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GS or RT


Patou

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Hi folks,

This is my first post.

I am on the market for a new bike and I really, really like the R1200GS, especially the Adventure version.

However, I am curious about the RT too. I am planning long trips (Alaska -alone- this summer), 99% on paved roads. I like the Adventure because it soaks up damaged roads (numerous of them where I live), has a huge fuel tank and looks great! The RT looks more comfortable for two-up riding, though.

I come from a sportsbike background and consider myself an accomplished rider. I love twisty roads at spirited speeds.

What is your opinion on which bike would be the best for me?

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Basic question - how much do you value protection from the elements? The RT is much better in this regard.

 

The GSA is quite a bit taller than the RT. Depending on your build this could be a problem or an advantage.

 

Check out posts in BMWST - many have made the trip on both bikes. I've had my RT on dirt and gravel roads but I can't say I'm comfortable riding the RT's street tires in these conditions...

 

One other consideration, the RT has taller gearing. I've not checked the '09 models but prior years have identical spacing between shifts so a lower 1st gear corresponds to a lower top gear.

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I have not owned the R1200GS. I have an RT and have ridden it to Alaska. It made it just fine. The full fairing kept the rain and wind off of me. My wife also loves to ride two up on it.

You mentioned, "I like the Adventure because it soaks up damaged roads (numerous of them where I live), has a huge fuel tank and looks great!" You also said, "I really, really like the R1200GS, especially the Adventure version."

Sounds like you should buy the bike you want to buy. Who cares what everyone else thinks.

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Go ride all three (the GS and the Adv are different enough to be considered as different bikes when you're buying). Buy the one you like better.

 

I've had both and RT and a GS, but I'm not objective because the GS is new and we're still on a honeymoon. That said, compared to the 2000 RT, the 2008 GS:

1) Has shorter gearing, making parking lot maneuvering and street-wide U-turns much easier. The six-speed RT might be just as good. I don't know.

2) Takes up less room in the garage.

3) Should be easier to maintain. Tupperware removal is a pain. Not difficult, but a nuisance.

4) Soaks up potholes better.

5) Has a more upright seating position.

6) Has much less weather protection. This could be a deal breaker.

7) Costs a little bit less. The Adventure won't cost less, though.

 

There's more, but I have to get to work. If you're of a certain age, you'll understand my analogy that if your favorite bike was a Schwinn Sting-Ray, you'll probably prefer the GS, but if it was a Varsity, you'll want the RT.

 

Either way, you can't lose. Have fun shopping!

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Well I've got an RT, I looked seriously at the GS and was about to buy one, then I ran into a really good deal on a 07 RT I just could not pass up. I previously had a 1100RT and liked it, just thought I wanted a GS for a change. WEll to make a long story short, I'm really happy I got the RT, great weather protection, lots of comfort, ect. I think you should buy a bike suited for the major type of riding you do. I figured that 95% of my riding was on hard roads, so why buy a bike for the 5% dirt trails? On the other hand, everyone that has a GS loves it, and they seem to be the "in" bike right now. Anyway, good luck with your decision, I know it's a tough one, I wreseled with it for quite awhile, then just by chance, the decision was pretty easy when I ran into the great deal on the RT.

 

Steve

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

Good advice all around. You can't go wrong with either if it suits your predominant riding style If you have stong tendencies for on and off road, two bikes is the answer. Two of my riding buddies have GSAs and love them. I have never heard either of them complain about the weather protection. Personally I prefer the weather protection of the RT over the offroad capabilities of the GS/A, but again I'm seldom disappointed when I can't go down a dirt road. If I were going to get a dual sport, it would be something much smaller and lighter.

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I have an R 1200 RT. I rented an R 1200 GS for a week. And I have seen the GS Adventure.

 

All are good bikes. The GS and RT are both great in twisty roads at spirited speeds. The GS is lighter, geared lower, has less wind resistance, but has slightly less HP and Torque. For long touring the GS lacks the cruise control (although you can add it with an aftermarket device), wind and weather protection of the RT. Most particularly the leg protection difference is worth about 10 F for a given set of gear. Or looking at it another way, you'll need one more layer on your legs on a GS vs an RT in cooler weather. The RT also boasts a much nicer windshield. Many people feel the RT is geared too high, no one is worried that the GS is geared too low.

