Just replaced the RT with an FJR1300. We'll see how that works out.
Just replaced the RT with an FJR1300. We'll see how that works out.
Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost
I bought an 05 R1200GS and loved it until the day I sold it about 3 months ago. I bought a slightly used 09 R1200RT and I'm really struggling to like it. I've ridden dirt bikes for 40+ years and I think that's why I loved the ergos of the GS so much. I felt like I sat "on" the GS and I sit "in" the RT if that makes sense. I'm going to give the RT some more time and miles but if I don't fall deeply in love with it then it's time for someone else to enjoy it and I'll pick up a GS or GSA. I only took my GS off road a few times and have already taken my RT down some fire roads. The GS is WAY superior on dirt. (again may just be my years on a dirt bike)
Both models draw huge ownership loyalties. Both are so very popular models, best sellers by BMW. Comparing is like apples and oranges, just not fair as I see it. They are two totally opposite riding styles. You pick one or the other or even maybe both if you have means, but your choice of adventure is in the pudding, so eat well. My choice has been GS/GSAs for decades now and even one KLT1200 thrown in there and some much older Airheads. The GSA1200 I currently keep near to my heart is at 108000m and arguably the best BMW I ever owned in 42 years owning them. Many have been so swell to me. I think you find RT vs GSA a argument within you, that tears at many before you. If ya find yourself passing many adventures and byways and wondering out loud to yourself, just whats over that way on that dirt road or rough road, you've got the answer. If ya don't care and find all your adventure on pavement or very easy short dirt excursions, an RT is perfect. Dig deep, both are indeed BMWs best sellers and offer a ton of enjoyment. I think you want it ALL, the GSA is it, bar none.
OK.. I'll bite.
After renting a R1200GS, I purchased an 06 R1200GSA. I'm 6'2", with a 32" inseam and must say that this bike fits me like a glove. The ergos are just perfect and I can ride it all day long. My best friend has an 08 R1200RT and I've ridden it many times. Fantastic bike. Seems like it has more power than my GSA. Super easy to ride, but like others have said, the GS handles better because of the wide bars. The RT has all the gadgets.. cruise control, electric windshield, TPM, heated seat, etc. etc. The problem for me with the RT, after being on the GSA for years, is that my knees always feel like they are up to my chest. The ergonomics are different and for me, that is the reason i'd never consider getting an RT. I don't think I could ride it all day and be able to walk afterwards..
So, what I'm really trying to say is that both bikes are great for different people and different riding styles... Oh yeah, and I love not having to worry about keeping the GS clean. Hose it down with it's dirty.. no worries about scratches or it looking beautiful... because it never will.. She's an ugly pig and I love her!
Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure, aka "Gretel"
1983 Honda V65 Magna - SOLD
I have both. I like to ride both. Each has its own pluses and minuses when doing a side by side comparison. Regardless of what anyone else tries to tell you, you need to ride each and pick the one that makes you smile the most. If that doesn't work, buy one of each. Having to choose which BMW to ride each day is not a bad problem to have.
Gear Up and Ride Safe
2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
Just like most of us I have some experience riding both of these bikes, and currently I moved from 2012 R1200GSA to 2013 R1200RT.
Besides the obvious I apreciate the lower first gear ratio on the GSA-simply awesome.
From the other hand NOTHING on the road can beat comfort and plushy ride quality of RT.
Love them equally, and in my opinion NON is better than the other - just personal preference.
Last edited by GregoryT; 09-22-2013 at 01:59 AM.
BMW MOA # 71371
I have owned an RT and a GS, as others have said, different critters. I never warmed up to the RT, too much plastic for me. I liked the GS and almost bought another when shopping for a new bike this spring. Instead I rode a friends R12R and was sold. I put a Scout fairing on it and with hard bags it is as some say, an RT lite. I even put the new Tourance Next tires on the R, the ones that comes on the new wet head GS, so I can play a bit in the dirt again. It is nice having a sub 500 lb bike.
I've had an RT for the last 3 years and am seriously considering the new GSA when they arrive next spring. Has anyone made this switch, RT to GSA. Main concerns would be passenger comfort though she rides with me only 10% or so. I have a Shad 50 case that I would add that has back support. Second would be loss of the electric windshield and heated seat, both of which I like. Thoughts?
"Not all who wander are lost"
2014 R1200GS Adv Blue
2011 R1200RT Ostra Grey - gone
I currently own both an '06 GS and an '08 RT. If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick the GS. I find the GS more versatile...it's great in the mountains riding twisties, can be taken off road (though, as someone else said, if you are going off road seriously, get a real dirt bike....its a heavy pig) and does the motocamping thing a WHOLE lot better. I "Adventurized" my GS by adding the BMW Adventure racks and metal panniers. In addition to the huge boxes, this creates a flat area across the back that allows a ton of storage for tent, sleeping bag, etc. So, while both bikes can tour well, I think the GS does it better because its such a pack mule. The lack of fairing on the GS means its a cooler bike...nice in summer, not so great in winter.
Still, if you can own both, they are both phenomenal handling motorcycles and are great looking bikes with tons of personality.
I've only owned my bikes since the first of the year and both of them have blown their gearbox output shaft seals. Neither was a hideously expensive repair ($240 & $300), but either failure would have been traumatic had they occurred while on a trip...so that's a bit disconcerting. In the back of my head there's a bit of a "Warning, do not trust these bikes" light flashing. Time will tell.
One potential issue...the designer of the GS must have been tall. I'm 6'3" and the bike is at my limit height wise. I recently added a Russell Day-Long seat which added both width and height, so flat footing while seated is a real stretch. But, if you are tall, should be no issue.
We don't take a trip...the trip takes us.
2016 BMW R1200GSA
2012 Honda XR650L
Both bikes fill different roles, so you have to decide what's best for you. Neither is a "better" bike than the other. They are both fantastic and built of an engine and platform that I love.
I have an RT and if I could have only one bike, it would be the RT. I ride it every day year round and it's level of comfort and storage are perfect for me. If I tried to do the same thing on a GS, I would not enjoy it as much.
If I were more into going on camping trips, perhaps a GS would be better, but I wouldn't know until I tried it.
I will contend that the RT is perfectly happy in the twisties and a blast to ride. It's an extremely capable bike.
2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - 65k - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
2011 R1200RT-P - "Ursula" - 18k - Purchased on 1/30/2016 at 13k miles
2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast" - 28k - sold
2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - sold
I did a demo ride on a wc gs. Seemed much lighter than my RT. However on the highway much more wind buffeting. New clutch and tthrottle were quirky at first. Over all a real nice bike. Not sure i will change. I am the only RT out of 7 bikes riding home home from Seattle. At least two are the new model GS. I think 5 of the reaming 8 bikes are GS's. I will know more after the trip. We pull out of Seattle a week from today!
Buck in Greensboro, NC
2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic
The perfect answer, love my 12 RT with 43k on her but I'd love to have a GS as well. Taking a hard look at the water boxer in the classifieds less than 200 miles from home. It's like a sign right? The best of both worlds, we only live once.
QUOTE=Jim Rogers;895975]I have both. I like to ride both. Each has its own pluses and minuses when doing a side by side comparison. Regardless of what anyone else tries to tell you, you need to ride each and pick the one that makes you smile the most. If that doesn't work, buy one of each. Having to choose which BMW to ride each day is not a bad problem to have.[/QUOTE]
IBA Number 49673