Six Months 13K Miles on a '16 R1200GSA

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by KillerD, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Im also curious to see this 190.....managed to totally space on that detail when first reading the reply.
    #21
  2. gr8grins

    gr8grins Been here awhile

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    I know the dealer to which you're referring- I'd quit riding if I had to buy anything from them.
    Hansen's is my go to also, I don't care how far away I live.
    #22
  3. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Mason just let me know it was a Cee Bailey's "Bakup" back rest. They used an altrider rear rack, and had to drill a couple holes.
    #23
  4. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Hansen's: It's awesome too hear about a GREAT dealer. Especially one with a Danish name. Makes this Dane proud
    #24
  5. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

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    Will post pics shortly. Fit is perfect, I was a little worried about interference with the Wunderlich rear fender extension that protects the suspension but that turned out to be a non issue. I've run the 190/55 Roadsmart II on my 2003 K 1200 GT for over 60,000 miles, so am very familiar with the tire and handling characteristics and outstanding tire wear. This is a dual compound tire, center is longer lasting than the sides. On cross country trips I have gotten as much as 12,000 miles out of that tire on the K1200 which is both heavier and more powerful than the GS. The best feedback I can give you on that tire size is that you can't tell it's any different from the stock size. EXCEPT when you really start laying down rubber. Then it's apparent you've got much more grip. I've ridden both the K 1200 and the GSW through gravel and hard packed dirt with this tire. About the same as the Anakee 3 or any other road biased tire : take it easy and stay away from sand and mud.
    #25
  6. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Notice any MPG drop from the extra rubber?
    #26
  7. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Alright....comfort is down, so lets hit the next section.

    POWER!!!! and that other enginey stuff....

    Engine Character: 8/10

    Touched on this one in the last section, but worth mentioning again briefly as it pertains specifically to engine feel. The flat twin does not have the roaring angry rumble of the Multistrada or 1290's powerplant, but it does bring a bit of that to the table. Enough for fun, not enough to shake you apart. The 1200 has a great noise at idle; a really unique growl that I think would shine with an aftermarket pipe. For now though, I'll stick with the stock number and stay married. The slight sideways rumble at stop lights also reminds you that that wonderfully low centered motor is still a hulking 1200cc beast, even if its a 90/10 on the tractor/Ferrari scale.

    Engine Power: 6/10

    This is not a slow bike.....Mid corner it will lay down enough torque to keep up with just about anything. That said, it does admittedly lack the face peeling, grin ripping power of some of the other big twin adventure models. For me this is a worthwhile compromise for the added reliability, mpg's, and gentle highway smoothness you gain in exchange for raw HP. If you want raw power and are willing to sacrifice comfort and reliability, you may be happier on a 1290, Multistrada, or S1000XR.

    Efficiency/Range: 9/10

    Using cruise control and the live mpg calculator, its REALLY easy to dial this puppy in on long rides. Depending on whether I have access to non ethanol or not, I can usually get around 42-43 doing 73-75mph. Im going to include tank size in this section as well, and this is where the beemer truly excels. Depending on weather, roads, and my overall feeling that day, I usually do highway stretches between 200 and 275 miles at a time. This usually leaves me with a gallon plus leftover in the tank to account for missed stations and general dumbass behavior that comes with highway brain. On dirt roads or when I know ill be railing it in the twisties, ill half fill the tank to save weight. On the GX, even with its amazing efficiency, the wussy 2.5 gallon tank meant I would have to stop almost hourly. This adds a huge amount of time, and really makes it hard to break 500-600 miles in a day. on the R12, I can and have ridden 800-1000 mile days without significant next day fatigue. The excellent range and capacity also make it easier to time Non-E fill ups while traveling in states like California and Oregon.

    Reliability/Maintenance: (in progress)

    I've only put 13k K on ol' Dutchess, so I cant comment on long term durability. What I can comment on is that for a modern electronic bike, basic maintenance is easier than expected. Engine oil, final drive, and (im told...) valves are all fairly simple. After my 12k service, neither valves nor cams were out which was also impressive and a +1 for single day break ins!

    Throttle Response/Engine Breaking: 9/10

    The ride modes REALLY change the throttle twist. I ride year round in the Willamette Valley, so its nice to be able to switch the bike into rain mode and keep the throttle a little lazy when Im riding through snow and slush. Other than those extreme conditions, I almost always leave the bike in dyno mode, and just change suspension firmness from soft to hard depending on what Im doing. Engine breaking is massive, which I love. On my 15 mile morning commute, I generally dont touch the brakes until im in town. Going from 65 to 0 doesnt require it, so long as traffic isnt bad, and the quickshifter makes it even better.

