Went from the LT to the GTL - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 4:56 pm Thread Starter
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Went from the LT to the GTL

I put 88K km's on a 2007 LT. While the wife was fairly pleased with it, there was always something that didn't work for me on the LT. These are my impressions after 9800 km's on a 2014 GTL, with passenger floor boards and armrests.

I found problems with the seat comfort very early on with the LT, and had it modified, and still couldn't get that comfortable on it. 700 km's a day was a full day ride on that machine. I put the lowered pegs on it, which helped, but it still wasn't a perfect solution. I hated the dry clutch on such a heavy machine. I ride through the Rockies quite a bit, and with the wife and a full load, that clutch could give me issues. Labour at the shop was a killer. The highway pegs would work somewhat switching the legs back and forth, but having both up just killed my hips. While the saddle bags look fairly cavernous, there was a significant portion of wasted space. I found it really could have used another 10 to 20 ft. lbs. of torque, although the horsepower was definitely adequate.

When you compare it to the GTL, it's like comparing apples to thermal nuclear weapons. Surprisingly, the wife is more comfortable on the GTL (it is not the exclusive by the way), the torque is outrageous (I've dubbed this thing the Saturn V rocket) and has way more than enough horsepower. I really like the detachable bags, and there really is no wasted space in them. I have found the suspension an absolute dream, and as good as the LT tracked, this thing is absolutely amazing.

I live in Canada, so I was able to get the BMW helmets with the communication system. The bike shop here had no idea what they were doing when they linked everything, but when I did it myself, it works flawlessly. The same music for my wife and I, I get instructions from the GPS, and we can talk to each other with no issues. It is PTT, not VOX, but it is extremely easy to operate, and after working with it for awhile, I now actually prefer it to VOX. I WILL NOT ever hook up cell phones on the bike, but I know that they should work flawlessly if one is so inclined.

One of the first things I tested was the adaptive headlight. I'm hoping to see it on most bikes sometime in the future. It inspires a lot more night riding than any other machine I have owned.

I was leery about getting the GTL, as I really wasn't looking for a rocket, but I have to say that if anyone is looking to move from the LT, you really should have a serious look at the GTL. Everything the LT did for me, the GTL has it beat in spades. I've logged a few 1000 km days on it, and I know I could go further when riding solo without being crippled like I was on the LT. Sorry to post about the GTL on the LT forum, but I thought this might be some helpful information for anyone that eventually has to move away from the LT. Ride safe and have a great day.
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post #2 of 12 Old Jun 1st, 2015, 5:46 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubermonkey View Post
I put 88K km's on a 2007 LT. While the wife was fairly pleased with it, there was always something that didn't work for me on the LT. These are my impressions after 9800 km's on a 2014 GTL, with passenger floor boards and armrests.

I found problems with the seat comfort very early on with the LT, and had it modified, and still couldn't get that comfortable on it. 700 km's a day was a full day ride on that machine. I put the lowered pegs on it, which helped, but it still wasn't a perfect solution. I hated the dry clutch on such a heavy machine. I ride through the Rockies quite a bit, and with the wife and a full load, that clutch could give me issues. Labour at the shop was a killer. The highway pegs would work somewhat switching the legs back and forth, but having both up just killed my hips. While the saddle bags look fairly cavernous, there was a significant portion of wasted space. I found it really could have used another 10 to 20 ft. lbs. of torque, although the horsepower was definitely adequate.

When you compare it to the GTL, it's like comparing apples to thermal nuclear weapons. Surprisingly, the wife is more comfortable on the GTL (it is not the exclusive by the way), the torque is outrageous (I've dubbed this thing the Saturn V rocket) and has way more than enough horsepower. I really like the detachable bags, and there really is no wasted space in them. I have found the suspension an absolute dream, and as good as the LT tracked, this thing is absolutely amazing.

