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Thread: RT or GS

  1. #1
    striders
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    RT or GS

    I've spent the last three years putting a basket case 1974 R90s on the road (my initial retirement project). I wanted to use that for a cross country trip but after riding my project bike, I wouldn't last one day let alone a month trip. So, I'm looking for another bike. I'm thinking of a used r120rt or a r1200gs. I don't have any dirt bike experience but like the idea of being able to take a gravel or dirt road if I feel like it. I don't want to start a rt/gs war but would like to hear some ideas and pros or cons on either machine.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    >>I don't want to start a rt/gs war but would like to hear some ideas and pros or cons on either machine. <<

    Well can't drag me into the war......cuz I'll suggest an "R" naked Roadster.
    You can outfit, accessorize , farkle it, as you choose , and adjust the riding position in a broad manner.

    I'm sure others will disagree, & that's to be expected , but that's my 2cents.

    NoW!,,,that said, I just bought my first KLT , for the same reason.....long trips,...because somedays my Roadster 'gets' too me! No matter how much I LUV it..

    BTW, I'm , 63, 6'1" 275. and have some arthritis

  3. #3
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    If I were going on a month long trip, I would get the RT for one simple reason. Most of them have cruise control. My CLC has it and I wouldn't be without it on a long trip. The wind and weather protection is also far better.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  4. #4
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Move to "Hexheads"?

    Both bikes mentioned in the original post are hexheads, right?

    But since this is in the Oilhead section, I say "RS".

    (Yeah, I know, that wasn't one of the original choices, but I'm biased!)

    And, for the record, I'm 6'2", maybe 260 with a 34+ inch inseam and somewhat arthritic knees. I've sat on both an R1150GS and an R1200GS, as well as an R1150RT and a R1200RT. They're all pretty comfy to me, at least to sit on. I would guess anyone would be stretched out more on the GS, but whatever you ride, it has to fit your style. What I'm saying is, if you can't be comfortable handling a bike like the GS, then maybe an RT would be more to your liking.
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    Brad D. - Member #105766
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  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Month long back roads=GS
    Month long slab ride=RT (and if it were me some cyanide to swallow after the first week)

  6. #6
    striders
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    I hope I'm doing this correctly buy using the "reply to thread". Ergonomincs are important. I'm 66, 67 when I plan this trip, 5'7" with a 29" inseam. I want something comfortable. I was thinking the more uprite sitting on the gs would be better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by striders View Post
    I hope I'm doing this correctly buy using the "reply to thread". Ergonomincs are important. I'm 66, 67 when I plan this trip, 5'7" with a 29" inseam. I want something comfortable. I was thinking the more uprite sitting on the gs would be better.
    I'm 5'7 and on a good day 5'8 with a 29" inseam. I ride a 2003 R1150R. I don't go off road and just rode it from the Mississippi Coast to Key West most of which was I-10 and I-75, until just below Ft Myers where I got on 41 across the Glades to 1. The bike did very well, In was pretty comfortable and about the only change I would make would be a taller screen. I have a Sargeant seat on it. I think a RT would be a better choice for the Interstate, but in town they are not my choice.
    I'll be heading back home Thursday so I'll have another 1000+ miles to consider this.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  8. #8
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    Both are very capable bikes and will go cross country well. IMHO, the two major considerations are fit and payload. For me, the RTs are just a bit too cramped in the hips and knees resulting in my foot position being a tad bit off. The RT also limits my ability to adjust my butt position. My RT-P, with a radio box instead of a rear seat contributes to this, I know. But sitting on a full blown RT, I get the same thing. The GS (mine is an ADV) allows me to stretch out more and eliminates the cramped position. The RT is a heavier bike than the GS or the GSA but can carry more payload than either. This might be something to think about if you camp and/or will be doing a lot of 2-up riding.

    IMHO, the right thing to do is to test ride them both and get the one that fits you the best. If they both fit, then and only then, consider payload. If they both meet these criteria, get the one you think looks the coolest.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  9. #9
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    RT or GS

    I fight this same decision making process over and over again. I have a new RT that I really enjoy and a 2010 F650GS that I have for sale. If I sell it, I am sure going to be tempted to buy a GS. The truth is though, as I suspect is also true for many GS owners, 98% of the roads I ride are handled just fine by the RT. I'm kind of getting into LD riding and thinking about a couple of rallies. Maybe I need a GS to get to some of the bonus locations. Nah, those guys on the big Gold Wings seem to do ok. The enternal question we will never answer, RT or GS?
    IBA Number 49673
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  10. #10
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by striders View Post
    I hope I'm doing this correctly buy using the "reply to thread". Ergonomincs are important. I'm 66, 67 when I plan this trip, 5'7" with a 29" inseam. I want something comfortable. I was thinking the more uprite sitting on the gs would be better.
    I am 65 and am about the same height and also have a 29" inseam. I have a friend with a R1200RT as well as a friend with a R1200GS. They also have a 29" inseam. The darn bikes are very tall and top heavy for us. The friend with the RT has dropped his many times and is looking at something lower. The friend with the GS has many more years of experience (he is 77) and has not dropped his GS. However, it is the low seat and low suspension model.

    I can handle my R80RT OK with my short inseam and I elected to get a R1200CLC so I could reach the ground. Other than the C bikes, the only other bike I feel is low enough for me that I have sat on (but didn't ride) is the K1600GTL.

    If you do get a RT or GS, I think you should only consider those with both a low seat and low suspension.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  11. #11
    striders
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    The height is a concern. I didn't realize that the rt had such a hight seat. I've been perusing the want ads and haven't seen any used bikes with low suspension and new ones are quite expensive. I've also heard that the stock low seat on a gs is pure torture. Does anyone make a comfortable low seat for either bike?

  12. #12
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    I think you are correct in asking for opinions and experiences, but everyone is different- size, weight-age-health-strength-knees so take our advice but you need to try out each bike and research the after-market seats. Some dealers will have a low suspension and/or low seat option on the showroom floor. Call around to your nearby dealer(s) and ask. Even if they have a used model, you'll at least get the feel of the size and weight/balance.

    You can't beat the RT for cross-country comfort but you'll be challenged to say the least if you want to take it on a gravel road. The GS won't have the wind protection of the RT, nor other comfort farkles like cruise control or audio system, and many people complain that the GS is too tall.

    To me, the stock RT seat was torture and I bought a Sargent. That solved not only the comfort issue, but allows me to move around more in the seat as I get tired or just to move around for comfort.
    Last edited by ClassicVW; 10-02-2012 at 12:21 PM.

  13. #13
    striders
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    Is the sargent seat lower?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by striders View Post
    Is the sargent seat lower?
    I think the one I got actually feels a bit higher, as I now sit back on my rear cheeks rather than feeling like I'm straddling the narrower stock seat between my legs. I believe all the seat makers offer a low version. Some will build a seat to your requirements. Look up Sargent, Corbin, Bill Mayer, Rick Mayer, Russell, etc.

  15. #15
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    You haven't said much on how you plan to use it. You mentioned a cross country trip, but are you planning on spending 90-95% on asphalt or a 50/50 split between asphalt and dirt. To me, that would be very important information.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

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