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Author Topic: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??  (Read 4321 times)

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Offline Skip_ZA

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BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« on: May 06, 2013, 11:34:41 am »
Hi Guys.. ;D

I have introduced myself on the forum a couple of months ago and have read countless threads and looked at the “for sale” section here...

But i am stumped on whether I should buy a 800 GS or a 1200 GSA.  :sip:

They offer different type of riding, but I’m not sure which is best suited for me.

Some background, I have never rode on a Bike the size of these mentioned ones. My daily commuter is a suuuped up BWS 101cc 2 stroke Yamaha Scooter.

P.s. Im not big on doing 200km/h on a bike, but also no granny. The BWS can only do 120km/h so that’s max for me at this stage.  :lol8:

My idea that I have in purchasing this bike is, this will be for:
1.   Work Vehicle – Daily Commuter, Business Trips etc.
2.   Ride with friends (some gravel roads not too much technical stuff)
3.   Weekend Trips with the wife (2up riding) to like Sabie, Freestate, Cape etc… touring basically.

My understanding and concerns on the above on each bike is:

800 GS:
1. Will work well for work an back, smaller and more nimble than 1200 even with panniers
2. This will work well, lighter and more manoeuvrable when riding alone.
3. This is my main concern, my wife and I are the taller versions of South Africans
a. I’m 1.9m 96kg and my wife 1.87m around 80(odd)kg
(I can’t say here real weight I’ll get shot!)

My questions are: ???
Would a weekend Touring trip be do-able on the 800GS fully loaded with panniers etc?
Or would the 800 struggle with the weight of Us and the other essentials?


My understanding and concerns on the above on each bike is:

1200 GSA:
1. Will struggle in the traffic because of its size and weight. The traffic down Atterbury road in Pretoria is quite hectic, and lane-splitting is tight! I have come across many a 1200GS that struggles to do more than 20km/h because space is tight through traffic.
2. This will work ok but not as good as the 800GS, but I reckon I could handle the same gravel roads on the GSA when riding alone.
3. This is where the 1200GSA trumps the 800GS, as weekend touring would be awesome on the 1200GSA. Even fully loaded with everything 2up.

My questions are: ???
Would the 1200GSA be worth it if I can’t lane split as easy? Fear of accident/safety and damage to other vehicles – insurance goes up.
Lane splitting is essential, no help you have a motorcycle and you still stuck in traffic!
Would the extra money be well spent in terms of the 1200GSA to the 800GS??

I’m looking at purchasing one of these motorcycles in the near future (i.e June) and would like some input from the Dogs that know…

(P.S. Also contemplating the 1200 Super Tenere as an alternative to the GSA… but that’s a whole discussion for another date…)

Thanks in advance!  :ricky:


Skip_ZA
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Offline iamgigglz

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 11:44:47 am »
Go for the 1200. The lane spitting issue is nothing compared to the added comfort/performance/confidence you'll have when touring.
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Offline Mikie

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 11:55:31 am »
Answer the question: What kind of riding will you be doing?. mainly tar roads, the occasional gravel road but nothing too bad? Or lots of gravel roads with varying surfaces, from thick sand to very rocky

The 800 is going to handle those bad off road bits way easier and better, the big pig, is just that very big and heavy, it can handle it but its hard work on you.

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Offline Draadwerk

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 11:56:15 am »
Go for the 1200. The lane spitting issue is nothing compared to the added comfort/performance/confidence you'll have when touring.

Agreed. Go big !!! 1200 is awesome. Not one day of regret on my side.

Since you and SWAMBO are bigger than most, the1200 IMHO would be better.
 

Offline Skip_ZA

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 12:01:10 pm »
Answer the question: What kind of riding will you be doing?. mainly tar roads, the occasional gravel road but nothing too bad? Or lots of gravel roads with varying surfaces, from thick sand to very rocky

The 800 is going to handle those bad off road bits way easier and better, the big pig, is just that very big and heavy, it can handle it but its hard work on you.



