Dilemma: 1200GS or 1200ST???


I may get crucified for asking this question on this particular forum, but I'm questioning if I'm better off with the new 1200ST (styling aside) on which to tour the UK and Europe and leave the 1200GS for when I get back to Australia (lots of dirt roads). Trying track-days appeals, which is easier here than in Oz, and I'm not sure there's many dirt roads in this part of the world to justify a GS for me. I love the GS, I'm just not 100% sure it suits the riding I want to do here.

In Australia, you need a GS to get into many of the nice spots, like national parks and so on, but here I'm not so sure. As I want to spend a few years touring here, seeing the architecture, history and natural features, are there lots of places where the GS will have an advantage???

All local advice is greatly appreciated.

:beerjug: Steve

Ps. For those who haven't seen it yet, I've attached a photo of the new ST.


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    bmw r1200st.jpg
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Fair question. I'd suggest you ride both before you make up your mind.

What I would say is that I've had mine for a few months, done about 10,000 klicks, almost all on road. Including a 14 hour day mostly in the Polish mountains the day I collected it, with a neat set of alpine-style hairpins, getting home at 3am (long and interesting story) and two 10+ hour days blasting it over from Warsaw to the UK later that week. A few 4+ hour trips in the UK and lots of 50-70km commutes.

Best bike for any of the above I've ever had, including an R1150R and a KRS.

For dirt, I'd prefer a dirt bike. For any type of road over any distance, the GS.

Have fun choosing

In recent years i've owned several BM's, most recently before the 1200gs i had an R1100RT and a K1100RS, both good bikes in their own way and the K1100Rs doubling as a sports tourer whereas the R1100RT was an all out tourer, IMHO the new R1200GS i find is as versatile as the K1100RS on road and also has a limited but definite off road and dirtrack ability with a pretty positive go anywhere attitude, it also suggests an ability for track days if i'm so inclined, lean angles are brill, braking is very surefooted and controlled and IMHO the 1200Gs is the best current bike available in the UK to suit all road conditions and also give me off road ability if i need it, it's ideal for the back lanes and b roads down here in Wales, it had taken me to Scotland twice so far with no real rider fatigue (400 miles each way) on a variety of very twisty A roads(A40/A483), relaxed cruising on the A55, M56, and the M6/A74/M74/A7 where i have maintained speeds in excess of what is sensible.
The relaxed and upright riding position is ideal for long stints and outscores the K1100RS for sustained all day riding.

It also is not limited luggage wise and one very important point in todays radar toting speed enforcement society the R1200 riding position makes legalish speeds achievable in a nice relaxed fashion without numbing the brain.

Hope this helps a little.
GS evaluation + choice

Hello again steve,
Don't know if you saw my posts in the thread ABS+DIRT=Ditch below but it basically confirms your thoughts about the GS12 being the perfect bike for OZ as you suggest.
But I am originally from the UK and if I was to move back, I would buy another 12Gs the day after I landed. I would want to do all the b roads and tracks in wales, ireland scotland, alps and pyrenees as well as the other, more regular stuff you mention and the GS could do it all.
The ST certainly looks the business (I quite like the styling except for the front end) and may give you better performance on the road but as others in this thread have said it is hard to imagine a more capable do it all bike than the GS. Personally if I wanted to do a cultural tour of europe I would go on the train to do the major capitals and do everything else on the GS.
But you will have to ride them both (for a few hours) and go with your instinct .
I rode all the (old) bm models and as soon as I got on the 12GS, I knew it was the bike for me - it might even boil down to which is more comfortable for sustained riding....
Hope this helps....PS just to make you homesick again, I'm off to do the Kangaroo valley ride this Saturday having done putty/wolombi and bells line/jenolan on the last two.
GS or ST

Neither, wait and see what problems come with the ST package, we already know about the GS ones.
Sincere thanks for the great advice guys. It sounds like there's more GS-suitable roads (green-lanes, b-roads, back-lanes, etc) in the UK and Europe than I thought. Having toured many parts of Oz on an RT, I certainly missed having a GS on several occasions, although I still enjoyed my RT. The luggage flexibility of the GS certainly appeals too.

As you say, it's probably best to test ride both, which I will, providing the timing works OK. My GS is on order for May, so I don't have to confirm the spec and make a final committment to the order until early in the new year. I'll talk to the dealer and see if I can ride the ST before making any decisions.

I think what's giving me 2nd-thoughts about the GS (and the appeal of the ST) is the fact that I've never owned or experienced a bike with more sporting bias. It's not that I want a stupidly over-powered (for my abilities) Japanese missile, just something light, with great handling and big grin factor - something I can further my learning on too. The RT was my first post-learner big bike, quite a step-up from a 10-year old 250cc commuter. It was owning the RT that made me realise I wanted more out of motorcycling than I first thought. I often said something similar to the RT, but lighter and more agile would be perfect - enter the ST (and perhaps the GS?). But then I do like to get into some more remote locations at times, where a sporting bias isn't ideal. Either way, BMW still have my business.

Well Aspad, you've certainly made me a little home-sick again, mentioning many favourite roads in one sentence. In fact, my old man lives on the south coast, so the Kangaroo Valley was a regular for me. If it fits with your plans, head to the Robertson Pie Shop, where you're likely to find some good pies and lots of bikes. What's guaranteed however is a great bike road down the mountain to the coast, it's short but fun - even on an RT! If, on the other hand, you continue south through Barrengarry (spelling?), ignore the road-side shop advertising "the world's best pies"; they used to be, but not since the new ownership. Also well worth a ride when heading south of Sydney is the Royal National Park and the Old Princess Highway. If you can work all that into a round trip, you'll be smiling for weeks!

:beerjug: Steve

Ps. There's a headland just south of the Royal that's well worth a stop too, especially if you like downing hot dogs with lots of fellow bikers while watching the hang-gliders :D
Hey Steve,
Will do on the Pie shop at Robertson. Good luck with the decision, I'm sure you will know when you ride them back to back for a decent period.
All the best

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