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Thread: R1200R vs GS

  1. #1
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    R1200R vs GS

    Since we have a recent thread with the GS vs GSA I figured I might as well throw in the R1200R comparison since I am hoping to pull the trigger if a good deal can be found at the dealer. Feel free to comment on anything below, it will help me make up my mind:

    1. I never ride offroad, just graded dirt roads
    2. The GS can get Aeroflow windshield if I feel the need for top notch wind protection. I wonder if the R1200R can keep the helmet in buffet free air with a Scout fairing?
    3. The GS can take Jesse top loading luggage, a big plus over the BMW bags on the R1200R.
    4. The R1200R handles better on pavement
    5. The R 1200R has a better headlight
    6. The R1200R is supposedly very stable in cross winds, the GS is supposedly not. A big deal to me since I am one of the few who has been blown off the road.
    7. I like practicing some of the motor cop parking lot drills, which means I am definitely going to drop the bike in a parking lot. Availability of crash bars etc. is a factor.
    8. The riding position on the R1200R is a little better for me than the GS.
    9. The R1200R gets slightly better gas mileage
    10. The R1200R is a little cheaper
    11. The GS has better resale value

  2. #2
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    I don't see the point of an answer to this question in the abstract. I have owned both R and GS models (1150) and the differences are big in handling, ergos and aesthetics. Go ride them both and see which pleases. How do they handle given your skills, preferences etc?

  3. #3
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    How tall is your inseam? Mine is 30", and I can not reach the ground on ANY adventure bike. Go test ride them, but be warned, the R is a fun ride.

    Of course, I am a bit biased.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    How tall is your inseam? Mine is 30", and I can not reach the ground on ANY adventure bike. Go test ride them, but be warned, the R is a fun ride.

    Of course, I am a bit biased.
    30" inseam. F800GS. ground is close enough. not flat footed, but it's there.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  5. #5
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    30" inseam. F800GS. ground is close enough. not flat footed, but it's there.
    Wish I had a 30" inseam............................................ .......
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  6. #6
    Registered User dpmonk's Avatar
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    R vs GS

    Actually I would be interested in any comparison especially from someone who has owned both.

    I love my GS but at 60 I am not getting any more limber and it a little difficult getting on. I have wondered if I might not have been more satisified with an R
    74 R90/6 and 09 R1200GS. member of Christian Motorcyclist Association. Ride for Jesus!

  7. #7
    Registered User Chumley's Avatar
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    I just went to a 2010 Roadster from a 2005 R1200GS.

    I have an inseam of about 28" to 29" depending how it's measured (or is that junk settles?). The GS was a standard height model as is the Roadster. Only adjustment was a "lowered" aftermarket seat height on both.

    I loved the GS but it started to feel big as the knee felt weaker. With a bad left knee I hate precarious balancing. On tours when you are fairly loaded any stop out of the ordinary became cause for concern. Eventually I just longed for a bike that was easier to handle when not at speed. I looked at a lowered new GS but I kept coming back to the wonderful overall light feeling of the Roadster. It was not only easier to handle when stopped or parking but at speed it was just so much more responsive. Quite literally "refreshing" feeling.

    I am getting prepared for what I hope is a nice 2,000 - 3,000 mile tour in the spring so I am trying to get the air management worked out. I finally got that figured out on the GS but I went through many screens and finally added the GS Adventure wind deflectors and a CeeBailey screen (higher than normal screen height for my size) tilted way back with a "Tobinator". Finally had clean air up to 85 mph.

    CeeBaileys is coming out with a new redesigned windscreen for the Roadster in a few weeks to address known issues brought forth by riders with severall years of experience with the old shield. I am hoping that this will be the ticket to making the Roadster truly touring worthy with no more improvements.

    If I were to do it again I would like to have a lowered GS and a standard Roadster with a low seat to test side by side. I doubt that it would change my mind though. I loved my GS but it came with more and more conditions. I love my Roadster and it seems to come with fewer and fewer conditions.

    I have not heard of an issue with crosswinds on a GS. I have faced very stiff prolonged crosswinds around Dayton, NV and across Arizona and feel that the GS behaves admirably. It kind of dips a bit then seems to lean itself but then crosswiinds don't bother me.
    Last edited by Chumley; 12-21-2011 at 11:40 PM. Reason: missed sentence

  8. #8
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    I'm 5'-6" with almost a 30" inseam and Ihave no problem riding any of the standard R's and most of the GS models. The Adventure would be a stretch but I could handle it. My daily ride is a stock height 94 R1100RS with a Corbin seat and I never have any reach issues to the ground.

