GS vs GSA What is the difference really?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Voz, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    From what I can see the GSA adds:

    - Crash Bars
    - Bigger Tank
    - Bigger Wheels
    - More off road oriented tyres
    - Larger Fuel Tank

    It also seems that they often do not have full electronics.

    Is there anything else? Apart from the fuel tank I presume that you can easily turn a GS into a GSA?

    I ask this question as I see a lot of posts here salivating over a GSA.
    #1
  2. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    That 8+ gal tank is a big reason I have one, I don't like filling up about every other day on a 60 mile R/T commute. And about 2 inches taller. For those of us north of 6', that can make a world of difference.

    OEM tires aren't a factor for me, it's not long until we all get to swap them out for something else.

    Otherwise, yes, I believe you can make a GS fairly close to a GSA.
    #2
  3. Eyore

    Eyore Been here awhile

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    and of course a GSA is musch more macho:wink:
    #3
  4. teomannaskali

    teomannaskali Long timer

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    And the gear ratios
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  5. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Wheels are the same except for color. On the triple black 12GS they are the same color.
    Tires are luck of the draw/some same/some not.
    #5
  6. sarelp

    sarelp Been here awhile

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    GSA has a lower 1st gear, wheels are the same size but ground clearance is higher. The bigger fuel tank is a plus.
    GSA have spoke wheels. GSA is awesomeness x10!!
    #6
  7. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    I have one of each. I use the 2010 GSA for long trips as the much larger fuel tank and the enduro tranny better meet my needs. The 2007 GS is a more nimble machine, and is my blasting down dirt roads bike.

    The GSA comes well-equipped with aux lights, crashbars, valve cover protectors, wider footpegs, bags and spokes but in my opinion there are much better aftermarket options. I've replaced the anorexic aux lights with Kristas, and the one drop and they're ruined valve cover guards with MachineArt Moto covers. The stationary foot pegs were replaced with PivotPegz. I much prefer the look of the TT stainless crashbars, Jesse bags, and the Migsel lightbar on my GS, but not enough to pay more to swap out perfectly serviceable OEM parts. I did get the GS with spoked wheels though.

    I guess my complaints about the GSA come down to aesthetics. There is a sameness to all GSAs that you don't see on GSes. Sort of like all Harleys look alike, and all Urals look alike. But the fuel capacity and lower first gear are worth their weight in gold...for my riding style.
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  8. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    If you plan to turn a GS into a GSA you will spend much more. I can't really say their either of them are reasonably priced but for what you get extra on the GSA it is a relatively small upcharge compared to the GS.

    My dealer orders mostly premium package GSA bikes.
    #8
  9. VolInGA

    VolInGA Been here awhile

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    Completely agree. I commute 100 miles R/T and love not having to fill up every day. Wind protection and ergos seem better on the Adv. for us taller folks (6'3") and when you come out of the office at the end of the day and find a spring storm in GA has blown the bike over, the standard crash bars/guards are priceless. Just pick it up, check to make sure you didn't give yourself a hernia, then ride away smiling. And of course it looks much cooler parked at Starbucks!!!
    #9
  10. channa51

    channa51 Adventurer

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    glad someone referenced a big difference between the two-the weight...less is more.
    #10
  11. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    The things you get on a GSA that have any actual value (IF you want them) are the bigger tank and lower first gear. You see MANY OEM fog lights for sale here in the flea market...OK, prewired for aftermarket lights is another plus.

    Some have mentioned the ergos of the bike (GSA)for taller riders...it's the SAME bike, with seats that interchange.

    Spokes are available on the GS as well.

    So yeah. The things you get on a GSA that you can't get on a GS are the enduro trans gearing (same transmission) and big-ass tank...and, of course, macho.
    As my gay brother once said about a woman he was living with "She's my beard"
    #11
  12. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    Check the suspension travel. There's an extra inch on the GSA. You're brother would probably say that's a big difference. :shog Seat heights per specs: GS 33", GSA 35.2".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_R1200GS
    #12
  13. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    But I believe it's personal preference, really hate to see this turn into a civil war over which is better. I have a GSA, and the last thing I'd do is turn my nose up to someone on a GS, to me there's not enough of a price difference to ascertain a difference in quality. Like many have said, they are nearly equivalent, only pre-accessorized (?) with some items, save for the tank and gearing. Take a GS and add the same equipment, and we're neck and neck cost wise.
    #13
  14. Dieselboy

    Dieselboy Journey not Destination

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    Sidestand and centerstand will be physically longer on the GSA.
    #14
  15. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    anyone can add crash bars and aux lights, and they can be even better than the BMW bars and a bit less expensive.

    Your shocks will usually need replacing in 30,000 miles give or take, at which time you can add adventure length aftermarkets to any GS.

    tires are tires.

    Anyone riding the GS offroad should have wire spoked wheels.

    The big tank is the kicker here. It can be swapped out but those big tanks are bastard expensive.

    Some people will never push the GS that far, but I have needed extra fuel and stared at a glowing amber low fuel light so many times I won't buy another GS unless it has the big tank. And that's just the way it is.
    #15
  16. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Assuming the same weight, you'd be right, but if that extra inch is encumbered by extra weight the advantage is lost. The GSA is no HP2!

    But that has nothing to do with the bike's ergos, except for at a stop. The seat to peg distance is identical except for the .8 inch difference in stock seat padding. A GS with a Sargent seat is identical (peg to seat to handlebar) to a GSA with that same seat (ANY same seat).
    #16
  17. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    Appreciate the responses, I am buying a 13 GS anyways (15 days til delivery, been waiting for months).

    I was just GSA curious, cheers.
    #17
  18. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    Agreed, my earlier statement was off, you are correct. A taller seat with raised footpegs makes it a wash when riding. I tooled around on both and perceived the GSA to be taller, but the ergos were the same. My bad.
    #18
  19. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    A few other GSA specific items not mentioned are a much better windscreen with winglets, wider footpegs, stainless rear rack, adjustable rear brake lever.
    #19
  20. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    I would agree, though the first things I replaced on my GSA were the screen and the footpegs. Go figure...
    #20