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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am probably not the typical first time GS buyer. I started riding motorcycles over 50 years ago in Alaska. Typical for the late 60's and early 70's in AK off-road bikes were the norm and I went through the typical series of bikes, started with a Honda SL100, graduated to a CL77 then went to a Husqvarna 400. Moved to Florida and found little need for what were then pretty primitive off-road bikes and traded the Husqvarna for a Triumph T120 that needed a lot of work and traded that for a Honda CB500 that was bullet proof. Along came a job, wife and kids and motorcycles were a casualty. I started riding again about 20 years ago, and like a lot of middle aged guys just had to buy a big Harley well actually a series of them. Don't misunderstand, I really enjoyed them and the wife and put 15 to 20K miles a year on them. We both still like to ride, but she has transitioned to a Can Am Spyder and I don't want to ride a bike that tops out over 900 pounds with gear.

I rented a 1200RT, and while it was a nice bike it just didn't appeal to me. I don't remember why but on a ride a friend wanted to try my Harley, his bike was a R1200GS and after about 5 minutes knew that I was going to buy one. Our local dealer had a 2016 with less than 3000 miles on it, it is now in my garage! My problem is a perplexing one. Not a lot of 65 year old's ride them and in south Florida no one I know really knows how to ride them. I spent a lot of years riding Harley dressers on MC drill teams. I like to know, and ride to, my bikes limits.

I would like to find two things, one a program that teaches off-road skills (I won't be doing anything extreme) and two, a program that teaches slow ride techniques, similar to what Jerry Palladino does for big touring bikes. I have to say, I haven't had this much fun on a motorcycle in a long time, and the looks that an "old guy" on an GS gets are priceless! I only have one real regret, that I didn't switch sooner!:smile2:
 

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Super Awesom Person
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I'm 66 and kinda in the same boat. Riding over 50 years and discovered the GS. I've got a buddy In his 70"s with a GSA helping me plan a trip to Alaska next May. He has done in every year for the last 5 years. I've been eyeballing Rawhide Adventures for some training late next summer. https://rawhyde-offroad.com/
 

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If you're in Florida, take the 2 day off road course at the BMW Performance Center in Greenville, SC. They teach it all and you can even rent one of their bikes. If you are an MOA member (a good reason to be one), you get a huge discount and if you can get the Paul B. scholarship, it's very reasonable.

https://bmwperformancecenter.com/school/motorrad
 

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'05 R 1200 Gs
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I live in Boca Raton down the road from you. Just got back from a 2500 mile trip on my '05 . Maybe I will bump into you. I never tell my age. :laugh2:
 

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Same here, Road that Harley crap for far to long, I should have switched to a GS years ago. I'll likely take the Off Road training as well, just to get my dirt bike legs back underneath me. One thing I will Warn you about a GS, they are just as easy as a Harley to spend money on accessorizing.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
The changes have already started. One good thing about being a Harley convert is that we don’t get sticker shock from parts!
 

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Like the OP, in a past life I rode mostly dresser bikes like Harleys, Kawi's, Goldwings and just two years ago at 66 bought the 2012 GS1200 I ride now. Bought it to take on the Ak. arctic circle and back trip last summer [ not this years ].

I'm enjoying the hell out of my GS, not thinking about downgrading or swapping it for something else for some time. I enjoy the ride it gives me, and for the first time on that trip, rode dirt on a bike. The GS tamed the Dalton Hwy. admirably, and I learned to ride in the dirt standing on the pegs for 300 miles of the 400 on dirt.

Have considered some off road training with a few nationally recognized experts, maybe this next summer.

OP, I had the same ah ha moment when I rode the GS for the first time at the dealers.
 

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