Reply To: Requesting Advise on Buying a GS

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Jeff H

Hi Larry,

Some quick bullets:

  • R1200GS/A boxer bikes are easier to pickup than the F800GS because they don’t lie flat. So even though the F800’s look lighter they are harder to pickup. Also, with lower CG the 1200’s are quite balanced off-road.
  • The GS version is lighter and lower to the ground, so it may be easier to ride off-road. If you are taller then the GSA has 1″ more suspension travel, but is heavier. I think 2010 or 2011 the GSA came with lower enduro 1st gear.
  • Spoke wheels are nice option independent of GS or GSA version. They are less likely to crack than the cast wheels.
  • For adventure riding the Vario bags are not quite as durable or fall resistant. Metal panniers and adventure racks are a plus. Also, you can put soft luggage on the adventure racks, which can be added to the GS version. However, the GS bikes with the vario bags do not have these racks
  • I mentioned in the other thread that the 2010 to 2013 GSA’s (2010-2012 GS’s) are smoothest engines of the oil cooled variety. Any of the 2006-2009 bikes would be okay. The 2007 got updated ABS, and the ’08-’09 have updated engines and body work
  • If you are doing more touring and less off-road then the GSA is a really nice bike.
  • Yes, spoke wheels (+$1000), metal panniers (+$1000) and adventure model (+$1000) are all nice options. If off-roading you will need crash bars on the GS model (+$400).