Time for a change... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 7:00 pm Thread Starter
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Talking Time for a change...

Been reading the 'board' for awhile now trying to get a feel for the LT from the members...have to come out of the closet and ask a question...
As my name suggests (or not...) I have been riding a black GL1800 for a couple of years, or about 65,000 miles. Had a bad scare on a 2 lane in major downpour. Next time you are on a tractor trailer infested major 2 lane highway with no overpasses or exits plus a soft gravel shoulder, in your cage and its raining like it does in Fla. sometimes, turn off the windshield wipers. Now stick your head out the window to try and see. Leave your glasses on. Drive for 35 miles. Change pants for a couple of reasons. Sell bike with NON ADJUSTABLE WINDSHIELD WHILE RIDING (frame cracking is a bonus for some lucky folks...) FEATURES.

O.K. got that off my chest. Loved the '96 R1100RT for years and miles. Learned to hate the (clunk) transmission. So I am thinking, R1200RT or K1200LT.

The 12RT would be a wonderful upgrade on the 11RT, but the LT would be a 'logical' comparision to the GL18.

I use my bike, (can only have one, insurance + limited season here in 'Wintada' ), to commute the 120miles to and from work. Don't ride the Dragon but I would like to some day...L'il Red comes along halfadozen times a year when the weather is perfect and she feels like it.

My question is; is the LT a good solo bike or primarily a '2-up' machine. In other words for the few times she would come along, (see priorities above...), am I spending $$ for features (and weight, gulp) that I don't need to lug around every day. The GL was a wonderful bike for power and smooth delivery. The weight was a concern on cottage lawns and rutted dirt roads leading up to same. O.K. once a year but I still want to take the bike.

Jim
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post #2 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 7:16 pm
 
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I don't think you can go wrong with either. I commute 125 miles each day on a combo of freeway and two lane canyon route, and I can't think of a better way to go than my LT. I also am guilty of oogling the 1200RT everytime i'm in the BMW toy store. Now, if I can just get my bride to sell the Tbird........
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post #3 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 7:41 pm Thread Starter
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I'm assuming you commute solo...or do you 'bike pool' ? If not I guess thats a 'yea' vote for both my commute, and solo on the LT, question.

Jim
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post #4 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 7:51 pm
 
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LT the sport bike

Well, not entirely! I just gave up a black Wing 1800 after four years and bought the LT. Don't tell my wife but I really prefer the LT solo and I ride it like a sport bike (as much as it allows).

Fact is that the Wing spoiled my with the storage space so the little extra bulk of the bags and trunk are a small trade off.

My vote is for the LT.

Enjoy
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post #5 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 7:51 pm
 
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Thumbs up

The LT is a great bike for cruising highways and curvy roads. I find it rather heavy and awkward to maneuver in traffic, so be aware, if that is the kind of driving you plan to do. I generally ride one up too, and find it an awesome machine above 20 mph. I love the amenities, such as ABS, radio, storage, riding position... too. IMHO, it does seem that the maintainence can be rather expensive if the dealer handles it, but not so bad if you are willing and able (read this board!) to do it yourself.
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post #6 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 8:01 pm Thread Starter
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Didn't they (BMW) address the 'heavy, akward' in slow moving situations issue with the '05 model? The GL certainly was 'heavy' and the 'akward' part was only in play on uneven surfaces, see 'cottage lawn' etc. above...

The low seat position plus low(er) C of G helped the GL18, but at 5 10" and 42 yrs of riding, (next week!), I'm thinking the LT shouldn't be too bad ??

Jim
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post #7 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 8:09 pm
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Smile Akward?

Never found this Lt to be anywhere near Akward at anytime and that includes slow bearly needle moving. I'm thinking that after almost three years of riding the Lt that all those that get that Akward feeling are verticly challenged, Maybe? Yep. I'm 6'2 and think this bike is the best one out there all around hands down, hey maybe it has somthing to do with age too. Just my two cents worth.
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post #8 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 8:18 pm
 
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I'm with you on that one. I never found it top heavy or hard to handle & I had a GL1800 before it.
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post #9 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 8:27 pm
 
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Smile

At 5'4" can be a bit of a handful at slow speed and reversing on uneven grass areas. Still, the grin factor is worth the slow speed issues.
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post #10 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 8:42 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWing18
Didn't they (BMW) address the 'heavy, akward' in slow moving situations issue with the '05 model? The GL certainly was 'heavy' and the 'akward' part was only in play on uneven surfaces, see 'cottage lawn' etc. above...

