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Exploreinman

RT to GS Feedback Wanted

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Exploreinman

If you've ridden an RT for years and switched to a regular GS, not the Adventure model, I'd like to hear your feedback on the two bikes. I'm not ready to trade in my '05 RT yet, but when I come to that point I've started wondering if I would go with another RT, or try the GS. If you fall into this category, what's been your experience?

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Marty Hill

I did RT to GS back in '04 when the 12GS came out. 120lbs lighter and much easier to ride. I'd never go back.

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mickeym3

My experience is similar to Marty's. Went from a Wethead RT (such a phenomenal bike some would question my sanity) to a new GSA and really glad I made the switch. Much easier to handle even with 7.9 gallons gallons of gas and no longer shy away from forest roads or other adventures. Did give up ~20% weather protection (GS would be a little more with less frontal area and windshield than a GSA). They don't call the GS/GSA the swiss army knife of motorcycles for nothing, can literally do it all so if you're limited to one bike it's hard to beat.

 

The GS is a bit more nimble than a GSA but I wanted the extra weather protection, standard equipment protection bars and range.

 

 

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Sailorlite

Why I prefer the GS to the RT:

 

1. It's lighter with much better low speed maneuverability.

2. I'm not burdened with an unused radio and electric windshield.

3. The riding position (egos) is for me slightly better.

4. I rarely need RT-level weather protection - in the SW part of the US, less protection is often better.

 

Why I don't:

 

1. The GS fuel tank is too small.

2. The GS doesn't have the heated seat option (sometimes useful).

 

While the RT is an excellent choice for a next bike, I'm pretty sure I'd go with another GS or possibly GSA. I never ride off road so what would really appeal to me would be a "touring edition" GS with a larger tank. I find that the GS is a fine long distance freeway cruiser when necessary, but the smaller tank and reduced MPG combine to make fuel planning more important (not that that's a big chore).

 

You could note from my sig line that I've gone from a GS to RTs and a K1600GT and now back to GS - that's just me, and of course YMMV, and we can't forget the BTDT factor in choosing a next bike!

 

 

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OoPEZoO

I had about 70k miles of RT ownership before I switched to a GS. For me it was these couple of things. I like to travel well off the beaten path. I had my RT places that it shouldn't have been more than a few times. The legroom is much better on the GS. I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam and my knees would start bothering me on long days on the road with the RT. Plus it's easy to stand up for a minute and stretch on the GS.....not so much on the RT because of the ergonomics. And for the biggest reason, I hated the fairing on the RT in the summertime. It would absolutely cook me and I couldn't get any airflow to my legs. I rode my RT on many 600+ mile days and never really hated it. I have done just as many 600 mile days on the GS, plus a few 800+, and two 900+ days.

 

At this point, I have no desire to go back to an RT. The only I liked better about the RT was the size of the fuel tank and Danielle preferred riding the RT

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lawnchairboy

Still own one of each.

 

The GS is a better handling bike in my opinion, it just takes less effort to turn. I have 70k on the RT and about 25k on the GS. In the summer time, love the air I get on the GS. When it starts to get cool I love the fairing and windscreen on the RT. I am also fond of the cruise control on the RT and it is the chosen weapon if I need to do a bunch of slab to get somewhere and I choose to ride. I keep trying to psych myself up to sell the RT, but haven't been able to do it yet.

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Exploreinman

My interest in a GS comes from the fact that it's lighter then the RT, ease of handling in the tight twisties, and airflow during the summer months. I have no intentions of riding off-road. I have an Aeroflow screen on my RT that works fantastic. What I like about their GS wind-screen products is you can 'layer' them depending on how much airflow you want or don't want. How those Aeroflow products for the GS work is another question of mine.

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Jeff in VA

I've had 3 RTs (1150, 1200 and 1200 LC) and now a 205 GS. The RT has better wind protection and the electric windshield. The GS handles better, is lighter, and is much cooler in the summer. Given that I rarely ride in very cold weather, the GS is a much better choice for me. I also like not having so much tupperware to remove when I want to do something to the bike.

