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Offline sirsidneyrd

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2019, 04:38:01 PM »
Could be another keyless example - just too many electronics ! 
Tiffen - splendid idea - in the lunge

Online XCaTel

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2019, 04:42:46 PM »
itchyfeet - There is a youtube vid with one of the ever increasing amount of biking 'vlogers' that are appearing on the internet. He is testing the new GS on a IronButt ride around.......

I already put up a post about that and embedded the YouTube video, just can't remember which thread. It looks/sounds like the same issue.

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2019, 04:49:59 PM »
My '04 ST1300 had a new battery that dropped a cell. While it obviously could not turn over the starter, it seemed to have no effect on the (limited) electronics on the bike when it was jump-started. I did not try to ride the bike as the fault was discovered at home in the garage, but I think that I could have ridden the bike. Not so, on today's bikes.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline Tigraid

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2019, 05:15:24 PM »
Been a while since I posted but here's my take coming from the opposite direction.

I started out on a TEX last year, covering several thousand miles including a Snowdonia and North Wales tour fully loaded.  I had the Mk1 (2014) with all the gadgets.

What I liked about the Tex was the engine....peachy smooth and powerful but not the rev happy monster some on here make out.  In fact mine got a little rough above 5,500 revs and there was little point, except for the noise it made, to rev it past that anyway.  A-road sweeping bends were great, it felt like it was on rails, one of the most planted bikes I've ridden.  Gear change was a little clunky and clutch bite made it difficult to retain as much control as on any other bike I've owned due to the clutch biting when almost fully out (before someone comes along and says all hydraulic clutches are like this, I know they're not as I've owned loads of bikes with hydraulic clutches which bite much earlier and have far greater feel).  It's as if the slave cylinder is not specified for the travel you really need to retain better control.

Cleaning the bike was a breeze and generally speaking, finish was average to good.  A few quality niggles such as the rubbish design for the spot lamps bracket which has a jointing piece in the middle....very unsubstantial and almost an afterthought.

Bar position was plain wrong for me.  Bars were too far forwards and whilst fine for off road gods who like to stand on the pegs and keep weight over the front wheel that's fine. For touring, it's not.  Even adding Rox risers, I could never get immediately comfortable.

Slow speed filtering was ok, but slow speed anything was a pain as there's no getting over how bleeding top heavy these bikes are (and remain...I have test riden the latest one and don't feel they've come that much further tbh in terms of weight distribution).  Parking in gravel car parks when loaded up was a nightmare usually requiring two of us to drag the bike out.  It really put me off the bike more than anything else, that constant unrelenting top heaviness except when you get going.


Lights were good and with a mini screen added to the standard screen, wind and weather protection I thought was excellent.  Seats were very comfy too, and I appreciated the heated grips and seats.

The frame was nice and solid, and very well thought out, especially the subframe area. Pegs were comfortable and at a good height.  Fuelling on mine was spot on and the addition of a fruity after market pipe made it sing...truly addictive!  I managed an average of over 50mpg, a best of close to 60 and a worst of mid 40's.  Really quite good with a decent tank range.

Brakes I thought were so-so, even with decent pads fitted and the dive from the front let you know in emergency braking situations just how much mass was being hauled to a standstill.  The brakes imho were not up to the job of bringing the bike to a quick enough stop and were crying out for braided hoses and sintered pads.

Loaded up, the small single track roads in Snowdonia, riding around many up and downhill hill tight hairpins was hair raising.  The bike needed wrestling around every tight bend at low speed and I kept thinking that it was a question of when I was going to drop the bike and not if.  I didn't enjoy those roads on the Tiger one little bit except when free of the loaded panniers.

Reliability on mine was pretty good.  I had the odd stutter (two or three times over a few months) where the engine would die at a junction inexplicably when slowing down but it started again straight away and never repeated the issue again.

