New to BMW -- have questions about LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:11 pm Thread Starter
 
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New to BMW -- have questions about LT

I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT

1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT??

2. I do a lot of riding pulling a trailer ( 7 -9k a year). Can the LT handle this?? the Wing has almost 30% more torque and a 30% larger engine-- yes I know the LT is almost the same in horsepower. What issues have you run into pulling a cargo trailer??

3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the hig grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??

4. The maintanence is easy and fairly cheap for a wing -- gas/ oil / tires ( for the most part ) How much do you spend on maintanence for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself??

5. What are some of the other pro's and con's betweeen the two touring bikes -- I know this is a BMW site and I'm sure I will here a lot of the pro's, but be honest and let me know what you don't like with the LT also. I know each brand/model has had it's issues-- like for the wing the frame reacall and the ECM to stop the overheating ect...

6. What options have you added and which oines do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money??

Lots of question I know, but I do not know anything about BMW's and am looking for some honest feedback.

Thanks in advance to everyone who takes some time to answer these question!!!

KBrown
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post #2 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:33 pm
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I have never owned a GW so I can't answer most your questions but I picked the LT over a GW because I think the GW is just plain ugly.

I use 89 octane, usually Shell, with out any problems. I average 47 mpg on mostly highway riding. I have a Cee Baileys windshield which is 2 inches higher than stock which will somewhat lower MPG readings. I have not had any mechanical issues (knock on wood) on my bike which were not a result of me doing something stupid like the time the vanity mirror down when I closed the top case with a helmet in it. I do my most of my own maintenance with the lep of Paul's videos.

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and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC

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post #3 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:39 pm
 
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The LT handels like a dream for its size.

I have ridden but never owned a GW but I can tell you this and it is only my opinion but when you compare the handling between the two the GW feels like a ponton boat on two wheels. I have only had my LT for a little over a month and only put a couple of thousand mile on it but I am still amazed at the agility of this big girl. Now I will say that the stock seat really sucks.
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post #4 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT


3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the hig grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??
I do. The engine's compression ratio is 11:1 and anything less than preimum can lead to detonation.
Quote:
4. The maintanence is easy and fairly cheap for a wing -- gas/ oil / tires ( for the most part ) How much do you spend on maintanence for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself??
The parts are fairly expensive (fewer bikes sold, fewer dealers, parts made in Europe)
For ease of maitanence, depends on your mechanical aptitude. I find it is quite easy but some things are harder than they should be.
Quote:
5. What are some of the other pro's and con's betweeen the two touring bikes -- I know this is a BMW site and I'm sure I will here a lot of the pro's, but be honest and let me know what you don't like with the LT also. I know each brand/model has had it's issues-- like for the wing the frame reacall and the ECM to stop the overheating ect...
I like the handling (at speed). The "feel" of the bike. The "extras" like the electrically adjustable windshield. The over all aerodynamic look of it.

Don't like... Only a 5 speed, first gear is quite tall, low speed manuvering has to be done carefully and I wish it had larger handgrips (BIG hands)
Quote:
6. What options have you added and which oines do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money??
Added HID headlight (big improvement) Front marker lights, aux lighting, brake light flasher, saddlebag LED's to replace reflectors. Pretty much everything I've added is lighting, for safety.
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post #5 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:48 pm
 
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Hey Keith.. all great questions. I'm a former Winger myself... 15 years on a GL 1200. Yes I use the premium fuel in my LT. Yes the maintenance is costly and confusing. There is a video by Paul Sayegh that can save you thousands and guide you through the routine stuff. Pulling a trailer is no problem with the LT.

The LT is a beast when your on the go. My opinion is the LT has better fit, feel, and handling than the wing across the board. The ride position is more upright and took some getting used to for me. Now... I don't know how I spent all those years rolled back on my tailbone on the wing. I'm upright and leaning into the ride on the LT and I feel much more engaged in the ride.

