I’m loving my GSA. Literally every aspect of it, comfort, power, handling, durability you name it the GSA has it in spades. When asked what one thing I hated about my GS I concluded that the only thing missing was an interior light. But it turns out you can get that too!
My favourite part of the GS experience though surprisingly is the BMW coined “Gear Shift Assistant Pro Quick Shift” (GSAPQS). BMW’s quick shifter come throttle blipper eliminates use of a clutch when shifting up or down in any gear. This one small feature makes the riding experience so much more enjoyable. In regards to the tech BMW nailed it & I’m sure in 5-10 years auto shifters like this will be the norm across all the manufacturers.
With all this praise I have for my GSAPQS You can imagine my disappointment when my shifter faulted at the 18,500km mark.It just got a little hard to shift up one day, then down the next, then nothing. back to the dark ages, shifting using my hands and toes (oh the manatee).
Thankfully I had the 20,000km service booked in, so I told the service guys about the issue when I dropped my bike off. Unfortunately they they ran out of time to investigate it along with completing my 20K service that day, and the next available slot was almost 3 weeks away.
This comedy of errors was made worse (for me anyway) by the fact that Dan’s new triple black and subsequently our express alpine junta meant I had to shift gears the “old fashioned way” for nearly 4000km.
I really missed my quick shifter during that time. Mostly when I was chasing Dan around the high country. Swapping cogs the slow way felt slow and laborious.
Downshifting with the clutch forced me to brake more adding to my slowness. I tried some clutchless shifting however on the GS it’s doable in the middle gears (2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th etc), but you still have to manually cut the throttle and that means you slow down.
I don’t aim to preach that clutches are a thing of the past because I still love swapping cogs on cars and bikes. The lack of the GSAPQS on my GSA however made obvious to me that the drivetrain at times can feel quite clunky. Perhaps It’s the combination of a heavier flywheel that allows a bit of clutch shift and a drivetrain that lacks the slackness of a chain or belt to absorb force?
It wasn’t just spirited riding where I experienced this oppression of using my hand and clutch, I also noted when carrying pillions (as I do most days now) that my gear changes shifted the weight of the bike, and in turn the rider and pillion, as I engaged the clutch.
My quickshifter is back in business now, replaced under warranty and I couldn’t be happier. Maybe it’s the fact that I went without it for 4000km, but it feels smoother and slicker than ever.
Heres hoping the technology gets better and better and we see these on more bikes in the future. I’m looking at you Harley Davidson.
Now Dan, when’s that re-run?