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How would you guys compare the two bikes? I am well aware that is like comparing apples to oranges but I need one's honest opinion as I am all confused and don't know which bike would serve me best. I am not all bent out of shape on doing a lot of off road riding, so that aspect is not really significant to me. I am thinking more in terms of reliability, comfort,etc What do you guys think? Why should I buy a Goldwing? Or maybe I should consider buying the beemer instead?
 

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The BMW equivalent to the Goldwing is the K1200LT. Very comparable.

The GS Adventurer would be more appropriate if you are planning to ride without a passenger on rough roads.

The GW or LT would be more comfortable, especially with 2-up...as long as you are on good roads.
 

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How would you guys compare the two bikes? I am well aware that is like comparing apples to oranges but I need one's honest opinion as I am all confused and don't know which bike would serve me best. I am not all bent out of shape on doing a lot of off road riding, so that aspect is not really significant to me. I am thinking more in terms of reliability, comfort,etc What do you guys think? Why should I buy a Goldwing? Or maybe I should consider buying the beemer instead?
It sounds to me like you aren't ready to make a selection. These two bikes are light years apart in what they are designed and built to do. Have you test ridden either or both? If you are tall enough to comfortably mount a GS Adventure, you will find the GL1800 riders position cramped.
 

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i am a huge 1200gs fan, and i am just too cheap to buy one

cost of ownership on the bmw is very high

extremely high in fact

scheduled maint is frequent and very costly

comfort isnt what a wing would be

but , if you want to get off the pavment and want a tough performer, the bmw 1200gs is the ticket

this is similar to the question to compare a cj5 jeep with a lincoln mark 9

two different things, each nearly perfect for their intent
 

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i am a huge 1200gs fan, and i am just too cheap to buy one

cost of ownership on the bmw is very high

extremely high in fact

scheduled maint is frequent and very costly

comfort isnt what a wing would be

but , if you want to get off the pavment and want a tough performer, the bmw 1200gs is the ticket

this is similar to the question to compare a cj5 jeep with a lincoln mark 9

two different things, each nearly perfect for their intent
The GS Adventure that the OP mentioned is even farther removed from a GL18 or a K12LT.

Yes. BMW scheduled maintenance is expensive if performed by a dealer. On the other hand, BMWs are relatively easy to service if one is moderately handy with tools.
 

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The only BMW GL equivalent I know of is the LT.

For comfort and features they're fairly close.

I've been lusting after a dual sport for a couple of years and the GS/A is on my short list. I'd have pulled the trigger except for a few things:

> Warranty - far better on the Honda

> Dealer Network - Honda outshines BMW in North America, but BMW is probably in more countries and remote locations worldwide than Honda

> Final Drive - there are some disturbing, well documented, reports of final drive failures and BMW's reluctance to either fess up, pony up, or fix.

> Riding Area - I spend most of my time on paved roads. That's a given here in Florida. However, if I were living in an area where great non-paved roads were begging to be ridden, the GS/A or something similar would be in the garage.

> Comfort - The LT and GL are fantastic for that. Great ergonomics, good features, and comfort. If you're carrying a passenger then the GL wins.

> Handling - for the twisty's the GS/A has it all over the GL. It's got more ground clearance and therefore can be ridden more aggressively. It's top heavy, as opposed to the GL being bottom heavy, so it does take some practice and attention, in the tight curves. The 6-speed and lighter weight also make it quicker.

> Gear and Gizmos - BMW has the advantage over Honda on this if you're not into chrome.

Bottom line: If I were in an area where dirt becon's, it was less than hard packed or rock infested, and that was something I wanted to explore more than rarely, I'd have the GS/A. Whether it was the Adventure model or the GS is something I'm still debating.
 

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i am a huge 1200gs fan, and i am just too cheap to buy one

cost of ownership on the bmw is very high

extremely high in fact

scheduled maint is frequent and very costly

comfort isnt what a wing would be

but , if you want to get off the pavment and want a tough performer, the bmw 1200gs is the ticket

this is similar to the question to compare a cj5 jeep with a lincoln mark 9

two different things, each nearly perfect for their intent
+1
Wing=Ultimate Touring
BMW GS=Ultimate Dual Sport
If you go the GS check out their new GS800. Much lighter
 

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I understand the apples to oranges question, and it is a good one.

