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Thread: Struggling to decide....

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  1. #1
    Cowboyatheart
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    Struggling to decide....

    Ok so I ride an '08 R1200rt.

    I want to be comfortable riding gravel roads, maybe to Prudhoe Bay Ak, and the like.

    I can only justify one bike. I know, but that is it for now.

    I am leaning towards a 1200 GSW for all the great reasons, power, goodies, comfort, wind protection ( I live where it rains and gets cold, but not necessarily freezing.

    Downside is weight.

    Other option is 700 GS. Less power,
    Less weather protection, less goodies, less weight, less cost.

    Okay please chime in, pretend you are trying to convince me one way or the other!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Neil
    Want to be happy for a day? Drink. Want to be happy for a year? Get married. Want to be happy for life? Ride a BMW!
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  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    The 700 can be outfitted to be a competent dirt road bike and a pavement burner as well. Enough power to cruise all day on an interstate and light enough to be manageable in the icky stuff. My wife has the F650GS and has ridden it between AK and MT five times as well as used it for long rides in the lower 48. Unless you plan to tour two-up the 700 is enough motorcycle to do what you need it to do.
    Kevin Huddy
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  3. #3
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I know it is just me because I think the 700 would be more than adequate. My first several bikes were chain driven vertical twins. I wanted a BMW because it was shaft driven and unique with the boxer engine since a classmate rode one to college in the dead of winter in 1970.

    Everybody seems to have chain driven vertical twin and I like something unique. I would get the 1200 because it is closer to what I consider a traditional BMW than the 700.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  4. #4
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    Choice...

    I've had a G.S. for fifteen years, first the 1150 and now the 1200. I also have a new F800 GS and I'm enjoying it but.........

    If I were you I'd buy the 1200, after riding an RT you'll miss the power of the bigger bike and from my experience the weight of the bike isn't a factor. I'm sure it will "feel" lighter than your RT.
    The cost increase will be worth it to you in order to have a bike you'll love for years.
    I'm enjoying my 800 but and I know it might sound silly but I don't enjoy having a chain driven bike to maintain.

    You only live once (or so they say) so buy the big boy bike and enjoy!

  5. #5
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    Rt

    Quote Originally Posted by nelliott View Post
    Ok so I ride an '08 R1200rt.

    I want to be comfortable riding gravel roads, maybe to Prudhoe Bay Ak, and the like.

    I can only justify one bike. I know, but that is it for now.

    I am leaning towards a 1200 GSW for all the great reasons, power, goodies, comfort, wind protection ( I live where it rains and gets cold, but not necessarily freezing.

    Downside is weight.

    Other option is 700 GS. Less power,
    Less weather protection, less goodies, less weight, less cost.

    Okay please chime in, pretend you are trying to convince me one way or the other!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    I'd test ride the GS and your RT on the same dirt and gravel roads. See how they handle. Your RT carries its weight lower than the GS so it is more controllable than the GS. Standing on the pegs alters the geometry of the bike lowering the center of gravity. See how you like riding both bikes in dirt and gravel standing on the pegs. Then you have the calcium chloride damage to consider. FWIW Jon

  6. #6
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DARKCLOUD View Post
    I'd test ride the GS and your RT on the same dirt and gravel roads. See how they handle. Your RT carries its weight lower than the GS so it is more controllable than the GS. Standing on the pegs alters the geometry of the bike lowering the center of gravity. See how you like riding both bikes in dirt and gravel standing on the pegs. Then you have the calcium chloride damage to consider. FWIW Jon
    This is not the case. Standing on the pegs has no effect on center of gravity, but it does decouple the mass of your body from that of the bike so that you can move your upper body around to manage CoG as you traverse rough ground. This works best when squeezing the bike with your knees and moving your upper torso around to counter undesirable bike movement)

    The other effect of standing on the pegs is that your inputs to the bike can be much lower, should you use the technique of shifting your weight to steer with your feet. (This works to a lesser effect while seated).

    The main difference between an RT and the GS is suspension travel, everything else is pretty much cosmetics. Well, until you get into the latest models with the ASC/ABS and that heavenly Enduro Pro mode.

    If you can stand gravel pings and calcium chloride on your nice shiny fairing, there's no reason the bike won't take you to Alaska.

    Ian

    ps => on the CoG discussion, any old IBMWR prezzies here? Remember the EPIC argument about this, with Dr. Curve being wrong and right at the same time?

    pps => but I bet in your heart of heart you want that badass GS LC, don't you?