A few musts as far as add-ons from my perspective are the taller shield (i'm 6'3) and the cupholder (ha-ha).

One bad LT trait is she likes to lay down for a nap now and then. The sidestand is not as reliable as the wing... but the LT is designed to fall and when it does... minor damage is the result.

These are just my opinions and at the end of the day... everybody if different. Best of luck... I'll quit for now cause there are some seriously knowledgable riders on this forum with far more insight than mine...
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post #6 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 12:56 pm
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I was looking for a good touring bike for a while and I was between GW and LT. I incline in to LT due to the agility on the LT vs GW, the electric front glass and the Hydraulic stand. I was thinking about gas economy also when my LT gives me between 45 to 52+MPG and I am not a slow driver. I use mid and high grade gas. I just came from a 5000 mile trip and the only bikes that I saw when the weather was crappy were BMW's and GW's and very few others. For long trips both are excellent but in the city LT is more agile. Best is go to your local BMW and try an LT. Maintenance in the LT is the same and not bad if you do the work. Change fluids, filters, ABS fluids, Valves when needed. If you do not then be ready to pay for professional labor. Good luck and have a good time shopping


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post #7 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 1:30 pm
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Thumbs up Reply to Kieth Brown

I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT

1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT?? Once you break the new bike in per the Owners Manual (about 4000 mi), you can get into the 4000 - 5500 RPM shift points, and will find it more capable in traffic situations. Just as well you can't, since it takes about 3K miles to get used to the weight and low speed handling, etc.

2. I do a lot of riding pulling a trailer ( 7 -9k a year). Can the LT handle this?? I'm not a big fan of trailers, but LT owners do pull trailers with these; I recommend you visit the Uni-Go website.

3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the hig grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??Use the grade recommended in the book. The middle grade is OK, but most owners pay the extra $0.10 for the premium, which isn't a lot at 44 mph,. The worst mileage I've gotten in heavy traffic two-up is around 33 mpg. Remember, Road Octane (the spec in the manual) is the average of the Research and Motor Octane Nos, however more octane than needed is a waste.

4. How much do you spend on maintanence for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself?? I have the recommended maintenance done by the shop (not much time, inclination, or BMW-specific mechanical skill). 3000 miles for oil changes, BMW oil only*. The annual has become a biennial (every 2 yrs) inspection, due to improved (steel, not rubber) brake lines, which more effectively keep the water out. The rear crown gear bearing failure is a way overblown thing; I plan to change the rear oil every 9K, but according to the BMW service mgr, 12K is OK.

6. What options have you added and which oines do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money?? Don Mudimann's rear seat armrests are about to go on. I added the BMW rear license plate LED light designed for the LT (uses a separate power wire back to the battery, and a brake relay, otherwise you might screw up the ABS, etc.). Probably wouldn't do it again, since the top case LED is also super bright; I just never saw it go on until after the license plate light installation, when I had the missus put the brake on in the garage to check the new light.

KBrown[/QUOTE]

* READ THIS: http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g2156.pdf

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post #8 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 1:34 pm
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I always fancied a Honda, having both a Honda and BMW car. The Honda car has been totally reliable against a poor record for the BMW. I was going to try the Honda Gold Wing but, and hopefully I won't offend too many on here, the Gold Wing has some of the worst styling I've seen-second only to a Harley Davidson. Not only that but the screen seemed very plasticky, and didn't adjust, and the salesman said it did 160 miles on a tank of fuel. How can that be used as a tourer?? Shame really as I think the engine is fantastic. Moving on to some of your questions, I have an 03 bike with 16K on the clock. I've always let the dealer do the servicing although I do oil changes. It is VERY expensive if you can't do any servicing yourself. On the fuel side I use 95RON and get between 50-60 MPG. I don't tow a trailer but have the tall screen and normally ride 2 up. Riding the bike in Europe I do most of my miles on minor roads usually averaging around 50 mph. The fuel consumption is better than the RT I used to have despite the bikes weight. I would say the BMW is the only tourer I would buy again-not because its perfect, its just better than anything else out there IMHO.
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post #9 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 1:52 pm
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Here's a copy of my post from another thread. Hope it helps!


