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Thread: Choices

  1. #1


    Ok, the bug for a bike has bitten again. I sold my last bike (Yamaha GTS1000) about ten years ago since kid duty was keeping me from riding. Kids are now old enough that I can get out on a bike enough to make it worth doing.

    I have never even had my leg over a BMW, but was thinking an R1200R would suit me fine. Only problem is I can't track one down to buy, none close by new or used. In the mean time an 09 R1200GS Adventure comes up for sale here in town.

    I know they are two different bikes. Thoughts on the trade offs between these for a guy who will likely never get it off the road?

    Also, the GS has about 37,000 miles on it. Anything I need to be aware of that might need attention at this mileage? Last, fair price for such?


  2. #2
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I can't compare those or answer most of your questions but here's my thought on the GS. I bet most of the people I see with GS bikes don't take them off road at all. Probably doesn't apply to many that ride them on this forum but I think a lot of people aren't comfortable with the damage you can sustain constantly off roading in the kind of environment that bike can handle. They make a great long distance bike.

  3. #3
    MCN did a bike test sometime earlier this year, can't remember the bikes. But they used a R1200GSA to haul the equipment. The testers preferred the GSA.

  4. #4
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    SW, MO
    I would put some thought into what kind of riding you intend to do now that you are to speak. If you are out for two or three days, chances are you could be rained on at an inopportune time when you have to make some miles that day. You will be thankful for some protection!

    An R12R is without question a great bike, but it's also a "naked" one meaning no wind/rain protection. A bike with fairing will increase your riding season by quite a bit by keeping the cold wind off you. A GS has fairly good weather protection, (but nowhere near an RT) they corner great and are fun in the twisties. The RS versions are smaller fairings, though more sport-touring oriented.

    I think my suggestion would be to take a drive to a BMW dealer and see the different BMW's offered...sit on them, get up close and personal. once you find two or three that you think you might like, go take them for a ride.

    Don't make the mistake of buying something you "think" is what you want.

    Hope this gives you something to "chew" on!

    IBA #44567 Pres. Springfield BMW Roadriders
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Marion County, Illinois
    I recently moved from an R to a GS (though not the adventure). In my view I've gained everything and lost nothing. The GS is iconic, inspires confidence, and lengthens the riding season. It's a joy to know that this bike can handle anything. One note: the GSA is a very tall bike.
    2011 R1200GS
    2004 R1150R Rockster (traded)

  6. #6
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Landenberg, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by JHGilbert View Post
    MCN did a bike test sometime earlier this year, can't remember the bikes. But they used a R1200GSA to haul the equipment. The testers preferred the GSA.
    Tthe article was done on sport tourers as I remember and I think the RT was in the bunch. The GS was along for the ride but ended up winning overall.

    There are many GS riders who never go off road. Then again, there are many who never PLANNED to go off road but then realize what fun it is. Regardless of your riding style, the GS is a great all-round bike. And 37,000 miles is just broken in.

    If it fits and you are comfortable riding it, go for it!

  7. #7
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Welcome to the group !

    As noted above, the R1200R is a fine bike. I purchased the release day bike in late 2006 when I saw it in the dealership being unpacked. I put 26000 great miles on that bike and loved it every minute, but...

    As noted, the RR is a naked standard, so most owners spend a lot of time and $$ putting on a decent aftermarket windscreen and seats (BMW versions basically suck!).
    The situation is that when you start doing the upgrades, you are going to end up with essentially the cost of a R1200RT, which is probably why BMW does not sell a lot of RR's.

    You can read my blog about the RR Odyssey here:

    I wrote a specific comparison of the RR versus the RT at this post:

    This is my RR:

    If you are looking for a great bike, it is available at BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. Ask for Clark King in sales.

    The replacement RT:

    Oh, what a fine piece of machinery
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 09-28-2012 at 12:16 AM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350, Instructor, Louisiana Dept of Public Safety
    Motorcycle Safety, Awareness & Operator Training Program
    NAUI Instructor #36288, Board Member, Divers Alert Network

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    I know they are two different bikes. Thoughts on the trade offs between these for a guy who will likely never get it off the road?
    Actually, outside of the length of suspension travel, wheels and styling, they are the same bike.

    The points made above are all good, the only thing I'll add is that if you are fairly short and/or uncomfortable unless both feet are flat on the ground, you might not like the GS.

