Futura or 1200GS?

Glenn

Guest
Well, I have an Aprilia Futura already but am taking a 1200GS for a test ride tomorrow and am looking forward to it big time. Never even been in a BM dealer before let alone ridden a bike made by them! I also have an old Yam Majesty scooter and a Honda Silverwing scooter and might need to trade all 3 in to afford the GS, so I hope the test will show that it's really worth the best part of 10 grand.
Here's what i'm expecting (we'll see how far away I am when I actually ride the thing!)
Excellent brakes and handlilng, excellent build quality, good comfort levels and an options list as long as my arm. I'm not expecing to be excited by the performance really so hope I can be surprised by that. The Futura is a good handling, fast bike so it would be nice to retain these elements in a new GS.

We shall see......

Glenn
 
You'll really like it. Some things will feel very wierd initially, which is why a looonnngggg test ride is recommended - at least 2 hours but half a day if at all possible.

Things that will feel wierd:

1) riding position - upright with wider bars - but you'll soon see the sense of this - better visibility and ability to see over cars, and the wide bars give loads of steering leverage so it'll turn really easily.

2) engine characteristics - I've got an RSV and, though a twin, it's completely different to the 1200. The 1200 will feel more agricultural (but it's much smoother than the 1150). However after a while you'll really like the way it delivers power to the road, especially accelerating out of corners.

3) handling - "normal" bikes seem to lean (or pivot) at the tyre contact patch when cornering. GSs feel like they are pivoting around a point halfway up the bike, which makes flicking left and right very quick and light. A joy to ride.

4) Brakes - are v.powerful on the 1200, and the semi-linked nature means very fast stopping.

5) Gearchange whilst smoother than the 1150 can be clonky when in & out of 1st - more so than your Aprilia.

I hardly ride my Aprilia now - the GS gets the vote every time. Overall, I reckon you'll really enjoy it.
 
I had better chime in here, as 4 weeks ago I traded my Aprilia Futura for a new 1150GS Adventure...... I owned my Ash black example for 18 months, did 10k on it many trips in the UK and a euro trip to Italy. It performed flawlessly. I traded because I wanted something with better dealer backup, and better for long trips as I got bit by the touring bug in a big way. I didn't want a huge tourer so thouht I would try out one of these monster traillies. I made the right decision.....

First off, have a test drive of the 1150 as well, because it isn't just the old model GS, its a completely different bike. I didn't like the 1200 at all when I rode it because it just didn't have the presence on the road of the 1150 and didn't quite feel as sure footed which is probalby due to the weight diff. All this is IMHO, go and have a go of both, back to back 1/2 day each if poss.

I'll give you some positives and some negs

Positives

* Way more comfortable, upright riding position is excellent
* Wide bars = fun?!!! More leverage means you can sling it into corners, you wouldn't beileve were possible on such an ungainly bike.
* Road Holding. I kid you not. With me riding, the GS out handles my Futura on 99% of the roads I normally ride. I expect it to lose out on the big fast A roads, but I haven't had a good sample yet.
* Vision. Being up high is awesome! It sounds obvious, but because you can see over cars, you can go round em so easy.
* Wind Protection. The protection on GS is superior to the Futura in terms of your head. Yours boots are more exposed though.
* After market! There is one! fettling your Fut is like pulling teeth as the quantity of aftermarket kit is limited
* Dealer Backup: BMW isn't likely to run into financial difficulty and leave you high and dry for spare parts.... like sprockets!

Negatives (I guess some of these are Adventure rather than the new 1200)

* Gearbox. Oh dear, its clunky and not as nice as the Aprilia. It is however direct and you get used to it.
* Power. No powerband take off at 6k any more
* Weight. OMG its big! When on the move its fine, but manuevering can be tricky.
*Cleaning. A huge amount of nooks and crannies + spoked wheels! - it takes forever to clean.

That will do for now :D

I am well chuffed with this new bike, and itching in a big way to get on the continent :beer: Whatever you decide I'm sure you will be happy.

Before I forget, do you know of www.apriliaforum.com ? There is a UK Futura owners club of sorts which I'm part of (still am) and we are having a Futura + lots of other kit to up Helmesly and around the moors up to Whitby. Will be a great day out. Its happening on the 11th of this month. Great group of guys. Have a looksie.
 
Thanks for the detailed replies guys.

I'll take a look at the 1150 for completeness sake too.

Tobers - If you choose to ride the GS over the Mille I guess that must say plenty about the relative qualities of the BM!

Mike - I have posted a few times on the Aprilia site and have found it a great resource in the 12 months i've had the bike. Not noticed the Yorks trip on there so will take a look on there now..

Where in Staffs are you anyway?

And just for you Richie, will post back my views on the 1200 when I have a go later today :D

Glenn
 
Tobers

I enjoyed the test. I took the missus and stuck her on the back too.

