Traded the RT in on a GT
As some of you may recall from the previous RT / GT thread, I had been considering the move to a GT.
Yesterday I brought home a Deep Crystal Blue 07 with ESA, heated seats, grips, cruise, tall windshield and........free GPS (big deal, I'll never use it).
Before you read further, I'd like to qualify the following by saying I do not mean to offend anyone here who owns either bike. They are both fine machines, and these the observations of a 40 y/o, motorcycle obsessed individual.
I have mixed feelings at this point. Truthfully, the RT is much more comfortable with noticeably better wind protection. The legroom on the GT feels very cramped after 30 minutes on the bike, and even with the bars all the way up I do not like the seating position after being on the bike for more than a 1/2 hour or so. The engine is commendably smooth, but I notice my right hand goes completely numb almost immediately.
The GT handles nicely, but I stand by my statement that the RT handles better. With the RT, all you have to do is think about leaning the bike over and it falls right into a turn. By comparison, the GT requires a more physical approach to getting into turns. Not to say the GT is not a good handling bike, because it really is. However, if I had the itch to go to Tail of the Dragon for example, the RT would be my choice.
Another point I'll make as it applies to both bikes is the benefits of ESA. Bike magazines can rave all day long about how much less a Concours, or FJR cost. However, I would be hard pressed to buy a bike without ESA again. It completely changes the handling dynamics of the bike, and adds great value to the riding experience.
So far all my driving has been limited to 4,500 rpms. Obviously, the GT has more power, but I really cannot complain about the RT's power. It has that great boxer torque, and was just fine for 95% of the riding I did. I do notice some typical high frequency inline 4cyl resonance, which may be why my right hand goes numb. The boxers vibration is completely different and is low frequency "pulsing". The more bikes I own the more I tend to gravitate towards really nice twins like the boxer.
I notice some annoying driveline lash, and the throttle is a tad abrupt. I never noticed these issues on the RT, and it was an easier bike to be smooth on, at least initially.
I really hope I can add some significant comfort to the GT. The way it is now, I would not dream of anything more than a relatively modest day trip. To anyone with an RT thinking of going to a GT, realize that this is not a touring bike in stock form. Be prepared to spend time and money making changes to the GT's ergonomics, and accept the possibility that it may never meet your expectations in that department.
So in summary I'm a little dissapointed, but will reserve final judgement after I have added a better seat and worked on the ergo's. I am not too distraught, and if the GT does not grow on me, I will just go back to an RT sometime next year, but I do ant to give it time. The GT was just an itch I had to scratch since I have an affinity for horsepower.