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Get the bike you like...consider fuel range, weight, ground clearance...whatever. You're the one who will be riding it. Opinions of others are just that, opinions, and like some other things, everybody has one.
 

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This popped up on one of my notifications pages a while ago. Side by side comparison.

overdrive.in/news-cars-auto/spec-comparison-bmw-r-1200-gs-vs-bmw-r-1200-gsa-vs-ducati-multistrada-enduro-vs-triumph-tiger-xcx/
 

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Im not positive but I heard many times the gearing is different in the GSA. Lower 1st and/or second gear for easier starts with the heavier loads.
 

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I agree withexharley Rider.
Get the the model that talks to you. They are great Motorcycles and I’m lucky to own one. I preferred the GSA model you can put less fuel for weight savings. Add a couple parts here and there if you wish but just ride it and you’ll be like the community knows wow how balanced this big girl is.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I agree withexharley Rider.
Get the the model that talks to you. They are great Motorcycles and I’m lucky to own one. I preferred the GSA model you can put less fuel for weight savings. Add a couple parts here and there if you wish but just ride it and you’ll be like the community knows wow how balanced this big girl is.
I think the most important point of this discussion is as follows:

1. everyone has very good ideas and insight.
2. As with everything in life, when one tries to make an item that can do every thing, some compromises will have to be accepted. That said, we try to turn the compromises to a positive as much as possible..... YES?
3. If one adds engine protection, and does not need the need the extra shock travel, the GS is plenty enough. To that end, there is not that much difference between the two in the final analysis. Yes, you can nit-pick the tiny details. Yes the GSA shocks have about 3/4 " more travel. One can add lights that are far better than GSA stock. In the end the differenced are not as vast as the difference between a ford and Chevy.

So please do not misunderstand my point of view. If one was to take a fully loaded GS or a GSA for a 4 week trip, the net result would be two very heavy ( read as hard to pick up) motorcycles. I am NOT saying the GSA is better than the GS nor am I saying the GS is better than the GSA. What I am saying is that riding a motorcycle is about more than loading one with 200 pounds of gear and heading out for places not on a map. I am saying you can dress the GS for local twisty's or dress it up for what ever long distance task/ duration. About the fuel. It makes more sense to carry small extra containers for those unexpected times of no fuel. It is best carried down low. That also gives one the flexibility help others, or bring just the gas can for fuel. It is most prudent to travel the road less taken with a friend or two. And last but not least, traveling off the bitumen, onto unmolested mother earth, the chances of dropping the machine are real. As a matter of safety, soft luggage might not break an ankle. Hard panniers very well could.

So now that I have solved the decades long question, Only one bike remains. THE MIGHTY GS!
This will save countless sleepless nights, BMW can have one production line, dealers have an easier time... In total, this thread has been as efficacious causing changes as Covid 19.... OR NOT lol

can you tell I am bored and have nothing to do? Did I just stir the pot? Looking forward to lots of replies imputing my character!

<<<<< DISCUSS>>>>
 

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I traded out of a '12 GS for a 1290 KTM. Reason? Larger gas tank, great performance. As much as I liked the bike, the extra weight due to the larger tank became an issue for me on the usual roads I ride. I thought the larger tank would be a benefit, and it would for the longer distance tours, but 80-90% of my riding were shorter routes. A motorcycle tour of Sicily on a rented GS (not a GSA) made me realize that the GS is the better overall bike for me. YMMV, but the basic GS provides a better platform for the riding I do. Longer trips? I can add additional fuel cells on my 18 GS to make up the difference in gas volume.

I have ridden several GSAs and they are great bikes - whatever works for you is fine by me.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I traded out of a '12 GS for a 1290 KTM. Reason? Larger gas tank, great performance. As much as I liked the bike, the extra weight due to the larger tank became an issue for me on the usual roads I ride. I thought the larger tank would be a benefit, and it would for the longer distance tours, but 80-90% of my riding were shorter routes. A motorcycle tour of Sicily on a rented GS (not a GSA) made me realize that the GS is the better overall bike for me. YMMV, but the basic GS provides a better platform for the riding I do. Longer trips? I can add additional fuel cells on my 18 GS to make up the difference in gas volume.

I have ridden several GSAs and they are great bikes - whatever works for you is fine by me.
I think the same way.