I hope I can add a bit to this discussion.

I sold my 2004 GL1800 last month and purchased a 2005 KLT. I bought the GL new, put about 20,000 miles on it including a few multi-thousand mile vacation trips.

I traded for these reasons:

1. The GL didn't have ABS; the KLT does. I think ABS is a necessity.

2. The GL didn't have an electrically adjustable windscreen; the KLT does. I think an electrically adjustable windscreen is a necessity.

3. The GL front suspension is a bit junky. It has only one front shock, the other fork tube is where the anti-dive device is located. The single shock is actually weaker than one of the front shocks on a Honda 600
RR sportbike. The anti-dive engages when brakes are applied and limits fork travel. If you are braking on a rough road the pounding transmits to the handlebar.

4. The rear shock is also junky. It is electrically adjustable, but as it comes from the factory, it has too much sag and the adjuster isn't all that great. Honda has a very restrictive warranty standard for repairing this expensive device.

5. As a result of #3 and #4 above, many GL owners spend between $2,500 and $3,000 to have their front and rear suspensions rebuilt sometime around 20,000 miles (these are the same guys who laugh at HD owners who spend $3,000 to upgrade a low-powered engine).

6. The KLT is more sporting than the GL. The GL engine is essentially a car engine. It has a lot of torque at low rpms and feels like it's running too fast above 3,000 rpm. The KLT engine just starts to wake up at 2,000 rpm and runs happily down the road at 4,000 (80 mph) and above. It is also a better motorcycle engine because it is lighter and mor compact than the GL's engine.

7. The KLT has a shorter wheelbase and less fork angle, so it handles more crisply than a GL. Wheeling my GL, two up and packed, through curves for a few hours left me worn out from the effort. After riding the same route on my KLT I want a bottle of water and two mor hours in the saddle.

8. The KLT is better in crosswinds. Riding the GL at highway speeds in a crosswind is like trying to sail a Hobie Cat down the interstate. It ain't fun.

9. My local BMW dealer has two BMW Master Technicians. My Honda dealer had zero master technicians, and a few baggy-pantsed doofuses who should not have been allowed in the shop.

10. I don't mean to be impolite here, but I simply like the people who ride BMWs more than the people who ride GLs. BMW people are all into getting on the damn bikes and GOING. GL people are all about finding the next ice cream shop. I wanted to join the Gold Wing Riders club, but holy cats, the idea of belonging to a group whose biggest deal is electing the Couple of The Year makes me want to gag. I want to be with people who are planning a trip to the Andes, not the junior prom.

I dropped the GL twice in three years. Both times I was tired, not paying attention and took a very slow turn in an off-camber parking lot. I learned from the experiences, bought a DVD (Motorman) on handling a motorcycle. It was recorded by a former motor officer and was a good tool for skilll improvement. Pay attention to your riding skills and you shouldn't drop either bike. Having said that, the KLT feels less top heavy than the GL and it's shorter wheelbase makes turning easier.

Maintenance. My opinion - stuff breaks, stuff wears out. If you want low maintenance you'll also get low fun. It's part of the deal when you own any motorcycle. Otherwise, buy a Subaru.

Sorry about the long blurb, but, hey, you asked.

One last thing - before you spend any money on farkles, buy a very good jacket, riding pants, gloves and helmet and boots. Blow the first year farkle budget on keeping yourself as safe as is possible. And conspicuous!

Inside my 60 year old body is a 35 year old brain wondering what the hell happened.
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post #10 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 1:55 pm
 
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my 2 cents

I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT

1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT??
a: I've ridden both and prefer the LT, obviously , and my SO also likes, no LOVES the LT much more. She reminded me just last night after late night ride.

