BMW R 1250 GS Journey: 363,000 km with out issues

BMW R 1250 GS Adventure endurance runner
363,000 km in three years without any problems

For Eric Zimmerman, aka “Bonsai,” the term frequent driver is by no means enough. In April 2022, in the three years to date, he has driven 363,483 kilometers in his BMW R 1250 GS Adventure. Statistically, this makes 330 kilometers per day. Every summer and winter, whether in January or July. It travels approximately 10,000 kilometers per month. Bonsai lives near Freiburg im Breisgau. He still works two and a half days a week. After all, he has to earn money to pay for an average service and a set of tires every month. He spends the rest of the week on his BMW.

Its tire wear on the GS alone adds up to 33 tires front and 38 rear tires in three. This item alone costs more than 10,000 euros. As Bonsai jokes: “Tires and gas are killing me.” Although his fat cow is always content with less than five liters per 100 kilometers and even 4.5 liters are common. However, with a calculation of 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers, this yields about 17,500 liters of gasoline. At current fuel prices, it makes more total than the new R 1250 GS Adventure. Assuming an average of €1.50 per liter, this results in €26,250 for gasoline alone.

Inspection once a month

Residents of Baden practically do not drive on the motorway and rarely walk on federal highways. It’s too big and too plump for him. Instead, he knows practically every dirt road that can be legally driven in the Black Forest. Bonsai: “I’m not addicted to high speed, I prefer small, winding streets.” And what problems can a GS whisperer tell us about his BMW? “None of them! Moby works like clockwork.” He never refilled oil between inspections – “not a single drop”. And this is despite the fact that at the beginning of 2021 it unilaterally extended the service intervals from 10,000 to 15,000 km.

No avalanche more than 360,000 km

Even the valve clearance was completely correct so far in each of the dozens of checks: “It was never necessary to correct the valve clearance, it’s incredible.” Another person said that the heads in the ShiftCam boxer were complicated. The cardan shaft only had to be replaced twice at a distance, as Bonsai mentions in passing. A replaced tank cap, a defective battery and a replaced exhaust cap are counted as wear over this distance. By the way, MOTORRAD tests the durability of the most popular motorcycle in Germany itself – our endurance test example of a base GS currently runs a good 80,000 km. 1250 will be dismantled and measured this year. And what does the crazy frequent driver say about his outstanding driving performance? Very modest: “I would like to express once again that it is not about me, but only about the performance of the motorcycle!” He also explains what he means by that – “I find it simply impressive and fascinating how easy it is to make such a complex little machine.”


363,000 kilometers from a motorcycle in three years and only to a workshop to check and change tires. Respected GS and Erich “Bonsai” Zimmermann. In all, Bonsai has already rid itself of more than two million kilometers on various BMW GS cars. His first R1250 GS Adventure was stolen in London in March 2019. Dear Bonsai, The editors greet you warmly and wish you a safe journey at all times.

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