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Thread: RT or GS

  1. #16
    striders
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    Haven't picked a route yet but I imagine that it will be 95% hard roads. If I see a dirt road that looks interesting I'd like to feel comfortable taking it.

  2. #17
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I've got a 2002 RTP and a 2012 GSA. The RTP has bar-backs, the GSA has the stock riding position.

    The GSA riding position is more "aggressive" than the RT riding position. I'm more forward in the seat on the GSA, and I'm leaning over the tank a bit more than I am on the RT. I've done 500 mile days on both, and both have been plenty comfortable over long rides. One is a half-dozen, the other is six.

    The RT will undoubtedly have superior weather protection. The adjustable windscreen sure is nice when the rain is pouring or the air is oppressively hot or freezing cold. Fairings are larger and you'll stay dryer, longer, on the RT.

    Don't think you can't ride a RT on dirt and gravel roads. My RT has seen plenty of forest roads, and has been plenty muddy after a ride off the pavement.

    I'm really impressed with the GSA, but that's primarily because she's still brand-new to me, and she is a much more refined and powerful machine than the 10-year old RT. The twin-cam Hexhead engine in the GSA is powerful, and it emits a lovely sound through the stock muffler.

    Before I purchased the GSA, I was considering a 2012 RT (I needed to add a two-seater). It finally came down to what I was going to use the new bike for, which in my case is primarily moto-camping. The GSA makes much more sense than a RT for hauling gear. It hauls more of it, and it doesn't mind getting dirty or scratched while loading/unloading/hauling it. It is a far more utilitarian machine than the RT. If I were planning on riding from hotel to hotel, I might have gone with a new RT. Since I'm tenting it (often off-road), the GSA seemed to be the right choice - and I don't have any regrets over my decision.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  3. #18
    striders
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    I don't know. I'm going to the bmw dealer next week to sit on both machines. Maybe that will convince me one way or another.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.

  4. #19
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    I've done plenty of gravel roads and dirt roads on my RT...sand is not good.

  5. #20
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    ClassicVW

    I think this is what he needs.
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    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
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  6. #21
    Here For A Good Time! kconant's Avatar
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    I ride a 01 GS and my friends that I ride with most weekends ride a 96RT,a o2K1200RS, and a 07 1200LT. They are all great bikes and have their advantages, like most bikes.
    I am 57,6'3,240lbs with bad knees and out of all 4 of the bikes mentioned above,my GS is the only one that I can ride for an extended period of time, and 400 miles a day is no problem.The RT's are beautiful bikes and if I was smaller frame and stature as you are, I would also own an RT.
    The GS has a tendency to be a little top heavy,especially when loaded for a trip,but it will handle any road you put in front of it as well as any other bike on the road.
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the ease of service and repair of the GS,especially out on the road because of the lack of plastic that needs to removed to do any kind of repair.When we wrench on our bikes,as we often do together, I remind my riding buddies how much easier the GS is than their bikes,RT included.
    That aside,I agree that the best thing for you to do is try out both bikes and buy the one that feels the most comfortable for you.
    Sorry for the lengthy reply and the repetitious comments, but thats my 2 cents worth.

  7. #22
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    I have both an RT and a GS

    There is a BIG difference in the wind/weather coverage on the RT vs the GS. For really long days, the RT winds hands down. It just is so much nicer to sit behind that fairing.

    On those really hot days, or for two lane roads that are less than perfect, i much prefer the GS. I don't have to worry about frost heaves, cracks, or small holes in the pavement. And i LOOK for dirt roads!

    Now i will say that as i get older (leg length is a very big issue for me too, with a 29" inseam); i have seriously been considering selling my '04 R1150RT and buying an R1200R. I'm a big fan of the Roadsters, having ridden both the R110R and the R1150R. At least with the R1200R they got rid of the smaller left side bag. IMHO, the lighter Roadster will do just about anything that the GS or RT will do, with much less weight.

    The final point that no-one has mentioned. Is that the plastic on the RT adds to the time to work on the bike, or costs of service.

    At the end of the day, go with the one that "floats your boat". YOu will probably know after you ride each of them.

    S
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  8. #23
    Professional Slacker
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    I ride a R1100GS that I have considered selling. The PO had it setup with after-market suspension that is 1" OVER-stock. Consequently, at a dead stop, I am on tiptoes (even with a 32" inseam). It is very top heavy, and I have dropped it twice.

    However, when moving, the bike is perfect. I guess the style and comfort of the GS suits my vision of touring and comfort.

