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Thread: looking at buying new R1200GS

  1. #1
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    looking at buying new R1200GS

    Hi everyone,

    I am thinking of getting a new GS in the next 3 - 4 months, and have some questions.

    I can afford the GS but not the Adventure. What am I giving up, besides the larger gas tank? I do some off road but it is mainly dirt roads and not that often.

    Have any of you heard of reliability problems in newer BMW's? I have a friend who got a R1200GS about a year ago and has had problems with the shaft drive and something else that I can't remember; the dealer has worked on it but has not been able to fix it. I have heard of other cases, but nothing specific.

    I am planning on getting the ESA and heated hand grips. what other options have you gotten that you really like or thought that they were a waste of money. I know that there are packages and I may not have complete control over what options I want.

    What type of bags did you get with your GS and why?

    Thanks in advance.

    Bill

  2. #2
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Both bikes are great

    I have a GSA and like it for the larger gas tank and greater range plus more built in weather protection

    have ESA and the heated grips and they are awesome

    No mechaniceal issues and I have thrashed the bike well - both on and off road

    As for bags I have the BMW Aluminum case bags - very usable and can hold a ton of gear


    Some thing you may want to consider - options and farkels - I originally wanted to get a standard GS but knowing myself and the options I wanted to get, i quickly within striking distance of the GSA price and so I got the GSA.

    Either way - you cant go wrong
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  3. #3
    Registered User Tewster2's Avatar
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    I bought a 2011 standard GS. All of my riding is here in the US where gas is everywhere so the larger (and heavier) GSA was not needed for the extra range between fuel stops. I used the money I saved over the GSA to get Zega Pro panniers and other stuff. The GSA has a larger windscreen but any problems I found with the smaller standard windshield were solved with the Touratech clamp on deflector. Plus, I just llike the looks of the more slender Standard model. Just my two cents worth as everyone has their own ideas of what works for them. Here is a site about my GS:

    www.bmwgsadventurerider.com

    Don't let the site name confuse you. It is about my adventure rides and not because I ride a GSA. Cheers.
    Tim2

  4. #4
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
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    I got the GSA, but I found I could just squeeze it into the budget. I did consider the GS. Larger gas tank, longer travel suspension, spoked wheels and enduro transmission (lower first gear), crash bars and extra lights are the big things. I knew i would buy the spoked wheels on the GS, add lights and crash bars. So the ground clearance and the tank were what I would miss out on. I figured that I'd be happy with either, but wanted the GSA. It really comes down to what you want.

    As far as extras, I wanted ABS and these days it is special order to get one without. Mine had ESA and since I was getting an end of model year there weren't any non-ESA in the state. I had no strong feelings about it either way, but have enjoyed having and would do it again. The end of model year promotion in 09 was factory cases so I got them. Nice to have cases keyed to the bike.

    I later added ASC (traction control) and have been happy with that. Cheaper to get it on the bike by a couple hundred dollars though. That pretty much covers the big ticket stuff. I've got some other little pieces that went on like armor, but not a lot of doodads. Mainly I just like to ride it.
    Rusty
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA

  5. #5
    Registered User BlackdogGS's Avatar
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    I could afford either but went with the GS. My friend has the GSA (both 2010's). We trade bikes while riding together often. We both agree that the GS is the sports car and the GSA is the SUV. I'm way more comfortable on the GS.

  6. #6
    John
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    I have a 2011 GS. Love the bike but had to go with after market windshield and seat to make it better. I tested the 800GS, the 1200GS and the 1200GSA. I was actually set on buying the 800. Great bike! Then I got on the 1200 and got boxer engine happy. For my lack of experience the GSA felt big but still very nice. I guess for me, taking the middle of the road was just right.

    I only have 5800 miles on so far. Zero problems. Some of the items I have added to the bike come standard on the GSA. For many people the large fuel tank is a plus. For me, stopping sooner to refuel provides a good opportunity to walk around and stretch a bad back.

    Give them both a good test ride. I always find that what I want and what I can afford come together > and point towards what I end up with.

    Enjoy the process!
    Good luck to you.