The low seat position plus low(er) C of G helped the GL18, but at 5 10" and 42 yrs of riding, (next week!), I'm thinking the LT shouldn't be too bad ??

Jim
Any one of these 900LB bikes are awkward off road. The LT is no exception. IF you have been riding for 42 years you'll love the LT. Mainly cause you like to ride or you would not have been riding for 40+ years. I've been riding for only 33 years and have had Honda Twins, multiple dirt bikes, Venture Royale and then a GL1500 experience before moving to the LT over the winter of 2002.

The further you ride the more you'll like the LT. I'm a little bit taller than you. 5' 11' with a 31" inseam and I sit on my LT with the seat in either position flatfooted.

If you have a GL1800 you should be able to move to a very good used LT for almost no money.. that is what I did. My wife rode with me for many years but but as a rule doesn't now.. however she does come out for an occasional ride. The biggest problem I see with the LT two up is the reduced cargo/luggage space. If my wife was to travel with me long distance again I would not be able to pack everything.. necessary...

I work out of my home and use my LT as my mid-Spring to mid-Autumn transportation. I can pack enough stuff for two or three quick days and actually get paid for riding... The only thing that bothers me about commuting with the LT is stop and go... no lane splitting here.. don't trust them cagers and road rage.. However the good point about the LT in stop and go is the heat management. It's very... no .. awesome. The GL was horrible by comparison... If you don't need to take a lot of stuff with you you can remove the top box in 10 min and almost have a sport bike..

I typically don't take the LT out for a ride. Except for going to CCR . The LT brought back the fun to driving for work... my M/C mileage tripled after I moved to the LT.. I start riding sooner and end later than I ever did before.

Yes, it's a handful moving it a slow speeds but once you understand how to maneuver under 5 MPH slow speed is not an issue. You'll probably drop it and bruise your ego but you have 40 years of experience.. I'm sure you have picked a bike up before..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
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post #11 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:05 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWing18
The low seat position plus low(er) C of G helped the GL18, but at 5 10" and 42 yrs of riding, (next week!), I'm thinking the LT shouldn't be too bad ??
Respect her, and you'll be fine. I commute daily on mine, suburbs into city. 5'7", 30" inseam. No worries with handling; I don't really even think about it anymore, I just go from point A to point B.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #12 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:12 pm
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Go with the LT, solo, 2up & commute

I'm 5'10" and a 29" inseam and love the LT. Slow speed handling is just fine ('05) even 2 up with the trunk loaded with camera gear and another 15 lbs on the rack it's manageable - never awkward. It handles more like a sport touring bike than most think until they get on one.

Whether a daily commute, LD trip, a turn through the twisties or a quick trip to the store I get on the LT before anything else at this point. It also works well for about 1/2 of my Home Depot runs .

Dave

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website has been hacked - down for now
Riding since '65 - 30+ bikes (lost count)
Current Stable:
'06 R12GS Adv, '98 Buell, '95 Ultra, '95 Fatboy, '71 Rickman, '53 Panhead
2009-2010 KxxxxLT or whenever BMW updates the platform


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post #13 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:20 pm
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Well, as was stated earlier, either will do.
If size, weight, and slow speed are a big factor for you, go with the RT.
Otherwise the LT.

The LT will be much better on the slab. Much better protection from the elements. Many more toys. Handles extremely well at speed. At any sane speed (I.E. 70mph in a posted 35 mph curve, or slower) Shes great.

The LT will be a tad more work in tight stuff like the Dragon, but not too bad.

Parking Lots, stop and go traffic, U-Turns, and backup up are the only times the LT will give you pause. If you pay attention, follow the rules, its manageable, but for me not fun.

I'm fortunate enough to have a smaller, lighter, bike for commuting, and still have the LT for 2up and the slab.

You must ride both, and make your own mind up. Buy the one that leaves you with the biggest grin !!

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #14 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:22 pm
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Get the LT, take the trunk off for all the 1up driving you do (10 minute job), add the trunk when the signifigant other rides those few times a year. It is a different bike without the trunk.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans

Jerry P. Hatley
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2007 R1200RT (Betty Lou)
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post #15 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheinzer
Well, not entirely! I just gave up a black Wing 1800 after four years and bought the LT. Don't tell my wife but I really prefer the LT solo and I ride it like a sport bike (as much as it allows).

Fact is that the Wing spoiled my with the storage space so the little extra bulk of the bags and trunk are a small trade off.

My vote is for the LT.

