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Old 03-18-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
Blue&Yellow OP
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Is the 2013 GS really a roadbike?

So - confessions first. Yes - I drive a 990 Adventure. Yes - I dare visit the GSpot forum. Yes - I dare post in the GSpot forum. Please don't crucify my yet. Ok?

The thing is I actually respect the 1200 GS. No wait... that's a lie. The bike I really respect is this one:




The 1150GS Adventure. Big. Slow. Heavy. And built to withstand a nuclear war, or three. Why prepare for one nuclear war when you can build for three? Very German.

And despite it's heft the 1150 Adv is a bike that actually looks comfortable laying on it's side. Which is pretty darn impressive and something which I seriously like!

If there's one quality I really respect when it comes to adventure bikes it's how comfortably they look on their side. In my opinion it's what separates the pretenders from the can-do's. Let's call it the comfortable-on-its-side-factor.

To give you some examples: The DR650 was born on it's side, the Versys - not so much. The XR650 was born on it's side, the V-strom - not so much. The BMW HP2 Enduro was born on it's side, the multistrada - not so much. See where I'm going with this?

How comfortable a bike looks laying down is a pretty good indicator of how serious an adventure bike it really is. Because let's face it - if the bike doesn't end up on it's side at some point you're not doing it right.

Judged by this all-encompassing-standard I will now go on to say that I never really liked the old 1200 GS (and this his how you de-friend an entire sub-forum at once, watch and learn but no tomatoes yet please!):


I find it terribly confused. Is it a road bike? Sort of. Is it an adventure bike? Not really. Personally I've always found it to be a very unfocused off-road bike and a very un-focused road bike. Which I guess is why I've never seen the point of it.

If I'm to be perfectly blunt I find it to be resting a bit on the laurels of it's father the 1150 GS and grand-grand-dad the r75. Both which where very utalitarian and basic adventure bikes. And I can't shake the feeling that the 1200 GS brought a little too much comfort, plasticks and electronic fidgetery into the mix.

This bike here was better:

Yes - it was better than the regular 1200GS, but unfortunately too big for me. Perhaps if you're a 6 feet something 220 pound German named Hans it's the perfect motorbike (and the only motorbike that fits by the way).

But it just isn't for me - I'm 5'9 and know how to muscle a motorbike but the 1200 GS Adv is a bloody behemoth. More than anything it's an "adventure tourer" and not really an "adventure bike". What ever happend to small nimble machines like the r75?

Which brings me to this one here:


It looks stunning, even italian in its design. But would I want to lay it on it's side? Never. Would I want to take it off-road? Never. Would I take it around the world? Maybe - but honestly I'd rather be on a 10 year old DRZ400. Especially through those dodgy parts in south africa and south america.

To me it looks like a road bike, it looks like the multistrada. It's not the same kind of bike that the 1150 GS was. It may be great but to me it's something else with the same badge.

It looks like a great road bike, perhaps one of the best. But it doesn't look like a proper GS to me.

Let me know what you think.

Blue&Yellow screwed with this post 03-18-2013 at 02:42 PM
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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Yeah, I here ya, those 1200s are for pussies and should never be taken off road and simply be happy with adorning the local Starbucks parking lot.

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue&Yellow View Post
So - confessions first. Yes - I drive a 990 This bike here was better:

Yes - it was better than the regular 1200GS, but unfortunately too big for me. Perhaps if you're a 6 feet something 220 pound German named Hans it's the perfect motorbike (and the only motorbike that fits by the way).

Annnnnnd.... right here is where you lost all your credibility. No serious adventure biker takes off without bolting on SOME amount of modifications. This bike is really nothing but the previous bike you showed with some bolt-on mods. So, either they both qualify or neither one does.

That said, I agree with your basic point. If it were going to spend significant amounts of time riding in the outback, I might rather be on something like a suitably prepared XR650L or DR650. Something air-cooled, with a carburetor. No radiator to smash. No cylinder heads hanging out looking for rocks to banzai. A kickstarter. And the absolute minimum amount of electrical items that can interfere with the basic gas, compression, spark cycle. Definitely no computer ever required to diagnosis any problem.

I have an R12GS to use as an on-road touring bike for trips with my girlfriend (or long trips solo), and as a gravel road explorer for seeing a lot of NorCal and vicinity that would not be NEARLY so comfortable to ride on my GSXR (says the voice of experience).
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Skies View Post
Yeah, I here ya, those 1200s are for pussies and should never be taken off road and simply be happy with adorning the local Starbucks parking lot.

Good sentiment. Poor illustration. I've been in parking lots that were worse than that. (and, yes, I'm allowing for it being much steeper than it looks in the picture)
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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I am tending to agree with you, the latest version of the 12 doesnt have the stance of the 1150, 1100.
But also, the 1200 you showed in your post, they are all the same just with some farkles bolted on a different paint scheme.