I live in Canada, so I was able to get the BMW helmets with the communication system. The bike shop here had no idea what they were doing when they linked everything, but when I did it myself, it works flawlessly. The same music for my wife and I, I get instructions from the GPS, and we can talk to each other with no issues. It is PTT, not VOX, but it is extremely easy to operate, and after working with it for awhile, I now actually prefer it to VOX. I WILL NOT ever hook up cell phones on the bike, but I know that they should work flawlessly if one is so inclined.

One of the first things I tested was the adaptive headlight. I'm hoping to see it on most bikes sometime in the future. It inspires a lot more night riding than any other machine I have owned.

I was leery about getting the GTL, as I really wasn't looking for a rocket, but I have to say that if anyone is looking to move from the LT, you really should have a serious look at the GTL. Everything the LT did for me, the GTL has it beat in spades. I've logged a few 1000 km days on it, and I know I could go further when riding solo without being crippled like I was on the LT. Sorry to post about the GTL on the LT forum, but I thought this might be some helpful information for anyone that eventually has to move away from the LT. Ride safe and have a great day.
It is always good to find what works for you. I rented a GTL two years ago for a 12 day your of the Alps. I was considering that as my next bike. The wife hated it and I was indifferent with the pros and cons being about equal for me. I keep watching though as BMW keeps improving the passenger accomodations...

Maybe the GTL Exclusive+ model will be the one!

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #3 of 12 Old Jun 15th, 2015, 8:23 am
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I always enjoyed that BMW Motorcycles were made to fit the big Germans. I'm 6,4 with a 36" inseam. The GTL ergos are small for me. I love that engine. I wish the bike was more loose fitting for me. Looks like me and Jet Blue are together for the long haul.
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post #4 of 12 Old Jun 15th, 2015, 9:25 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
It is always good to find what works for you. I rented a GTL two years ago for a 12 day your of the Alps. I was considering that as my next bike. The wife hated it and I was indifferent with the pros and cons being about equal for me. I keep watching though as BMW keeps improving the passenger accomodations...

Maybe the GTL Exclusive+ model will be the one!
I had never seen one until last Tuesday. There was one parked at the motel we were at in Coos Bay. When we drove by I knew that's what it was so I walked over and had a look. It was the Exclusive model, and gorgeous. As soon as used ones come down to my budget range I know what my next bike will be!
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post #5 of 12 Old Jun 16th, 2015, 10:18 am
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

Are you talking about the 4 cyl or the 6 cyl?
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post #6 of 12 Old Jun 16th, 2015, 1:43 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

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Originally Posted by Bmmmw View Post
Are you talking about the 4 cyl or the 6 cyl?
There is no 4 cylinder GTL.

Well, at least not one that is running properly!

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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Last edited by Voyager; Jun 16th, 2015 at 2:50 pm.
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post #7 of 12 Old Jun 16th, 2015, 5:16 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

2 years ago I sold my 2002 LT for a GTL and really loved it. I had thought that my LT would be the last bike I ever owned as I really enjoyed riding it, and I didn't have any issues with the saddlebags size being really to small for a 2 up touring machine as the misses doesn't ride much and never goes any distance. Just last month though I traded it for a new watercooled RT (in the fast blue color) as the misses really didn't like the tall passenger seat on the GTL and I decided that maybe for one up riding a slightly smaller and lighter bike would be better. I like the RT but I think I miss the GTL. Not a mistake to buy the RT as it is a great everything (except dirt riding which I don't do) bike but if I could afford 2 bikes the other would be a GTL. I found it more comfortable than the GT and since the top case comes off when I wasn't carrying much it wasn't bad for an everyday local commute bike. Loved the horsepower and I miss the Adaptive Headlight (really don't understand why BMW just didn't graft the headlight onto the RT). Have fun and stay safe
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post #8 of 12 Old Jun 25th, 2015, 3:57 pm
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Red face Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