Enjoy
I have my 2000 LT and just love it. It's fine when the wife is with me but I just love it when I'm alone and can do the comfy sport bike stuff.

The only time I've ever dropped my bike was in a parking garage 2 up and S-L-O-W while looking left and right trying to figure which way to go I looked left, wife moved right... wheel turned right... fell on the right. But the rubber (technical tem) thingies kept it up and nothing touched the ground.

It's a great bike and would get another in a heartbeat.... but then again, that 1200GS looks pretty nice too. I want to go to Alaska and just know my bike hates dirt, sand, mud or anything that's NOT asphalt or cement
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post #16 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:32 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks Jack, that is the reason I like to use a bike to get to work and back, it puts some fun in the otherwise mind-numbing commute. Its also a help in the 'stay awake' dept. Especially those '0-dark-hundred' returns home.

I started on a BSA Ariel, 1959 version, so the newer bikes are generally all pretty outstanding. Too much choice, too high expectations? Makes us all a little jaded sometimes...

Rode a friends '76 Trident the other day. Ouch.

So I will start looking for a '05 LT. Wish BMW Motorad would honor the warranty on U.S. bikes up here in Canada. There is a tremendous selection of used bikes south of the border. Little choice here and the prices are, well, ouch again.

Jim

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post #17 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 9:54 pm
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I've been trading the post and will tell you this. I have an 05 and the thought of doing a 120 mike comute on anything less would be just dumb. I got my bike with 36,772 miles on it. The previous owner went places. He never had a single warranty issue or major problem. He had a 6 yr. transferable warranty so I bought it. I go to my SO's place 73 miles away and back 3 times a week and sort of 'Comute" I guess. I get off the buke better than I get on it, comfort wise. I imagine the wing is sweet too. The rain here in Florida can be a bear. I LOVE the adjustable shield, I have a Cee Bailey #2 Plus 2 and it works great! I don't have too many twisty's down here but the on/ off ramps can be fun too! Buy an 05 used and don't look back, Did I mention the 42mpg at 70+mph? Buy it, you'll like it!

Brian A. Brodhead
God created all men, Samuel Colt made them equal

2005 BMW K1200LT Goldie goodtime plastic fm rock'n roamer
1975 Triumph T160 750 restored "Heather" For Sale
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post #18 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 10:34 pm
 
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if i were you, knowing what i know now, i'd probably opt for the RT. you sound like you enjoy the curves as well as the straights, and i think the RT is superior for that ... especially since you ride solo.
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post #19 of 27 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 10:35 pm
 
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Had a VTX 1300 and traded up to the LT in Aug,2005. Bought it in Tampa and rode it back to Las Vegas one week after buying it..The grin factor was great then and is even bigger now.. I ride everyday locally just to get up on it. I'm 5'9" w/30" inseam. It was a handfull at first at slow speeds but with more experience under my belt now it handles nicely..I was out of the saddle for over 40 years(yeah, I'm in the medicare group, part B) and am now fulfilling my dream of riding with the wind whenever I feel like it.
The only drawback that I see is the bike is so quiet that I have to keep a wary eye on the cagers everytime I get close to one on the road. IMHO you can't go wrong with the LT.
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post #20 of 27 Old Oct 14th, 2005, 12:51 am
 
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I also considered the RT before I bought my LT. Could not get to like that two cylinder engine. The LT is much, much smoother.
I have no problem lane splitting with the LT. The difference in width between the LT and RT with bags is insignificant. The LT has more space - luggage and pillion - and a few more gadgets.
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post #21 of 27 Old Oct 14th, 2005, 3:34 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwusmc
The only drawback that I see is the bike is so quiet that I have to keep a wary eye on the cagers everytime I get close to one on the road.
I commute the 15 miles to work on my LT every day. As I get into town the traffic builds up and I often have to filter along between the lanes for a couple of miles. I've found the best way to make cage drivers notice you is play rock 'n roll very loudly over the audio system!

Quote:
IMHO you can't go wrong with the LT.
Amen to that. It's a rider's bike. It handles really well and so long as you drive it through curves it will track on rails. Mine absolutely hates going into a sharp bend on a slack throttle and wallows like a drunken duck if I do - so I don't! .

Keith


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post #22 of 27 Old Oct 14th, 2005, 6:34 pm
 
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Yeah, Rockdoc, I love the way it handles the twisties..My confidence level in turns is skyhigh now. Used to sweat the turns but the LT just loves turns especially with the twist of the wrist!
I'll try the loud music technique. I've always thought that it might irritate others but better to irritate than to get hit by one..Ride safe..
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post #23 of 27 Old Oct 14th, 2005, 7:03 pm
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I have had two GL's and two LT's and if I were going to replace my LT tomorrow I would go with the LT.

