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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy, everyone! New to the forum. Been riding for many many years. I have been fortunate to have ridden and own a few different bikes.
Current ride is a 2019 Indian Roadmaster. What an upgrade from the Harley Ultra Classic i had for a few years.
Looking to get out and explore what's off the beaten pavement. Wife loves the beautiful easy ride of the Roadmaster. Guessing a compromise is the GS 1250. Here's my question: is it more expensive to outfit the GS with the aftermarket engine guards and such than to just buy the GSA already outfitted with them?
Perhaps the answer is...maybe. Depends on whose guards you buy! Looking for some advice and insight from those who have been there. Thank you
 

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I have both Hexhead GS's and GSA's.

I like the GSA for the fuel range and cool weather wind protection

I don't like the GSA for the extra height, extra fuel weight, and excessive wind protection in the summer making the bike unbearably hot in the summer.

I like the lighter weight of the GS, shorter stance, less bulky feel and less wind protection in the warmer months.

You really need to ride both to see what works best for you. Buying a GSA to get crash bars and lights to same money may be false economy. Buy the base bike that works best for your needs then outfit it to suit you riding.

If I had to pick on bike......I don't think I could. I've never been much of a 1 bike type. Here is the current fleet.

L/R - 2007 R1200GS, 2009 R1200GS, 2009 R1200GSA, 2007 R1200GS

ZZ1.jpg


2006 R1200GSA

ZZ2.jpg
 

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GSA all the way! When I want a lighter feel, I take off the top case and only put a 1/2 tank of fuel in. The extra suspension travel is a bonus and you can control the height to an extent.

2020_GSA.jpeg
 

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I agree with PerazziMx14 and Dan. Problem is right now there is a stop sale on a lot of BMW bikes as they switch to Brembo calipers. In February or March you should be able to test ride a GSA and a GS.
Both bikes are available in variable ride heights so it should be easy to find one you like. The GSA has a massive gas tank that I didn't like and some people say there are better crash bars and auxiliary lights than the ones it comes with but it may be that's what you want. There are also many, many other things you may or may not want. Just the many different side bags that are available will drive you nuts. I like the Vario but others hate them. While you wait for a test ride look at the different options.
 

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The panniers are certainly a preference thing. The Vario's are nice as they integrate very well and when removed the racks are barely noticeable. The down side is they are extremely heavy and the mechanics was build by as Swiss watch maker. I also do not like that there is no crossover bar tying them together. If you follow someone with Vario's they swing around, like a milk cows udders swings as they run into the feed lot. Also the exhaust side when collapsed at least on the Hexheads is all but useless as its only about 5 inches wide.

The GSA aluminum panniers are nice as they are lighter but they scratch, dent and/or ding if you look at them wrong. I do like the way they mount but the racks are noticeable when the panniers are removed.

There is no free lunch.
 

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GS with sports suspension is the key. HP variant. 50lbs lighter than a GSA and it gets your the GSA travel suspension.
I had a 2019 GSA sold it and got a 2019 GS-HP variant with sports suspension. Have been smiling ear to ear with that
 

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Looking to get out and explore what's off the beaten pavement. Wife loves the beautiful easy ride of the Roadmaster.
You've gotten some good advice above. I would ask a few more questions per the comments above. How far off the beaten path do you want to go? (Gravel and groomed fire roads or something rougher?) And will you do that 2-up with the wife?

If 2-up I'd probably go GS over GSA to shed a little weight. Always can add protection to the GS. If you've never ridden off pavement some solo riding will help get used to gravel and groomed fire roads. 50/50 tires help confidence there a lot.

If solo...well...I'd suggest a ligher sub-400 pound dualsport if your off the beaten path riding is more local. GS/GSA is a big girl and riding gravel all day I'd prefer my DR650. Now, touring...the GS/GSA is fantastic there and perfectly capable on well groomed roads. As it gets rougher that weight will wear you out.
 

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You are going to get 20,000 opinions ( roughly the number of members in the forum)
Go to the dealership try out both bikes and buy the one which YOU like!
 

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Last month I've order R1250GS Tripple Black non-Adv and with no extras. Just the bike. Then I ordered all the extras I wanted and none of them are BMW brand. For example, I wanted 4-point fixing crash bars (lower ones) vs 3-point BMW ones. Ordered SW-Motech 4-point bars. They are less expensive then BMW ones and suit my needs better.
Everything else, hand guards, upper bars, radiator protectors, rear hugger, mudsling, front fender extender, lower footpegs etc, etc, I ordered from aftermarket and made calculation of more then €1500 saving and I will have the bike the way I want it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all so very very much. I absolutely appreciate the advice and wisdom from those who have been there / done that. I will defintely get to the dealership and test ride both.
I will ride more pavement than off road as my work schedule is pretty rough. I may get to the pretty stuff a couple of times a month and then a 3 or 4 day weekend when I can fit it in.
My wife's comfort is also important. We will both have to ride them and see where that takes us. In the end we will discuss it, weigh the pros and cons, compromise and do what what she wants.
Thanks again, Gentlemen. Happy Holidays
Jeff
 

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I have both Hexhead GS's and GSA's.

I like the GSA for the fuel range and cool weather wind protection

I don't like the GSA for the extra height, extra fuel weight, and excessive wind protection in the summer making the bike unbearably hot in the summer.

I like the lighter weight of the GS, shorter stance, less bulky feel and less wind protection in the warmer months.