    I was at the new BMW store in Jacksonville this week, and they had a new 2013 R1200GS with Wilber shocks lowered 3". Yep, that 3-inches, and it was perfect for me. I was able to sit while flatfooted on the floor. Since I rarely go off-road, the lowered bike is feasible. It feels right. If I keep the R1100GS, I may consider lowering it in the same manner.

  9. #24
    Bill Lumberg 175781's Avatar
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    For commuting at highway speed, or extended (anything more than a weeken), an RT. For playing or mixed terrain, GS. But that's just one opinion. I don't wear head to toe wind protection/armor/ special boots every day with an RT. With a more open bike like a ducati or a GS, you kind of need to. Sometimes an RT feels a bit like you're riding "in" it. Less so with a GS. In warm/cool/wet weather, the RT is a joy. In extremely hot weather, the RT is an oven, at least at low speeds.
    R75/6, 2004 R1150RTA.

  10. #25
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I've toyed with this decision many times. Right now I have an 07 GS and a 2010 GSA with a Hannigan sidecar. Now and then I think of trading the GS on an RT. Even resolve to ride down to the dealer four hours away with title and checkbook in hand, make the trade, and come home on a nice R12RT. The problem is that all my long trips are done on the GSA with Barley in the hack. The GS is nicely farkled for our many dirt roads up here in Vermont. And truth be told, being able to fly down dirt roads on my way to and from work makes me happy in a way riding on pavement just can't match. Given a choice between dirt and pavement I almost invariably go with the dirt.

    But if I ever manage to talk my wife into a third bike, it would be an RT.

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

  11. #26
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    And truth be told, being able to fly down dirt roads on my way to and from work makes me happy in a way riding on pavement just can't match. Given a choice between dirt and pavement I almost invariably go with the dirt.
    I'd take just about any bike down a dirt road, and my wife if only vaguely aware of motorcycles in the driveway.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  12. #27
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I'd take just about any bike down a dirt road, and my wife if only vaguely aware of motorcycles in the driveway.
    I had a Tiger 1050 before turning to the GS, and in the conditions I face at certain times of the year, well, let's just say there was a time or two I needed to pick the bike up with my tractor and carry it the last half mile home due to mud as deep as my pegs. The GS with knobbies gets me home and has extended my riding season by a couple of months.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  13. #28
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    I had a Tiger 1050 before turning to the GS, and in the conditions I face at certain times of the year, well, let's just say there was a time or two I needed to pick the bike up with my tractor and carry it the last half mile home due to mud as deep as my pegs. The GS with knobbies gets me home and has extended my riding season by a couple of months.
    Knobbies do fit on an RT, but I hear you. I've ridden PLENTY of VT dirt roads, in fact I always set the GPS for shortest route and HOPE for them. I really should live there, but the Maine coast north of Belfast has my attention too, and is first choice.

    Lily and Cody the Golden Retrievers send regards to your three.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  14. #29
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Knobbies do fit on an RT, but I hear you. I've ridden PLENTY of VT dirt roads, in fact I always set the GPS for shortest route and HOPE for them. I really should live there, but the Maine coast north of Belfast has my attention too, and is first choice.

    Lily and Cody the Golden Retrievers send regards to your three.
    The problem is partly traction, but also mud buildup under the fenders. I swear sometimes in mud season the bike gains 50# in that last quarter mile!

    Belly rubs to Lily and Cody from my four: Barley, Rusty, Tullamore and Kazoo.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  15. #30
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    I also don't like tip toeing a heavy beast like the GS...
    I had to chuckle when I first read this line in brewmeister's post.

    My RT is a RTP, which includes a 2nd battery in the RT's "glove box" and has chrome crash bars on all four corners. My GSA is a thousand times easier to maneuver around in parking lots, the garage, etc. for two simple reasons:

    1. My GSA is lighter than my RTP, and

    2. The GSA has a much tighter turning radius than does my RTP.

    My GSA's front wheel has a much larger range of movement than does my RTP's front wheel. Where the GSA might require a two or three point turn to turn around in a tight space, the RTP would require a five or six point turn.

    I don't know if BMW has changed the range of motion of the front fork on RTs in the past 10 years, but I find the GSA much easier to move around at slow speed than the RTP.

    Then there's also the "pucker factor"...

    I'm far more paranoid and careful when doing slow-speed maneuvers or walking the RTP around than I am when I'm on or walking the GSA around at slow speeds. I know that a tip-over on the GSA won't do much damage, but that even with crash bars, the RTP is subject to thousands of dollars in damage from a simple gas station or garage tip-over.

    We're supposed to get a soaking rainstorm this afternoon here in Seattle, and I rode the GSA to work instead of the RTP. I should have a "GSA weather protection" update by the end of the day.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

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