What I liked better, the build quality, the fit, the protection, the electric windshield, gas mileage, center stand, good community club support, brakes, ergos, great bumpers and such in case you do lay her over, this really reduces damage to a minimal so if she does get away from you it shouldn't be an expensive plastic repair party.


2. I do a lot of riding pulling a trailer ( 7 -9k a year). Can the LT handle this?? the Wing has almost 30% more torque and a 30% larger engine-- yes I know the LT is almost the same in horsepower. What issues have you run into pulling a cargo trailer??

a: I haven't pulled, but I have spoken with a few that have. One guy has had several and really spoke highly of one specifically. I'll have to ask him again. But in short, yes pulling is fine but I would like more low end torque. It's usually not an issue although I've found myself wanting when trying to get going from a very steep grade with my SO on the back.

3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the high grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??

a: I use it in all of my vehicles other than my motor home so I'm not the best to ask. I'm not sure if it's really needed but over the course of a year it's not that much more and if it's better for my bike and cars then I use it. My grandfather who is a master mechanic tells me that it isn't necessary but I've seen tests that show otherwise, assuming that they aren't staged. There have been times when I've run the middle grades and didn't notice any difference, but I am planning for long term care and ownership so give it the best.

4. The maintenance is easy and fairly cheap for a wing -- gas/ oil / tires ( for the most part ) How much do you spend on maintenance for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself??

a: I'm not sure what fairly cheap means for you, but it really depends on if you're considering a newer or older model. I opted for a newer bike with a warranty because I don't have the time to deal with the issues that come with buying Version 1.0 with anything, although I do like to do as much upkeep as I can on my own when time permits. I had a lower joint bearing replaced causing some vibration on deceleration but it was covered under warranty. The local clubs get together to share stories and share knowledge on how to work on bikes to make performing most of the upkeep yourself possible given your mechanical aptitude. Many have had no issues with the older versions (pre 05'), some have had a couple problems that have an identified track record so you know what to do for preventative measures and what to possibly expect. Not sure what you're looking for but I would go 05' or newer because of improvements, greater HP, and some other changes made to the bike that I like.

5. What are some of the other pro's and con's between the two touring bikes -- I know this is a BMW site and I'm sure I will here a lot of the pro's, but be honest and let me know what you don't like with the LT also. I know each brand/model has had it's issues-- like for the wing the frame recall and the ECM to stop the overheating ect...

a: I'll always tell it how it is. The cons for the LT in my opinion. Weight, although it helps make a smoother ride especially on long trips. If you can manage the big girl then she's an awesome bike, none better for two up long distance riding. But then again all big bikes must be respected and handled carefully. If she's too big for you then I would look at an RT or GT for touring. Torque, minor - but I wish she had a little more in some situations. If you have long legs and bad knees you may feel cramped, but you can lower your pegs or get floor boards to help. Stock Speakers, - minor, I like the speakers better on the GW, but people have changed them out for higher quality units or used Ipods and ear plugs. I'm going to put some better ones in the bike for mine because I enjoy turning up the tunes at times. Stock seats suck for me.

The let downs on the GW are: build quality is cheap in comparison, no electric windshield that can be adjusted on the fly (LT has it and makes it really nice), lower gas mileage than the LT, more expensive to insure because the insurance companies rate the costs by the higher CC's, my SO likes the LT better for comfort.


6. What options have you added and which ones do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money??

a: I haven't added much, my 06' is pretty loaded. The 06' has the Xenon headlights that light up everything. A cup holder and most importantly a custom seat. My SO loved her stock seat, but when going over 1000 miles in a day I found myself wanting something that wore better for me. Actually a pair of bicycle shorts helped a lot for me, but we're all built differently. But if you're doing long distance you may want to consider that first. Finding a headset for your helmets is nice too if you want to talk easily while riding. A NAV system is a must for some, other don't need them or enjoy the old way of mapping it.