 

The RT comes largely ready to go, the GS requires outfitting.

 

The GS is easier to move around when you are off the bike, the RT's fairings make you stand out away from the bike more, plus it's top heavy.

 

The GS is generally more "droppable", at least the way most people configure them with bags and crash bars and guards. Some of the weight difference is probably eaten up with these accessories too. Price is likely similar after outfitting a GS.

 

The other major differences are in the suspension and geometry. You'll have to ride them to see what I mean, or maybe someone else can describe it better. The RT sets beautifully in turns, yet remains flickable. The GS has to be ridden more through turns. On the other hand, the GS is much easier in parking lots. They just have a different feel in street riding, but both are quite rideable.

 

Moving to the Adventure, I haven't ridden one. These are big, big bikes, one was nicknamed the whale. Personally, I would get a standard GS and carry extra fuel in Alaska, or when necessary, rather than always being saddled with that huge tank.

 

Edit: I rode my RT from SLC to Death Valley in January. I don't think I could do that on a GS. Some people can ride a GS all day long, I get more fatigued from the buffeting, and my throttle hand gets to be an issue. The RT is simply better suited for longer days and more extreme conditions. The GS is better suited to mixed roads surfaces (but it's no dirt bike). They are both great on twisties.

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And what about an R1200R? You could get a fairing, and hard bags for touring, and still have a light bike for dirt roads.

Anybody rode an R1200R to Alaska?

 

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Unless they have added the ability to turn off ABS on the RT that could be a factor depending on where you ride. I've never had any "issues" on regular dirt/gravel roads (although I feel guilty for putting the RT through that and a drop could be pricy), but when they are steep downhills with some loose gravel, the ABS can add a bit of excitement to the ride.

 

Have fun deciding. The danger, you might "need" more than one! ;)

 

Welcome to the Board. :wave:

 

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Unless they have added the ability to turn off ABS on the RT...
One sure fire way I've found to "turn off" the ABS on my 12RT is to cut the wire to the sensor by the rotor! :dopeslap::dopeslap::dopeslap:
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Go ride all three (the GS and the Adv are different enough to be considered as different bikes when you're buying). Buy the one you like better.

 

I've had both and RT and a GS, but I'm not objective because the GS is new and we're still on a honeymoon. That said, compared to the 2000 RT, the 2008 GS:

1) Has shorter gearing, making parking lot maneuvering and street-wide U-turns much easier. The six-speed RT might be just as good. I don't know.

2) Takes up less room in the garage.

3) Should be easier to maintain. Tupperware removal is a pain. Not difficult, but a nuisance.

4) Soaks up potholes better.

5) Has a more upright seating position.

6) Has much less weather protection. This could be a deal breaker.

7) Costs a little bit less. The Adventure won't cost less, though.

 

There's more, but I have to get to work. If you're of a certain age, you'll understand my analogy that if your favorite bike was a Schwinn Sting-Ray, you'll probably prefer the GS, but if it was a Varsity, you'll want the RT.

 

Either way, you can't lose. Have fun shopping!

 

I have had an 1150GS and now an R1200RT. I agree with most of those evaluations but I think the slow speed handling of the 1200RT is very close to being on par with the GS. I also didnt find the GS to be any more upright than the RT. My GS had too much buffeting for my liking and the lack of weather protection on the GS is nice in the summer at times but not welcome in the winter. Getting all that wind on long highway stretches wears you down quicker as well. Comparing size of bike int eh garage, the adventure GS is one big bike and I wouldnt say the GS takes up less space (assuming both have cases on). The GS definately takes rougher roads alot better than the RT (the number one thing I miss about the GS). With the side cases off the GS feals alot sportier. Ultimately the buffettign and lack of a fairing became an issue. I should also not that GS really really dont like wind or gusts from big rigs. I damn neaqr felt like i was going to get blown off my GS at times. Thats one thing I wont miss about my GS.

