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Thread: RT to GSA

  1. #1
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    RT to GSA

    RT to GSA

    I have the opportunity to make this change.

    The RT has served me/us extremely well these last 56,000 miles - cross country (6,000 miles) a couple times with no problems other than routine maintenance.

    Mrs. rarely rides anymore so her comfort isn't as important as it was, yet she will ride on short rides (less than 200 miles round trip) and have been given the Green light.

    I'm looking at a 2012 GSA, have rode one previously and was surprised on just how well it rode, comfort and agility.

    What I'm looking for is feedback from GSA owners on your overall real life ownership experiences (Fun Factor, High Speed Stability: over 110mph for extended distances = 20+ miles, agility, etc.) - ride with a very diverse group of bikers but the majority like to ride somewhat fast (100+mph) so it will be important to not only keep up but have the ability to pass when the opportunity arises.

    Majority of riding will be 90 miles round trip or substantially more - ride about 15,000 miles a year. Little off road other than the occasional fire road.

    Weight is not a issue - almost identical to the RT wet and the height of the GSA isn't an issue either.

    Drawbacks & Strengths - what are they? Any Regrets?

    The 2012 GS is nice especially the new 2013 water cooled but I'm leaning towards the GSA.

    Thanks for any and all feedback,
    08RT

  2. #2
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    While I don't own one, I have ridden the GSA quite a bit, so can compare to the RT.

    What you lose:
    1. Cruise control (can be fixed with Throttlemeister)
    2. Electric windscreen. (you have to stop and fix adjust the GSA at this point).
    3. Gas mileage decreases noticeably due to the poor aerodynamics.
    4. Weather protection is less (good or bad depending on your situation).
    5. Radio and speakers if you use them.

    Gains:

    1. Very large gas tank if you need the range.
    2. High "cool" factor of driving a 2-wheel Hummer.
    3. Much less damage if you drop the beast.
    4. Suspension travel is greater, sometime giving a more comfortable ride.


    I like the seating position on the stock GSA. I had to add riser/barbacks on my RT to make it more upright seating, but is now comparable.

    The GSA has surprising handling capabilities for such a large bike. The first few times I rode one, I was amazed that I was running twisties a quickly as I was able. The flickability of the bike is also very good due to the wide handlebars.

    It is not a dirt bike despite the fact that marketing implies such. Most people never get one off road anyway, so no big issue there. It can be a bear to pick up if dropped with a load of camping gear when off road solo.

    The GSA probably has a better return for investment as it come equipped with a lot of the stuff standard GS riders end up spending big bucks on anyway. The usual argument against the GSA is that it is top heavy with full fuel. When you dont need the range, simply do not fill up the tank fully, and that argument goes away.

    Good luck on your decision. Either bike is outstanding, and the best choice would probably have both if you can afford them together. They compliment each other quite well.
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 02-17-2013 at 04:14 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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  3. #3
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    GSA owner here:)

    Love mine, but its worst CON is gas mpg's and running 100+ will get you in the low to mid 30s. The only time mine goes over 40mpg's is when my avg. speed on BC is kept low, under 50mph avg.. Its not a high speed beemer in my opinion, but 100 is very capable and top speed is around 120. I run 75/80 a lot and it cruises there at ease. It hits the 100 mark quite easy, but I've only gone there maybe twice in 5 years. Two up comfort! Great, as my wife and I are 60 and rode across the USA last year, no comfy issues at all. The GSA gives much better leg room and the large tank acts like a fairing, protecting legs. My mechanical cruise works perfect(Kaoko) and my GSA windscreen is also perfect with no need for electric one. Had a KLT1200 in past and know the features well, don't miss'em. We ride OFFROAD a lot and find the GSA beast a jeep on two wheels, IF you have the ability to ride dirt. Done this all my life. I have dropped it a dozen or more times in dirt riding, all tour packed and otherwise. It IS a challenge to lift, but done with knowledge and skill. A very fine choice by any standard imo. I did a Texas run back in last Springtime to Curpus CristyTX, all slab burning Interstates for 4000 miles, for a graduation I couldn't miss. All 75/80mph+ mostly riding and the worst was 33mpg in bad winds, West TX and best was at 40mpg's. I'm afraid your 100mph running will really kill the mileage stats! The faired ones do this much better. Randy

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your responses - any others will be Greatly Appreciated !

