K1200LT VS R1200RT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 13 Old Mar 26th, 2020, 8:33 am Thread Starter
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K1200LT VS R1200RT?

First let me say that I love my LT, it's a great motorcycle. However, my knees are full of arthritis and the weight of the LT is taking it's toll when moving it around and in around-town riding.

I really want to stay with BMW so, my question; for those of you experienced with both the LT and the RT, what are the comfort/riding benefits when riding the RT (especially 2-up)? Should I stick with the LT or would it be worth exploring the options?

I've not been able to find a RT close enough to me to test ride so I am looking for info before I go extended distances to check one out.

Thanks in advance.

- Bruce
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post #2 of 13 Old Mar 26th, 2020, 9:26 am
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

I have a 2000LT and since 07 have done nearly 200K miles. It is my favorite bike I have ever owned and it's ready to go now, except there isn't any place to go in this shutdown. It is heavy, and as I age, I realized last summer that it won't be the long term bike for me. So, at the urging of my son, who rides with me and owns an RT, I picked up a 2010 RT with 35K. It's a very different bike, lighter, way quicker and yet smooth. My wife rides with me a lot, and so I didn't want to buy something that she would never get on, or it would be uncomfortable.

Pros for me. Lighter, easier by far to work on, smooth. I have the lower seat so it is far easier to handle at slow speeds and coming to a stop. That is huge for me.
Cons for me. Less wind protection, although not huge since I have nice gear to wear if it is a bit cool, and in the heat I appreciate the extra air around me.

Pros for my wife. She said last year ( we had the bike in CO for nearly one month and did a fair bit of riding) that 'this is really smooth' She said the wind protection is not nearly the same as the LT, but not a deal breaker. she said it is a bit more difficult (perhaps because after 10 years on the LT she was used to another way) to get onto her seat. I do have rear crash bars which means a little adjustment for her.
Cons. The rear back rest for her is not nearly as smooth as the LT. It moves alot more, which means she is unable to relax on roads that have bumps. It is also not heated, although her heated gear is a solution for that.

Bottom line. Because the LT is worth almost nothing (215K miles) I decided to keep both bikes. I know that given a chance, my wife will choose the LT. And to tell the truth, with my riding style, if I'm going to do a 1000 mile day, I'll hop on the LT. But for the fun ride with my son, the RT is the go-to for sure.

Different bikes, each with their strengths. We rode the K1600 Grand America thinking that it was our answer to an aging bike, but we just didn't like it enough to justify $30,000.

Our long-term plan is to ride the LT as long as possible, moving eventually to the RT as our last bike.

Keep us posted on what you do
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2000 LT 213K miles
2010 RT 35K miles
2007 RT P 42,000 miles SOLD
1982 vision 550 Yamaha SOLD
1964 Vespa 175 w/sidecar (homemade by neighbor) SOLD
1966 Honda CL77 (2016-17 winter project) As of August 16, the Honda is running! First time in 42 years. Going to be a sweet little around town bike. SOLD,
Four corner SCMA ride 2013
All Yooper SS1000K, 6/17/17, 6/19
48 state/12 day ride 2016
Great Lakes Challenge, 2011
2018 Fall Classic SS1000 Four-Corners
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post #3 of 13 Old Mar 26th, 2020, 9:55 am Thread Starter
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

Great input, I really appreciate it. My biggest concern is my wife's comfort. I'm sure for me, the RT would be a great bike. I just want to make sure she's not losing out on much. Thank you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by davebullock View Post
I have a 2000LT and since 07 have done nearly 200K miles. It is my favorite bike I have ever owned and it's ready to go now, except there isn't any place to go in this shutdown. It is heavy, and as I age, I realized last summer that it won't be the long term bike for me. So, at the urging of my son, who rides with me and owns an RT, I picked up a 2010 RT with 35K. It's a very different bike, lighter, way quicker and yet smooth. My wife rides with me a lot, and so I didn't want to buy something that she would never get on, or it would be uncomfortable.

Pros for me. Lighter, easier by far to work on, smooth. I have the lower seat so it is far easier to handle at slow speeds and coming to a stop. That is huge for me.
Cons for me. Less wind protection, although not huge since I have nice gear to wear if it is a bit cool, and in the heat I appreciate the extra air around me.

Pros for my wife. She said last year ( we had the bike in CO for nearly one month and did a fair bit of riding) that 'this is really smooth' She said the wind protection is not nearly the same as the LT, but not a deal breaker. she said it is a bit more difficult (perhaps because after 10 years on the LT she was used to another way) to get onto her seat. I do have rear crash bars which means a little adjustment for her.
Cons. The rear back rest for her is not nearly as smooth as the LT. It moves alot more, which means she is unable to relax on roads that have bumps. It is also not heated, although her heated gear is a solution for that.

