A visit to the "Dark Side" - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old Jun 10th, 2014, 2:10 pm Thread Starter
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A visit to the "Dark Side"

I had arranged to test ride a K1600 GD while the Luftmeister (K1200LT) was under going a minor procedure at the local dealer.

Absolutely stunned by the electronics and the menu options, set it for 2 up. Engine is amazing and handling is fantastic.
They said I could take it out for a couple of hours. I was back in 20 minutes.

Madam was singularly unimpressed. She can sit on the K1200LT for 6 hours while hammering back across France for the Channel Ferry but was objecting after 10 minutes. I also found the position uncomfortable and was getting cramp between my shoulder blades. It all seemed too small (I am 6ft3in) .

So we are both convinced that the K1200LT is the best touring bike for 2 plus luggage (and I think it is fun for 1 up and "giving it some welly").

I still struggle to find a bike I like more (apart from my R1150RT).

Off next week to do another Iron Butt run on the K, the RBLR 1,000, I will be doing the route around Scotland again.
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post #2 of 5 Old Jun 10th, 2014, 3:07 pm
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Re: A visit to the "Dark Side"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimbler View Post
I had arranged to test ride a K1600 GD while the Luftmeister (K1200LT) was under going a minor procedure at the local dealer.

Absolutely stunned by the electronics and the menu options, set it for 2 up. Engine is amazing and handling is fantastic.
They said I could take it out for a couple of hours. I was back in 20 minutes.

Madam was singularly unimpressed. She can sit on the K1200LT for 6 hours while hammering back across France for the Channel Ferry but was objecting after 10 minutes. I also found the position uncomfortable and was getting cramp between my shoulder blades. It all seemed too small (I am 6ft3in) .

So we are both convinced that the K1200LT is the best touring bike for 2 plus luggage (and I think it is fun for 1 up and "giving it some welly").

I still struggle to find a bike I like more (apart from my R1150RT).

Off next week to do another Iron Butt run on the K, the RBLR 1,000, I will be doing the route around Scotland again.
You will also get another downer when you see the complexity and cost of maintenance on these K1600. The K1200LT maintenance although a bit tedious (lots of stuff to remove) will look like a walk in the park.

Because of complexity and cost of these new bikes, dealer assume that you will accept $600 to $800 inspection (glorified oil change). Although not often needed, you should ask how many hours will be charged for a valve job or any major inspection. A special vacuum pump is needed to refill radiator and cooling system (I am not kidding).

I have worked on my bikes all my life and can tear up a K1200 for a clutch job, but this technology hyperbole does not make sense. But new improved gadgets will always sell...

-------------------------------------------------
John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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post #3 of 5 Old Jun 10th, 2014, 4:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: A visit to the "Dark Side"

My small but perfectly formed pillion pointed out some fascinating truths to me.

On the K1200LT the grab handles are in the natural position when the arms hang down.
On the K1600 GD she had to reach under her backside and her weight was on her thumbs.

I do not wish to disparage other nations here but her backside is very much smaller than that which might be typical around the world. So the grab handles are useless for anyone over size 6.

She was absolutely scathing to the dealer, said it was a bloody useless touring bike.
Her definition of of a good touring bike is being able to enjoy the view, take photos and text our daughter while I am having fun with a twisty bit.
She is unconvinced that anything is more suited to her that the K1200LT.
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post #4 of 5 Old Jun 11th, 2014, 3:43 am
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Talking Re: A visit to the "Dark Side"

She's a keeper then! (bike as well!)

Simon

2006 k1200LT........my 13th!
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post #5 of 5 Old Jun 11th, 2014, 11:32 am
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Re: A visit to the "Dark Side"

I know both worlds, having put 80k miles on the LT, and picking up a GTL in January.

I am 6'3", and yes, the stock GTL is a little more cramped than the LT. I think they lowered things to make it easier for "inseam challenged" riders to be able to flat foot the bike. I simply had more height added to my custom seat, and viola. BTW, I have had a custom seat on every bike I've owned.

For pillion comfort, my wife was not happy at first - at all. Lots more wind than the LT (we had a V-Stream windshield on the LT). Stock screen on LT AND the GTL both suck. Went with the full Aeroflow setup, and now she feels better protected on the GTL.

Maintenance costs - well, of course spark plugs are more, because there are 6...

The "maintenance costs being much higher on a GTL" statement hasn't seemed to be true yet. LT required "Major Service" every 12K miles and costs $700-$900. It's every 18K on the GTL, and costs $800 - $900. Getting to the service areas (air filter for one) takes literally 10 minutes.

I do all my own wrenching (including multiple LT clutches), so I leave only valve checks and brake/radiator flush to the dealer (even on the LT - just don't want to deal with that part). If I leave that part to them, it's "only $300" for their part... GS-911 hasn't come out with a new unit for the GT/L yet, so if you want the "service reminder" light reset, you have to go by the dealer for the time being - it's a quick plug in, read and reset. They supposedly have a GS-911 unit in beta now, so soon home wrencher can do their own "inspection".

#1 issue for me was getting the Pillion Comfort dialed in; that's been accomplished. She never had an issue with the grab bars (she's 5'4", 110 lbs) being under her - and they re-positioned the grab bars for the 2013 model. On the 2012 model they were literally under the seat and useless. Maintenance costs are very similar. I had to do nearly all the same things to my LT as far as farkles (windscreen, seat, highway pegs) for comfort, so a wash there.

#1 reason I went with the new scooter? I thought my LT performed well, and it did. But after riding the GTL for 5+ months, I could never see myself going back. The GTL is now comfortable; I can easily do a 700-1,000 mile day just like on my LT; but the GTL simply runs circles around the LT.

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015; SLC, 2017
CCR-R: 2018, Russellville
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
IBA #31242 (SSx2, BB, BBG)
MOA #136148

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Last edited by hallzee; Jun 11th, 2014 at 11:39 am.
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