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Thread: BMW Motorcycle Newbie

  1. #1

    BMW Motorcycle Newbie

    I am hoping that someone will take pity on my BWM ignorance and explain to me the BMW brand nomenclature. I own an S bike (hothead) which is the in-line 4. K's are the in-line 6 cyls. R's are the opposed boxers. I even get that the number after the first letter is the displacement. There are some exceptions like the HP4 Race (the closest I'll ever come to one of those is my carbon-fiber bicycle *wink*). Where I run into trouble, and the US BMW web site doesn't help me, is the final acronym. Is GS & GSA a contracted german word, akin to PKW (Panzerkampwagen)? Though the A is repeatedly broken out as Adventure/Adv which implies off-roading. But isn't both the GS & GSA capable of off-roading? And what is the actual model differences between the GS and the GSA? Is it more than the luggage rack and the engine guards? Better shocks and brakes?

    After that silly pre-amble, what I really want to know, besides the price, what is the difference between the R 1250 GSA and the R 1250 GS.

    But anyone who also wants to break out the RT, GT, and GTL acros would also help with my education.

    Thanks in advance!!
    2016 S1000RR - Red White & Blue & Stock

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  3. #3
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Stop at a dealer as they usually have literature available for you to take and peruse at your leisure at home.
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  4. #4
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amadison View Post
    I am hoping that someone will take pity on my BWM ignorance and explain to me the BMW brand nomenclature. I own an S bike (hothead) which is the in-line 4. K's are the in-line 6 cyls. R's are the opposed boxers. I even get that the number after the first letter is the displacement. There are some exceptions like the HP4 Race (the closest I'll ever come to one of those is my carbon-fiber bicycle *wink*). Where I run into trouble, and the US BMW web site doesn't help me, is the final acronym. Is GS & GSA a contracted german word, akin to PKW (Panzerkampwagen)? Though the A is repeatedly broken out as Adventure/Adv which implies off-roading. But isn't both the GS & GSA capable of off-roading? And what is the actual model differences between the GS and the GSA? Is it more than the luggage rack and the engine guards? Better shocks and brakes?

    After that silly pre-amble, what I really want to know, besides the price, what is the difference between the R 1250 GSA and the R 1250 GS.

    But anyone who also wants to break out the RT, GT, and GTL acros would also help with my education.

    Thanks in advance!!
    RT - Has a fairing and can be ridden long distances. Knees don't have to bend too much. Granddad's MC.
    GT - Bigger faster than an RT
    GTL - GT with all the BMW extras that could be added. The BMW Goldwing
    RS - For those riders whose knees still bend
    ST - Another spelling of RS
    S - For those riders that aspire to be RS owners
    R - either an RT or RS without a fairing
    Last edited by 36654; 08-27-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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  5. #5
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Gelände/Straße is the original German phraseology: Dirt & Street. The 'A' just amplifies the Off-road pucker factor exponentially.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_GS


    BMW now offers a m/c tool for any purpose you might be able to think up. And you can even knock your socks off on a G310GS now...

    And an 'L' just means Luxury, like on their cars. There is some German logic to BMW's categorization - unlike Harley's Alphabetical characterization...

    Different Strokes for different folks!
    HSV-Phil
    Last edited by HSVPhil; 08-28-2019 at 02:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amadison View Post
    K's are the in-line 6 cyls.
    On older models there was the K1200/1300 in-line 4, similar engine design as the in-line 6.
    The engine in the previous generation K was refereed to as the Brick engine. This was before the in-line 4 transverse engines.
    The last year for the K1200RS/GT Brick was 2005, not sure of the last year of the K1200LT.
    The Brick K bikes were in-line fours and triples.
    The engine lays on it's side with the cylinder front to back.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  7. #7
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azgman View Post
    Stop at a dealer as they usually have literature available for you to take and peruse at your leisure at home.
    The dealers around here rarely have model brochures.
    If the shop has a GS and GSA on the floor I'm sure a salesman would be happy to point out the differences.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by amadison View Post
    But isn't both the GS & GSA capable of off-roading? And what is the actual model differences between the GS and the GSA? Is it more than the luggage rack and the engine guards? Better shocks and brakes?
    Others have answered the origin of GS in German. The RT stands for Reise Tourer (travel tourer).

    Differences between GS & GSA from: https://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/b...s-vs-r1200gsa/. I assume the same holds true for the 1250.

    Studying the catalog spec by spec, line item by line item, we find nearly identical columns of data until we get to the geometry of the two machines. There we find the GSA is roughly one inch taller, one inch wider and one inch longer than its little brother, with one degree difference in the steering head angle, and a gain of 0.8 inches (20 mm) in suspension travel front and rear. The ground clearance is also raised 0.8 inches over than the standard model, to 8.5 inches (21.6 cm). The GSA also has an additional 18 pounds (8 kg) of carrying capacity.