Bottom line. Because the LT is worth almost nothing (215K miles) I decided to keep both bikes. I know that given a chance, my wife will choose the LT. And to tell the truth, with my riding style, if I'm going to do a 1000 mile day, I'll hop on the LT. But for the fun ride with my son, the RT is the go-to for sure.

Different bikes, each with their strengths. We rode the K1600 Grand America thinking that it was our answer to an aging bike, but we just didn't like it enough to justify $30,000.

Our long-term plan is to ride the LT as long as possible, moving eventually to the RT as our last bike.

Keep us posted on what you do
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post #4 of 13 Old Mar 27th, 2020, 9:01 am
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

I have a 2003 K1200LT. I don’t need to tell anyone here what a superb ride it is, especially for two-up. When underway, it is comfortable and nimble, and according to my wife, the best passenger bike, bar none. All large motorcycles are heavy when I am trying to move them around with the motor turned off, but the LT is sometimes too heavy. So, I added a ‘09 R1200RT to my fleet while my LT was out of commission with a leaking ABS pump. That RT was the best bike I ever owned for all kinds of reasons. It, and almost me, were totaled when a deer T-boned us at 55mph. The RT was not as well suited to travel with a passenger as the LT, but it was much easier on my back and knees. If you can only have one touring bike, get a R1200RT. Otherwise, keep the LT (they are worthless to sell) for rides with the wife, and add a R1200RT for the pure joy of riding.
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post #5 of 13 Old Mar 27th, 2020, 12:38 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by microdoc View Post
I have a 2003 K1200LT. I don’t need to tell anyone here what a superb ride it is, especially for two-up. When underway, it is comfortable and nimble, and according to my wife, the best passenger bike, bar none. All large motorcycles are heavy when I am trying to move them around with the motor turned off, but the LT is sometimes too heavy. So, I added a ‘09 R1200RT to my fleet while my LT was out of commission with a leaking ABS pump. That RT was the best bike I ever owned for all kinds of reasons. It, and almost me, were totaled when a deer T-boned us at 55mph. The RT was not as well suited to travel with a passenger as the LT, but it was much easier on my back and knees. If you can only have one touring bike, get a R1200RT. Otherwise, keep the LT (they are worthless to sell) for rides with the wife, and add a R1200RT for the pure joy of riding.
I've not ridden an RT yet,or a K1600 GA. Have had a 04 LT for 8 1/2 years now. And just about addressed almost all the known issues with it. It lost the ABS pump 2 years ago. I just bypassed it. Abs is great. Not iABS though. Never fond of it.The bike is not worth cost of pump Replacement. And that's probably your best bet too. Besides the bike is totally worthless to trade/sell. So I'll just maintenance it best i can. If some catastrophic mechanical failure happens. It's parts to sell at best. So. I'm getting older. A lighter more versatile RT may be the next bike. Depends if the wife approves of the comfort/wind protection. A 1600GA Would be great,maybe used. But not for $30K
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2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
I'm a 4 percenter.
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post #6 of 13 Old Mar 27th, 2020, 1:19 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

I made the switch about 4 years ago from my 2007 LT to a 2015 RT and I agree with everything that has been said so far about comfort (both rider and passenger), weight and performance. No need to restate all of that (for reference I'm 5'8", 32" inseam, 155 lbs and my wife is 5'5" and 125 lbs.)

After owning and doing many multi-day touring trips on the LT, I did have concern about my wife's comfort on the RT. She has also said the wind protection isn't quite as good, however most of the issue was fixed by replacing the stock RT windshield with a Werks Quiet Ride.

She was also not comfortable on the stock back pad that comes with the 49L top case. I ordered all the parts for the GLT back pad and replaced the stock pad with those parts...world of difference for my wife and she now states there is very little difference in riding comfort for her versus the LT.

For me, I LOVE the power and handling of the RT and will never go back to an 800 lb bike.
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Life happens...you control your reaction.

2017 KTM 350 EXC-F (single track monster)
2018 Honda CRF250L Rally (fun on the fire roads)
2015 R1200 RT (holy cow…what a bike)
2007 K1200 LT (sold)
2005 DR 650 (sold)
2002 Harley Ultra (sold)
1999 Harley Road King (sold)
1996 K1100 LT (sold)
1990 Honda Shadow (sold)
1978-1993 Raising Kids; Paying Mortgages
1975 Honda CB550 (sold but wish I still had)
Homemade Motor Bike (mounted a 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton on my bicycle at age 12)
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post #7 of 13 Old Mar 27th, 2020, 2:16 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

You've given me some ideas for the back case/padding. How much would you say that cost you?

