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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a 2017 R1200gs great for 25,000 miles till someone destroyed it, I replaced it with a R1200GSA,

im still getting used to the larger size of the gsa, I rode the gs on few forest roads, my question is how much different is the gsa to ride off road, for me the gsa seems larger, maybe I just need practice

any thoughts thanks I’m usually riding around the Phoenix and Mesa Arizona areas
 

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It sure seems much larger when I'm sitting on a GSA but in reality it's not a significant difference. Yeah it's a bit heavier but if you're comfortable off road on a GS, and you can mentally block out that big fat gas tank, then I think you'll find that you're equally comfortable on the GSA.
 
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I have no frame of reference between the GS / GSA unfortunately.....I've only had GSA's.

I feel at ease on my GSA on FS roads, general gravel and rough gravel roads. It might be an advantage to me to have a clear frame of reference come to think of it. I weigh ~160lbs so it's all finesse and momentum and not brute strength.

Here's a post I made recently for reference here in AZ:
 

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I have had both a GS and GSA. Yes the GSA seems like a beast when you are off road with it.
If you are not afraid to take the occasional spill its much easier to navigate not worrying about falling. It will happen.
Eventually you will get it trained to your responses and won't even notice the difference.
 

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I like the wind protection of the GSA, maybe a mixed value for you in AZ. If weight is a concern remember the tank doesn't need to be full. A few gallons of fuel that high can make a difference.

As for suspension and ground clearance I would guess some riders may notice the difference but with same tires likely not a deal.

If/when it does go down remember to get away from it. It can hurt you if it lands on you. Wear MX boots off pavement too.
 

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Fundamentally they are the same bike.

GSA is a bit taller (both suspension and seat, if it has the standard GSA suspension)

The GSA also weighs more but that is the additional weight of 10 extra liters of fuel and factory installed crash bars.

If the weight of the GSA is an issue simply do not put 30L of fuel in it only put in 20L and you'll be close to the GS weight,
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fundamentally they are the same bike.

GSA is a bit taller (both suspension and seat, if it has the standard GSA suspension)

The GSA also weighs more but that is the additional weight of 10 extra liters of fuel and factory installed crash bars.

If the weight of the GSA is an issue simply do not put 30L of fuel in it only put in 20L and you'll be close to the GS weight,
Yes you are correct, but due to the large tank the GSA appears much larger and heavier

I'll practice soon and build the confidence

Sent from my motorola one 5G UW using Tapatalk
 

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There is a even better solution for a full day of forest roads...DR650/ KLX300/ CRF300 Rally...

Right tool for that job IMO.
😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is a even better solution for a full day of forest roads...DR650/ KLX300/ CRF300 Rally...

Right tool for that job IMO.
😉
I thought the 1200gs was ok for forest roads, but anything else the DR650/ KLX300/ CRF300 probably be a much better choice
 

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I thought the 1200gs was ok for forest roads, but anything else the DR650/ KLX300/ CRF300 probably be a much better choice
I'd agree with that. GS if ok, a 200 pound lighter dual sport is great. Realize not everyone has space or rides enough off pavement to justify the second bike.
 

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Those who aren’t comfortable—on or off-road—on their GS/GSAs should ride a smaller bike.

IMO, the GSA is the right tool for the job. It’s the rider...not the bike.
Agree, skilled riders do things on a GS that defy physics and for fire roads plenty capable. My thinking is its simply easier when you get into trickier terrain on a lighter bike. Some trails you'll tackle with the dualsport but pass on the ADV bike, even at higher skill levels.
 

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I've ridden my big GS in a lot of single track and some pretty gnarly two track. It requires a different skill set/technique than riding an enduro in those kinds of places so I agree that it's the rider, not the bike. I would compare riding a big fat GS in technical terrain to fly fishing. There's a hundred easier ways to catch a fish but that's not really the point of fly fishing. There's a lot of bikes more suitable for difficult off-road but again, that's not really the point. I like knowing that I have a bike that I can ride over 2,000 miles of paved road to get to a place where I'm going to ride off-road and then ride it back home again.

They can teach you those skills at the BMW Performance Off-Road school in Greer South Carolina and even if you can't imagine getting in to a place like this on your GS...



...having the confidence to know that you could if you found yourself there is worth the training and experience. Life really begins just outside your comfort zone!
 

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Agree, skilled riders do things on a GS that defy physics and for fire roads plenty capable. My thinking is its simply easier when you get into trickier terrain on a lighter bike. Some trails you'll tackle with the dualsport but pass on the ADV bike, even at higher skill levels.
Could not agree more. If you are not comfortable taking a GSA off pavement, then sign up for an off road training course. The two day off road course at the BMW performance center in SC was a gamechanger for me. You use their bike, so you are not afraid to drop it. After a couple days you will realize that the big limitation in riding off road is the skill level of the rider and not the bike.
 

