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  #1  
Old 05-18-2018, 03:50 PM
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R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I'm considering a cross country ride from PA to CA and back to PA. I'm planning on riding anywhere from a month to 6 weeks and I'm trying to decide if I should take my K16GTL or buy a R1200GS. Would like to hear some opinions on which would be the better bike for a cross country trip. For some reason I just got an itch to buy a GS but it would be a third bike and after the trip I might get rid of it. This would be a used 2017 GS, so I wouldn't take a big hit with depreciation like I would if I purchased a new GS.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:12 PM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

Never ridden either bike,but I’d pick the GS....
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:28 PM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

Doing it in 3 days GTL. But since you’re going for a month of riding. GS all the way
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:32 PM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlb
Doing it in 3 days GTL. But since you’re going for a month of riding. GS all the way

Why the GS? I'd be interested in hearing a more detailed answer if you have time to post.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:49 PM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

Taking a month to 6 weeks for the trips makes me think you plan back roads and side trips. The gs is lighter more nimble and can go places the gtl cant
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:05 PM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlb
Taking a month to 6 weeks for the trips makes me think you plan back roads and side trips. The gs is lighter more nimble and can go places the gtl cant

My intention is to see the country not just the interstate highway system so I definitely want to take backroads and see as much of the country as I can. My original plan was to go to Alaska but that option got to costly.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:10 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I would think that answer lies in the details. Like Karl said, if you are planning on stopping at many places to see the views and cruise the unpaved roads, the answer is an easy one, take the GS.
If you are knowingly doing paved only roads and planning on enjoying the sweepers and lots of highway, take the GTL.
Either way, enjoy the ride and don't be in a hurry.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:44 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I did a two month trip of the western US and Canada last summer. I bought a second hand bike (2015), rode it and sold it when done.

My bike choices were between a GS, RT or GT. I chose an RT (engine-wise it's basically a GS with Tupperware and smaller wheels), but in your case would probably choose the GS.

The RT was chosen because it was a trip two-up and my wife prefers the seating comfort and luggage capacity of the RT (and GT) over that of the GS. And I preferred the RT (and this applies to the GS too), because of the shorter wheel base, lighter weight and greater maneuverability, when compared to the GT. I also chose the RT because I've got one here and would be instantly familiar with it in new surroundings - not to be sneezed at when you are fully loaded and carrying a pillion.

We avoided interstate travel like the plague and of the 10,000 miles I don't think we did more than 700 or so on four lane roads. Our objective was to take back roads and find curves where possible. On that type of road, where road surfaces aren't always going to be ideal (though I have to admit that we didn't find any unbearable roads) the GS will give you way more flexibility and maneuverability. You may also find some areas - especially out west, where a fire road or two can take you places that you wouldn't contemplate on the GT, but will be well worth the detour.

Also, the further south and west you go, the more pick-ups and SUV's you will find. The GS has a higher seating position than the GT and gives you a greater command of your surroundings. Personally, I'm not fond of riding completely blind behind or next to some of these high vehicles, especially a jacked-up pick-up (whose driver may also not be able see you).

The GT will give you better weather protection, but if the weather out west when you go is anything like we had, you really won't be too worried about that. We mostly had temperatures 90 to over 100F, except along the coast and Canada. And in 60 days of travel we had one day - actually just a couple of hours - of rain. The rest of the time we were in scorching, sunny weather and spent our time stopping at gas stations and drenching ourselves with a hose. The RT had a bit too much wind protection at times.

One final point. If you buy a GS and have the misfortune of dropping it, the amount of damage is likely to be less (and thus have a lower impact on your resale value) than if you did the same with the GT - that Tupperware gets really expensive (no, not speaking from experience - thankfully).


If I were to do the same trip solo, I would probably choose a GS, or maybe for kicks an S1000XR or Ducati Multistrada. If I wanted more weather protection and comfort, I would pick an RT.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:07 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I traded my 1600GT for a GS a few years ago and haven't looked back. The pros and cons as I see them:

The GTL is going to be better if iron butt-ish days are on the plan. Nothing eats up transcontinental miles better than a 1600. The wind protection, comfortable position, and how comfortable it is at high speed is unparalleled. If comfort and long miles are high priority, this is your choice.

I personally prefer the luggage options much more on the GS than the 1600. Those big box panniers that are top loading are way better says I. The GS is lighter, more nimble and has just as good power:weight as the GT up to near triple digit speeds. For anything other than long days on the slab, I much prefer the GS. It's easier to maneuver around or do a 180 on a two lane road when I've missed my turn and easier to push around at a gas station to get it away from the pumps while I'm taking a break.

I've done 500 mile days on the road on the GS and it was fine. I've done 900 mile days on the GT that I wouldn't likely do on the GS. They're both great touring bikes and your dilemma is a great one to have.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:47 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I'd pick the GS as its simply more versatile than the 1600, which I think is a bit of a one trick pony, for the reasons already stated by others.

In fact if you were likely to go off road and in remote areas then I'd pick a GSA for the extra range - 30 litre tank vs 20 litre - and the extra protection if you were to suffer the misfortune of dropping it.

I've got a GSA coming in about a little over a month which I hope to ship to Argentina/Chile and ride some of the more remote areas later this year.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:10 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

GS for sure. It is a great touring bike. And if you make a route mistake that takes you off the beaten path, no big deal. When I rode out to SGR a few years ago on my K-S, there were a couple of times I wish I had the versatility of the GS because of routing. I wanted to see a few things that would have taken me about 20 miles on hard pack. I chose not to chance it on the K bike but would have no problems on the GS.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:20 AM
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Re: R1200GS or K16GTL for cross country trip

I have just gone from a GSA to the 1600GT. Just back from a 4446 km 2 week trip with the missus. She ( and now I) would prefer the GT far above the GS if it is only slab riding. It is heavier and does not get pushed around by wind, the wind protection is far better, the accommodations far easier on long rides and it has all the torque to pass just about anything in a flash. I think it will make the cross country trip much more enjoyable.
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