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Old 12-06-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
disconnected OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, South Hills
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07 1200 vs 02 1150

Been searching and driving myself nuts. Found a very nice 07 gs with 14,000 miles! Also been eyeing up a nice 02- the 07 is non servo! Anyhow the 02 has 59k. They are actually both set up almost identical with parts- crash bars, boxes, seats, screens etc-

For some reason I just really like the big menacing hugeness of the 1150, but for long days on mostly back roads and dirt roads I would be better off with the 1200?

Why am I making this so hard? The 1150 is 3300.00 less than the 1200 so the 1200 seems like the better value since its 5 years newer with about 45,000 less miles. Also the Abs on the 1200 has been replaced, so that's a major plus.

Ok, ramble over

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Savannah, GA
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You're one of those guys that likes to poke hornet nests, LOL. Here's my 2 cents, I own a 02 GSA, love it, outstanding road bike, comfort , handling, etc.. As for offroad I only do fire roads and other minor excursions though I plan on more difficult terrain over the winter. However, I made the mistake of riding an 07 GSA recently, the biggest difference I noticed was the weight at the front of the bike, much lighter feel. I'm not too sure that would effect road handling that much but the offroad capabilities would be greatly increased, especially in sand.

I guess what I'm saying if you don't plan on that much offroad activity you'll be very happy with the 02 and save yourself over 3K. As we all know this is a personal preference decision, so back to you and good luck with whatever decision you make.

By the way, my 02 GSA just rolled over 100K!!!

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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My sentiments exactly.

I have ridden the newer GS, GSA and the GSW. Outstanding machines and far smoother, better handling on dirty roads. My 02 GSA is a clunky, rattly beast of a machine compared to them.

And I would not trade to a newer model, no way, no how. Weird but I feel more in touch with the older model and somewhat disassociated on the newer.
If I still had every dollar I spent on motorbikes I would be a richer man but a poorer person.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #4
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I own an '02 with over 75K...............The only "upgrade" I would do is to a new wethead, and that ain't happing anytime soon

The '02 is a great ride on the back roads and won't shy away from a gravel/fire road, and can cruse the slab whenever. I know both will do the same so I agree that you can save the money and get the near identical ride.
If your plan is to off-road more then the newer bike may be a benefit, but not by much. If this is your first GS I'd save the money and get the experience at a lower cost......................

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Old 12-06-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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I have a 2000 GS and a 2012 GSA, they're both awesome motorcycles. I've tried to figure out which one is "better" to no avail.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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They are both big heavy bikes, but the 1200 less so. The 1150 is a bit easier to owner maintain. I thought the 1200 was a big improvement when it came out in 05 and bought one. I thought it was great till I bought my F800 GS. Now the 1200 feels like riding an aluminum ingot. By the way 59,000 miles is no problem on a BMW. They go well over 100k miles without much going wrong. Final drive failures are the most predictable failure. But it can happen on either bike if the oil is not changed. When buying a used vehicle I usually give great weight to my perception of the owner. Were they the kind of person who maintained it. The slightest bad impression and I walk. Dave
Pavement! We don't need no stinkin pavement.

CheckerdD screwed with this post 12-06-2013 at 07:42 AM
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:28 AM   #7
Joined: Nov 2013
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Both bikes are great. The 1150gs would be "old school" with older/simpler technology. It has advantages (simpler) and inconveniences (less refined, maybe). The 1200GS is "newer school" and has many technologies that improved from the 1150GS. It is lighter by a good margin (unless you do like many GS owners and farkle it to death) and has a much improved engine and engine management.

My only word of wisdon is that you most likely will not own only one GS in your life. So, start with the cheaper one (which is most likley currently at an all time bottom price), keep it a couple of years and enjoy it for what it is, then sell at the same price you bought it and move to a newer model when it (also) reaches bottom price.

I just bought a 100,000 miles 2006 1150GSA SE and do not regret it at all. I wanted a tractor, and I got exactly that. I stripped the whole bike to clean-it up and I can assure you it is still like new, after 100,000 miles and good maintenance by previous owners. BTW The 1150GS is very easy to work on.

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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I went through the same decision process a few years ago - 1150 vs 1200. I like to do as much of my own maintenance as possible, so the 1150 made more sense to me. I ended up buying an early '02 1150 that was well maintained and well equipped and I don't regret it one bit. Additionally, I like the looks of the 1150 better than the 1200.