    Transmission: 7/10

    Ive heard a million people describe the tranny as clunky. I agree that theres a very positive, tight, springy sensation on shifty, but I would describe it as short of clunky. Once you get used to it, two finger shifting is easy, and transitions between gears are super smooth, with the possible exception of 1-2 and 2-1. I have the shift assist pro on mine, and while I didnt think Id like it originally, I use it almost exclusively for down shifting, and under very hard acceleration its also a lot of fun, and makes you feel like youre on the track. Missed shifts require some really sloppy foot work, and are quite rare. Gearing is a great compromise. I may be able to complain a bit about 1st if I used this bike for off road, but as I dont it suits me just fine.

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    My wifes adorable little CBR250R always looks like a pit bike next to Dutchess. This was on the cascade scenic byway, on our way to Bend for our 4th....wait....3rd? One of those anniversaries.....

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    Same trip, in the painted hills. Absolutely breathtaking, and if you live on the west coast, you have no excuse not to have been there....which I can say now that ive finally been there after 27 years in Oregon......Also, is there such thing as a perfect road....?

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    Yes. Yes there is.

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    These little sunflowers were an awesome punctuation against the red and gold of the painted hills.
    #27
  8. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    I really like the weight saving BMW tool kit. With the storage instructions on the bottom of the boot.

    [​IMG]
    #28
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  9. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    I'll have to add to Hansen's reputation.

    We thought we had a charging issue on an old airhead, we installed a new battery and Craig insisted on checking out the charging before we left, for free.

    A friend wanted a new R11RT with the police wheels. He called everywhere in the US and Hansen's was the only one that even knew what he was talking about. Even had the kit in stock. He came out from Missouri to buy the bike. Craig threw me a t-shirt just for being with him.

    I always got a straight answer from them, none of the Corp-BMW fluffer talk.

    Real shame that Triumph kicked them to the curb. Triumph really fell onto my shit list - forever.
    #29
  10. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Indeed, one of the most complete tool kits ever....I'll cover that one next!

    I have literally never heard a bad word about Hansen's from anyone. That's impressive. I was a huge triumph fan boy ever since they launched the 675. Just love those triples. I'll likely never ride a triumph again because of the way they treated their small dealerships. At least Ducati helped them out a bit with the transition, triumph seems to have just left everyone out to dry. So much for the mc familia....
    #30
  11. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Suspension, Brakes, and Chassis:

    Telelever/Paralever : 10/10

    Yeah, I know. Its numb, its vague, yadda yadda yadda. Sure, the telelevers of yore may have had problems that outweighed (literally) thier benefits, but the unit on the 16' is absolutely amazing. It requires some practice to get used to the different style of feedback, but once you do you can brake later and hit more consistent lines. "But KillerD, if that's the case why dont you see telelevers on every bike?!?!?!". Because not every bike weighs 600+ pounds, for starters. Flash back to 2008 and every moto mag and their grandma was predicting center hub steered single sided front swing arms.....that didnt exactly happen, but there are still plenty of people trying to find something better than the telescopic form. These guys seem like they may actually be pretty close: http://newatlas.com/motoinno-ts3-motorcycle-suspension-steering-moto2/42378/
    Back to the bike at hand. Once you get used to the lack of front end dive under hard braking, the flat entry provided by the telelever, coupled of course with an amazing set of brembo brakes, makes it easy peasy to brake like Rossi , or at the very least feel like you are. I also find that when I lose my front on some marbles mid corner, the feedback feels more direct, like ive got my hands on the fork microsteering it back upright. My offroad experience is very limited, as thats just not what i bought this bike for. Based on a few short sections though it did just fine. The paralever rear is less dramatic feeling than the front, but im sure its dingalo ot more than im picking up on. THe only time the rear squats or wallows is under a heavy load with the h firmness setting at soft, which of course makes sense. The paralever definitely puts good traction to the ground, I rarely see the T/C intervening. Overall, this is by far the best stock suspension I have ever experienced.

    ESA: 10/10

    Another home run for the Herculean GSA is in the electronic department. The difference between soft, normal, and hard is huge, as is the difference between ride modes. With the shocks set to hard and the bike in dyna mode, it feels like a big track bike. In this setting the suspension isnt so hard it rattles you out of the seat, but it is very hard. Im about 235 with gear and I leave it set in one person with luggage all the time, and it suits me well. Whats incredible isnt that the big bike can so excellently tackle hairpin corners, its just how quickly it switches back to a 125hp sofa. Within about 15 seconds you can swap out your dyna/hard combo for road/soft and welcome to cruiseville. Three miles later switch it back if you want to rail through the bend. Its so fast, and such a significant change, its like having multiple bikes. Get on some gravel in enduro mode and floor it to see how well the T/C and soft suspension applies traction as well.

