Originally Posted by Snarky
I hate to say this, but.... Unless you've always wanted a GSA, you're probably going to want something else.
If you're using words referring to performance or weight, you'll be disappointed in the GSA. Get the GS, or a KTM or something else 'sporty' if that's an important quality to you, because the GSA is not.
Don't get me wrong. The GSA is quick, and quite nimble for what it is, but you'll never be able to throw it around offroad trails or urban streets like the lighter bikes. I would say that the people who buy GSA (and love it) have always wanted the GSA, they don't care about the weight, the height, the cost, or anything else. They had to have the GSA and nothing else would do. That said, a person would be delusional to say that the GSA is the best bike ever for normal everyday use.
Like many bikes, it has a specific niche in the riding world. I would say it's for two-up (or cargo laden) long range touring, where one might encounter a poor road occasionally, and where fuel is sparse (and the rider is too lazy to deal with fuel bottles).
Again just my personal opinion and most things motorcycles are very personal and one size never fits all but .....YES the GSA is a tall bike and that was important to me. I would be buying an aftermarket seat for the standard GS just as I did for my 2002 so the comfort of the GSA was important for me. As far as weight goes it is all relative ... compared to my 2002 standard GS the 2012 GSA is no heavier and feels and handles much lighter. Also, handles better than my R1200RT. And again for ME ... the COST of the GSA was only $2000 or less than standard GS (I did get a great deal) but like I stated the big factor was I'd probably have added a lot of the GSA features to the standard GS. For certain I would have added the ADV shield and set-up along with the Winglets, the crash bars and cylinder guards ..... those alone are probably $1000 or close to it. IMHO the GS or GSA are great do it all bikes. They handle great, can be easily loaded up, are comfortable for long days on twisty roads or highway. When I bought my '02 I did not think I wanted or needed the GSA. I loved the GS and it served me well. I did add adventure bags and mounts, taller shield and seat. When I was shopping for a replacement for ME and again being tall the GSA was hard to beat. But it IS a tall bike and if I were much shorter in the inseam (34") then I'd probably opt for the standard and begin the farlking. If you compare the GSA or GS for that matter to lighter more off road bikes then you are correct the GSA is a big pig but it is truly all relative to what you are comparing.