You really need to ride both to see what works best for you. Buying a GSA to get crash bars and lights to same money may be false economy. Buy the base bike that works best for your needs then outfit it to suit you riding.

If I had to pick on bike......I don't think I could. I've never been much of a 1 bike type. Here is the current fleet.

L/R - 2007 R1200GS, 2009 R1200GS, 2009 R1200GSA, 2007 R1200GS

View attachment 28729

2006 R1200GSA

View attachment 28730
Stop taunting me. I have admired your collection and buying style for awhile. Dripping with envy. I have the space but lack the funds. Maybe when I get my government relief check.

28732
 

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I see most of the opinions sort of skipped right over what you were asking about the costs. I've had both and my answer is...it depends. If your intention is to get a GS and equip it with all the aftermarket bling that comes with the GSA, your final cost will be about the same but in many cases the aftermarket options are better than what you get on the GSA.

You also didn't say whether this bike would be used for two-up riding or if it would be a solo bike for more adventurous riding than what you currently do. So your wife's comfort would be a huge factor. Two observations from my personal experiences riding two-up on both the GS and GSA. My wife and I are in our early 60s. The GS is so tall that she has a lot of difficulty mounting and especially dismounting. The GSA even more so. My 30 year old niece is nimble and athletic and has no trouble; she prefers the view from taller bikes. My 5'8" wife also complains that the passenger pegs are way too high, forcing her into an uncomfortable knee bend that becomes downright painful after half an hour. My 5'2" niece finds it the most comfortable bike she's ever ridden pillion on.
 

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I would agree with others in this post, in that, there are bigger differences between the GS and GSA that should influence your decision more than the cost of engine guards, i.e. the GSA is heavier, more expensive (initial cost), more protection form the elements than you want/need and may have MORE fuel capacity than you need based on who you ride with and where you go.

I ride with guys that have the same or smaller tanks than my GS. We need to stop for gas at least once, sometimes twice, on a day ride so I just gas up with them rather than waiting for them to gas up. If I rode with others that had GSA's then I may have gotten a GSA so then we would need gas at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I see most of the opinions sort of skipped right over what you were asking about the costs. I've had both and my answer is...it depends. If your intention is to get a GS and equip it with all the aftermarket bling that comes with the GSA, your final cost will be about the same but in many cases the aftermarket options are better than what you get on the GSA.

You also didn't say whether this bike would be used for two-up riding or if it would be a solo bike for more adventurous riding than what you currently do. So your wife's comfort would be a huge factor. Two observations from my personal experiences riding two-up on both the GS and GSA. My wife and I are in our early 60s. The GS is so tall that she has a lot of difficulty mounting and especially dismounting. The GSA even more so. My 30 year old niece is nimble and athletic and has no trouble; she prefers the view from taller bikes. My 5'8" wife also complains that the passenger pegs are way too high, forcing her into an uncomfortable knee bend that becomes downright painful after half an hour. My 5'2" niece finds it the most comfortable bike she's ever ridden pillion on.
My wife spent her youth jeeping around Colorado with her parents and their friends and their kids. She said there may be one or two mountain passes that she hasn't been on and her desire to see them again are faint. She has no desire to relive her youth and get out there. So my riding the back country would be solo or riding / exploring with friends. Not to say she would never ride with me but we have a nice large Indian Roadmaster for her sitting in the garage with all things built for comfort.
Reading reviews and checking inventory of a few local shops there a couple of 2017 BMW 800 GS's around I may settle on. With 85 hp (about the same as my Indian behemoth) she's big enough to get to the back country and nimble enough to do the job I am seeking.
I will keep y'all posted. I can't tell y'all enough how much I appreciate the wisdom and advice.
 

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A lot of good input coming from the guys on the forum as I would expect. I bought a GS in 2016 because I wanted to outfit the bike with what I think are better parts (protection and luggage) than the GSA came equipped with. I also wanted to do some hard off-road riding and the GS is a little lighter. My goal was to take it anywhere I took my KLR and I did just that for most of the last 4 years. Now that I'm riding 90/10 pavement on it (since I bought a WR250R) if I were buying the bike now, I'd probably go for the GSA, but not definitely. There have been times on long multi-day rides where I had to make decisions based upon fuel range. I'm sure someone can come up with some contrived situation where this isn't true but if you ride with others that won't have your range then the extra fuel you're carrying isn't an advantage anyway.
 
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Defenetely my next bike will be GSA, advantages like better wind protection and fuel range are important for me. There is a lot of gas stations until come to sea cost but I preffer to refuel only one time at the end of travel or before garage. Another stopping want to be for coffee breaks :)
 

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Two reasons I went GSA were the added suspension travel and the larger tank.
Here in Oz, one of those “I wonder where that road goes” moments can mean another 250kms and fuel range means less anxiety.
Suspension travel, while maybe not needed all the time, means a more relaxed ride over rough terrain.
Neither of these can be added later without spending a lot of money.
 

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To me the big differences are the huge vs normal size tank and taller off-road suspension. I opted for a 2018 R1200Gs Rallye with sport suspension and added other stuff. Just never liked the huge tank and when riding with buddies I would only need to add gas at every other fuel stop. so I would just sit there waiting for them to fill up. One of the beauties of the 1200GS is its low center of gravity. I think its a shame to ruin that with almost 9 gallons of gas at the high point of the bike. That said, if you are planning to tour Asia or Africa that big tank may come in handy!
 

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have had both, wernt back to the GS as I spend very little time on the dirt and the GS feels so much liter on the road.
 
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