When you are next out on the road, have a look at cars of the same model, a the moment I am liking the new Range Rover Evoque - 2door in white. saw one in light blue the other day and it looks totally different, almost hideous. The color of the car / bike / airplane paint scheme can make or break a vehicle in my opinion.

I do wonder about the the thinking at the BMW moto division, the bikes keep getting bigger in cc capacity but the space to run them fast is getting smaller and smaller. Why, more power, bigger bike, more tiring (to an extent) potentially, less enjoyable.

As for the styling, yeah, beuty is in the eye of the beholder. For me I struggle to go past an 1150, 1100 or an HP2.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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For proper off road adventuring, it needs to be lighter, cheaper, simpler and lower.

Something like this would be ideal.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
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I agree the gs and gsa are pigs off road. Front end is to heavy for anything more than a gravel road. You can push your limits but no way getting around that much weight. Check out this road test. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ss-launch.html
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #8
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The mistake is simple. A summary of your eval:

R1150GS Adv: dirt ok
R1200GS: dirt not ok
R1200GS Adv: dirt ok
R1200GS(w): dirt not ok

You left out two bikes to complete the picture:

R1150GS and an imaginary future R1200GS(w) Adv.

My guess is you would see the non-adv 1150 and doubt its dirt chops, and when the 1200GS(w) Adv comes out it will seem more suitable for dirt.

If my guess is correct, then the division is really between the stock GS model and Adv model, not a 1150, 1200, 1200(w) progression. And there is some truth to that. The Adventure has specific mods and upgrades that make it potentially better on dirt. That not to say that you cant add crash bars, knobbies, spoke wheels, taller suspension, etc, to a stock GS, but rather than if you want to do all that, you might be better starting with the adventure model.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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You understand.

For me to go ride
Colorado I got to cover 2400 km, each way right???

Yeah it's a road bike
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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I'm with you on it... Maybe the new one will grow on me. I am sure it will eventually... well I don't think so.

But, I get what you are saying... laying on its side and all.. I get it.

If it looks like too many chunks of plastic will be flying around and shattering when the thing brushes up against a twig then.... not so much off road. The bike shouldn't look bad with some scratches on it. That would be my design direction. In fact I have seen some sport bikes that look like they should be taken off road more than the new BMW1200...

But, alas a book should not be judged by its cover. It is a pretty looking bike for sure but some chicks just look better covered in mud and some look better sitting outside the cafe with a frap in hand. I personally prefer the ones with a little dirt on them.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Back before we had "Adventure" bikes, we had our adventures on the bikes we had
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:09 PM   #12
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No, the 2013 GS is not an off road bike. It's BMWs way of assimilating to the volley across the bow Ducati sent a few years ago. Which is fine. Now that there's water cooling in the mix, I don't see any real difference between KTM, Triumph or Ducati. It just depends on your preference for dirt, mud, maneuverability and where your dealership is.

To your point, the 2013 GS is pretty. It makes last year's model look like ass (which it is, with those fucking repulsive side panels). But it's too pretty. I bet that was said about the 2006 GS too. I wouldn't want to drop it even with the protections. The 12xx GS has morphed into the motorcycle equivalent of an SUV which is a cash cow segment for BMW. Once you understand that, the 800 GS is the more pure version of what a GS should be.

I'd still like to see either the 800 or 12xx with air cooling and better coatings for temperature management.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:18 PM   #13
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Any bike that costs that much,weighs that much,and is that overall huge in size,is a roadbike,maybe some dirt roads but a roadbike.
I know Jimmy Lewis can do doubles on one but that's his issue.

I can ride my 1200 Trophy on dirtroads to,but I hate to get it all dusty.

Just watching those knuckleheads in "Long Way Around" pick those turd bikes up over and over again,then weld them back together,then try to fix the complicated electrics,should pretty much show you the dirt capability of such a thing.
If they had been on a simple bike like a set up DR650 there wouldnt have been such suffering,but then no drama either.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillypolack View Post
No, the 2013 GS is not an off road bike. It's BMWs way of assimilating to the volley across the bow Ducati sent a few years ago. Which is fine. Now that there's water cooling in the mix, I don't see any real difference between KTM, Triumph or Ducati. It just depends on your preference for dirt, mud, maneuverability and where your dealership is.

To your point, the 2013 GS is pretty. It makes last year's model look like ass (which it is, with those fucking repulsive side panels). But it's too pretty. I bet that was said about the 2006 GS too. I wouldn't want to drop it even with the protections. The 12xx GS has morphed into the motorcycle equivalent of an SUV which is a cash cow segment for BMW. Once you understand that, the 800 GS is the more pure version of what a GS should be.

I'd still like to see either the 800 or 12xx with air cooling and better coatings for temperature management.
Pretty? .........ahhhhhhhhh,what part of it is pretty?
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwood7800 View Post
Back before we had "Adventure" bikes, we had our adventures on the bikes we had


Can i hit "Liked" for this?

the adventure of any bikes lies on the hands of the rider itself..
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