I'll do anything to keep my wife riding as long as I can and your idea sounds very workable.

If plans (not mine, government) open up for this summer, we are planning to be in Bend for a week. Looking forward to some time out that way-most likely the LT is the beast of choice for this trip

2000 LT 213K miles
2010 RT 35K miles
2007 RT P 42,000 miles SOLD
1982 vision 550 Yamaha SOLD
1964 Vespa 175 w/sidecar (homemade by neighbor) SOLD
1966 Honda CL77 (2016-17 winter project) As of August 16, the Honda is running! First time in 42 years. Going to be a sweet little around town bike. SOLD,
Four corner SCMA ride 2013
All Yooper SS1000K, 6/17/17, 6/19
48 state/12 day ride 2016
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post #8 of 13 Old Mar 28th, 2020, 1:16 am
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by powwow View Post
I made the switch about 4 years ago from my 2007 LT to a 2015 RT and I agree with everything that has been said so far about comfort (both rider and passenger), weight and performance. No need to restate all of that (for reference I'm 5'8", 32" inseam, 155 lbs and my wife is 5'5" and 125 lbs.)

After owning and doing many multi-day touring trips on the LT, I did have concern about my wife's comfort on the RT. She has also said the wind protection isn't quite as good, however most of the issue was fixed by replacing the stock RT windshield with a Werks Quiet Ride.

She was also not comfortable on the stock back pad that comes with the 49L top case. I ordered all the parts for the GLT back pad and replaced the stock pad with those parts...world of difference for my wife and she now states there is very little difference in riding comfort for her versus the LT.

For me, I LOVE the power and handling of the RT and will never go back to an 800 lb bike.
Well. That's promising to hear. The Windshield and GTL backrest pad huh? I'll keep that in mind.

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
I'm a 4 percenter.
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post #9 of 13 Old Mar 28th, 2020, 6:59 am
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davebullock View Post
You've given me some ideas for the back case/padding. How much would you say that cost you?

I'll do anything to keep my wife riding as long as I can and your idea sounds very workable.

If plans (not mine, government) open up for this summer, we are planning to be in Bend for a week. Looking forward to some time out that way-most likely the LT is the beast of choice for this trip
I think the LT is the best beast for long trips as long as you can handle the weight. I still do pretty well at 60, but I am development numbness in my feet and hands due to longstanding back/neck disc generation so I know the end is nearer than I like to admit. I keep looking at other options and I think the R1250RT is the best option, but I priced one out and to get even close to LT specs the cost was nearly $29K! And you STILL lack a central locking top case for that money. Sheesh.

A friend of mine bought a Yamaha Venture and really likes it. When we test rode one, Linda liked it also, but me, not so much. I am just not a V-twin person or an air-cooled fan (pun intended!) at heart. However, Yamaha hit the mark on comfort (other than engine heat) and storage space. That Venture trunk would hold a small moped. Unfortunately, it weighs even more than the LT, but it does sit much lower which helps a lot with the weight. Still waiting for a two-up touring bike that is easy to work on, fairly lightweight and makes at least a good nod to passenger comfort. The RT is a perfect solo bike, but the afterthought trunk and lack of passenger backrest is a problem. And I have not yet found a good aftermarket trunk. I bought a Givi Trekker for my KLR, but it is just chintzy in comparison to the LT top case and the backrest pad they sell is laughable.

I may contact RDL and see if they can make a good custom backrest for either the BMW or Givi top case. That might be the solution as I would want an RDL seat anyway.

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 13 Old Mar 28th, 2020, 10:34 am
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davebullock View Post
You've given me some ideas for the back case/padding. How much would you say that cost you?

I'll do anything to keep my wife riding as long as I can and your idea sounds very workable.

If plans (not mine, government) open up for this summer, we are planning to be in Bend for a week. Looking forward to some time out that way-most likely the LT is the beast of choice for this trip
I don't remember exactly how much it was...my dealer did give me a 20% discount on the parts, but as with anything BMW, it wasn't cheap. For me, it was worth it for my wife's comfort on the bike and it definitely made the ride much better for her. (which, of course, makes it much better for me...) The shape of the GTL back pad also helps her feel more securely held in place on the back.

Good luck with your plans to visit Bend...it's a wonderful summer (or winter, for that matter) vacation destination. Currently 26 micro breweries and counting...

Life happens...you control your reaction.

