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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
 

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I've had no issues, nor heard of any. I remember going to a Honda dealership, and mentioned that I had looked at a gs, he ripped it the "the boxer engine stinks... Etc etc etc). Sales people...

Kam
 

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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
BMW has been using shaft drives since its inception...
 

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I've had no issues, nor heard of any. I remember going to a Honda dealership, and mentioned that I had looked at a gs, he ripped it the "the boxer engine stinks... Etc etc etc). Sales people...

Kam
And what is the engine configuration of a Honda Gold Wing??
 

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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
Was in a Colorado KTM/HD/BMW dealership having new tires mounted on the K16. Had a while to wait and a rider from Illinois came in on a KTM Adventure bike. He should not shift and had ridden several hours to the dealer in 4th gear. While waiting for his diagnosis, we were discussing bikes. He seemed thoroughly disgusted with his bike. He said something was always amiss. They finally came and told him that some part in the transmission had a weld broken, and engine had to be removed. Bad news, and they did not have the parts to repair. They were going to get them sent asap, coming in next Tuesday (this on Saturday). Said it would be another week after that. He test rode an R1200 GSA. Came back and got a mechanic to show him how to service the bike and was amazed at the simplicity. They were figuring him a trade ($2500 off the KTM for the repairs it needed). He did say he thought the KTM was the most dirt worthy, the BMW was a lot more comfortable. He traded. He would not even discuss a new KTM with them. Long way to go to the point, but I would assume all brands have their quirks and problems. BMW has the recall on the forks for the water cooled bikes, and slowly taking care of that. Test ride the ones that interest you and buy what YOU like.:smile2:
 

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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
At least you got an unbiased opinion. >:) My BMW dealer is also a KTM dealer; I wonder how his saleman would respond to that question?
 

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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
You have to go pretty far back to find "checkered."
Back around the millenium to 2004 ish, there were RARE issues with the clutch splines. The reports though rare, made good copy for the forums. BMW did not take ownership and those afflicted were faced with a breakdown and a pretty hefty repair cost. So there was that--and owners were pissed...after that up to maybe 2010?? there were some issues with the final drive, including failure. Again, BMW did not own up to that, but again a rare thing. Between about 2006 and 2011??? they used a fuel strip as a sensor for fuel quantity. They regularly failed and BMW issued a "fix them whenever it happens" order to all dealers in the US. They have since gone back to the tried and true float. After that nada, afaik.

The GS is a wonderful bike, the boxer engine has its quirks, mostly in funny noises, but is durable, reliable, fun, and easy easy to work on. Is it still true you have to remove all the fairings to change the oil on a KTM?
What you are seeing is salesman BS. Find another dealer.
 

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Just search for BMW 1200GS problems, but remember that problems get more press than no problems. I'm at 52K miles and finally had an issue. Starter motor was going south and replaced under extended warranty. Would have cost me $650 with labor. Otherwise TPS replaced under warranty. Pretty damn reliable in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys...I have been making it a point to go to every dealer in the area and get a feel for the different brands...The more I hear from actual riders the more I am thinking I am in the right place here.This was the owner of the KTM dealership and he implied the shaft final drive was the Achilles heel of the GS... I now know different.
 

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Thanks guys...I have been making it a point to go to every dealer in the area and get a feel for the different brands...The more I hear from actual riders the more I am thinking I am in the right place here.This was the owner of the KTM dealership and he implied the shaft final drive was the Achilles heel of the GS... I now know different.
I had my front uni go on mine at 340,000 kilometres. I think that's not too bad.

The only real thing they did not do was make the factory one greasable. You are dropping the FD oil often and the splines need lube so it could have been greased when that was done.

I think it fair to say that the final drive/shaft do fail on occasions and may be the most common major failure. Other than that the bike is pretty bulletproof and super easy to service.

Not a deal breaker by any stretch, but it may fail at some point.
 

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I hate to say it but I think with any of these high end bikes, the issues tend to be dealers that don't have properly trained techs to work on them. Many dealers do, but some don't. A bad tech can really screw up a bike.
 

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I talked at some length recently with Simon and Lisa Thomas of 2RidetheWorld fame. Over the past 14 years they've put over half a million miles on BMW ADV bikes. I asked them to speak candidly about how hard it was to find parts and how often they felt they needed support that was a problem to get. Their response was that these bikes just don't break and when things wear out, there are many cases were parts from another manufacturer work just as well as the BMW parts - they specifically mentioned wheel bearings as an example. The punch line is that they wouldn't trust any other bike as much as their 1200GS and 800GS to take them anywhere on the planet. I think that's a pretty ringing endorsement for how reliable the bike is vs. other manufacturers.

Also, Lisa rides a chain driven bike, the 800GS. She also had no concerns about that because a motorcycle chain is the same thing regardless of the motorcycle brand it's on - easy to replace anywhere in the world. Obviously, a shaft driver requires less routine maintenance but a grunge brush, cleaner, and lube doesn't take up much space or weight on a trip. I took a KLR on the TAT and did chain and air filter maintenance every couple of days - a non-issue.
 

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I know of a few issues with GS'
Usually attracts older riders and there is a certain reputation about them.
You'll find that you want to modify the bike, either because you really want to go offroad (which 95% are not) or you want yours to look different to the others.
Some even want to add Highway Pegs, so they really can't go offroad
You'll get a few stupid comments about the bike, how ugly and slow it is.... Then those people try to avoid you, when showing them the rear of your bike on twisty roads.

Besides from that, the usual issues some modern motorcycles suffer from.

(Some comments with tongue in cheek) :) :)
 

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I know of a few issues with GS'
Usually attracts older riders and there is a certain reputation about them.
You'll find that you want to modify the bike, either because you really want to go offroad (which 95% are not) or you want yours to look different to the others.
Some even want to add Highway Pegs, so they really can't go offroad
You'll get a few stupid comments about the bike, how ugly and slow it is.... Then those people try to avoid you, when showing them the rear of your bike on twisty roads.

Besides from that, the usual issues some modern motorcycles suffer from.

(Some comments with tongue in cheek) :) :)
Haha O' man, you sir are a funny guy. I have teeets can you milk me focker?!

Hey just because I have highway pegs does not mean I can not rip it up in the twisties and go off road, good day Sir!

lol :grin2::grin2:

Hey don't forget about my bad ass cup holder dang it!
 

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Well, there's no denying that our beloved GS/GSA motorcycles are ugly. But, as most guys know, the prettiest girl in the bar often is not the one you want to leave with and in fact, it's usually the one that isn't getting much attention that, if you spend a little time with her, you'll learn that she's smart, funny, and is dying to show you a good time. The R1200 bikes are kinda like that. They've got a great personality.

I think it would dangerous to continue this metaphor much farther so I'll just leave it at that. My fugly GS sitting in the driveway looking like some kind of insect:



If you want a pretty bike, go shopping in the Ducati store for an Italian hottie. Just don't be remorseful when you spend more time polishing it than bashing off down two tracks in the woods with it.
 

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First...I searched this subject and could find no up to date info...Are there any known mechanical issues with the R 1200 GSA ? I had a KTM sales person rip into me when I asked when they were going to go to a shaft drive.. Seems shaft drives have a checkered past?
I thought KTM had a checker past.:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm still following and still haven't pulled the trigger... The AT Honda and the newest triumph tiger 1200 had my attention but then, just yesterday , I make a trip to the local beemer dealer only to see the 2018 ralley GSA sitting there fully loaded... In my humble opinion there is not a more impressive motorcycle being made at this time .
 
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