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I have owned several K and R BMW bikes over the years. Last one was a 2001 R1150GS with a pile of km on it.
I do miss it in some ways, easy to do my own work on it (mostly), tuneups, tire changes (tubeless spoked rims and easy to remove wheels), oil cooled (no water rads or jackets to deal with). Cons are that here in Canada, I referred to 'BMW' as 'bleed my wallet'. Parts were often much, much cheaper shipping up from USA (even with duty and taxes).

I went with AF for the DCT. That was the main reason.
Both Honda and BMW are known for longevity, if you maintain your bike(s) and go long term, can be fairly inexpensive compared to a lot of brands.
61992
 

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I used to have a BMW 1200s, which was a brilliant road bike. One I really regret selling, but it always felt fragile. The supposed 'maintenance free' final drive that ended up having to be serviced almost as often as a chain, or thoughts of the number of this model that suffered serious top end failures used to keep me up at night, haha.

I always had a theory that BMW hide poor quality, behind excellent customer service. My dealer could not do enough, and even when my bike was in for a recall, or expensive work that shouldn't need doing, I almost felt grateful, where I should have been cross. Every dealer contact with a customer, even for a failure, is an opportunity to sell up, one which BMW seem to take full advantage of, and other brands seem to get wrong turning a drama into a crisis, the ABS modulator recall being an example of this for some customers. I personally think based on my BMW dealer experience, they would have handled this much better.

Most of my riding buddies have BMWs, and most of them are GS. They do seem blind to the expense and the faults because they are so well treated. £450+ services seem to be routine and there have been some really worrying recalls over the years, including one who was told the bike was unsafe to ride and BMW did not know what or when the fix would be. He ended up putting 6000 miles on the dealer loan bike.
 

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I just joined this forum because i find it interesting and i'd like to change from a GS 1200 to the new AT but i'm a little scared about the overall quality. I live in the UK and i use the motorbike all year, no matter if it's raining or not. After almost 4 years the GS doesn't show any sign of rust whatsover, while i saw the AT gets really badly affected pretty soon on the frame, exaust and wheels, any expereiences on this?

i testrode the AT last week and i loved the DCT, the suspensions also are much better in my opinion and since i had one back in the eraly 2000 i'd really love to come back to it but as said the quality scares me a bit. I don't also understand people saying they can buy 2 ATs with the price of a single GS as here in the UK they cost almost the same:
standard GS:13700
standard AT: 13050

accessories are more expensive on BMW but it's not like night and day, i'd not get many of them anyway


Thanks in advance for your help
 

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just checked the websites,
STD AT 14k$
STD GS 18K$ accessories are just nuts
Not double but BMW is crazyin USA
 

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Like I said before the AT is good but it’s no BMW. Plus the cases and stuff you bolt onto the AT are not half the quality of BMW cases. But the Honda is cheaper.
 

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Personally, I don’t think you can compare the GS to the AT.....yes they are both ‘Adventure’ bikes but they are not built with the same mindset imo.

The GS is like a Range Rover sport, it has 4x4 ability and will deal with most real world situations, but its all about luxury and comfort.....which has a cost (literally) in terms of usability.

The AT is more like a Land Rover Defender, and comparable to the KTM Adventure bike. It is less luxurious but is more adaptable to the challenges of true globetrotting. It will handle tarmac or offroad with much more ease than the GS, it is paired down in terms technology but thats useful in the back of beyond (access to valves not permitting 😆).

All three bikes are excellent, but like all machines they have their flaws. For me, the AT is easier to live with day to day, I commute / Tour / Scratch on it and it handles the UK roads (which resemble off road at times), and the UK weather very well (all bikes rust if you don't look after them btw).

Long Way Round / Down - The power of that show catapulted the GS, to world wide fame but more importantly towards the design ‘mindset’ I mentioned earlier. They have a bit of a cross-over niche which others have been envious of ever since. A final point on that show, do not under estimate the support network they had from BMW to through those journeys, all behind the camera and out of sight of the viewers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
I just joined this forum because i find it interesting and i'd like to change from a GS 1200 to the new AT but i'm a little scared about the overall quality. I live in the UK and i use the motorbike all year, no matter if it's raining or not. After almost 4 years the GS doesn't show any sign of rust whatsover, while i saw the AT gets really badly affected pretty soon on the frame, exaust and wheels, any expereiences on this?

i testrode the AT last week and i loved the DCT, the suspensions also are much better in my opinion and since i had one back in the eraly 2000 i'd really love to come back to it but as said the quality scares me a bit. I don't also understand people saying they can buy 2 ATs with the price of a single GS as here in the UK they cost almost the same:
standard GS:13700
standard AT: 13050

accessories are more expensive on BMW but it's not like night and day, i'd not get many of them anyway


Thanks in advance for your help
The problem here with a statement like that is, like many forums, a few people might post an issue with their particular vehicle/motorcycle/motorhome/boat etc., that doesn't mean every single item that was manufactured of those mentioned, is developing or has developed or WILL develop the same exact problem. I have an '18 A/T-A/S-DCT and it's now close to 3 years old and has 3,900+ miles on it and it shows absolutely ZERO signs of any rust or degradation of any part of the frame or wheels or spokes or anything else. I will admit, I live in Arizona in the U.S. and it's for the most part, pretty dog gone dry where I live so, the opportunity for rust/oxidation and degradation of exposed components just doesn't happen here.

