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Old 12-22-2012, 03:08 AM   #31
MoxNix
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Master Guns, I am a retired Marine living in Stuttgart germany working for AFRICOM.

All of my comments below are based on GSA purchase.

As for military sales go, you have to be TDY to Germany for a day but the challenge is BMW does not ship the bike to the US. You can ship a bike on your own dime, but it'll eat up some of the $2010 savings.

Having said that if you happen to get a day a Ramstein post-deployment, I'll swing by and pick you up to see Uwe (military sales guy in K'town).

I am heading to AFG in April, but I'll answer any specific questions you have via pm or email bolingcs{atsign}gmail{dot}com

Chris
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:55 AM   #32
tlwood99
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^^^

Nothing to add on the 'which-bike-to-get' question although my .02 is that the regular GS is a mighty fine bike.

I would imagine you are wanting to get back home, but if you can stand it I would encourage you to take advantage of being overseas and any opportunities that affords you to ride in places you may never get the chance to otherwise. Now I'm not saying riding around Helmund Province (although I think the Marine Recons are somewhat known for doing just that on Chinese 125's) but riding in Europe or elsewhere on anything would be life long memories made regardless of what bike you are on. And if you have the cash Craigslist is your friend.

Good luck to you and stay safe.

Tom W.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #33
Jim Moore
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Here's another tip. If you buy from a dealer don't be embarrassed to ask for a military discount. Most dealers are more than willing to help you out there.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:29 AM   #34
Kawidad
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Master Gunny be safe from another former jarhead.

I used to own a GS and now own a Triumph Tiger, not that I recommend that for you. The new 1200 Tiger is amazing, but dealer support might be too thin, however, you might consider it.

I also used to own a KTM Adventure, but would not recommend that one. The KTM's are really hit and miss with their quality control, but in any case they are VERY dirt oriented and have poor fuel range because they do not get good MPG. Also, they are difficult to work on because of the way they are put together.

My GS ownership experience was not all that great. I bought it used and it was low mileage and appeared to be lightly used only on the road. However, once I dove into it as things broke, I quickly discovered it had a hard life and had been trashed pretty good. By the time I got it all fixed up I was tired of it and decided to move on. I narrowed my choices down to the Super Ten and the Triumph Tiger 800. I chose the Tiger, but the Super Ten is amazing and is receiving really good reviews on the forum (Beasts) from real world owners. If I were to do it over again, I might go this direction instead since they are such good bikes.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:25 PM   #35
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I have a f800 GS and a 1200. I think the 800 is the better all round bike, but a bit small if your riding 2 up. I will tell you my favorite Afgan story. In 1976 I rode a Honda 125 from Indonesia to Europe. I actually got into the NW frontier part of Pakistan. Back then they were not radicalized - but very well armed as ever. Then I rode to Kabul. Kandahar, Herat and into Iran. In those days, before the Russians rode in a ruined everything, Afghanistan was a republic. The problem in crossing it was bandits. What you would do is go to the edge of town early in the morning and park. There would be others there. Then when something armed and official drove by, you would pull up behind it and go to the next city. From Kabul to Kandahar, I followed some government truck with a couple of armed guys in the back. Getting out of Kandahar was trickier, after a long wait we all tailed a official looking Mercedes Diesel bus. As you may know the road goes from about 2000 ft to about 6800 ft on that stretch. The convoy just walked away from me going up the hill. I have never been more scared shitless. I was just lying down on the tank of the moving bike going as fast as I could, and waiting for some bandit to pick me off. Anyway the convoy stopped for prayers and that is how I caught up. So you see the place does not change much over time. Dave
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #36
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Thank you for your Service

I purchased a 2012 GSA in June. Although I have not ridden it as much as I'd like, the BMW is a quality machine and the one I chose after years of dual sport research and hand wringing. I don't regret it. I've worked on and built numerous bikes with factory and after market parts. The Beemers have their good points and bad like all the rest, quality of parts is among the best in the world. It boils down to inseam, terrain, load, and endurance. Sort out how you want to use the bike, your physical limitations, if any, and that will help narrow the choices.

Enjoy the search. The start of a journey is sometimes the most exciting part.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:10 PM   #37
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Great Responses

CheckerD that is an amazing story. While I was traveling around the country I saw numerous motorcycles scooting around the terrain and my first thought was about what a great place to ride. I don't know if this place will ever be safe to ride through again like you did back in the 70's, but it sure would be a trip. Actually, if you could avoid the big cities and stick to small towns and villages you'd probably do ok...although after us being here a western looking individual might not be very welcome....I guess it will depend on their take of our departure from their country and how graceful we do it.

Well thanks to everyone for the additional thoughts. I am really leaning towards the 1200 GSA for a couple reasons, size (I'm 6'4" so should fit nicely), windprotection (big gas tank acts like a fairing from what I've heard, plus extended range), factory installed options I think everyone adds to their GS shortly after purchase and I like a clean factory install so why not.

Unless a fabulous deal comes along that I just can't pass up I'll probably wait to pull the trigger on something until I can ride the Tenere. Its reviews and the fact that its water cooled (having had Harley's I'm sensitive about the oil cooled bikes) so I won't have to worry about overheating, easy of maintenance/dealer support, and about half of a 1200 GSA new lends one to stop and take a look. If anyone has ridden the Tenere and given it an honest evaluation, but still went with the GSA or has just ridden one I'd be intereted in your comparisions (pluses and minuses) between the two.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:04 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcshepherd View Post
CheckerD that is an amazing story. While I was traveling around the country I saw numerous motorcycles scooting around the terrain and my first thought was about what a great place to ride. I don't know if this place will ever be safe to ride through again like you did back in the 70's, but it sure would be a trip. Actually, if you could avoid the big cities and stick to small towns and villages you'd probably do ok...although after us being here a western looking individual might not be very welcome....I guess it will depend on their take of our departure from their country and how graceful we do it.