2017 KTM 350 EXC-F (single track monster)
2018 Honda CRF250L Rally (fun on the fire roads)
2015 R1200 RT (holy cow…what a bike)
2007 K1200 LT (sold)
2005 DR 650 (sold)
2002 Harley Ultra (sold)
1999 Harley Road King (sold)
1996 K1100 LT (sold)
1990 Honda Shadow (sold)
1978-1993 Raising Kids; Paying Mortgages
1975 Honda CB550 (sold but wish I still had)
Homemade Motor Bike (mounted a 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton on my bicycle at age 12)

Last edited by powwow; Mar 28th, 2020 at 10:37 am. Reason: Additionally information.
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post #11 of 13 Old Mar 29th, 2020, 6:13 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

I still think The Yamaha Venture Royale of the mid 80's, Like 83 - 87 was the best Venture they built. That bike was way ahead of it's time. Wish Yamaha listened to their customers and built a venture like the Royale,and at least kept the V4. Even the last Gen. Royalstar Venture ? wasn't bad. At least it had the V4. The new one... No thanks. It's a HD clone.

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
I'm a 4 percenter.
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post #12 of 13 Old Mar 29th, 2020, 7:17 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

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I still think The Yamaha Venture Royale of the mid 80's, Like 83 - 87 was the best Venture they built. That bike was way ahead of it's time. Wish Yamaha listened to their customers and built a venture like the Royale,and at least kept the V4. Even the last Gen. Royalstar Venture ? wasn't bad. At least it had the V4. The new one... No thanks. It's a HD clone.
I’m continually amazed that we had such a good cadre of of luxury touring bikes in the 80s and such a dearth now. The few we have all seem to have missed a couple of important attributes.

The Wing missed on luggage capacity, seat comfort, and fuel capacity, and, one could argue, weight since it is several years newer than the K1600 yet weighs more and has less power, storage, etc.

The Venture nailed it on comfort, passenger in particular, and storage, but dropped the ball completely on the engine.

The K1600 GTL missed the passenger comfort boat and also has a clunky transmission and drivetrain when riding in the lower gears in town.

The K1600 GA probably comes closest, although is probably tied with the Wing. The Wing is much smoother, particularly at lower speeds in town, and has more passenger comfort, save the seat, but lacks the fuel range and luggage capacity of the GA.

I think the R1250RT has much the same comfort limitations as the GTL and an even less comfortable passenger seat and backrest.

If Yamaha replaces the engine on the Venture, I’d buy one tomorrow. That was my main complaint after my test ride. Similarly, if Honda adds some luggage capacity to the Wing, it would be a contender even with the too small fuel tank.

I probably will never buy a K1600 as it is just unnecessarily complex and hard to work on. The R1250RT has much to recommend it, but I just don’t see Linda being happy on it for long rides.

I believe at least one company is offering wider side case lids for the new Wing and if someone also offers a larger trunk, that would probably be the winning choice in this luxury touring market.
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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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post #13 of 13 Old Mar 29th, 2020, 10:06 pm
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Re: K1200LT VS R1200RT?

That's all Yamaha had to do. Build a new liquid cooled V4. If they put in a redesigned V4 similar to the 85-87 Royale. You and me would both be in line to buy one. I've bickered with a so called Yamaha sales reps. One time. Concerning the last model years of the Star Venture before they discontinued it and built the current mistake. I said.. Why Is Yamaha still running Carbs?? Fuel inject that Venture, & get that stupid tape deck out,and put a real sound system in it? You might sell them. He says. Well Yamaha feels the carburetor works just fine. What wrong with carbs?? I sald nothing! Nothing wrong with Points in a 57 Chevy either. But auto companies haven't
Used them in years!! Tech has moved on. He says.. Well the EPA is ok with them. And the tape deck? Well. Our customers like them. I said BS. Come on man!!! That's your story?? Then with this current model. I had another salesman try to BS me. I said to him about the new venture.. It's a very well sorted bike(Comfort wise for 2 up) nice wind protection.. But. They blew it with the air cooled Vtwin. If it had the V4 i'd probably buy one. Yamaha should have did the liquid V4.Once again. The ignorance of a sales person showed. He says... Well. We did survey after survey of Venture owners. And they overwhelmingly chose the big twin. I called him out. I said. No No.. I know at least 4 people who owned one. They all were hoping for a new improved Liquid cooled V4. Don't give me that crap. I KNOW OWNERS ,AND THEY ARE PISSED,THEY HATE THE TWIN. I said. You guys blew it.. He just hemmed and hawed. I walked away from him.

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
I'm a 4 percenter.
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