Be careful what you wish for. This forum is filled with knowledge that can be imparted with the blink of an eye. It is also filled with scathing comments meant to set you straight if you do not fit in line with a persons's PERSONAL beliefs. Heaven forbid you ever make a mistake or submit a type-o...they will jump on you in a heart beat and beat you to death with the fact u should have consulted the owners manual first.
Originally Posted by 1LIFE2LIVE
You're riding style is your riding style, no one else's. I am 34 and make a yearly trio to SE TN with my RT. most of the people on this forum, if they rode with me, would tell me to get a sport bike. That's why I have a sport touring bike, not a touring bike. I take the comments with a grain of salt.
One of my riding mates has a GS and he can really tear it up with that bike. I rode it when I still had a Harley and that's when I knew I needed to have a BMW. I'm sure it will fit you well.
I have a 2002 RTP and a 2012 GSA. I added the GSA because I wanted a utilitarian two-seat bike that can haul it all anywhere, and that's precisely what I got with the GSA.
If I'm simply commuting to work (40 miles round-trip), I'll usually ride the RTP due to its much greater conspicuity (everyone's always on their best behavior around a cop bike) and far superior weather protection. I have police handlebar covers on the RTP, and I wear my summer gloves year-round on the RTP. When on the GSA, I have to switch to the heavy winter insulated gloves.
I'm not bothered by the manual windshield adjustment on the GSA. Sure, it's a neat feature on the RT, but the screens are so different on the two bikes, they really perform different functions. I have the largest Aeroflow screen on the RTP, and it provides me complete coverage from rain when at speed. The smaller stock GSA screen doesn't provide nearly as much weather protection, but since I ride it much more in the summer, the greater wind flow around the smaller screen is a plus on the GSA.
I've got 60,000 miles under my belt on the RTP, and only 6,000 miles on the GSA, so I'm still far more comfortable riding the RTP than I am the GSA - but the GSA really is ten years younger than the RTP, and it shows in how much better the GSA handles than the RTP. Even though I'm more familiar/more comfortable on the RTP, the traction control, tire pressure monitoring, and other advanced safety features cause me to feel very safe and secure on the GSA. The GSA has a much tighter turning radius, which you'll immediately notice in your garage or parking lot.
When I was considering the purchase of the GSA, I also considered adding a new two-seat RT to the garage. It came down to what I wanted to do with the bike, which was to go moto-camping with my son, often at the end of dirt forest roads. The GSA seemed like a no-brainer when thinking about adding camping equipment and riding off-road. Sure, I've had the RTP on dirt and gravel forest roads - I'm sure she looks great roosting gravel out the rear end as she crawls up a steep grade - but she's much happier doing the commute and letting the GSA do the heavy lifting and all the dirty work.
It may look like a dirt bike, but you won't believe how fast the GS/A is.
I am going BACK to the GS after a one and a half year stint with an RT. I had a GS for a few years, changed for an RT because I thought it would help my ageing body with better protection and comfort. Which it dit. To a point. Better screen, heated seats, cruise control (that alone made the change worthwile)... But it proved heavy at slow speeds and parking backwards on the horrible bumps and holes Montreal is known for (I am on the shortish side at 5'7"), my knees were too bent with the regular seat in low position, and the bars had the wrong angle for my back and shoulders. But above all, the RT was far less FUN than the GS. The RT is a great bike, and I would have ridden it around the globe, but it was less nimble than the GS on twisted backroads, it didn't ride gravel roads well at all (that's not what it's meant for), I think the suspension was not as good than the GS' on the horrible street and road surfaces we have in Quebec, and I couldn't stand up on the pegs very easily. And it's looks are not as crazy ?½ugly?? (as some put it) as the GS'. I felt like a wise old man heading for the highway on the RT. On the GS I felt like I could do just about anything. And it didn't matter if my GPS led me to some forsaken forest road.
But I am getting the new 2013 GS LC. So, I will have a fun GS again but now with cruise control (!), a better screen than the previous GS (hopefully) and more power and torque. I will lose heated seats and the GS' huge screen but, hey, you can't have it all, can you? I can hardly wait feeling not wise again.
I have had a 05 RT, 07 GS and now back to a 11 RT. I think it has a lot to do with your riding style. I do mostly 2 up LD [long distance} riding and ride at speeds that are well above the posted speed limits.
That being said the RT is better suited for LD riding. I spent a good sum of money on the GS to make it a better LD bike, even electronic cruise control.
The RT handles better when pushed and offers more wind protection,storage than the GS.
Try them both several times and then buy the bike that YOU WANT.
As others have said they are both great bikes!