Lots of question I know, but I do not know anything about BMW's and am looking for some honest feedback.

PS: I can't say enough good things about this LT bike, because what is good about this bike is REALLY good. That being the ride quality which is superb. If you can handle a heavier bike capable of long distance touring that is still sporty and has great handling, looks, ergos, quality, and especially if you're riding a lot 2 up, then look no further. If this bike fits you and you can handle the big girl then she'll deliver in spades. At first glance the website may appear to scare you off because it's a place where people come to find solutions to issues or look for a sounding board, but I can confidently say that a very high percentage of people here absolutely love these bike. Do they so it all? No. I've never found a bike that does. But comparing it to the GW there are definite key features that make it a better bike for Teresa and I.


The key features I like more on the GW is: longer standard warranty, better stock speakers, more torque, more dealers making it easier for some to get service.

The let downs on the GW are: build quality is cheap in comparison, no electric windshield that can be adjusted on the fly (LT has it and makes it really nice), lower gas mileage than the LT, more expensive to insure because the insurance companies rate the costs by the higher CC's, my SO likes the LT better for comfort.


Hope this helps.

Last edited by Seattle; May 21st, 2007 at 2:02 pm.
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post #11 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 1:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT

1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT??
*Raises hand* I had a GL1500 for nine years and a GL1800 for two before I bought my 2000 LT in February of this year. I had wanted an LT when I bought the GL1800, but the wife decided she liked the back seat of the wing better. Now that I have the LT, she is quite comfy on the back of it. (She should be riding her own bike, anyway!) Although the LT is heavier, I prefer the handling even over the GL1800 which handles much much better than the GL1500. The Beemer has a little less useful luggage capacity than the GL1800 which has MUCH less useful capacity than the GL1500. Most of my riding is commuting on the freeway. Both bikes are competent for this. I think it comes down to a personal preference.
Quote:

2. I do a lot of riding pulling a trailer ( 7 -9k a year). Can the LT handle this?? the Wing has almost 30% more torque and a 30% larger engine-- yes I know the LT is almost the same in horsepower. What issues have you run into pulling a cargo trailer??
Can't speak to this. I never pulled a trailer with either bike. I can tell you the LT has noticably less bottom end torque than the GL1500 or 1800. You have to keep the revs up a bit more when starting, especially fully loaded from a dead stop. You could bog the GL down to 300 or 400 RPM and it would chug along. The BMW will stall earlier. but if you carefully add revs and ease the clutch out, you should be fine. Maybe someone else who pulls a trailer can give some more useful info... and say how much this shortens the life of the clutch, if any.
Quote:

3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the hig grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??
I haven't tried mid-grade yet. I probably won't. The BMW has a higher compression engine. I'm going on my experience with my Mercedes E320 which also has a very high compression engine. I tried a half a tank of mid-grade once and it coughed and sputtered hideously until it got a full tank of premium again.
Quote:

4. The maintanence is easy and fairly cheap for a wing -- gas/ oil / tires ( for the most part ) How much do you spend on maintanence for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself??
Of course, with either bike, the time-consuming part is getting all the plastic off. On the Wing, most of the panels just snap on or snap together. On the LT, there are dozens of torx-head screws that hold the panels on. I've only had them off once, and that was with the guidance of a couple other riders who had done it several times before. First and foremost, get a battery-powered screwdriver and a torx bit of the appropriate size. Maintenance costs will be some higher. MCN had a good head-to-head comparison of the costs. Notable was the valve inspection interval. One cost more than the other, but had to be done less frequently, so it was close. BMW says to replace the brake and clutch fluids annually(?). This is overkill in my opinion. But I've only had the bike a couple of months, and all the service was up to date when I bought it, so I can't speak to the consequences of skipping any maintenance intervals.
Quote:

