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marcopolo

Initial Impressions Of My New GS Adventure

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marcopolo

Last week I took delivery of my 2015 R 1200 GS Adventure at Morton’s BMW in Virginia. I had traded in my ’06 RT, which I’d had for 9 1/2 years, and some 155,000 km (96,000+ miles). It had certainly served me well and was in good shape, but I was interested in a change, and I got the GS bug. I’ve only had my new GSA for a few days and have only put about 500 miles on it, but it’s never too early for initial impressions, even if they change over time.

 

First off, I bought the factory-lowered GSA (the regular Adventure was impossibly high for me). I must say, it really fits me well. I feel like I have a commanding view, even on the lowered version (maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I definitely feel like I’m sitting up taller than I did on my RT). I can comfortably flat-foot it too.

 

I also don’t find it too heavy (I guess coming from an RT helps in that regard). The GSA is about 48 lbs. heavier than the standard GS, but the gas tank is 50% larger, and some items come standard on the Adventure that don’t on the GS, e.g., racks for the BMW aluminum cases, auxiliary LED driving lights etc..

 

As many here already know, the new liquid-cooled engine has more HP and torque, and it’s noticeable, though I’m still in the break-in period and not exceeding 5,000 rpms. The new transmission is also slicker, though the bike’s turning higher rpms, at a given speed, than my RT (guess that’s final drive ratio at work). One thing that surprised me was that, at slower speeds, I felt heat on my lower legs, something I never really experienced on the RT.

 

As like most new bikes ordered by dealers, it came pretty much fully loaded. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did not add the keyless ride (I wanted a good old regular ignition key, and I got it). It also came with Gear Shift Assist Pro and that has proved to be more useful/interesting than I thought. Upshifts are more satisfying than downshifts to this point (maybe I haven’t quite got the technique down). Modern technology is also evident in the very slick way in which the Nav V GPS is so well integrated into the bike (and the handle-bar “wonder wheel”). It also unlocks an array of data that’s not available with a regular mount, or even on the new water-cooled RT. It’s nice having TPM and being able to display tire pressures on the GPS (as well as on the bike’s display screen). The LED headlight is also pretty impressive — and it means I’ll no longer have the annoyance of changing headlight bulbs, like I did on my RT. The tail/brake light is also LED and I just installed after-market LED turn signal bulbs, front and rear, which are significantly brighter than the stock bulbs.

 

I haven’t really played with the ESA very much, nor the ride modes (there are five on mine).

 

It’s also pretty apparent, once up to highway speeds, that the GSA definitely flows more air than my RT (I had an aftermarket ZTechnik windscreen on the RT that put me in a very calm cocoon of air). The GSA’s greater airflow — noticeable on my upper chest — will be an improvement in hot weather, I suspect, but not so much in rain and cooler weather. The GSA has a slightly larger screen than the standard GS too.

 

As far as accessories are concerned, after some research, I bought the BMW cases and tank bag. There’s no question that I’ll miss the RT’s brilliant quick on-off latching system. I have no idea why they got rid of that (on the new RT).

 

I’m having a blast riding the new bike, and look forward to hitting the road on it come next spring (START) and summer (UnRally).

 

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Chris K

Mark, congratulations on the new bike. I look forward to seeing it at START in the spring.

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marcopolo

:grin:, this is me last Wednesday, picking up my bike at Morton's BMW.
Edited by marcopolo

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Highway41

Very nice ride.

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tallman

You and da bike look great.

Enjoy.

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mbelectric

Mark,

 

That bike has Montana written all over it. :wave:

 

MB>

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marcopolo
Mark,

 

That bike has Montana written all over it. :wave:

 

MB>

 

Yes it does. :thumbsup:

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Rocer

Mark, thanks for the first impressions. I'll be especially interested in any future comments about riding without benefits of cowling. My recent stint on the KLX 250 reminded me what it was like to ride 'in the elements' and I have to say the RT has spoiled me, at least at highway speeds.

 

As a side note I thought you should know that back in your more northern neighbourhood Jessie McGrath has closed shop.

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marcopolo
Mark, thanks for the first impressions. I'll be especially interested in any future comments about riding without benefits of cowling. My recent stint on the KLX 250 reminded me what it was like to ride 'in the elements' and I have to say the RT has spoiled me, at least at highway speeds.

