Falling in love, hard. Then walking away

2017 BMW R1200GSA. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad Canada

2017 BMW R1200GSA. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad Canada

I’m fickle.  I admit it.

This marks the 4th riding season I’ve owned my 2014 R1200RT.

My very good riding friends, Denis and Louise, recently asked:

“Hey, Tim, what new bike are you thinking about buying?”

“Uh, nothing right now”, I replied.  “The RT is 98-percent perfect for me”, explaining that my long list of aftermarket pieces, more so-called ‘farkles’ than I had ever put on any previous bike, had achieved a level of personal fit and accessorization (is that even a word?) that suited me to a ‘T.’

That conversation took place just a few weeks ago at a Saturday morning BMW owners’ breakfast.

Last week, my satisfaction with the superb RT got blown out of the water after reading on the Adventure Riders forum a review written by a fellow who had just traded his RT in on a new R1200GSA with the factory Low Suspension option.

Like me, the writer is a ‘shorty’, 5’8″ with a 30-in. inseam.  Certainly we don’t have the Viking physiques and cartoonishly long legs to manhandle the typical GS Adventure.

But BMW has cleverly introduced the Low Suspension option, and the fellow writing the review said with his 30-in. inseam he could flat-foot the monstrously large GSA.

That had me hooked.  For a few days, I fantasized about moving from my already superbly-suspended electronically controlled suspension RT to an even better (longer) suspension on a GSA ‘Low’.

I actually went to my local dealer, got a ‘sight unseen’ trade-in value for the RT, and had the sales person computer check to see what (now) late 2017 model year GSAs with the Low Suspension option were destined for Canada, and not already sold.  I was informed there is a totally ‘loaded’ GSA Low destined for the dealer in Toronto, scheduled for June production, and likely to arrive in late August.  And the bike hadn’t been sold yet.

Friday, I met up with riding buddy Richard L. who owns a recently acquired 2016 GSA Low, so I could throw a leg over his bike and see how it feels.

I was wearing thin-soled sneakers, and was surprised to find I could flat-foot the GSA; in fact, the GSA ‘Low’ has a saddle height lower than my RT, which has the standard saddle set in the lowest position and made 1/2-in. lower by Rich’s Custom Seats in Washington State.

But Richard asked me a good question.  (Richard also owns an RT.)  Was I willing to give up the RT’s weather protection, arguably the best in motorcycling, to gain the GSA’s longer and better suspension travel and additional 5 litres fuel capacity?

Sitting on Richard’s GSA contemplating his question, I noticed how MASSIVE the GSA’s fuel tank is.  At 30-litres capacity, it holds less fuel than my Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, which had a 32-litre tank, and the Italian designers did a way better job of sculpting a narrower, sleeker, better looking fuel tank than did the Germans.

The R1200RT LC is the best bike I've owned, and equipped almost perfectly to suit me

The R1200RT LC is the best bike I’ve owned, and equipped almost perfectly to suit me

For now, the R1200RT suits me just fine, and I’ll stick with it for this season.  I’m over my infatuation with the GSA Low.  Maybe.  I am sooo fickle!

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