    .
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  7. #7
    Cowboyatheart
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    Hi everyone,

    thanks for your responses so far.

    Just to be clear, I am itching for an upgrade. Both the new RT and new GS seem to have reduced inner leg curves (which means I can get more of my foot/feet on the ground), and enable lowering of the suspension without loss of "goodies" (not talking about suspension travel).

    I have a dream of doing some more adventure riding, which means more gravel roads, perhaps some off-road too, cross a few creeks, but not "trials" type situations. And yes, I will ride a lot on paved twisty roads, and sometimes on paved straight roads or highways to get to the good stuff.

    I also acknowledge that I would likely miss the power of the 1200 (GSW or RTW) if I go with a 700GS or a lowered 800GS.
    For sure I will miss windscreen protection and ability to raise and lower to fit my needs in varying conditions.

    I plan on taking a 1200GSW, 1200RTW and a 700GS for a test ride at the BMW Demo day on May 10th. We have our house for sale at the moment, and so I won't pull the trigger on a new stead until we sell it and know where we are moving to.

    Be (all of) that as it may. I am interested in your comments and thoughts, and provide this post as a more full explanation of what I am thinking. and yes I have dropped my RT at a standstill (parking lots), but never on the move. I am reluctant to take it off road for fear of a lot of damage to the plastic in a moving drop on gravel or dirt.

    I am almost 54 yrs old, 162 lbs, 28" leg, desk jockey that is getting back into working out regularly, but have a long way to go to gain the body strength to wrestle bikes in off road conditions - so I will build strength, flexibility and endurance before I venture too far off road.

    AND this whole adventure biking thing has really motivated me in working out physically - so that on its' own is a good thing.

    Keep your thoughts coming, and thanks.
    Neil
    Want to be happy for a day? Drink. Want to be happy for a year? Get married. Want to be happy for life? Ride a BMW!
    www.TasteMoringa.com Smart Mix & XM3 Energy Drink are the puppies to view...IMO

  8. #8
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Neil, for the type of riding you are looking at, you can easily narrow it down to just two choices, with both being a GS derivative. I went down from a K1200RS to a F700 this last November, and now have one 500 mile and one 1200 trip under my belt with my F700GS. I'm glad I made the move, as I had issues with holding up the K bike when coming off the side stand and a couple of near drops when coming to a stop or backing into a parking space. I'm 63 years young, 5"10", in fair shape ( still snow ski like I know what I'm doing, at least for about the first day, until everything catches up to me) and weigh 185 pounds. I always had to make sure that I could roll out of a spot, as I sure as hell wasn't going to back pedal up even a small incline. So, I'm happy with my move to a smaller bike. I do miss the power surges sometimes, (especially when I wanting to pass something on the road like a slower or smug Harley rider) but really, I think the 700 is pretty much up to most issues on the road. It's not a two up bike, IMHO, but since my wife won't go anywhere with me on a bike, I don't have to worry about it. My only issue with the bike so far is the smaller gas tank, which puts me at about 180 miles between gas stops, (although I did just get 191 miles on my last tank just as it was going into the reserve gallon, but I was really behaving myself with keeping to 55 mph or lower, as I was on some nice back roads that didn't warrant anything faster.
    I will say the 700 is a bare bones bike though, and have heard of folks over powering the ability of the bike to provide power to farkles, so that may be an issue for you if you like a bunch of do-dads that require power. Myself, I use Garmin heated jacket and gloves in the winter, and I have some axillary lighting ordered, and a GPS, but haven't had a chance to check to see if I'm at the limit of power usage yet.
    So, if your serious about weight, try out the 700 or 800 with factory lowering if you need to get closer to the ground; if not all that concerned about weight, and electrical gizmo's are important to you, stick with the bigger 1200GS. I think it has a bigger tank too, so that may be a factor.
    As far as my 700, I just ordered a RotoPax 1 gallon to take with me on long trips for an added 50 miles of opps for when I'm out cruising with a big smile on my face and forget to look at the gas gauge. I did that on a recent trip to Salem, as I was having soooo much fun, I clean forgot to think about gas........

  9. #9
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    This is not the case. Standing on the pegs has no effect on center of gravity,
    Can you show me that mathematically? I can believe that two coordinates (say, x and y, where x is fore - aft and y is port-starboard) might be unchanged, but the vertical coordinate surely must increase unless the rider's inseam matches the distance between the seat and foot-pegs.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  10. #10
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nelliott View Post
    Ok so I ride an '08 R1200rt.

