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Old 03-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
LaurenceS OP
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GS Issues

Hi All,

My name is Laurence, and I'm about as n00b as it gets, I don't even have a GS yet. I am however very strongly considering getting one. I currently have an '09 Harley FXDF Fat Bob, and as previously mentioned am very strongly considering trading it in for an '11 or '12 GSA. I'm sure that there have been many a thread about this already, so please forgive me for being redundant (and moreso, if you would please be so kind to point me toward any existing resources, I'd be much obliged), but before I plunk down $22K for a GSA, what am I to expect as far as any issues? I love my Harley, but I just don't necessarily believe that it's robust enough for our mostly crappy Western WA weather. What I am concerned about however is that Harleys are pretty much predictable. I know nothing of BMW's other than the fact that they're a fave of Europeans (for obvious reasons), and I watched Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman beat the crap out of a couple in "Long Way Round". I just don't want to have a bike sitting in a shop all of the time once it hits 50K. I'm predominately planning on riding mostly on pavement. I want a "bagger" without having a "bagger", I just don't really care that much for Harley baggers, and I just think the GSA would be a helluva lot more robust for Western WA, than the Harley. Of course, I do stand to be corrected.

Any words of wisdom?

Thanks,

-Laurence
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
kildala2000
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Thumb Hello

Hey Laurence,

Welcome, you will not regret what your about to buy. I have an 08 ADV and I have owned a few ADV bikes in all the years I've been riding. LOVE the bike and it's a tank, they all are. My brother owns a new HD and he has had lots of trouble with his. I have had a final drive brg done under warranty this year and that is it. My old 02 ADV with 100K has had nothing or no issues at all.
Make sure you change the oil and all fluids every year, put gas into it and your done.
Ride Safe and enjoy,
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
LaurenceS OP
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Hi There!

Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for the quick reply! Glad to hear that you have an ADV w/over 100K on it. Yeah, don't get me wrong, I love my Harley, but as previously mentioned, I want something with hard panniers, that's a tourer, but isn't a "Geezer Glide". From what I've done research wise, it does indeed appear that the GS is a complete tank, and can pretty much stand up to whatever you throw at it. You drop a Harley and it's like "Oh $h!+!!!!!!! That's gonna cost me" to fix whatever chrome gets damaged. You drop a GS, and it'll probably laugh at you and ask "That all you got????!!!!??? Bring it beeoootch!!!!!!" As far as the maintenance goes; scheduled maintenance like clockwork. I'm probably going to even get an extended warranty as well.

Thanks again!

-Laurence
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
kleblanc
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Wow, it;s funny that these two bikes are even in the same conversation, we were just talking about the engeenering technolgy of the BMW compared to a bike like a Harley, and how different and more advanced the BMW is. What we compared was a front end of a BMW to the front end of a Harley Springer, What got me on this subject was after ridin my 1200 GS, evrytime I get off of it I just can not believe that other bikes have the same design as the A-Arm,,the handleing and the braking alone that this design accomplishes is amazing,and In my oppionion is worth the 20K alone, but it does not stop there, the engine and the swing arm/drive shaft is yet more brilent engeneering, not to mention the ESA, Eletronic Suspension Adjustment, and then the erconomics, the ridding position, well for me anyway there is no comparison, I think it is pricey but it is worth every penny, the Harley not so much, It has been years since I have ridin a Harley , but it does not appear that they have created leaps and bounds on the engineering side,,I guess if you just putt around and you do not get to aggressive and ride like your ass is on fire , I can see how the Harley would be accomadating,,just my twoCents, to me the only thing lacking on the GS is Lack of HP,,but it still scoots pretty dam good
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
LaurenceS OP
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Lack of hp?

Hi,

Lack of hp? Compared to a Harley? You gotta be kidding me!!!!!!! I rue the day that a stock Harley ever sees anything even remotely close to 110bhp. Harley's aren't exactly known for having a substantial amount of horsepower. They have enough torque to pull a house, but horsepower? Errrrr...........not exactly. Oh, and no. From an engineering perspective, not a whole lot has changed in the overall design of the V-Twin. The biggest technological breakthroughs Harley-Davidson has implemented in their big V-Twin's in the last few years is a twin-cam motor, and fuel injection, and those are both within the last 2-3 years. Other than that, nope......not much

Thanks again,

-Laurence
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
SJSharkfan
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Hi Laurence,

I think you'll find that BMWs are "all weather bikes" and reliable (knock on wood). There is a vocal minority that post a complaint every time something happens to their bike, but the majority of us put on tons of miles without a hiccup.

On the bottom of the page you'll find a link to the "Hall of Wisdom" Lots of good info, good and bad.

Use Google search to find stuff, the search function here is frustrating.

