Exemplifying the very essence of a two-wheel Swiss army knife.

2002 BMW R1150GS studio side view

YEARS SOLD: 2000–2004

MSRP NEW: $14,190 ('00) to $14,500 ('04)

BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $4,885 ('00) to $6,500 ('04)

BASIC SPECS: The R1150GS is powered by an 1,130cc air-/oil-cooled, four-stroke opposed twin featuring four valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection, and shaft drive. The 1150 introduced a six-speed gearbox, while later models came equipped with dual spark plug heads and servo-assisted combined ABS brakes. The GS weighs 582 pounds with its 5.5-gallon fuel tank topped up and produced 74 hp and 68 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheel on the Cycle World dyno. The Showa suspension offers 7.9 inches of rough road-smoothing travel, while the adjustable saddle height (33.1 to 33.8 inches) accommodates a range of riders.

WHY IT'S DESIRABLE: Few bikes have proven to be as versatile as the GS Beemer family, with the 1150 exemplifying the very essence of a two-wheel Swiss army knife. It's a road-hardened touring mount and heavyweight dual-sport all wrapped in one. "I went places and saw things on the GS that I never would have on another bike," Mark Hoyer remarked back in the days before he was editor-in-chief. "It truly makes molehills out of mountains." All that, plus the reputation of durability and reliability rivaling that of an anvil easily warrant the price of purchase.

THE COMPETITION: Long-travel twins gained prominence in the early 2000s with the introduction of the KTM 950 Adventure and 1,000cc Ducati Multistrada. Undoubtedly, this trend was helped along by the BMW R1150GS, which was honored as the Best Sport-Touring Bike of 2000 by Cycle World in our Ten Best issue.