I would summarise like this:

Engine - I was impressed how well it pulls from low down the rev range in any gear - much better lower down than the Aprilia. I guess this is probably down to gearing (although as I recall I thought first gear seemed quite tall). Runs out of steam much sooner than the Aprilia, as you would expect, and whilst it's not as fast in outirght terms (by some margin to be fair) I can see why people grin just 'surfing' the torque without feeling the need to rev the arse off the thing. In summary I would say that the BM seems plenty fast enough for real world riding.

Gearbox / final drive- Never ridden a 'shaftie' before and struggled getting first gear a couple of times. Gearbox was fine overall although not as smooth as the Aprilia but fine nonetheless.

Riding position/comfort - This was generally fine. the seat was firmer than I expected though and I thought the screen was a bit crap to be honest. I noticed it was adjustable though so maybe it's possible to find a setting that suits me if I had bothered to adjust it. The missus reckoned the pillion seat was OK - she sits a fair bit higher than on the Aprilia but she thought it was fine and peg position was better on the BM.

Handling / Braking- Didn't exploit it too much as didnt know the roads around the dealer (Clarks) but found an empty roundabout and went around a couple of times and thought it felt really planted. The wide bars help it turn in a lot quicker too I thought. The brakes were excellent (as they are on the 'Prilla), very progressive, with plenty of feel.

Other observations - I like the look of the bike. It has a quality feel to it, excellent tank range (the Aprilias is rubbish), loads of options re: luggage/aftermarket bits and the simple fact that most oners seem to clock up intergalactic milages without major problems.

so what am I going to do??
hmm. don't know. I'd quite happily have one instead of the Aprilia and my Silverwing scooter but the main problem is this: My 2001 Aprilia is worth about £3500 - £3700 and my sub 4000 mile as new silverwing is worth about £3k. That means that after buying luggage for the BM i'm looking at the proceeds of both bikes PLUS another £3k on top! I just can't decide whether or not I can justify that really.....

Glenn
 
Hi Glenn,

I too was in this position up until last Saturday. I currently have an '02 Futura, which I have had for a little over 2 years. Not for much longer I hasten to add. I placed my order for a red 1200 with all the goodies.

I took out the 1150 and the 1200 a few weeks ago expecting more or less the same as you. I was very surprised at the feel, handling and stopping power of both bikes, compared to what I was expecting.
I had chance to throw it around a bit and decided that I could not have made any better progress on almost any other bike that I have owned, past or present (these have included Ducati's, Ninja's, FZR's). The brakes were excellent, at least as good as the Futura, and there aren't many bikes that you only need one finger to operate the brakes in almost any situation like on the Futura.
I also took my wife out on it and she felt just as comfortable as on the slab of a seat on the Futura.

I am expecting mine from Cannon- BMW in Chelmsford at the end of October and I can't wait now.
 
Dr.Trev said:
Hi Glenn,

I too was in this position up until last Saturday. I currently have an '02 Futura, which I have had for a little over 2 years. Not for much longer I hasten to add. I placed my order for a red 1200 with all the goodies.

I took out the 1150 and the 1200 a few weeks ago expecting more or less the same as you. I was very surprised at the feel, handling and stopping power of both bikes, compared to what I was expecting.
I had chance to throw it around a bit and decided that I could not have made any better progress on almost any other bike that I have owned, past or present (these have included Ducati's, Ninja's, FZR's). The brakes were excellent, at least as good as the Futura, and there aren't many bikes that you only need one finger to operate the brakes in almost any situation like on the Futura.
I also took my wife out on it and she felt just as comfortable as on the slab of a seat on the Futura.

I am expecting mine from Cannon- BMW in Chelmsford at the end of October and I can't wait now.

So it was you! At Cannons last Saturday?

I was the chap with VFR crapping on about how amazing the 1200GS was, you took it out with your wife when my bro-in-law had bought it back!

So you bought one then? So did I! It was fantatstic, mine is due mid october and i can't wait!
 
I had a 2003 Yam TDM900 and wanted something more traillie and with a bit more 'real world' power.

I bought a 2000 1150GS and apart from the seat which I've now changed for a Sargent seat (better but still not great) the bike is brilliant.

Power - it has been chipped, Ypiece and race canned so it goes some and although the power is linear (no 'power band') when revved over 6,000 it takes off big time. Keep the revs under 5,000 it goes as fast as most bikes ridden normally.

Consumption - revved hard I get 180 miles per tank, keep the average speed to around 85 and I get over 210 miles!

Handling - WOW! It takes a bit of getting used to as the guys above say but I would add that you can feel the bike doing things under you but the chassis stays pretty level. I was going over the Kirkstone pass and was following a gaggle of R1 etc. I was left for dead on the straights but got them on the brakes at the and of the last straight for about 15 miles. I saw them all again on the A66 20 mins after I stopped for some juice! They we're not pleased especially as I was fully loaded with luggage and they (they said) had been hoofing it to catch me.

heh heh heh
 
Tobers, I see a future customer:hapybnce:

I have tested Tobers bike on & off road, i must say it handle better without the side stand hey Tobers:D :D :D :D

Mutley I could not resist:D
 


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