GSA or R1200RT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 15 Old Oct 7th, 2014, 1:46 pm Thread Starter
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GSA or R1200RT

This probably sounds crazy but I cant decide between the two bikes.
A little background. Over the last 10 or so years I have been riding mainly Harley touring bikes and have also owned a Honda 750 and two FJR's in addition to the Harleys just to ride something elsewhile my Harley sat in the garage. My wife rode the Honda for a while as my son did but they both lost interest so I sold that. My son and I really like the FJR but my wife hated riding on that with me (son loved it!). This past May I bought a leftover KLR 650 and put a ton of aftermarket stuff on it and have been having a total blast on it in the woods of Vermont and elsewhere and also use it for commuting etc.. Only time I ride my 09 Street Glide is when the wife and I travel and we do make allot of really long and short trips on it or for Sunday rides and we do enjoy it. Sooo I've always liked the the BMW GS series and have thought about a new GSA and took a ride up to Max BMW in Brookfield Conn. They couldn't have been nicer there and the guy told me to take a brand new GSA fully loaded demo bike out for a spin. Well I was instantly sold! Couldn't get the bike out of my mind till a recent trip to CA to see my son who lives there and while out there I rented a 2014 R1200RT. That RT had to be the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I was expecting something similar to my 06 FJR but I was way wrong. One morning My wife gets on the back for the first time and we take a 60mi ride to the Rock store and there is a ton of bikes there. We didnt say anything to each other on the way there and the first thing she says to me when I stop is "you can get this bike ya know" I was freeked. She has never wanted to ride on the back of anything except our Harley. So I show her a beautiful brand new fully accessorized GSA that some guy had there and she just laughed at me for wanting that and I did all kinds of explaining why it would be a great bike for us to ride out west on next Summer and how it would be a great all around tourer also but she still thinks I'm kinda nuts. After spending a week in CA and putting just under a 1000 mi on the RT I'm having a tough time here deciding which to purchase. I absolutely loved the 30 min ride on the GSA and can see us touring on that with the added benefit of being able to do some dirt roads and me being able to do some more technical stuff offroad also, but that dam RT was really incredible and the handling was just as great. I'm going to get her on the GSA as soon as I can and don't plan on purchasing a new bike till Feb or March so I have plenty of time. My main concern is wind protection for her on the GSA. She loved the quit pocket of air on the RT. Could I even get close on a GSA with an aftermarket windshield?. I know I could find a comfortable seat for the two of us on the GSA also. When I see a GSA it really gets me goin. When I look at the RT I like it allot but don't get the same feeling I get when a GSA goes by.
Help please
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post #2 of 15 Old Oct 7th, 2014, 2:31 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by reg26 View Post
This probably sounds crazy but I cant decide between the two bikes.
A little background. Over the last 10 or so years I have been riding mainly Harley touring bikes and have also owned a Honda 750 and two FJR's in addition to the Harleys just to ride something elsewhile my Harley sat in the garage. My wife rode the Honda for a while as my son did but they both lost interest so I sold that. My son and I really like the FJR but my wife hated riding on that with me (son loved it!). This past May I bought a leftover KLR 650 and put a ton of aftermarket stuff on it and have been having a total blast on it in the woods of Vermont and elsewhere and also use it for commuting etc.. Only time I ride my 09 Street Glide is when the wife and I travel and we do make allot of really long and short trips on it or for Sunday rides and we do enjoy it. Sooo I've always liked the the BMW GS series and have thought about a new GSA and took a ride up to Max BMW in Brookfield Conn. They couldn't have been nicer there and the guy told me to take a brand new GSA fully loaded demo bike out for a spin. Well I was instantly sold! Couldn't get the bike out of my mind till a recent trip to CA to see my son who lives there and while out there I rented a 2014 R1200RT. That RT had to be the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I was expecting something similar to my 06 FJR but I was way wrong. One morning My wife gets on the back for the first time and we take a 60mi ride to the Rock store and there is a ton of bikes there. We didnt say anything to each other on the way there and the first thing she says to me when I stop is "you can get this bike ya know" I was freeked. She has never wanted to ride on the back of anything except our Harley. So I show her a beautiful brand new fully accessorized GSA that some guy had there and she just laughed at me for wanting that and I did all kinds of explaining why it would be a great bike for us to ride out west on next Summer and how it would be a great all around tourer also but she still thinks I'm kinda nuts. After spending a week in CA and putting just under a 1000 mi on the RT I'm having a tough time here deciding which to purchase. I absolutely loved the 30 min ride on the GSA and can see us touring on that with the added benefit of being able to do some dirt roads and me being able to do some more technical stuff offroad also, but that dam RT was really incredible and the handling was just as great. I'm going to get her on the GSA as soon as I can and don't plan on purchasing a new bike till Feb or March so I have plenty of time. My main concern is wind protection for her on the GSA. She loved the quit pocket of air on the RT. Could I even get close on a GSA with an aftermarket windshield?. I know I could find a comfortable seat for the two of us on the GSA also. When I see a GSA it really gets me goin. When I look at the RT I like it allot but don't get the same feeling I get when a GSA goes by.
Help please
Based on your prior experience of riding just Harleys, but more important is the fact that you will be riding 2-up with your wife, I would say get the RT. I think that you will be making a big mistake going with the GSA. Just my opinion.
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Pad. Gajajiva
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2015 R1200RT (San Marino Blue Met.)
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post #3 of 15 Old Oct 7th, 2014, 4:20 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

