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Thread: Which GS?

  1. #1
    Registered User KARSTEN's Avatar
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    Which GS?

    Here is a good one; I am looking to buy a GS and would like some advise from GS Riders. Just sold my R1100R and must have another bike soon.
    I am not interested in off roading, shorter rides,maybe up to 250 Miles, some slab time but mostly in town, 2 lane HWY. I am leaning toward a GS because of the ergos,I am 6'4 and about 230lbs. Do not need anything with low suspension.I think that I would not be looking at a thumper GS because of power or the lack thereof.Any input is welcome.

  2. #2
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    Just my two cents, but other than your concern about ergonomics, a GS is way overkill for the riding you are describing.
    If you must have a GS, look at a F800.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

  3. #3
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    +1 on the overkill with the GS. Take a look at the R1200R Roadster. It is a better setup for what you are describing. You will be surprised at how much better the Camhead, or even the Hexhead version of the Roadster is than the R1100. The premium for the GS is not worth it for your particular application, and the Roadster is capable of going most places the GS can go anyway. It is also a fun ride, and can mount the same luggage the RT carries if you want to tour with it a bit.

    One thing to remember about the Roadster a lot of us have discovered: When you start adding windscreens, luggage, etc. you are quickly into the RT price range without all the additional goodies of the RT: Adjustable windscreen, cruise, radio etc. Try the RT also. I traded my Roadster for the RT and am regretful only in the fact I did not go with the RT much, much sooner. It is probably the best all-round bike BMW makes, and definitely the best one I have ever had. I pretty much use it as a daily driver, and in city traffic or open road and twisties it is an absolute hoot to ride anytime, anywhere.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    +1 on the overkill with the GS. Take a look at the R1200R Roadster.
    For someone 6'4" tall? I'm only 6' with a 32" inseam and find myself chewing on my knees when I get on a roadster. The advantage of the GS is the tall suspension which is not only great for leg room, but for soaking up the bumps on what passes for maintained 2-lane roads in this area. Even on the R1200GS I found it to be more comfortable after dropping the footpegs a half inch or so.

    Karsten, you need a test ride or three to know what bike is right for you.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by KARSTEN View Post
    .... Just sold my R1100R and must have another bike soon............. I am leaning toward a GS because of the ergos,I am 6'4 and about 230lbs. Do not need anything with low suspension.I think that I would not be looking at a thumper GS because of power or the lack thereof.Any input is welcome.
    I think a 1200GS would be perfect for you. It offers great ergos and surprisingly effective wind protection, yet it still feels like a naked motorcycle.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  6. #6
    Caribbean Druid
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    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    I think a 1200GS would be perfect for you. It offers great ergos and surprisingly effective wind protection, yet it still feels like a naked motorcycle.
    +1.

    The R1200R Roadster is a great bike, but would be way small in terms of ergos for your size. My wife rides a 2012 R1200R. She's 5'6" and 135, and the R fits her perfectly. I'm 5'8" 165, and the bike is even cramped for me. Too bad, as the R is a great machine. On the other hand, my 2012 1200GS is very roomy and makes a great road bike. I use it as a sport tourer, not an off-road machine, and it is awesome for the pavement. A couple of thoughts on the GS as a sport tourer:
    - Spring for the Adventure panniers. The standard GS panniers suck. Don't have enough carrying room, particularly the exhaust-side pannier.
    - If you don't want a taller windscreen, then at least put the GS/A wind wings on the GS. Makes a big difference for such a cheap mod.
    - The stock rider pegs are way too skinny. Put some PivotPegs or other wider pegs on it.
    Otherwise you'll find the mods that you want for the bike. Its a great machine. I've been through a number of bikes looking for the perfect (for me) sport tourer, including flirting with the new Ducati Multistrada for a year and 15k miles. I've come back to the GS and I'm staying...