 

As a side note I thought you should know that back in your more northern neighbourhood Jessie McGrath has closed shop.

 

Thanks, Paul. I had heard about Jesse, and it's a shame he's gone. Guess it's tough to make a go of it when we have this thing called winter to contend with. I don't look forward to having the dealer as my only option.

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mickeym3

Went from a Wethead RT to a new GSA; I'd swag weather protection at about 15-20% 'less' but still respectable. Like the handling afforded by steeper head angle and despite sitting "higher" and the added weight (especially with 7.9 gallons of fuel) it's very nimble (ask me again after I've dropped the puppy in the mud while fully loaded with camping gear). As painful as it was to part with my RT I really love the GSA, no more passing up on forest roads and trails that I avoided before. The ultimate do everything motorcycle. Ride to Alaska gets marked off the bucket list next summer!

 

P.S. It's the Low Suspension loaded white one...no pic; don't want look like I"m trying to steal the OP's thread.

Edited by mickeym3

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terryofperry

Great looking bike Mark, congratulations.

 

Terry

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marcopolo
...P.S. It's the Low Suspension loaded white one...no pic; don't want look like I"m trying to steal the OP's thread.

 

Go ahead, pics are welcome. :grin:

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marcopolo
Great looking bike Mark, congratulations.

 

Terry

 

Thanks, Terry. You realize I only got it so I could hang out in the parking lot with you and Craig and company.

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terryofperry

You are always welcome, no matter what you ride.

 

I could have missed it but I have not heard or read what you think of the GSA first gear versus the RT first gear. So, what do you think of the gearing at the low end?

 

Terry

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JR356

As owner of a 14 GSA,I think you made a great choice:thumbsup:

 

JR356

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marcopolo

...I could have missed it but I have not heard or read what you think of the GSA first gear versus the RT first gear. So, what do you think of the gearing at the low end?

 

Terry

 

Interesting that you bring that up, because I was just talking about that with Katherine after dinner tonight. The GSA would certainly be better in stop-and-go traffic (like a backup on an interstate), where the RT moves too quickly in first gear and you have to keep using your clutch hand constantly. The GSA moves at a slower pace in first gear (when you're trying to just coast at a walking pace). I also find the clutch a little easier too.

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terryofperry

You are gonna like that gear when you get on gravel & dirt I think.

 

Look forward to seeing you at START.

 

Be well.

 

Terry

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mickeym3

...I could have missed it but I have not heard or read what you think of the GSA first gear versus the RT first gear. So, what do you think of the gearing at the low end?

 

Terry

 

Interesting that you bring that up, because I was just talking about that with Katherine after dinner tonight. The GSA would certainly be better in stop-and-go traffic (like a backup on an interstate), where the RT moves too quickly in first gear and you have to keep using your clutch hand constantly. The GSA moves at a slower pace in first gear (when you're trying to just coast at a walking pace). I also find the clutch a little easier too.

 

Exactly my impression, light touch to the rear brake and you can creep along without working the clutch. Do wish 6th gear was a tad higher though, doesn't help in the fuel mileage department either.

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TNT
:grin:, this is me last Wednesday, picking up my bike at Morton's BMW. That is a good looking bike. This will open up a new world for you. I just love my little GS. Have fun and ride safe.

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JiminPA

Congratulations on the new bike Mark. We have never met but I currently ride a 2010 R1200RT and plan to order a new GSA so I can pick it up in the spring. I will be looking forward to an update after you have ridden some more. I am torn between the standard or low suspension but leaning toward the low. It would be great to hear your views on that as you do more riding. Have fun! Very nice ride you have there!

 

Jim

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drswift

Great review, Mark. Do you find it harder to mount this beast than your old RT? I find (even with my long legs) that it's easier to stand on the left peg and climb on, especially with the width of the side cases.

 

You mention the "easy mount" clips on the RT luggage. They tend to break off when the bike goes down, (something not uncommon when riding off-road) rendering the pannier worthless. Your new cases will get dented and banged up, but will stay on.

 

The only thing I miss on the RT is the seating room between the tank and the top case when riding two up. Seems a little cramped (but cozy).

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the new bike soon!

 

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marcopolo
Great review, Mark. Do you find it harder to mount this beast than your old RT? I find (even with my long legs) that it's easier to stand on the left peg and climb on, especially with the width of the side cases.

