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Old 02-22-2014, 10:19 AM   #1
TommyBwell OP
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Stripped GSA or Well Equipped GS??

I am considering ordering a 2014 GSA with just heated grips, cruise control and NAV prep. I plan to put Ohlins on it one day in the future but I wonder if I am missing out not going with the ESA? Is the stock suspension fully adjustable? Also is the LED headlight awesome? I love the Buck Rogers look and of course if it is brighter that is the key but like the idea of being able to get an H4 bulb most anywhere. So if I load a bike up I would need to get a GS but if I go with the minimum I can get the GSA. What do you think?
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:44 PM   #2
raider
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The point of the LED headlight is that you will never need a bulb. Preferring the halogen because you can replace it easily is like saying you'd prefer a car with a tiny gas tank because you get to fill it up more often. That said I like the LED but I wouldn't pay for it - must be my Scottish ancestry :)

I have the ESA because that's how it came; I've spent my first two rides playing with the damping (swapping between soft and normal), but the preload adjustment seems a bit gimmicky. Being tall and fat, I can't find a factory preload setting that is satisfactory. I'd prefer, all things being equal, a set of good quality suspenders properly sprung for my weight.

The other GS/GSA differences are really up to you and your riding.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:15 PM   #3
acejones
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The less stuff that's on it; the less stuff that will break (and probably disable the bike)
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
oalvarez
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Neither....haven't you read the Consumer Reports article that is being thrown around?

Raider said it best, and there will be many comments to follow i'm sure.
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oalvarez screwed with this post 02-22-2014 at 06:56 PM
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
Schtum
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Originally Posted by raider View Post
That said I like the LED but I wouldn't pay for it - must be my Scottish ancestry :)
Nothing to do with Scottish ancestry, you're just tight. I, on the other hand, bought a fully loaded TE to ride on our wonderful Scottish roads.

Quote:
I have the ESA because that's how it came; I've spent my first two rides playing with the damping (swapping between soft and normal), but the preload adjustment seems a bit gimmicky. Being tall and fat, I can't find a factory preload setting that is satisfactory. I'd prefer, all things being equal, a set of good quality suspenders properly sprung for my weight.
Spend less on food and beer and save weight. WIth the money you save, you'll be able to buy a set of Wilbers to have fitted with your existing ESA mechanism. Better health and better suspension = win / win....
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
CheckerdD
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My style is like yours, get Ohlins when the stock shocks go soft. I have friends with the adjustable who like it, but it locks you into an expensive gizmo certain to cost big bucks to fix at some high but unknown mileage in the future. Dave
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
steelerider
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I'd go with a loaded GS. It just seems like its a better value. Everyone is different, and the ADV is an awesome beast. Too much bike for me.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:32 PM   #8
raider
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Nothing to do with Scottish ancestry, you're just tight. I, on the other hand, bought a fully loaded TE to ride on our wonderful Scottish roads.



Spend less on food and beer and save weight. WIth the money you save, you'll be able to buy a set of Wilbers to have fitted with your existing ESA mechanism. Better health and better suspension = win / win....
If I'd wanted to hear a voice of common sense and reason, I'd have asked my wife
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:11 PM   #9
lanceputnam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyBwell View Post
I am considering ordering a 2014 GSA with just heated grips, cruise control and NAV prep. I plan to put Ohlins on it one day in the future but I wonder if I am missing out not going with the ESA? Is the stock suspension fully adjustable? Also is the LED headlight awesome? I love the Buck Rogers look and of course if it is brighter that is the key but like the idea of being able to get an H4 bulb most anywhere. So if I load a bike up I would need to get a GS but if I go with the minimum I can get the GSA. What do you think?
I think you should either save up more
Money and get what you really want or atleast be realistic. The price difference between a decent GS and a decent GSA is not that much and if you are honestly splitting pennies between the two, get a klr.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:54 PM   #10
ShaftEd
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Originally Posted by raider View Post
I'd prefer, all things being equal, a set of good quality suspenders properly sprung for my weight.
+1

As for the LED headlight, it's nice, but not a big deal. You'll probably put led aftermarket lights on anyway eventually.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:23 AM   #11
DMilan
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Good question, loaded GS or non loaded GSA

I'm playin' with it too.

The GSA is too tall for me, but I like the larger tank an better wind protection.
Sat on one with a GS Low seat... still a bit too tall for my liking. 5'9" 30"inseam

Personally, I like the look of the GSA better than the GS. Those radiator guards on the GS, fangs as some are apparently calling them, are a stylistic flop in my minds eye. Maybe painted or carbon fiber from Hornig or Wunderlich would be more appealing to me. I'd have to see it in person.

As far as the LED, well, maybe the light output is better than halogen, but you can probably do an HID conversion and lessen the difference.
As far as the sideways U daytime running lite on the LED, GMC SUVs
have an LED daytime sideways U also...Seems everything from a KIA Soul to a Mercedes Benz S Class has 'em. So much for exclusivity.

As I understand it, the LED has a fan built in to help keep them cool...Hmmmm. I don't know, I think a HID conversion along with a good pair of LED auxiliary lights is the way I'm gonna go.

Maybe a GSA with no ESA and replace the suspension with Wlibers , 50mmm lower, as I did on my departed 2011 GSA is an option.

Decisions, decisions...
To each his own.

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
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These types of questions never seem to address differences. In your case, the question you're asking is if you will be happier with a simpler bike vs. a loaded one. Well, consider what the added options provide you vs what the GSAW offers.

So what does the GSA offer above the GS?

- 10l more in the tank
- worse fuel milage
- more weight
- greater fork travel (and maybe a larger front, cant remember)
- bragging rights at the Starfucks (bragging of what, who knows... you're at Starfucks)
- aesthetics (do you want to look sporty or the guy who's riding the beast?)
- oh, almost forgot the glove box

I believe there are a few other differences, mostly related to replacing stock parts for better parts (ie pegs) but all those swaps are added to the MSRP so I wouldnt say those factors constitute a "better deal".

Either way, both bikes are awesome (because they are essentially the same0 so at least you know you cant go wrong.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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I picked up a '13 GSA last year and I originally considered a bike without ESA. I'm now extremely glad I decided to go ahead and get the well loaded bike.

Being able to adjust your suspension settings on the fly is fantastic. I had no clue what I was missing until I had it. Yes, shocks will be more expensive wen they need replacement at some point down the road but it's worth it.

... and I used to own a KLR.

-O
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:24 AM   #14
lhendrik
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I like ESA shocks on my 09 GSA.

ESA is very convenient if your load changes frequently. With a fully loaded GSA it is VERY nice to be able to lower the bike by dialing down the pre-load when in town so you don't fall over when your legs don't reach the ground in parking lots :)

ESA shocks can be rebuilt readily by many shops. The ESA adjustable component is not the problem area. The hydraulic shock component seals that fail (on ALL BMW shocks, not just ESA) can be repaired/replaced, just like premium shocks (Ohlins, etc). Higher quality seals can be installed and the shock made rebuildable.

As you probably know, companies like Wilbers will move your ESA electronics to their higher quality shocks if you need it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #15
sdpc2
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Ive had both a GSA and a GS

IMHO,

the GSA has a few advantages.....

Better wind protection.. (this one is hard to replicate on the GS)
Better foot-pegs; after market takes care of this
Better luggage; again after market options are better.
GSA comes with aux lights; see above.
GSA has a better rear rack than the GS.

The larger tank doesn't matter to me, as i can't ride that far without stopping anyway.

The down-side; is the GSA is a lot heavier than the GS. This is most noticeable when and if you have to pick it up. But it also affects handling and fuel mileage.
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