Which GS for me

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by CBACH, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. CBACH

    CBACH Aimless Wanderer

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    Hello all,

    Probably redundant to you all, but I'm stuggling with the decision and looking for some insight.

    Although I grew up on three-wheelers, four-wheelers, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc., it's been some 15 years since I've ridden much of anything. I currently have a Suzuki Intruder 1400 that I bought on a whim a few months ago, and have found it just uncomfortable and loud, although cool looking and fun for short runs:evil I've put all of a few hundred miles on it, but wouldn't even think about doing more than a hundred miles a day on it, and of course it's not much for anything but smooth road riding or it will beat you up.

    Now to my dilema. Although currently living in Texas, I grew up in WA riding here and there at will, and therefore something stirs strongly within me with every ride report I read here. I feel as if city life has imprisoned me, so to sacrifice my sanity and re-awaken my soul I desire to begin working up to some of the same incredible adventures I've read about. I've done quite a bit of research and have decided that a BMW GS is what my heart is set on, but don't know if I should just jump all the way in with a GS12 or spend a few years and shorter hauls on a GS8 or 6.5 before making that step. I'm 40, 6ft and 205lb, and will likely be solo 99% of the time, although I really would like my wife to go with me sometimes in the future. One thing that has me concerned is that I have some mild arthritis in my mid-spine and get very sore if I don't stay in an ergonomic position while riding, which I've found is best on the GS and RT BMW bikes.

    I see some great deals on farkled GS12's, understand the new GS12 is just amazing, but worry it's just too much bike for just getting back in the saddle. I know it would be a wait on a GS8, but I could get a 650 by the end of the month, or could of course pick up a new or used GS12 any day of the week:deal That being the case, the 12 or 6.5 may be my only options in the short term, as I would like to be ready for travel by the end of August.

    Thank you for any insight and/opinions you can give:ear

    Dave
    #1
  2. Monkey_Boy

    Monkey_Boy Los bitchos atacan

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    The GS is s nice bike, sure wouldn't describe it as amazing, though.

    Go for it, you only going around once.

    Hope your wallet has some depth to it. :D Regardless, enjoy!
    #2
  3. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    It's not like one will work and one won't. Choose the one you prefer based on looks or spirit or it talks to you.

    Sounds to me like you really want the GS12 and think the others are steps to that goal. If so, get the 12 and be happy.
    #3
  4. gyroforce

    gyroforce on the run

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    Test drive both.

    I'd start with the 650. Easier to drive, lighter, more relaxed, less (planned) maintenance, great economy. Think of your big smile at the pump. Might serve a few more purposes (commute, city-bike) when gas hits 8 USD per gal.

    You can always "upgrade" later.
    #4
  5. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Long timer

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    What year is the 1400 and do you want to sell it :hide


    #5
  6. SimonomiS

    SimonomiS Adventurer

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    Just get 1200 GS, if thats what you want, why build up to it? its not a jet powered drag bike, lifes too short - :D
    #6
  7. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    I rode the F650 GS yesterday, a very nice bike. In fact, I rode it and then rode a new 1200GS and of the two, I liked the 650 better but then again, I'm not a fan of really heavy bikes unless I'm going cross-country. For just about anything else, lighter is better. If you haven't ridden much or in a while I'd think twice about the 1200, it's a whole lot of bike to be starting on.
    Assuming the seating works for you, I think you'd be better off starting with the 650 or a 800 and then switching out if you feel the need in a year or two. Frankly tho from what I could tell in the sort ride I had, I'm not sure once you had it you'd ever feel the need to do so, the new twins look like they are going to be very nice bikes.
    #7
  8. CBACH

    CBACH Aimless Wanderer

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    Please share your impressions of the 650. In particular, comparison of peg/seat/handlebar relationship as compared with the 1200. Do you think you could spend 9-10 hours in the saddle a day? Based on where the engine and tank are, do you think it would be light on the nose if loaded down with bags?
    #8
  9. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    Since the bike is designed to take a passenger and isn't designed by idiots, I'm sure it'll work fine with any load you can stuff into the bags.

    Bikes are notorious for being suited differently to individuals. If not, then we'd all be on The One Bike. Even guys my height and weight sit a bike differently from me due to slight differences in our articulation.

    Why are you resisting just trying these bikes? My dealer will cheerfully offer rides on any bike you wish to check out. I'm sure this is std BMW procedure too.

    Personally, the only reason I don't have a GS12 is cost. I think it a terrific bike but I bought my current 'heavy' bike for roughly half the price of a GS12 and it suits me very well.