    Brakes: 09/10

    Its hard to find something wrong with brembo monoblocs, but ill try. They squeak when wet. There. Now for the rest...The GS stops gut wrenchingly fast, and if you havent ever done a high speed emergency stop on a 600# rig, its enough to make you feel like a bad astronaut. I had a gentleman in a full size chevy with a trailer pull in front of me and slam his breaks on while doing about 60 on the 280 north of Los Gatos. With only a few truck lengths between us when he dove in, I thought id end up in the back of his trailer. The rear wheal lifted just ever so slightly prior to the seamless abs intervention, and though it did a number on my adrenaline reserves I stopped with five to ten feet left between me and the jack asses bumper. There was a light trail of smoke coming from the front calipers, but other than that the bike and I escaped unscathed. Wet performance is equally spectacular, and will bring you to a stop much faster than you will likely plan on.

    Chassis: 9/10

    The trellis frame on the R12 doesnt just look good, it handles reeaaaal good. Stable, with just enough flex to give excellent road feel, without getting even slightly squirrely. Everything feels exactly in place, and if ever something doesnt it tends to be you, not the bike. My favorite place to be on the GSA is hanging off around a high speed banked sweeper. Everything just feels so stuck together; to you, to the bike, and to the road. Im sure im missing nearly all appropriate technical terminolgy for describing how a chassis feels, but hopefully the point got across.

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    Looking back at summer lake on highway 395. Gorgeous, and a killer hot spring cabin spot.



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    On my wife and I's anniversary ride, we went down a dirt road due to a broken and missplaced sign. Her little CBRd id great, but I decided to scout this trail out on my own....good thing.

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    Good morning, Big Sur.

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    Ahh, tahoe. The roads are even more beautiful than the plague squirrels.
    #31
  12. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate

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    Great review of the bike, learning as I read through this! I did just the opposite, test road the Blue and bought the faster Red. Thanks!
    #32
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  13. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Ha! The blue one is better off-road though. . .
    #33
  14. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Utility:

    This is probably my favorite section to write up. I know a lot of people that "ride year round", but I only know a handful that miss as few days as I do. Part of that is having a bike that can be more than just a grocery getter. You need top of the line performance and saftey features for riding in inclement weather, hard, dry storage for every day errands and long distance travel, a great rack for strapping large or long items, and suspension that can handle extra weight. I believe in the old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, so Im going to handle this section mostly via photos....

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    Set the suspension to two riders with luggage and the weight of every day items like dog food and kegs barely makes an impact.

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    Afternoon outings to sight in your rifle? No problem.

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    Just enough room for a third of a bale of whole flower hops, from the folks over at FresHops.

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    The real test of course being, can you pack enough gear to do a full day of trail maintenance? Yup. Pick, shovel, axe, Stihl MS290, boots, gallon of water, assorted hand tools, and of course room for lunch, too. Probably couldve taken the weed wacker if I wanted to really go for it.

    Im shocked that they even manufacture aftermarket racks for this thing. It has so many great strapping points between the top rear rack and the hard cases, Im fairly certain you could strap your 250 to the back if you really wanted to. Hmmm.....maybe thats the next photo. I actually ended up having to traverse a short section of single track to get my saw prior to the above photo. Dutchess was wearing Michilen Pilot Trail 4's at the time and I was pretty blown away with thier ability to get around in the sloppy stuff. Might actually be better than the anakee's, despite thier stated 100% road bias.

    All in all, Im gonna go ahead and give the Utility Factor a 10/10.
    #34
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  15. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

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    Saw the Duchess in front of FT yesterday sitting in the snow. That was some Adventure Riding.
    #35
  16. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Nahh. Roads were totally fine as long as you didnt venture in to a parking lot. Getting out of my drive was pretty adventurous though......
    #36
  17. mlbraptor

    mlbraptor Been here awhile

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    You are getting your money's worth out of that bike...:clap
    #37
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  18. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Yeah, droppin 20 G's on a ride definitely motivates one to use the hell out of it!
    #38
  19. KillerD

    KillerD BoozeMagician

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    Tires...While this piece of equipment is clearly more open to personal preference and is widely variable, I think its worth covering briefly as every bike handles rubber differently.

