Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 8:35 am Thread Starter
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Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

After 3 K1200LTs I have decided to make the switch to a K1200GT. In this hot weather I just got tired of the weight. I commute 150 round trip in/out of London and I was exhausted at the end of a hot day. For touring it's the best but I lack the enthusiasm for the city commute.

Anyway, initial thoughts are that it was the right choice. The lightness and handling of the GT are a joy. The loss of my seat and my music system are a pain and trying to reverse on a slight uphill in my gravel car park without the reverse gear means getting off the bike and pushing, unless I want to rap my shins on the footpegs.

My only concern is riding the bike with the panniers on - they are the widest part of the bike and I'm uncomfortable with that. Does anyone make alternative mirrors for the GT which would make them wider than the panniers - or who makes slimline pannier lids so I can slim them down?

I could just get a top box and not use the panniers but I don't like the big BMW one and I don't think the smaller one is big enough.

Any recommendations would be gratefully received.
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post #2 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 9:17 am
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

Hi,

Givi makes a great topbox. The E52 - MAXIA - MONOKEY is a wonderful box. It has plenty of storage space, mounts easily and is about half the cost of the BMW top box... It is actually easier to mount and dismount then the standard side luggage.

I have an RT which uses the same luggage as the GT. We have the option of adding mirrors to the holes on the handle bars. That is what I did. Why don't you look at the Givi ( http://www.giviusa.com/caschi_borse_...sp?CO_ID=29463 ) and use that for commuting. Use all three for touring. I believe it will work for the GT. I have seen them being used on other GTs. It actually has more usable storage space.

Good Luck
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post #3 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 11:34 am
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurCal
After 3 K1200LTs I have decided to make the switch to a K1200GT. In this hot weather I just got tired of the weight. I commute 150 round trip in/out of London and I was exhausted at the end of a hot day. For touring it's the best but I lack the enthusiasm for the city commute.

Anyway, initial thoughts are that it was the right choice. The lightness and handling of the GT are a joy. The loss of my seat and my music system are a pain and trying to reverse on a slight uphill in my gravel car park without the reverse gear means getting off the bike and pushing, unless I want to rap my shins on the footpegs.

My only concern is riding the bike with the panniers on - they are the widest part of the bike and I'm uncomfortable with that. Does anyone make alternative mirrors for the GT which would make them wider than the panniers - or who makes slimline pannier lids so I can slim them down?

I could just get a top box and not use the panniers but I don't like the big BMW one and I don't think the smaller one is big enough.

Any recommendations would be gratefully received.
http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/
Mirror Extender Set
Part Number: 8410072
Price: $125.00

Lots of good stuff in that site


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post #4 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 3:12 pm
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

Hi Arthur,

I also changed form an LT to a GT because of the reduced weight. The extra power sure didn't hurt, either. And I've ridden through London, so I know exactly what you mean.

You have several choices here. One is using just a top box for commuting. BMW makes a large 49L box, and a smaller 28L box. Both are well made and spacious, pop easily onto or off of the factory rack, and can be keyed to match the bike. The downside is that they only come in silver (some guys have them painted to match), and they are typically BMW pricey. But either case is the simplest, most elegant solution.

Another choice is to go with an aftermarket case like a Givi. They make an adapter plate for the GT/RT (same basic rear rack), but even with the adapter plate, they're still cheaper than the BMW stuff. And they come in several different sizes as well.

Or you could leave the saddlebags on and get some City Lids. These are replacement saddlebag lids that are thinner than the factory lids. You won't be able to fit a full face helmet in your bags, but they will reduce your rear width dramatically. You can see the lids in this thread, this thread, and this thread. They are available from importers in France and the Netherlands. The Netherlands link also shows the silver BMW 49L top case. Note that the saddlebags and trunks for the GT and R12RT are exactly the same (except for body color), so sometimes these parts are listed under the R12RT.

As for mirrors, you can get the oval mirrors off an old-style 2002 K1200RS that will fit into the mirror mount holes in your existing handlebar controls. Then you could remove the fairing-mount mirrors and get the bike down even skinnier . . .

But what I've done is to change none of that at all. The factory mirrors are a good judge of the bike's width, and are actually already wider than the saddlebags (measure it out - it's true even if it doesn't look like it). And the saddlebags are down low, so if you your mirrors clear the gap to the car/truck mirrors, then your bags will easily clear their bumpers.

Hope that helps.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
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post #5 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 5:27 pm
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurCal
After 3 K1200LTs I have decided to make the switch to a K1200GT. In this hot weather I just got tired of the weight. I commute 150 round trip in/out of London and I was exhausted at the end of a hot day. For touring it's the best but I lack the enthusiasm for the city commute.