So good bits....high speed handling, the engine, economy, seat comfort, load capacity, weather protection.  The bad bits...the weight, slow speed handling, brakes, some areas of finish (front of engine casing had corroded in several places).

I then did what many slagging off the GS on here haven't yet done.  I took a test  ride on several different bikes (2015 and 2016 models).  There 2015 bike was a standard GS TE spec, no luggage.  Good bits, felt slimmer than the Tiger, WAY better low speed stability and ease of handling (it really felt like a middleweight bike and was very easy to manoeuvre), and what I wasn't expecting, which was a truly amazing engine.  Low speed grunt is immense.  Acceleration to three figures would have bettered the Tiger (well, mine at least),  Handling was flickable, rock steady and with zero dive under braking due to the telelever front.  Engine noise was actually quite roarty from the standard pipe and I thought was plenty fruity enough without changing it.  Overtaking was even easier than on my Tiger.  The thing just pulls from any gear at any speed but 3rd or 4th can be quite explosive!  Instant shove.  I simply wasn't expecting it to be anywhere as good given all the negative comments about "no character" across several forums.  That's nonsense....the GS has plenty of character and is gruntier than a pig fed on beans...loved it.

The not so good bits:  I didn't think that the finish was any better than the TEX...in fact in places, it was worse.  No undercoat on paint and several chips on the frame revealed this.  If you weren't used to the grunt, setting the bike up into dynamic engine mode could have you lose control very easily in the first few gears with anything other than a whiff of throttle...response is instant.  Feedback and feel from the front tyre is masked by the telelever system. Instead you have to trust that there's grip there and that is un-nerving but I'm sure can be gotten used to.  Fuel economy seemed worse than the TEX over a 50 mile run by at least 5mpg.  Price....these things are imho over priced given some of the reliability and corrosion issues they've suffered.  Seat height....I only have a 31 inch inseam and the 34 inch seat height was definitely tip-toe territory but at least the low CoG and balance made it way less of an issue than the TEX.

Second test ride was on a full blown 2016 GSA.  All the toys and then some and all worked.  That engine was a peach...smooth, and reassuringly powerful and this barge could shift like you wouldn't believe.  I actually had a fit of giggles wringing the throttle open to keep with some sports bikes on a b-road with this behemoth planted to the road and running on rails. It had no bother keeping up...none.  I felt that there was a little shaft drive vibration coming through at certain revs in 3rd and 4th but they weren't too intrusive.  Transmission was no-where near as smooth TEX which just felt indestructible.  Quickshifter was brilliant, especially in downshifts where it automatically blipped the engine on the down-change!  Sounded ace too.

Best bit though was the sheer comfort.  Seat was sumptuous, ergonomics, unlike the TEX were nigh on perfect...truly the most comfortable motorcycle I've ever had the pleasure of riding. Traction control was less intrusive than the triumph too, and liked brakes were great.  Slow speed manoeuvring was a doddle. even with the 35inch seat height and extra 35mm of suspension travel over the standard bike.  Tank was a massive 30 litres.  Brakes were also excellent and way better as standard than the TEX ones.  Reassuringly powerful and with great feel and bite.

I also test rode the 2018 TEX and the latest 2019 one.  I felt that the Mk 3 was the first significant upgrade over the Mk1 and loved the TFT screen and truly superb wind protection.  I did not however like the top heavy feel which remained and thought that the TFT had brought with it far too many distractions and buttons to press.  Was it worth upgrading my Mk1 for?  Didn't feel any livelier or more comfortable and in all honesty I though that whilst the suspension was a definite upgrade, it wasn't night and day for me.  Best deal I could get meant handing over more than 8K plus my bike for the Mk3 and frankly, that wasn't worth it imho.

