LT vs RT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 6:58 am Thread Starter
 
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LT vs RT

Hello, I'm new to this site and am considering purchasing another motorcycle. I tried to do a search to see if anyone has done a comparison of an LT vs RT and didn't come up with anything. So can anyone explain the big differences to me? I am looking for the one that would make the passenger comfortable, along with making me happy also. Thanks in advance for any help. Scott
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post #2 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 10:11 am
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LT - RT = >300lbs and lots of gizmos.

Only reason I switched from my satisfying RT to an LT was to keep my new wife nearby on long trips. I've come to appreciate the gizmos (heated seats, intercom/music, cruise control - not on my old RT, power centerstand, etc.). RT was a lot easier around the parking lots and U-turns, although with time, the LT is getting easier (I had to tame it).

Find a friendly dealer and take some test rides.

Rich S~

'06 Ocean Blue Metallic LT (mine)
'15 Grey 328d (ours)
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post #3 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 3:00 pm
 
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BMW R1200RT = BMW M3

BMW K1200LT = BMW M5 .......Pete
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post #4 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 4:18 pm
 
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Scott;
One option you might try (I did and it worked well), is to rent each one for a day. Riding all day allowed me to really get a feel without being tied to a certain route or time limit. I found the money well worth it.

My 2 cents
Mark
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post #5 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 4:33 pm
 
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Had a 2004 RT and sold it for a 2006LT. Now I can't keep my wife off of it. So if you value your solo "quality" time, don't get the LT.
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post #6 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 5:15 pm
 
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I had owned a R1100R (1st BMW) and knew I liked the boxer engine so I purchased a 1999 R1100RT and two weeks later I had the chance to drive a 1999 K1200LT. This was the first time I had every driven the LT with the K engine. I fell in love with the bike and ended up owning both bikes for a short while. I liked being married more than I like both bikes so I only own the LT now. Well there is the R1100S in the garage but we won't go their. The RT was a nice bike thats more maneuverable due to being 300 pounds lighter, but does not have the gadgets that the LT does. The wife loves them. If I can only get here to stop switching my songs on the CD from her back switch that controls volume and tracks. The RT or Boxer engine had/has some surging issues that you can read about on this link: http://www.bmwrt.com/index.html. The LT has its problems also, rear bearing failures, but I love the LT. I would say it depends on your riding style and what you want the bike for. The LT is smooth and comfy with after market seats. The RT will take more aftermarket goodies to approach the LT comfort level, however both bikes will run forever if properly cared for. I would rent both if you can and ride them for a full day.
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post #7 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 5:43 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slp45
Hello, I'm new to this site and am considering purchasing another motorcycle. I tried to do a search to see if anyone has done a comparison of an LT vs RT and didn't come up with anything. So can anyone explain the big differences to me? I am looking for the one that would make the passenger comfortable, along with making me happy also. Thanks in advance for any help. Scott
Hi Scott,

I had an '03 LT up until Feb of this year, when I purchased a new R1200RT. My RT actually has some extras that the LT didn't have - Electronic Suspension Control and the removable side cases.

My main reason for making the change was the weight difference on my left knee. I play racquetball, have had surgery, and the knee is often sore. The RT is much more knee friendly to me.

I liked both bikes. My wife thought the LT was more comfortable, but I may fix that with a top case and backrest.

The RT is easier to service - not so much plastic to remove. The RT electrical system is touchy to add stuff to because everything seems to go through the computer.

The RT can be two different bikes. Take the cases off and it's a sports bike. Put the cases on for touring. It looks very different and handles a little differently with 30 pounds removed.

You won't go wrong with either bike. I like them both.
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post #8 of 13 Old Aug 30th, 2006, 8:34 pm
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Thumbs up Been through this myself...

