Test rode a 2013 R1200GSW...

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by 46er, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    …that was a mistake.

    This is my first post so a quick introduction. I’m fairly new to riding…about 8 years. My first bike was a V-Strom 650 (sold) and I currently have a Tiger 800XC that I love. I ride 90% pavement and 10% gravel/fire roads. I thought my Tiger was the perfect bike until I test rode the GSW.

    My impressions of the GSW from the test ride:

    The acceleration and braking is in a different league than the Tiger. I took my Tiger out for a ride when I got back and I thought there was something wrong with the throttle and brakes. I really noticed the front-end dive under heaving braking on my bike after riding the GSW. The demo bike did not have ESA or ride modes so I can only imagine the ride would be even better.

    The GSW turned in much quicker than my Tiger. In all fairness, the Tiger has a 21” front hoop so that had something to do with it. I was very impressed with the low (and high!) speed handling of the GSW. Even though it’s roughly 50 pounds heavier than my Tiger, it was more maneuverable at slow speeds.

    Wind management is also much better on the GSW. The adjustable screen is very useful. I could tell that I would be much more comfortable on long hauls.

    The GSW was smoother that I was expecting. Maybe it was due to reading all the threads about the new model’s issues, but I was expecting a pulsing, wobbly and clunky shifting ride. However, I was very impressed with the throttle response, tracking and smooth shifting.

    The only thing that is keeping me from putting a deposit on 2014 Racing Red GSW with the technology and touring packages is my paranoia about reliability. In 8 years I have had zero issues with either of my bikes. I would have to sell my Tiger to afford the GSW. I’m having a hard time coming to terms with selling a trouble free bike that I love to get a much more expensive bike that I would love more but might have some reliability issues.

    If only I had won the $400 million Power Ball jackpot!

    DD
    #1
  2. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    welcome to the forum thank you for taking the time to post about your experience.

    I hope that you are well aware of the fact that people spend hours posting negative things about products and two seconds posting positive ones. My point? That the new water cooled GS is an amazing bike. You talk about how surprised you are about the smoothness of the new model. i hope you will realize that BMW has been making motorcycles for a long time and their new models are better than almost any other manufacturer's from moment one. The Internet is full of stories about bikes from every manufacturer and how somewhat defective and some are not. We live in a "glass is half empty" world, especially on the Internet.

    Only you can make the right decision for yourself but I think you answered your question about which bike was better and which bike you'd rather own by your time in the saddle today. The bike has a three year warranty. please stop by or not by a motorcycle based on what you read on a forum. I'm sure you like the rest of us work hard for your money and should be spend it on the bike that you want not because I say so or someone else says so or because someone else had a positive or negative impression of the bike they rode.

    in the end, thank you for sharing your experience here and I hope you will remain a member of his fine forum and post often. we wish you the best on and off the road
    #2
  3. deacon51

    deacon51 Been here awhile

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    Once upon a time everyone said the same thing about inline fours... no way that anyone could keep them in sync. They used to say the same thing about fuel injection too, no way you can work on it. ABS, Telescoping Forks, hell even putting air into tires at one point was radical new technology, and scoffed at as unreliable. I'm sure some bloke said... "I'm worried about having air in my tires, I think I'll stick with the iron hoops." once upon a time.
    #3
  4. EJ_92606

    EJ_92606 Rider

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    Welcome to the forum. I just bought one and don't have any concerns about reliability...remember it's a three year warranty and there are a lot of GSWs on the road already and frankly not that many issues reported here.
    #4
  5. Slingshott

    Slingshott Adventurer

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    Only issue so far is that my HD buddies spend all that money on chrome and people are asking me about my bike....love it. Only thing for me is it is a tall bike. Thats it, not the bikes fault. I blame my Dad.
    #5
  6. nedodjija

    nedodjija Been here awhile

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    Cool review, my buddy was looking for the tiger till he checked out the water boxer. He has not mentioned the tiger since
    #6
  7. Paulvt1

    Paulvt1 Long timer

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    I'd love to ride a base model GSW. I really want to see if all the super duper tech is worth the premium..
    #7
  8. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    I do realize this. I also realize that the GS is a VERY popular bike so there are a lot of them on the road. If 1% of the GS population reports a problem, you are talking about many more people than 1% of a less popular model.

