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RT to GS to RS am I regressing?

Discussion in 'R1200RS Versus The Competition' started by Braap!, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. buransche

    buransche Member

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    Well, any comparison (brief or otherwise) must start with the elephant: the lack of a telelever. With that initially out of the way, as similar as the RT, GS, and RS appear at first glance, they are genuinely different tools. They each manifest very different aspects of what is a very similar drivetrain.

    I loved the RT for its protection and comfort on the longer haul and the droning on of the twin. It never felt stressed and it inspired confidence that it would just never give up. That said, these were some of the same manners that led me to feel a bit disengaged with the bike. It was so capable that there was a sense that the bike was taking you along for the ride.

    Enter the GS. I was fully expecting a similarly comfortable and capable ride to the RT. That it certainly was, but the "engagement" that I was searching for may have gone just a bit too far. The protection was reduced and in its place was a noisy, hot lump between my legs. The roar from the tires echoing up through the bike was numbing. Even with all of that, there was still a bit of a disconnected feel that I could not quite place.

    Finding myself in a bit of the old "porridge too hot, porridge too cold" scenario, I had a whack at the RS. Well, where have you been all of this time? Instantly at home like so many bikes from my past! Comfortable, capable, confident, and hey! I am in control of this thing with excellent feedback from the suspension. Hmmm, this feels like an old pair of shoes but in a modern, up-to-date package! This is what I have been searching for!

    And now we are back at the elephant. The telelever, while doing exactly what it was supposed to, had reduced my sensory involvement. Now that I understand that and can approach any of the mentioned bikes with that knowledge, ummm ... experience, I am good with it. I can fully appreciate all of them for what they do or don't do. Might the RS be the bike that I should have tried first? Perhaps, but then I may not have tried the RT or the GS. Regret only lives when one settles and I have no problem recommending any of them. In fact, I am sure I will have more of them in the future. Now, about that K1600...
     
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  2. James Bagley

    James Bagley Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, the RS has the best steering of all the 1200LCs...even better than the R1200R (even at 90 mph). The USD forks are part of the reason...more weight on the front wheel and the aerodynamic downforce of the fairing are the others. Though I've always admired the engineering of the Telelever, I prefer the superb feel of the conventional forks. Also, at 520 lbs, the RS is right in the sweet spot weight-wise. I went to the dealer looking to buy an RT, but the ReiseSport captured my heart. Calling it a sport-tourer really doesn't say enough about just how good it is...
     
  3. Braap!

    Braap! Member

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    Funny- originally, this was my little blurp about being somewhat "fickle" about bike choices. I myself - almost pulled the plug on the big K too! and if I had a big bag of money buried in the back yard, I probably would have. I owned one of the famous Honda CBX's back in the day - A beautiful red 1979 model. I wish I still had it in the garage. I made a "franken-pipe" for it out of a DG 6 into 1 header, and then grafted a Youshimura tail cone on the back - it was such a sweet sounding 6! My test ride from the now defunct Mamba Motorsports store in Santa Clarita consisted of a loop thru Bouquet Canyon - over to Castiac Lake road - and that gave me plenty of time to figure out that the big girl is surprisingly agile for a 700 + pound rig in the twisties. It comes down to personal tastes and the thickness of the wallet - and the tolerance level of the Little Misses. I'd love to have both - flip a coin to see which one to ride today!
     
  4. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    Everyone of you guys are right on the money with your overall descriptions and insights about the RS as well as the other moto's mentioned. I had to chuckle at Buransche's description of the GS. (So spot on),,

    Tomorrow I guess I'll find out how the big 6 feels between the legs and under the bum. I doubt I'll be disappointed in any way.

    I do fear if I were to dispose of my RS, I would sorely miss that machine. IMHO,, It has got to be one of the most tactile and energizing bikes to ride,, er ,,, should I say operate. You don't sit atop the thing and just log miles. Rider input is required, that's why I really love the machine. On a fast twisty stretch of road it is pure magic. And never disappoints.