 

I replaced the GS windshield with a ZTecnik VStream windshield that helped a lot with airflow. Overall I am delighted with the GS and have no regrets about getting rid of it.

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Francois_Dumas

I bought a used 1200GS a few years ago (2006 model). Always wanted one since we lived part of our life i the French Alps. It DOES turn better and handles easier, and has much more power than my 1150RT.

In our new home, center of Italy, it is also better than the RT in the hot weather and on the bad roads.

 

Having said that, I rode the RT from The Netherlands to Italy this fall, and it is the better travel bike on the Autobahn and Autostrada.... I never thought I'd EVER own TWO bikes...... I got lucky. Now I'll keep both for as long as I can.

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lawnchairboy

Yep.

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Heck

Yep....and one of the best things--

If you ride a GS without washing it for eons, it still looks good..

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Exploreinman

I have loved my RT, and with the Aeroflow screen I have a perfectly calm pocket of air to ride in. But the summers down south are brutal and the idea of more air intrigues me, along with the lighter weight and handling of the GS. I've been viewing Aeroflow's website for their GS products, and they have 4 items to up the wind protection as the weather gets colder: Touring windshield, Handflare extensions, Aeroguards, and Legguards. It's looks like you could customize how much wind hits you depending on your preferences by how many of these products that you use. In the winter, put all 4 products on and as the weather warms up you can take additional pieces off.

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terryofperry

You are close enough to Parabellum if you so choose to ride up there and try them out.

 

Terry

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Dave_in_TX

How many of you GS owners regularly do 700-800 mile days while touring? I'm considering making the switch from a 2011 RT to a 2014 or later GS and wonder about the GS for those long days at high speeds where the RT's protection keeps you from feeling beat-up from the wind at the end of the day.

 

Have any of you made mods to make your GS a netter touring bike?

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bobbybob

I have done a couple of 500-700 mile days on my GS, and at the end of the day was thinking about RT's again lol. I was comparing how I used to feel after a day trip on my '07 RT, and I must admit I was more relaxed by far on the RT. The wind protection on the GS is very good, but still doesn't compare to the RT's. If I were making a coast to coast ride I would want an RT.

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mickeym3

No offense to those preferring the GS but the GSA's offer more range and better wind protection for those long days when you need to cover a lot of miles.

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Dave_in_TX
I have done a couple of 500-700 mile days on my GS, and at the end of the day was thinking about RT's again lol. I was comparing how I used to feel after a day trip on my '07 RT, and I must admit I was more relaxed by far on the RT. The wind protection on the GS is very good, but still doesn't compare to the RT's. If I were making a coast to coast ride I would want an RT.

 

Are you using the stock windscreen?

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bobbybob

No, its the Puig screen, a great improvement over the stock.

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boylanoil

Had a '98 R1100RT , liked it but thought too much protection plus time to take off and put on fairing, I'm not a wrench head so repairs more expensive in shops.. Got a Dakar 650, nice off road and around town but not for trips

Recently got R1100 GS '98. Rode faster and smoother than RT and cool in FL. However, problems with wiring and am getting restored- sensors,fuel distributor,wrap on wires etc.It is 17 years old w/25K miles. Now not enough protection so I have new engine guards and an AeroFlow windshield and 1/2Fairing. Still in shop but hope things work out.Like ability to go off road on easy trails occasionally. My wires were in poor shape, I guess from FL heat. BMW shop mechanic told me, 2 up, wife likes RT, solo- GS better way to go.

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OoPEZoO
How many of you GS owners regularly do 700-800 mile days while touring? I'm considering making the switch from a 2011 RT to a 2014 or later GS and wonder about the GS for those long days at high speeds where the RT's protection keeps you from feeling beat-up from the wind at the end of the day.