  7. #7
    Registered User KARSTEN's Avatar
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    thanks for the responses,overkill ??? are not all BMW bikes overkill? Yes they are, even thogh I have been riding them for 30 + years.What does that mean anyway? Overkill?Could I find I cheaper bike to entertain me? sure, a v strom is nice but I am hooked on the bavarian bikes for a reason.We all are and there are tons of reasons why.The Roadster is very nice but too cramped for me.My question is more along the lines, or should have been, what are the differences between the F650GS which I guess now is the 700GS and the F800GS, enough power? or just go with the 1200GS.

  8. #8
    Certified Beemerphile TheRoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwestly View Post
    A couple of thoughts on the GS as a sport tourer:
    - Spring for the Adventure panniers. The standard GS panniers suck. Don't have enough carrying room, particularly the exhaust-side pannier.
    - If you don't want a taller windscreen, then at least put the GS/A wind wings on the GS. Makes a big difference for such a cheap mod.
    - The stock rider pegs are way too skinny. Put some PivotPegs or other wider pegs on it.

    Or you could just buy a GSA and these good suggestions will be standard. And you will get to ride 300+ miles per tank regardless of your speed. I use my GSA as a touring bike, as well as very light off road (I am 5'-9) and motorcycle camping.


    Good luck!
    Christopher Ross, Lubbock, Texas

    2012 R1200GSA
    1974 R90S

  9. #9
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Power?

    EVEN the F700 today has more HP than our R100s of past and not even close. I think the HP question is very subjective to personal needs and most need much less than whats available today in HP. At 6' even, I find the GSA1200, the biggest of them all, a very comfy ride with legroom to spare and no finer touring, all day ride out there. Anybody over 6' should consider the bucks spent on the bigger GSA. 'cause its the best bang for the bucks spent. Most add the GSA stuff anyways, after the fact, when buying the GS1200. It clearly is built for adventure and offroading too, so if one kept it on the roads only, they would be fine but very limiting to their fun factor. Too many opportunities to explore and having the bike to do it is icing on the cake. Randy

  10. #10
    On the road to nowhere aphillips66's Avatar
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    Cool F800gs

    My opinion is one among many...I would suggest the F800GS. It is comparatively light weight, so it is easily moved and parked. Its ergonomics make for a very comfortable riding position, especially for someone 6'4". It can carry hard luggage for those little errands around town. The current model has 85 horsepower - which is what a 2004 R1150GSA had, and the F8 has 100 pounds less weight than the 1150. The 2013 F800GS has had several component upgrades from the previous model years. I just changed my '09 R1200GSA for a '13 F800GS because I felt the F8 is a plenty capable bike for the kind of riding I do and it is much easier to handle versus the 1200GSA. If you want to cross continents, then the GSA is definitely the bike of choice. If you're using the bike for short trips and a daily rider, something of a medium sized bike would be a better decision. Regardless of our individual opinions, there are reasons the GS is BMW's best selling model.
    Max the Motorcycle children's book written by my wife.

  11. #11
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I have ridden the F800GS, and R12GS extensively, and done a little time on the F650gs. My favorite is the F800GS, only complaint is the soft front suspension, but that is easily fixable. I even prefer the F800GS two up, over the R12GS. But my riding is 90% twisties, and small back roads. If I were riding slab or traveling, yes the R12GS would be my choice.

    The only reason to buy a F650/700 (with the 800cc engine) is if you need a shorter bike than the F800GS, or have to have tubeless tires.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  12. #12
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    Your location is similar to mine so, IMHO I would avoid the GS Adventure or the RT due to the lack of airflow. Where it's so humid for me my RT was just too hot and I could not get enough air moving to suit me. If you traveled north frequently I would not be so set on my opinion, but sounds like your mostly on local rides. I'm 6'1" and like the ergos very well on my 1200 GS. My riding is 60% local with one long trip north each year and the GS suits me well for that style. The opinions on the F800 are well worth noting too, I test drove it last month and really, really like it. Light and sets very tall. At 6-1, I was on the balls of my feet.

