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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Senile Member on 2006 GS
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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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The ride of Life
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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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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John
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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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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.:p
 

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GS vs Explorer

Great Question.

I too have owned both, a 2014 Explorer and now a 2008 GS.

I didn’t “get it” until I rode a used RT1200, as far as BMW goes. Now I obviously do.

The 1200 Explorer has a stonking triple, love that engine! But top heavy, hard to push around garage get on center stand, etc. and too tall for me. Had great heated seats and grips but had a hard time finding a shield that worked. Now the new Explorers solved that with an electronic shield, nice. I also had a 20113 Trophy, now that was a nice windshield set up but I digress. Also electronic suspension etc. on the new Explorer sounds cool but I always worry about “new technology” as far as repairs/maintenance.

Handling goes to the Beemer. Torque to the Beemer. Top end to the Explorer but I don’t ride that fast so a moot point for me. Maintenance goes to the Beemer for sure.

With my GS and factory low seat, I can flat foot it and the seating position just works. No need for after market risers like on the Explorer.

So I rambled a bit but that's my $.02

Take long test rides on both, you’ll know.

inditx
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the great advice. I will be taking a trip of a lifetime next summer to the Swiss Alps. Was going to rent an R1200 RS,but now am thinking I should switch to a GS for a long test ride. A bud of mine is going along and said he would be willing to ride the Triumph and we switch off. Expensive test ride,to be sure, but that 'ol bucket list.

In a perfect world I will be able to find a bike that is clean, great running, low mileage already has luggage and GPS for a reasonable price. If ya gonna dream,dream big!
 

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Hi,

I'll give you somewhat of a different advice.
If possible, try to find and test ride an used GS or Tiger... As used as it gets, with 100.000 km / miles on it. Talk to the owner and see what maintenance / repairs he did.
In my opinion thats how you know a good bike.
U can always test ride a new one at the shop.
 

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I have both

I'm lucky enough to have a 2015 Tiger XRx and a 2014 R1200GS. Similar in that they are upright ADV type bikes but different enough to enjoy both. The 800 triple is a super smooth, linear pull type engine that thrives at high revs. Although the suspension isn't adjustable it is quite adequate. I've done 300-400 mile days without a problem. Love the sound. My main complaint would be that it runs very hot and throws off that heat to the rider. No issues up to 85 deg. but if your wearing jeans and not riding pants you will feel the heat. The GS is heavier, but handles like a dream. Very well balanced and excellent at any speed. Perfectly capable to do whatever roads you decide to take. I had a Super Tenere before this and had it in everything from deep sand to boulder trails. I believe the GS could handle that as well. It's really about the skills of the rider, the bike can handle it. Maybe not single track but I don't think that's where you're going. I haven't drank the BMW koolaide but there is something special about this bike. A bit quirky, but endearing. My take would be if you're planning on longer touring the GS is a better choice. If commuting with an occasional 300-400 mile day, either would be great. Enjoy the decision making. It's a good problem to have :smile2:
 

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you may have already done this but, look on youtube for reviews of both bikes. There are many from owners and test riders. You can get an extra look and feel of the ride. There are likely comparisons between the two.
Someone mentioned the new Honda Africa Twin...yes, at least look at that one. It has a bit of a different spin on the adv bike, maybe more geared to off road somewhat. It is a very nice bike.
 

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I had a tiger 1050 SE for around 7 months, loved the bike but had to have a op on my hands, Carpal tunnel, my mate has a GS and loves it, in the end I've just got a GS ADVENTURE, which bike then ? The GS is definitely a all round better bike, suspension is fantastic, cruise control is brilliant and fuel range spot on. The tiger had a gel seat which was comfiest and to me was a quicker bike but overall the GS wins, I use to get vibration on the tiger and needed the cruise control
 

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I can only say this, once I actually went and rode a 1200GS (after reading a lot of hype over the years) I bought one. Admittedly I haven't ridden the Tiger but only being 5'6" I really don't think the Tiger would work for me even though I love the Triumph triples.
A said ride both and decide from there.
 

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I have a 2014 TEX which is currently back to the dealer for almost 2 months with a gearbox problem and this is the 2nd time that the same problems occurs, the bike has 10,000Miles on it and i mainly use it to travel with my wife on. Hopefully after it gets repaired i will be able to sell it at a good price. Earlier today i went to my local BMW dealer and made the arangements to by a GSA.
I really loved my TEX and it really hurts me she has to go, loved that bike, i dont ride off road but the way it turns, the sound of the engine, the power the looks, imreally really liked it. But the reliability of Triumphs bikes and then the support you get from the Triumph made hate the whole compnay (i had an 800 as well before the tex).

My advice, you dont just buy a bike you buy the after market services as well, and from my friends that own a Bmw i believe that their service is 2nd to none.

Hope you decide and be happy with your decision, i also hope that i wont have any major problems with my new bike.
 

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Buy the Tiger

BUY the Tiger !!!!!!!

BMW GS. "Sofisticated German Crap".

FUEL PUMP/SYSTEM ISSUES:

That's what my buddy told me when I told him I was purchasing a R1200 BMW GS Adventurer. He was right. In my opinion DO NOT BUY this BMW or any BMW. MAJOR FUEL PUMP ISSUES. BMW has replaced or fixed the fuel pump/fuel system on my GS 6 times. The first time they told me it was part of a recall. The next time they told me the fuel pump must have been bad out of the box, next I was told the fuel pump was running backwards and that they had never seen that before. Then I was told I didn't put enough miles on the bike immediately after fuel pump was installed. One time they told me the fuel pump was stuck. Finally, they said the new rule... you must ride your BMW at least 100 miles per month or they will not warranty any part of the fuel system. That's right, if you do not ride your bike at least 100 miles in the month of January (last week it was -6 degrees where I live) they will not warranty your fuel pump. My service guy said BMW now makes you sign a paper that you understand this! I have owned 13 motorcycles (non BMW) and never had this issue. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere where no BMW mechanic is available and your fuel pump goes out. Buy KTM, Ducati, Honda or Yamaha. Any adventure bike beside BMW. Although the guy at BMW customer service was nice they offered no resolution. I even offered them the ability to comment on this post and they did not want to comment. Finally, ask a BMW Service Tech. They will tell you of this repeated issue with BMW fuel pumps. My best friends GS had the exact same issue !!!!
 
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