GS or Tiger decision - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 20-Dec-2016, 08:38 PM (110) Thread Starter
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GS or Tiger decision

I am looking at getting an ADV bike. Narrowed it down to a GS, or a Tiger. I am pretty sure I can guess the bias of this forum, but it never hurts to ask. I will also be posing the question to the folks on the Triumph forum.

I am 58 and retired. Getting rid of a couple of cruisers (I am over the Harley thing and my wife also rides. ) The Harley and a VStar 950 are going to new good homes...I hope. My wife wanted only 1 bike for herself,so she found a '13 R1200 R. Loves it. I am rather impressed myself. My other bike is a '15 Street Triple (gotta love that sound).

So I am looking to get an ADV bike to at as a sport-touring and some off roading. 90/10. Don't know for sure yet,but it would only be fire roads and the like. I live on the Texas coast, so occasional beach runs would be fun too.

That is background for gathering comments from this great forum. I'll bet I am not the only one having considered these 2 bikes. Most likely looking at the standard models,not the GSA or Triumph Explorer Xc.

Thoughts and things to consider? Things to avoid. Must have's. Looking for used, don't need new. Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 20-Dec-2016, 09:50 PM (160)
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Ride both, the decide. I have and bought a GS
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 02:55 AM (372)
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They say the Tiger is a feels top heavy off-road when compared to the 1200GS
Apart from that I believe they are a good bike.

Disclaimer: I have a 1200 GSA and am very happy with it

You might want to factor local service and parts availability into your decision
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 07:09 AM (548)
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Assuming you aren't independently wealthy, one of the important things to research is maintenance and repair cost. I did not do this before buying my used ('06) GS, and am now combing the internet trying to reassure myself that I will not end up buying the bike a second time from the repair shop.

On the one hand, there is the routine maintenance. The days when you could, for instance, set valve clearances with a couple wrenches and a feeler gauge. The Boxer has something of an inherent advantage since the working parts of the engine stick out to the side and are relatively accessible compared with a vertical triple. This should reduce labor required to perform routine service. I say "should" because I haven't checked.

On the other hand, there is repair. I don't know how Triumph puts things together, but BMW has a penchant for packaging up a lot of parts into expensive assemblies that are serviced by replacement. The classic examples are the drive shaft (over $1000 plus labor if a U-joint fails) and final drive (over $2000 plus labor if a bearing lets go). These things don't appear to fail often (odds seem fairly good you'll never have one break), but if they go it's big money.

Obviously maintenance and repair cost is not the only thing you should consider; if you fall passionately in love with one bike or the other you know you're going to pay for it. But it's good to go into these things with eyes wide open.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 08:49 AM (617)
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Look at Honda's new Adventure series bikes..
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 09:13 AM (634)
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I have had both

About 18 months ago I bought a Tiger 800XC. A very good motorcycle. A great value for the money. It was in being serviced at my local Triumph/BMW/Vespa dealer. The salesman suggests I try an new R-1200GS LC. Okay, I'll try it. Long story short, I now own that R-1200GS. The only reason I subsequently sold the Tiger was simply a lack of room, plus a buddy of mine was enamored of the thing-who was the one who bought it.

Tiger 800XC...
The Good: Lighter weight. Better maneuverability. Better wind coverage. Wonderful jet-engine sound at speed.
The not so good: Less fuel economy. Inferior suspension (but still great for a bike in this price class). Unusual ergonomics. Almost no torque down low.

BMW R1200GS..
The good: Outstanding handling. Out of this world suspension. Tractor type torque down low. Better fuel economy. Very comfortable ergonomics.
The not so good: Big and bulky. Electronics gone bizerk/$1800 LED headlight. Hopelessly inaccurate speedometer. In some ride modes jerky throttle.

There's my take. There's more...but when you buy a BMW you are admitted into the fraternity of BMW riders. An example is this forum. Extremely helpful, friendly people. Over at the tiger forum is not so consolatory...

- John

Last edited by Bumblebee; 21-Dec-2016 at 04:36 PM (942).
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 09:27 AM (644)
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I'm the practical sort, so of course ride them before you decide, but I would lean towards getting a GS that has the same motor as your wife's R1200R. That way it's all the same filters and what not, and the valve setting and other routine maintenance is the same. This is assuming you do your own maintenance, and if you don't what a great time to start!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 09:29 AM (645) Thread Starter
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all very good points to consider. My wife will be riding her r1200r, I will have either the GS 1200 or Tiger 1200 and we will share my Street Triple 675.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 09:37 AM (650)
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Be careful if you use a forum to try and assess the reliability and maintenance costs of a motorbike.
Participants will post if they have a problem, not if they don't. For every bike here with a problem, I'd suggest there are thousands and thousands running trouble free.
I have a '16 GS, all the electrics, bought as a run-out special price to make room for the '17s. I've had GS's dating back to last century;and many bikes of many makes and models - I don't believe I am a rusted-on BMW-or-nothing person. My current bike is so much better than anything I have had - I just do not have the linguistic powers to describe it. If for any reason I had to replace it tomorrow, I'd get one exactly the same.
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2017 1200Adv
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 21-Dec-2016, 09:57 AM (664)
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I owned an Explorer 1200 for 4 years and then sold it for a new GSA about 3 months ago. They are both excellent bikes but in many ways also quite different. There is no such thing as a perfect woman - the same logic applies to bikes!!

The Tex is very top heavy compared to the GS/A. I loved the Tex motor and the triple sound is awesome. However, my Tex had a gearbox problem which i ended up having to fix myself. As a result of that and the abysmal "service" from Triumph I no longer had any faith in Triumph and so resolved to flick the Tex and go back to a BMW (which I had had before the Tex). At least the BMW support is much better although the electronic complexity of the GS does worry me somewhat but it is just such a wonderful all round and versatile bike that it is hard to go past.

Ride them both, talk to other owners, check out how supportive the Importers/Dealers are and then make an informed decision.
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