Which GS?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Osprey!, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    So let's say, hypothetically, you had a friend interested in a GS with a budget up to say $11,000. Which GS would you recommend he buys and why?

    R1150GS
    R1150GSA
    R1200GS
    R1200GSA

    Obviously, the R1150 is less powerful and heavier. But it also doesn't have a potentially wonky FD and it's quite a bit cheaper, opening up the possibility of a lower mileage/adventure/better condition bike. The budget might even stretch to the last year, '06 1150GS Adventure.

    The R1200 is more modern, but the 05-06 models seem to have some teething issues. Plus they're loaded with even more electric wizardry than the R1150.

    In truth, <strike>I've got my</strike> my friend has his eye on a R1150GSA. He's just waiting to get a REFI wrapped up but it's a possibility. But lately, he's seeing more R1200GS's hit the market at prices which are competitive.

    His use would be primary road (sport touring), with some dirt and forest roads thrown in. He lives in Colorado, so it will see dirt but he wouldn't take it on anything too challenging. He'll probably drop it a bunch, knowing him. He likes to ride stuff beyond his skill level.

    p.s. I know there are gazillion threads already devoted to "which bike", but none seem that current on market pricing for used bikes. They're all a bit long in the tooth...
    #1
  2. rocketman1

    rocketman1 rocketman1

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    Which ever one you buy you will think its the best.
    The 1200GS are a bit quicker , lighter, and have a more japanese style gearbox (if you know what i mean), in saying that the 1150GS are a little more "agricultural" but in their own way have more character, and those that ride them tend to love them for that reason.Both are very reliable and comfortable bikes. I have ridden both and in general every brisk riding there is nothing between them in performance. You will have to ride the 1200 at 99/100's of its potential to beat the 1150.
    Whatever make sure you give them a good long test ride before you buy.

    Remember a new bike is only temporarily new. Next year its an old bike.
    #2
  3. jsb223

    jsb223 ADV Rookie

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    I went with the 1150GSA because I like the look and the fact it has fuses and relays. The CANBUS style electrical system was just a bit too much technology for me.
    #3
  4. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Always dreaming of the next big ride!

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    It all depends on what you find...I was in the same market a couple of months ago moving up from a F650GS. I found a nice R1200GS with a bunch of farkles for a very fair price and swooped it up the next morning. I'd guess that you will have a easier time finding a great deal on a 1150, it will be easier to work on, cheaper to own (taxes, insurance) and you are getting a great bike (if it has been maintained properly.) Although the gearbox is a bit more "John Deere" and IMHO, the 1200 looks better, more sleek and much more modern. The 1150 is a GREAT bike, I have seen people haul ass on a 1150GS!
    I got the 1200 because it weights much less. 45+ pounds is a ton when you are in the forest and your bike starts falling over for the 18th time that day! (especially at 5'7") or when riding at a 8/10th's pace!.
    After buying a couple more farkles, I'll start saving my money to buy a nice, fully farkled 2010-2012 GS when a bunch of people run out to get the new water cooled bike in 18-24 months.
    #4
  5. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    IMO, the 1100/1150 series are the better bike on the road. The 1200 is better(slightly) off road. So, if he is, in fact, planning on doing mostly highway miles go for the heavier bike.
    #5
  6. F.P.

    F.P. Clown who is sick

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    Intuition suggests newest bike with the lowest mileage. I ride a 12GSA so of course that's the best choice, because it's the awesomest. I think finding one for $11000 will be a challenge, unless it's got very high miles or it's a "fire sale". There was an 07 GSA here in the SF Bay Area Craigslist for $10,11,12K (I can't remember, but it was low) and it was gone in a day. They are out there. Good luck and happy shopping...
    #6
  7. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer

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    This is exactly what happened to me but I found a cherry 1150GS with most of the farkles I would have bought, already on it. I like the style of the 1150 better and since I have a DR650 for more dirt oriented rides, the extra weight of the 1150 didn't concern me.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I've been tracking prices for a while and the trend is downward. No surprise given our still rough economy. Realistically, it's an R1150GSA or R1200GS choice. And the later would require waiting a bit longer.

    My past experience is that higher mileage bikes are very difficult to sell, so I I'd rather an R1150GSA with low mileage than a high mileage R1200GS. Just this week, there's an inmate selling a low mileage 09 GS for 13.8K. Meanwhile, there's an 06 R1150GSA (my preferred year), asking $13K on Fleabay. The Fleabay bike is probably a grand or two higher than market, but it has the right farkles. The R1200GS seems about a grand under market.
    #8
  9. Eddy Alvarez

    Eddy Alvarez Always dreaming of the next big ride!

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    Have patience, set your $$$ aside, be ready to pounce on a good deal. Bike hunting is fun!...Don't be scared to buy a R1200GS with 50-65,000 miles. I just saw one sell from a Honda dealer with 53,000 miles, well equipped with Jesse Bags for $7500 ($7500 is not a misprint!). Morton's BMW just sold a '05 R12 loaded to the gills with bags, lights, seat, bags, tank bag, etc, etc . They were asking $9500.
    #9
  10. Poway

    Poway SHED (Shit Head)

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    Many people consider the GS1100 a better bike than the GS1150. Better 1st gear, lighter weight, simpler to work on etc..
    As a unbiased GS1100 rider, the GS1200 blows my bike away in every way, except one. 70 mph highway speeds, and I'd call it equal.
    DON'T MAKE A MISTAKE, GET THE 1200!!!!
    Test ride both, and the answer is obvious. The Brit bike mag, "Bike" proclaimed the GS1200 the best M/C made in the last 40 years. If you think horses are better than cars, or carbs are better than fuel injection the GS1150 is for you. But, if you want the best bike at the $$, get a GS1200. It's shocking the difference between the two.
    But, if you want the best looking bike , you'll need to go old school and get an GS1100.:freaky:freaky
    Good luck.
    #10
  11. sk8rdi16

    sk8rdi16 Adventurer

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    Didn't want to start my own thread but have the same question the same desires.

