a bit underwhelmed with my new 1200GSA

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Pepperjack, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Pepperjack

    Pepperjack Been here awhile

    Sep 25, 2012
    hey gang..

    I picked up a 2012 1200 GSA about two weeks ago.. I've had a 1100GS('98) and a 2005 1200 RT.. and currently own a KTM990 also.. so I have some good history of the boxer and would expect the GSA to crap all over my 990 ADV..

    here's my issue.. whilst I've not done any subjective testing per se.. the 1200 GSA seems very tame, whereas the KTM 990 will rip your arms off.. it really has punch. Noting I purchased for two different purposes so all cool.. but, In wondering do the GSA's come in some lamo mode.. cat converter, engine mapping, shitty exhaust, air box restrictions..??

    I rang my dealer and he said that run perfect from the first day onward... ie 1km on the ODO... not if this is just 'the way it is' then I'm cool with that.. but do they get better with a pip, removed of the cat converter etc etc..?

    I'm sure my '05 1200RT used to go much harder..! The GSA does have very nice low down torque .. but nothing to write home about, overall.

    appreciate all thoughts and experiences..!
  2. Hendo66

    Hendo66 Hendo66

    Dec 2, 2008
    Perth, Down Under
    I think what has happened is you ordered a 1000RR and they gave you a R1200GSA :rofl

    Take it back or give it to me!
  3. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

    Dec 16, 2007
    CA HWY 2
    To answer your question, no, they don't come in "some lamo" mode.

    The motor is actually more powerful than the one in your RT (stock config).

    Good luck,
  4. bobbybob

    bobbybob Long timer

    Sep 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, your KTM weighs 100 lbs less with the same horsepower. WTF do you expect? But I think you nailed it--the GSA is just a really shitty bike. :norton
  5. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

    Dec 10, 2008
    New York
    Really? Two words: test ride?
    You purchased a ~ $20,000 vehicle without testing it to see if you liked it before buying?

    Ship that sick puppy over to me and I'll ride it for you until it starts to perform.
  6. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    They do loosen up some after a few thousand miles. And work the higher rpm's. They are more lively over 5000 rpm's.

    But is won't be an arm ripper like the KTM. It'll get you up to (and past) legal speeds plenty fast though.
  7. justinallen03

    justinallen03 Been here awhile

    Dec 9, 2010
    greenville, sc
    funny...I rode my GS over to the KTM dealer and test rode a brand new 990Adv, and was seriously underwhelmed. Really didn't understand what all that KTM 'hooligan' talk was all about. :1drink

    In the end, I think I didn't give it a fair shake and need to ride one that has a few thousand miles on it. Same goes for the GS if i remember, took a little time to get everything seated properly and broken in.
  8. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Sep 27, 2001
    Rhode Island, USA
    I've owned two KTM950's (but not a 990) and both a R1100GS and a R1150GS Adventure. And am now a new owner of a 2013 R1200GS Adventure for just a few weeks and a few hundred miles. So, I do have 50K+ miles experience on the KTM950's and 150K+ miles on oilhead BMW's.

    When I came to select a new adventure bike I considered both the KTM990 and the R1200GS Adventure. I selected the BMW despite the fact that is cost a lot more money. Reasons: Primarily I did it as I wanted one of the last air/oil cooled boxer motors before they do to the water cooled models this summer. Secondarily, both the PITA (pain in the ass) of the maintenance of the KTM bothered me as it was a royal pain to do a valve adjustment, etc.. and the fact that, IMHO, the KTM950 lacks the torque that the BMW has. Meaning, the KTM was a hell of a lot of fun but I felt like I had to row the gearbox a LOT to keep it in the power band where I wanted it. I live in Colorado so we have less power up here.

    I think the fact that the BMW has more torque, or at least it feels like it does, works better for me. When I'm out touring around or playing with the sport bikes I am not shifting all day. That was very appealing. The 2013 GS Adventure to me is a lot of fun and does very well in the twisties but it is not going to feel like the KTM and vice versa. If I was going for a long journey (1000+ miles) I'd pick the BMW every single time over the KTM.

    The bike doesn't feel lame to me. It runs just fine right out of the box and the stock exhaust has a nice snarl to it compared to the R1100GS and R1150GS Adventure bikes which DID sound like sewing machines. I think BMW has made a lot of good progress with the latest GS.

    Just my .02.

  9. Pepperjack

    Pepperjack Been here awhile

    Sep 25, 2012
    Thanks guys.. Hey, I love the GSA...I REALLY do...was cruising on it tonight..awesome bike. I absolutely loved my 1200RT .. So my most recent boxer memories are of that. Then I traded it for a k16GT...now that is one amazing motorbike..but so heavy.. So coming from a stable consisting of a ktm990 adv and a k16gt screaming power is something you get used to...not that it's needed of course..!

    I got the GSA as primarily an on road bike...meaning any listed roads on the map, sealed or unsealed..and the ktm, she's my go anywhere bike..they're both good at their own jobs.

    Thanks for the input..just need to get used to the GSA's power delivery...love the shaft drive again and very nice torque.!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  10. JoshBMW

    JoshBMW Been here awhile

    Sep 3, 2010
    Seattle Wa
    As said, weight vs hp.

    I love ADV's but they are big pigs even compared to the standard GS, 990 is just showing that even more.
  11. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

    Feb 18, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    It's a lame POS. You should be embarrassed to own it. Ship it to me through my agent and I will send you a cashiers check for $30,000.......Send your whale foreskin suit and your Starbucks gift card too.