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For what you want to do, the GS is the ticket. In Alaska or parts of the Yukon it is not unheard of to spend 3 hours on "gravel" in road construction areas. Having a GS and an RT, I would rather be on a GS in Alaska. In fact, if I do go up again, it will be on the GS. The Adventure is overkill IMHO and too heavy. The standard 1200 GS has plenty of fuel range and is lower and lighter. I would even consider a 800GS as the ultimate Alaska bike with it's 21" front wheel and lighter weight. Wish it had a larger fuel tank though.

 

You can achieve a fairly protected ride on a GS with the right wind screen and tank panniers to protect your legs. The beauty of it is that you can ride the GS any place you can take an RT, but the reverse is not always true, or at least you wouldn't really want to.

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I'll second consideration of the 800.

 

Range on the R 1200 GS and F 800 GS are both about 250 miles. While the 1200 has a 5.3 g tank vs the 4.2 g of the 800, the 800 will get better fuel economy.

 

 

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Go ride all three (the GS and the Adv are different enough to be considered as different bikes when you're buying). Buy the one you like better.

 

I've had both and RT and a GS, but I'm not objective because the GS is new and we're still on a honeymoon. That said, compared to the 2000 RT, the 2008 GS:

1) Has shorter gearing, making parking lot maneuvering and street-wide U-turns much easier. The six-speed RT might be just as good. I don't know.

2) Takes up less room in the garage.

3) Should be easier to maintain. Tupperware removal is a pain. Not difficult, but a nuisance.

4) Soaks up potholes better.

5) Has a more upright seating position.

6) Has much less weather protection. This could be a deal breaker.

7) Costs a little bit less. The Adventure won't cost less, though.

 

There's more, but I have to get to work. If you're of a certain age, you'll understand my analogy that if your favorite bike was a Schwinn Sting-Ray, you'll probably prefer the GS, but if it was a Varsity, you'll want the RT.

 

Either way, you can't lose. Have fun shopping!

 

The GSA has much better ooooomph than the RT. Now you do sacrifice the top end speed though.

 

I absolutely was spoiled by the wind protection on the Rt and nearly sold the GSA after 2 weeks of head banging b/c of the wind. That problem was solved with a $237.00 Zechnik w/s. Amazing how that calmed things down.

 

The GSA has much better storage and the like. It lacks cruise and it is very tall....cornering (like I like) is rather awkward as you feel like you are leaning way more than you are. Got use to it though....the GSA does not satisfy my sport bike need like the RT did. But then again the RT did need more ponies for me even though it can fly. Loaded with gear and 2 up it can be sluggish at passing.

 

The MRS. does not like the GSA like the RT...she says it does not "stick" in the corners like she felt the RT did. I think it is the tallness of the machine that gives her this impression. The GSA is a not so pretty bike. The Rt was appealing to me in that category but hey....the GSA is a much more utilitarian machine.

 

As far as which one? Take a ride on each. They will speak volumes to you in a short trip. Listen and then make your choice. And if you are anything like me? Ya use 'em then throw them away and buy another. :thumbsup:

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I have both, you cannot go wrong with any of those.

Every time i am riding the GS i think is better than the RT.

But the same happen when i am riding the RT.

I really think the RT 1200 is the best motorcycle ever, and you are not buying an ISPIRATIONAL DREAM BIKE LIKE THE GS, (like the Harly that make you feel as you were a Bad Boy, for me the GS make feel you the ADVENTURE and that is the best all around bike if you ride more than 10% on dirt roads

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ISPIRATIONAL DREAM BIKE LIKE THE GS, (like the Harly that make you feel as you were a Bad Boy, for me the GS make feel you the ADVENTURE

 

I'm guilty of that, I suppose.

 

Here's another analogy: Riding a GS that you never take off road is like wearing cowboy boots but never riding a horse. Riding a GS Adventure that you never take off road is like wearing spurs and never riding a horse.

 

I'll wear boots, but not spurs :Cool: . Everyone draws the line at a different place.

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