I would also mention that riding a big GS off-road on the ORV trails in Michigan is not necessarily an easy task. It’s tough on you and your bike (if you’re trying to keep the bike in showroom condition). Not many people take new $27K bikes and subject them to that treatment. (Some do, though…)
We have a LOT of sand. It’s very difficult to ride through on a big bike and takes a while to learn. It requires a lot of practice and training until it’s manageable. Many people say that if you can ride in Michigan you can ride anywhere. We have very few ORV trails that are hard-packed and easy to navigate for any length.
Taking a training class (RawHyde, BMW Center in Barrie, ON Canada, or BMW in South Carolina) is a great first step. Then going regularly to easy short trails to practice is the next step to reinforce what you’re learning (Maumee, Gladwin, St. Helen, etc.). You’ll be very strong by the time you start going on longer excursions in Michigan because you’ll have picked your bike up from tip-overs many, many, many times.
Once you go through all that, it starts to click into place and becomes huge fun. Admittedly, there is a lot of not-always-fun learning that leads up to that.
I’m still learning. There were a lot of times in the beginning where I thought the off-road stuff sucked because it was so hard. But I kept at it. I still get a strong feeling of uneasy-ness the first time in the season I hit the sand. But it keeps getting easier and more fun every time I ride. It’s a true challenge and very rewarding when it starts to come together.
We still do a lot of ADV-type rides on dirt roads which is much easier and a good starting point to begin learning how your bike moves around when not on a paved road. It’s all a progression, and along the way you’ll learn what you think is the most fun.
These bikes are amazing and can do practically anything you ask of them. You’ll have a great time with it.