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Discussion Starter #21
Different Worlds - Though both on 2 wheels.

The GS is and will remain the GS. World leader in sales and value retention. The price of admission would be some $22k plus another $1k for protection. When I consider loading the GS onto my tiny trailer for transport out west for rides, ......., well it makes me nervous. Beast.

The 900 Rally Pro is easier to write a check for, includes everything I want, and is very highly rated in reviews. My heart says the GS, my head says the 900.

My Ducati Hyper, even with Mupo suspension, beats me up when roads turn bad. Something I know the GS handles because of the A-frame front suspension. Something I am confident the 21" tubeless spoked front tire and 9"=+ suspension travel on the 900 offers. Dirt bike level suspension handles sharp and deep road failures very well.
 

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If you enjoy off road riding what ever you do

☀DO NOT TEST RIDE the NEW KTM 790's!!☀


(KTM parts cost 75% less than BMW parts!)

Best,

Doc o_O o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #23
If you enjoy off road riding what ever you do

☀DO NOT TEST RIDE the NEW KTM 790's!!☀


(KTM parts cost 75% less than BMW parts!)

Best,

Doc o_O o_O
I've included the 790 Adventure R in my analysis, but it is truly a dirt bike, which can go on road. This comparison got it right: The 790 is a bike they would ride 50 miles to ride in the dirt. the 790 is a bike they would ride 200 miles to ride in the dirt.

 

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Discussion Starter #24
My goal is a bike which softens the potholed and broken California roads. A bike that when there are severe road dips, there are no clunks or bottoming shocks. A bike that when there is a road jump, I can wick the throttle and enjoy myself. Capability for easy forest service roads a plus too.
 

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So I'm sitting here reading this thread and watching the videos and Charlie Booth shows up on his GS1200 while on a days ride out of the Phoenix valley. I've got to quit teasing myself by staying up on these Dual Sports. Ugh!!!! They look like a blast.

I did a lot of off highway riding in Colorado in my younger years but currently don't have anything to do that with. I better turn this off.
 

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So I'm sitting here reading this thread and watching the videos and Charlie Booth shows up on his GS1200 while on a days ride out of the Phoenix valley. I've got to quit teasing myself by staying up on these Dual Sports. Ugh!!!! They look like a blast.

I did a lot of off highway riding in Colorado in my younger years but currently don't have anything to do that with. I better turn this off.
I was looking for another GT after I smashed my second one. They had a demo GS so I rode it. (why not) I had no idea I wanted a GS until I rode it. I wish I had bought one years ago. Add the Dunlop Mission 50/50 tires and it's perfect. There's a whole nother world out there.
 

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I think that upgrading the suspension on the GS might offer an Every Road Bike.

@RL Lemke I have this setup on my 2011 GSA and its great. I had the preload adjuster removed from the front, which is a common mod. I also removed all the weighty hard panniers and racks, which really brings the bike to life. I'm switching to Anakee Adventures shortly to make the bike more streetable but even with the TKC80s its been a blast. A lot more dirt bike vs. rolling behemoth. Oh, and I went a little crazy with my buddy and his Ceracote shop. This is what happens when you can't live with a scratched up top bridge.

145461
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Getting real close to the purchase of the Tiger 900 Rally Pro. Minimum $7,000 less than the GS.





 

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The new Versys !000 LT SE+ is a good consideration as well. It has all the toys the GS has and has a nicer hard luggage set up. It has gotten rave reviews as a supremely comfortable and enjoyable bike to ride.
I will consider this bike next year when my 2018 GT is out of warranty. Hoping Kawasaki eventually puts a H2 version of their supercharged engine in the V1K.
I'm going to disagree with you on the hard luggage setup of the Versys being nicer than the GS or GSA panniers. I own a Kawasaki H2SXSE with factory panniers and while they look good I can tell you Kawasaki went for form over function. I have owned a 2018 GS and currently own a 2020 GSA and the BMW aluminum or Vario panniers are much better than the Kawasaki panniers in terms of capacity. I can easily fit my laptop in my aluminum panniers on my GSA or the Vario panniers that were on my 2018 GS but I can not fit my laptop in the Kawasaki Panniers.

