RT to GSA

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by 1LIFE2LIVE, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. 1LIFE2LIVE

    1LIFE2LIVE Long timer

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    I have the opportunity to make this change.

    The RT has served me/us extremely well these last 56,000 miles - cross country (6,000 miles) a couple times with no problems other than routine maintenance.

    Mrs. rarely rides anymore so her comfort isn't as important as it was, yet she will ride on short rides (less than 200 miles round trip) and have been given the Green light.

    I'm looking at a 2012 GSA, have rode one previously and was surprised on just how well it rode, comfort and agility.

    What I'm looking for is feedback from GSA owners on your overall real life ownership experiences (Fun Factor, High Speed Stability: over 110mph for extended distances = 20+ miles, agility, etc.) - ride with a very diverse group of bikers but the majority like to ride somewhat fast (100+mph) so it will be important to not only keep up but have the ability to pass when the opportunity arises.

    Majority of riding will be 90 miles roundtrip or substantially more - ride about 15,000 miles a year. Little off road other than the occasional fire road.

    Weight is not a issue - almost identical to the RT wet and the height of the GSA isn't an issue either.

    Drawbacks & Strengths - what are they? Any Regrets?

    The 2012 GS is nice especially the new 2013 water cooled but I'm leaning towards the GSA.

    Thanks for any and all feedback,
    #1
  2. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    I really liked the 2011 and 2012 GSAs that I have ridden. I would trade from an RT to a GSA myself.

    To offer a thought on if it is comparable, over on BMWSPORTTOURING.com they are focused primarily on sport touring, obviously, bikes like the RT and GT models, but so many folks there have moved into the GS or GSA that they started GS specific page for people so they can stay on the site, but focus their questions and discussions on the GS style bikes.

    Personally I prefer the feel of the GSA over the feel of the GS, but both are good. If you are looking for a GS style bike for the occasional fire road, the GS is moree than capable and the handling is a bit closer to the RT because it is a bit lower CG. The GSA being taller and a bit more top heavy will feel like a bigger difference from the RT, but I feel it is better for the dirt on ground clearance, suspension trave and things like that. The extra fuel and crash bars are nice on the GSA but the question is, do you really need that and does it warrant the extra up front expense?

    Just go take some test rides and see what you think.
    #2
  3. 7mary4

    7mary4 Ponch

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    The ergonomics are different between the GS and GSA. If the rider is tall, it makes a difference. Is it worth the extra dough? DK. I would say the GSA is priced high. It's up to 22K now. That's a lot of escarole.
    #3
  4. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    I have an 08 GSA and rode an RT1200 once. I like the RT. The GSA is very versatile can do anything. !00+ not a problem, no Tupperware so maintenance is easier. You won't have the wind protection, radio and cruise control that you do on the RT.

    Check out eaglerider.com hot deals. They have GS GSAs for rent. Rent one and see for sure if you want it first. From your intro the RT is your bike. GSA does 70-80 mph on fire roads. That is a plus.

    I thought most states will lock you up for 100+ mph riding.
    #4
  5. Steiney

    Steiney Adventurer

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    I just went from an '03 RT to a '12 GSA in November. Bob's BMW in MD had two demo bikes - the GS and GSA. I rode the GS, loved it and was ready to buy it. The GS had $4K worth of lights, guards, and other accessories on it which made it more than the GSA. I rode the GSA and bought that instead. I LOVE IT...!

    The differences I noted:

    RT is better at extended triple digit speeds due to aerodynamics. I usually don't run the GSA above 80, I'm sure the saddle "boxes" cause a lot of drag. It'll probably do a lot better without the bags. I like the wide bars of the GSA better. No more whizzy RT fully linked brakes, yeah! Extended range with GSA tank is nice, don't really notice the extra weight when riding though. No tupperware to deal with when doing maintenance on the GSA. I don't mind getting the GSA filthy on the back roads. The GS and GSA are very confidence-inspiring and forgiving - the swiss army knife of motorcycles in my opinion...
    #5
  6. 7mary4

    7mary4 Ponch

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    I don't have radio, but I would miss the cruise control.

    Took the RT on the Apache Trail. not fun.

    Only if you get caught.
    #6
  7. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    True. Was thinking about a Cycle World article years ago where 40-50 ish guy tried to out run the cops and got charged with a major felony.

