Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Marietta, GA, USA
A Day at the Dealership - Demo Rides
So I carved out some time in the day to do some demo rides at a BMW dealer. My sights were set on a 1600GTL and the new GS and to ride them back to back.
Note - I had done something similar a few weeks ago with a Victory Cross Country and Vision.
I did a common 15-20 route with each that included mild twisties, in town traffic, and interstate.
First up was the 1600GTL. Clutch was the most difficult thing to get used to, where I had nothing until the last inch, then fully in or out. Over revved the engine a number of times trying to synchronize my left and right hands. Was not real crazy about the engine sound. Having never owned anything but twins (in various configurations) the whine of the six did not do anything for me. Ergo's were very tight. Now granted the bike had a low seat installed. I'm 6'3" with a 34" inseam. I was very crunched up and felt like I was inside the bike, not on it. Also surprised by the amount of wind noise at speed even with the shield all the way up. Over all it was eh! Nice ride but would not make me switch from the RT.
Next was the new GS. Was warned that the clutch would be the same as the GTL but I found it a bit more forgiving. I'll jump right to the end. Wholly crap, this bike was fun to ride. The new engine performance is fantastic and the GS was very maneuverable. However, compared to the RT, it had a lot of wind noise that I'm not sure could be solved with just a different shield. Really liked it but not sold.
When I returned with the GS, the owner said that I should really try a GSA. He said that it was the bike for "tall fat guys like us".
So I took the GSA out. The engine as expected felt just like the RT. Ergo's were excellent with seat in high position, very comfortable. Was also surprised at how easy is was to lay over on the on/off ramps. Steering seemed in between the GS and the RT. I thought that I would be intimidated by the massive tank, but while on the bike, the view down is less than the RT. Would still need a different shield as it was noisier than the RT but I do have a barn door large V-Stream shield on the RT. Overall, I really liked this beast and am very seriously considering a change from the RT next Spring when they come out with the new boxer engine.
Well, those are my thoughts on the three. Has anyone made this switch from an RT to a GSA and been satisfied?
"Not all who wander are lost"
2014 R1200GS Adv
2018 Vespa 300