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Old 04-25-2004, 06:08 PM   #1
Orionrider OP
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Question Touring GS vs RT -- NEED Help

OK guys I'm really having a hard time deciding between a GS and a RT. I've test rode both bikes and I like them both. I'd hoped the test rides would clear things up. Unfortunatly I'm still confused and the college tution I'm paying doesn't allow both.

I do alot of LD riding but there are many times I look down a dirt road and want to go there. Something you just can't or shouldn't do on a RT. However I'm concerned about the lack of wind protection on the GS. (spoiled by the Goldwing)

During my test ride I was impressed on how much a stock windscreen deflected wind off me (6'-1"), but the wind was hitting the top of my helmet. I realize there are many windscreens out there, but which one?


Can a GS be step up of LD touring so it's comfortable with minor creator comforts with the occasional trip down the dirt trail or road? Do most GS riders just us a MP3 player or such for tunes?


Any advice or pictures of personal set ups would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:02 PM   #2
darmahman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionrider
OK guys I'm really having a hard time deciding between a GS and a RT. I've test rode both bikes and I like them both. I'd hoped the test rides would clear things up. Unfortunatly I'm still confused and the college tution I'm paying doesn't allow both.

I do alot of LD riding but there are many times I look down a dirt road and want to go there. Something you just can't or shouldn't do on a RT. However I'm concerned about the lack of wind protection on the GS. (spoiled by the Goldwing)

During my test ride I was impressed on how much a stock windscreen deflected wind off me (6'-1"), but the wind was hitting the top of my helmet. I realize there are many windscreens out there, but which one?


Can a GS be step up of LD touring so it's comfortable with minor creator comforts with the occasional trip down the dirt trail or road? Do most GS riders just us a MP3 player or such for tunes?


Any advice or pictures of personal set ups would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Buy a GS and put an Aero-flow windscreen on it. I had an RT and sold it for a GS. With the Aero-flow on - it is 90% as effective as a RT for protection but 90% more effective off the road on dirt roads ect.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:06 PM   #3
EricFoerster
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Take a look at the Iron Butt Rally winner this year. For last few years look where the GS's placed.

HELL YES IT CAN TOUR

www.flht.org for my GS pictures.
I use a XM radio for tunes in a tank bag. Most awesome setup.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:07 PM   #4
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GS vs. RT

Orionrider:
I have owned both and toured on both. I rode the GS to Alaska and back two up and traded it for an RT(The GS had 6k on the odo when I bought it and 49k when I traded it.) I rode the RT to Nova Scotia, and then to the Olympic Pen. the next summer. I just recently sold the RT. with 49K on it also.

First of all you will not make a bad decision no matter which one you chose. They are both great touring bikes and you can do consecutive high mileage days without any problems.

The GS fatigued me more as the wind blast is a constant on it. I do like to ride at a brisk pace but once you get past 80 mph. the GS is just more challenging to maintain that speed for any distance. The GS is the bike to ride to Alaska. You will encounter much road construction which means dirt, gravel, mud , washboard, etc. It handles it all very well. However it is not a dirt bike. (unless your a skilled off road rider). My spouse travels with me and we camp so we carry a lot of gear. The GS with Jesse bags worked very well for us and we were on the road for a month. (the stock seat was terrible on mine.) The GS was easy to maintain and work on with most things readily available.

The RT also had a terrible stock seat. I had a Mayer (Rocky) seat built which worked great. The RT was a better higher speed touring bike and was less fatiguing for me. The gas mileage was better probably due to the fairing. (The GS reminded me of a large piece of plywood when you really started pushing it- top end on mine (GPS) was 110 mph.) To do anything(except oil changes) to the RT requires that body work be removed- not difficult just time consuming.

I am considering purchasing another GS next spring as the wife thinks she is going to retire and we want to go back to Alaska and take our time (not have to be back in a month).

Again you won't make a wrong decision if you buy one in good shape. I see almost new GS's on this forum for very good prices. I also saw a late model RT in the add section that looked like a great buy. (particularly since I know that Jon Diaz takes great care of his equipment). Buy what you want and enjoy it. Take care of it and the resale value will be there. 12ride
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:31 PM   #5
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I own a GS and borrow an RT on the weekends sometimes. The RT has excellent wind protection. I've ridden it in the rain without rain gear and stayed mostly dry. Great for cold weather, kinda sucks in hot weather when you wish more air was hitting you. I don't like the riding position. My feet always hit the fairing when I put them down at a stoplight. It seems more awkward with a passenger at parking lot speeds. It's the type of bike that makes it seem like you are going 50 when you are really going 80, which I don't like.

Both bikes handle great in the corners. The RT is better on the freeway. The GS fits me perfect and I like the wider bars. I've done some touring on it. It's great on dirt roads or paved roads in poor condition. I always feel more confident on the GS. I definitely prefer the GS and can't think of a bike that I would rather own.
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:13 PM   #6
gyro
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My two cents

Onionrider,

I just sold my '02 RT and bought an '04 Adventure. The RT was a great bike and I had a blast on it. I put 25k miles on it in a little under two years (not allot in some circles but not a little either). It ate up the miles like no one's business and cornered very well.