As i mentioned, Mostly tar i would say 80-85% and the rest Gravel roads nothing too technical.
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Offline Mikie

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 12:02:08 pm »
Answer the question: What kind of riding will you be doing?. mainly tar roads, the occasional gravel road but nothing too bad? Or lots of gravel roads with varying surfaces, from thick sand to very rocky

The 800 is going to handle those bad off road bits way easier and better, the big pig, is just that very big and heavy, it can handle it but its hard work on you.



As i mentioned, Mostly tar i would say 80-85% and the rest Gravel roads nothing too technical.

In that case Go 1200, its a fantastic long distance machine, comfortable
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Offline alwyn_gs

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 12:22:33 pm »
My 2C 1200GSA... also commute through the CBD of Pretoria, the GSA has the tendancy to make its way through it all. . . .  :peepwall: :pot:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 12:33:42 pm by alwyn_gs »
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Offline GSLaaitie

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 01:34:35 pm »
I have friends who have done some long trips on the 800GS with pillions and without complaints, but they are of a smaller brand than you and your wife. No DS bike will beat a GSA on a long tour, but an 800 is just narrower and easier to manoeuvre in slow traffic. How often do you intend to go touring? 250 days of commuting must outweigh 7 days of touring!

I haven't had too many problems of not being able to pass between cars on the BOF and when I do get stuck behind a car, they usually are quick enough to make some space. It takes a while, but as soon as you've learned the true width of the BOF, you realise that you fit in much tighter spaces that you'd think!

My recommendation would be 1200GSA, unless you're willing to wait for the 800GSA and see what that has to offer :ricky:
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Offline Skip_ZA

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 02:36:06 pm »
I have friends who have done some long trips on the 800GS with pillions and without complaints, but they are of a smaller brand than you and your wife. No DS bike will beat a GSA on a long tour, but an 800 is just narrower and easier to manoeuvre in slow traffic. How often do you intend to go touring? 250 days of commuting must outweigh 7 days of touring!

I haven't had too many problems of not being able to pass between cars on the BOF and when I do get stuck behind a car, they usually are quick enough to make some space. It takes a while, but as soon as you've learned the true width of the BOF, you realise that you fit in much tighter spaces that you'd think!

My recommendation would be 1200GSA, unless you're willing to wait for the 800GSA and see what that has to offer :ricky:

I reckon it would be about max 2 trips per month, and then a week trip about 3times a year max. Something in that line.. i wont know untill i start haveing fun on these trips...lol

So lets say its about 30-40 days max n year on tours... weekend trips... (but it could be more or could be less as well)

So its all about the commuting and if lanesplitting wouldn't be to dangerous?? or better on a 800GS?
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Offline Mikie

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 02:38:27 pm »
I commuted on my GSA for ages between Kyalami and Bryanston and I never had any issue. Lane splitting wasnt a probelm for me at all
Also did the occassional peak hour Jhb - Pta run, still no problem
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Offline zawillow

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 02:58:57 pm »
Why not take yourself and your wife down to your nearest BMW and test drive both. It won't give you the full fully loaded touring picture, but I'm sure it'll definitely give you a feel for which direction to go in. I'd go GSA, but the minister of finance is having none of it.
 

Offline Slingervel

Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 03:13:21 pm »
Like Alwyn_gs said: You'll find your way through the traffic...
I commute daily on my 1150 and I don't have any problems flowing through traffic.
I honestly don't think when you commute / tar 80-85% it would make a difference to having a 800 or 1200.
For the longer trips with the pillion, yes, get the 1200 without a doubt.

When it comes to off-road, get yourself something (smaller and lighter) you can play with.
I've only got the 1150 and want something small. Although it's an awesome bike on gravel, it sometimes can get frustrating on more technical routes and trust me, it's heavy!!

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Offline alwyn_gs

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 04:14:23 pm »
The GSA is really not that difficult to negotiate through traffic! Like GSLaaitie said the BOF can turn into tigher spots than a 800.. And the BOF is big, and if you ride with all four lights shining, people, even taxi's makes way... true story!!!