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I've ridden my big GS in a lot of single track and some pretty gnarly two track. It requires a different skill set/technique than riding an enduro in those kinds of places so I agree that it's the rider, not the bike. I would compare riding a big fat GS in technical terrain to fly fishing. There's a hundred easier ways to catch a fish but that's not really the point of fly fishing. There's a lot of bikes more suitable for difficult off-road but again, that's not really the point. I like knowing that I have a bike that I can ride over 2,000 miles of paved road to get to a place where I'm going to ride off-road and then ride it back home again.

They can teach you those skills at the BMW Performance Off-Road school in Greer South Carolina and even if you can't imagine getting in to a place like this on your GS...



...having the confidence to know that you could if you found yourself there is worth the training and experience. Life really begins just outside your comfort zone!
^^^^^ This. … nailed it.
 

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It the rider not the bike most for the time but weight is weight no matter what. Pounding a 600 bike through a rock garden is a fun as riding a Goldwing at a GNCC Hare Scramble.

I'm at a point in life where I don't have anything to prove and also the ability (within reason) to buy the right tool for the job. To me anymore fun and safety are much more a priority than bragging rights.



.
 

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It the rider not the bike most for the time but weight is weight no matter what. Pounding a 600 bike through a rock garden is a fun as riding a Goldwing at a GNCC Hare Scramble.

I'm at a point in life where I don't have anything to prove and also the ability (within reason) to buy the right tool for the job. To me anymore fun and safety are much more a priority than bragging rights.



.
That’s one way to look at it.
but I love picking my way through over and around rock gardens, across desert sand and up baby head covered hills. These bikes are incredible and it’s not about proving something but more about enjoying ones toys.
Please don’t tell me I have to stop doing this as I’m having too much fun. :giggle:
 

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It the rider not the bike most for the time but weight is weight no matter what. Pounding a 600 bike through a rock garden is a fun as riding a Goldwing at a GNCC Hare Scramble.

I'm at a point in life where I don't have anything to prove and also the ability (within reason) to buy the right tool for the job. To me anymore fun and safety are much more a priority than bragging rights.
The only person I'm trying to prove anything to is myself. I simply wanted to answer the question of whether or not I could develop the skill to ride in those places on my GS. It's the same type of motivation that put me out on 300 mile days in West Virginia on my S1000RR. I used to do that in my 20's on my race bike and I wanted to see if I could still do it. That's a terrible bike for the ride from Annapolis to Pocahontas County WVa but a scalpel on the hillbilly twisties.

And besides, maybe I have pounded a touring bike through a rock garden before too :cool:
 

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That’s one way to look at it.
but I love picking my way through over and around rock gardens, across desert sand and up baby head covered hills. These bikes are incredible and it’s not about proving something but more about enjoying ones toys.
Please don’t tell me I have to stop doing this as I’m having too much fun. :giggle:
Everyone has a different definition of "enjoyment". I know I didn't enjoy riding my DR650 that is two hundred pounds lighter than my GS in dual sport events as the 375lbs of weight was too much. The sub-300lb Euros would dance over the rocks and zip between trees on the mountainside. The DR650 plowed through and was exhausting.
 

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Other than the weight & bulk of a GSA compared to the GS, i found the suspension between the 2 bikes very much different.
Two previous GS's i rode, had firmer damping. Presumably as the GS was more a road-bike. RAIN mode could be used most times on the choppy roads i ride on and then go to ROAD mode if the pace picked up and if the road was smooth, engage Dynamic. Dynamic was very firm.
The GSA has longer suspension travel but the damping is much less, initially and through the full stroke. RAIN mode is still OK when slow riding over choppy road surfaces but as soon as the pace picks up the bike sort of wallows along and I mostly then ride in Dynamic (as ROAD is still to soft)

Dynamic was really firm on the GS, Dynamic on the GSA is about what ROAD was on the GS.

'Off-Road', the softer GSA suspension is better, with the front wheel responding to smaller bumps etc and not being bumped or deflected like on the GS.
Despite the GSA's weight, bulk & height, I find it a more reassuring bike to ride off-road.

And i only use Enduro when riding fast off-road fwiw. 95% of my off-road riding, wet or dry is in a quick cruise in RAIN mode. RAIN mode teaches you to ride smooth, with good braking & acceleration modulation so as to not bring the TC & ABS into action (most times).
 
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