    What did you end up buying if any?

    What's the better years in the R1200... I've read a little on the ABS being better starting in '07. What's the consensus?
    #11
  12. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    :thumb

    I would select a year that has non-servo linked brakes...I'll stick with my '01.
    #12
  13. 99p38a

    99p38a Been here awhile

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    +1. I love my 1150 and go non servo. so easy to work on, looks like it's built for off road, to me the new adv bikes look like they are built for on road but are off road capable (just a perception from looking at the bike, not the truth from looking at specs etc)
    #13
  14. Ridestrong

    Ridestrong Been here awhile

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    I purchased my new to me '07 1200 GS in June of last year and received it on July 5. Found it right here on Adventure Rider forums. I looked for a long time and also looked at Craigslist in my city and surrounding cities. Noticed that Craigslist does tend to have higher prices. I think the sellers there are looking for an "uneducated" buyer to pay a little more.

    I found my bike in Bangor Maine and initially passed it up because it just seemed too far away and I wasn't ready for a fly and ride, just getting back into biking after a long hiatus. When I realized I could have it shipped down here to Houston TX for a reasonable price and the price of the bike was already relatively low compared to similar models I got real interested in it. It was low mileage, 10,850, and in spotless condition. (these bikes don't get "broken in" until 12-14K) It had most the farkles that I was already planning on spending a lot of cash for, including a GPS :) And I got it for about half of what I would have paid for a "naked" 1200 GS. And again, I probably got it around $1500 less than others like it, same year and model, advertised for sale right here in the Flea Market. Oh, and by the way, I'd be afraid, after almost a year, to trade it in on a new one as there have been absolutely NO problems!

    I say go with a 1200 about 4 yrs. old for your best purchase price on a recent model. It won't have all the upgrades, like the DOHC that came out in '10 but it will be pretty modern. One thing about the motors before the 2010 DOHCs is that they're a little easier to do your own valve adjustment on, saving you a lot of money.

    Also, I've talked to a number of owners with the servo brakes in the early 2000 yr. models and they have no misgivings about them. If the servo feature (power assist) goes out the brakes continue to work, just without the assist, and, a brake failure light showing. But you still have brakes.

    Good luck in your search. Don't rush it, be patient. It's almost as much fun as finally getting your hands on the bike. A great deal, comparitively, will show up on a fairly recent model with low mileage, farkled out and in great condition. Like the inmate above said, save your money, take your time and be ready to pounce on it when you see it.
    #14
  15. Epictetus70

    Epictetus70 Been here awhile

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    I'm a noob so what do I know :D......but nonetheless I will share my opinion.

    Get as much bike as you can if you can't wait. If you can wait, then get ultimately what you want. They say patience is a virtue.

    I've ridden a little bit here and there before I bought my GSA. I have never owned my own bike before my GSA. I originally was going to get a used GS. Fortunately my buddy convinced me to get the GSA. I was initially intimidated by it's size due to my lack of experience, as I'm "big" enough to handle the bike. I then ultimately decided to buy new, as it would be just a few more 1000K bucks. I felt waiting was worth it.

    So now I had to save some money, sell some stuff to make it a reality. I didn't want to have another motor vehicle payment (just a personal choice I placed on myself).

    Just shy of a year later I bought my brand new GSA!!! :clap And I am happy I did.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    I would think that any one is a good choice. Shop around and be patient, the right one will show up.
    #16
  17. Stinkyb

    Stinkyb GS"eh" rider

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    The one that gives you the biggest wood:wink:
    #17
  18. fivetimeson129

    fivetimeson129 Been here awhile

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    Of the bikes listed, none for me-with the amount of cash available go for the original; 1100GS and make it a new bike again.

    Am I the only one that thinks the 1200 is butt ugly?, way-way too much plastic; ANY GS is an interesting visual experience but really the 12 is a bit much even for me.

    Avoid any bike that has not seen the dealer on a regular basis, its really breathtaking to read some of the posts here by those doing their own work.
    #18
  19. Mike M

    Mike M Long-timer

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    I'm a GS junkie and have owned all 4 of the machines (at different times) over the past 10 years.

    LOVED my 1150GS's, but felt the 1150 motor was a little lacking in power for the kind of riding I like to do. Overall the 1150 is a great road machine, a terrific tourer that can take on the fire roads with the best of them.

    I bought my first R1200GS back in 2005 to go lighter (at that time I owned an 1150GSA). Lighter with MUCH more acceleration but coming from the 1150, it felt much less planted at the front wheel in the turns. In time, I learned to shift my weight forward in aggressive turns and haven't looked back.

    I now have a R12GSA and it's the right bike for me. YMMV!

    You can't go wrong with any of those 4 choices.:clap
    #19
  20. fivetimeson129

    fivetimeson129 Been here awhile

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    Mike, you are indeed a fortunate fellow.
    #20