If you like to venture off of main roads and explore, you don't want the Wing. It doesn't do well off of pavement, or on extremely rough abandoned roads. The GS is built for that kind of stuff, and one of the few big bore multi-purpose bikes out there. It probably does it better than most bikes, but durability would be a main criteria for me since that kind of bike will typically get ridden in areas where a breakdown would be really bad. Adventure bikes aren't common in the US. You don't have a lot to choose from in this category. Also keep in mind that this is a big bike. It can handle rough terrain, but you aren't going to throw it around like a smaller bike.

If all of your riding will be on paved roads, I would not get an adventure bike like the GS.
Is two up a concern? Get the Wing.
Is long distance comfort a priority. The Wing.
storage? Wing.
Range? Wing

You need to list all the things you want to be able to do with the bike. The Wing is a great bike, but it can't do everything.
 

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Go ride one!

The good thing about BMW is you can test ride one. I'd love to have a GSA but have shyed away mostly because of high cost of ownership? and drive shaft failures, electrical failures and overall drop in build quality according to current owner. They say they are not what they used to be. They are built very complicated. It used to be with the air heads that you bought one and rode it trouble free forever then BMW realized owners were not coming back for service. I can't say they intentionally set out to build a more trouble prone bike but thats what they have now.
Do some research. When BMW addresses the current issues and when/if my back and hip allow, I'd love to have one.
BMW's do have great ergos for all day riding and on paper seem like the perfect bike. Not all owners have problems and many love them but I wouldn't risk my hard earned cash on one (yet)

But I gotta admit.....





Steve
 

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I understand and can really appreciate the question. I had the same one. Have ridden 1800 Wings for 8 years, but do a long distance endurance ride every year in Minnesota. Wing was a good ride, but had to stop alot more for gas than my budd with his BMW.

Looked at and test rode the R1200GS/A and still want one. So, to make sure it would be the right type of bike for me, I found an 01 R1150GS this winter with 20K miles on it. I bought it, and now am happy as a clam at high tide!!! The GS is a tall bike, so that may help make your decision.

I have the wing for luxo-cruising, and the BMW for those days that I want a different type of ride. I love the ride on the 1150GS.

Planning a trip to Alaska this summer. We were going all the way to Prudhoe Bay. The GS was making the trip, due to the 1000 miles of dirt road, and unpredictable weather. We are now only riding to Hyder, AK and all paved. So the Wing with be the bike of choice.

Suggest you ride both and decide. And if you can't decide, get a late model used bike of both models!!!! Would be about the price of a new Wing. JMHO
 

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<snip> Wing was a good ride, but had to stop alot more for gas than my budd with his BMW. <snip>
You said a mouth full. I am still slack-jawed over how much more fuel my '08 GL18 uses than the K LT that I had before! The K LT delivered from 36 to 49 depending on circumstances. I have yet to top 27 mpg with the GL18. Full disclosure. Both are trikes. Honda does such a good job with automobile fuel consumption and a poor one with m/c fuel consumption.
 

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I can go Toronto to Atlanta in one day on the GL. Forget it on a GS. It would easily be a two day trip. Can't beat the GL for slammin' down the miles on the slab with the cruise set and in comfort. Like everyone has said light years apart in what they are designed for.
 

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I can go Toronto to Atlanta in one day on the GL. Forget it on a GS. It would easily be a two day trip. Can't beat the GL for slammin' down the miles on the slab with the cruise set and in comfort. Like everyone has said light years apart in what they are designed for.
It looks like Toronto to Atlanta is about 955 miles. Considering the number of fuel stops, that would be a long day on a GL1800. <BBG>

As you and others have said, these are two very different type bikes. A K12LT would be a better choice for a roughly 1000 mile day on the superslab because of it's superior suspension, brakes and fuel efficiency, in my opinion, having ridden all three.
 

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I love BMW automobiles (3-series). Aside from their great handling and fuel efficienty, they've been trouble free over the years (going on 10 years with my last one). Not so much with BMW motorcycles. I wouldn't have a BMW bike until the company gets really serious about their quality.
 

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I rode the GS1200 where it was conceived, in the Alps. There was not a better bike for that terrain. I came home thinking I might buy one to replace the GL1500 but came to my senses when I realized I don't live in the Alps, or anything like it. In fact I live in flatland country so the Wing makes more sense to my kind of riding. I couldn't believe the seat material they used on what is supposed to be a high mileage day bike. It was very rough and even with my Aerostich suit I was squirming in just a few hours. Luckily, I had the bicycle shorts with me and using both the padded shorts and the 'Stich, it was doable. But the decision in my mind must be made on where you do the majority of your riding.
 

