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Thread: the new bike

  1. #1
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    the new bike

    ladies and gentlemen:
    I'm contemplating the purchase of a used BMW to scratch an itch and fill an otherwise empty garage. In the past I owned a K100Rt and a K1100LT and enjoyed both. This time around I'm leaning towards an RT or a GT; test rides and budget to make the final determination. Before I take the plunge, I'm wondering what opinions are out there on buying one of the later model GS bikes (1100 and newer). Some facts: 5'10" with a 31" inseam (short), plan on light touring and perhaps some dirt road use, not planning a grand global excursion (at least not yet).
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User empeg9000's Avatar
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    If not planning any global excursions I would recommend the RT or GT. Both are awesome. If you want to go fast an have a nice relaxed leg position get the RT. If you want to really, really fast and have a slightly sportier leg position, get the GT. Both are awesome. I like the lighter weight of an RT and parking lot manners. I also like the sound of the twin but that's a personal thing I realize. I don't think you could go wrong either way.
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  3. #3
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    i heartily recommend the oilhead GS (except the ones with the whizzy brakes....)

    they are *great* highway bikes, superb on rough secondary roads, and don't even pause for a moment on 80% of the world's unpaved surfaces. (the other 20% include deep sand, mud and single-track w/big rocks... but with the correct tires and a skilled rider, even this is doable.)

    your inseam should cause you no problem *unless* you're uncomfortable if you can't flatfoot the bike.

    fwiw, i would not go the shorter shock route, it bascially defeats the purpose of the GS... if this is a desire, check out the R bikes instead.

    ian
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  4. #4
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    Really a question of how much if any dirt road you will do. Many who think dirt, don't- sort of like folks who buy 4WD SUV or truck for pavement.

    If really dirt other than the odd couple miles, the big GS of the ones you mention is the only way to fly BUT, the GS is a slower and less useful pavement machine. An RT's comfortable cruising speed is close to 10 mph more than most folks like to cruise on a GS based on what I see riding with other BMW owners. NOT because the GS can't go as fast- it can easily match the RT at any reasonable speed but the GS just "likes" a bit less.

    The GT is a very different bike than the twin. For one, its got a long wheebase and in recent years weighs a lot more than a twin. It is not a true sport bike and doesn't handle at all like a liter sportbike but it does have the power and top speed of one. So if triple digit pavement speeds are your lust, mixed with ability to pack a lot, the GT is the one.

    ME- I've got an RT because I see my bike primarily as daily transporation. I don't do much dirt and if I did I'd want something a lot more nimble than a 1200 GS and a lot cheaper. Bashing a bike that pricey in real off road stuff has always seemed a bit weird to me- sort of like buying the most expensive new Land Rover and seeing how much mud you can coat it in. There are more practical ways IMO like a KLR650 or one of the smaller BMW machines. For road use for me, the GT was overly complex and too ponderous. The RT already packs enough power for real world use for me (really- how often are you going to break 120 mph?) and is a lot lighter and more nimble. It is also very easy to maintain if you do your own work and is not water cooled so is more comfortable in really hot weather riding. Mines an 08 bought new and so far is 100% reliable.

    It's your fun choice and of course YMMV, etc etc etc Buying a new one is always a fun thought process.

  5. #5
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    If I were to have one motorcycle it'd be a GS. They handle like a sport bike, can be loaded like a tourer, and are very comfortable. (Well the stock seat may not be comfortable for many) Around here most of the paved roads have a "less than perfect surface" which the GS just gobbles up.

  6. #6
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    I traded my K-bike for a GS because I wanted to be able to confidently take the road less traveled when the urge hit me. Its not that I couldn't take the K down gravel roads, but it was top-heavy, and when/if I dropped it, there was a lot of plastic to screw up.

    Tom

  7. #7
    Jim Bud
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    They are all great bikes....but, if you like to do your own maintance, the GS is the best choice...basic stuff is very easy and you don't have to remove the tupperware every time something needs to be done or checked...and if you want to do a lot of highway crusing at higherr speeds, just get an AeroFlow windscreen and ride fast all day. the other GS advantage is if you happen to drop the bike you are way less likely to do damage. This alone allows me to take the GS into places I would never consider on the other bikes. Slow speed walk off's are not an issue.

    However, my GS is no where near as pretty as the other two.....but then neither am I .....
    Jim Bud...