The mounting system for both the BMW and Kawasaki are pretty simple and straight forward but the Kawasaki mounts, at least on the H2SXSE, require the addition of several small shims to ensure a snug fit otherwise the panniers will have a lot of movement back and forth. I bought my Kawasaki panniers used for 800 bucks so I didn't pay the full 1200-1300 retail price. If I could go back in time I wouldn't have bought the Kawasaki panniers simply because they lack any real capacity for serious touring. I would have went with aftermarket panniers from Givi and while they may not look as good and the mounting system not as simple they would have been more functional and offer greater capacity to haul stuff on long multi-day trips.

A super-charged Versys would be nice but I don't think you'll see Kawasaki go that route because it would likely steal sales from the H2SXSE which is already a slow seller.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Curious, given you've had a Ducati, was one of the Multi variants an option for you?
You are so right Pitts. The 950 Multi with spoked wheels and Skyhook may be exactly what I want.

On the fly adjust the front and rear suspension when going from sport smooth roads to crap potholed backroads and then back.

Can't do that with other mid-sized "adventure" bikes, though my off-road use will be maybe 5%.

I have the little Yamaha for off-road exploration on the slow.
 

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Thank you for the insight on the bags. I had a 2015 Versys with the bags, and recall they were a little short on capacity compared to my K16. I really liked my versys, however, owning BMW's spoiled me, so not having ESA, CC, etc really reduces the level of enjoyment (to me). I think Kawasaki really got it right with the new Versys, and I would consider it if I decide to go to a lighter / less expensive machine nect time. The supercharged H2SX engine would be an automaitic buy for me if Kawi did that, but your point makes sense. I lust after the H2SX, but I don't think it could replace my K16, and I have a 2020 S1000XR as my bike to hoon around on.

Makes me wonder what Kawi will do with the C14. Maybe the H2 engine finds a home in a new Concours with upright etgos, shaft drive and a nice 7 gallon fuel tank.

Back to luggage, I saw a GS owner that put a lower RT exhaust on his GS and put some Shad (much nicer looking IMO). Pic below.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
After speaking at length to a suspension expert, my next bike must have the Sachs/ZF electronic suspension. BMW calls it Dynamic Semi-Active and Ducati calls it Skyhook.

As such, it is down to these two bikes which I will select from:

 

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Thank you for the insight on the bags. I had a 2015 Versys with the bags, and recall they were a little short on capacity compared to my K16. I really liked my versys, however, owning BMW's spoiled me, so not having ESA, CC, etc really reduces the level of enjoyment (to me). I think Kawasaki really got it right with the new Versys, and I would consider it if I decide to go to a lighter / less expensive machine nect time. The supercharged H2SX engine would be an automaitic buy for me if Kawi did that, but your point makes sense. I lust after the H2SX, but I don't think it could replace my K16, and I have a 2020 S1000XR as my bike to hoon around on.

Makes me wonder what Kawi will do with the C14. Maybe the H2 engine finds a home in a new Concours with upright etgos, shaft drive and a nice 7 gallon fuel tank.

Back to luggage, I saw a GS owner that put a lower RT exhaust on his GS and put some Shad (much nicer looking IMO). Pic below.
I own a 2016 K16GTLE and my H2SXSE is a great companion bike to my K16 but in no way a replacement. If you have a 2020 XR you already have a great second bike, in fact, I'm looking to trade my H2SXSE for a 2020 or 2021 XR just so I can get a more relaxed riding position. The H2 is a incredibly fun bike to ride but the leaning forward riding position aggravates joint pain in my neck and wrists so I'm not able to ride it for long distances so I'd like to get something with a more upright riding position but maintain similar performance.

