Took the R1200GSA out for the first time yesterday. First things first, filled the 8 gallon tank. Might as well see what the beast feels like with a full fuel load. After all the range of this motorcycle is one of it’s premier features.
This bike is tall. I am 5’10″ with a 30″ inseam so it’s tippy toes time. A slight depression in the ground next to you could be a tip over if you go to put your foot down and there is nothing there. When you are already maxed out on reach a bit of extra care is called for but it is manageable and you get used to it quickly.
It was surprising how well the motorcycle handles on the narrow twisty paved roads in the Sierra Foothills. This bike is so planted that you feel like there might be two other wheels hidden somewhere. You lean it over and there is no uneasy feeling. Need a little more, push it over, it won’t complain. Mid corner bumps don’t upset things. The transitions are quick too. Where is all the weight? Chicken strips? Gone. At least on the front tire. Still a little bit left on the back one. That seems strange, but maybe the heavier weight bias to the front is the culprit?
Also got a chance to run it on some of the dirt roads. Make no mistake, it is heavy. It bottomed out on that deep pot hole I didn’t see (LOL). But it is stable as a mountain goat, predictable, well balanced and the standing up riding ergonomics are perfect. I wouldn’t want to take it on single track, but it is fully capable for the thousands of miles of unpaved roads in the National Forests and National Parks.
There is plenty of power. With around 105 HP and oodles of torque, you can forget to downshift for a corner without dire consequences. And the motor is smooth. Sometimes you forget to upshift and then realize you were riding in 5th when there was another gear left.
The seat? It’s gotta go. Why they put a mushy unsupportive seat on an otherwise fine motorcycle I do not know.
This is a very capable machine. Load it up with fuel and camping gear and it will cruise with stability and quiet comfort on your choice of two lane highways or interstates thumbing its nose at gas stations along the way. Or hit the dirt roads where it will take you with ease to those out of the way places where you will never see a sport bike, Harley or Gold Wing.