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Old 04-05-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
treebrain OP
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1150 GS-vs-GSA-vs-GS Adventure?

I could probably go through this forum and get partial answers from numerous threads, but I'll try a new one myself. Here's my tale:

Last summer, I went riding with a friend who very cunningly asked if I'd like to try out his '01 1150GS for the ride, having never been on one (I now know he knew just what he was doing in offering it to me). I got on it and by the end of the day was thinking, "Man, I'm getting one of these!" A common story.

Well, I did. Picked up an '02 1150GS in Grand Rapids, Michigan - I'm in Virginia - had it shipped in Feb. It had 12,000 miles on it and when it arrived, was everything the dealer had advertised. Stock and as close to showroom as it gets with all BMW dealer maintenance records. It was a good deal.

But in the last two months, there are times when I think, "Hmmm, maybe I could go for a little more height/room, and a lower first gear . . ." The Adventure, right? Okay, I look at an advertised '02 1150 GS Adventure recently, ride it and think that the differences are not great enough to warrant a sell/buy. I've got a gem already.

Then I just read (in this forum) some hinting at the '01-'02 1150 GS/GSA(?)/GSAdventure variations. Can I hear from some of you who are familiar with them? Is the overall different size of the bikes that great? Is the '01-'02 1150 GSA a different bike altogether from the GS Adventure? I read where it was. From what I've researched, the pre-servo bikes are simpler, which I like, and I prefer the 1150 styling over the 1200 (for now!).

I know that I can get some lowered pegs and bar risers, etc., but I'm curious to know more about the 1150 GS line from riders who've ridden them. Now I wonder, did I even ride an Adventure? The guy selling the one I looked at had gotten it at auction and didn't know much about it. Maybe it was the GSA? It didn't feel any different ride position-wise from my GS, and I don't recall being amazed by the lower first gear, etc.

Help me out here inmates. It's hard to justify traveling a good distance to look at a GSAdventure, or buy one without physically being there, if you aren't really sure just what it is you're getting! Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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To me, i couldn't justify the price difference between my GS and a GS Adventure. I bought my bike with very low miles for a great deal, a GS Adventure in the same condition and miles would have likely cost me another $2-3k, all for a lower 1st and 6th gear, larger fuel tank, 1 piece seat, slightly different windscreen and a few other small things. I do sometimes wish i had the lower 1st gear and larger fuel tank, but both of those can be added later if the need really presents itself. Until then, i am just fine with my non-servo, single spark GS.

BTW, it can get confusing, but some people use GSA to describe a regular GS with ABS brakes, not a GS Adventure.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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My bike is an 00 GSA. The A is for ABS. It has the small tank(200Miles) but it has aftermarket Adventure length Shocks along with revised center and sidestands. I'm a fan of the two peice seat as I use it for different applications without the pillion pad.

I can't say a lower first gear or a larger gas tank would make my smile any wider but who knows. As for the ABS, I cut that out last year for a 10 pound savings and don't miss it at all.

I am going to need another big bike in the near future as I'm liable to wear this one out.

Just ride it
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:55 PM   #4
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Do you off road or find that your non-adv has gearing which is too hi (many do)?

You seem to say that you would like a taller bike so I assume that you are 6ft +.

Changing height and riding position on your current GS non-adv is easy. Just buy the adv length shocks, perhaps a custom seat. You can also change the gearing by picking up a 33/11 final drive or pinion/bevel gear set. That just leaves the oversize tank. How important is higher fuel capacity to you? You can carry extra 1 liter aluminum fuel bottles on road trips.

Look on flea market for the conversion parts. You don't need the rear adv luggage porter or adv seat- many adv owneres actually retrofit the non-adv dual seat and porter to their adv models. Check out aftermarket seat options that fit your 1150 non-adv.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
bigdave-gs
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I have an 04 R1150 GS Adventure. It has longer suspension travel, 8.5 gal of fuel, a one piece dirt bike style seat, crash bars, bash plate, off road lights, lower 1st gear, no overdrive, wire wheels and it's much heavier. Unless you like venturing down fire roads, dirt trails and such, you won't like the extra things the Adventure bike has to offer and if your not above 6' tall or you don't had at least a 35" or better inseam, you will be challenged to put both feet flat on the ground. So take this info and make up your own mind. Another thing to look at is the GS gets better fuel milage than the GS Adventure, that overdrive and lighter weight come into play there.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
Ron from BC
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Conversion Parts

While you're having coffee jot down which upgrade parts you'd like to add to your GS over time taking note of the cost. When done do the math to determine how much money you may have saved from spending that 2-3k on a GS Adv and ask yourself if that difference is worth the saving to piece meal the upgrade.

Just my .02, they're both pretty much the same bike (both great!)
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's what I was wondering. I was really just curious to know, from those who would know from experience, if those differences are all that great? I know I'm not the first to wonder whether a GSAdv would be 'better' - in fact, I'd guess that some who've read this thread are thinking, "Oh not again with the GS/GSAdv comparisons . . ." I'm 6'3" by the way, so that's part of the equation. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
Ron from BC
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6"3 here as well...enjoy the bike.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #9
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Being new here, it's probably customary to post a pic of the machine that got me to ADVRider in the first place.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treebrain View Post
Being new here, it's probably customary to post a pic of the machine that got me to ADVRider in the first place.
Sweet, now go get some dirt on it

nice ride
drcool
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treebrain View Post
Being new here, it's probably customary to post a pic of the machine that got me to ADVRider in the first place.
Damn, do you ride or just wax your bike........
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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As the start of this thread stated, I've had the bike for a little over a month and have put a little over 1K on it, (some in 28 degree weather) including some dirt and gravel roads in West Virginia - and though I have yet to wax it, I didn't drop it as so many people like to display here at ADV.

That said, I'm not sure what the condition of my bike has to do with riding it?

So - if I were to go out and dump it a dozen times because I thought it would be cool to try a lot of stuff I have no business trying with it (read "GNARLEY ADVENTURER!" here), bang it up and take a bunch of pics of it on it's side - then I'd be 'riding?'

Personally, I'd rather just ride it, enjoy it, and take care of it - and not spend my time picking it up, or worse yet, rely upon its beaten appearance to make me feel somehow superior to other GS riders. Make sense?

Whew!
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #13
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I bougth a '02 Adventure (Used, last Oct.) mainly because it was a great deal. I could probably live without the big a$$ tank. The standard Adv seat gives you some extra leg room, but makes flat footing a challenge and I'm 6'3".

It looks like you found a nice bike with Jesses. Get some good rides under your belt and then maybe make some changes.

The comments about how clean your bike is are the usual "welcome to the club" responses. When the official hand sign of ADV riders is the middle finger, you have to look at things with a sense of humor.

So welcome!
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:54 AM   #14
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Got it. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #15
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Big differences

I specifically went shopping for an 02 non ABS R1150GS Adventure, and found one recently.

Love the big tank, height (and I'm only 5'10"), single seat, standard things like engine bars and bashplate, and lower first gear. Not thrilled with the lower sixth gear as I do a lot of distance riding and wish I had the sixth gear my long-legged R1150R had, but ....................

The stock GS was too similar to my R to be on the shopping list, so I went with the big boy, and love it because of its differences. That said, if you have a good GS now, think long and hard before you 'upgrade' for no real reason that can't be addressed with some alterations to what you have. The change-over costs would probably see you running a $$ loss compared to some simple mods.
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