    And when I said "Inept" I was in fact referring to the wind protection. But geez,, A guy would be a silly fool if he couldn't see that even before a test ride was taken. What part of "Sport / Touring" in the vehicle description can be misinterpreted....

    My wife as well as my friends would probably ridicule me if my garage only housed BMW moto's, Hell,, I'd give myself a hard time if I only had machines of one manufacturer in the shed. I can't stand a "FanBoy" if ya'll know what i mean,,,LOL!!

    I don't think I'll be parting ways with my beloved RS anytime soon.
    Hate to say it,,, But maybe it's time to part ways with my KTM1190R ?

    Jeff
     
  5. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    Brimstone,
    So correct sir, so correct..
     
  6. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    One of the BMW Club members was kind enough to allow me a spin on his 1600. Thanks Barry!! It is a beautiful bike, lovely seating, wonderful fairing, all the mod-cons I was able to think about (and probably dozens more that I did not recognise.) The smoothness of the power, and huge amount of it can't fail but to impress. Around the city, you really can't do much with it. It is just too damn fast. It was a much more refined and torquey bike than my old Kawasaki KZ-1300 (fuel injected model). The KZ was peaky. It ran a 0 to 100 k time in the same as 100 k to 160 k. It might have even been faster up to 160, but launching it was a challenge and I had to give it credit for my lack of skill. If I were touring with a pillion as my main use of a bike, the big K 1600 would be a better bike than the RS, but then so would the RT. The RS is, effectively, the UJM of the 21st century. It does everything. It is beautiful. It is practical. It is so refined and it feels so good.
     
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  7. Braap!

    Braap! Member

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    I forgot to mention something here, If you are serious about the big K, be sure to test ride both the GT (sportier version) and the GTL Luxo-Cruser - there is a surprising difference between the two models. The GT features a shorter height windshield, taller seat, higher foot pegs, a shorter reach (you're leaning further forward) handlebar casting, fewer "bells & Whistles" and two additional small exit holes in the mufflers that give it just a tad more sound. The GT would be more similar to yer RS. The GT is noticeably more nimble in the canyons. On the other hand, the GTL is a Big Comfy Mile Eating Couch with much better wind protection that you sit "in" and Momma can pretty much fall asleep on the back with the passenger armrests down and she wont fall off. There is a couple thou price difference too. Personally, I'd go with the GT. Happy Hunting!
     
  8. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    The dealership doesn't have a GTL. The bike I'm test riding is the GT. The manager is kind enough to let me have it overnight, just like he did when I bought my RS. The bikes sell themselves.

    A bit off topic,, I was at another BMW dealership in the area, a young sales manager started putting his foot in is mouth (I should have put a boot in his ass) by running down my KTM 1190 R. Said the GS is so far superior to the KTM,, I jumped down his throat, Said I didn't come in to argue about what bike is better. I just wanted to look at a K bike.
    Needless to say. even if the price would be a few hundred $ better, No way would I buy a bike from that dealership ever,

    I'll ride the extra hundred + miles to go to a dealership where the customer is respected.

    JS

    I'm excited to ride the big 6 cylinder. Just a few more hours.
     
  9. Braap!

    Braap! Member

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    I've been to dealerships where the sales person trash-talked any brand other than what they are selling. I've also been to places to where I knew more about the bikes than they did! Hey! - go into a Harley dealership and ask the "tatted" sales bro what he thinks about BMW . . .
     
  10. SauRoN

    SauRoN Well-Known Member

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    I can only dream to still be riding at 76.
     
  11. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    UpDate,,,
    I rode the 2016 K1600GT home today, a 60 mile one way ride and although the bike is very nice. It's not an RS.
    Not that I wasn't impressed. The K bike is fantastic. Power, comfortable (Ergonomics wise), very responsive engine performance.
    Not that I won't own the big six cylinder someday, I'm just not going to give up my RS to do so.
    The K1600GT is a really nice bike. But after owning my RS for a year it just didn't quite put the grin on my face the RS does.
    It handles superb, it will bend off a tight corner with ease. I like the way it just lopes along effortlessly at triple digit speed.
    I'm going to spin it about for another day and enjoy this magnificent machine.
    I'm just not going to forfeit the RS to own one..