Quote:
Originally Posted by slp45
Hello, I'm new to this site and am considering purchasing another motorcycle. I tried to do a search to see if anyone has done a comparison of an LT vs RT and didn't come up with anything. So can anyone explain the big differences to me? I am looking for the one that would make the passenger comfortable, along with making me happy also. Thanks in advance for any help. Scott
A little over a year ago I went to upgrade to the RT. Rode the bike (RT) and loved it. My wife was not a impressed as I was, she insisted I ride the LT. Went back to the dealer rode the LT and found it was much more nimble than I thought from sitting on the bike in the show room. I went with the LT and the wife has never been happier on a bike which means I get to ride more with her

Dave Oehler
2005 LT Dark Graphite - "K-Ship"

BMW-MOA 121422

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post #9 of 13 Old Aug 31st, 2006, 12:38 am
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LT vs RT

I have both an LT and a 2004 RT. They both go down the road great, but a bit differently. I would weigh out how much solo vs. 2up traveling you do. We do almostly exclusively 1 up traveling (she's on the RT), so aside from some of the gismos on the LT, I find myself looking at going to something smaller than the LT.

You can add just as many gizmos to the RT, but the big one is Cruise Control (all praise be to the Cruise Control!). You will add stuff to both bikes, just in different ways (the LT needs an upgraded headlight (pre 05), upgraded shocks, and a custom seat, the RT needs tunes, a custom seat, and a new brake light).

The biggest reason I find myself looking at going smaller than the LT is simply at the end of the day on a long trip, its a monster in a parking lot or on the gravel in a campground. I can pick the RT up by myself easily, the LT is quite the workout.

Just my 2 cents.

The one thing that will make all of the difference on either bike is the custom seat. They are totally worth the money.

Tim Barstow

2004 GSA Silver
2007 X Challenge
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post #10 of 13 Old Aug 31st, 2006, 9:09 am
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My two cents owned both

Quote:
Originally Posted by slp45
Hello, I'm new to this site and am considering purchasing another motorcycle. I tried to do a search to see if anyone has done a comparison of an LT vs RT and didn't come up with anything. So can anyone explain the big differences to me? I am looking for the one that would make the passenger comfortable, along with making me happy also. Thanks in advance for any help. Scott
I had a 2004 R1150RT and a 2002 K1200LT for about a month together, till I sold the RT. Hard to compare the 1150Rt with the 1200RT most people say they are worlds apart. So here are some of my views on both bikes:

1- LT heavier at parking lot speeds, you will get used to it, I am one of the guys in this Forum that just cannot understand the issue people have handling it at slow speeds, never had it down, could do a full circle (6 feet diameter) with the bike no problem so yes it is 300 lbs more but you have to get used to what is under you. What I like to say is: "You will handle the RT at slow speeds, THE LT will TRY HANDLE YOU. Just DON"T LET HER.... LOL.

2- Traveling super slab all day, LT has a 4 cylinder and IS with NO DOUBT a smoother bike. With the RT vibes will make your feet and hands numb after a while, (Boxer Buzz) Throttlemeister will fix the issue on the hands, not feet, again the 1200RT is supposed to be much better on that department, much smoother.

3- Wife, well unless your wife is a total stick figure person that will be confortable on the back of a CBR 600RR, the LT is the winner, she will love the seat more than any other bike. My wife loved it, but said the fact that the RT seats is thinner (so to speak) she had more leg room, on the LT the seat is soo wide that leg room becomes very little, the BMW adjustable passenger footpegs is supposed to fix that.

4- Solo riding in the twisties, as far as I am concerned, weighting out the fact that the LT is 300lbs heavier still they both handle perfectly, yes the RT is lighter and more flickable but again as mentioned before for 300lbs more the LT handles just fine. With two up on the twisties my LT always scraped the center stand, my RT never scraped a thing.

Finnaly I am a water cooled bike guy. Bumper to Bumper traffic, if you ever get stuck in it, will cook the RT, your legs, fairings you name it.

Darcy Bastos
2007 FJR1300
2007 Ducati GT1000 Sport Classic
Atlanta, GA
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post #11 of 13 Old Aug 31st, 2006, 10:30 am
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LT vs RT

Rode '06 R1200RT & K1200LT during a fit of "trade-in-the-R1200C". Both bikes were pretty smooth at highway speeds. Don't forget, the new RT's have a 6th gear that the LT doesn't. Not sure that matters though. For me, it was just something about the RT that turned me off. Probably the fact that the LT's motor is smoother in all RPM ranges from idle on up. Also, I live in the central San Juaquin Valley in CA. (Read that HOT) I wanted a water cooled bike. Another plus on the LT's side is that it comes stock with almost every gadget one needs. Right now, BMW is throwing in a Navigator III on RT, LT & GT(?) purchases until 9/16. Kinda hard to go wrong with any choice. I like riding with my Bride and she definitely likes the LT seat better than the RT. That said, to each his/her own and good luck on the hunt.

