RT, GT or LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 4:03 pm Thread Starter
 
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RT, GT or LT

Bonjour à tous,

I am new to this forum and contemplating purchasing a BMW motorcycle but I still haven't made up my mind. I have own a couple Gold Wings, cruisers and sport motorcycles and now I am currently riding a Honda VFR. I am in my 50's and would like something that is more suited for touring but also good for daily use. I have been reading the forums but I still need more convincing to make up my mind. I am really looking for something different but also fun.

I am a little worry that I may regret trading my VFR.

Gaétan
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post #2 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 4:43 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Salut! Ça va?

There's pretty much a standard answer to a question like this: take test rides and see which, if any, imprints itself on your psyche. If none does, don't buy.

When I bought my LT, in 2004, I had previously test-ridden an R1150RT and knew that it was a nice enough bike but didn't grab me. I had intended to ride the Honda Pan-European and Gold Wing before making up my mind but it only took a few short miles on an LT to make anything else irrelevant.

The R1200RT is a much better bike than the 1150 was. Compared to the LT it's far lighter and a bit more slender but it doesn't have the same luggage space as standard. Had the R1200RT been available when I bought my LT the choice would have been a much harder one but I don't regret buying the LT for a minute. My wife reckons it's the most comfortable pillion she's ever thrown a leg across and sine we do all the long-distance stuff together her opinion's as important as mine.

Like you, I'm in my fifties. I don't want a crotch rocket but I do enjoy a bike that handles well, has a decent amount of power and always has you walking into the house with a grin on your face. That's the LT to a 'T'.

Keith


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post #3 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 6:28 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

I spent a long time looking (2 1/2 years). I bought a GT about a year ago, for its overall versatility. The next choices would have been an RT or a Yamaha FJR1300A, in that order.

Each person is different, but here were my thoughts at the time:

LT: Way too heavy, especially for the daily riding that I do. Cases always attached. Great tourer, but not as useful for other activities - commutes, weekend sports riding, etc.

RT: Very nice. Tough choice vs. the GT. Light, easy to handle. I didn't like the larger faring or the mirror placement compared with the GT. I prefer the K engine over the boxer for power and smoothness.

Once you find the right bike, you will be very happy with it, I'm sure.
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post #4 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 7:59 pm
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Smile Re: RT, GT or LT

Ride them all and then buy a C-14 No Kidding !!

Pete Murray
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2014 RT
1973 R75/5
2002 LT 171 K Gone
2008 FJR 36 K Gone
Stroudsburg, PA
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post #5 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 8:10 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Yeah like they said, test ride them, but in the end if you came from a VFR, you'll most likely enjoy the RT the best. I had a VFR (1996) and my RT weighs less and is just as fast if not faster and a hell of lot more comfortable and fun!

Hope this helps,

Michael

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post #6 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2008, 8:24 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Bon seur, I had the first VF750-F 1983, a VFR 1990 VFR 1999. kawasaki 2001 nomad Harley Roadking 2004 , and now a 2006 LT I have put 25000 miles on it in less then two year touring and trips to North Georgia. This bike handles as close as you can to a sport bike but with all the comfort. you will not be disappointed if you get a LT. Tim
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post #7 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 9:13 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Since you ride a VFR, I suspect you are under 6' - therefore I'll wager the RT will feel better to you - but ride & decide.

I'm 6'4", and I've ridden for over 40 years - the worst miles I ever spent on a bike was on a ST1100 that I owned for one day and 200 miles.

My son at 6'8" thinks my LT is too small, and enjoys his R1200GSA set at max height - the ONLY bike he feel fits him.

So, for each his own..
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post #8 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2008, 1:02 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Just curious, what made the ST1100 so bad?

Michael
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post #9 of 17 Old Aug 26th, 2008, 10:08 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

The forward leaning position was not for me, add the one position for your feet, and it was a deal-breaker. I have floorboards on my LT, with MOPs, so I have complete flexibility for my legs, sit upright, and, in fact, can stand up on the pegs/boards.

On most "sport bikes", my forehead is directly over the windshield (no thanks), and on the GT, I can't get my knees behind the faring.

The RT is an OK bike, but, other than resting my legs on the jugs, there's no foot movement either.

We all have things that contribute to our bike selection, and I am fortunate to be able to afford to have my LT for touring, 2 up, and commuting (58 miles of freeway a day), and my V-rod (bags, windshield, center pegs (to stand on), forward controls, and highway pegs on the crash guards) for local trips. I find the power of both bikes so similar that the transition is transparent, but long trips on the V-rod are painful on such a small bike..

Hope I answered your question.
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post #10 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2008, 11:54 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Gaetz,

I used to own an LT. Loved the 2-up touring capability. The big girl can dance, I wasn't much of patner for her.

Traded the LT in on an RT and haven't ever looked back. (No LT disrespect intended or implied) RT, for me, is more fun as my Bride has decided not to ride. (Her decision was made PRIOR to the trade-in I might add.)

Test rode a GT. WOW. Back then, and now, I believe the RT's shorter wheelbase makes it more nimble for me. Also, I think the RT has better wind protection, etc. Lots of MOTOR on the GT and that was another reason I ended up with an RT. Too much HP for a throttle junkie like me would end up being "BAD", "PAINFUL", and "EXPENSIVE." Probably all three!

