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Hi folks, looking for some input from those in the know... I am trying to decided between the R1200R or R1200GS lowered. I know they are completely different bikes. I am leaning towards a wet head regardless of model because I want cruse control.

IF I go off road it will be fire road only, I don't see doing any single track etc. And if I end up with the R doubt it would leave the pavement.

Mainly used for local rides and every so often a 4 hour trip to the mountains.

I lean towards the GS because of size, I would think the size would help with visibility and easier to hang lights, airhorn etc off of. But I worry about the 'leaking shock issues' and cost associated with that.

What I want in a bike:
1. Comfort
2. Reliable
3. Ease of doing basic maintenance

I appreciate any input you might have.
 

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Super Awesom Person
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If you go onto a GS forum and ask what bike to get odds are most will say GS. A lot of people ride the GS hard off road and that can shorten shock life but a shock can leak on any bike so that's no reason. You don't have to take the GS off road but it's nice to have that option. I have street tires on my GS and it carves the canyons like a sport bike. Deep down you want a GS so go get it.
 

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I owned, and rode 92,000+ on, an R1200R. I now have an R1250GS. I also have a K1600GT (52,000+ miles). The R1200R is an amazing all around bike on any pavement. (In my book, fire roads are just not very smooth pavement. My K bike will handle them as well as my GS.) It fits where Vespas can go but where the GS and the K cannot, which makes it a great commuter and city bike. It is light, agile easy to ride and as powerful and fast, if not faster, than the GS. Put bags on it and a big windscreen and take it cross country for thousands of miles months at a time or jump on it to go to the local store or for a quick jaunt or Sunday ride. It’s ability to carve canyons exceeds most riders’ capabilities. Not many sportbike riders could stay with me when roads got twisty.
The GS is also a great road bike, but it’s size and the width of the bars make it less ideal as a commuter into the city where space between objects, moving and stationery, and parking, are often hard to come by. Depending on the tires it is wearing, it can go places that the R1200R would not be comfortable going. With aluminum panniers, you can also pile on much more baggage onto it than would fit on either the R1200R or the GT. Two up camping with anything but the most minimal gear is not an option on either the GT or the RR. I can take my wife, my Redverz full size tent, cots, sleeping bags, chairs etc. for both of us on the GS.
All this said, have you considered the RS? It’s an RR with a bit more wind and rain protection, and is slightly lower in its standard iteration. Same engine and drivetrain as the R.
 

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Liquid cooled r1200r don't have telelever type front suspension. Oil/air cooled r1200r include telelever in the front. Drive train is the same in a both models. Capabilities for baggage of the GS are might be more even without panniers. You decide for yourself.
 

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I owned, and rode 92,000+ on, an R1200R. I now have an R1250GS. I also have a K1600GT (52,000+ miles). The R1200R is an amazing all around bike on any pavement. (In my book, fire roads are just not very smooth pavement. My K bike will handle them as well as my GS.) It fits where Vespas can go but where the GS and the K cannot, which makes it a great commuter and city bike. It is light, agile easy to ride and as powerful and fast, if not faster, than the GS. Put bags on it and a big windscreen and take it cross country for thousands of miles months at a time or jump on it to go to the local store or for a quick jaunt or Sunday ride. It’s ability to carve canyons exceeds most riders’ capabilities. Not many sportbike riders could stay with me when roads got twisty.
The GS is also a great road bike, but it’s size and the width of the bars make it less ideal as a commuter into the city where space between objects, moving and stationery, and parking, are often hard to come by. Depending on the tires it is wearing, it can go places that the R1200R would not be comfortable going. With aluminum panniers, you can also pile on much more baggage onto it than would fit on either the R1200R or the GT. Two up camping with anything but the most minimal gear is not an option on either the GT or the RR. I can take my wife, my Redverz full size tent, cots, sleeping bags, chairs etc. for both of us on the GS.
All this said, have you considered the RS? It’s an RR with a bit more wind and rain protection, and is slightly lower in its standard iteration. Same engine and drivetrain as the R.
Neurotic beemer shopper here. Just sold my K16GGT, now what. Some form of boxer no doubt as the lower COG is just unbeatable. I’m 6’3” and ride 2up a lot.

R12R: too little wind protection? Seems owners relentlessly compare windscreens and mods that don’t always work. Have been pampered of late by the K-bike cocoon. Also, 2up on this bike seems questionable/debatable.

R12RT: too bulbous, reminds me of my age ;-) and sits pretty damn low. Once again, owner mods all over the place on the forums...maybe they’ll work/maybe they won’t.

