped heads?


Or, does someone who has to ask that need to have the dealer do it?


I don't have that bike - I have your old one, but judging from your description and the pic here they might be external torx. Sears and Harbor Fright both carry sets of the "regular" sizes (though if you ever want a tiny one for a Volvo's ABS computer, you might have to hunt).


Someone else will shortly confirm or deny.

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

They are external torx, but when they were something new and torx was not universal, some people used Allen sockets and they worked.

Link to comment

My Bar backs arrived yesterday with no surprises. It took all of ten minutes to install them. That is, if you have the right size reverse torx sockets. There are two different sized bolts on the newer GS's. They look good & my hands fall naturally to the grips.


Time isn't on my side lately so I haven't had a chance for a real test ride.










Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...