5. What are some of the other pro's and con's betweeen the two touring bikes -- I know this is a BMW site and I'm sure I will here a lot of the pro's, but be honest and let me know what you don't like with the LT also. I know each brand/model has had it's issues-- like for the wing the frame reacall and the ECM to stop the overheating ect...
Read through this site and you will find out what the chronic issues are with the LT. Remember that you mostly hear about the bad news, not the thousands of trouble-free miles. Final drive failure seems to be one of the most common and disabling problems. But still relatively rare. What I like over the GL1800 is the handling, the looks, the adjustable windshield, and the stereo. With both the GL1800 and the LT, you get a good fuel-injection system, so you do not need to let the bike warm up before riding off. For commuting, this is vital.

To me, the GL1800 was a schizophrenic machine. Why would you find an aluminum perimeter frame and non-hydraulic valves on the same bike with a gas-charged damper on the saddlebag lids and a computerized idiot reminder that the trunk lid is open?
Quote:

6. What options have you added and which oines do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money??
The only thing I've added is an HID low beam. The wing (even the GL1500) has better lighting than the LT. I have a peg lowering kit and PIAA lights that were on the bike when I bought it.

I want to add a rack once I find an affordable setup that holds more than a cheese sandwich. I'm gonna pull out the CD changer and use an MP3 player instead for trips.

By the way, I was severely disappointed in ALL of the Hondaline accessories I got on my GL1800. The heated grips sucked. The trunk light was worse than useless. The rack was an overpriced joke.

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #12 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 2:27 pm
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BTW, I found the stock stereo on the GL1800 to be anemic. The guy who bought my GL1500 said that when he started tearing into the fairing, he found it had a 300W aftermarket amp. Who knew? I think the LT's stock sound system (assuming that mine actually is stock) is better than the stock system on the GL1800.

Oh, and the on-board computer sez I'm getting about 42 MPG commuting -- a mile and a half to the freeway, ten miles on the freeway, a mile to the office. On the open road with no interuptions, the computer sez over 50 MPG. Now why couldn't Honda put an MPG readout on that huge computer screen between the speedo and tach on the GL1800???? They put one on the ST1100!

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post #13 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 3:46 pm Thread Starter
 
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One last question

1. The dealer network is much smaller for a BMW, how much of a concern is that?? I know that this question is something I must weigh, but if a gw breaks down, there is always a dealer nearby. With a BMW you could be a hundreds of miles from a dealer.

Sorry it's kind of a generic question and tough to answer, but I just dno;t know much about BMW's.
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post #14 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 7:25 pm
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Keith,

While there are more Honda dealers scattered across the US than BMW dealers, you'd be surprised how few actually have a top-notch service department with one or more Honda Certified Master Technicians. All of the BMW dealers I've visited had at least one BMW Certified Master Technician. Think quality, not quantity. You could buy a Honda and have to travel quite a distance to a dealer with a good shop.

If you were to buy, say, a Porsche, would you fret because there are fewer Porsche dealers than Ford dealers? Probably not.

Enjoy the ride.

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post #15 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 9:32 pm
 
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when we had our 99

we had a uni -go trailer and put thousands of miles (over 9k before we sold both the bike and the trailer to Dauntless, needed money for a house) and never had a problem riding around the country two up with lots of twisties. Loved the fact that you could wheel the uni-go trailer into the Hotel or having it in the parks when camped. Heck you probably culd put a couple of wholes in the bottom and fill it with ice for your frosty beverages (just like the inside tank case in the old fiber glass tanks of the BMW R 100 GS Paris-Dakar, beer holders!)
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post #16 of 22 Old May 21st, 2007, 9:36 pm
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Keith,
Welcome to the board.

Your most recent question about 'dealer network' ... well, before you truly concern yourself, see if you can attend some "tech sessions" in your area. Might be a "support structure" better and stronger than you realize.

Or, just "DON'T do it!"... don't get the "bug"....




OOOps.. too late, methinks...

