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Difference between Adventures: R1150GS and R1200GS


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I'm wondering if there's some huge difference between the two adventure bikes. I've seen a bunch of nice late-model 1150s for sale in my area for less than ten grand with all the options, for example: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/mcy/363872425.html

but I'm wondering if there's something ultra-special about the hexhead. I know the 12 has more power and torque but I don't know if the other small changes really make the 12 that much better. Some have said the 12 is just an evolution, not a revolution.


Reason I'm asking is that I've been doing more and more all-day and multi-day rides, and sometimes we find some "funny" roads that I don't particularly like my R1100S on. I feel like I'm missing out on a big part of what's out there. So, I want to do more dirt riding and long-d sport-touring.


From my preliminary research, the R1200GS-Adv has a lot more standard features than its predecessor, like engine guards, better seat, etc but I figure if I'm buying used, as long as the bike I'm getting has all the features, what do I care what was standard and what was an option? Also, I hear the transmission clunk has been looked over and the 12 came out much smoother-shifting.


If you could answer any of these questions, I'd greatly appreciate it. If you want to share some experiences with your Adventure, whether dirt or street, short or long distance, I'd appreciate it. I'd also welcome any free advice! tongue.gif Thanks guys!

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You may wish to do a search on advrider.com, where you will find a wealth of information on this subject. There are riders on both sides of that camp.


Good luck with your deliberations.



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One difference is the weight. Dry weight on the 1150GS is 480 lbs. The 1200GS is 439. With the reduced weight and added HP/torque, the 1200 is much more agile and quick.

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Depending on the model year of the 1150, it may have two spark plugs, or it may have four. The 1200 will, of course, have four. Some people have experienced surging with the two plug models. I think the twin sparks (four plugs, two per cyclinder) started in the 2004 model year. That may mean there's only two model years of 1150GSAs that are twin spark, as the 1200s came out in 2005, with the Adventure version following in 2006, if I recall.

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I know the 12 has more power and torque but I don't know if the other small changes really make the 12 that much better. Some have said the 12 is just an evolution, not a revolution.


I'd say that's mainly on target, but I think the evolution is pretty significant.


My experience wasn't on GSAs, but I had a 4-day 1,600 mile test ride on an '04 1150GS just before I bought my '06 12GS. The 1150 is a very nice bike. If I had been willing to hunt for one that had been as well cared for as the one I rode, I might be riding it now. OTOH, just about everything on the 1200 is more refined -- definitely evolved, with some significant strides forward. Comparing them is almost apples vs. oranges, because the 1200 is more than just a tweak from a design standpoint. It is considerably lighter, more agile, more powerful. I decided I wanted a bike that I could ride for the next 5-10 years, and that having one that was new and more refined was more important to me than the cost difference. Nearly 2 years later, I'm very happy with my choice, but I still think the 1150 is a fine bike.


I think the best thing you can do is ride both, as much as the sellers will let you. You might just find that the 1150 gives you everything you want, for far fewer $$$$.

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