    Maybe you need the Ducati with 150 horses. That thing is fun.
  12. freyke

    freyke Been here awhile

    Nov 8, 2010
    Virginia Beach
    True - They are real tight when new... Starts to loosen up and feels real smooth between 5 and 8 K miles.
  13. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

    Oct 11, 2004
    Manassas, VA
    Mine has just hit around 3,500 miles and it definitely feels more peppy than it did when I bought it 6 months ago, with 990 miles on it.
  14. RichBMW

    RichBMW Long timer

    Jul 21, 2012
    Maybe you should go back to the dealer, and ride another one or two 2012 GSA's to see if they ride the same. If they do, get a Multistrada:rofl
  15. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

    Apr 8, 2008
    Merrickville, Canada
    I'm with the original poster. I had a gs1100 about a half dozen bikes ago. I had a 950 adv as my last bike. Its not about a weight ratio or other responses in this thread its about the motor. If you ride aggressively the lc8 engine in the high revs is an arm puller and fun as heck. After my love hate relationship with my 950 along and with my serious addicition to buying bikes and fixing them up ($) I have now ended up with another oilhead. I agree, I am very underwhelmed by the power but I knew this going into it and bought this bike specifically for a trip that will involve a ton of paved roads. For this trip I knew a boxer would be the better bike.

    Each time I ride the gs I wonder how people compare a boxer to an lc8 engine. HUGE difference. I chalk it up to people defending what they own as being the best which happens all the time (no idea why really but seemes like people do it) and also to riders who aren't agggressive with the throttle to unleash the potential of an lc9 engine...so I can indeed relate to what the OP is feeling :thumb
  16. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

    Aug 12, 2004
    Really what did you want out a sport touring off road bike?

    My 05 GS will do wheelies in second gear, but any 600cc sport bike will kick its ass.

    My 05 RT did have an afterburner at about 5500 rpms, that the GS doesn't have.

    Good Luck
  17. qman8

    qman8 15 GSA / 08 WR250R

    Jan 24, 2012
    Never been on a KTM...but I hear they all vibrate like mad.

    How does the vibes compare with the GSA vs the 990????
  18. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Oct 15, 2007
    Castle Rock, CO
    I suppose I know what you mean. I love my GS and it is a great tool for what it was designed to do, but it has all the personality of an industrial air conditioner.
  19. jachard

    jachard Been here awhile

    May 23, 2008
    NYC, CT
    The GSA is really the KC-130 of motorcycles. It's 48lbs heavier than the GS. Weight is your enemy.

    Don't fill the tank up all the way, strip off the unneeded foof, avoid the Touratech crack pipe syndrome and enjoy. I put my GS on a diet and it's now close to 480lbs wet:evil
  20. Pepperjack

    Pepperjack Been here awhile

    Sep 25, 2012
    The GSA still has plenty of power.. I don't compare it at all to the KTM really.. they're so different.. I guess I just thought(regardless of my other bike experience) that the boxer 1200 would pull harder and being this new engine sound like it wants to rev more.. reality is this is a torque engine, it's all about riding in the torque band (which is different, though nice)..

    there's something I really like about a bike that has the appeal of an industrial air conditioner.. I like looking at the Fuel Range.. 430km to go... I would love to make it 700km! .. probably would if I could :-)

    yes the KTM990 Adv does vibrate a fair bit.. it has sweet spots but generally you are either below that(vibration then) or above that.. thinking more about life preservation than vibration.

    The KTM is no where near as comfy as the GSA on road...
    the KTM is AWESOME to ride, onroad, off road, single track, fire trails.. hands down kills the GSA.
    the KTM does dip in the front under braking - the GS does not.. that is very cool I think.. but not practically a problem - very cool through Mr BMW.
    the GSA.. with that killer suspecnsion - is very smooth over crappy roads..perhaps better than the KTM.. but definitely very confidence inspiring.
    the GSA - they just have some super appeal.. I'm falling in love with the ugly big aluminium boxes.. love what I can carry.
    the KTM is very simple, in comparison.. I like that.. no wierd shit to go awry in the bush - again, in comparison.
    the KTM feels like a trail bike on 'roids.. the achitecture, angles, seat,, all feel like a big ass trail bike.
    the KTM, when you take the panniers off, remove the mirrors, drop the levers.. is VERY capable.. I was riding with a DRZ400 traily on the weekend and there is no where he could go that I couldn't .. we would have left a GS miles back.
    the GS feels like a road bike, with off road style.. I would NOT feel confident looking at some snotty hill on the GSA thinking, I have to make it over that because there is no other way..on the KTM, no worries.

    - I got the KTM for the ability to point my nose at a bunch of routes/tracks and know I would get over pretty much anything - regardless of track condition.
    - I got the GSA to ride on 'roads' .. and if there are unsealed sections then that's cool .. but it's not a bike I'll ever remove the mirrors, drop the levers and have a go at some single track on.

    IT's quit funny, even wriitng this I feel the need to add a little line to defend the GSA.. why..? they do have some real cult status, I would say from McGregor/Boorman .. but here's the interesting thing, thoe two were knocked back by KTM.. commercial suicide on KTM's behalf! .. they asked KTM first.. and, having seen their DVD's.. they would have found the trip much easier on the KTM 990 Adv.. MUCH easier.. though, for the long boring, sealed roads.. they definitely would have needed and airwolf seat!