Originally Posted by MarkF
OK, so I want a K-bike. Maybe a GT or maybe a LT. The thing is I like the slab side (new) K1200GT better than the K1300GT. Seems to be lotsa good deals on used 1200's What are the other advantages of the 1300's? Were there problems with the 1200's? Are the changes to the 1300's more than just cc/hp? HELP?
Your questions are very open-ended, and you can fill a book with the responses.
GTs and LTs have different inline 4 cylinder engines. The GTs have the newer transverse mounted "Slant 4", the LT has the older (but respected) "Flying Brick". The GT is a much lighter sport tourer, the LT is a heavy luxury tourer that competes with Honda's GoldWing.
A common theme among later model BMW shaft drive motorcycles has been final drive failures. BMW does not publicly admit that there is a problem, but most of the people who are active on these forums would respectfully disagree. BMW North America quietly supplements the costs of out-of-warranty final drive replacements when asked.
Both K1200GTs and K1300GTs have their differences, good and bad.
In addition to the horsepower increases, BMW made a variety of subtle improvements to the K1300GTs over the K1200GTs. People on these forums seemed most interested in the smoother fueling at low RPMs, and the change in switchgear. The new switchgear includes a single turn signal switch on the left handlebar (Japanese bike style), the K1200GTs have separate turn signal switches on each handlebar (Harley style). Which is better is a matter of opinion.
See the attachment below for BMW's detailed description of the improvements in the K1300GT.
There have been significant problems with K1300GT switchgear failures, and recent rumors that BMW may issue a recall on them.
BMW also issued a K1300GT recall on the newer "urine cup" brake fluid reservoirs. They added a sponge and weight to prevent vibration induced foaming in the brake fluid. There have been reports on these forums of sudden, unexpected K1300GT engine stalling, but BMW has not publicly responded.
K1200GTs have seen various recalls and issues, too. The most common problems include premature front brake pad wear indicator warnings, where the wire leading to the pad breaks because the tie wraps holding it were too tight; K1200GTs that wouldn't start because the antenna wire for reading the electronic key broke (recalled); and the aforementioned final drive failures. There were noticeable "high idle" (i.e., stuck throttle) problems, fixed for most riders with an airbox (and related parts) replacement under warranty. I suspect that most K1200GTs have had this work done, but perhaps a few never needed it.
Some (most?) owners report poor fueling on the K1200GTs at low RPMs where the bikes hesitate, which was specifically addressed through engine changes for the K1300GT. Some K1200GT owners added a Power FRK third party accessory, which appears to fix the issue.
2006 K1200GTs have the old servo brakes, which offer very little stopping power when the engine is off. Some people prefer the feel of the servo brakes under normal operation compared with the new brakes.
2006 and early 2007 K1200GTs have very uncomfortable seats, according to most owners. The seats were significantly improved in mid-2007 and up (no change on K1300GTs), but many owners still find them uncomfortable and replace them with custom seats.
There is a lot of K1200GT and K1300GT activity on the sister site, http://www.k-bikes.com/
Check it out.