 

Have any of you made mods to make your GS a netter touring bike?

 

I can comfortably do longer days on my GS than I could on my RT. The weather protection is obviously better on the RT, but the ergos on the GS fit me better. The biggest difference is the distance between the pegs and the seat. My RT killed my knees on long days. The only relief I could get was moving around the saddle and occasionally stretching out a leg. I could stand up for a few seconds, but not for long due to being very hunched over. I did plenty of 600 +/- days on my RT, but it was rough on me and I always felt the after effects of it for days. Since getting the GS, I have done a dozen or more 600 mile days with zero after effects.....can't even tell I rode the bike the next day. I also did a 900 mile day followed by a 1000 mile day on it. I was obviously fatigued after that, but not nearly as bad as I had expected. The legroom makes all the difference for me. I can stand straight up and ride for miles, toss a leg up on the crash bars for a while (which also shoots air directly up my pant leg.....ahhh), and move around all over the place on the saddle. The wind takes a little more out of me compared to the RT, but the payoff of the legroom is well worth it to me.

 

I have hand guards, Cee Baileys wind screen, GSA side wings, aftermarket pegs, and an aftermarket seat (all of which were on the bike when I bought it). It also had adjustable bar risers on it, but I removed them almost right away due to them causing shoulder/neck pain.

 

My only complaint is that I do miss the large fuel tank on my RT. Not bad enough for me to consider a GSA, but I would like a little extra range.

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Exploreinman

How would you rate the wind fatigue on your GS compared to your RT after a long day in the saddle?

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OoPEZoO

I think it's tough to gauge because of how differently the airflow is between the two bikes. It's not strictly wind fatigue, it's a trade off between several different things. My issue with the RT was actually due to the lack of airflow. I rode it to California and back in August and while I was never beat up due to the wind, it felt like my feet and legs were on fire from sun up to sun down. There was no way to get any airflow to my lower body. My mid-section would also tend to get overheated, even with all of my jacket vents open.

 

The GS has less wind protection, but I welcomed that. I rode it to Colorado and back in August with triple digit heat and was perfectly fine. I can tell that I'm getting hit by more wind, but I no longer get that overheated feel. My vents work as intended and I feel better overall at the end of the day. The bike tends to dance a little more on the highway from gusty winds, but I feel that is also offset by the big wide handlebars.

 

I have ridden both in all day long rainstorms, ripping winds, oppressive heat, and sub freezing temps. I don't really miss my RT in any of those situations. The only time it would really beat out my GS was daily commuting (120 miles a day) in the late fall through early spring. The rest of the time I would always want the GS.

 

For what it's worth......my Wife preferred the RT. Partially because the seat itself was better for her (her RT seat was aftermarket, her GS seat is stock), but mostly because she felt like part of the bike vs sitting on a perch like she is on the GS.

 

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roadscholar
It's not strictly wind fatigue, it's a trade off between several different things. My issue with the RT was actually due to the lack of airflow. There was no way to get any airflow to my lower body. My mid-section would also tend to get overheated, even with all of my jacket vents open.

 

The GS has less wind protection, but I welcomed that. I rode it to Colorado and back in August with triple digit heat and was perfectly fine. I can tell that I'm getting hit by more wind, but I no longer get that overheated feel. My vents work as intended and I feel better overall at the end of the day. The bike tends to dance a little more on the highway from gusty winds, but I feel that is also offset by the big wide handlebars.

 

The only time it would really beat out my GS was daily commuting (120 miles a day) in the late fall through early spring. The rest of the time I would always want the GS.

 

 

There's always a trade-off but let's face it most of everyone's long distance riding is done in the warmer months.

