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Old 06-14-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
Jeffn OP
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GS vs an R

OK, there's probably another dozen threads on beemer model comparos but I have a q: how do gs's & and R model compare on the road? I just watched a vid by a guy on a gs on the 'I Love Mann' circuit blowing past everyone at 70-120mph.

I know that a gs is more desirable and an easier & more valuable at sales time. And I'm talking used here of course.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Depends which model oilhead engine. which one are you referring to? 1100? 1150? 1200?

What video is this you reference?
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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rider skillz young man oh and tires! lol

are you going to be riding track days?
Are you going to Isle of mann?

Track days, a skilled rider, any UJM , with track tires, with 100hp will eat a GS alive

The new water boxer is fast. Was that the bike? I bet it was. Still it is about 500 pounds, non-specific tires and only ~125 hp. Again it is skill and cahones when you are talking in this realm.

Have you watched much Isle of Mann? You MUST know the track. If you don't you are DEAD!

The stories of GS kicking ass .......well you do not know the rest of the story.

I have kicked some serious ass on my R11GS. But it was the rider not so much the bike. Truth be told, very few people actually know how to ride a bike well enough to remove the "chicken-strips".


What is more important, is what you enjoy riding!!!!

btw, my avatar is me on my R11GS. Tires were cold, old, not made for the street & and the street was slippery! With Street tires, I could drag parts! I am not bragging. Go attend a few race schools and C.L.A.S.S. a few times, you will have the answer you seek young "patawon"

Be careful and good luck
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
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I am guessing he is talking about Paul Young's video linked in this post.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #5
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I really love the R1200R, I've not owned one but done quite a lot of milage on rental bikes, but I find it a little bland in comparison to a GS.
I was all set to buy a R but realised for just a few more coins a month I could get a GS so went that way as I just prefer its handling, flexibility and luggage options.
For me, the R is a great bike and I prefer it's looks, but out of the 2 I always found the GS better to ride, which is sad because everyone and his dog owns a GS, the R is a little more unique.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffn View Post
OK, there's probably another dozen threads on beemer model comparos but I have a q: how do gs's & and R model compare on the road? I just watched a vid by a guy on a gs on the 'I Love Mann' circuit blowing past everyone at 70-120mph.

I know that a gs is more desirable and an easier & more valuable at sales time. And I'm talking used here of course.
Assuming you mean the RxxxxR, and you're comparing it to a GS of the same generation.

What kind of road? the 17" front wheel makes a big difference in tight, curvy roads. The R has a tad more forward lean, less wind protection, and is easier to manage at low speeds (on tarmac). The R sacrifices a bit for long distance hauling, but the result is a bike that is much more fun to flick around and (with the camhead motor, at least) feels like it has some real whoopass on tap.

More desirable? I'd never trade my R12R for a GS, but that's me.

If you leave the tarmac much, why are you even considering an R over a GS if both are in your price range?
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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In my experience the 1150Rockster handles even better than the 1150GS.

Plus the R has 17" wheels (more 17" tire selection).

The downside is carrying capacity and wind protection.

The GS can carry more with it's longer travel suspension.....

you can fit a windshield on the R, I also put Happy Trail 10" panniers designed for a 1150GS on my 1150 Rockster

The best handling 1150 was the much bemoaned Rockster, similiar wheels/suspension as the 1100S......but OH that paint job! Most of it is decals that strip off, the rest I covered with carbon fibre tape....you could get a paint job.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
def
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Seems like you should be looking for a Boxercup Replica.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
def
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racegun View Post
I have kicked some serious ass on my R11GS. But it was the rider not so much the bike. Truth be told, very few people actually know how to ride a bike well enough to remove the "chicken-strips".
This fellow knows of what he speaks.

Most bikers you meet on the road with race type bikes have never taken the MSF course, have never been on a race track and have never been to a motorcycle road race. They are mostly posers and ride these bikes because they are cheap, fast, make wicked engine noises and look cool.

I think you really want a nice 600 or liter bike, maybe a GSX or similar.

The BMW GS is a glorified farm implement....I'm turning mine into a stump grinder.

Racegun skins alligators with his.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
dmcd
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At the end of 2011, I went to buy a GS triple black, but bought an R instead. I think I started a thread like this back then. To be honest I liked the look of the R more, and it was a good bit cheaper too. It was so much cheaper that I was able to keep my Xchallenge too. Wind protection is not great.

The GS is probably a 'better' bike, I do however usually tend to buy the less sensible option.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
Jeffn OP
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Many missed the mark due to my scant posting. The 00-02 1150s is what I seek.

If I head to the Isle(not likely as the wife's ex BF lives there), it'll be on a proper road bike.

Amending my post, I'm asking if a GS is competent enough on the road to come close the road intended R as many seem to say. I like the idea of off roadability but will I ever get there? perhaps down the road a bit. I wasn't considering a GS until reading how beloved and seemingly a decent roadie it is.

And I'm mainly in flat Florida with about 9 turns between here & Georgia.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffn View Post
OK, there's probably another dozen threads on beemer model comparos but I have a q: how do gs's & and R model compare on the road? I just watched a vid by a guy on a gs on the 'I Love Mann' circuit blowing past everyone at 70-120mph.

