Well, gang, while I was at CCR, Randy was gracious enough to lend me his K1300GT for a day, and I think I got the answer to my questions.
First of all, the K1300GT ROCKS! Great handling, nice ergonomics, and Holy Crap! can it ever MOVE!
The power is almost intoxicating - getting to triple digits was WAY too easy.
It was an absolute blast in the twisties (I did Spearfish Canyon), yet cruises along nicely on the slab as well! All in all, a fabulous bike!
But it's not for me.
After even 20 minutes on the highway, my basketball-hammered knees were aching. 20 minutes later they were in agony. You guys (and gals) with younger, shorter and/or less damaged knees may find the GT's seating position comfortable for long periods of time, but not me.
When I got back on my old LT, and stretched my legs out onto those JPegs, it was like coming home to a nice, comfy recliner.
On the way back to Seattle, I generally stayed in the saddle for hours on end, stopping only to get gas (i.e., every 150-200 mi.). No way I could have stayed on the GT for even an hour at a time.
So, as fun as the GT was to ride, it comes down to the same old thing: each rider has to find the bike(s) that "fit" him/her, and other people's experiences can only serve as a starting point, but can't replace a good old test ride. Thanks again to all who voiced opinions on this topic, and again to Randy for giving me some time to really check the GT out. I may lust after that baby for short flings
, but at the end of the day, I still want to come home to my good ol' LT!
I guess that means I'm back to hanging on every rumor of a new LT that circulates the next 6-12 months until we have a final verdict as to its demise and/or resurrection!
BTW, I think this post sets a personal record for the most smilies ever used!