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Old 08-09-2007, 05:49 PM   #1
Weird Bug OP
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First Impressions of new RT vs. my GS

Initial impression of the 2007 R1200RT vs. the 2006 R1200GS.

First, my apologies up front as I am not trying to denigrate either bike, but thought that my experiences would help those that might be considering doing what I did today - I traded in my GS for an RT.

Qualifier - I just picked up the RT today and have ridden it about 50 miles. I did test ride an RT recently for about 25 miles as well, including city and 80 mph interstate riding. As far as the GS, I bought it in November and traded it in today with 17,800 miles on it. The last 2.5 weeks I have ridden it loaded for camping and some degree of self sufficiency 6,000 miles from Florida to northern Michigan, across 1200 miles of Canada, across Maine to Nova Scotia, back across Maine to Central New York, the entire Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway (howdy again DATGUITAR in his new GSA) - then back home in 760 miles and 19 hours the last day. I have had it in thick sand, gravel roads, and lots of paved roads.
The GS has an Aeroflow screen, a throttle meister, and Zega Special 35 liter panniers. The RT has cruise control, color matching panniers that hold my large Shoei full faced helmet, and an electronic wind screen.

The RT is smoother and more powerful. It has taller gears and I seem to be one gear lower in the same conditions as the GS. I got as much as 55 miles per gallon (loaded on the trip) on the GS, but dropped to 43 for the higher speed sections (75-80 mph). The RT is getting 52 in town right now. The RT is noticeably quieter. The GS with the stock wind screen is very loud, while with the Aeroflow its significantly quieter. The RT screen allows slightly more wind in and therefore is slightly louder than the Aeroflow. However, the RT screen can be lowered to allow fresh air in with the touch of a button.

The RT actually coasts when the clutch is pulled in, whereas the GS seems to slow way down.

The RT is less top heavy and is easier to balance. Stand over height is almost identical. The RT hand positions are lower and narrower than the GS. The GSs mirrors work better than the RTs. The rear brake on the RT works much better than the GS.

One of the problems I had with the GS was once it started to go over it was very hard to keep it from falling on its side. This was made worse by the grabby servo brakes when in very slow speed conditions such as backing out of a parking space. The RT is non-servo. Both have ABS. The GS suspension also seemed to make the situation worse as it would unload when the servos grabbed and if you werent dead straight all that momentum would try and throw you over.

The GS is a fantastic bike, but I prefer the RT. I weigh 160 pounds and am 511. Here in Florida I have to go out of my way to find dirt roads or off-road conditions and when I do it is usually very sandy. Even on the 6,000 mile trip I thought Id need the GSs off-road capabilities, but I only did about 6 miles of dirt road. I was traveling alone so wandering off the paved road on an inviting two-track in the middle of nowhere was out of the question.
RT sites more upright on the kickstand and is easier to stand it up. It is also much easier to put the RT on the center stand.

The GS needed filling up after about 200 miles (to be safe on the trip) where it looks like the 7.1 gallon tank and better mileage for the RT will easily ads another 150 miles to that. In Canada that would have been nice as there are not many gas station around. Also, as you all know there are none on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If any of you have specific questions about the comparison I would be happy to try and answer them for you. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Bug
Initial impression of the 2007 R1200RT vs. the 2006 R1200GS.

First, my apologies up front as I am not trying to denigrate either bike, but thought that my experiences would help those that might be considering doing what I did today - I traded in my GS for an RT.

Qualifier - I just picked up the RT today and have ridden it about 50 miles. I did test ride an RT recently for about 25 miles as well, including city and 80 mph interstate riding. As far as the GS, I bought it in November and traded it in today with 17,800 miles on it. The last 2.5 weeks I have ridden it loaded for camping and some degree of self sufficiency 6,000 miles from Florida to northern Michigan, across 1200 miles of Canada, across Maine to Nova Scotia, back across Maine to Central New York, the entire Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway (howdy again DATGUITAR in his new GSA) - then back home in 760 miles and 19 hours the last day. I have had it in thick sand, gravel roads, and lots of paved roads.
The GS has an Aeroflow screen, a throttle meister, and Zega Special 35 liter panniers. The RT has cruise control, color matching panniers that hold my large Shoei full faced helmet, and an electronic wind screen.

The RT is smoother and more powerful. It has taller gears and I seem to be one gear lower in the same conditions as the GS. I got as much as 55 miles per gallon (loaded on the trip) on the GS, but dropped to 43 for the higher speed sections (75-80 mph). The RT is getting 52 in town right now. The RT is noticeably quieter. The GS with the stock wind screen is very loud, while with the Aeroflow its significantly quieter. The RT screen allows slightly more wind in and therefore is slightly louder than the Aeroflow. However, the RT screen can be lowered to allow fresh air in with the touch of a button.

The RT actually coasts when the clutch is pulled in, whereas the GS seems to slow way down.

The RT is less top heavy and is easier to balance. Stand over height is almost identical. The RT hand positions are lower and narrower than the GS. The GSs mirrors work better than the RTs. The rear brake on the RT works much better than the GS.

One of the problems I had with the GS was once it started to go over it was very hard to keep it from falling on its side. This was made worse by the grabby servo brakes when in very slow speed conditions such as backing out of a parking space. The RT is non-servo. Both have ABS. The GS suspension also seemed to make the situation worse as it would unload when the servos grabbed and if you werent dead straight all that momentum would try and throw you over.