 

You mention the "easy mount" clips on the RT luggage. They tend to break off when the bike goes down, (something not uncommon when riding off-road) rendering the pannier worthless. Your new cases will get dented and banged up, but will stay on.

 

The only thing I miss on the RT is the seating room between the tank and the top case when riding two up. Seems a little cramped (but cozy).

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the new bike soon!

 

Hi Dave, I don't really find this harder to mount than my RT. If it's on the side stand, I just swing my leg over. If it's on the centre stand, I stand on the left peg and up and over.

 

I probably wasn't clear enough about what I miss about the RT; it's the quick on/off tank bag. To this point, I've found the GS tank bag (with straps/buckles) to be a bit of a PITA at gas stops. To this point, anyway, I have to take my gloves off to re-fasten the buckles when I'm done gassing up.

 

We'll get to "show me yours and I'll show you mine" at the UnRally!

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marcopolo
Congratulations on the new bike Mark. We have never met but I currently ride a 2010 R1200RT and plan to order a new GSA so I can pick it up in the spring. I will be looking forward to an update after you have ridden some more. I am torn between the standard or low suspension but leaning toward the low. It would be great to hear your views on that as you do more riding. Have fun! Very nice ride you have there!

 

Jim

 

Thanks, Jim. In my case, I wasn't torn between the standard and low suspensions because there's no way I could comfortably mount/ride the standard Adventure. It was just by chance that I learned that BMW made a factory-lowered Adventure and I discovered that it fit me like a glove. I really need to do some riding in the mountain twisties, which won't be until Spring now.

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mickeym3

One tidbit about the low GSA is the center stand geometry is different and will require a bit more 'grunt' ( putting the rear tire on a 1 inch board does wonders ). Even at 145 pounds I never had an issue putting a bike on the center stand until this one (the Wethead RT almost seemed to float up on it!). Not a deal breaker but just giving you something to consider. With a 30 inch inseam I would have bought a GSA long ago if they had offered the low suspension. Sure, could have put Wilburs on a standard one but spending $2500 on a new bike just wasn't going to happen, at least for a cheapskate like me. I really like the low first gear, 6th gear ratio not so much, think it's one reason the GSA gets worse mileage than the RT.

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marcopolo

Interesting you mention the centre stand. There's a long thread on ADVRider started by a guy who injured himself trying to get his lowered GSA on the centre stand. After I read that I wondered what I had gotten myself into (not having picked up my new bike). After I took delivery, I discovered it was a complete non-issue (for me at least).

Edited by marcopolo

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marcopolo

I discovered one (two actually) annoyance yesterday as I tried to add air to my tires. As I suspected, the CyclePump inflator that I have tripped the circuit on the GSA when I tried to use it (accessory socket is max 5 A, while the pump draws about 10 A). I used it on my '06 RT with no hiccups. Guess that means I'll have to get a second socket wired directly to the battery, if want to use the pump on the road. I also discovered that it's a bit of a pain to get the air gauge, or air chuck, onto the valve stem of a spoked wheel.

 

Not being able to use my CyclePump, I then rode over to my local full-service gas station/garage where they gladly inflate your tires. While the guy had several chucks on hand, he was unable to find any that he could get on the valve through the spokes. All he managed to do was let more air out of my tires. I finally ended up using a pump at a 7-11 gas bar (I had to attach their air hose to my in-line tire gauge to get any air in. It was a bit of a struggle). I'll have to find a better solution.

 

What do you guys with spoked wheels use to inflate your tires?

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mickeym3

Not an issue (at least for me).

 

F92F1999-B78A-4CF8-8D04-03D72562399E.jpg

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marcopolo

Well I made a little headway on the "filling tires with air" issue. First off, I discovered that I do not need a second accessory socket wired directly to the battery to use my CyclePump. I suddenly realized that the pump's power cord has in-line SAE connectors (plugged into each other) before the cord terminates in a BMW plug. All I did is separate the two SAE connectors and plug the cord into my battery charger lead which has an SAE connector as well. Voila, I now have my pump working directly from the battery.

 

As for fumbling about trying to get the air chuck onto the valve through the spokes etc., I just ordered a Motion Pro pivot air chuck that swivels through 360 degrees. Maybe I'll have better luck with that (or I might have to sign up for remedial training).

Edited by marcopolo

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