The SO and I just finished 3200 miles on the Left Coast on a rental GTL. This bike had 32,000 miles on it at the start.
Here are my thoughts(I am 6'3" 210 lbs. and 68 YO - I am a mildly aggressive rider):
1. I love my LT even more now!! 94,000 miles
2. I had to raise the shield and look through the windshield due to helmet buffeting on me and the SO. I do not look thru the LT's shield. Did not like that.
3. The SO liked the more narrow saddle on the GTL better.
4. The tires were new when we started. When I turned it in the rear tire was on the wear bars on the side walls. The center was like new. Ran it in Rain Mode day one and Road from then on. Never went to dynamic.
5. I did like the lighter weight.
6. I could not get the shifter to not clunk on almost all shifts. On the LT I preload the shifter and it shifts smooth as silk.
7. Liked the air wings on those hot days.
8. Hated that gas cap with those fill nozzles out west.
9. There were only several times that all the extra power came in handy.
In the end I would not trade my LT for one.
Just my .02
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Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
'Rounder'
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post #9 of 12 Old Jun 25th, 2015, 4:22 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblalock View Post
The SO and I just finished 3200 miles on the Left Coast on a rental GTL. This bike had 32,000 miles on it at the start.
Here are my thoughts(I am 6'3" 210 lbs. and 68 YO - I am a mildly aggressive rider):
1. I love my LT even more now!! 94,000 miles
2. I had to raise the shield and look through the windshield due to helmet buffeting on me and the SO. I do not look thru the LT's shield. Did not like that.
3. The SO liked the more narrow saddle on the GTL better.
4. The tires were new when we started. When I turned it in the rear tire was on the wear bars on the side walls. The center was like new. Ran it in Rain Mode day one and Road from then on. Never went to dynamic.
5. I did like the lighter weight.
6. I could not get the shifter to not clunk on almost all shifts. On the LT I preload the shifter and it shifts smooth as silk.
7. Liked the air wings on those hot days.
8. Hated that gas cap with those fill nozzles out west.
9. There were only several times that all the extra power came in handy.
In the end I would not trade my LT for one.
Just my .02
Your experience is much like mine. I could live with the clunky shifting. It was the driveline lash that I didn't like. It made riding in city traffic very annoying.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #10 of 12 Old Jun 25th, 2015, 11:43 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

I think this is the right place to ask...

I often ride aggressively. Either in 3rd or 4th gear. High RPM. I like that the LT will decelerate when i let off throttle- saved me many tickets- then jumps when I goose it again. Can you do this on the GTL or will it just coast at the high speed? I drove one about 30 miles on a test drive and it seemed to be the latter.

I hope that made sense.

It breaks my heart that the LT milage is getting up there...


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post #11 of 12 Old Jun 26th, 2015, 8:58 am
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Cool Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

The GTL does have engine braking as long as you are in the proper gear. To me the same as the LT.
I did forget to mention the driveline slap. That was a big turnoff. I just explained it to the SO and she said "Oh yeah" so she was very aware of it.
I also forgot to mention the surging when decending steep downhills. When holding the throttle open that bike had an annoying surging. I have never had that happen with the LT.
As an aside, the loaded LT bags fit in the GTL cases.
I remember the first time I rode an LT and I knew I had to have one. It sang to me. That wasn't the case with the GTL. It sings to many just not me.
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Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
'Rounder'
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post #12 of 12 Old Jun 26th, 2015, 2:53 pm
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Re: Went from the LT to the GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblalock View Post
The GTL does have engine braking as long as you are in the proper gear. To me the same as the LT.
I did forget to mention the driveline slap. That was a big turnoff. I just explained it to the SO and she said "Oh yeah" so she was very aware of it.
I also forgot to mention the surging when decending steep downhills. When holding the throttle open that bike had an annoying surging. I have never had that happen with the LT.
As an aside, the loaded LT bags fit in the GTL cases.
I remember the first time I rode an LT and I knew I had to have one. It sang to me. That wasn't the case with the GTL. It sings to many just not me.
I agree. The engine braking seemed adequate to me. I didn't notice a lot of surging going downhill, but the electronic throttle was so touchy that bumps could change the throttle position if I wasn't careful.

I liked many things about the GTL and the engine definitely sang to me, but other parts of the bike didn't. I could live with a GTL to be sure, but the LT still fits me better overall even though I hate the too tall first gear and weak clutch.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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