  7. #7
    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by tewster2 View Post
    I bought a 2011 standard GS. All of my riding is here in the US where gas is everywhere so the larger (and heavier) GSA was not needed for the extra range between fuel stops. I used the money I saved over the GSA to get Zega Pro panniers and other stuff. The GSA has a larger windscreen but any problems I found with the smaller standard windshield were solved with the Touratech clamp on deflector. Plus, I just llike the looks of the more slender Standard model. Just my two cents worth as everyone has their own ideas of what works for them. Here is a site about my GS:

    www.bmwgsadventurerider.com

    Don't let the site name confuse you. It is about my adventure rides and not because I ride a GSA. Cheers.
    I have the same bike and color. Yours is fixed up great. Nice!!!
    I showed my wife your pictures. I let her know that when my bike matures it will look like yours!!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks to all of you for replying.

    One more question. for the GS, have any of you used the standard plastic expandable bags? How were they and are you still using them?

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

  9. #9
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    I used Jesse's on my 2001 GS and 2008 KLR. The used 2005 GS1200 I purchased had BMW's Vario bags and when I traded it on my 09GS I liked them enough that I kept the bags. The negative is they do not hold as much as Jesse's. And being side loading can be more awkward to stuff full while on the bike.
    The good is they hold enough for me and I can lay a dry bag across the rear rack and top of the bags and still get into the bags w/o having to lift the dry bag to raise the lids. They look good on the bike. And with the bags off the bike it looks factory stock as the mounts are almost invisible.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  10. #10
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Thanks to all of you for replying.

    One more question. for the GS, have any of you used the standard plastic expandable bags? How were they and are you still using them?

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

    I have the Vario bags and my husband has the aluminum BMW/Tourtech bags. In hindsight, I should have gotten those too. My experience with the Vario bags is that they are crappy. They dent and ding very easily which is why I coated them in Linex. (both on my 650 and 1200 gs's). They are now always easy to expand and can get out of alignment easily. The left bag in particular has very little packing space. The Linex has made them much more sturdy but if I were to do it again, I'd go for the boxes.

  11. #11
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    One more question. for the GS, have any of you used the standard plastic expandable bags? How were they and are you still using them?
    When they fall off the bike (and one of mine did) they shatter into many, many pieces. The left bag doesn't have much usable space when in the contracted position. I eventually replaced mine with old style Zega panniers. When I crash with the Zega bags a few minutes with hammer, jack, and maybe some brazing rod gets them almost good as new.

    Note: the vario bags falling off the bike may have been my fault. I can't swear that I was 100% careful when last putting the bag that fell off on the bike. I'd taken the bag off the bike to show someone how easy it was the day before.

    Note 2: When it fell off I was totally oblivious to what happened. Story at the bottom of this page.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    Thanks to all of you for replying.

    One more question. for the GS, have any of you used the standard plastic expandable bags? How were they and are you still using them?

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.
    When I had a GS (two actually) I had the expandable bags. They always worked fine for me. I never had any problems.
    2012 BMW R1200RT
    2010 Triumph Bonneville

  13. #13
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Just a thought about the cost of the GSA: if you're likely to add engine protection bars (I always do as I haven't yet met a bike I didn't drop) and extra lighting, then the cost of the GSA isn't really that much more than the GS. And there is no need to fill that 8.7 gallon fuel tank. I seldom put in more than 4 gallons at a time, unless I'm going on a longer road trip, and that keeps down the excess weight.
    Dan

  14. #14
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I just bought a brand-new GSA.

    If you want an oil cooled GS/GSA, you'd better move sooner rather than later. The last oil cooled boxer engine came off the assembly line in March, and what's left in inventory is what's left in inventory. All subsequent bikes will have the water cooled engine, which in my humble opinion, isn't a real BMW boxer engine.

    The best piece of advice I got when seeking advice on the purchase of my GSA was that everyone who buys a GS spends enough turning it into a GSA that they might as well have bought the GSA in the first place and saved themselves some money.

    If price really is keeping you away from a GSA, then get a late-model used GSA that's already been customized and broken-in.

    For me, the GS was never really an option, as the larger fuel tank was a big draw to me. I hate gassing up.

    Also, the BMW side and top cases for the GS are often described as "crap", and I've read reports here of them falling off while riding. BMW side and top cases for the GSA are made by Touratech and are beautiful works of art.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
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  15. #15
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    .......

    Also, the BMW side and top cases for the GS are often described as "crap", and I've read reports here of them falling off while riding. BMW side and top cases for the GSA are made by Touratech and are beautiful works of art.
    And when you dump the bike because the ground was further away than you thaought they hold the bike up well with no damage

    DAMHIK!!
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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