The problem with the Kawasaki Panniers is they have a small indent on the back of the pannier that looks cool but really reduces carrying capacity. Saturday I bought a 8.5x11 picture frame and couldn't fit it in the Kawasaki pannier so I had to stuff it down my jacket in order to get it home. That frame would have fit in my GSA aluminum or K16 panniers all day long and if Kawasaki had designed their pannier without the indent the frame would also have fit. A C14 with the super-charged H2 engine would certainly get my attention but like a super-charged Versys I think it would compete to closely with the H2 SX. Have fun and ride safe brother
 

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Discussion Starter #36
It's looking like the GS is leading right now.

My head says get the GS, while my heart says get the Ducati.

Both are great bikes.
 

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I have always disregarded what my head says and always went with my heart. Maybe that's why I purchased so many problem bikes. If you are having a hard time deciding it may be because both are fine bikes and will do what you want from them.
 

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It's looking like the GS is leading right now.

My head says get the GS, while my heart says get the Ducati.

Both are great bikes.
The Ducati is a great performing street hooligan bike that, with some mods, can do well enough in the dirt or chew up the canyons. You could put some luggage on and run some distance, but burning the miles going straight will always seem like a bit of a waste. Don't be surprised if you're constantly looking for the squiggly roads on the map, much to the consternation of your riding buddies who will never be able to keep up. Service (like BMW) is another language. I hope you speak Italian becuase you'll never be happy with any dealer's service. Besides, dealers just aren't in your nature.

The GS is a "do everything really well" kind of bike that, with some mods, can excell in dirt and distance touring. It will never be as nimble as the Ducati, but you'll never regret having chosen it for any particular ride. The GS will always bring you home, with a smile on your face. The GS will likely be running for years after the Ducati has been chopped up for parts, but the BMW is not without some oddities (ie. spoke wheels only serviceable on Mars). You know the BMW brand and all it entails so no need to expand here.

They're both great choices really and maybe a reflection of your life right now. Long term stability vs. short term excitement. Ability to have fun vs. ability to get in trouble. Broomhilda vs. Italian mistress. Sliver vs. Red.

What a wonderful dilemma. 😁🇺🇸
 

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I've included the 790 Adventure R in my analysis, but it is truly a dirt bike, which can go on road. This comparison got it right: The 790 is a bike they would ride 50 miles to ride in the dirt. the 790 is a bike they would ride 200 miles to ride in the dirt.

If you're doing 50/50 pavement to dirt? I would literally expect every KTM-R properly within a market segment, large or mid, to be the best choice, unless it's something entirely subjective someone dislikes. Going off road? They've always done dirt the best of any euro brand, IMO, and now they have the on-road engines and power to match. Game. Set. Match. KTM-ADV-R models.

But if you're rarely if ever gonna literally go on single track, I'd go with creature comforts here, unless you fall in love with the "regular" 790 Katoom Adv's engine, and some do. Some people just love the KTM look, and I know 2 people who didn't like the look, but loved the KTM 790 engine so much they bought one anyway.

RL, I'm partial to the big GS for your application, but if I did it, I'd go GSA for gas and all the stock protection. However, you've spent a lot of time talking about weight and bulk, and I think when you go to the mid-size, you're looking at a better choice for you here, especially going soft bags, too. The Tiger 900 is fantastic, and while not on your list, so is the Tenere 900.

BUT to bootstrap onto @Specialkized's comments, I may be wrong, but you seem to have a soft spot for Ducati in your heart, and if you do, with the news that the new Panigale V4's engine in modified tune will be in the next Multi, I'd wait for it to come out, and even though I LOVE that engine, for your application, I'd still get the 2020 at a deep discount, because you just know the price will drop after the new model comes out, then go light as possible on luggage.

And JMO on the entirely subjective, but from the front view alone, on looks alone, that Peregrine Falcon face on the Multi is by far the prettiest face on any adv bike.

When you get right down to it, you know you have all excellent motorcycles on your list, so unless you learn of something that's a deal breaker for a good reason, with that in mind, why not just get what your heart wants, or as the watch aficionados always are saying, "get the one that speaks to you."
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I've located a new 2019 GS which saves me about $3,500 over a 2020.

Ride Magazine says this about the GS.

 
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