Bit of a copy and paste from the weekend. Does anyone happen to know if there is a EU 2/3/4 emissions difference between the 2015 GS and 2016 RS? ***** So I finally rode the almighty and much lauded R1200GS Trophy Edition properly today thanks to a mate of mine. I rode a GS many moons ago when much less experienced and I think still air cooled and not very far at all. Going into it the motivation was really just to compare some oddities with my own bike that has the same Engine, Brakes, Clutch and Gearbox before the 20,000km service and end of warranty. So I expected it to be much the same thing really with just the sitting position being different. What a massive surprise then to find that the two bikes are completely different. The clutch and gear lever action are about the closest thing but even those aren’t exactly the same. Where mine feels very far apart and more clicky between gears the GS feels almost spongy although closer together. Granted I’m used to the quick shifter and did mostly clutched changes here but when riding home used the clutch on mine a bit more and it’s quite different. The real surprise is the difference in handling between the Telelever on the GS and conventional but dynamic suspension on the RS. I had absolutely no idea what the front end was doing and there is almost like a step where it’s either up right or feels like it’s about to let go. Sure it’s also a case of road tyres vs semi offroads but I’m pretty sure most of it relates to the lack of dive. Under braking the way it squats is also weird but it doesn’t throw you off from a perception of stopping point of view. Oddly the GS feels smaller than the RS. There is less going on in front of you and the nose seems shorter. Standing up and leaning forward I couldn’t see the front tyre at all so it’s tucked in closer to you and I think you sit more on the front wheel than between them. Quite sure the GS wheelbase is shorter but would need to check that later. Interestingly it didn’t feel as super comfort couch as I expected from a pure seat vs soft suspension point of view. I do believe the non-Trophy versions might be sprung a bit softer though. The Mirrors I klapped with my hand more than once as they are right in your face where I’ve become very accustomed to having them forward mounted on the fairing. Didn’t adjust them for my preference but they seems very close together compared to mine. Aerodynamically it’s much the same up to about 150km/h then it becomes quite apparent that the RS has the advantage and will throw another 30km/h on top of that to get similar resistance. For two identical engines the fuelling system differences are quite quite staggering. The GS is very low torque of idle and pretty linear up the revs. The RS is a bit dead right off idle and picks up properly from 2500rpm or so but feels almost like a turbo engine in power delivery terms. I do suspect the tree huggers may have something to do with the engine differences as it’s a 2015 vs 2016 but will need to check on that. Following the RS on a particular stretch I simply couldn’t get to trusting the GS into corners. I can only liken it to understeer on a car but that’s not quite the right description. It literally feels like there is a sponge or elastic stuck around the forks that prevents you from steering. It never feels dangerous really but the confidence to push it a bit simply wasn’t there. In contact I found the F800GS very quick to jump on and ride almost at full tilt. I’ve always read that the telelever takes some getting used to but didn’t expect it to be this hectic. It would take me weeks to settle into this and even then I’m not sure I could ever trust it completely. Jumping back on the RS, which isn’t an uncomfortable bike in the slightest, I suddenly felt like my knees were around my ears and the bike was super narrow. Can’t say I felt like I was on my wrists exactly but the steering geometry is crazy different. However as always jumping on your own bike feels like home and I felt I had control back immediately and was easily keeping up with the GS at a decent pace without having to try too hard. In fact I could have passed quite happily but wasn’t really in a racing mood. The grips on the standard BMW setup are stupidly thin. My Grip Puppies make a massive difference there and I can’t imagine going without them. All in all it was actually pretty astounding how the bikes differ and I now understand why some owners would have more than one Boxer engined bike because it isn’t really the same thing at all.