GS vs GSA What is the difference really?

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

  1. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    The transmission, suspension travel, crash bars, tank, and wind management make the GS/A the better bike for me.
    #21
  2. VolInGA

    VolInGA Been here awhile

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    Pay attention. The word SEEM was in the comment about ergos for taller riders.
    #22
  3. ZachZ

    ZachZ Adventurer

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    I ride my GS off-road on trails in the Northeast and I ride with GSA owners. I have never felt inadequate compared the GSA. I like the taller 1st gear on the GS because i don't have to keep upshifting to find the right speed on the trail. The seat height and suspension travel are a matter of preference for the riders size. I'm 6' and have had no issues with seat height or ground clearance in rocky terrain. On an editorial note, i would say the GSA riders tend to fall over/drop their bikes more because of the added height and added weight up high. Granted, I had to buy my own accessories that the GSA comes with, but IMO the aftermarket accessories are superior. Try them both out and pick what fits you. If you need a larger gas tank, then the GSA wins hands down.
    #23
  4. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    I SEEM to have trouble giving a rat's ass. If you don't know, you don't know. It's just plain silly trying to blow smoke up people's ass with speculation.

    You know why my GS "seems" to have a higher seat in this pic?
    [​IMG]
    Because it DOES. but it's the seat, not the bike. It also has higher bars that a stock GS or GSA and better wind protection and front brakes too.
    It doesn't seem that way. It IS that way, all with aftermarket parts.
    People have done a lot more with their bikes than I have, but that doesn't change the fact that a GSA is a GS with bolt on parts. If it SEEMS different, perhaps you should pay attention.

    If you want the big tank there is no cost effective alternative. For everything else, there is :deal
    #24
  5. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    Huh. I had no idea that a different gear ratio was a bolt-on away.

    Good to know......Good to know.
    #25
  6. taoman

    taoman Taoman

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    I own both bikes, a 2008 GS and a 2012 GSA- both FULLY farkled. I've spent more money than I care to record here, but after spending $$$... the following is my opinion. YMMV

    The Adventure is the better choice for the reasons stated in previous posts.
    The hugh gas tank is the only way to go, the lower enduro tranny comes in handy, and the shocks need replacing on both. I lowered the Advenure to the standard GS height with Wilber's manual, fully adjustable shocks, and it's not cheap. FYI, I took off the ESA shocks on both bikes. (Sidekicker side stand is awesome and I needed a standard size GS center stand too.) It was worth it.
    Aeroflow screen is my choice and it is phenonomal for my riding style.

    The extra weight, too tall, top heavy, blah, blah, blah is just bullshit and I wish I bought the GSA back in 08. (I'm 59, 5'10" with a 30" inseam) I didn't because I read the forums I ASSumed that the self proclaimed gurus on this site knew what they were talking about- and some of them DAMN sure DO! HOWEVER, some folks write more than than ride. Good luck figuring out who to listen to.
    The standard GS does has some advantages but not enough to out weigh the inherent GSA attributes- no pun intended.
    #26
  7. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    #27
  8. hyena

    hyena Been here awhile

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    I'm in the "not salivating" over the GSA group. I've test ridden them twice, trying to like them, and prefer the regular GS. I'm 6'2", 210 lbs. The extra height and weight isn't a problem for me at all. The regular GS just feels more nimble.

    I do wish the GS held a bit more gas. I had two oilheads RT's that held, if memory is correct, 7.2 gallons. That was perfect. But of course, a full 7.2 gallon tank puts weight up high, compared to the GS. No free rides, I guess.
    #28
  9. jimbeauxk

    jimbeauxk Adventurer

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    To each their own. We all have our reasons for one or the other.
    #29
  10. taoman

    taoman Taoman

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    The standard GS does have some advantages- it is a little bit more nimble.
    A lowered GSA that is the same height as the GS is very close in nimbleness.

    At one point, I had ESA Wilber's that lowered the GS 2 1/2 inches. You wanna talk about nimble- super nimble! It has to do with the lower center of gravity.
    I traded those lowered shocks in for standard size manual Wilber's and lost the nimbleness but gained cornering clearance and a fantastic glass road ride.

