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Thread: GS vs GSA

  1. #1
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    GS vs GSA

    I'm going to buy a GS and wonder if what I really need is a GSA. The majority of my riding is on road, when I need some off road excitement I ride my KLR. I've done a lot of touring on Harley's and later the V-Strom; the V is actually more comfortable than any Harley I've owned. I'm planning a trip to Alaska this summer and wondering if the GS will handle the rigors of the trip or if I should bite the bullet and go with the GSA.

    Your comments will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    the biggest (only?) real advantage of the GSA over the GS is the super-tanker fuel supply. either should be sufficient to get you between stations.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  3. #3
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    The GSA is quite a bit heavier when fully fueled than the GS. For someone of smaller stature, this could be a consideration.

    I can comfortably travel 180 miles on a full tank on my 09 GS. My husband gets 380-400 miles per tank on his GSA.

  4. #4
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I have one of each, an 07 GS and a 2010 GSA destined to be hacked. I've been very happy with the GS here in New England, but have found the quest for fuel to be a concern as I travel further west where the gas stations are further between than they are in the east. With a 30" inseam I was worried about the extra weight of fuel up high, but have found it to be a non-issue. Both versions are very well-balanced and handle extremely well.

    Pete
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  5. #5
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    I've ridden my 12GS to alaska twice. Never needed the GSA gas tank. If you must go to the end of the road strap on a gallon container and throw it away upon return. I would advise not passing a gas station once you get to alaska as the next one might be closed.
    Marty Hill
    12 GS black/Boxer Cup Replika

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  6. #6
    On a Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyGarner View Post
    I'm going to buy a GS and wonder if what I really need is a GSA. The majority of my riding is on road, when I need some off road excitement I ride my KLR. I've done a lot of touring on Harley's and later the V-Strom; the V is actually more comfortable than any Harley I've owned. I'm planning a trip to Alaska this summer and wondering if the GS will handle the rigors of the trip or if I should bite the bullet and go with the GSA.

    Your comments will be appreciated.
    Owned an '05 12GS, now an '07 12GSADV. The 12GS will handle your Alaska trip just fine. There are advantages to its lighter weight versus the 12GSADV when on uncertain surfaces. Its handling is lighter, more nimble, and it is easier to move around at parking lot speeds.

    That said, I personally prefer the 12GSADV for its size (I'm 6'4"); I like its extra wind protection up front (winglets, plus that wide tank covers the lower extremities) when on the road. There's also the extra suspension travel, and the serious tank range is nice to have when you want "fueling flexiblity". And you know, I've taken it to high, rocky off road pursuits in Colorado and it has always come through, never having me wish I was astride a lighter thing.

  7. #7
    Quanto12
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    Hey Randy,

    I had a GS for a couple years than upgrade to a GSA, wich I've had for two years also now. And to tell you the truth, I do not notice a significant difference in handling between the two because of the weight! The GSA is only about 45lbs heavier.
    Like "sfarson" said, the tank and bigger windshield with winglets make a big difference in wind protection. And the longer suspension travel does give a better ride on and off road. It also has wider foot pegs, spoke rims, engine guards and hand protectors, wich you have to add to the GS. If all these extras are something you might end up adding, the GSA might be your pick. If they're not that important or you like to personalise it yourself, than you have the GS.
    And for last, well I always thaught the GSA look cool!

    Good luck with your decision!

  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    I might be wrong because I haven't been paying attention lately, but I believe that the Adventure also has a lower ratio for first gear. This can be handy in steep terrain, and/or when the bike is fully loaded. I couldn't corroborate this, since they don't list the ratios on the BMW site any more.

    Personally, I like the GS model as it's lighter. Wish they made one with the Adventure's suspension.

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  9. #9
    Podzo
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    GS to a GSA

    I went from a 2002 GS to a 2008 GSA. I do ride double alot with my bride and did find out that the gearing, especially first gear, was too high for jeep trails. Seems like I had to slip the clutch a lot after I got use to the gearing. Of course the advantage is better gas mileage on the interstates above say 65 with that E or 6th. gear. I eventually put the adventure shocks on the GS and it helped. I am 230 and my wife is 145 so with us and gear it needed better suspension. The adventure handled the weight with no problem and had lower gearing including 6th. But the disadvantage was worse gas mileage especially on the interstates. Always trade offs in life.
    Sold the GSA (silver monster)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by podsobinski View Post
    I went from a 2002 GS to a 2008 GSA. I do ride double alot with my bride and did find out that the gearing, especially first gear, was too high for jeep trails. Seems like I had to slip the clutch a lot after I got use to the gearing. Of course the advantage is better gas mileage on the interstates above say 65 with that E or 6th. gear. I eventually put the adventure shocks on the GS and it helped. I am 230 and my wife is 145 so with us and gear it needed better suspension. The adventure handled the weight with no problem and had lower gearing including 6th. But the disadvantage was worse gas mileage especially on the interstates. Always trade offs in life.
    Sold the GSA (silver monster)
    K1200LT (silver pig)
    DR650
    technically, an apples to oranges comparison (well, maybe a Red Delicious to Granny Smiths comparison)- as your GS was an 1150, and the new GS/GSA 1200 is quite a bit advanced from that (and that is what the OP was asking about). They are much more like each other than your 1150 was to either one.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  11. #11
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    highway pegs

    How many of you use highway pegs? I've had them on most of my bikes, even my KLR. I like to be able to stretch my legs during long rides and don't want to use the rear pegs or put my legs over the heads. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyGarner View Post
    How many of you use highway pegs? I've had them on most of my bikes, even my KLR. I like to be able to stretch my legs during long rides and don't want to use the rear pegs or put my legs over the heads. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
    Randy, to stretch out my 36" lower limbs while in the saddle for an extended period of time, when conditions permit (road/traffic), and they often do, I stand up on the pegs while underway and after a minute, or two, or three, I'm totally refreshed... I'm cooled off, the rear end is aired out , the legs are feelin' goooood, etc. When I'm off road, I'm standing much more often. Net, I've never had the need for highway pegs. Oh, I've had bikes with them, but they were rarely used.

  13. #13
    Registered User Rtowne's Avatar
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    pulled the trigger

    Okay, after spending God only knows how many hours reading about the pros and cons of a GS vs a GSA and talking to as many people as possible I bought a 2011 GSA. I'm still a little uneasy about the comfort riding it around town with lots of stops and gos but the reason behind the GSA is highway riding coupled with off-road capabilities (planning a trip to AK). My first trip on the GSA is coming in a couple of weeks which will give me a better idea of how the big boy will handle longer rides and limited off-road use. I definitely like the look, feel and sound of the new engine and am ready to get it broken in so I give it the gas and see how strong it can run.

    I appreciate all the help and advice everyone here has given.

    Thanks and Happy New Year.

  14. #14
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    best of luck with your new bike. enjoy.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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