But, forums are for the most part, somewhat informing. I asked on here before I bought mine and got some great help. But, reading that one, two or three have a tad bit of rust on frame welds etc. sure as hell doesn't mean every single Honda Africa Twin is gonna rust out from underneath you while you're commuting to work. Not only that but, geeze, how hard can it be to simply clean off a minor spot or two where there's signs of rust and, touch it up with some nice touch-up paint? We're not talking about painting an air craft carrier, just a couple of touch up spots on a motorcycle frame.
Scott
 

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The problem here with a statement like that is, like many forums, a few people might post an issue with their particular vehicle/motorcycle/motorhome/boat etc., that doesn't mean every single item that was manufactured of those mentioned, is developing or has developed or WILL develop the same exact problem. I have an '18 A/T-A/S-DCT and it's now close to 3 years old and has 3,900+ miles on it and it shows absolutely ZERO signs of any rust or degradation of any part of the frame or wheels or spokes or anything else. I will admit, I live in Arizona in the U.S. and it's for the most part, pretty dog gone dry where I live so, the opportunity for rust/oxidation and degradation of exposed components just doesn't happen here.
Often it all depends on the search terms you use. Search for problems and you will find problems.

I have seen some posts on GS forums about both the R1200GS and the R1250GS blistering and coroding around the crankcase and driveshaft, you can find similar complaints with K1600 in certain geographic areas and environments. BMW isn't any more prone to it than other brands, but they aren't exempt from coroding either.

The R1200GS has also had a fork recall, an issue where the check engine light would come on and the bike would lose power, side stand recall, kill switch issue, water pump leaks.

Not common problems, but again BMW isn't exempt from problems either.

My wife had a few with her GS. They could never seem to fix the gear indicator misreading for one or the random sputters and stalls like it was out of fuel when you had 1/4 tank or less.

You will find the issues on their forums just as you will find AT issues on this one.

Bottom line, not every bike from every manufacturer is perfect and unfortunately some will have an issue or two down the road.

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Fire up explains it right on. Three year old bike with 3900 miles on it. When you ride 1300 miles a year you will be satisfied with even a junky KTM. I put on about 25k a year. Most guys that ride a bunch on a Adventure bike will have a GS. I’m not saying that I don’t like my AT. But if I’m going on a big trip there is nothing like a GSA.
 

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So it's this "BMW thing" against the A/T. Is that what it really has become. I've been riding for 52 years and it's always been me, the motorcycle and the road. I hope it always will be.
" ... Well he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke
The same cigarettes as me ..."
 

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I and my wife come from a BMW RT. Sure guys, the rear seat is not the same...but I saved the marriage with the magic cushion!
However, a craftsman is redoing my rear seat. Too flat and sloped the original one.

64894
 

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I was dead set my first larger bike was going to be a R1250 GSA. I test rode an 850GS and a 1250GS for an hour ride through dirt, gravel and paved roads in the rain while I was on a solo trip on my then CB500X. I priced them out and it was going to be over $30K CAD to get what I wanted. My closest dealer was a jerk to me when I tried to book a test ride. They missed my registration then when I asked about it they were indignant. I think in this area BMW sells their stock no matter what so they just don't care. Maybe they thought I wasn't serious. I was. That treatment made me not want a BMW product anymore.

Then Honda announced the 2020 ATAS and I never looked back. I had number 5 of the 2020 CRF1100D4s. (My VIN is ...000005) I loved my CB500X and I love my ATAS even more. I just did a 2500 km solo trip into Quebec and Northern Ontario and loved every minute of it.

I did just order a Corbin seat though. 1.5 hours in I have to stand up or take a break. :oops: The Corbin I had on the CB500X made for all day rides. I'm hoping for the same on my ATAS.
 

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.... I don't also understand people saying they can buy 2 ATs with the price of a single GS as here in the UK they cost almost the same:
standard GS:13700
standard AT: 13050
I paid £10,000 brand new for my 2020 AT. I looked at the GS and the dealers don't order in standard bikes, so if you want the standard GS you will have to wait while they build one for you. By the time you add on a few basic accessories, realistically you will pay £15k ish for the GS. That's a big price difference and swayed it for me. With the money saved, I plan to put it towards and older hypermotard for Sunday afternoon fun.
 

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2021 ATA, 2020 Wing Tour, 1977 Wing
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BMW's GS series first showed up in 1980. Their boxer engine more than half a century before that. They have had a lot of time to get established in the adventure field, perhaps even defining it. Despite some mechanical issues for the most part BMW motorcycles have a good reputation for reliability. For a long time the only motorcycles that went 100,000 mile were BMW and Harley Davidson, although the Harleys usually endured several rebuilds to reach that milestone.

Honda have the reputation, reliability and a good support network. For me the AT has all the features I want including DCT and there is a local dealer. It also helps that the Honda is more affordable. My brother in law had a string of GS's and liked the AT a lot but decided to stick with what he is familiar with. It probably helped that his wife preferred the GS pillion seat for comfort. Even Harley is trying to get in the market.
IMO Honda has been producing motorcycles capable of 100,000 plus miles since the introduction of the CB750K in 69. They fit right in to the reliability and 100K club.
 
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