Here's a long story with a happy ending. Back in July I sold my 2003 Goldwing. No sooner than I had I accepted the buyer's offer I was filled with regret and started shopping for a replacement. I had originally bought the Wing with the comfort of my wife and kids in mind and envisioned touring the country with familial companionship. It didn't quite work out that way. While I did a few long trips per year, I was riding solo on them. Sure, an occaisional breakfast ride on Sunday... but no open road. In a moment of confusion, wherein I thought I didn't need
a bike anymore, I sold my Wing.
I have to say that I had always liked my Wing. It was big and powerful. Smooth on the open road. Fairly agile (given its bulk). All the gizmos and gadgets anyone could ever want. I was disappointed only in the frame weld recall and I thought that the cases and trunk rattled too much. In hindsight, for me, it lacked soul.
In looking for a replacement I chose to go back to the drawing board. I focused on solo riding. Lighter. Sportier. I always liked the ST 1300 and the 1200 RT. Got a test ride on the ST immediately. Smooth. Powerful. Agile. Ergos needed work, but nothing that wasn't doable.
Getting a test ride on the RT was a different story. TagSport in Geneva jerked me around and ultimately did not allow a test ride. (They sure lost my $$!) Thanks to a loving wife and a wonderful dealer in KC, Engle Motors, I finally got my test ride. Equally smooth and agile. Superior fit and finish. I really liked the engine's "character". They say you either like it or you don't. I knew I liked the RT but tried to talk myself out of it because of price. Couldn't. Eventually I resigned myself to the fact that I might have to wait until Spring to get the kind of deal I was interested in on an RT.
Nonetheless, I scoured the classifieds here, on another forum, as well as ebay, daily. It paid off!! Last Friday, in Virginia Beach I bought a 2006 Granite Gray 1200 RT. Topcase, ESA, heated grips, radio prep kit,... all included. Very reasonable price. Only 1141 miles on the odo. Broken in and documented. As perfect a deal as I could imagine!
I spent the balance of Friday driving through VA, MD, and southern PA in sweltering heat and heavy traffic. Still loved the RT. My helmet almost didn't fit because of the stupid a** grin on my face!! Saturday I finished my ride with a 550 mile day through west PA, OH, IN, and home to IL. Temps were cooler. Traffic light. Only a little rain. Average speed was 73.3!
Well after doubling the bike's mileage, my impressions are very postive. I am surprised by the power and responsiveness of the engine. I know some of the reviews rapped the throttle response at low speed, but my experience was very much the opposite. Very responsive. More so than the Wing. Not crazy about the seat, but will shop for alternative in coming months or over winter. Windshield performed fine. (6'2"; 34" inseam) I wouldn't mind it an inch taller but I noted the correaltion of windshield height and handling impact. Speaking of handling, I found the RT incredibly responsive and confident. Not "planted" like the Wing, but Agile (with a capital "A"). Whether leaning over at 80 in a long gentle sweeper or flicking through backroads...Wow. I couldn't do that with the Wing. I can't wait to add music! I tried iPod as temp fix but it's not the same as good tunes ala the Wing. Will start research in earnest.
Do I have any gripes? Well like I said above seat is not to my liking. But it is not critical...yet. I think I would like the grips up and back a bit. Will explore. What's up with the fuel gauge. Tank holds 7.1. Warnings go off with 2 gallons to go! Is it that hard to have accurate gauge? That said, the bike can still can go farther on 5 gallons then my bladder can so it is also a fairly minor nit pick!! Not a long list, that's for sure.
Sorry for the long post but, "I'm on the road again..."
06 1200 RT