Is the 1200GS the “One Bike to Rule Them All?”

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Iggster, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti über alles!

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    I have owned multiple bikes simultaneously for years. While there’s nothing wrong with this, I have come to a crossroads on multiple-bike ownership… This all began in June when I took a trip to Europe and rode through the Alps on a rented F650GS. I fell in love with everything, especially the bike. Within 2 weeks of getting home, I sold my 1974 R90/6 and bought a wonderful barely-used 2011 F650GS. I mainly use the 650 for commuting, grocery-getting and day rides around SLC. I also own a 2004 Road King, which I use almost solely for touring.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    I’m not sure what brought this on, but in true “Lord of the Rings” fashion, I am now on a quest for the “one bike to rule them all.” I am considering selling both the Road King and the F650GS and getting a 1200GS or GSA. I know the Ducati Multistrada is a contender, but I just plain don’t like it. Not interested. Already owned a KTM Adventure...not interested in that, either. I have ridden the 1200GS and really do like it. I am a street rider 95% of the time. My offroading consists of gravel roads to get me to a campsite or reservoir. Also, I don’t own a car, so this “one bike” needs to get me through the SLC winter as well (I do have a bus pass for the really nasty days!).<o:p></o:p>
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    Thanks for any thoughts from current or past owners of any of these models! OK, let’s discuss…:thumb
    #1
  2. cozmo2312

    cozmo2312 Canyon Carver

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    :huh
    #2
  3. KankakeeBenjamin

    KankakeeBenjamin Been here awhile

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    I think there are a million opinions however mine is that the gsa is the king. This is if you were limited to one bike. I think the gs/gsa is the best all around motorcycle. I have a multistrada now and it just isn't as good as my gsa was at everything.
    #3
  4. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    +1
    #4
  5. TimothyCaseTimothy

    TimothyCaseTimothy Been here awhile

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    I live in Denver and only needed my car maybe a grand total of a week or two over the winter...I work an odd schedule, so my commuting isn't super hardcore...loaded up on heated gear and got through on the GSA no problem... As long as the streets were dry or just becoming wet...
    #5
  6. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

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    Unless you are tall, then the GS sounds like the bike for you. Otherwise, the GSA. No need to get the extra height of the GSA unless you really want the big tank alot. I say this just because you said you were mainly a street guy.

    Since you mentioned winter riding, ASC (traction control) might be a nice option too.

    Good luck with the search.
    #6
  7. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Why does being tall make the GSA better? Is there more room between the seat and the pegs? I don't see where having 1/2 of an inch extra reach from the seat to the ground really makes any difference to anybody who is "tall".

    OTOH, the extra weight of the GSA is a penalty ALL the time and the extra gas capacity is a benefit about 1% of the time - and never, really, to most people who have them. Ditto for the extra ground clearance. I, for sure, would rather have the lighter weight all the time and just carry some rotopax or whatever for the very occasional times when the GS tank capacity is not enough. And swap out for GSA shocks or just put on stiffer springs, to get the extra ground clearance, if it's ever needed.

    Iggster, for your use, I personally would prefer the GS for the lighter weight, and the Vario luggage (versus the Adv luggage) for its greater convenience in the kind of usage scenarios you're likely to face.
    #7
  8. kvr929rr

    kvr929rr Been here awhile

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    The GS would be fine for what you describe and would probably be a better choice if you were going to leave it alone (no cases, crash bars etc.,) but, if you start adding stuff the GSA becomes a good value. The bigger tank is nice if you do any long range stuff, 370 miles easy or extra fuel for your buddies KTM. And if your most adventurous excursion is fire roads the extra weight is really not a big deal. The bigger windscreen is nice too. I liken it to Gwaihir, with it's large, far ranging tank. Even lowered, it's an imposing motorcycle to cagers, whereas the GS kinda looks like a big dirtbike.
    #8
  9. healeyblue

    healeyblue Old and Cunning

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    You owe it to yourself to try a Moto Guzzi Stelvio. Beats the GS at its own game. :clap
    #9
  10. KankakeeBenjamin

    KankakeeBenjamin Been here awhile

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahah
    #10
  11. KankakeeBenjamin

    KankakeeBenjamin Been here awhile

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    Sorry I'm sure the stelvio is a great bike. I'm at my kids football practice wanting to gouge my eyes out. You gave me a laugh.
    #11
  12. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    I'll tell you what, that GSA tank and windshield and winglets block A LOT of wind/rain to the point that you can ride comfortable in 30 degree weather with no long underwear or heated pants. YMMV. I, too use my GSA for everything (no car) and chose it over th GS specifically for the extra weather protection. Downfall is it also does not allow any breeze when riding in 110 degree city traffic.
    #12
  13. monkeydad

    monkeydad Long timer

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    GS man!

    You can put aux fuel tanks on the GS, winglets, anything...

    While you can lower a GSA if you're not Sasquach, you can't take the extra weight off of it.
    #13
  14. luca9277

    luca9277 Been here awhile

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    I love the look and the bulkiness of the GSA but I have got myself a GS.

    I use it daily no matter what the weather is (lucky in Sydney it never snow) to go to the office (about 25km of highway), I use it for weekend ride, some easy off road and longer trips.

    Although the Vario bags aren't ideal for off-road riding or touring (the capacity is just 8/10Kg..) they are great in the city. I do not own a car so I do my grocery shopping with the GS, you expand panniers and top box and you get stuff for 2 weeks.

    I had scooters, and other bikes (including the Multi) but the GS is by far the best one I have ever had!
    #14
  15. cratliff

    cratliff Adventurer

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    I have owned both the GS (2010) and now a GSA (2012)....I am 5'7" with a 29" inseam...The GSA being taller and heavier has not been a problem with me... I truly think the GSA handles better on road and off than the GS (IMO)......I know the castor and steering head angle are different on the bikes this may be the difference in the way they handle...but I would recommend the GSA ......just saying.......:D:D:D
    #15
  16. Stegerman

    Stegerman MotoOCD sufferer

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    Get an 1150..the 1200 is a more expensive imitation...:hide

    I also ride everyday possible in Boise.. don't hesitate.. get one.
    #16
  17. roadtrip22

    roadtrip22 Been here awhile

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    i love my 1200gs.
    #17
  18. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    I love my GSA. It takes me to exotic places. But lots of bikes would do that, maybe not quite as comfortably. Why does one bike have to "rule them all."
    #18
  19. Conrad

    Conrad Karlshuld

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    All around use: GS
    #19
  20. Osmin C

    Osmin C Been here awhile

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    Couple of things...

    1) I just bought GSA and I LOVE it. Gertrude (my GSA) isnt pretty or thin like some of the girls I have been with, but she is just so much better. I cant see myself getting anythingn else and being this happy.

    2) You are in a GS Sub forum. I think its safe to say our opinions will be biased. I would say the best place to get an answer for a question like this is a forum that discusses a broad range of bikes.

    Ok, Im done. Im going to go ride my GSA now :evil
    #20