Welcome and happy reading!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
rboett
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my $.02
just go ride one, you will understand the attaction.

look up your local bmw club, plenty of folks to give you ideas about the bikes.
People with bike problems like to complain here. I had a 96 r1100gs and now an 08 gsa with no problems. BMW has a strong warranty program too.



see if one fits you.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
bigdave-gs
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LaurenceS,

You will find the BMW a very fine motorcycle. I have an 04 with over 70K miles on it and basically no problems. As with all motorcycles, cars, pickups..ect, if you read these forums, you will find that not very many people "bitch" about the good things about their rides. With all the GS type bikes out there and the few that report problems, I would recommend you go ride the GS and GS Adv, look at the options you like and feel you need, and get the bike that best fits your situation and riding style and go from there. Good luck and happy riding.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
tjt94
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I came over to an '02 1150GS from an '02 Victory TC. The TC had more torque and hp, (98 lbs and 85 hp) from a 92" engine. However, it weighed a lot more than my GS. The GS is a far superior bike despite being older. The TC was superior to the Harleys of the same vintage.

I think you should really like the GS. It handles, is smooth, torquey, and can cover a lot of miles in a day. It can go on any road you want to ride it on and it will clean up great too. I have loads of HD riders that talk with me at the gas pump about BMW's and how they would like one.

You should not leave out the idea of a lightly used GS. It should be fun.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
Beezer
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you wouldn't believe how light & nimble a bike this size feels when you drive it


the local shop here has last year's on sale for $18300
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:27 PM   #11
ghostrider1964
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I have owned 5 BMWs...NO major issues that were not taken care of by warranty. I have owned 2 Harleys too, doubt I will again..My GSA runs like a sport bike up to 120mph...I give local squids hell on our back roads...I have drug my pegs many times, even stumped my wife's toe in a corner So yeah it will handle..BTW..I have owned over 50 bikes and this is my favorite
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:28 PM   #12
Monsignore
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I was a cruiser rider (put 53,000 miles on the first Shadow, 27,000 on the second Shadow) for years. Living in NYC, and being a little older and a (very) little wiser, I have switched to an '05 1200GS. I bought it in Atlanta first week of March and promptly put 1300 miles on it in the first week. 400 of that was in a torrential downpour where I could see about 30 yards in front of me, at night, on the New Jersey Turnpike. Were I on a cruiser, I would've ditched the thing and walked back to Brooklyn.
The lack of chrome and tupperware, the seat height, the sturdiness, etc, have made me a lifetime convert. Yeah, Deutsche Motorräde can be a bit finicky at times, but show me a Harley that doesn't have its personality "quirks."
Buy the GS(A), used, and you will rediscover how great riding on two wheels can be.

Oh, and my bike had 43,000+ miles on the clock when I bought it and still has years of life left in it.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:41 PM   #13
s1marks
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Laurance, I purchased my used 2001 GS because I live on a dirt road and I knew that sooner or later I would drop a big cruiser just getting to/from pavement. I also knew that sooner or later I would get lazy and that big chrome animal would become a burdon to clean. All I can say is that if you live in Western Washington you owe it to yourself to find out how much fun it is to explore forest service roads. All the years I spent riding steet bikes in my youth pale in comparison to the sheer enjoyment I get out of riding 'off pavement' today. Your BMW is going to be about the easiet bike you could imagine to maintain and as reliable as well....a BMW! I have 53K on my BMW now and wouldn't hesitate taking it down to South America (heck I'd service it first but who wouldn't?)....I EXPECT 200K out of my bike. I "expect" it. I suspect it'll give me more.

Look me up when you get it and we'll go riding. NW Oregon here.

S1
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
SR1
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You don't have issues. Not at all.

Hang around here for a while and you'll get a good feel of what the bike will do and not do.

The dealers will give you a test ride, and it will usually be pretty long, too. Coming off your HD you'll be amazed if not even unnerved by the agility and quick handling.

Oh, and while even the GSA (I have the svelte GS) is somewhat heavy by "enduro" standards, it's still about 200 lbs lighter than your HD, so please, don't call it a tourer. Tourers are 800lbs+

Should have added: I've ridden a lot of bikes, I imagine most GS riders have. Though there are other bikes that out-do the GS on one front or another, none are as well rounded and such a complete package. If something happened to mine tomorrow, I'd buy another one immediately.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:09 PM   #15
LaurenceS OP
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Test Riding a GS

Hi Guys,

I want to thank all of you for your very positive replies. As far as test riding a GS goes, yep. Did that already. Long before I ever even had a bike in fact. I have a very good friend who has two of the older/smaller one's, and indeed, I was duly impressed. It's a friggin' SUV on 2 wheels. That's one of the prime reasons that the R1200GSA is the ONLY bike I would ever even consider trading in my Harley for.

The prime reason I was asking your opinions here is that I'd pretty much be foolish not to. You all own them. You're real people who ride these machines every day, and consequently, who better to provide an honest assessment of what the machine can or cannot, will or will not do. As previously mentioned, I just don't see myself on a "Geezer Glide", and I really don't want to put bags on my Fat Bob. I just think it looks goofy, and destroys the look of the bike, but man, I sure do miss them. They look awesome on the GSA though.

The only last questions that I have I guess is do I go with the Garmin/BMW Nav system, or is there something more preferrable? The aluminum hard bags? The BMW one's or the touratech's? Oh, and lastly, are there any highway pegs that can be mounted on to the engine guards that anyone can recommend?

Oh, and I did price out the extended warranty for the bike, and for the extra $1,140 to bring the warranty to 7 years, unlimited miles, I'd be foolish not to get it.

Thanks again all!

-Laurence
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