Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: North East Florida, FL, USA
Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders
[QUOTE=OldRider2;910313]Good comments from you folks I appreciate them. I thought there had to be someone to compare a GL to BMW and I wanted frank answers. I think I will plan to visit a couple of places this year and try to drive an LT and RT. I like smooth and quiet (reasonably anyway) and don't want to be shaken to death or have something to loud. It would be nice to have one of each but that isn't reality and I don't want to get rid of my 1500 until I know what I want. The GL1500 is just about right on power, smoothness, but I'm over 60 sooooo my concern is working on it and maneuvering at slow speeds, near stopped.
What about maintenance costs for BMWs and the availability of dealerships? I feel the BMW dealerships in New England are no way near as prevalent as Honda dealerships. So I think about neading parts or service, especially in an emergency could be a pain. I haven't owned a new bike for years so do all the work on my bikes myself other than mounting tires. In the last 4+ years of riding GLs I haven't needed a dealer.
Are there any common problems, big expenses to expect owning a BMW? Are there any big services to expect on the LT/RT? What about the replacement of tires, what kind of mileage can you expect?
If you are capable of doing you own service then maintenance cost shouldn't be an issue. If not then I'll remind you that BMW stands for Bring More Wallet! OF course in reality of all major dealers in my area BMW is the least expensive at $95/hr all others are over $100. The down side is that BMW recommended service intervals are somewhat more frequent than Honda. Parts availability should not be a problem as several dealers and a few aftermarket companies offer good service via Internet sales. A possible down side is that if you travel long distances you'll find BMW dealerships can be few and far in between depending on where you are where as Honda dealers are pretty plentiful.
AS far as being an "OLD" GW rider, I think I qualify. I'm 73 years old and have owned 3 GW's, and 1150, a 1200, and a 1500. They were all great bikes. In '99 I was ready to retire my '99 and I test rode a new LT. My immediate reaction was WOW, this thing is amazing! Handling, braking and most things that are options on a Honda are already included as standard. I bought the LT and never looked back. Since then I have owned two LT's, a K100 with EML sidehack, two 1150 GS's and my current R1200RT. I moved to the RT as my wife stopped riding with me and I wanted to downsize a bit. No regrets. The RT is lighter and easier to move around at low speed but for me is just as comfortable for long distance rides and perhaps a bit more fun in the twisties. Someone mentioned vibration with the RT. It is after all a twin and there is some slight buzz at idle but off idle it disappears and reports are that the new engine is even smoother. As far as maintenance, I've done all my own maintenance on all the above mentioned bikes and while none are particularly difficult I find the RT is among the easiest. Things just seem to be more accessible than on the LT. Good luck with your decision.
North East Florida
MSF #28271 Retired
'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
'85 K100/EML sidecar sold
'11 R1200RT currently being enjoyed
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