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Hi everyone,

I hope you all don't get too annoyed by these threads, but I am in the market for a new bike and am down to two. Admittedly, I haven't test ridden either yet, but wondered if people have any insight on my situation they would like to share.
Basically, I'm in the market for a new bike that I plan to keep essentially forever. I'm looking for something that would make a great all-around motorcycle with good long term durability and I've settled on two choices. The first, of course, is the R1200R (why else would I be here). The second is the Triumph Tiger 800 (probably XC version). Now I know they have some serious differences, and being BMW fans, I'm sure some people will try to turn me onto the F800GS, but if I go adventure touring, I'm more likely to end up with the Tiger.
Anyway, I'm 29 years old, 5'9'' 155 lbs. I have a short commute to work and then go for 1-2 hour rides on the weekends. I haven't done any real touring yet, but probably will eventually do a few 2-3 day trips. Also, I don't have many good fire roads or gravel roads to ride on around here, so the dirt capability of the tiger is cool, but not critical. I live in Virginia and ride into the winter. Both dealers are a long way away, so I will have to probably do all maintenance myself, so the ease of things like valve adjustments is important to me.
I've considered a bunch of other bikes. The main one outside of these two was the Ducati monster 1100, but I decided it probably makes a better second or third bike someday, so not exactly what I am looking for.
So, outside of riding them (which I plan to do soon) what else should I consider? How bad is the maintenance on these compared to say, Japanese bike?
 

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the boxer twin is a forever bike. you will understand this at the 15,000 mile mark.
i would rather push a boxer twin than ride any other bike.
 

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You really should first go test ride both.
The two bikes you listed are very different machines.
It's not fair to the 800.
On asphalt, the R1200R is capable of much more than the Triumph.
 

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Hey,
I have never ridden a triumph tiger, I really like the new 2012 looks, but honestly if I was in your shoes, and because you mentioned to keep this bike forever, my number one option will be the R1200GS.

Now the R1200GS cost more but being a bike forever, the cost issue won't be that dramatic considering how much you'll save on repairs.

The R1200GS will be the perfect match for your riding and possible future touring, good looks and same great boxer engine of the R1200R

whatever you end up buying remember to ride safe and fully geared.
 

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Everyone has their own choices but I believe you need to go and test out both. This way you will definitely know which is suitable for you not just based of other people opinion. Good luck with your decision

by the way welcome from sunny S. California and ride safe
 

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Like others have said, definitely go and ride the two bikes, preferably one after the other so both are fresh in your mind.

I wasn't sure about getting the R1200R or the F800ST. I rode the R1200R first and loved the smoothness, how solid the bike felt over bumps and lousy roads and the kick in the pants when I twisted the throttle and how solid it felt at highway speeds. I then hopped in the F800ST and after ten minutes I knew the R1200R was the bike for me. After getting the F800ST up to 80mph on the highway it further confirmed the solidity of the R1200R's chasis.

I think riding both one will jump out at you. Good luck either way.
 

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Rode both. Bought a 2009 R1200R w/ Roadsmart tires (had 3700 miles, Apr 2012). Triumph is smooth, nimble and fast but I wondered where the power was. R1200R with 40/42 in tires was fast, nimble and had the BMW rumble/vibe with power and a shaft + this model won the AlpenMaster twice.
 

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You won't get the answer here. However you will get part of it.
Choosing a motorbike is such a personal thing that I would compare it to choosing a partner therefore you need to keep asking and reading but most of all test riding. When you eventually make your decision lots of people will slate your choice but it will be right for you
My suggestions based on your criteria would be go back in time a little if you want a lifer. You want something with a ton of character to compensate for the dated looks and struggle finding parts. An older gs or a guzzi maybe. New bikes are disposable. Built from lightweight components with ever increasing levels of complex electronics to achieve performance, lowaintenance, economy (mpg) and emmisions limitations
I have an f800gs and am planning to swap to an r12 classic which I hope to keep and tour on for many years. That's my choice and I'm sure some people will be going the other direction and be equally happy. It's not easy but so satisfying when you get there
 

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Last fall I went through the exact decision you are going through right now. I looked hard and serious at the Tiger 800 (road version), BMW F650GS, and R1200R as my next bike. I rode each. I am 6 feet tall, but my legs are rather short (31 inch inseam) and had trouble with the XC version of the Triumph, but fine on the standard 800. I liked the F650GS over the F800GS for the same reason, it was shorter. However, both bikes has chains and the luggage options seemed more geared for off road.

I loved the engine on the Triumph, it feels good throughout the entire RPM range. The F650GS felt a little underpowered. The R1200R felt, well, like it could run away from away from the other two. The bags felt better made and could hold more. And, it has shaft drive and tubeless tires, the XC Triumph does not, but I believe the road version does.

The drawback was the price, with bags it was quite a bit more than the other bikes, and because of that I almost went with the Triumph. At 66 I felt like this would be my last bike, my first bike was purchased when I was 20 with 46 years of owing many bikes in between. This helped me justify the BMW.

I now have about 1,200 miles on it and love it. I replaced the stock "comfort" seat with a Corbin, which was a good decision. The bike feels as light as the other bikes, handles better on the street than the others, and has a better selection of road tires available.

That said, I am different than you, you will have to make up your own mind. I would never recommend a bike to anyone, just point out why I purchased mine.

Wayne
 
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