My solution: I have an LT (now with a sidecar) which was purchased after a test ride with my wife. Pillion seats often sell bikes! And. . .I have a GS for some 2-up touring but mostly as a solo bike. Put the squeeze on your checkbook and get both!

Wayne 'Doc' Edkin, Blossvale, NY
CCR Director, (Chairman: 2014, 2015, 2017)
'16 R1200RLC, '09R1200GSw/'16 CSM Sidecar, '05 K1200LTw/'09 Hannigan Sidecar, '74 R60/6 { '99 K1200LT (traded @ 62K}.

2000 First LT Gathering at The Gondola. CCRs: 2003 Gatlinburg, 2004 Breckenridge, 2005 Jackson Hole, 2006 Braselton, 2007 Osage Beach, 2008 Midway, 2010 Killington, 2011 Boise, 2012 Duluth, 2013 Bend, 2014 Chattanooga, and finally 2015 Coeur d'Alene.



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post #4 of 15 Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 3:13 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

I know exactly what you're feeling. I put about 150 miles on a 2014GSA a couple of months ago. The ride was excellent, it was comfortable and very easy to ride at all speeds. I have friends who take theirs (previous model years) to Europe (I'm in the UK) with their girlfriend/wives as pillions and love it.

I really like how the bike is so well protected with the black finish and bars. The panniers are built for punishment and are easily loadable with extra baggage tide to the top of them. It looks and feels like a working bike. Dare I say, you wouldn't mind dropping it from time to time. Whereas the RT is "polished" if you get my drift and to keep it looking good you have to be careful how you add the extra luggage...

I could really go for a GSA. However, the cold months are on the way and my RT is really nice in the protection department.

I keep thinking though...
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post #5 of 15 Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 7:06 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

I am in the same situation . I too went to visit Max BMW of Brookfield CT and yes a bunch of great guys . I got to test ride the r1200rt and loved it I am leaning towards that bike but I do understand that feeling about the GSA . The rt is definately the more comfortable bike with better wind protection . But the ability to take the the GSA offroad so I too am unsure which one to veto have winter to think about it .
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post #6 of 15 Old Nov 13th, 2014, 5:59 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

Ahhhh, so many bikes and so little time, lol..... Here is the way I see this dilemma: You have multiple bikes, each of which fits a certain function, a 09 SG which is good for two up cruising and a fairly new KLR for play time. The Mrs said you could get the RT which really means, "She'll let you" have a play bike she enjoys riding on. Since YOU have a bike that you can drop on the ground playing in the woods, I'd get the RT. The GS has ALWAYS been one of those bikes I have wanted, BUT my Mrs is my travel partner, and I'd rather have her along than to have a bike she won't ride on. That's the boat you are in. In so many words, (your crazy) she told you as much. My wife thought she'd hate the RT when I got off my HD dresser for it, but she won't let me part with the RT for any other bike now. She says it feels like we are riding on a bike again rather than the slow sterile feel of full dressers.
So you know which bike would get my vote.
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post #7 of 15 Old Nov 14th, 2014, 7:02 am
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

Your height may influence your decision. I perceive the gsa as less cramped for tall riders.