R12GS: seems like the in-between, just right option to me. Wish they weren’t so popular at resale ($).
Currently looking at ‘13 models can’t quite afford any ‘14’s
 

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same choice for me in 2015
I went with the 2016 GS low suspension and got the Sargent low seat. I had come from almost 10 years on two roadsters, well over 100k miles. I had a couple of days test rides on the 2015 r12r around Santa Fe, NM. I loved it, but it was cramped. The GS fit better though it was a bit taller when stopped. Also, the GS came with items that I would add to the roadtser, minimizing the price difference. I love the GS, more bike than I deserve. I ride it like you describe except I do long asphalt solo rides all over the lower 48 and Canada, round Lake Superior, BC and Vancouver Island, Nova Scotia.
My advice is figure the tech on both is pretty similar, the engines are the same. The roadster is a bit quicker, esp in the steering---narrower bars, but the GS may be a bit more forgiving in handling.
The roadster was my second choice, and the main difference, the critical difference was the cramped seating position. I'm a bit over 5'7" inseam 30-32, sleeve 32,33. 162#
 

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Disclaimer... you are in a GS forum... most of the advice will be 'Get a GS'. That being said, let's carry on.

I love my GS for it's versatilty. Twisties with sport bikes, long days on the saddle, off-pavement... bring it on. Not perfect in anything, seriously good in everything.

The Vario panniers with their adjustable width, are great. You can keep them narrow for commuting, expand them to a larger capacity for travelling.
 

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Enjoying my 2013 GS immensely but honestly the K16GT eats it for breakfast in the twisties. Like others have said elsewhere, it’s like the GT is on rails. Indeed, it felt magical to me (which I miss) but I have resolved at my age to never own another bike I cannot lift.
 

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Based on your three criteria, both bikes would be very similar. I think the biggest difference between the R and GS is the riding position. The GS is more up-right and has wider H/B so in my book would make it a more comfortable ride. For that reason, I say go with the GS
 

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Traded in my LC R1200R for 1250GS , the 12R is a great bike but whatever it can do ,the GS does better. For me, however, main issue was size, at 6' 2" and all legs, 12R was just too small. GS bigger and more comfortable riding position.Glad I made the switch
 

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PDog. I wreckomend you get saddle time in each one. I just got a 13 gsa, but I haven't had to do a lick of maintenance on it yet. Stock seat was killing me so I did get a Russell day long ( so far, so worth it ) I have a 95 R1100R, which is my Friday night fun bike around town, but wouldn't hesitate to take it a couple of states away on a dimes notice. Maintenance I would feel would be easier on the GS, but the R only has some plastic to contend with. Any bike can go down dirt roads, trail riding would be a different story. I have gotten my GS bottomed out on a concrete curb trying to take a shortcut, thought I cracked the pan, and think I need skid plate for sure. Like you said, two totally different rides. The GS is like a two wheeled humvee, and the r is like a steel pony at the track. Both get you there. Agility on the pavement goes to the R, which is where most of us are most of the time. The GS gives me a feeling of don't worry about the trip, enjoy the ride. Ive had my fair share of bikes, just sold the RT to get the GS, one of my better decisions. I would get the R, as they are cheaper, and then get the GS down the road. and have both...
 

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If you go onto a GS forum and ask what bike to get odds are most will say GS. A lot of people ride the GS hard off road and that can shorten shock life but a shock can leak on any bike so that's no reason. You don't have to take the GS off road but it's nice to have that option. I have street tires on my GS and it carves the canyons like a sport bike. Deep down you want a GS so go get it.
I just bought an '07 GS and I love it. Mostly, I absolutely love the character of the engine. it has a Remus exhaust on it and sounds great. I had a '99 R1100RT and put 114K miles on it. What a warrior that bike was! The only issue with my GS is that it's PROBABLY too tall for me. I'm 5'101/2" and I'm on my toes. But I don't want to alter it because the guy who owned it put Ohlins suspension on it! I have taken it on an 850 mile weekend (highway, no cruise control))trip and really enjoy riding it. I'd probably say get the GS because it's comfortable, looks cool, handles amazing and is very versatile.
 

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Hi folks, looking for some input from those in the know... I am trying to decided between the R1200R or R1200GS lowered. I know they are completely different bikes. I am leaning towards a wet head regardless of model because I want cruse control.

IF I go off road it will be fire road only, I don't see doing any single track etc. And if I end up with the R doubt it would leave the pavement.

Mainly used for local rides and every so often a 4 hour trip to the mountains.

I lean towards the GS because of size, I would think the size would help with visibility and easier to hang lights, airhorn etc off of. But I worry about the 'leaking shock issues' and cost associated with that.

What I want in a bike:
1. Comfort
2. Reliable
3. Ease of doing basic maintenance

I appreciate any input you might have.
I just bought an '07 GS and I love it. Mostly, I absolutely love the character of the engine. it has a Remus exhaust on it and sounds great. I had a '99 R1100RT and put 114K miles on it. What a warrior that bike was! The only issue with my GS is that it's PROBABLY too tall for me. I'm 5'101/2" and I'm on my toes. But I don't want to alter it because the guy who owned it put Ohlins suspension on it! I have taken it on an 850 mile weekend (highway, no cruise control))trip and really enjoy riding it. I'd probably say get the GS because it's comfortable, looks cool, handles amazing and is very versatile.
 
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