    If you have the fare, ride the ride, man.
    #9
  10. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    unfortunately, the 650 I was given had both the lowered seat and lowered suspension (I'm 6'2") which made it a bit tight. From riding the 650 tho and sitting on the 800 (they had one sitting there but you could not ride it) I'd say it would be just about perfect, at least for me. The ergo's on the 800 at least felt very KLR like (tall, narrow, lot's of room). It also would be easy to switch out the bar and/or add risers if need be I think. 'Hard to say on the seat as I was only on it for 10-15 minutes but I find flat is more important than padding for distance- I like to be able to move around which the stock seat at least allows. 'No idea on the bags but as it's a beemer, I would expect that was factored into the design, my guess is a goodly number of them will windup carrying luggage at least at some point. These are good sized bikes. The 1200 in comparison felt heavier and wider but not necessarily a lot bigger. The 650 for instance has a 62" wheel base and sits rather high. GSA nose-bleed range, no but taller than most.
    #10
  11. elgreen

    elgreen Crotchety Contrarian

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    If you're planning to ride two-up at any point in time, the GS12 is probably the better bike for you. Not because the GS8/6.5 lacks the power, but because they are physically smaller bikes and your pillion will get cramped.

    As far as whether it's too big a bike to get back in the saddle, I'd say go for it. Outfit it with crash bars (if it doesn't have them already), but if you take a MSF course you should have no real problems. I do suggest avoiding BMW's luggage though. Givis may not be as pretty as that BMW logo on the luggage, but BMW's luggage has a bad reputation for disintegrating when you drop the bike -- and you *will* drop the bike.

    Regarding the GS8/6.5 question, note that the GS8 and GS650 are based on the exact same engine (albeit slightly different tune). The biggest difference is that the GS650 is more road-oriented with a 19" front tire, and the GS8 is more "adventure" oriented with a 21" front tire. Unless you expect the majority of your travel to be on unpaved roads, the 19" front tire will work fine for you. Toss some Conti TKC-80's on there and you're set for anything -- and the TKC-80's will last a lot longer on the lighter bike than they do on the GS12.

    The other thing to think about is exactly what you're intending to do. For true adventure motorcycling, as vs. posing :evil, I prefer the Kawasaki KLR-650 or Suzuki DR-650 (not the V-Strom 650) because they will literally go anywhere. You'll sweat a bit more than you would riding some 250cc enduro, but they'll get you anywhere that a two-wheeled vehicle is capable of going. If you intend on exploring the Death Valley back country or the remotest parts of Baja or something like that on your bike, none of the BMW's are a bike I would take into that -- they're too complicated, too fragile, they require premium gas (not available in many places), and their fuel injection won't cope with bad gas the way that a gravity-feed carbureted system with an inline filter and a drainable float bowl will. The KLR and DR, on the other hand, are pretty much indestructible.

    If, on the other hand, you are looking to make long highway trips and only light-duty forest service roads and such, the BMW's are very comfortable and smooth long distance steeds and for the GS12 in particular, its awesome generator capacity means you can power full heated gear for both rider and pillion, enabling riding in some really nasty conditions (until the road ices over and you slide off of it, oh well!). So I suppose it all depends on your definition of "adventure"....
    #11
  12. CBACH

    CBACH Aimless Wanderer

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    It's a 97' with 6700 miles on it. Some mild modifications.

    If I do decide to sell it I'll let you know, but I already have a couple friends that say they want it.

    [​IMG]

    No that's not oil leaking under it...some contractors truck left its mark:pissed
    #12
  13. Grad

    Grad Wannabe

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    First of all, I agree that the 12GS is an amazing bike. It still makes me giddy every time I throw a leg over it, and I have had it for many miles. However, I bought it because I do some longer rides and my wife and I are planning a 2-up trip to California and back. If I just wanted to ride by myself and enjoyed doing a lot of dirt, I would look really strongly at the new 800GS. It should be a great machine for some long distance and then dirt as well. Won't be very good for 2-up though, that seat isn't stepped and is narrow as well.
    #13
  14. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    I am keeping my DR and getting an F650 twin to have some variety.

    For the price of an F800GS, you can buy an F650 twin and a used KLR or DR.
    #14
  15. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Long timer

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    Looks like it was taken care of anyway & yes keep me informed :hide

    #15
  16. gunslinger

    gunslinger diabolical schemer

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    doesnt this belong in G-SPOT?

    get the heck OUTA here.........
    #16
  17. CBACH

    CBACH Aimless Wanderer

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    Nope! There's a copy of it there also, but the new 800 and 650 GS's I'm comparing with the GS12 are inline twin, chain drive "Beasts":deal Maybe it's time to remove the "shaft" designation from the G-Spot area so they can play in the same pen.
    #17
  18. gunslinger

    gunslinger diabolical schemer

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    good call! good call! pllllaayyy ON boys! "tweeeet"

    .........:clap
    #18