I know that a gs is more desirable and an easier & more valuable at sales time. And I'm talking used here of course.
G'Day Jeffn,

I had a R1150R for about 2 years. I used it daily for commuting and did the odd day trip and a few 2 week trips. I bought the bike originally for the looks: I had an '02 Ferro Dakar (Yellow with blue accents). No ABS. The bike had 28,000 kms on. I added another 45,000 in the 2 years I had it. No FD issues, but I did rebuild the TB's, installed new FD and pivot bearings and had a trigger ignition failure. Other than that fuel, oil and tires.

It is a very nice bike for commuting and touring. I am 6 ft tall and did find the riding position a little cramped as I have fairly long legs. I had the sports screen on and played around with the angle a bit as it got tiring on a long day with the wind constantly blasting you on the chest. I also tried bar risers but found the more upright riding position as a result more "windy". The bike is flick able to an extent. Road manners are very good. I added a top box and system cases for touring duties.

I then bought a '02 R1150GS Adventure in January this year. Why? I always wanted one. I think it is the best looking GS built to date. It also "fitted" me better. I feel more comfortable with the slightly more upright riding position and my legs are not so cramped. The screen is also bigger thus no more wind on the chest. My shoulder started to suffer on the "R" as a result of the shorter screen. The bike had only 9,060 kms on and have to date added another 12,000 kms. It is used for daily commuting (60 kms) and touring when time permits. I recently did a 2,500 km trip up the north coast of Australia and loved the bike on the long open road. It is a mile eater of note. I kept my panniers from the "R" and added the Alu top box.

The "R" was easier in traffic, but with the GS one can see over the traffic. The GS is also a heavier, so one needs to be sure where your feet are in relation to the ground. I get noticed more with the GS due to its bulk.

I eventually sold the "R", I just did not ride it enough. Both are fantastic bikes. I am partial to the R1150X models. I like their quirkiness and simplicity. I love the GS though!!!

Ride both, also ride the Rockster, especially if you like the slightly different colour schemes.

Cheers,

Pete
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:38 AM   #13
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Had both

Hi Jeffn,

I'm with Pietervn to some extent. Had both an R1150R (2001) and still run an R1150GSA (2002). Both non-ABS.

Took the R from 18,000 kms when I got it to 155,000 kms when I sold it. Loved every bit of it, but felt it was a touch too small for me physically, hence the GSA. I have had some fantastic trips on both bikes, and both did Iron Butt rides for me.

Really couldn't pick much between them on the roads I ride. I loved the 'overdrive' 6th gear on the R, but hated the tall 1st gear. The GSA is the dead opposite as it has a low 1st gear (love it) and a low 6th gear (hate it). The higher 500 rpm in 6th makes a big difference to fuel economy on a bigger, less aerodynamic, heavier GSA.

My R saw a lot of dirt roads. It's not well suited to gravel as it picks up many more stone chips than a GS/GSA, and the side oil coolers are more vulnerable in a spill. Planning lots of dirt? Get a GS/GSA.

My big, ugly, low-powered GSA is every bit as fast as my R was on the same 'real' mountain roads and back-country roads I ride. If I was on freeways all the time, I'd take the R. If I was primarily on rough and broken country back-roads, I take the GSA. If you plan a mix of both, the R may well be a cheaper option as it doesn't have the 'name' (and therefore price) of the GS/GSA bikes. You can save a lot of money and end up with a similar spec bike.

Hard call buddy. Either bike is a great buy if you want low-tech, simple maintenance machinery. Running costs are the same. I have never come to grips with the 1200 bikes as the front-end is too light for my liking. Lovely bikes, but I do have a soft-spot for the R1150XX machines.

Good luck with the choice, but if you are over 5'10" tall and carry some weight, I'd probably look at a standard GS with the overdrive 6th gear.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:00 AM   #14
Jeffn OP
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Fine reviews gents and welcome to the asylum Pete.

I'm a flyweight 5'10"+, maybe 160# in the shower after Thanksgiving. Long legged and 35-36" spiderman reach, shorter torso so the GS would fit better but be more of a hefer for me with a 67# variation.

My main concern was how much of an advantage does the R have on the road-a tad it sounds like. And I won't doing much offroad here in FL though we have some sand roads still in this little wealthy berg. My main use is long flat FL highways at 80mph/125kph trying to stay awake. 2 up with my 6' tall wife may occur on occasion also. And I do want non servo ABS on whatever I buy w/the flash floods in FL in summer.

Price in & out of the bikes probably are equivalent with the G being higher to buy & also to recoup and maybe a tad easier as it's so in demand. Cost factor not that big a deal-more like an investment factor. I've seen R's take months to resell while G's get all the attention-also not a big factor for me as I don't try to set Guiness records when I resell things-a nickel today is worth more than a dime tomorrow.

one other thing-I see lots of Rs with lo-miles and lots of G's with high miles so that says something.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:06 AM   #15
Gezerbike
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The GS can do everything an R can do on the street, but the R can't do everything the GS can do, and I have owned both, numerous times. I like the seating position on my GS more than on my R, I like being able to eye to eye with SUV's, I like the wind protection on the GS and the fact that you can accessorize a GS a lot easier. You are somewhat limited on carrying stuff on an R, even if it is just daily errands type stuff. Like the other BMW's in the line, you need to define just what type of real riding you are going to do before you run out and but a bike....
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