    Oh MPG. GSA will get 35-45 depending on speeds and gear and calculations. RT can get 50+ can't it?
    #7
  8. 7mary4

    7mary4 Ponch

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    Depends on the size, weight and girth of the rider. I get 40-46, depending on time of year. I've gotten as low as 33, but that was traveling through the OK and TX panhandles with strong headwinds. The best I have done is 51 and that was going from Rawlins WY to Sidney NE. So lets say 42-43 average.
    #8
  9. MTRREF

    MTRREF Been here awhile

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    And I purchased another of Bob's great 2012 GSA's at the same time. But I have the near perfect solution since the GSA is a garage mate for my 2011 R1200RT. Both are great rides. The weather protection on the RT makes it a better winter bike. The ADV seems to maneuver a tad better than the RT. biggest difference - you sit IN the RT, you sit ON the GSA - your view of DC traffic is excellent :1drink
    #9
  10. 7mary4

    7mary4 Ponch

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    Luckily I never have to deal wit DC traffic. :D
    #10
  11. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    +1. went from an '08 RT to an '11 GSA. I am 6'3" and could never get really comfortable on the RT but with Rox risers and taller screen, regular height seat on the GSA I am comfy and :D. It handles just as good if not easier and rides much mo bedda and anywhere. Road construction is welcome :lol3
    I like the new engine better, 80 to 85 is my max comfy freeway speed as well.
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    #12
  13. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    High-speed on the straight slab? An RT all day long. Owned one as well.

    The added heft of the GSA probably gives it an edge over the lighter GS when traveling at higher rates of speed.

    The GS is nimble and I'd think more so than the GSA. I have a ton of fun up in the canyons with mine, the RT acted more like a car up there.

    They (GS/A) are good all-around bikes, simple, proven, adaptable. Having said that, for 90mi. round trips, I'd choose the GS over the GSA unless the added features of the "bigger" bike are that important to you.

    Have fun deciding,
    #13
  14. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    I moved from a K12GT to a GSA in 2009 and have absolutely no regrets. No, the GSA doesn't have the power but there's plenty to pass. The GSA's handling is, to me, more agile while the wind protection is almost as good. My wife is comfortable on the GSA, although she doesn't ride much anymore. This is the first machine I've owned for this long (3.5 years) and not thought about a replacement.

    Mike
    #14
  15. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    I've had both. Currently on the GS.

    If all you're doing is slabbing, on the grand scheme of things, there's essentially no difference.

    If you want to make a change, make it. But there's really no justification to it.
    #15
  16. srpuywa

    srpuywa Big 'G'

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    I've gone from R1150 GSA to ST1300 to K1200LT back to 09 R1200GS/ADV

    its the best bike for a tall person
    #16
  17. stevie88

    stevie88 That's gotta hurt

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    Good replies all.

    GSA pros
    1. Rides a bit better.
    2. More room for taller riders
    3. Easier to work on
    4. You won't tear up if you drop it
    5. Can head off the beaten path
    6. Will go a bit further between fuel stops
    7. Even the farkles have farkles
    8. Can haul more stuff

    RT pros
    1. Faster, noticeably faster
    2. A good 5 mpg better gas mileage
    3. Cruse control
    4. Radio
    5. Electric adjustable wind shield
    6. Closer to the ground for those who are vertically challenged.
    7. Marginally better wind protection
    #17
  18. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I went from a 2007 GSA to a 2007 RT and now to a 2008 GSA. I will NEVER go back to an RT. It isn't that the RT is a bad bike. On paper, it is the ideal bike for my use (and yours from the sounds of it). In reality, the GSA blows it away if only for the smiles per mile.

    Let's get into specifics. First is the luggage question. Large, top opening boxes are a lot easier to load and are vastly more versatile. I carry a laptop to work and it is swallowed up by the GSA luggage. I had to put it in the top box of the RT which made for a higher center of gravity and just reduced my options.

    Wind protection: Believe it or not, there is little difference. The tank on the GSA protects my legs better than the RT ever did. I find there is less buffeting on the GSA than on any position of the RT short of putting it all the way up.

    Cruise control: Yeah, the GSA doesn't have it. If I were a long distance rider, I might miss it. I miss it a lot less than I thought I would though.

    Heated seat: Again, I don't miss it that much.

    Gas mileage: Yeah, I miss that extra 5 MPG. Oh well.

    Esoterics: This is why I have the GSA. I love that bike. It has soul. It begs to be flogged. It screams at me to have some fun. I may not ride off road very much, but I love knowing that I can. If a road turns to dirt, I don't stress. If I feel like taking an OHV trail, I can. If I want to cut through a pasture, I don't hesitate. I also swear the GSA handles twisties better but I have no proof other than just that feeling in my gut. I also love the strange looks the bike gets.

    Again, it isn't like the RT was a bad bike. In my view, it is like a Toyota Camry. It is completely competent and does everything well but it lacks a soul. The GSA oozes personality.
    #18
  19. srpuywa

    srpuywa Big 'G'

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    you can always get a throttle lock for the GSA
    #19
  20. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I have one. Not even close to the same as a real cruise control. I still would take a GSA 100 times over and RT and I am glad to see BMW is making it an option for the new GS and assume it will be on the waterhead GSA when it comes out later.
    #20