View Poll Results: Which Bike for Off Road Tour

Voters
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  • Buy GSA and Lower Bike

    3 15.79%
  • Buy Stock Lower GS and Add Options

    9 47.37%
  • Buy F800GS

    3 15.79%
  • Other Bike, Brand ?

    4 21.05%
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Decisions, Decisions GSA, GS or ???

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  1. #1
    Woody63
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    7

    Decisions, Decisions GSA, GS or ???

    Guys,

    From feedback from other posters I think that at +/- 5'9" (barefoot) and 30" inseam, I may be too short for using a GSA on more technically challenging terrain. I am looking to do some long, cross country trips in developing countries:

    My riding will be:
    -On pavement (But-poor road quality common to expected in sections) 50%
    -Dirt roads 30%
    -Poor dirt roads, washed out in places 20%
    -Developing countries
    -Poor fuel availability, variable quality
    -Camping

    Right or wrong I have a lot of confidence with BMW Boxer reliability, basic maintenance and feel comfortable with the riding position. So (I think) want to stick with a BMW.

    GSA-Pro +
    -A Boxer!
    -Large tank, long range
    -Spoked wheels
    -Low gearing
    -Stocked with extras
    GSA-Con -
    -Very high seat height

    GS-Pro +
    -A Boxer
    -Lower seat height
    GS-Con -
    -Cast rims, prefer spokes
    -Need to add lots of extras (standard on GSA) to get it tour ready

    F800GS- Pro +
    -A BMW
    -Off-road round the world capable (still to be decided?)
    F800GS- Con -
    -Not a Boxer (Is this still relevant?)
    -High seat height
    -Small tank

    With the above in mind am I better off ??:
    -Buying a GSA and making it lower?
    -Buying GSA and learn the Flamingo
    -Buying the lower GS and adding large tanks and extras?
    -Buying another non-BMW bike?

    Appreciate all the advice, feedback and comments from people that have earned their experience the hard way.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Posts
    735
    Last year I rode a factory lowered R1200GS and while I liked the lower height, I found that the suspension compliance was quite harsh compared to my standard R1200GS. The difference was pronounced enough that I would plan on spending the money for aftermarket shocks.

  3. #3
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carolina's
    Posts
    1,136

    Talking Airhead GS

    Well, if you are comfortable with the maintenance, I would go with a Airhead GS and get it set up the way you want to. Fuel, seat height, tires, brakes, suspension, can all be motified, stuff readily available. And you will probably be cheaper than any other option. But I am an Airhead...
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  4. #4
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    ATL/WNC
    Posts
    8,536
    if you lower a GS, you're pretty much eliminating the one thing that makes it a GS... longer-travel suspension.

    i am 5'8" and 29" inseam and seem to manage.

    the other thing you want to think about is picking the thing up when you fall (notice that i said "when"...).

    full of gas, the GSA is a mutha to lift. regular GS is bad enough.

    i voted a GS for you. leave the suspension how it is... if you buy shocks that are softer, you'll be bottoming them all the time.

    ian

    (and no, my R80G/SPD is not for sale!)
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  5. #5
    GlobeBusters
    Guest

    Training is the answer...

    Kevin Sanders, Double Guinness World Record Holder (Trans Americas and Round the World), run three Trans Americas Expeditions (2005, 2007, 2009), runs BMW Rider Training School for the whole of the UK, Ridden 500,000+ Miles throughout the world all on an 1150GS or 1200GSA, leaving for London to Beijing via Tibet and Everest Base Camp on 17th April.

    He has 29 inside leg.....

    If you really really want to be inspired www.tamsinjonesdakar.co.uk

    Tamsin is under 5 foot and rides a GS Adventure as an instructor on the Off Road Skills School (Official BMW Off Road School for UK like Rawhyde)

  6. #6
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,333
    On the GSA's larger fuel tank: Can your bladder go that many miles?
    On the spoked wheels: they are available on the 'standard' GS.
    On the height of either bike: set the preload way down and you'll bring it closer to Earth. The bike will still be tall, but not as much so. If you come upon some rough goings, just crank the preload back up to deal with it.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  7. #7
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,630
    Quote Originally Posted by scwood63 View Post
    I am looking to do some long, cross country trips in developing countries:

    My riding will be:
    -On pavement (But-poor road quality common to expected in sections) 50%
    -Dirt roads 30%
    -Poor dirt roads, washed out in places 20%
    -Developing countries
    -Poor fuel availability, variable quality
    -Camping

    The bike is right, but the vintage is wrong.

    An R80 GS or GS Paris Dakar would be ideal.

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