    Sitting higher while riding is another advantage. When I lowered the GSA to standard GS height, I missed the little bit that I sat higher on the GSA. I have Sargent seats on both bikes, set to high in front and low in back, so apples to apples.
    #30
  11. Tonopah

    Tonopah Been here awhile

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    I have a standard '09 R12GS to which I added the GSA side racks and OEM side cases, plus Hepco Becker crash bars (motor and upper) plus PIAA lamps attached to the upper crash bars plus winglets on the fairing plus a Sargent low seat plus a Z Technic windscreen.

    Expensive, but I am really not tall enough for a GSA and I did not want the extra weight of more fuel either. I would have liked the lower (9% I think) first gear though.

    Essentially, I got my GSA -- but by using the GS I can fit the bike better.
    #31
  12. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Fuel range is what's keeping a new Monster 1100 Evo out of my garage. 3.2 gallons for an 1100 only get's a 100 mile range.
    A couple of people have already mentioned only having to fill up once a week on their GSA. With half the fuel range of a standard GS, some Monster owners would have to stop for gas at least once a day!
    #32
  13. Mr.Mushman

    Mr.Mushman Been here awhile

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    As stated in many posts above both models are just great bikes, what makes the difference is which model "talks" to you ... For me the GSA did all the talking. Just like somebody else mentioned, having a bigger tank helps when you have a long commute each and everyday, I hate stopping for gas, its never at the good time and always when I have to get somewhere in a hurry ... Love my GSA, it does exactely what I want it to do and still puts a smile on my face at the end of a long day at work and that's really what matters ...
    #33
  14. darkcat

    darkcat n00b

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    Hi guys, don't forget the steering angles are different by 1 1/2 degree if I remember right.:evil
    #34
  15. Noyah

    Noyah poser

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    They differ in fork angle too!
    #35
  16. VolInGA

    VolInGA Been here awhile

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    Based on your earlier post, the suspension travel increase is an ergonomic difference when stopped and the seat to peg distance is identical except for the nearly one inch difference(?). Both of those seem to be ergonomic differences that might benefit a taller rider, which I am. You are correct, it's silly to try to blow smoke up someone's ass with speculation when there are facts. And for the record, I was talking stock bikes. :beer
    #36
  17. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    As I'm sure you're aware, the link you posted was of a final drive unit, not the lower 1st gear that the GS/A has.
    #37
  18. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    Great thread, I really am learning a lot.

    The 13 GS LC will be my first big bike and essentially will spend 99% of its time on sealed roads an inner city commuting with occasional gravel road short trips so I think it is the right bike for me.

    I will be adding crash bars and other bits, just placed a big SW Motech order and will have the bike ready to go in mid May, really pumped.
    #38
  19. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    The nearly one inch difference is entirely in the seat, and the dealer will gladly give you your choice of low, standard, or GSA seats at time of purchase. Lower seat height at a stop is not important to anyone :deal

    But, more to the point of the OP...
    The 2013 R1200GSW (liquid cooled) is a completely different bike.
    There are no parts in common with earlier models. There is no liquid cooled GSA
    #39
  20. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Yep. It meets your criteria for "bolt on gearing change". As for the enduro transmission; it was an available option in '08-'09 but they didn't sell and were discontinued.

    Honestly, I gotta wonder about the advantage of the lower first gear anyway. One of the moderators here, AceRph, has a hacked (sidecar rig) '08 GSA. He blew up the trans in it, and after searching for months, finally found a standard GS trans for a reasonable price. He said he can feel the slight difference, but it don't seem to be a problem and don't bother him at all.

    The guy who built Roger's rig, Jay at DMC (Dauntless Motors in Seattle) has a hacked standard GS, and the only times he's wished for a lower first gear in many thousands of miles was loaded with camping gear, with his wife in the chair, and towing a tent trailer.
    The combined weight of the chair plus tent trailer is more than the weight of either bike in question.
    The lower first gear can certainly be an advantage under some circumstances, but almost nobody ever meets that criteria.
    #40