    I want to be comfortable riding gravel roads, maybe to Prudhoe Bay Ak, and the like.

    I can only justify one bike. I know, but that is it for now.

    I am leaning towards a 1200 GSW for all the great reasons, power, goodies, comfort, wind protection ( I live where it rains and gets cold, but not necessarily freezing.

    Downside is weight.

    Other option is 700 GS. Less power,
    Less weather protection, less goodies, less weight, less cost.

    Okay please chime in, pretend you are trying to convince me one way or the other!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    I lived in Fairbanks, AK for 16 years and met hundreds of riders headed to Prudhoe, and have ridden the haul road a few times myself. Just about anything and everything can and has made the trip up and back. Harley baggers, a Goldwing pulling a trailer (got a speeding ticket just south of Deadhorse for doing 70 MPH) and my favorite, a Vespa with two 70 year old women riding two-up. But the best bike for riding the Dalton, Dempster or any of the dirt roads in that part of the world is a rental. Why pay $25,000 to buy and equip a 1200GS (low estimate) when you are going to ride it 10% of the time off pavement, get it covered with calcium chloride and otherwise beat it to death. If you like your RT (I had an 07 RT when I lived in Fairbanks and used a 93 GSPD on dirt) then keep it. Rent a small bike (650 or less) for the ride to Prudhoe. Remember, nothing out performs a rental. I rode to Deadhorse once at the same time the M/C author Greg Frazier was riding up there as part of a organized tour. It was his 10th trip and he was on a Kawasaki 350cc with fabric panniers; more than enough bike. You can rent a bike in Anchorage or Fairbanks; anything from a KLR to a 1200GS and other smaller bikes as well. They are costly but certainly cheaper than a new bike.
    Kevin Huddy
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  11. #11
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    I owned an R1200GS and F650 Twin at the same time and IMHO if I were to only have one motorcycle I would go with an R1200GSW. As far as wind and weather protection the 1200GS fits right in between an RT and my F-twin (even with the larger F800 shield). The R1200 GSW's suspension is better. It has more power, is more comfortable on the highway, and just as easy to ride on gravel roads as an F700. Compared to your RT the 1200GS is lighter feeling in the front end and easier to ride on tight roads, and with it's wider bars and riding position much nicer on gravel roads. The 1200GSW is a fair amount more money than an F700 but it'll also return more when you go to sell it, plus no chain and sprockets to fool with, the 1200 also comes better equipped. Unless the F700/800 seats have been vastly improved over the previous F650/800 factor another $400 for a replacement.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  12. #12
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    But the best bike for riding the Dalton, Dempster or any of the dirt roads in that part of the world is a rental. Why pay $25,000 to buy and equip a 1200GS (low estimate) when you are going to ride it 10% of the time off pavement, get it covered with calcium chloride and otherwise beat it to death.
    Good advice!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    Good advice!
    A neighbor friend rode KY to AK & to Prudhoe Bay on his 1980's Yamaha and showed me how the chemicals from the gravel part of the ride in AK ate into all the aluminum on his bike-engine cases looked like an "acid attack"!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  14. #14
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Rent a small bike (650 or less) for the ride to Prudhoe. Remember, nothing out performs a rental. .
    A used KLR would be the idea bike for me, because if necessary I could walk away from it. I loved my new edition KLR but with 33 HP, it was down on power. If I were in a place with mucky roads that would ticket you at 70 mph, a KLR would be great---and cheap! BTW, I have two friends who did the Haul Road. One did it on a Harley Springer--and rode from the Arctic directly to Key West. The other was on a BMW 1200 C cruiser. You run what ya brung
    Mac
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  15. #15
    Registered User talmadge_w's Avatar
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    Main thing is to buy the bike best suited to how you actually ride most of your miles rather than how you hope to ride someday - as stated earlier a rental is great for one off trips. I got back into riding with a 650 single that COULD do what I asked but wasn't really comfortable. 200 lbs of rider plus ?? lbs of gear at the normal 80+ mph cruise around here just made it work too hard. Moved to a 1200 GS which was pretty much ideal to my situation excepting the fuel range on long trips in the intermountain west. Now it's a 1200 GSA that has the long legs for trips but is really too much around town so I'm about to end up with a second smaller bike for that. One bike will always be a compromise and to me the 1200 GS is about the best compromise out there.
    Talmadge Wright
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