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #17 of 22 Old May 22nd, 2007, 7:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT??
I've recently switched from a GL1500SE which was a very good bike. The Wing was smoother and had more torque at low speed. It has a comfortable seat, great storage and seems less top heavy at low speed. I never liked the looks of the GL1800 and the new ones with integrated navigation look worse in my opinion. There are too many buttons and stalks of components and controls which seem to be everywhere.

In my opinion, the design of the LT wins hands down over either version of the Wing. When I look at the handle bars of a Wing I see contraptions everywhere. The Wing heated grip option has cords hanging out of it like cheap aftermarket units. The LT handlebars are clean and uncluttered with the controls and fluid reservoirs integrated sophisticatedly.

Comparing tupperware, the LT is better designed and screwed on. The Wing panels fit together with tabs and grommets relying on opposing forces to keep them in place in many instances. The Wing methodology causes panel squeaks. The LT seems much tighter: I'll deal with torx crews and allen head screws any day, they are more secure in my opinion.

The LT excels in braking and handling at speed. I think the LT suspension is smoother and more comfortable as well. The LT gets better gas mileage. Despite the higher price of premium fuel, the LT cost of gas is less than the Wing most notably after long higher speed (75-80mph) legs of a trip. The frontal area of a Wing seems to have more wind resistance.

The electrically adjustable wind screen and center stand and standard heated grips and seats of the LT are great features.

Jim S.
'07 SturmGrau K1200LT

“Not all those who wander are lost.”


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post #18 of 22 Old May 24th, 2007, 8:12 pm
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Location: Hereford, Herefordshire, England,UK.
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GW v LT

I test rode a GW and the LT on the same day.Bought the LT because of the electric screen and stand,the LT is more agile and easier in town and rides like a sports tourer.Maintenance is not for me its for the dealer so I just pay. I now tow a ZZ trailer and dont know its there.Mileage is 45-55mpg and I use octane 95 which is the lowest in the UK with the occasional treat of 98 when shes been extra fun,the bike I mean,and I have the Muth mirrors,HID lights and dauntless hitch and think they are worth the money,even with the cost of shipping from the US.I have just ordered Spot lights for the rainy season and rider peg lowers for me. And when in Spain a couple of weeks ago in torrential rain,hence the new spots,the only bikes I saw on the road was me my mate on is RT and 2 GW's. The LT is worth a test ride at least.

Dean

Just booked a table for two for me and the wife. It was bound to end in tears though - she's crap at snooker.

Such an unfair world. When a man talks dirty to a woman its considered sexual harassment, but when a woman talks dirty to a man its £2.50/min
(charges may vary).

2005 K1200LT with ZZ Trailer (For Touring)
Piaggio X9 500ie (for running about)
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post #19 of 22 Old May 25th, 2007, 6:17 am
 
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Unhappy

One last question

1. The dealer network is much smaller for a BMW, how much of a concern is that?? I know that this question is something I must weigh, but if a gw breaks down, there is always a dealer nearby. With a BMW you could be a hundreds of miles from a dealer.

One other thing to realize is that there are less BMW mechanics so longer ques to get repairs done and the main item is fewer spare parts in the US to supply the shops. My 07 LT has been in the shop over a month in a half. You must have patiences.
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post #20 of 22 Old May 25th, 2007, 8:43 am Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 40
Every bike has it's issues --and people for the most part will always talk about the problems before they talk about the positives -- the internet is a great for people to complain, it's much harder to find the good info. For every person that has had one problem there is most likely a thousand people that have not even had a problem. I could like a dozen issues with my gl1800, but overall it is a great bike. Maybe I am just trying to justify that I am thinking about switching brands after 15 good years on a wing. I think with this post I was just looking for the differences between the gl1800 and the LT.