    I have ridden a bunch of GS models and they are all very comfortable. I have not yet ridden a R12R, perhaps out of fear. Everyone I know that has one said they rode it and it sold them on it. I'm in the bike market in a few years but not right now, so I'm avoiding the R12R.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  9. #9
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    I know two women who live in Alaska and ride their R12Rs regularly on long distance dirt road trips. One rides with her son who has an R12GS, the other rides with her husband who rides a GS as well. Both ladies have been to Prudhoe and Inuvik on the Dempster. The only accommodations they made were using DS tires (Pirelli Scorpians or Dunlop 616s) and installing oil pan protectors. A third friend road 2-up on his R for 500 miles on dirt in Mexico and found the R very competent; he used Avon Distanzias.

    I have an R12R and although living in Alaska I've ridden on dirt roads a great deal, I have not used it for that purpose since I also have a GSPD. I do, however think it would be a capable bike for the ridding I've done.


    Kevin Huddy
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  10. #10
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    FWIW: I have chased a bunch of guys on various dirt bikes and several GS's and the only real problem I had was downhill on a gravel road with an "S" turn at the bottom. The ABS decided it would not brake at all, which required a quick downshift and engine braking used judiciously to avoid squashing a guy in front of me on a F650. Switchable ABS on the GS's avoid that problem altogether if you switch it off before doing off road stuff.

    If you want to see what a RR is capable of, come over to the R1200R board and index "Chitown" in the search box to see where Joe takes his RR. (Quick answer is: anywhere he wants to go!) Sometime to places that GS's would fear to go !

    Board is here:

    http://www.r1150r.org/board/viewforum.php?f=20
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  11. #11
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    I sold my R1200GS and bought an R1200R, largely because the GS's high center of gravity made it awkward during slow speed maneuvers and while moving the motorcycle by hand. The R1200R feels 200lbs lighter under these conditions.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  12. #12
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    I studied them both and went with the GS. At my age, 74, I just didn't think I could pull 8 gallons of gas off the side stand very often. I've had no problems with the 5 gal. I do have and I haven't noticed a problem with my legs being in the wind draft. But that said, sans the weight issue, I think I would be riding the GSA.

  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    My favorite description of an "R" rider: someone whose next bike will be an RT.

    To think the aftermarket can accomplish wind protection to factory levels is wishful thinking only.

    "R" bikes are great bikes but if you're obsessed about wind protection they're not for you.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  14. #14
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    My favorite description of an "R" rider: someone whose next bike will be an RT.

    To think the aftermarket can accomplish wind protection to factory levels is wishful thinking only.

    "R" bikes are great bikes but if you're obsessed about wind protection they're not for you.
    I've had a couple of airhead RT's and for humid Midwest summers they had TOO MUCH wind protection. I've test ridden the R12GS and found it to have a better balance of wind protection for cold, wet weather vs. good air movement for hot, humid weather. The R12RT is a wonderful bike, but too much wind protection in summer for me.

    I find my R1100RSL to have a perfect balance of wind protection when I need it vs. more air in the summer. I ride year round and it works. The R12GS is at the top of my wish list for my next bike. The R12R is a close second partly because they are not as abundant as the GS.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '95 R1100RS, '01 Super Sherpa
    There are two roads in life; the twisty one is vastly more fun.

  15. #15
    Registered User fastdogs2's Avatar
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    R1200r

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    My favorite description of an "R" rider: someone whose next bike will be an RT.

    To think the aftermarket can accomplish wind protection to factory levels is wishful thinking only.

    "R" bikes are great bikes but if you're obsessed about wind protection they're not for you.
    Definitely not true in my case that I am looking to buy a RT. I had a R1200RT and switched to the R1200R. The reasons:

    The R1200RT is too tall for my 29" inseam, too top heavy, too much wind protection in the summer in the South with the fairing and much more difficult to maneuver at low speeds (especially if its high seat puts you on tiptoes).

    The R1200R is like a R1200RT that went to weight watchers and then shed its funky "plastic raincoat."

    I won't go back to a R1200RT.

    Just my opinion.

    Bill
    BMW R1200R
    Alpine White

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