    Good luck
    Greg

  13. #13
    Polar Opposite
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    My 2011 GSA is for sale in the Tucson area. All farkled and set up for a tall rider. 6200 miles. Email if interested for pictures and details via PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KARSTEN View Post
    ...My question is more along the lines, or should have been, what are the differences between the F650GS which I guess now is the 700GS and the F800GS, enough power? or just go with the 1200GS.
    OK, hereÔÇÖs my rambling review of what I notice from living with my F650 TwinGS and R1200GS. The F650 Twin (now called 700) has a little more power than my R100, for me it is quite adequate. I can notice it's lighter than my 1200GS by how it feels and handles. The engine is very smooth up to an actual 80 mph at which point you feel just a little buzz. (The 700 has a 1 tooth larger rear sprocket so it's "buzz" might start just a few mph lower but I believe this sprocket combo would be the best for street riding) The F Twins are large bikes, actually longer than the 1200, so I think you'll be comfortable on one. IÔÇÖm 6ÔÇÖ with 32ÔÇØ inseam and have enough room for my bad knees. I don't know if the seats on new F's are improved but they'd have to be substantially so because they're horrible. The newer 1200 GS stock seats are pretty good. One thing I really notice when riding the 1200GS and F650 is just how much wind protection the 1200 offers. The tank shrouds, stock windshield (which is wonderful IMO), hand protectors, and cylinders sticking out just seem to eliminate the worst of the wind blast, yet as I said it still feels like a naked motorcycle. As far as wind, riding the 650 feels about like riding a big Suzuki DR 650. The F800 has a slightly larger windshield which is better than the non-windshield in the F650.
    As you know the F800GS is essentially the same bike as the F650/700 so they feel similar. From my brief rides on an F800GS I observed the 800ÔÇÖs shield worked pretty well (not as good as the 1200GS though). ItÔÇÖs geared noticeably lower than the 650, with 1 tooth smaller front and 1 tooth larger rear sprockets, which lets it accelerate from low speed a bit quicker. But riding down the road I didnÔÇÖt like it as well. The engine was buzzing more and with itÔÇÖs skinny 21ÔÇØ front tire the bike felt less stable than the F650 with itÔÇÖs wider 19ÔÇØ tire. On loose dirt and big bumps the F800 would be better, the 650 GS runs well on dirt roads though. The two bikes make about the same power up to 5,000rpm, actually the 650 might have just a bit more torque at certain low rpm? I could feel the F800 had a little more kick over 5,000 but I seldom run these engines above that rpm range. The 650, due to gearing and engine tuning differences, delivers around 5 better mpg (on regular) than a F800 does (on premium). These are approximate but typical mpg the following bikes might deliver on the same ride. R1150 GS 40 mpg, 1200GS 45mpg, F800GS 52mpg, and the F650 57.
    I wouldnÔÇÖt hesitate to buy a FGS again. If I did IÔÇÖd choose the F700 and factor in adding the following like I did to my F650. Hand guards, F800 windshield (there are plenty of used ones), 3/4ÔÇØ bar risers, rear rack, center stand, and Sargent flat seat. I went with Jesse bags but if I were doing it again IÔÇÖd probably go with BMW Varios.
    I also wouldnÔÇÖt hesitate to buy a 1200GS again. If I could have only one IÔÇÖd go with the 1200. Things that push me to the 1200GS are no chain, easy to remove rear wheel, telelever front suspension, and better wind protection. The 1200 just feels a little more stable going down the road and handles at least as well. Partially offsetting the higher price is the fact nothing really needs to be added except luggage. There's a reason the R1200GS is BMW's best selling motorcycle, they're very good and versatile bikes.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  15. #15
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Test ride the bikes you might be interested in and then make the call. That being said, the GSA is the bike with the best ergos for tall people.
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