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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 18 Oct 2006
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GS1200 & multi-terrain

Hi all,
I'm looking for a bike that gets me around the city, takes me for weeks up the highway and allows me to plunge into the vast wilderness of my native Northwestern U.S.. They say the GS1200 the beast for the job. My question has more to ddo with tires than anything I suppose. how in the world is an off-road tire supposed to deliver even moderate performance in highway conditions? I ask because in all the online 'tour pictures' I never see any of the expeditions carrying extra tires. Just kinda confused about how the GS1200 rides on the highway. Is this machine all it's cracked up to be?

riding experience: dirt recreationally from 15yrs old (40 now) / 6 years street on a 650Kawa, and 1200Kawa Voyager XII

Thanks for sharing your honest experience.
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Old 19 Oct 2006
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You may want to look at the ADVrider forum. They have a lot of info on the R1200GS
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Old 19 Oct 2006
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Agree with mollydog. Get a DR650.

If you want to travel 3000 miles on highways two up with camping gear you rather go by car and take the bike with on a trailer. Use the bike where it makes sense (commuting and in town and in the bundu).

There is no bike that works well on highways with luggage, in town and on dirt roads.
Íf you try to get everything in one bike you will end up with something crushing you at the bottom of that steep downhill and too much of a pain to manouver through a traffic jam or something great fun on dirt and in town but bum shattering on the highway.
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Old 20 Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by lecap
Agree with mollydog. Get a DR650.
Or a F650GS. Or a Kawasaki KLR650. Or, really, any 400cc-686cc single, all of which are much better suited for rough duty than a big GS.

If you want to travel 3000 miles on highways two up with camping gear you rather go by car and take the bike with on a trailer. Use the bike where it makes sense (commuting and in town and in the bundu).
Now now. A big GS is fine for that, as long as you don't leave gravel roads. Yes, it'll sink into mud faster than the Titanic on crystal meth and is not the bike to take onto single-track dirt bike paths. But as long as you're on well-drained gravel roads, it'll handle cruising 3000 miles two-up on highway then pitching a tent in a remote spot just fine. Just said remote spot probably should be very close to aforementioned gravel road!
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Old 21 Oct 2006
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I did nearly 40,000 miles on my R1200GS before trading for the Adventure version, all but 5,000 miles was on TKC80 tyres which (in my humble opinion) are fine for road use, albeit not as long lasting as Tourances. I don't carry spare tyres with me, even though some of my trips are over 5000 miles (e.g. UK to Morocco and back).

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Old 24 Oct 2006
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According to my experience you should be a bit careful with packing the F 650 GS together with KLR, DR and the like for the following reasons:
The F 650 GS is set up quite similar to the R1200GS (just lighter :-)

The suspensions are not happy on rough dirt roads. A bit too hard, not enough negative travel (because of not enough overall travel) The whole bike is set up as a middle class tarmac tourer with top speed stability for the European market. The small front wheel makes availability of knobblies / semiknobblies a problem.
The F 650 Dakar is a bit better with regards to tire availability but also loses due to hard springing and damping. The bike is very high and heavy (without gimmicks it's already heavier than the army tank KLR650).

Both BMW 650 GS and Dakar are too showy for rough tracks. They look better than a DR or KLR in front of a café but they also break a lot easier if you dump them down a slope.
The KLR gets criticism for being soft but as long as it's not heavily loaded this gives you good performance and control on bad terrain. Both DR and KLR pay for dirt road performance with less high speed stability on tarmac but I've been throgh some hectic stuff like soft sand, soaked clay roads, rivers and rocky scrambles with them which would have been very nasty with one of the 650 BMW's.

I did not say get only a DR650. Obviously the combination DR650 + BMW R1200GS would be very nice :-)
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