Now that I have been reading and thinking about this I do not think I will be buying a GS. The closest dealer is a 400 mile round trip.
And if I have to drop it off, thats 800 miles.

The dealer I was using shut down last week. I can do all of the service. I could also fix the easier things..maybe. But that sort of inconvenience is just something I would not be happy about. To that end, the Vstrom DL1000 has a good reputation. My riding habits are 98% bitumen. Its is just as fast. I do not like the idea of a chain, but after asking lots of questions, it is not a issue. I won't be using the bike to cover 1000 mile days. Rather short trips of a 50 to 300 miles just to get out and clear the cob web's. Maybe there will be a new BMW dealer in the future. So things could change............. THOUGHTS?
 

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If one was to take a fully loaded GS or a GSA for a 4 week trip, the net result would be two very heavy ( read as hard to pick up) motorcycles. I am NOT saying the GSA is better than the GS nor am I saying the GS is better than the GSA. What I am saying is that riding a motorcycle is about more than loading one with 200 pounds of gear and heading out for places not on a map.

So now that I have solved the decades long question, Only one bike remains. THE MIGHTY GS!

can you tell I am bored and have nothing to do? Did I just stir the pot? Looking forward to lots of replies imputing my character!

<<<<< DISCUSS>>>>
If you are going to places not on the map, both a 1200GS and GSA are poor choices.

Adventure bikes get oversold, real dualsports have their place when the fire road turns to sloppy two track.

There are no unicorns. (except maybe a Rally Raid CB500X)
 

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Down here in Oz.... when bought a new GSA1200 in 2018.. I looked at GS 1200. Add crash bars and lights to a GS1200.. and it cost more than a GSA. No brainer really.
 

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Down here in Oz.... when bought a new GSA1200 in 2018.. I looked at GS 1200. Add crash bars and lights to a GS1200.. and it cost more than a GSA. No brainer really.
That's the same reason I bought the GS. I didn't want those crash bars, lights or pannier brackets. I wanted those things just not the ones that came with the GSA.
I also didn't like the wide tank between my legs. It's a good thing BMW makes both bikes.:).
 

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If you are going to places not on the map, both a 1200GS and GSA are poor choices.

Adventure bikes get oversold, real dualsports have their place when the fire road turns to sloppy two track.
You mean like this?



My buddies were on KLRs and complaining about the places I was leading them on a 1200GS:



With some skill and accepting that you should ride a big ADV bike differently than a dirt bike, you can take a GS/GSA 2,000 miles from home on the road and then roam around some pretty gnarly high passes in the Rockies; and then ride it back home again. Those photos above were on Hogback Ridge in VA for those dual sport guys reading this.

I've been known to take my GS to places that a lot of enduro bike riders avoid:

 

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When you get right down to it, other than look and maybe higher shocks, there is no significant difference. WAIT... hear me out. Since we have time now to discuss, lets do so.

Ok, like I said for all intents and purposes there is no difference. Consider the following:

TAKE your GS, you add, 27 to 32 pounds of protective scaffolding, wires, lights etc , if both bikes have the same amount of gas, I think they would be so close in actual weight that one would not be able to feel the different in weight either picking ip up or riding.

DISCUSS!!

here in Africa petrol stations are far apart so we go with the adventures but downfall is the gsa wind flow is shitter lots of turbulent heat
land looks better
 

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With some skill and accepting that you should ride a big ADV bike differently than a dirt bike, you can take a GS/GSA 2,000 miles from home on the road and then roam around some pretty gnarly high passes in the Rockies; and then ride it back home again.
I agree with your comment, it is all skills and experience. My comment was around newer riders where the marketing brochure shows capabilities that take years to master...hence I think large ADV bikes get oversold.
 

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I have a 2009 R1200GS, modified with the adventure luggage rack. If I need extra fuel, I have a 3L Touratech jerry can attached to a pannier. If you want to go really off road, the GS is thinner and more nimble.

At the 2017 GS Challenge...
26974


26975


Then again, we are not a lot using their GS's close to their full off-road capacity
 

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Then again, we are not a lot using their GS's close to their full off-road capacity
I think a lot hinges on whether you ride solo or in a group. For sure you can mount an ATV winch to the back of a GS to drag it out...but it is easier on a lighter bike. Then again, a lighter bike sucks at 80mph on the 4-lane slab compared to a GS.

It's all tradeoffs.
 
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