Some questions (and my answers) to think about:

- Do your own maintenance? Get the 1150.
- Want ESA or other electronic stuff? Get the 1200.
- Want to do a lot of off road? Get an F800GS!
- Want to buy a brand new bike? Get a KTM 1190 Adventure R!

One other point to mention on the 1150 - I would look for an early '02 or older (Brembo marked brake calipers) as it doesn't have the servo brake system (and make sure the factory brake lines have been replaced or replace them ASAP.)
- Eric
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #9
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I'm a bit intrigued by all of the comments on R1150 Oilheads being easier to maintain than R1200 Hexheads, and would love to hear specifics. I've put lots of miles on both Oilheads and Hexheads, do my own maintenance, and overall would have to call it a tie between these bikes.

Valve clearance checks are done the same way on both (tie). Wheels come off virtually the same way, as do brake calipers and shocks (tie). Engine oil and filter changes take the same effort as do gearbox oil changes, don't see much difference in alternator belt changes either (tie). Oilheads use DOT4 brake fluid for the clutch, and DOT4 needs changed while the Hexhead's mineral oil doesn't (point for Hexhead). I didn't have my R1150GS long enough to know if they have an inside the tank fuel filter that needs changing like the R1100s, but Hexheads don't have one to be changed. The tapered needle bearings at the swingarm and final drive pivot points on Oilheads are a more maintenance intensive item than the pivot points on Hexheads - an evolutionary design improvement in my book (point for Hexhead). On pre-2008 Hexheads you have to pivot the final drive unit down to drain the FD oil, while you don't on Oilheads or post-'08 Hexheads (point for Oilhead). The much-hyped CANBUS on the Hexheads is a non-issue in my experience, so I don't see where Oilheads have any advantages with fuses (tie). Getting to the clutch on either type bike takes several hours, so no points either way there (tie).

To the OP, hopefully you can ride both and buy which ever trips your trigger. Obviously everyone has their favorite, and I've nothing but great experiences with my '07 and prefer it over the '01 R1150GS I owned. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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07 1200 vs 02 1150

The 1150 is way past due for shocks, the 1200 will need them soon.

I might be wrong... Just ask my X...

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Old 12-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #11
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Have owned and maintained my 03 1150 (non abs) for over seven years now, love it. Will in the future buy a good low miles 1200 cam head, but will not part with my beloved 1150 pig. It will be put away as a keeper, it will still be in excellent condition and have a small pile of long term new spares for future years whether i ride it or one of my nephews takes it on (one is a classic collector). If i tried to sell the 1150 it would get me sweet f.a. money wise, and i'd feel as though i'd sold my dog to a stranger, even a junkie wouldn't do that. But i digress, yes i too am looking forward to a 1200 cam head, more are coming onto the used market as your modern day temporary owner leaps onto the latest and greatest.
i just seek clarity
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #12
disconnected OP
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Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
Joined: May 2007
Location: PacificNorthWet
Oddometer: 82
I just sold my 03 Sport 1150GS with 97000 miles on it and bought a tripple black 13 oilcooled r12 gs. It now has 3600 miles on it and to be sure, I've noticed some real differences. First, I have a flat spot in the low end power range that acts as if there is no cold start mechanism at all. Have to slip the clutch to get up to speed in traffic, which i find disturbing. Up at running speed of 55 - 65, acts like the Tb's are not synched. Once it warms up that goes away.

I've been by the dealer several times and they keep reassuring me "they all do this until you get about 5000 miles on them".
I loved the smoothness of the 1150 and someone told me today that the 1200 will never run as smooth as an 1150.

Plugged it into my gs911 today and it there were no faults.

I'll give it another few months and if I still am not happy I'll put it up on CL and go back to one of the three airheads i still have in my garage.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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I have not had the chance to ride a 1150 yet, i have a 05 1200 and love it even though i have to replace the ABS system.
I think the 1200 is a good deal with lower miles, 5 years newer and a new ABS system since those are very expensive.
But then it all depends on whats the actual price after the 3300$ difference, if the price is too high then you will loose more in depreciation on the 1200 when u decide to sell or trade it, where as the 1150 might loose very less or may be nothing.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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Haven't had the experience on an 02, but I did have an 07, bought from new.

That was one of the few bikes I wish I hadn't traded in. It was hands down the most reliable and smooth bikes ever. High build quality and the details were very intuitive.

Good luck with your decision, I know which way I'd be biased.
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