 

There is some middle ground though and that's a GS with more wind protection. I have an 1150GS (actually 2) with Aeroflow windshields (one has lowers and one doesn't, it makes a difference) and the wind protection is uncanny. No direct air hits the rider yet just enough spills around the edges so it isn't a still pocket, I can ride all day with the face shield up or a flip in the up position. It's somewhat better protection than a 1200 GSA (have one and it's also far better than a standard 1200). I've also spent some time on a regular 1200 with an Aeroflow and while not as large as the 1150 version, it's still very good. Don't think there's a better aftermarket alternative (no affiliation) and if you ever need more wind blast, it's easy enough to take off.

 

BTW a standard pre-wethead 1200GS is not absolutely planted at elevated interstate speeds, although 1150's and 12GSA's are, the extra bit of weight on the front ends makes a big difference.

 

 

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OoPEZoO
BTW a standard pre-wethead 1200GS is not absolutely planted at elevated interstate speeds,

 

Especially when rolling on nobbies :grin:

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tallman

Much of this can depend on the rider's size.

 

Almost to a person, everyone I sold GS to liked the bike better than an RT.

But, almost to a person, they complained about wind management.

(This was up thru 2011 or so)

Some found solutions, some adjusted.

Some sold the GS becasue of this, but that was a minority.

 

The RT does what it does.

If that is what you need, it is terrific.

 

I like the shorter screens w/clean air becasue of my height.

Most stock BMW screens buffet me.

The GS is the most versatile of the two models, can carry a bigger load.

 

Find a GS to ride.

A long ride, 100 miles or so.

Try some high speeds for a while.

Make your own conclusions, IMO, as rider build/posture/style varies enough that unless you know the other person, .02 is worth half that.

:grin:

Not positive but resale might be better w/the GS so if you change your mind after getting one should be no problem to sell it.

Best wishes.

 

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terryofperry

You are more than welcome to join us for the February 20th SECFF lunch in Dublin, might be a few GS models there to talk with the owner.

 

Or join us for START in April in Helen. There will be a parking lot filled with them at that event.

 

Good luck.

 

Terry

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roadscholar
Much of this can depend on the rider's size.

 

Aeroflow on 1150. I think they come in 3 heights, this is probably medium. I'm 5'9 and just look over it with seat in high position. It ain't purty and it ain't cheep ($500.?) but it shore nuff works : )

 

IMG_1306-L.jpg

 

 

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lawnchairboy

Yessir.

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lawnchairboy

I know that parking lot....

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Exploreinman

I'll be with my wife on our wedding anniversary that weekend, but where and when is the March meeting?

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terryofperry
I'll be with my wife on our wedding anniversary that weekend, but where and when is the March meeting?

 

That probably will not be decided until after the February lunch. I will let you know.

 

Terry

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Dave_in_TX

How many of you R1200GS LC owners find the bars to be bit buzzy at highway speeds (~75mph). I've had three short test rides on water cooled GSs and finally got the chance to take one up to highway speed for a short time. The mount of high frequency vibration in the handgrips caused me some concern. The bike had over 6k miles on it so it should have had time to smooth out. I assume this is due to the lower gearing on the GS because it hasn't been a problem for me in the 240k miles I've ridden RTs (2007 and 2011 models). Is there anything besides grip puppies (this bike already had something similar) that can be used to reduce the vibration?

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marcopolo
How many of you R1200GS LC owners find the bars to be bit buzzy at highway speeds (~75mph). I've had three short test rides on water cooled GSs and finally got the chance to take one up to highway speed for a short time. The mount of high frequency vibration in the handgrips caused me some concern. The bike had over 6k miles on it so it should have had time to smooth out. I assume this is due to the lower gearing on the GS because it hasn't been a problem for me in the 240k miles I've ridden RTs (2007 and 2011 models). Is there anything besides grip puppies (this bike already had something similar) that can be used to reduce the vibration?

 

I got a 2015 GSA a couple of months ago, and I haven't noticed any untoward vibration in the grips (and I came from an '06 RT).

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bobbybob

Lots of folks (me included) notice increased vibes starting around 4200 rpms on the LC bikes.

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