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I love BMW automobiles (3-series). Aside from their great handling and fuel efficienty, they've been trouble free over the years (going on 10 years with my last one). Not so much with BMW motorcycles. I wouldn't have a BMW bike until the company gets really serious about their quality.
I gave up on BMW small sedans after the E46 which actually started the migration away from what made BMW great. I only kept the E90 for about 16 months which was unheard of for me. I typically kept previous Bimmers for 5 to 8 years.

Have you owned BMW motorcycles? I ask because BMW riders are among the hardest to please on the planet. Yes. BMW has had final drive failures (3 to 4%) on the R and K bikes since the mid to late 90s. While seemingly a small percentage, it is unacceptable to long distance riders that make up the core of BMW owners. Having said that, BMW has been forthcoming even long after the warranty period for owners who have maintained the bikes in reasonable fashion.
 

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As said before, your choice depends on your majority use. If you look at the LD Rider group, they have a long history with the BMWs using both the GS and RT, and favoring the RT. On the other hand, if you look at the last Iron Butt Rally statistics, the number of BMWs that DNF'd, mainly due to rear drive failure, I am sure many are questioning why they are still riding a horse that has a tendency to roll over dead when you need it most. The BMW is an awsome LDRider weapon due to its long legs and (formerly) high reliability. Now that the latter is in question and not a given, then the bloom is off that rose. The main advantage it still has over the Wing in that arena is lighter weight. When the roads get rough or super twisty, then it takes less effort to keep a lighter bike going where you want it to go than a heavier one.

Besides that, I am completely put off by the German superiority attitude of "we know what is best for you, regardless what our customers keep telling us" BS. Their insistance that their turn signal setup is best even though the whole rest of the world thinks it is moronic is a good example. They don't want to listen to their customers? Fine. I will spend my money elsewhere. BUCK'EM (you know what I am saying).

Personnally, if I really wanted to do dirt, the GS is still too heavy to make it even remotely enjoyable on anything more than fairly smooth dirt or fire roads. Real dirt trails or trips to the back and beyond? Forget about it. Even the actor who made the "Long way Round" only chose the BMWs because they couldn't get sponsorship from KTM, the manufacturer they really wanted, and look at the troubles they ended up having with cracked welds!

I think you need two bikes dude. Maybe a 650 Suzie or other similar sized adventure bike when the spirit moves you and a Wing for all the other times when you are more sane. :thumbup:

I enjoy the heck out of getting in the twisties and keeping up with other bikes that think they are the bad ass weapons of choice on those roads. It really gets their goat when an old fat guy hauling a Bushtech trailer with the wife on the back seat won't disappear in their rear view mirror. The Wing is a VERY capable bike if you learn how to ride it to its limits. I have also taken my Wing three times out to the Pinnecles (piss poor dirt road near Trona, CA where they filmed the recent version of the movie "Planet of the Apes"). It was so rough (how rough was it?) that it busted out the filaments of the lights in my dashboard. Again, if you know how to take your Wing to its limits, it is amazing what you can do and where you can go on a Wing.

Good luck and I hope I gave you some food for thought.
 

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I gave up on BMW small sedans after the E46 which actually started the migration away from what made BMW great. I only kept the E90 for about 16 months which was unheard of for me. I typically kept previous Bimmers for 5 to 8 years.

Have you owned BMW motorcycles? I ask because BMW riders are among the hardest to please on the planet. Yes. BMW has had final drive failures (3 to 4%) on the R and K bikes since the mid to late 90s. While seemingly a small percentage, it is unacceptable to long distance riders that make up the core of BMW owners. Having said that, BMW has been forthcoming even long after the warranty period for owners who have maintained the bikes in reasonable fashion.
Let's just say the family has had a number of BMW motorcycles, all of which were quickly sold or traded due to (expensive) mechanical problems. At any given time, my family has between 7 and 14 motorcycles in all our garages, none of which are BMWs.
 

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Let's just say the family has had a number of BMW motorcycles, all of which were quickly sold or traded due to (expensive) mechanical problems. At any given time, my family has between 7 and 14 motorcycles in all our garages, none of which are BMWs.
Thanks for the clarification. :)
 
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