    THANKS,

  5. #5
    Registered User apexal's Avatar
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    I can't speak about a GSA but I have a GS as well as a RT. If I could only have one of those two bikes then the one bike would be the GS. The RT has some awful nice features but the GS can do anything that the RT can do and more. The GS can carry more gear, can go off-road, is lighter and feels faster (lower gearing), handles bumpy roads way better and is just a bit more fun to ride.
    Dover, NH

    2014 BMW R1200GS Racing Red

  6. #6
    Caribbean Druid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    ... I'm afraid your 100mph running will really kill the mileage stats! The faired ones do this much better. Randy
    I apologize in advance for hijacking this thread, but the above have been bothering me since I read it...

    Since many others are thinking it, but are not going to say it, allow me: If you are constantly running 100mph, then there are other issues to consider besides how well the GSA handles those kind of speeds. First off, the bike is not designed for it, so why would you expect decent gas mileage? 2nd, if you are constantly running high speeds, why did you buy a GSA? 3rd and most important, if you feel the need to routinely be running those kind of speeds on public roads, then I question your common sense and judgement as a rider. Certainly I am not going to be riding with you.

  7. #7
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    dwestly, spend some time out in the western deserts and you might understand. I don't think anyone expects to get good mileage at higher speeds. It is just accepted that you wont. The "public roads" aspect also doesn't mean a lot when you are on a straight road 75 miles from the nearest anything with 20 mile visibility. Doing 100 MPH in that situation is a lot safer than keeping up with traffic at 85 MPH on the interstate near the bigger cities. Also, the GS or GSA is the bike of choice if you are also going off road or at least plan on enjoying some of the great unpaved roads.

    I tend to limit myself to about 85 MPH on my GS, partly because of the distance between available fuel stops when I get out in the desert. I can understand how someone with a GSA might not care about decreased mileage and twist their wrist a bit more. And the bike IS designed for it.

  8. #8
    Caribbean Druid
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    dwestly, spend some time out in the western deserts and you might understand. I don't think anyone expects to get good mileage at higher speeds. It is just accepted that you wont. The "public roads" aspect also doesn't mean a lot when you are on a straight road 75 miles from the nearest anything with 20 mile visibility. Doing 100 MPH in that situation is a lot safer than keeping up with traffic at 85 MPH on the interstate near the bigger cities. Also, the GS or GSA is the bike of choice if you are also going off road or at least plan on enjoying some of the great unpaved roads.

    I tend to limit myself to about 85 MPH on my GS, partly because of the distance between available fuel stops when I get out in the desert. I can understand how someone with a GSA might not care about decreased mileage and twist their wrist a bit more. And the bike IS designed for it.
    Sigh...I knew this would happen...

    In fact, I do spend a lot of time out in the western deserts. I am the manager for one of the major manufacturer's national demo teams and I ride a lot in CA, NV, UT, etc. I also love lane-splitting in CA and am in agreement with the CHP's position that it is safer for motorcyclists than sitting in major traffic jams with cagers. While I agree that moving at speed to control your space is a good strategy, there is no call for extended periods of speed in excess of 100mph on public roads. For one thing (and I also speak as an experienced instructor here), most riders' skills, regardless of what they think, do not match those kinds of speeds, particularly when extended periods at any speed also induce rider complacency. 2nd, those speeds, besides inflaming law enforcement ire, do nothing for the public opinion of motorcycling, and only reinforce negative stereotypes. Also, I never suggested that a GS or GSA is not the bike of choice for off-road or unpaved roads. That's one reason I ride a 2012 1200GS. However, the bike was never designed to be a high-speed machine. Certainly they can be ridden at speed (and I am not adverse to sane riding at reasonable speeds to cover some distance, since I am an IBA member), but that is not their intended design purpose. You want a high-speed multi-purpose machine? Go ride a Ducati Multistrada. Yes, I've owned one of those as well, and they also go off-road quite well, despite naysayers.

