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2015 R1200GS Trophy Edition

Discussion in 'R1200RS Versus The Competition' started by SauRoN, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. SauRoN

    SauRoN Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    James Bagley and Richard230 like this.
  2. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the different feel of Telelever.
    It was utterly trustworthy for me over the 15 years I rode it.. It took no time at all to adapt to the telescopics on the RS and it feels more direct and feels trustworthy. The RS set up is better.
     
  3. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    Most 2016 bikes will be Euro 3 but if you were having a bike made to order you could ask for Euro 4 spec as a no cost option. My RS is a 2016 bike but as it was showroom stock I have a Euro 4 spec bike.
    It's easy to tell Euro 4 bikes in the UK/EU as they have hideous side reflectors on the forks.
     
  4. SauRoN

    SauRoN Well-Known Member

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    Yeah mine is Euro 3 for sure.

    I was just wondering if the GS would have had a different set of treehugger regulations to alter the power delivery so much? Or is it purely just by design.

    I didn't feel that 2000-3000 rpm surge at all on the GS.
     
  5. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    of course, I meant my bike is the older Euro 3 spec. - it gets a yellow #2 Cr't Air Sticker in France. My newer Triumph is Euro 4 and gets a purple #1 sticker. I can ride around the centre of Paris, Lyon & Grenoble without restriction on the Triumph as it emits less pollution than a sparrow.
     
  6. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    I have heard that the RS has better low-end torque than the GS due to a different air-box design. I have ridden them both and, while I can't confirm that difference is due to the air-box, I do agree that the GS feels a bit more sluggish at low RPM than the RS.
    I have owned several bikes with Telelever suspension, and I have to tell you that once you get used to it you'll find it works very well. Compared to the RS, steering on the GS requires less effort, and I think the light steering is what makes it feel like you can't tell what the front end is doing as well as you can on the RS. With the RS, you can feel the steering lighten up immediately when the front wheel looses some grip. On the GS, the steering is so light all the time that the change in effort, when traction is low, is harder to discern. On the other hand many years of experience on bikes with Telelever tells me that you can trust the front end, even if it doesn't feel like you expect it to.

    One of the things that makes me think lightness of steering effort is at least partially responsible for the lack of feel for the telelever on the GS is that the steering on S1000XR feels just as light, and lacks feel just as much as the GS, even though the XR has a conventional fork, very much like the one in the RS. I owned an XR for several months, but recently sold it, partially due to the lack of feel to the front end. I didn't feel I could push it around the corners as hard, or with as much confidence, as I can with the RS.
     
  7. SauRoN

    SauRoN Well-Known Member

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    My experience was the other way around.

    The RS has a "surge" of sorts somewhere between 2000-3000 rpm at constant throttle.

    This is missing on the GS which happily putters along. Sure it's not the same thing really as feeling sluggish but I certainly would trust the GS more at lower rpm to do what it's supposed to, and it would make sense considering it's offroad inclination.

    Didn't get a chance to test this with the GS, but my RS with the clutch out and no throttle in a parking lot is NOT a happy camper for what is supposed to be a super low torque muscle bike.

    I found the GS steering to be heavy and resistant again almost as if it had been geared, whereas the RS has a more 1:1 ratio. The wider and taller bars do give you leverage though so a case of less input with more output.

    I wonder if that doesn't relate more to both bikes being fairly tall in their geometry and carrying more weight higher up.

    Do agree though that the XR and GS felt similar in that regard, but the XR was very skittish almost like the front and rear were doing different things, but that could relate to the extra horsepower and struggling to put that down. The GS never felt unstable like the XR, just felt like it was understeering in car terms.
     
  8. edward barkan

    edward barkan Member

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    I agree that the RS has a bit of surge at low RPM in low gears, but I think it also accelerates better at low RPM than the GS does.
    I'm really surprised to hear you say that the steering on the GS is heavy. I've owned 3 GSs and a GSA and steering on all of them was lighter than on my RS. I wonder if there is something different in the steering of the Trophy edition? I've never been on one of them. Perhaps a more assertive steering damper?
     
  9. SauRoN

    SauRoN Well-Known Member

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    Well I say heavy only as compared to the RS, not heavy as a bike in general.

    The Trophy Edition doesn't have all the fancy dynamic suspension wizardry so maybe that makes a difference, but it is a lighter bike overall.

    Maybe my RS is exceptionally loose/light? Could very well relate to the tyres as well.
     

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