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Thread: From RT to GS looking for opinions

  1. #1
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    From RT to GS looking for opinions

    I am thinking of changing things up and trading in my 2016 R1200RT on a R1250GS. Any one out there going from an RT to a GS have any regrets, opinions?
    I had recently moved from VT to VA and found the large windscreen and bulbous front end of the RT not only unneeded but too hot. I was think R but living in the city I hate to lose rode presence and would still like some wind protection for when I do go some distances. I ride 100 % pavement but wouldn't mind some gravel if there's any to be had in central VA.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I'm in Va, don't ride off-road, and have an R. My wife got rid of her RT for the same reasons as you. I like a GS as much as the next guy (I rent them in Europe) don't feel the R has any less of a road presence as one. As to wind protection, when I feel that I need extra I'll swap my stock screen for a larger one. They're a couple of hundred dollars, many use the same bracket as stock, and they can easily be swapped back.

  3. #3
    What about an XR? I hear they are amazing bikes....
    2018 BMW S1000XR / 2018 BMW R1200RT / 2015 Yamaha FZ-09

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsd View Post
    any regrets, opinions?.
    I just traded my 2014 RT (64,000 Miles) for a 2017 GSA. I've put about 2,000 miles on the GSA now (in cold weather riding!). They are very different bikes - as expected - but there are weird differences I didn't expect.

    For example, the WonderWheel (to me at least) was wonderful for controlling things on the RT but it is mostly useless (other than for controlling the GPS unit) on the GS.

    Initially, I preferred the riding position on the RT, but now that I have miles on the GSA I think I prefer it - it's much more upright.

    I have the GSA which provides a bit better protection than a GS and not having a fairing, but there is much higher levels of wind noise (and I have a slightly larger windscreen). The 2017 does not have a heated seat (I think the latest 2020's and onwards do) and the hand grips only have Hi and Lo heat settings, but I can live with that.

    However, bottom line is that I just sold the RT because I am happy with the GSA - it's different but fun to ride.
    Bob
    2014 R1200RT
    2017 R1200 GSA

  5. #5
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Years ago I rode an Oilhead RT. I enjoyed the motorcycle, but like you, found it rather warm in the summer. I sold it in favor of an RS which provided some wind protection while increasing airflow. While these motorcycles are not exactly what you are asking about, I think the reasoning is similar. Most of my riding is one day or less and I have not regretted the switch. If you take long trips you might miss the fairing, especially in the rain. On the way to the rally in Lebanon I spent two solid days in rain and the thought about how nice it would be to be riding with a fairing Central Virginia has quite a few state maintained gravel roads. You may not need a GS to ride them, but you may enjoy them more on that type of bike. The GS could be a real asset on unpaved roads around the Blue Ridge. Let us know what you deicide to do.
    1972 R75/5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluehole View Post
    Years ago I rode an Oilhead RT. I enjoyed the motorcycle, but like you, found it rather warm in the summer. I sold it in favor of an RS which provided some wind protection while increasing airflow. While these motorcycles are not exactly what you are asking about, I think the reasoning is similar. Most of my riding is one day or less and I have not regretted the switch. If you take long trips you might miss the fairing, especially in the rain. On the way to the rally in Lebanon I spent two solid days in rain and the thought about how nice it would be to be riding with a fairing Central Virginia has quite a few state maintained gravel roads. You may not need a GS to ride them, but you may enjoy them more on that type of bike. The GS could be a real asset on unpaved roads around the Blue Ridge. Let us know what you deicide to do.
    I thought seriously of the RS, I really like the look of it. However after seeing one in the dealer lot next to a GS I realized what a difference the riding position is. 10 years ago I would have gone the RS route however at 51 I think the upright GS is more appealing. Only getting older from here. Bar backs ETC would help but looking at the differences on Cycle Ergo it would still be an excessive forward lean.
    Living on dirt rds in Vt I am not afraid of them on the RT, I was looking for some VA logging roads or trails, if I go the GS route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobs_one View Post
    I just traded my 2014 RT (64,000 Miles) for a 2017 GSA. I've put about 2,000 miles on the GSA now (in cold weather riding!). They are very different bikes - as expected - but there are weird differences I didn't expect.

    For example, the WonderWheel (to me at least) was wonderful for controlling things on the RT but it is mostly useless (other than for controlling the GPS unit) on the GS.

    Initially, I preferred the riding position on the RT, but now that I have miles on the GSA I think I prefer it - it's much more upright.

