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Ze Panzer

(by Guy ‘Guido’ Allen, Sept 2021)


Here's the latest addition to our modest list of liabilites, a 2001 BMW R1150GS – promptly christened 'ze Panzer' by former Motorcyle Trader mag Editor Chris Harris. It's a tag that's both cruel but fair, given the machine's complete lack of anything that could be mistaken for subtlety.

The model of course was made famous by the Ewen McGregor and Charley Borman TV series Long Way Round.

This was the second-generation 'oilhead' with the Telelever front end, produced from 1999. It claimed a heady 85 horses (63kW) and ran a six-speed transmission. ABS was optional, and is on this example. Weight? A claimed 229kg dry, so more like 250-260 ready for the road. Fuel capacity is 22lt (30 for Adventure variant).

As Harris has pointed out, the danger with owning a GS series is it tends to make the rest of your motorcycles redundant, simply because it will turn its proverbial hand to most things and do them pretty well.

The attraction here was price. Values are around Au$5500 (US$4000, GB£3000) for a good example and up around Au$7500 (US$5500, GB4,000) for an exceptional one – a lot of bike for the money. Owners of the Adventure variants are asking a considerable premium, often as much as 50 per cent.

Of course this was bought via the internet, so we'll let you know how it goes once we've got our scone-grabbers on the thing.

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