Originally Posted by CheesyRider
It's funny you test rode the two motorcycles on the top of my wife's list for her next bike. I know it's somewhat apples to oranges, but what did you like better about the R1200R?
A lot of it boils down to seating position and posture. The GT is a bit too 'sporty' for my poor old knees, which felt like they were up around my ears. Forward lean was no big deal (my back and abs still work just fine), but the legroom would be. And the engine characteristics are perhaps a bit too similar to my F800GS.
The R1200R has more power (20hp more if you believe BMW), and it's only 14kg heavier. That's quite noticeable, and even at my advanced age of 60-something, I still have a bit of hooligan left in me. I think I also like the simplicity of the naked standard a lot more. Remember that I also have an older RT, with lots of technology to fail and plastics to scratch.
The R12R had both ESA and ESC. It was hard to tell the difference between Comfort and Sport, although there was some (and there's Normal in between). I suppose traction control might be useful, but my right hand has had 45+ years of idiot-proofing. I tried, successfully, to spin the rear at about 70 km/h in 3rd gear, in the rain. No drama. Tried the same with the ESC engaged (which you can do on the fly) and it just 'chugged', for lack of a better word. So I guess it works, but if I was buying one, I'd probably do without. The dealer told me it was the 'old version', whatever that is. The GT only had ESA, and again it was difficult to tell the differences between modes; it seemed pretty non-plush in all modes, even harsher in Sport. Couldn't spin up the rear, but it was drier when I rode it. I'm one of those guys that gets the suspension where he wants it, and then leaves it alone, save for adding preload when carrying more weight, so I wouldn't bother with ESA either.
There is quite a difference in mileage numbers between the two, but when I travel where gas might be an issue, I'd be on the F800GS and carrying an extra 6-8 liters, so that's really a non-issue for me (and the 1200 has a bigger tank). The GT has the familiar parallel twin buzz, and the R12R has the familiar side-to-side boxer throb at idle. At 130 km/h the R12R feels smoother. Below that it was a wash.
Panniers are optional on both. The GT windshield worked very well for me, zero buffeting, but that's often subjective. The R12R didn't have one. If I bought one of those, I might add a small Wunderlich fairing, but I'd ride it long-distance first to get a feel for how much it needed one. I rode my 250 dualsport last weekend for probably 800 km, more than half at highway speeds, and didn't mind the lack of a windshield. Standard seat on both, I'd probably get the Comfort seat on either one. They both seemed short to me, but I ride tall dualsports, so it just seemed odd to have both feet flat on the ground at stops, with my knees bent
And there's the undefinables. I just plain liked the R12R better. I could probably happily ride long-distance at high speed on both, but I might not be able to walk for a while after getting off the GT at the end of the day