Well thanks to everyone for the additional thoughts. I am really leaning towards the 1200 GSA for a couple reasons, size (I'm 6'4" so should fit nicely), windprotection (big gas tank acts like a fairing from what I've heard, plus extended range), factory installed options I think everyone adds to their GS shortly after purchase and I like a clean factory install so why not.

.
Start savings those greenbacks...GSA owners farkle their's, too!
There is NO saying "NO" to the Touratech catalog!
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #39
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Cool2 Not Really.."No" Makes Sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelPerryOnLand View Post
Start savings those greenbacks...GSA owners farkle their's, too!
There is NO saying "NO" to the Touratech catalog!
Depends on your temperament and sensibilities as much as how you want to use the bike. If you want it to look like a commuter bus in India, then of course pile on the crap, errr..."farkles". Like an old motocross racer friend once factiously said: "If you can't go fast, at least look fast".

If however you are looking for functional, needed and utilitarian improvements for the bike, then I would avoid Touratech like the plague because they are the boutique store with very high prices. Some good products, but not at gold prices. Many other high quality vendors. My changes are all for protecting the bike when I lay it down and improving rider control. It is all about the ride and getting home.

As an owner of a GSA I am biased, but the extra fuel and suspension travel [slight but significant] alone were worth the $$ for me over a GS since my use is all off road.

As I previously stated, ride all bikes under consideration and see which one "feels right" and put that big shit eatin' grin on your face.

Enjoy the process of buying a bike and don't sweat the small stuff..

Of course I could be wrong.......................
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:19 PM   #40
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Shep--

Not sure if you told us where you are going to be commuting, what kind of road, distance, part of the country, etc. 40 miles in rural Michigan on a GS might be sweet, while 20 miles lanesplitting in SoCal a GS might be a handful.

But being 6'4" that does tend to thin the herd. A lot of tall guys lean towards the KTM. But if your knees are healthy, there's really a lot of bikes you could look at. I think if it was my FIRST adventure bike, or my first non-Harley, and my knees were OK, I might be looking at a used V-Strom DL650 (the Wee-Strom). Cheap to buy, cheap on gas, fairly nimble in traffic, ABS brakes for traffic panic stops, can carry your camping gear OK, cheap maintenance, lots and lots of aftermarket parts and pieces to personalize it with, and since you WILL be crashing it out in the backcountry on those camping trips -- cheap repairs.

Then, after the first year or so is under your belt, then go looking at GS's or Tenere's or whatever.

HERE's a link to the Wee-Strom thread index if you want to see what others have to say..
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #41
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You will not find a better bike than the R1200GSA. I ride mine with the sport bikes on the twisties - usually fast enough to be near the front of the pack. I also ride off road quite a bit. It handles fine off road as well. Took a trip to Colorado from MO and at times was cruising at 110Mph through Kansas and when I got there traveled all over the state and even rode over 2 off road mountain passes in Colorado - Mosquito Pass and Monarch Pass. The perfect bike for just about everything.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #42
srpuywa
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Say no to the chain - go BMW, I'm 6-4 and owned airhead R100 GS's, R1150 GS/ADV and now a R1200 GS/ADV.

although I'm looking for a KTM 640 for a 2nd bike
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #43
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:26 AM   #44
feldjäger
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Semper Fi Devil Dog! Yes Afghanistan would be one hell of a place to ride, spent some time up in RC North, that being said go with the BMW GSA! I have this bike and love it! Its beast at time off road at times but I enjoy it more and more I take it off road. The road touring is top notch.

I hope one day I can travel to Afghanistan on bike and see things not having to worry about the war catching up with me, even though that wouldn't stop me from doing it anyways!


Stay safe, and remember get the big BMW with that deployment money
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:24 AM   #45
wbrisett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
I used to own a GS and now own a Triumph Tiger, not that I recommend that for you. The new 1200 Tiger is amazing, but dealer support might be too thin, however, you might consider it.
Semper Fi, amazing how many former Devil Dogs there are lurking this board. ;)

As far as dealer support goes, I think BMW and Triumph are pretty much on equal terms. Yamaha beats pretty much everybody on the list, with KTM being the one I would worry about from that perspective. I'm very lucky in that I have all the mentioned dealerships in town, although the KTM dealership is a bit flaky. The BMW & Triumph dealerships are one in the same.

I owned a Tiger 800XC and it was a great bike, but not for two up riding and my daughter and I end up doing a lot of that. My wife owns the Tiger 800, I traded in the Tiger XC and my RT for a used 2011 GSA, and haven't regretted a single day of that. The 1200 Tiger wasn't available at the time and honestly I'm not sure I could have gotten the deal I did on a new bike. That said, it might be worth looking at. The OP mentioned he would use this for a daily commute, which makes me wonder if the KTM isn't a bit too dirt worthy for that kind of service (kind of like my Buell Ulysses was a bit too street for the dirt... but doesn't mean I didn't use it that way).

A buddy of mine has the Yamaha and loves it. He uses it a lot on the street and like me with the GSA, he hasn't regretted his decision on the Tenere.

With the list of bikes mentioned, I don't think there is a 'bad' one in the bunch and I do think it's going to come down to personal preference at the end of the day.

Wayne
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