    That said, I feel the GS is actually a better real-world bike than the R because of its suspension travel. When the road gets rough you really feel it on the R but the GS keeps going as if the bumps aren't there. And there are a lot of bumpy roads in the world!

    I used my 1150 GS as my highway bike... absolutely nothing wrong with that. My other GS and HP2 enduro see much more off-pavement use.

    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '07 Xchallenge || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom

  9. #9
    Registered User sit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    You may want to check out posts on this forum in the hexhead forum to see if anyone there is near you that would let you sit on their R. You can also check It is an R specific forum. You may be able to find someone there that is close and will let you sit on their 1150 or 1200R.

    I too started with an 1150R and later went to a 12GS. This biggest thing for me was the difference in the motor. The ergonomics closed the deal. The R is not a cramped bike at 6', but I did notice the difference once on the GS, that I was just spread out a bit more. With the sport screen on my R, it was a very comfortable touring bike and I did numerous two up and one up multi day trips on it. Loved both of the bikes and dearly wish I still had them both.
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
    2013 Ural Patrol - White
    2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
    2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold

  10. #10
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    The R is nice but it's nekkid.
    As usual Ian is correct.
    Take your time see if you can get some saddle time on both.
    That'll be the real test.

  11. #11
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Austin, TX
    Well, I'm probably biased since I have a 2009 R1200GSA, but you will find it a very good all around bike. Definitely can be good for long rides. It is taller than a regular GS and a R like you are looking at, but you get a taller windscreen, huge tank, extra lights and crash bars, just to mention the main differences.

    Mine sees probably 80% of its time on the pavement, but there are times it will get several days of dirt roads in a row. So mine probably sees more dirt than many. It is very nice to see a dirt road and just go try it out. I actually enjoy hitting construction zones on the highway.

    Where are you located? As mentioned, you might find someone here that can show you one or both bikes and point out the good and bad in person.
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA 2013 K1600GT

  12. #12
    Two days ago, I would have provided info leaning very heavily towards the GSA. But yesterday, I took out my RTP. (I had the RTP up for sale 'cause I was flat running out of storage room. I had an 8x16 storage shed built to solve the 'storage room' issue.) Now I am committed to keeping both Beemers. Each has its own personality and riding each puts a huge grin on my old face. Do I off road much? Nope. But that big GSA sure does eat up the road miles. The RTP is a little better, for me, in getting around town, for short afternoon rides, and the oil cooler fan makes it the bike of choice on really hot days. But that is my opinion.

    Test ride everything you can, then buy the one that puts the biggest grin on YOUR face.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    Give us , as said, some info on where/how you will ride & your inseam. As to naked vs. RT I ride an 1150R with a touring WS & wear proper pants,coat,etc & see no reason it isn't a great choice for on road tripping. Price,weight,ride quality & availability of a low seat make it right for me. "If" you count your money then that helps decide what works & "if" you don't then lots of choices. Call it heresy if you like but I rode a new 2012 Wee Strom the other day & it's a very nice bike. I can buy one out the door + taxes for $7,800 here & lots of dealers everywhere too. That money doesn't buy many BMW's new. Since many bikes are garage queens, if you open your search to a fly & drive there are lots of low mileage bikes out there & the money goes farther used, of course. Ebay has 25-35 BMW's newly listed per day. Club Forum,IBMWR,CL & Biketrader have thousands for sale. Just "whats in town" isn't my way to shop for something not so common such as a BMW bike & severely limits the field. If a bike is of interest ask for a member close by to evaluate it. I'm real rural so an anywhere search is my only way & even in a large town bikes can be few in your category.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Planet Earth
    Many years ago, when I was looking for my first real road bike, my Father gave me some very valuable advice. He said if you don't fall in love with the bike, you need to walk away. I then looked at a R69S, and it was nice. But, after I road a R75/5 I knew that I owned the bike before I reached the end of the street. When you find the right bike, you will know it. Likewise, if you get tired of a bike, it is time for a new one.

    Don't settle for a GS when you want a R. Be patient, and keep looking. One will pop up, and you will be grateful that you did wait. You should also try an RT. You might like the extra wind protection.

  15. #15
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    South Florida


    I have a friend that just had to have a GSA, I remember telling him just get the GS, forget A. He quickly found out that the GSA was simply too tall or his legs were too short, so he sold it about 2 months after delivery.

    My son in law has a regular GS, he is considering having it lowered as it is almost too high for him.

    Best check them out first. They do make a factory lower version as well.
    Gene T

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