    Further down the sheet we see a saddle that has also climbed, 1.5 inches (40 mm) towards the sky, offering more room for comfort for the taller rider. It’s also adjustable and can easily be dropped back down to the standard GS ranges if you need it.

    But then there’s a 48-pound (22 kg) wet weight difference between the two bikes (525 pounds vs. 573 pounds). That weight of course comes in part from the additional 2.6 gallons (10 l) of fuel (45% more!) and the physically-larger tank, standard crash protection and a few other random bits included on the Adventure.
    MOA#: 218327
    2019 R1250RT, Mars Red
    Retired: 2002 Kawasaki VN750; 1989 Kawasaki KLR650, 1980 Yamaha DT175

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    GT - Bigger faster than an RT
    1250RT has a greater P:W ratio that the K1600GT so I don't know how much faster they are, though the engine will be far smoother than the boxers. Maintenance costs will be considerably higher w/ the K1600s as well. I could only justify K1600GT if I was riding 2-up all the where its heft might matter, and in that instance effective (i.e. with 2 riders) P:W will be better w/ K1600.

  10. #10
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpysquatch View Post
    Others have answered the origin of GS in German. The RT stands for Reise Tourer (travel tourer).

    Differences between GS & GSA from: https://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/b...s-vs-r1200gsa/. I assume the same holds true for the 1250.
    Cast wheels on the GS, wire spokes on the rugged GSA, to handle the speed bumps in the Starbuck's parking lot.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  11. #11
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    Cast wheels on the GS, wire spokes on the rugged GSA, to handle the speed bumps in the Starbuck's parking lot.
    Nice.

  12. #12
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    I don't know about the OP (amadison), but none of these replies make much sense to me. Hope the OP understands you guys better than I do.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  13. #13
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    First letters: (prior to displacement numbers)

    R - indicates boxer motor, opposed twin cylinders
    K - 4 or 6 cylinder motors
    F - parallel twin, except F650GS '00 - '07 were single cylinder motors
    G - single cylinder motors
    S - sport bike with inline 4 cylinder motor


    Letters that follow the displacement numbers:

    C – Cruiser (HEY CHROMEHEAD!)
    CL/CLC - Cruiser, full dress touring
    CS – Classic Sport
    G/S – Gelände/Strasse Off-road/Street
    GS – Gelände Sport Off-road Sport (Enduro)
    GSA - Same as GS but with larger fuel tank
    GT – Gran Turismo or Grand Touring
    LS – Luxury Sport
    LT – Luxus Tourer (Luxury Tourer)
    R – Road or Roadster, typically naked
    RR – Racing Replica
    RS – Originally stood for Rennsport, but since 1976 has stood for Reisesport[40]
    RT – Reise Tourer (Travel Tourer)
    S – Sport
    ST – Strasse (Street) or Sport Tourer
    T – Touring
    Additionally, a bike may have the following modifiers in its name:

    A – ABS
    L – luxury
    P – police
    C – custom
    PD – Paris Dakar

    That is all I can think of for now. Hopefully, that may answer your original post.

    Cheers,
    William
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    First letters: (prior to displacement numbers)

    R - indicates boxer motor, opposed twin cylinders
    K - 4 or 6 cylinder motors
    F - parallel twin, except F650GS '00 - '07 were single cylinder motors
    G - single cylinder motors
    S - sport bike with inline 4 cylinder motor


    Letters that follow the displacement numbers:

    C – Cruiser (HEY CHROMEHEAD!)
    CL/CLC - Cruiser, full dress touring
    CS – Classic Sport
    G/S – Gelände/Strasse Off-road/Street
    GS – Gelände Sport Off-road Sport (Enduro)
    GSA - Same as GS but with larger fuel tank
    GT – Gran Turismo or Grand Touring
    LS – Luxury Sport
    LT – Luxus Tourer (Luxury Tourer)
    R – Road or Roadster, typically naked
    RR – Racing Replica
    RS – Originally stood for Rennsport, but since 1976 has stood for Reisesport[40]
    RT – Reise Tourer (Travel Tourer)
    S – Sport
    ST – Strasse (Street) or Sport Tourer
    T – Touring
    Additionally, a bike may have the following modifiers in its name:

    A – ABS
    L – luxury
    P – police
    C – custom
    PD – Paris Dakar

    That is all I can think of for now. Hopefully, that may answer your original post.

    Cheers,
    William
    So, my 1986 K75c was a cruiser? Otherwise, your list was pretty good.

    But, calling my 1984 R80ST a sport tourer, is a stretch of the imagination.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  15. #15
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    First letters: (prior to displacement numbers)

    R - indicates boxer motor, opposed twin cylinders
    Once upon a time all BMW produced were opposed twins and a few singles based on them. They were ALL R- bikes. R stands for rad which is German for two wheels bicycle.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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