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post #8 of 15 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 12:54 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

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Originally Posted by pbsrides View Post
Your height may influence your decision. I perceive the gsa as less cramped for tall riders.
Talk about partly sunny or partly cloudy!

You'd better be pretty tall to run a GSA!

Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
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post #9 of 15 Old Nov 21st, 2014, 10:17 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

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Talk about partly sunny or partly cloudy!

You'd better be pretty tall to run a GSA!
Well last year when I was test riding a bunch of his bikes, the dealership owner put it this way, "the GSA is the perfect bike for tall fat guys like us". Huh!!!!

Yep, I made the switch from the RT to the GSA.

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post #10 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 4:21 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

I'd take a GS/A over an RT any day of the week and twice on Saturdays. The RT is cramped for my 34" inseam, the pegs are low enough that they impede cornering, there's too much isolation from the wind and weather, and it just doesn't go as well as the Adventure. The GS/A is lighter, has more aggressive gearing, more cornering clearance, and wider bars. Given equal talent in the seat, an Adventure will walk away from an RT on a winding road, especially if that road's bumpy.

On top of that, the Adventure carries more stuff, has no bodywork to bang up if/when you drop it, takes no time to clean (doesn't really need it), and is easier to work on (no Tupperware).

Add a spoiler to the top of the windshield and between that and the wide tank you get a great bubble for the rider and passenger.....Not as silent as an RT, but if you want silent, buy a Buick.

I went from a Harley Ultra to the RT. That lasted 4 months before I traded it in on a GS/A. That was the bike I should have gotten first.

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post #11 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 5:04 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

The bottom line if your wife can be comfortable on the GSA done deal. Odds are she will feel more comfortable on the RTW and so will will you. I put many LD miles on the FJR great bike,a bit top heavy and the front suspension felt like a wet noodle. The RTW just does everything with a A+. BTW trust me women don't tolerate off road .
Good luck hope this helps.

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post #12 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 7:13 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

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The bottom line if your wife can be comfortable on the GSA done deal. Odds are she will feel more comfortable on the RTW and so will will you. I put many LD miles on the FJR great bike,a bit top heavy and the front suspension felt like a wet noodle. The RTW just does everything with a A+. BTW trust me women don't tolerate off road .
Good luck hope this helps.
Wife hated the back of the RT, loved the back of the GS/A, and loved going off road. She preferred the backseat of the GS/A to the K16. You couldn't give us another RT.

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post #13 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 7:29 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

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Wife hated the back of the RT, loved the back of the GS/A, and loved going off road. She preferred the backseat of the GS/A to the K16. You couldn't give us another RT.
Good for you . As you may or may not have noted my post was directed to the OP.

No offense to your wife but if she hated the RTW she must Despise the pillion of the GT GTl there element management is poor for the rider and is punishing to the passenger.

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post #14 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 7:35 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

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Originally Posted by murray View Post
Good for you . As you may or may not have noted my post was directed to the OP.

No offense to your wife but if she hated the RTW she must Despise the pillion of the GT GTl there element management is poor for the rider and is punishing to the passenger.
I you didn't want anyone responding to your post, you probably should have PM'd the OP.

You've made it clear in several posts that you're an RT cheerleader. I'm very happy that you found a bike you're happy with, but BMW makes many different bikes because not everyone likes the same thing.

We find that the "element management" on the GTL with an Aeroflow windshield is perfect for us. Hardly "punishing". No offense you your wife, but she must be miserable in a light breeze. And given that the RT is about as exciting as Sominex, the GTL is a far, far better choice for us.

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post #15 of 15 Old Dec 16th, 2014, 8:06 pm
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Re: GSA or R1200RT

My Mrs likes the RT BUT she hasn't been on a GSA. Both great bikes so you can't really go wrong.
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