    Before I bought my 800XC I read about stalling problems and bouncing front ends but I have not experienced either on my bike.

    If I do get the new GSW, it will be a 2014 so I'm sure the new model bugs will have been worked out.
    #8
  9. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    One of the great things about adventure touring bikes is that they look better dirty (no chrome)! I wash my bike once a year, when I put it away for the winter.

    Even though the GSW is a tall bike, it is better balanced than both the V-strom and Tiger...IMO.
    #9
  10. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    please understand that I meant no disrespect what I said.
    My 2014 will be made next Wednesday.
    I hope to put there have been some incremental improvements, which of course we'll never hear about except the steering damper. I don't want to start another 50 page thread about that :lol3:huh:D

    I really to hope that you will choose to get one as well if it is the right bike for you. If you do would like to hear all about it here

    the very best to you
    #10
  11. iride4u

    iride4u Been here awhile

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    I have gone from a Tiger XC to the GSW. The GSW is much better in all respects. I have had no problems with my GSW. I saw the Tiger that was traded in at the dealer the other day. It was in for stalling and stumbling.
    #11
  12. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    That's good to hear! I felt the same way when I got my Tiger. It was better than the V-Strom in most regards...not that the V-Strom was a bad bike.

    I'm also pretty confident I'll feel the GSW is better than the Tiger in all respects. I just have to get busy selling my bike. Although the dealer already said they would take it on trade, it's been my experience that dealers short change you $1-2K on trades.

    On another note, I see you're from Loveland. I hope you weren't affected by the recent floods. My wife and I drove through there on our way home from RMNP a month ago. I was floored when I saw the damage along Big Thompson Canyon Rd (34) on the news. I kept telling my wife "We were just on that road a couple weeks ago!"
    #12
  13. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    None taken! I don't take offense very easily.

    I hope so too! I just need to find the right buyer for my Tiger.
    #13
  14. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    That's funny because I would like to ride one with all the bells and whistles before I buy one! My local dealer is a small market dealer so I am lucky they have a demo at all.

    I will have to demo again with my wife before I pull the trigger. My test ride two weekends ago was with the owner. He was a great guy and led me on a half hour ride. We stopped a couple of times so he could get my impressions of the bike. He wasn't pushy or salesman-like at all. Very cool.
    #14
  15. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft.

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    Okay, it is true that maintenance costs of BMWs are high, but that should just about cover it.

    Fred
    #15
  16. cug

    cug --

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    I sold my Tiger 800 for a 2014 GS. The GS is more powerful, has better brakes, more comfortable rider triangle, some nicer options for me.

    I'd never say it's better in all regards as it plain isn't. My custom suspension was better than Dynamic ESA (no surprise, spent too much money on that), I like the triple engine much better than the boxer, it's an easier rideable, very reliable motorcycle.

    The main reason why I changed: back to a much better dealership, the Triumph shop here is absolutely abysmal, worst I have ever experienced in my life, and the better ergonomics for me. The rest (about 75%) was that I wanted a new bike with all the new technical gadgets ... :lol3
    #16
  17. mefly2

    mefly2 Long timer

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    Yep, not a good idea to ride it unless you have the support / wherewithal to take it home. I had no plans to purchase until I rode it ... now history.
    #17
  18. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    that's the best way to go through life, quite frankly
    #18
  19. 46er

    46er Adventurer

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    Do you miss your Tiger? I have a very interested potential buyer for mine so it's getting down to decision time.

    What do you like better about it? Smoothness? Linear power?


    I don't have a lot of experience on other bikes so my comparisons are limited but the GSW was the first bike that I could "feel" the engine while riding. I don't mean that in a negative way...it was just different. I was very impressed with the power though.

    Have any of the former Tiger owners ridden two up on the Tiger 800 and the GSW? If so, which does your passenger like better?
    #19
  20. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    i feel as though a test ride will seal my fate and perhaps why i yet to take one out. the 2014 bikes will be arriving in the next few weeks but many (if not all) are accounted for. maybe it's better that way!

    the GSW has garnered some wonderful reviews and accolades....good for BMW! :clap
    #20