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Ever Wonder What the Rider Modes Do on a GS?

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If you are like me, you have probably stuck with the tried and true Road mode for your riding. I almost forgot I had options for which I paid dearly when I purchased the bike.

One-day Phil Sulfstede mentioned that he liked Rain mode for riding with wet roads, during or after rain. After trying that it appeared to have a noticeable difference on diminishing the throttle sensitivity.

Ron Petruska casually mentioned that he discovered a whole new motorcycle “lying beneath the surface” just waiting to be released by the Dynamic mode. Sure enough, this mode seemed to ramp up the bike’s responsiveness as if being fed with “Mountain Dew.” A great mode for the spirited twisties ride.

Recently, I took my first Forest Service Road ride through some of the dirt/gravel roads in the Mark Twain Forest and there I selected Enduro mode. I was not exactly sure what it was doing but I did not drop the bike and went everywhere the more experienced riders on the AFRICA Twin and Suzuki DR 650 went. Then I remembered a little red plug that resides somewhere in the bottom of my tank bag but could not for the like of me recall what it did. So, I went in search of an explanation of what each mode refers to. Here is what I found:

The GS 5 riding Modes

The R 1200 GS/Adventure offers five riding modes.

  • Road*
  • Rain*
  • Dynamic
  • Enduro
  • Enduro Pro**

*Road and Rain come standard with the Adventure–. The other three, Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro-Pro, are optional.
**To ride in Enduro-Pro mode, a coding plug must be inserted into the wiring harness (located under the rider seat, next to the DME).
In essence, each mode varies settings for the ride-by-wire throttle response, ABS and ASC intervention, as well as how the Dynamic ESA varies compression and rebound damping during riding.

Brief Description of Modes

Road Mode
In Road Mode, the ASC provides optimal traction on dry asphalt.
The ABS is tuned for on-road use.

Rain Mode
Rain mode gives the rider soft and smooth engine response when riding on roads with difficult grip conditions, but lets the rider make use of the full torque and power.
The ASC is tuned for early intervention to provide maximum safety when accelerating.  ABS is geared for on-road use. If the bike is equipped with the optional Dynamic ESA, damping of the front and rear suspension struts is set to soft.

View of Rain Mode Selection on Instrument Cluster

Dynamic Mode
Dynamic Mode, ASC characteristics are sharper for this specific profile. It allows experienced riders to make minor drifts.
The ABS is turned on for on- road use, and is combined with a more dynamic and direct engine throttle response. If the Dynamic ESA is part of the motorcycle, the damping will be more taut.

View of Instrument Cluster showing Dynamic is Active


Enduro Mode

Enduro mode was designed for off-road riding only! In the Enduro mode, the ASC will allow for increased slip at the rear wheel to make minor off-road drifts possible. The ABS tuning is geared here for riding on loose surfaces such as gravel roads using on- road tires and accordingly higher levels of slip. The optional Dynamic ESA is tuned for high traction.

Enduro-Pro Mode
NOTE: Enduro-Pro Mode was designed for off-road riding only. ABS and ASC may be manually deactivated by the rider in any of the modes. If the coding plug is in place, both systems will remain deactivated even after the ignition has been switched off. For ambitious Enduro riders, the Enduro-Pro mode is offered in conjunction with an additional coding plug. This mode offers both a spontaneous engine response and is at the same time tuned to cater to the use of knobbies. The ABS function for the rear wheel is deactivated in this mode whenever the rider steps on the foot brake lever. Dynamic ESA is tuned for maximum traction. ASC is geared for professional Enduro operation and allows for a distinctly higher slip.

Enduro Pro Active with Plug Installed – Off Road Only!

I hope this brief overview of the various riding modes gets some of you who always leave it in Road mode to take the opportunity to try each of the various modes when the circumstances are right.