Anyway, initial thoughts are that it was the right choice. The lightness and handling of the GT are a joy. The loss of my seat and my music system are a pain and trying to reverse on a slight uphill in my gravel car park without the reverse gear means getting off the bike and pushing, unless I want to rap my shins on the footpegs.

My only concern is riding the bike with the panniers on - they are the widest part of the bike and I'm uncomfortable with that. Does anyone make alternative mirrors for the GT which would make them wider than the panniers - or who makes slimline pannier lids so I can slim them down?

I could just get a top box and not use the panniers but I don't like the big BMW one and I don't think the smaller one is big enough.

Any recommendations would be gratefully received.
I commute 27 miles each way without the panniers and with the 49L topcase for storage. It easily takes my laptop bag and some other stuff, and while parked stored my helmet, GPS gloves, etc. easily with room for lots more stuff. While expensive it is a very excellent storage solution for the commute. The Givi 53L Maxia is the only comparable topcase I can think of out there.

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post #6 of 11 Old Jul 1st, 2009, 7:04 pm
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

I like the GT mirrors since they are 2" wider overall than the bike with stock bags they work like antennae in that if they fit a gap so will the bike. They are great guides as to if a lane split will work or not unlike the LT where I was scared to death to even try. This is all assuming you don't make a quick turn or something.
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post #7 of 11 Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 5:35 am
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

I am with David and the others. I recommend commuting with a BMW 49 Litre top case on, and the side cases (panniers) off. This configuration makes it easy to filter (split lanes).

The top case is spacious. It is the only case that will fit my backpack with a 17 inch laptop. When I get to work, I replace the backpack with my helmet, jacket, etc. On the way home, there is plenty of room in there for groceries or other packages. I also keep two pairs of adjustable motorcycle Rok Straps (one pair wide, one pair thin) under the seat, in case I have an extra package to strap down to the passenger seat. http://www.rokstraps.com/

I like the ease of locking/unlocking/mounting/unmounting the BMW case with the bike key.

I measured my mirror and side case (pannier) widths some time ago. They are nearly identical - I believe that the mirrors are 1/2 inch wider than the cases.

See post #24 in this useful thread: http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11393

See also these threads:
http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12568
http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13993
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post #8 of 11 Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:16 am
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

While working the Barcelona MOTO GP recently, I toured SHAD. Very impressive technology and design craftsmanship.
www.shad.es
They make OEM seats and cases for KTM & BMW. They also market their own brand.
Call Bernat Gali, commercial manager, +34.935.795.860. He can give you the best local outlet. Their goods are much better looking than BMW and they are very close to LED additions (safety enhanced with brake light).

I had the large BMW case on my BMW K1200GT and loved it. My dealer gave me a large discount from retail price.

Personally, I liked the GT mirrors (Size and Stability at speed).
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post #9 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2009, 8:55 pm
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

After switching from a GT to a LT, the one thing that I miss are the panniers! The Lt storage is adequate, but I liked the set-up on my 07' Gt better! Good Luck
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post #10 of 11 Old Sep 17th, 2009, 9:41 am Thread Starter
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

Thank you to everyone who replied and I did follow some of the advice. I had a Givi V46 topbox fitted, which takes two helmets, has a passenger backrest in and is smaller than the large BMW topbox. I then removed the panniers for commuting and used them when touring. No problems and I have thoroughly enjoyed the bike (so has my girlfriend).

Now Winter is approaching and I will need the panniers to take the extra clothing when I commute so I considered the CIty Lids but I think the Rizoma replacement mirrors from Wunderlich will suit. I accept that the mirrors and panniers may be the same width (although it doesn't feel like it) but I think the extra width on the Rizoma mirrors will make me feel more comfortable.

Thank you all once again.
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post #11 of 11 Old Oct 31st, 2009, 10:41 am
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Re: Switched LT for GT - mirrors & topbox advice

if you want real simplicity BMW makes a comuter bag you wear. It lolds a laptop and enough paperwork to keep a person busy and goes over one shoulder like the old paper route bags we wore as kids. A secondary strap goes 'round the waist and insures it doesn't flop about. Quite keein , I'd say, and surely what' I'd choose if commuting was on my agenda. FWIW, I also use the smaller top box. looks way more proportionate and will hold a helmet if it is not too big and other stuff as well. I had mine painted to mach the bike and it turned out quite handsome if not cheap.

Good luck

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