The comments above are just my humble opinion. Good luck on your search. What about the new VFR coming in 2009? V5! YIKES!

Cheers.


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post #11 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2008, 7:27 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaetz
I am in my 50's and would like something that is more suited for touring but also good for daily use. I have been reading the forums but I still need more convincing to make up my mind. I am really looking for something different but also fun.
Test drive them all... but do the GT last and bring your check book.
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post #12 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 12:13 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

I think it's much easier to sum it up by the type of riding you prefer. In my view the three motorcycles fall in to these categories ...

LT: Touring. It's a heavy motorccyle designed for touring in comfort. That is its primary purpose. It may be able to move quickly and is fairly nimble at speed, but it is a top heavy motorccyle below 5 mph and needs special care not to drop it. Plus it only has 3.5" of ground clearance. It scrapes the centerstand quickly. Better shocks can help, but it's still going to scrape inthe corners before any fo the other motorcycles. Only real comparision here is a Honda Goldwing.

RT: Sport - Touring: A good multipurpose motorcycle for everyday use that can handle the twisty roads fairly well and still go out for a long ride and not be screaming in pain at the end of the day. It's focus is more on touring that sport. It has the basic ammenities (heated grips, heated seats (some modells/years), radio w/cassete or CD depending on year, etc.). The ST-1300 is a direct competitor to this motorcycle.

GT: Sport - Touring: This one is more of a sport motorcycle than a touring motorcycle. The ergonomics are not as good as the RT (depends on your physical shape, but for me it was definitely tighter), but not as tight as a sport motorcycle. You still fit more or less upright, but the knees bend more. Two-up riding is an after thought. My wife sat on it and said no way. The seat is the pits. Consider this motorcycle more of a competitor to the C-14 or FJR-1300. It has a small fairing, small screen, and no radio or room for one either.

My last motorcycle was a '02 Concours. It got too uncomfortable to ride. The C-14 is less expensive than the GT, but not as good a ride. Check out the magazines for comparision and you'll see what I mean. The C-14 was also way to painful to even sit on much less ride. If you are coming from a VFR, that may not be a problem for you. So test them all out and then choose. If you can. The only dealer that would let me go for a test ride was BMW. They'll even let you take them on day-trips if you want.

2006 Magnesium Black Metallic K1200LT (sold - sigh)
1996 Sinus (aka Cirrus) Blue Metallic R1100RT
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post #13 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 1:22 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Gaetan,

I have an 03 Lt. I use this bike for everyday travel. I commute 7 miles (one way) to work every work day. I try not to even start my truck in the summer months. I find that this (large) bike handles wonderfully. I have had many bikes over the years and have never owned a bike that is as reliable and fun to ride at the KLT. I put on about 10,000 miles every summer. I will ride it until it dies (It will probably out last me). This bike is a work of pure craftmanship, plain and simple. It is an expensive machine, but you get what you pay for. My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip around the Gaspe' on it. I can't speek about the RT or the GT, but if they are anything like the KLT you just can't go wrong...My 2 cents worth.

Gary from Maine.
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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 8:11 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Hi Gaetan!

Any choice of these would be a compromize. Each of them is good for certain driving style, but they do have own individual characters. So, why don't you just keep your VFR for daily fun and buy LT for more serious biking/touring?

Regards
Leiboshi
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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 9:17 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Beemers are like underwear , buy the one that fits and your boxers wont bunch up as bad.

No matter where you go , there you are.
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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2008, 11:57 am
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Re: RT, GT or LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stixx
Beemers are like underwear...
...keep 'em clean so you won't be embarrassed if you have an accident?
...get 'em a size too small to impress potential mates?
...you can use 'em four times if you turn them inside out and backwards?
...the ladies get by with a lot less than the fellas?
...fewer skid marks if you have ABS?
...the old raggedy ones are the most comfortable?
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post #17 of 17 Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 8:40 pm
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Re: RT, GT or LT

I used to have an 01 VFR that I bought as a leftover in 02 and didn't keep it very long, approx. 5000 miles. The VFR just didn't do anything for me. Since then I've owned a 2003 VTX1300, a 1993 CBR 1000F, 2002 BMW R1150RT and now I have a 2002 K1200LT along with a 2000 CBR 929RR.

The 02 RT was a great bike, I put over 8000 miles on it in 1 1/2 years. I could ride that bike almost as fast in the twisties as I can the 929RR, but it lacked the acceleration. On the highway it was a very versatile bike, but the K engine is much smoother. Switching from your VFR to the LT would be a great improvement for your long haul trips, just having the cruise control alone is a plus. It's also not bad on the back roads or in town, but it's not a sport bike. Although having ridden a sport bike (VFR) you will be comfortable leaning the LT over into the turns but will find the handling much slower to your inputs. All in all I enjoy the LT more so than the RT and much more than the VFR that I had.

When I feel the need for some fun on the back roads, I get out the 929, when it's communiting or trips I take the LT. The LT is also easy on my knees and back, not unlike the RT, but overall I find the LT more comfortable. Like the others have posted, take them for a ride and have fun trying them out.
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