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Thread: She Said Yes To The GS!

  1. #1
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    She Said Yes To The GS!

    In a nutshell, here's the skinny: My wife Mary and I have toured extensively on our old /5. It was only 27 years old when we took (her first) long ride (12,000 miles) with quite a few miles added thereafter. A '92 K1100LT came into the picture in 2003. Lots of touring miles since then. This second very reliable friend is now 21. Now talks about a 'new to us' bike keep coming up in recent discussion. I have periodically brought up the option of a properly appointed GS. "Too FN ugly", she often retorted. So, a few weeks ago we met a couple on a 2012 GSA..... with all the 'fixins'. She loved it. That's the basics.

    So, now we are looking for a 1200GS. It has to look like the one she saw (Touratek stuff, new seat, new gps, see-and-be-seen lighting, etc). Can't really get a new one but can bring in a year old from U.S. to Canada. We start looking in Florida (because we will be in Key West) in late November and spending a couple of weeks just looking around to dealers.

    My question is: Aside from all the good reasons to buy one, what might some of the perceived drawbacks be (not being inseam challenged is likely in my favor) in looking at a long term ownership? Is there one particular year to avoid? One to seek? At 65 I do not aspire to be a "GS Giant" but I do like a bit of a challenge. We both do actually. Opinions? I know most places to research but I am most interested in experienced observations about the bike itself. - Bob
    Last edited by tourunigo; 09-21-2013 at 04:57 PM.
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  2. #2
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Bob, a GS Giant is an attitude, not an age! And you already qualify based on the adventures I've seen you post. Consider this your Royal invitation from the Queen.

    As for suggestions, given the mileage you ride, Mary will most likely want a more comfy seat. I opted for the Vario cases because at the time, I wasn't sold on the "big square boxes". If I had the option to do it again, I would ditch the Vario cases in favor of the Jesse bags. The Vario cases, even when expanded, do not offer enough packing space - particularly in the left side.

    If I were to be honest with myself, I probably should trade in for a smaller 800 or 700 to try to improve my off road skills but the bottom line is that I love my 1200GS and I'm not a hard core off road rider. So it's a keeper!

  3. #3
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Bob,

    I have an '05 so thought I'd pipe in with my observations on that year model.
    If you are doing a lot of two up riding you might want to avoid the early year models, '05,'06. They had taller final drives and higher internal transmission ratios. While it made for good top speed and was not an issue on the highway it did make starting under load, especially on any kind of hill, a clutch slipping situation. I did a couple of marathons as a photographer mule and doing slow speed work two up was very difficult with the taller gearing.
    There's also the brake issue. The early models (not sure when it changed) had the power brakes. Some people like 'em (I do), some don't. But if you're not sure I would opt for a model without them. Their one big drawback was lack of braking power with the key off.

    Hope that helps.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  4. #4
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    Bob, a GS Giant is an attitude, not an age! And you already qualify based on the adventures I've seen you post. Consider this your Royal invitation from the Queen.

    As for suggestions, given the mileage you ride, Mary will most likely want a more comfy seat. I opted for the Vario cases because at the time, I wasn't sold on the "big square boxes". If I had the option to do it again, I would ditch the Vario cases in favor of the Jesse bags. The Vario cases, even when expanded, do not offer enough packing space - particularly in the left side.

    If I were to be honest with myself, I probably should trade in for a smaller 800 or 700 to try to improve my off road skills but the bottom line is that I love my 1200GS and I'm not a hard core off road rider. So it's a keeper!
    Thanks for that kind endorsement regarding my "qualifying attitude" Tracy The boxes are a must but not sure about a top box yet though. The seat: after market seat is a clear choice. Right now our old K has a Russell and that has been an excellent, and painless, addition (a few 12 hour days will prove it a priceless investment).

    Thanks for you points and the "Royal Invitation". - Bob
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  5. #5
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Bob,

    I have an '05 so thought I'd pipe in with my observations on that year model.
    If you are doing a lot of two up riding you might want to avoid the early year models, '05,'06. They had taller final drives and higher internal transmission ratios. While it made for good top speed and was not an issue on the highway it did make starting under load, especially on any kind of hill, a clutch slipping situation. I did a couple of marathons as a photographer mule and doing slow speed work two up was very difficult with the taller gearing.
    There's also the brake issue. The early models (not sure when it changed) had the power brakes. Some people like 'em (I do), some don't. But if you're not sure I would opt for a model without them. Their one big drawback was lack of braking power with the key off.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the insights regarding model years Paul. Since we intend to hang on to the bike for a good number of years, we will likely be looking for a 2012 (maybe 2011) with next to no mileage but haveing had the required services done. Also, as I mentioned previously, the bike must be at least a year old for me to bring it back to Canada. As well, riding will mostly be two up (ha.... I couldn't get to the end of the driveway without Mary jumping on!) so I guess we are seeking a specific bike that we may have a hard time finding. But maybe not. Looking will be lots of fun and we'll learn a lot in the process. - Bob
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  6. #6
    X-Troller hexst's Avatar
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    Bob, Mary will need a ladder or catapult to get on and adventure, will be fun to watch. I'd stay away from the 05-06 between brakes and gearing. As long as you keep bikes I'd go with a Cam-head 2010 or later You Guy's will have a ball on one! Of course you always have Fun because it's the best thing there is!
    Knick
    F800GS
    Vespa ET4

  7. #7
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    ...the bike must be at least a year old for me to bring it back to Canada.
    What's this about, Bob? Warranty work ?

    Congrats, in advance.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  8. #8
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HexST View Post
    Bob, Mary will need a ladder or catapult to get on and adventure, will be fun to watch. I'd stay away from the 05-06 between brakes and gearing. As long as you keep bikes I'd go with a Cam-head 2010 or later You Guy's will have a ball on one! Of course you always have Fun because it's the best thing there is!
    At 4'11" the ladder is a likely addition. On our K1100LT I installed a cruise peg on the left side so she does a little 'two step' up and over. The GS may be a tad more gymnastic in execution. We'll see. 2010 model year or later for sure. - Bob
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  9. #9
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RINTY View Post
    What's this about, Bob? Warranty work ?

    Congrats, in advance.
    Not sure how warranty stuff works out Rinty. Good point. That warranty angle should be investigated a bit more. Maybe someone here has some experience with that point. The one year is a Transport Canada requirement (unless that's now changed and I didn't get the memo). - Bob
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  10. #10
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    According to the RIV website, all BMW's are eligible for import the U.S.

    http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/SafeV...Section8_0.htm

    I don't think Transport Canada is involved in any of this; it's RIV that has jurisdiction over importing vehicles. You could call RIV to make sure. The only tricky part of a BMW import is getting the Recall Clearance Certificate.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  11. #11
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RINTY View Post
    According to the RIV website, all BMW's are eligible for import the U.S.

    http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/SafeV...Section8_0.htm

    I don't think Transport Canada is involved in any of this; it's RIV that has jurisdiction over importing vehicles. You could call RIV to make sure. The only tricky part of a BMW import is getting the Recall Clearance Certificate.
    ya, looks like year does not matter. Still. I wonder about the warranty compliance. Maybe I should just stay in Canada for my search?
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  12. #12
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    I don't know what the situation is on honouring U.S. machine warranties, here, but it probably won't be fun.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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