    Stock Tires, Michilen Anakee 3:

    There's a lot of mixed feedback on the Anakee 3's. Personally, there was a lot for me to like about this tire, and also a handful of things I really didnt.

    The Anakee 3's had excellent road grip. I found myself all the way on the edge of the tire frequently, cornering at part scraping speeds. Cornering transitions however arent quick, and thats the first potential negative about these tires. My personal riding style is pretty heavy handed. I like hanging off a bit and muscling through the corner using hard foot and leg input. That makes me pretty tolerant of under-steering tires. If anything, I prefer a slightly heavier turn in because it allows me to ride the way I do naturally. That said, I'm also 6'3" and over 200#, so a lighter more nimble rider may not have the same experience.

    The smallest issue from a performance standpoint is also one of the biggest overall issues with this tire...G damn these things are loud! Seriously, these tires are louder than the 35" M/S tires on my F250. By a lot... On long freeway rides to SanDiego the howl of these tires was at times, so loud it was hard to hear my music. The bizarre thing about the noise was that it would change throughout the wear of the tires. Sometimes it was the worst at 65mph....then 70......then 55...... Even when the tires were at their wear bars, they still howled.

    Wear was pretty good, but nothing mind blowing. I got 6k out of the rear, and 7k out of the front. They cupped heavily, but two trips from Corvallis to LA and SD on I-5 will do that.

    My off road experience with the A3's was virtually zero. I had a few limited runs on some soft two track and they seemed to grip fine, but again, I purchased this bike as a tourer, not an enduro.

    Unfortunately my wet experience was also somehow limited, despite living in one of the wettest places on the west coast.


    First Swap: Michilen Pilot Trail 4's

    The Pilot 4's are billed as a 100% street tire despite the word "trail" being thrown in there. I guess the trail designates that they are designed for large ADV bikes specifically. That last part shows, as these tires were born for the GSA.

    The turn in on the Pilots is very quick in comparison to the Anakees. Quick chicanes are where they shine most, allowing super smooth and fast transitions back and forth. If canyon carving is what youre doing on your GSA, Im not sure there is a better set out there. That said, they are so quick that if cruising down I-5 with your hands off the bars is your deal, they do make that a bit more difficult.

    Grip is just as good, if a bit less stable feeling than the Anakee's. The road feel, particularly mid corner, is abundant as well.

    Wet handling is very, very impressive. I have never felt so confident in the wet as with the pilots. The massive amount of siping throws a watery rooster tail like you couldnt believe. Not only is the wet traction incredible, but they maintain the excellent feel they have in the dry. If you ride in the winter on the road, these are probably your best choice.

    Dirt perfermance on these should be non existent, but actually, theyre pretty damn capable in gravel and wet logging roads. All of the photos above (except in the parking lot) were on the pilots. Never lost the front, even with all my trail tools on the back on some really torn up logging roads.


    Current Pair: Metzeler Tourance Next

    Fuck these tires! Sorry....erhem, let me rephrase that.....nope, had it right the first time. I dont know where to start with the tourances, and im hoping that the abundant wet, gravely roads ive been on recently are their achilles heal, and theyre super duper awesome in perfect dry roads. That said, I wouldnt hold my breath. The Metzelers feel like they simply wont break in. The rubber feels hard, and the carcass stiff. After only a thousand miles I cant wait to get rid of these and spoon on some Conti Attacks to test those out. The Metzelers break traction easily on wet pavement, and turn in is a bit flighty. Mid corner the tires really fall apart, especially at a hard lean. They just feel squirrely.

    My only experience in sloppy stuff off orad resulted in an inch of mud putting the front end down so fast I barely knew what was happening. I had my visor up at the time, and managed to narrowly avoid putting my windshield (could possibly have been my mirror as well) through my eye socket. Thankfully the excellent headlights on the R12 guided me to the emergency room with one eye just fine. The ER staff got a kick out of the guy in full ATGAT mode still covered in blood. The photos of my face are probably a bit gnarly for this thread but I did enjoy the tarintino styling on my GT-AIR

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    I had just come up the single track on the right, where I had stashed my saw in the bushes. All on pilot 4's.

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    The river landing where I went all scar face. Beautiful little respite if it doesnt end in the ER.

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    Snow finally melted enough to get out of the driveway.
    #39
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  20. Hog1450

    Hog1450 I use the oil you hate

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    Well I hope your ok and felling better! If you're wearing an eye patch, do you have a pirate name yet?
    #40