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Thread: RT vs GS

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  1. #1
    RT in NC
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    Jun 2013
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    RT vs GS

    What are the main riding differences between the RT and GS? The electric windscreen and fairing are nice on the RT. I maninly stay on paved roads. Why is the GS "better" on non-paved roads?

    Thanks
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
    2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic

  2. #2
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    IMO, the answer is to go ride them both. Would you pick your wife based on other guy's opinions? I have a GS and love it. Bought it based riding paved roads only. I know an RT is a great bike but have never ridden one. It may or may not be the best for me, but it would have to be a whole lot better to make me change my mind on the GS.
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  3. #3
    RT in NC
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    Since I haven't had much luck with wives maybe someone else's opinion would be better than mine. lol. I have a test ride set up when I can get to the dealer. Just wondering what oither people think.
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
    2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    The GS has more suspension travel and clearance, is a little lighter, and can take a tip-over w/o cracking a fairing. It also offers good wind protection but you still get the breeze around you. W/O all the plastic to remove the GS is easier to work on. An RT offers great wind protection. RT offers better comfort for a passenger. As far as handling on the road an RT feels a little heavier in the front. GS Adventure feels 1/2 way between a GS and RT and pretty much splits the difference regarding wind protection as well.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  5. #5
    RT in NC
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    Agree about the plastic. For what it costs you would think the RT would come with some crash protection.
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
    2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic

  6. #6
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Hey Buck,

    I'm in Raleigh. I own an RT and I've ridden a GS a lot. Here's my thoughts:

    Crash protection on RT: Why? I've lowsided my RT twice in sand. I pick it up and off I go. No big deal. Last time it slid on the asphault about 30 feet. I repaired the panier, painted it, and it was done. The valve cover has a lot of road rash, but that's a scar with a story, and I am leaving it. Prompts a lot of "how'd you do that?" questions.

    Off road: The GS is a bit lighter, but not much. The main difference is dual sport tires. I think more suspension travel, too. I take my RT off road at times in the Smokies, it does fine for the ten mile stretches we need to cross. Neither the GS or RT are dirt bikes. I have a Suzuki for that.

    On Road: The GS is a bit more nimble, but in the hands of a competent rider, the difference is slight to nil. The RT has better rider protection for wind, rain, cold, etc. The little GS windscreen is annoying to me. I'd rather take it off completely as I get a quieter ride on my naked R90/6 than I do with that annoying GS windshield.

    My summary: If you ride street, go with the RT. It is nimble in the corners, plenty fast in the straights, and very comfortable and quiet (air sound, engine is same as GS).

    If you ride dirt, get a proper dirt bike, or a more dirt leaning dual sport like a Suzy DRZ.

    If you are going to Alaska, either put dual sport tires on your RT or get a GS.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '05 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    RT in NC
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    Jun 2013
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    Crash protection? personal preference. I don't like my stuff messed up. Dropped it a parking lot when the kickstand rebounded and I was too quick getting off to check it. Thanks for the info. About what I thought. I was thinking about this last night. Getting ready for a ride. Shipping bikes to Seattle, flying out then riding back. I believe most of the bikes are GS's. Seveal are the new water cooled version. I love riding my RT. But all that plastic is a pain in the ass. I like to put stuff on my bikes and taking that stuff out has become routine. But I do drd the thought every time I want to do something small and have take it apart. I used to love to work on my Harleys.
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
    2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic

  8. #8
    Registered User rodstanhope's Avatar
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    Ringgold, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by roborider View Post
    Hey Buck,

    I'm in Raleigh. I own an RT and I've ridden a GS a lot. Here's my thoughts:

    Crash protection on RT: Why? I've lowsided my RT twice in sand. I pick it up and off I go. No big deal. Last time it slid on the asphault about 30 feet. I repaired the panier, painted it, and it was done. The valve cover has a lot of road rash, but that's a scar with a story, and I am leaving it. Prompts a lot of "how'd you do that?" questions.

    Off road: The GS is a bit lighter, but not much. The main difference is dual sport tires. I think more suspension travel, too. I take my RT off road at times in the Smokies, it does fine for the ten mile stretches we need to cross. Neither the GS or RT are dirt bikes. I have a Suzuki for that.

    On Road: The GS is a bit more nimble, but in the hands of a competent rider, the difference is slight to nil. The RT has better rider protection for wind, rain, cold, etc. The little GS windscreen is annoying to me. I'd rather take it off completely as I get a quieter ride on my naked R90/6 than I do with that annoying GS windshield.

    My summary: If you ride street, go with the RT. It is nimble in the corners, plenty fast in the straights, and very comfortable and quiet (air sound, engine is same as GS).

    If you ride dirt, get a proper dirt bike, or a more dirt leaning dual sport like a Suzy DRZ.

    If you are going to Alaska, either put dual sport tires on your RT or get a GS.
    I would add to the crash protection point:

    I have the touratech engine protection bars and they are very easily dragged in the corners. Quite the pucker factor!! I would opt for no protection. The heads aren't much more expensive than the cheap plastic covers (which you will end up replacing if they drag anyway). The bag catches 90% of the impact. These can be repainted easily and often. Or just embrace the scars and appreciate the character it adds!
    Rod
    95 K1100RS
    07 R1200RT

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