    I have the GSA which provides a bit better protection than a GS and not having a fairing, but there is much higher levels of wind noise (and I have a slightly larger windscreen). The 2017 does not have a heated seat (I think the latest 2020's and onwards do) and the hand grips only have Hi and Lo heat settings, but I can live with that.

    However, bottom line is that I just sold the RT because I am happy with the GSA - it's different but fun to ride.
    I am too height challenged for the GSA . I do like the idea of a little more upright, although the RT is fairly straight up until 5 hrs or so when I start to realize its not quite upright.

    Being short (5' 7") I think wind noise will not be too much an issue but I will test ride on the interstate before jumping into anything.

    That's exactly what I am looking for a fun ride. I originally bought the RT to commute but now work in my living room so the bike is just a toy at this point.

  8. #8
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    I went from a Hexhead 2007 RT to a 2017 R1200GS. My GS is a lowered suspension model. Even being lowered, the GS has over an inch more suspension travel than an RT does. The lowering also does not change the seat to peg distance. I have cast wheels and street tires (Dunlop RoadSmart III) on it and ride exclusively on the street. In order to address the wind protection issue I added a Vstream medium height wind screen and Givi hand grip extenders. I also have GSA foot pegs. Now, with those modifications, I have a sport touring bike that is more comfortable and more capable than the RT was. The RT was very good, but this new GS is better in terms of comfort and agility. The RT has more features and arguably may look better, but for me it is function over form.

    I hope that helps some, but really, only you can decide what works best for you.
    MOA #107139
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    Quote Originally Posted by azgman View Post
    I went from a Hexhead 2007 RT to a 2017 R1200GS. My GS is a lowered suspension model. Even being lowered, the GS has over an inch more suspension travel than an RT does. The lowering also does not change the seat to peg distance. I have cast wheels and street tires (Dunlop RoadSmart III) on it and ride exclusively on the street. In order to address the wind protection issue I added a Vstream medium height wind screen and Givi hand grip extenders. I also have GSA foot pegs. Now, with those modifications, I have a sport touring bike that is more comfortable and more capable than the RT was. The RT was very good, but this new GS is better in terms of comfort and agility. The RT has more features and arguably may look better, but for me it is function over form.

    I hope that helps some, but really, only you can decide what works best for you.
    Thank you, that is the exact thing I wanted to hear. I was looking at the lowered suspension in that exact configuration. As far as the RT looking better I feel as though the RT gets less attractive with each model year and the GS gets better looking. The front end of the RT seems to be growing.

    Why GSA foot pegs?

  10. #10
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    The GSA foot pegs are about twice as wide as the standard GS pegs. I also got them for free!
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    After test drive staying with RT

    So I just returned from trying out a 2021 R1250GS. After spending about 30 miles between interstate, highway and neighborhood streets on an 89 degree day I have come to the conclusion that I will be staying with the RT. The GS is great, the 1250 motor and transmission are amazing. However there is far too much engine heat in the leg and foot area. The excessive plastic on the RT is highly functional in shielding the riders torso from the engine heat. Its really too bad, the GS was a blast too ride but the reason I ended up on a BMW was the Hex Head gave off virtually no engine heat to the rider. My newer wet head does give off some on certain conditions but mostly its just over protective on the upper torso. Guess I will look into venting the windscreen and removing or cutting down those little clear wind deflectors. Sure wish they incorporated a wind scoop into the fairing like the GTL.
    Thanks for all the advice.

  12. #12
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Interesting. I feel no excessive heat from my GS and I live in AZ. I do wear motorcycle boots and motorcycle pants when I ride.

    Well, you gotta do you, so I am glad you had a demo ride to find out that the GS is not for you. Enjoy your ride!
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  13. #13
    Registered User r0ckrat's Avatar
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    You could take an R1250R out for a test ride if you are looking for a little bit different ride than the RT...

  14. #14
    I had a 2008 GSA, traded it in on a 2016 RT. I fell in love with the looks. The RT just didn't work for me, handle bars too low seat too low, not enough leg room, and my left foot would just slip off the footpeg for no reason or warning.
    I traded in the RT for a 2017 GSA. I love the GSA but not it's engine. No engine made in the 21st century should make that much racket!
    I will run the GSA for a few years, but it will most likely be my last BMW.
    I've been riding BMWs since 1983, it's time for something more reliable and different.

  15. #15
    I went from 30 years on a RT...got a GSA in January of this year... The difference is I found is I very much Mmss the radio.... I do enjoy the more air that I get on the GSA... And I like the shorter rake... It makes you go back to really feeling like you're riding on a motorcycle... I have the lowered version...Love the addition luggage size


    TOM Casey
    2017 R1200gsa
    1975 R75/6

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