    Jeff
     
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  12. terry847

    terry847 Active Member

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    Don't forfeit the RS, keep it and by the 1600! I have both and ride the one I feel like riding or is most appropriate for the ride/trip. 60 miles is not enough to cement an impression. I bought my 1600GT without a test ride and have not regretted it. I took an RS for a 30 mile test ride and was not overly impressed with it but bought one anyway. I have not regretted that decision either. Love both bikes for what they are. Both are sport tourers but obviously one is more touring oriented while the other is more sport oriented. I have had both bikes on the Dragon and while the RS handles that quite technical road better for obvious reasons, the GT will hustle through almost as well.
     
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  13. Strommer

    Strommer Active Member

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    The 1600 is way too much bike for me. Six cylinders, for what? If I wanted a full out touring bike it would be a new RT, but I wanted a bike that filled the niche between that and the naked R. The RS is perfect but I wish I cold have found a base model. I hate paying for things I don't need or use.
     
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  14. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    K Bike Update.
    After test riding the K1600GT Sport for 2 days, I returned it to the dealership and rode my RS home.
    The K Bike started to grow on me but I'm still not convinced that its worth trading the RS.
    Oh, the GT is fast, smooth, and easily eats up the miles.
    But the first thing I noticed as I pulled away on the RS, the RS felt so much lighter and agile. So easy to maneuver and get thru traffic.
    I'm not saying that the K bike is a really hard bike to manage, it is not. It's very easy to move thru traffic considering how big the bike is.
    I started to really enjoy the K1600GT and see how wonderful a machine it is on the way back to the dealership and we started talking numbers to trade / purchase. But for now the RS is staying in my possession, to enjoy and ride the wheels off of.
    BMW made such a fantastic motorcycle in the R1200RS,,, It really is a neat moto for so many reasons.

    JS
     
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  15. runnerhiker

    runnerhiker Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I spent half a day on a K1600 GT a few weeks ago when I had my RS in for the 12k service, it's the 3rd time I take this demo bike for a ride. I, too, find it growing on my every time I ride it, but not enough to buy it. They have this demo on sale now for $21K - too much bike, too much money. I wish they would come out with a new K1300S with cruise control - less bike, less money, less weight.
     
  16. terry847

    terry847 Active Member

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    Ah, but the power and smoothness of that big 6 is so addicting! Ya get such a rush when ya roll it on! I do love my RS for what it is and what it can do, but I love my GT for the same reasons.
     
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  17. daesimps

    daesimps Member

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    Similar here. 12 GS -> 13 RT -> 15 GS -> 17 RS.
     
  18. wantajustride

    wantajustride Member

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    Well,,
    I kept the RS (No surprises there) and bought the K1600GT!
    I've put over 1,100 miles on it in the week I've had it know. It's getting familiar to me by now and though it's not the nimble RS, it is still a moto that can be ridden very quick thru the fast twisty stuff we have here in Colorado.
    The motor doesn't seem to mind loping along at 2,500 rpm or spinning at 6,000. It feels a tad heavier than the RS at slow speeds in parking lots, but that's to be expected.
    After riding the GT for the last week, getting on the RS was sublime. It felt so light and so nimble. I'm glad I didn't trade it off. I still think the RS is one amazing machine.
     
  19. terry847

    terry847 Active Member

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    Good on ya! Now you have the best of both worlds! You will not regret having both. As I said, each has its merits and I love each for those merits. I had the RS down in Eureka Springs for the RS ride-in this spring and enjoyed riding it on those roads. I just returned from another trip down there with my riding buddy, but this time I took the 1600GT. It handled those roads almost as well as the RS but was much more comfortable on the 560 mile 1 day trip each way down there. And I had a radio to listen to.
    Enjoy both bikes for what they are and what they can do.
     
  20. lacemi

    lacemi Member

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    Rt tourist and confortable. Rs more racing and less confortable, charge arms and leg because the foot near to body. Gs is polivalente and less confortable for passenger.I prefer gs adventure for travel because is best for wing and more gasoil.
     

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