I went back to the GSA I'd test ridden to find that it had a grands wort of aluminium Touratech hard luggage thrown in and took it for another test ride.  The comfort and reassuring low speed stability plus more sophisticated suspension, better brakes and frankly a belter of an engine swung it for me and to my surprise, what started out as a test ride to just reassure myself that the GS was over-hyped back fired spectacularly and I now have that very GSA in the garage with no regrets, except one....how long before I'll need to shell out on something going wrong, but you know what?  It's almost worth the risk!

Bad bits....transmission vibration in some revs/gears, crap clocks which you could hardly read, lack of front tyre feel, difficult and time consuning to clean and clean it you must as left to their own devices, any corrosion setting in could spell disaster with these.  Mine has 15K miles on it and looks showroom all save for a very slight bit of corrosion under one of the headers but by and large is in better nick than my 2014 TEX was.  I'd go back to a TEX in a shot if the rpice were right and they ever sorted the weight distribution but given that it is what it is, that's unlikely to ever happen and that's a great shame as I so much wanted to stay with Triumph.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 05:34:12 PM by Tigraid »

Offline jaiyenyen

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #84 on: March 05, 2019, 05:58:12 PM »
I would say this is a very good and honest review. I test rode a gs and found it very grunty especially at low speeds, better for off road for sure. I do find the tex a little high geared for slow riding on trails. What I did not like was the bike moving side to side while stopped and revving the engine, just felt wrong to me. A trait of the boxer engine. In the end the tex just felt like the bike for me and I have no regrets. I do believe the gs is a great bike and I could possibly own one but i would have a problem with being labelled a bmw rider. i am generalizing here but most of the people riding bmw where I live are a certain breed if you know what I mean although that is not the bikes fault.

Offline Tigraid

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2019, 06:37:04 PM »
*Originally Posted by jaiyenyen [+]
I would say this is a very good and honest review. I test rode a gs and found it very grunty especially at low speeds, better for off road for sure. I do find the tex a little high geared for slow riding on trails. What I did not like was the bike moving side to side while stopped and revving the engine, just felt wrong to me. A trait of the boxer engine. In the end the tex just felt like the bike for me and I have no regrets. I do believe the gs is a great bike and I could possibly own one but i would have a problem with being labelled a bmw rider. i am generalizing here but most of the people riding bmw where I live are a certain breed if you know what I mean although that is not the bikes fault.

I can relate to that (the beemer rider stigma), as I felt the same way and still do...lots of poseurs out there.  However, I couldn't personally give a toss what anyone thinks of me or my bike as it's the best choice for me currently.  The fact there's so many I think has something to do with the cache of the "round the world bike" but also due to what deals you get on them with PCP and the warranty, plus most of the dealerships do offer superb customer service.  You do have to be especially picky if buying outright, especially if out of warranty.  Only pick the very best cared for example and you should be ok.

If it proves to be a moneypit then I may well look elsewhere (aprilia camponord is one I haven't yet tried, as is Honda "cross-dresser"). KTMs do nothing for me...they're sports bikes in off-road clothing but having owned one, the heat issue is as bad as triumphs, electronics are complex and can go wrong and tbh, there's way more power than needed or (personally) wanted.  How does the 170bhp race towards 200bhp make any sense whatsoever? Willy waving pub heros always talk of "more is better" but that's simply not true for off road or touring bikes, where usable power is what it's all about.  Personally, I think that the big beemers offer the most ideal power delivery of any of the big adventure bikes.  More sprightly than the Tigers, loads of stomp.  Really, they make 125bhp seem bang-on for this class of bike. Yes, more is fun but with age comes wisdom and bikes last longer of looked after, and on long hauls, its a lot more relaxing to go at sensible pace, whilst having loads in reserve for overtakes or the odd balls-out blast. 

I really don't notice much side to side reaction when in neutral as I don't sit there revving it in neutral.  There's bound to be some but it's barely perceptible on the heavier GSA.