Keep the info coming in -- I have to make my decision soon
Thank you
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post #21 of 22 Old May 25th, 2007, 8:45 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
I've been a Gold Wing rider for 15 years and I have a few questions/concerns about the LT

1. How many other riders have done this switch?? for those of you that have, what do you like better about the LT and what is not as good with the LT??
I've owned 3 GW's prior to purchasing my 1st LT, a 1999. I put a combined 250,000 miles on the GW's. I'm currently on my 2nd LT and have so far ridden a combined 125,000 miles on those two bikes. I much prefer the handling, braking, styling, and the BMW community over the GW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
2. I do a lot of riding pulling a trailer ( 7 -9k a year). Can the LT handle this?? the Wing has almost 30% more torque and a 30% larger engine-- yes I know the LT is almost the same in horsepower. What issues have you run into pulling a cargo trailer??
I've pulled trailers with both types of bikes. They both handle that task without any problems. My longest trip with a trailer was Florida to Oregon and back on the LT pulling a fully loaded KWIK KAMP pop up tent trailer with no problems at all. I routinely pull a small cargo trailer for weekend outings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
3. The BMW calls for premium fuel -- how many really use the hig grade stuff?? is it really needed. what kind of real world gas mileage do you get??
I use 89 octane without any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
4. The maintanence is easy and fairly cheap for a wing -- gas/ oil / tires ( for the most part ) How much do you spend on maintanence for the LT?? and how easy is it to do yourself??
BMW recommends somewhat more frequent service than Honda. It's probably overkill and can get a little pricy if you have the dealer do it. I solve that issue, as do many on this board, by doing my own routine service. This is where the BMW family kicks in. There are many knowledgable folks on this board who will volunteer to give you both verbal as well as hands on assistance to get you started doing your own service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
5. What are some of the other pro's and con's betweeen the two touring bikes -- I know this is a BMW site and I'm sure I will here a lot of the pro's, but be honest and let me know what you don't like with the LT also. I know each brand/model has had it's issues-- like for the wing the frame reacall and the ECM to stop the overheating ect...
I've had no serious issues in the 100,000 + miles on my LT's. If there is an issue at all it's the relatively sparse number of BMW dealers as compared to Honda which seems to have a dealer on every corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
6. What options have you added and which oines do you like and again which ones do you wish you would have saved some money??
GPS, Intercom, CB, additional lighting, trailer hitch. Unlike Honda you;ll find that BMW includes as standard many of the things that are optional extras on the GW. Things like; electric wind screen, ABS, heated grips, heated seat, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithb
Lots of question I know, but I do not know anything about BMW's and am looking for some honest feedback.

Thanks in advance to everyone who takes some time to answer these question!!!

KBrown
However, the bottom line is that both bikes are great, reliable, long distance touring machines. You need to go and do some extensive test riding and make a choice on which bike floats you boat.

Lynn Keen
North East Florida
MSF #28271 Retired
'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
'85 K100/EML sidecar sold
'11 R1200RT currently being enjoyed

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post #22 of 22 Old May 25th, 2007, 9:37 am
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Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
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Switched from Goldwing

1. I did, had a 1981 Wing before the LT, handles and rides much better, some of the other riders I know say it's like a sofa on wheels. Love all the amenities.

2. I just bought a trailer so I can't say personally but I know several people who have and don't have a problem. I'd say you don't want to pull a 750 lb trailer though. BTW I hope to take delivery of my new Uni-Go in a couple of weeks.

3. Use premium fuel, it will ping like crazy(read have you replaced a piston lately) if you do not!

4. Buy a factory service manual on CD. I do all my maintenance myself, there are plenty of parts sources besides the dealer, although I prefer to buy as much from them as I can so they will be there when I need them.

5. There have been just a few problems that I am aware of, ECM, rear drive bearing, clutch slave cylinder, transmission input bearing. A used bike may have already had some of these problems, but don't worry too much, failure rates are generally in the 1-3% range.

6. Additional lighting, CB, pillion arm rests, you know what you want, XM not me but you might really like it. Ride it like you stole it!
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