    You are certainly entitled to your own voiced thoughts, but in my opinion anyone who argues for those kinds of speeds on public roads in the U.S. is only trying to justify their own riding behavior.

    As far as this forum allows, I've voiced my concern.

    I apologize again for hijacking the thread. I don't intend to continue this discussion.

  9. #9
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    May be we should ride 400 burgman's or our bikes should have governors. Why make them so capable if we can't or shouldn't do it? At some point it's all absurd.
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  10. #10
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwestly View Post
    You are certainly entitled to your own voiced thoughts, but in my opinion anyone who argues for those kinds of speeds on public roads in the U.S. is only trying to justify their own riding behavior.
    How am I justifying my riding behavior when I already stated that I, for my own reasons, don't ride at those speeds?

  11. #11
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Me neither!

    My 90000m GSA1200 has hit 100mph maybe twice, just a spurt of "sillyness" on my part to feel the speed. Its gets very bothersome, riding that fast imo, so I see no need to get anywhere that fast. I too, live in the West and spaces are very far in between out here and the byways can handle the speed in many cases, way out in the desolate desert locales, no traffic for miles in some cases. Dozens of bikes today have the ability to go there with so much HP available and I've been asking for years why we need more HP on any of'em. Its a m/c trade war between countries(builders), outdoing the other, all it is! BMW's right in the thick of it too. A new GScoming with 128HP, insane,imo. HP apparently still sells bikes, just not me anymore as I age and get wiser. My GSA loves 75-80 and even a tad faster, but rare. I'm a pilot and these skies above are for speed, go buy an airplane, keep the bikes under control somewhat? "Track days" now have grown popular too and sells speed, go figure! At least its a safer place for such, BUT i'm afraid it crosses over to street riding for too many. Randy

  12. #12
    2014 R1200GSW Rich's Avatar
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    I would find a new "diverse group of bikers" that don't ride those speeds, but then that is just me.

    I've had my GS over 100 MPH and although I've done my share of stupid things in my day on different motorcycles, I have to say, the GS did not feel safe at that speed at all. Keep your RT if you think you have to ride that fast.

  13. #13
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Former RT owner now devout follower of the GS

    All pro's and cons already mentioned

    Would not recommend riding the GSA that fast that often

    Wrong tool

    Get either a GT or Ducati if you want to play like that
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  14. #14
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    RT to GSA

    I have had both bikes. My first motorcycle was a 2011 RT which I loved. I loved the comfort, the cruise control, and the motorized windscreen. I rode the GSA and it just seemed to fit me better so I got a 2012 Triple Black GSA. I do not ride fast (I will occasionally go up to 80-85 to pass) so I can't really comment on the 100mph riding. I am 5'11 and the stock GSA windscreen does keep the wind off of me pretty well. The tank on the GSA works almost as well as the RT fairing at blocking the wind also. I think it comes down to riding both and it is just a gut feeling. I did drop my RT a couple of times in the garage and it did scratch it up. I have dropped the GSA once in the garage and you cannot even tell with all of the protection and the metal side cases. The seat on the RT was pretty comfortable but if you get the GSA assume you will have to get a new seat because it is horrible. I have a Sargent and an Airhawk and it is much better. If I had a ton of money I would keep the GSA and add a K1600 GT. Right now I just have a Vespa GTS 250 for errands around town which I also love. Too many great bikes out there but not enough time and money.

  15. #15
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    I have both a GS and RT. I like them both but for different reasons. I don't purposely do offroad but occasionly get on a gravel or fire road.

    Both are comfortable and as previously said the range on the GS is limiting. Not a problem on the GSA.

    What I love most about the RT are the protection from the elements, adjustable windshield, radio and cruise. I understand the new water cooled GS's will have cruise as an option. What I don't like about the RT is the protection from the elements on hot humid days.

    This is one of those decisions that there are no bad outcomes!

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