When I originally bought the RT the salesman tried to steer me in the direction of the GS ADV. Coming from a dirt bike background I demurred grumbling something about, “what the hell am I going to do with a 600 lb wannabe -dirt bike?” So I got the RT.

What I discovered was that my favorite form of travel was to pick a spot with some historic or cultural interest that was somewhat remote and go visit. I learned a tremendous amount about California history that I had never known and rode some great roads in the process.

So the miles piled up and I began looking further abroad. I suppose the beginning of the end was my trip to Bodie, CA. The road in was dirt but no problem on the RT but after the visit to the ghost town I started looking at the other roads and points of interest in the area. Places I was reticent to try my luck with the RT.

But no big deal, I tore on home and continued to ride. But slowly but surely I began seeing all these out of the way places and bad roads leading to them. At the same time I began to get bored with the RT. The lure of more power tugged at me. I looked long and hard at the Ducati ST4s ABS. I rode it a couple of times (what a wonderful motor!) but still wasn’t convinced. A friend suggests the Ducati Multi stata. Sounds good but then I read the fine print: It is to off-road travel as The Lion King is to wildlife documentaries.

So there I was standing in the same showroom two years later looking at the same bike I was supposed to buy the last time. What can you do? I sold the RT and bought the GS ADV for a pretty good price given all the excitement over the new 1200.

Now down to brass tacks:

What I love about the ADV:
-How it handles on rough/twisty or non existent roads.
-The fact that it could take me pretty much any where in this world (the fact that I will never roam all that far is irrelevant, it’s the idea I like.)
-The motor. I know, it’s pretty much the same motor as the RT but the short gear box makes it feel like a WRC car down the short straights. Beside I swapped the exhaust, opened up the air box and put a Power Commander on it so it pretty much rips!
-Instant Rock Star Status. People either love or hate this bike, either way they can’t stop talking about it. I will note that I’ve had more aggressive reactions from other motorists than I ever had on my RT. I don’t know if it’s that I’m riding more aggressively/offensively or if they just don’t like the bike.. .or maybe I’m just imagining things.
-The fun factor. I have a blast riding this thing to the super market and the fun factor goes up from there.

What I miss about the RT:
-The ability to go really far, really fast. I can go all day on my GS but my average speed is much slower. On the RT I could cruise very fast all day long. On the GS I find the wind protection limit quicker. Last week I had to get back from my ride for an evening engagement. I had to travel about 200 miles. I was sure I would make it in time. I was 5min late, I just couldn’t keep the same average speed I was used to.

As for music, I use an Ipod with Sure E2c ear-buds... rock on!

Hope this helps,

Gyro
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:25 PM   #7
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[-The ability to go really far, really fast. I can go all day on my GS but my average speed is much slower. On the RT I could cruise very fast all day long. On the GS I find the wind protection limit quicker.

yep, that about sums it up. the GS is awesome, no doubt, it's just the wind really does get to you after a while. on test rides, there's so much going on, you really don't notice. it's just one of those things you notice toward the end of the day...

you can tour, no doubt, you just need to know exactly what you want from your bike.
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:21 PM   #8
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I went the GS route

I spent all last year trying to decide between a GS and an RT. I ended up with a GS for the following reasons. The GS did everything the RT did and it ment I could explore the pavementless (is that a word?) roads.

I just got back from my first off road adventure, what a great trip. If you get a RT you'll always wonder what you're missing, get a GS and you'll find out what all the RT guys are missing.
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:10 PM   #9
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Wink

I own both of them and reviewing the answers above - all is said. The RT is great for really long distance rides. Rode London - Munich in under 12 hrs and felt fresh and relaxed when I hit home. (If you are an avid smoker - I always missed the ashtray on the RT where you can smoke up to 100 mph behind the stock screen.) The GS is more demanding in that respect due to the noise. But it gives you the best of the two worlds.

Richard
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Old 04-25-2004, 11:14 PM   #10
bavarian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todler
pavementless (is that a word?) roads.
That sure is a word! Looked it up in the dictionary and couldn't find it. Guess it means s.th. like advrider road. But could not find that either.

Richard
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:01 AM   #11
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Unpaved, maybe?
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:36 PM   #12
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Unpaved, maybe?
sounds good to me!
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:30 PM   #13
azabeemerboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarian
That sure is a word! Looked it up in the dictionary and couldn't find it. Guess it means s.th. like advrider road. But could not find that either.

Richard
\

Yep it's a word----saw it on the Harley forum!!
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:04 PM   #14
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Thanks

Thank you to all of you who provided a great prospective. I've got much to think about now, but I'm leaning towards the GS now.

Thank you

Derek
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97 BMW R1100GS

83 Honda Goldwing GL1100 Aspencade

Live life to the fullest, as you never know when the dance will end!
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Old 04-27-2004, 07:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionrider
Thank you to all of you who provided a great prospective. I've got much to think about now, but I'm leaning towards the GS now.

Thank you

Derek
Just keep in mind that you basically asked a predominately GS forum which bike they liked the best.
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