Twist of wrist, it loves and eats GL's in the twisties. It suchs a well built motorcycle. I love mine.
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post #24 of 27 Old Oct 20th, 2005, 8:46 pm
 
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Wing/LT rider

I too had a Goldwing (Black) and I am now riding an LT... after considering an RT. For me the LT gives me the necessary two up capability while being much more fun to ride solo than my Wing was. I wanted the smooth power of a multi, and ulitmately the RT was one step lower on the comfort scale than I was looking for. I don't mind looking through the shield, and I like the quietest ride I can get. While the LT is much louder than the Wing, I feel like I am getting something back in performance to make up for it.

That said, I will tell you that the LT requires much more effort to ride than the Wing did, and is no where near as forgiving. It is much zoomier and I love the adjustable windshield, the suspension, and the handling at speed.

I don't love the CG or low speed handling. This includes many of the day to day stops that I come to. I have to psyche myself up for them, and don't dare make a mistake. I laid the bike on its side the first day I got it, when I had to make a panic stop from a start (car crested a hill at speed just as I was pulling out) and had no chance of keeping my eye on the approaching car and keeping the bike upright.

I'm still getting to know the bike and have just started to really ride it fast...so the gratification factor is going up weekly...but I'm still not sure this is the bike for me yet.

Jon
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post #25 of 27 Old Oct 20th, 2005, 9:02 pm
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Very well put Jack!

You just earned a beverage of you choice, (<$5.00) from me.

I will see you in Ga!

Jimmy

ZB50

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post #26 of 27 Old Oct 20th, 2005, 9:32 pm
 
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I just bought a 2005 LT after two years with a GL1800. The GL is a better two up bike for trailering, the LT is better with one, and more fun to ride.
LT is better at braking (servo assist) and handling, weighs about 80 lbs less, feels like 200 less. Both a fine products leaning in slightly different directions, fit and finish on the LT are better, the GL is more serviceable, oil changes are not a stupid as with an LT. Honda's have more dealers. The electric windscreen is pretty slick on the LT, the GL windshield adjustment is crap, right out of WWII Russia, apologises to our Russian friends. Both have good ABS is you get comparable models, all Canadian models are ABS.

If you check the service intervals on the LT there are some scarey items that need early replacement like the timing chain guides, and valve clearance checks every 20k kms (valve check) versus 60k kms on the Wing. GL1800 are cheaper to run and maintain.... then there is the Honda frame problem, Honda covers the repairs, but you always think about this aluminum frame that was rewelded, the load yu are carrying and the beffy motor.

GL1800 runs fine on regular fuel, 2005 LT is hopelessly addicted to high test due to it's 11.5 to 1 compression... an issue at times when travelling in the boonies.

Which is better, I'm still not sure, but have spent my money and made my choice. no regrets, but at times disappointed at the $185 service intervals for virtually no real work, I fear the timing chain job... looks like open heart surgery in the manual.

Oh yes.... the LT has no gear whine!! The GL1800 sounds like an air raid siren at highway sppeds from the gearbox noise, they claim the square cut gears are stronger... my LandRover Diso had square cut gears in the diffs and they were quieter.

CB radios, forget going to BMW to solve it for the LT, it's your very own science project to source and build, the factory solution in Canada is $4,500 versus $1,500 for the GL1800. I added a J&M radio, it does the job and is definitely the worst performing radio for the dollar I have ever had... and I operate a lot of radios, have to run it full squelch, I suspect terrible alternator whine and fuel pump whine suceptibility.. haven't fixed it yet. The GL1800 was somewhat better.
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post #27 of 27 Old Oct 20th, 2005, 11:13 pm
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Don't worry about the timing chain guides! Even the dealers laugh about that one. They don't even need to be looked at before 100K, and even then it would be strange if they needed replacement. The head mechanic at my dealer said they had only replaced ONE set of them on a K engine that he could remember, and it was on a K100 with over 250,000 miles.

I had a noise I thought was chain rattle, so bought a set of guides (cheap by the way), and the dealer asked why I was buying them. The bag was pretty dusty, he said they had been on the shelf for as long as he could remember. When I pulled the guides out, they looked exactly like the new ones, except for a darker color from being in hot oil so long. Could barely see where the sides of the chain had been running on them.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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