Re: K1300GT vs. R1200RT vs. Honda ST?
I know this thread is almost 2 years old, and the thread starter has long ago decided on her choice. But I thought I'd add a note here rather than start a new one. I also know that since this a beamer site, we should expect loyalty to that brand. But having had an ST for 4 years (bought used in 07, just sold it) and just bought a used 07 K1200GT last fall, thought someone might be interested in my take so far.
Let me begin by saying that I'm over 65, and not into tight twisties, so I will not be able to compare the two machines with regards to this type of riding.
The ride of the two bikes, in my opinion, is quite similar. Both handle very well, and have plenty of power. I can accelerate around 18 wheelers going over he mountain passes here in Colorado no problem with either bike. The GT does handle better in cross winds-I'll say that. Bikes look the same to me without the bags, but I don't consider that an issue anyway. Both bikes had similar mileage when purchased. The two big differences for me has been the purchase price and the amount of service required and the cost of that service.
On the ST: less expensive bike by far, bought it 3 years old, and never had one speck of trouble with the bike, no recalls, nothing. Changed the oil myself-piece of cake. Rode it on 3 or 4 trips over 500 miles, and the rest just commuting and around town. Had after market Spencerized seat, riser bar, heated grips, and throttle lock, non ABS. Did notice some engine heat since the fairings are open on the side, when going slow, but not much.
On the K12GT, I enjoy riding the bike, and it had only 7500 miles when purchased 3 years old. But paid a couple thousand more than I did for the ST. Just took a 1500 miles trip. Got Corbin seats, riser bar, and Cee Bailey windshield. But I've had the break-pad wear indicator light on ever since I bought the bike (been told there's no cure for that until I need to but new brake pads), took it in for recall work last month (rear relay link), as well as another recall last fall (front break lines). On my trip I had it die on me twice at low RPM after running a while (read about that on this site). Started up fine after each time. Changing the oil is much more complicated.
But the most telling example is this: In both cases I wanted to wire 12 volt power to my after market GPS (same GPS in both cases). On the ST, the Honda dealer did it, including an extra rocker switch, and charged me about $60. On the K12GT, the BMW dealer did it, told me I had to buy the BMW GPS power cable and spice it with the GPS cable I had, also installed a rocker switch and charged me $300. So I paid 5 times as much for the same final result.
I'll keep the Beamer, cause I do enjoy it, but I'm not sure what I'll buy next.