The GS is a fantastic bike, but I prefer the RT. I weigh 160 pounds and am 511. Here in Florida I have to go out of my way to find dirt roads or off-road conditions and when I do it is usually very sandy. Even on the 6,000 mile trip I thought Id need the GSs off-road capabilities, but I only did about 6 miles of dirt road. I was traveling alone so wandering off the paved road on an inviting two-track in the middle of nowhere was out of the question.
RT sites more upright on the kickstand and is easier to stand it up. It is also much easier to put the RT on the center stand.

The GS needed filling up after about 200 miles (to be safe on the trip) where it looks like the 7.1 gallon tank and better mileage for the RT will easily ads another 150 miles to that. In Canada that would have been nice as there are not many gas station around. Also, as you all know there are none on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If any of you have specific questions about the comparison I would be happy to try and answer them for you. Hope this helps.
Congrats on your new ride! Thanks for your review.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
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Yeah, thanks for the review. It was informative. I've been looking at the RT as a companion bike to my 06 GS. I like the RT's styling. So many great bikes to choose from, so little room to store them in.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:34 PM   #4
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The new RT is a great bike. I drew up a detailed pro/con list for the '07RT vs. '07GS, went on several extended test rides, drove my wife, friends and the local dealer nuts with questions...

It all came down to one thing:
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:54 AM   #5
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What a great picture!
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:58 AM   #6
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If I could look down (and ride down) places like that relatively regularly I might have kept the GS. That is not only beautiful, but for a guy ridig a GS soooo inviting.

What i have is very hot backwoods about 60 miles from my house and it is so traversed by 4x4s that it is a sand bog. Not much mileage either.

Beautiful picture - where is that?
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Bug
The RT actually coasts when the clutch is pulled in, whereas the GS seems to slow way down.


You may have had an issue with the rear brake sticking. How often did you have to replace it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Bug
The RT is less top heavy and is easier to balance. Stand over height is almost identical. The RT hand positions are lower and narrower than the GS. The GSs mirrors work better than the RTs. The rear brake on the RT works much better than the GS.
The RT, like the ST my GF has, definitely has better rear braking. I thought they were fully linked at first.

Either bike is nice, and I definitely prefer the gearing on the RT/ST to the GS. This is why my next bike is likely to be the R1200R. Ergos of the GS, with the power and gearing of the ST/RT! (Plus it is a little shorter too!)

Thanks for sharing.

Jim
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:06 AM   #8
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Florida Rider

Thanks for sharing. Having an Adventure with cruise and a GT has diminished my desire for the RT, tho' admittedly, wonder about it now and then. I have test ridden one multiple times and I can honestly say it's quick, handles well, can be well-appointed, and IMO is a better tourer than the GT or the LT.

I unloaded my LT after having the GT for quite a while deciding that I was tired of the 'heavy' LT and more in favor of a lighter, sportier, bike. Besides, the LT just wasn't getting any riding time at all. Living in FL I can appreciate your comments re: GS type roads...they exist somewhere I'm sure, but I haven't made the effort to find them. I'm sure they exist. Which of course brings me back to why I even replied to this thread.

The GS/GS Adventure I'm sure lights up the imaginations of many, but allow me to speak for myself, that the RT just did not for me. The RT's lines are superb, the fit/finish is superb, the touring aspects of the bike magnificent, but it just didn't light up my face as does the Adventure and the GT. I'm very happy for you as it's truly a magnificent bike and seems for your intended purpose the perfect bike.

Best of luck and safe riding. Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Bug
Beautiful picture - where is that?
+1!

Where dat?

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Old 08-10-2007, 06:30 AM   #10
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I looked at and test rode the RT before I bought the GS.
IT is a very nice bike but to me,after riding a Triumph Sprint ST for 4 summers, it felt heavy and ungainly on a tight twisty road.
I will say I would love to have one in addition to my GS though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMR71
It all came down to one thing:
I dont think this kind of place is much of a issue for an RT, i rode my former GL1200 on much worse piece of gravel road than the above one.

e.g. the hereunder one was not among the worse.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:50 AM   #12
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Me fall down on RT on sandy road tight turn going about 3 mph (late afternoon, deep rut filled with soft sand in shadow of tree).

Me crack rib, scrape elbow.

RT parts $2700, including, IIRC, $600 for the sub-frame that holds the fairing/windshield/instruments.

Me ride RT on sand and gravel no more.

wide open screwed with this post 08-10-2007 at 07:58 AM
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wide open
Me fall down on RT on sandy road tight turn going about 3 mph.

Me crack rib, scrape elbow.

RT parts $2700, including, IIRC, $600 for the sub-frame that holds the fairing/windshield/instruments.

Me ride RT on sand and gravel no more.
You should blame your Gardian Angel for been on holidays that day

BTW, even with my GS i do not like sandy road
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Bug
Beautiful picture - where is that?
North of Mackay Resevoir off HWY 93 in ID.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wide open
Me fall down on RT on sandy road tight turn going about 3 mph (late afternoon, deep rut filled with soft sand in shadow of tree).

Me crack rib, scrape elbow.

RT parts $2700, including, IIRC, $600 for the sub-frame that holds the fairing/windshield/instruments.

Me ride RT on sand and gravel no more.
At least you can 'depart' the 'scene' and blame it on the bike . . . how about a poseur like me with a farkled out GS Adventure, dropping the bike and then having no one to blame but MYSELF. Now that would be embarrassing!!! But then again, what the Adventure Riders chalk up as 'badges of courage' those scuffs and cracks on an RT will be chalked up as a lousy rider! I'm with you...sand sucks!
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