The handle bars is the widest point of the bike, the 800 - 945 mm, and the GSA - 990mm, not that much of a difference.  :ricky:

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2012models/2012-BMW-F800GS.htm

http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2012models/2012-BMW-R1200GSAdvenutre.htm
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 04:15:22 pm by alwyn_gs »
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Offline AEK

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 04:23:49 pm »
I've had both, and would also recommend the GSA.
As mentioned, You soon get used to the width.

The GSA is slightly heavier on fuel though, but with that ginormous tank, it only has an effect on your pocket.
It's comfy, and the weight is really not that much of an issue, even if your have to pick it up.. It doesn't fall flat, remember?

Overheating due to air cooling is not an issue either: I've been in Maputo in 40degC in that damn traffic. Temp came up one line, and didn't move from there.
Not even a problem in the sand.

Wind protection is much better.

Stability in crosswinds and in traffic is much better.. Just hold on..

It has standard crash bars, high screen, etc. There's very little that you need to add to it, so keep that in mind when you look at pricing.

That smaller front wheel and added weight does make thick sand a bit more difficult, but it doesn't sound like that's really on your agenda.

On power the 800GS is actually amazing. It comes very close to the 1200..
The 1200 does have a little bit more, but it tends to keep you calmer, and doesn't draw the hooligan out of you like the 800 does.

Suspension travel on the 1200(GSA) is on par with the 800, but dampening is much better in my opinion.
It keeps the wheels on the ground extremely effectively.
The bike is hugely confidence inspiring on gravel, even rough gravel.
You can simply keep on the gas and relax.. The bike does it all.
And, power slides are as easy as anything.

So, to summarize:  Buy the 1200GSA




 

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 04:33:51 pm »
Skip_ZA,

I fully understand what you are going through at the moment. I will let you into my life for e short pre-view.

I had exactly the same issues, so I bought the new spec 2013 800 GS, nice bike bla bla bla but two weeks later I realized it was not powerful enough. Now having said that, it has buckets full of power but just not to my liking and riding style (Coming from a MX background)

Three weeks later I bought a new GSA, lekker bike bla bla bla, with loads of power. Lane splitting no problem. Handling the bike sitting or standing in traffic around obstructions is 20 times easier than the 800. Much more control. Nicer on the long road and no effort what so ever on short rides, not even going to the shop on the next block.

If I only knew then what I know now I would have gone straight for the GSA.

If you still wanna go for the 800 I have a brand new one for sale with 2900 km on the clock including 35k of extras.......... :pot:

Remember bigger is not always better, but you have to accept your own riding style an adapt accordingly.  
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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 04:37:13 pm »
AEK,

Well $%^&*( Done!!!

You said it well, exactly that!!
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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 04:38:55 pm »
Height is not a problem at all. I am 1.96m tall, my wife is 1.87m and we have done a few off-road overnight trips with the F800GS without problems. (How do you fit on a BWS? ???) We often meerkat without problems. It has enough power. I like the fact that the 800 is lighter and more nimble, and of course not as expensive as a 1200. You can buy a new 800 for the price of a used Adv! They make excellent commuters, touring bikes (I did a 6500km trip in 14 days) and are good all rounders.  Worried about weight. Our combined weight + luggage exceeds 220kg - up the rear suspension pre-adjustment!

Looking for an "ou toppie fiets"? :peepwall: Go for the 1200, but if you have a life, get the 800 :thumleft: You will have a lot of time to ride a 1200 one day when you have arrived ;)
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Offline Jondu

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 04:42:32 pm »
1200 for sure you Will regret not doing that
 

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Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 04:45:58 pm »
The ideal situation, get a 800 for two days and then a 1200 for two days, then I will certainly say "see I told you so"     :pot: :pot: :pot: :ricky:
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Offline Dwerg

Re: BMW 800GS or BMW 1200GSA??
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 04:53:07 pm »
I'd have my 800 over a 1200 any day of the week but that's me. Go ride both and decide what suits you best, and while you are at it go ride the other brands too  :deal:
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