My real reservation is what will go wrong and when will that happen.  The riding experience is addictive.  I think with BMW (amongst others) breakdown insurance is sensible, as is regular maintenance!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 06:39:56 PM by Tigraid »

Offline pcarnut

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #86 on: March 06, 2019, 12:40:13 AM »
Nice to see the discussion and comparison still on-going.  I've had my T12 for a year now, coming up on 13k miles and still find it to be a spectacular machine.  For me it's the right decision.  I like the quote from Robert Persig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintence - “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
2018 T12, 2014 TEx, 2011 1050

Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #87 on: March 06, 2019, 01:30:47 AM »
*Originally Posted by pcarnut [+]
I like the quote from Robert Persig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintence - “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
#MeToo  :038:

My own comparison ride is coming in May with a hired GS in Africa. Looking forward to it.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline pcarnut

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #88 on: March 06, 2019, 02:57:11 AM »
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
#MeToo  :038:

My own comparison ride is coming in May with a hired GS in Africa. Looking forward to it.
  Africa?!  Very cool!  I've been doing Europe for the past 3 summers, so much fun.  Are Charlie and Ewan going with you?
2018 T12, 2014 TEx, 2011 1050

Offline Tigraid

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Re: 2018 Tiger 1200 vs 2018 BMW GS 1200
« Reply #89 on: March 06, 2019, 08:43:14 AM »
*Originally Posted by pcarnut [+]
Nice to see the discussion and comparison still on-going.  I've had my T12 for a year now, coming up on 13k miles and still find it to be a spectacular machine.  For me it's the right decision.  I like the quote from Robert Persig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintence - “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Spot on pcarnut.

I remember reading that excellent book (along with Jupiter's travels!) many years ago.  The sentence that always stuck was " The test of a machine is the satisfaction that it gives".

For all the moaning about reliability and lack of quality in areas for the new R1200GS, we'd do well to remember that Ted Simon took 4 years to ride a Triumph Tiger 100 around the world, covering 63,000 miles. It frequently broke down, had engine rebuilds, bits fell off it but for all of that, it "felt right" to him and compared with the journey, the costs of keeping the bike going were not the enduring memory...his adventures and bond with the bike were.

I'm in an unusual dilemma in that the two bikes that stand out for me as being near perfect in perhaps 35 motorbikes owned, over many hundreds of thousands of miles travelled, are the Tiger Explorer and the R1200GSA.  I like them both equally.  both have character, more than adequate performance and the credentials to take you just about any journey.  Despite the hype, you'd have to be very experienced to consider taking either off-road.  I have done but I didn't enjoy the experience in either case.

I'd love to say that the Triumph was the bike for me, and in some ways, it is, but I had to admit defeat as it was flaring up my arm and back injuries (mountain bike accidents = Damaged ligaments, prolapsed discs, damaged shoulder) due to the way it managed its mass.  It definitely suits the taller rider better. Ironically, the seat height is taller on the GSA but at 5'8" I have no trouble managing...none at all.  I will have to try a longer test ride on the new Tiger 1200 for comparison with my GSA, but it's going to take something mighty impressive to haul me off that bike.  As a road tourer, it's almost perfect.  I couldn't really live with myself if I bought an R1200RT! :008:


@ Catptain Trips

Let us know how you get on.  One thing you should benefit from in Africa is that low speed rough stuff is much more easily managed on the GS and you won't cook your thighs and gentleman's area with engine heat.  Don't forget to check when you get your bike that "Eduro Pro" has been enabled.  There's a plug under the seat visible and identified on the loom by a small plastic bag containing a red plastic cap with a short circuiting pin.  Remove this pin and plug into the cable with the rubber boot over the end (obviously, remove the boot first) to enable the Enduro Pro and Dynamic Pro settings.  Insert the pin and you're away.  It gives more control off road and disables part of the traction control so you get braking under your control. Engine settings are also modified.  Dynamic pro enables wheelies off throttle in the first few gears and more aggressive engine mapping by disabling some of the traction control.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 08:45:04 AM by Tigraid »

 


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