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Thread: RT vs GS

  1. #1
    RT in NC
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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
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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
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    RT in NC
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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
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Ok, sure, but what kind of protection? You could add some valve cover guards, they are cheap and easy, but what else would you need? You can't really protect the panier, and in fact, it is a crash guard. The bike will slide on the valve cover (or guard), bar end, and panier. That protects it quite well in a slide. Once I broke a foot peg but that was easily aluminum welded here in my shop.

    You could fashion some home made Delrin sliders on a lathe, or modify some pre made ones, like I have on my CBR600 for the track, but they just aren't needed.

    As far as knock over protection, the panier is all that would take a beating. I slide my bikes, but I don't drop or knock them over!

    Also don't be tempted to ride panier free. If you do, that bike will tear up your leg as it and your ankle will take the weight of the bike. With the panier, you are easily protected from the weight and can easily separate from the bike in a low side. And then the repair work is easy and inexpensive. Same thing for the GS.

    What type of small work are you doing? I can take every panel off the RT in about 15 minutes, but RARELY do I need them all off. About the only time I do it is if I'm flushing the ABS system. Otherwise, the front pieces come off quickly, the side pieces quickly. I don't remove the tank unless I need to get to the ABS.

    Your shipping to Seattle. If you plan to ride a lot off-road, put on some dual sport tires. Keep the suspension soft (Comfort mode if you have ESA) and you'll be fine.

    Here's my RT after sliding about 30 feet on the road. The blue tape marked the scrapes on the panier and valve cover. There is slight marking on the bar end. That's pretty minimal damage for 30 feet of road. Pick up, brush off, ride. The RT recovers from low sides well.

    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  9. #9
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    You'll likely find the GS delightfully easier and quicker handling on road, and that's due mostly to the wider handlebars. The larger front wheel diameter contributes, too.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  10. #10
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    as long as you're looking,

    take a look at an r12r
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  11. #11
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    You'll likely find the GS delightfully easier and quicker handling on road, and that's due mostly to the wider handlebars. The larger front wheel diameter contributes, too.
    What he said!!!
    In mountain twisties a GS is fantastic. My previous bike was a Triumph 1050 Tiger. On the same roads, I thought my GS was rather slow compared to the Tiger. Then I looked at the speedo. I was going 10-15mph faster than the Tiger but it seemed slower. A GS is just so easy to glide through turns.
    Old But Not Dead
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  12. #12
    Registered User rodstanhope's Avatar
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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

  13. #13
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=rodstanhope;895835]

    I have the touratech engine protection bars and they are very easily dragged in the corners. Quite the pucker factor!! /QUOTE]

    good point. My buddy had crash bars on his Speed Triple. They dragged in a corner and made him go down. We now joke that "crash bars" make you crash.

    Does anyone know if valve cover guards drag? I routinely drag my foot peg indicators but have no idea how close that makes the valve covers to the ground.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  14. #14
    Registered User Atomicman52's Avatar
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    If you ride on the rode , RT all the way!

    Personally, I do not like the ergonomics of the GS. Just not comfortable for me. Just hated just about everything about it! Just my opinion.
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomicman52 View Post
    If you ride on the rode , RT all the way!

    Personally, I do not like the ergonomics of the GS. Just not comfortable for me. Just hated just about everything about it! Just my opinion.
    +1 !

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