  8. #8
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    I have had the priveledge to sample both bikes.

    The RT is an awesome platform for riding, handles impeccably well and it is straight forward to work on - the tupperware becames a non-issue once you have removed it and put it on a few times.

    The RT has plenty of power.

    The GT has enormous laugh crazily in your helmet power that is 100% controlable.

    It is much smoother, weather protection I would put them same (I may get some arguments on that).

    I went with the GT for 2 reasons, 1 the motor, wow, the second how the bike fit me, perfect even better than the RT.

    You must ride both and you make the call, you will not be dissappointed on either choice.

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  9. #9
    Megalodon fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltaboy56 View Post
    ladies and gentlemen:
    I'm contemplating the purchase of a used BMW to scratch an itch and fill an otherwise empty garage. In the past I owned a K100Rt and a K1100LT and enjoyed both. This time around I'm leaning towards an RT or a GT; test rides and budget to make the final determination. Before I take the plunge, I'm wondering what opinions are out there on buying one of the later model GS bikes (1100 and newer). Some facts: 5'10" with a 31" inseam (short), plan on light touring and perhaps some dirt road use, not planning a grand global excursion (at least not yet).
    Thanks.
    Sounds like you need one of each.

    Neither the GT nor the RT will be happy with "some dirt road use". If that's an important factor for you, then I recommend you look at all the GS variants, from 650 to 1200.

    The K vs R argument will never be settled in a web forum or probably anywhere else, so it's up to you to determine which kind of ride you want. They are distinctly different bikes, neither one superior to the other...just different. You need to ride both to figure out which best suits your style and zen.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

    fish


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  10. #10
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish View Post
    .....The K vs R argument will never be settled in a web forum or probably anywhere else,......
    Excellent point
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  11. #11
    Fortes fortuna adiuvat
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridewv View Post
    If I were to have one motorcycle it'd be a GS. They handle like a sport bike, can be loaded like a tourer, and are very comfortable. (Well the stock seat may not be comfortable for many) Around here most of the paved roads have a "less than perfect surface" which the GS just gobbles up.
    Like he says the GS is the ultimate multi-purpose bike. I'm biased but a 1150 or 1200GS is the do it all machine. Its got decent power and is a great bike for hauling gear. Many have compared it to the Swiss army knife. Might sound like a geeky comparison but its pretty accurate.

    If your rides include super slab, twisties, mountain passes, frost heaved roads, gravel, forest roads, etc then this is your ride. My only complaint would be the stock seat if you're running multi 12hr+ days in the saddle.

  12. #12
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    all great stuff

    Everyone, thanks for all your input. I'm still a bit torn, and it seems the next logical step is to go ride the GS bike. I've ridden both the GT and the RT and loved both. I concur with the opinions that the RT handled lighter and was a bit more nimble; the GT was better in a straight line and could haul some serious ass. I, too, don't feel the need to wander much above 110 mph. The front end starts to lighten up too much for my comfort level. I was a bit more flat-footed at stops with the RT but the tiptoe stance with the GT was just fine. The Scottsdale, AZ BMW dealer has a GS bike in their rental fleet and I think I'll spring for a day's rental and see how the bike really is.
    Another consideration: the missus. We will be using the bike mostly in Michigan (hence the need for occasional dirt riding). Does anyone have an opinion on two-up riding on the 1100-1200 GS's? That's why I'm passing on the 800 GS; too light for two-up riding.
    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    I don't ride two-up very often but the GS is one of the better two-up rides IMO. It has plenty of room for both rider and passenger. For the rider its relatively light weight, low center of gravity, and wide bars allow for easy handling even at low speeds. For the passenger just add a back rest. There's nice clean air w/o the noise and buffeting which is so common on many faired motorcycles. But if you plan on a lot of extended two-up riding, where you'll encounter all types of weather, the RT will be in it's element.
    Last edited by ridewv; 02-13-2010 at 06:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    Talking fun shopping

    I went for a 2009 GSA, never test rode it or any other.Could not help but love the look and all-purpose capability ! Must be my connection to heavy-equipment? As for two up goes the ESA does wonders for differnt loads.Deffinatly like the top case on for her backrest.Bike is incredible!

  15. #15
    On the road again! R80RTJohnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper_Fi View Post
    Excellent point
    May BMW always make K's are R's so the argument never ends.
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