Out Riding...
Bruce


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post #12 of 13 Old Aug 31st, 2006, 10:45 am
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Quote:
:
1- LT heavier at parking lot speeds, you will get used to it, I am one of the guys in this Forum that just cannot understand the issue people have handling it at slow speeds, never had it down, could do a full circle (6 feet diameter) with the bike no problem so yes it is 300 lbs more but you have to get used to what is under you. What I like to say is: "You will handle the RT at slow speeds, THE LT will TRY HANDLE YOU. Just DON"T LET HER.... LOL
I'll add my own thoughts to yours if I may. I own both an LT and an RT.
I have no problems handling the LT at slow speeds either. Don't let the idea of it's size/weight intimidate you. Once your used to it you shouldn't have any real problems. I can't claim to be able to do a 6 ft circle, but I can at least turn it around in the road.

Quote:
2- Traveling super slab all day, LT has a 4 cylinder and IS with NO DOUBT a smoother bike. With the RT vibes will make your feet and hands numb after a while, (Boxer Buzz) Throttlemeister will fix the issue on the hands, not feet, again the 1200RT is supposed to be much better on that department, much smoother.
You WILL like the smoother ride of the K engine vs the boxer. I find the seating position on the LT to be more comfortable too. The LT is THE suberb interstate travelin motorcycle

Quote:
3- Wife, well unless your wife is a total stick figure person that will be confortable on the back of a CBR 600RR, the LT is the winner, she will love the seat more than any other bike. My wife loved it, but said the fact that the RT seats is thinner (so to speak) she had more leg room, on the LT the seat is soo wide that leg room becomes very little, the BMW adjustable passenger footpegs is supposed to fix that.
The rear seat settled it for my wife. I bought her some adjustable footboards since she's on the short side, but it was the seat that decided it for her. She's done up to a thousand mile day with no complaint.
About the seat anyway.

Quote:
4- Solo riding in the twisties, as far as I am concerned, weighting out the fact that the LT is 300lbs heavier still they both handle perfectly, yes the RT is lighter and more flickable but again as mentioned before for 300lbs more the LT handles just fine. With two up on the twisties my LT always scraped the center stand, my RT never scraped a thing.
True, the RT will handle the twisties better than an LT. The LT's size doesn't take anything away from it's being a fun bike on curvy roads though. Think of it maybe as a PT boat compared to a cigarette hull.

Quote:
Finnaly I am a water cooled bike guy. Bumper to Bumper traffic, if you ever get stuck in it, will cook the RT, your legs, fairings you name it.
I'm generally and air-cooled guy, but I gotta admit, I do find that same advantage to a water cooled bike.

If you have a spouse/sig. other, in all around terms of two-up comfort the LT is your machine. It'll really depend on the kind of riding you'll be doing most. I bought the LT for long distance and two-up riding and the more manuverable RT for local in-town solo riding.
This is a great site for LT info. For more RT specific info, check out www.bmwsporttouring.com

Follow your front wheel...
Steve S.

1998 Harley Davidson FLHR-P
1998 BMW R1100RT-P (Black Mariah)
2002 BMW K1200LTE (Bayou Buffalo)

If it rolls, floats, flies or shoots, runs on gasoline or gunpowder, is loud, goes fast, or shoots a big bullet, thus producing Torque or Recoil....It's Cool.

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post #13 of 13 Old Aug 31st, 2006, 5:11 pm
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I own, and ride, both the LT and the RT. Both are great bikes, but the "character" of the RT engine coupled with its nimbleness provides the biggest smile factor for me. For two up riding, however, the LT is the clear winner.

'07 - R1200RT Slippery Silver

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Past rides:
'03 R1150RT - MAXed out
'03 K1200LTC - Gone to the Darko side
'00 Kawasaki Concours - Buzz
'71 Honda SL350 - The original dual-sport
'72 Kawasaki 250 triple - The smoking gun
'67 Montgomery Wards 125 - Thrashed to death
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