K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 8:48 am Thread Starter
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K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Does anyone have experience of riding both the K1200LT and the GL1800 Goldwing? I just wondered what the ride performance was like between the two? I currently have 2 Triumph Rocket 3s which have power and torque like no other bike on the road, but I did have a 1520cc Valkyrie for a time.

Anyways - whats the real performance difference likely to be?
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post #2 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:35 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

GL1800=Hillary Clinton
K1200LT=Hillary Swank

The GL has a bigger engine, but only generates 101hp, where the LT at 1200cc generates 116. The GL is a good bike, but it can't handle the curves like the LT can, it's a bit more sporty and funner to drive than the GL.

02 LT
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post #3 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:48 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I was a little shocked to learn the LT has more HP and Torque then the GW.
The GW is a good comfortable bike it just isn't made to do what the LT can do which is burn through corners. I think its all a matter of what you want a Cadillac or a BMW.

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post #4 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:49 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveno
GL1800=Hillary Clinton
K1200LT=Hillary Swank

The GL has a bigger engine, but only generates 101hp, where the LT at 1200cc generates 116. The GL is a good bike, but it can't handle the curves like the LT can, it's a bit more sporty and funner to drive than the GL.
How true! Even though I haven't ridden a wing. It brings up a point though. Over a year ago when I was shopping for a touring bike, Honda and Yamaha were knocked out of the running very quickly because of the many dealers in my area NONE would allow a test ride, not even in the parking lot. Victory, BMW and Harley all encouraged test rides. It was interesting the responses I got when I asked "How long?"
  • Victroy: "Take it for a half hour or 45 minute ride."
  • BMW: "An hour to hour and a half would be OK."
  • Harley: "It's got nearly a full tank. We close at 6."

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #5 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:04 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I took it upon myself to ride both before buying. I don't know if there are many differences on bikes you would encounter on your side of the pond, but here is my quick assessment.
If torque is your main criteria, the Wing wins, but only slightly. The Wing motor (and bike in general) is real happy cruising around at parking lot speeds and in stop and go in-town traffic. The LT is not as happy there, but still quite manageable. On the highway, the LT is in more of it's element. You can find a million threads on LT seats, but the ones I have ridden ('05 and later) have fine seats.....for my butt anyway. The Wing seat is more like a bucket...like a tractor seat...and the edge absolutely tortures my thighs to the point I don't want to ride after an hour. The LT seat slopes away at the thighs...more like riding a horse...and works a thousand times better for me. My wife reported that both bikes were quite comfortable seat wise from her perspective.
Protection from the elements? Again, because of it's versatility, the edge goes to the LT. If you ever ride in rain or bad weather, being able to adjust the windshield on the fly is honestly a life saver. It also works great in varying wind conditions to find the sweet spot so you don't get all tired and battered. Radio, accessories, storage, stuff like that? Pretty close, but the LT has all the ports to plug in your electric garb and the cruise control is in a league of it's own. plus it's easier to use.
Handling? You need to know that while the Wing does indeed handle well, it is just not in the same category as the LT. Both bikes can be hustled down the road fully loaded, but when push comes to shove the LT will out corner and outrun the Wing every time. Unlike many members of this forum, I don't run my LT at 7 grand all the time, preferring the 3 grand range......and I almost always ride two up, fully loaded....and I have never felt down on power or torque.......even when riding in the mountains.......and passing Gold Wings.
If I have to ride a thousand miles in rain and wind and crappy weather, there is no other bike except the LT.
It just 'feels' better. My choice was to put my hard earned money into the LT.......and I have never, ever wished that I had bought a Wing instead.

'05 Dark Graphite LT - now

In the past......
Gold Wing, R100 GS P/D (I WILL get another GS!) FLHTCUI, ZX-10, CBX , Honda Turbo, Yamaha Venture , 2 Sportsters, Bultaco Astro, Bultaco Pursang , Montesa Capra, Maico 501, Sear Allstate 106
....and a bunch I have forgotten
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post #6 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:13 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I owned two different year LT's. I found the 2005 to handle much better than the 2003. However, I do not think the LT holds a candle to the 1800 Gold Wing. I own a GW now and am sorry that I did not buy it sooner.

Contrary to the other opinions, the Wings torque is much better and the bike is a dream to ride. It will out handle the LT in all categories. The sound system is much better on the GW, the GPS is easier to operate and does not wash out in the sunlight. The instrumentation does not wash out in the sunlight. The Wing handles MUCH better in foul weather, heavy winds and bad roads.

You will not have to worry about the slow speed handling...AT ALL! At highway speeds above 70 mph with two up, it gets better mileage than the LT with a full load. The LT does get much better mileage with one up though.

I had no problems in getting a test ride. There are also more dealers out there if you ever do need one. The GW has been in production for 30 years....the LT is on the way out after less than 10.

These comments are usually followed up by childish cheap shots from the local self proclaimed Gurus of the LT...however, this site does provide excellent technical information.

Also, the cost of maintainance on the GW is nothing compared to the BMW. I have a 6 year unlimited mileage policy that fixes all problems and does full tune ups and oil changes for a total payment of $1,200. That is unlimited oil changes and full mechanical coverage.

If you want to do your own maint...it is sooooo much easier on the GW. There is no reason in this day and age for a machine to require the tinkering that the LT seems to like.

I want to die young...at a ripe old age.

Several Triumphs (which I still love)
one Beezer 441
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2003 LT- traded for 2005
2005 LT- traded for deer (dead after the introduction to the LT- both totaled)
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post #7 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:25 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

The wing wins in one category - reliability. Nothing is as reliable as a Honda. But the LT's are pretty good.

02 LT
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post #8 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 12:45 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

i can say the maint costs on my 02 LT up until 135k miles (rip) we're unreal.

I'm not sure if I'll buy another 2up bike and if so, if it will be another LT or not. I liked the bike and all, just seems insane what it takes to get 135k out of a bike when compared to other similar bikes. 'What for' comes to mind.

I ride, don't get to tinker much these days so I have to farm out the maintenance.

time to get to a bike show and see whats out there these days.
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post #9 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 1:02 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kra961
I was a little shocked to learn the LT has more HP and Torque then the GW.
The GW is a good comfortable bike it just isn't made to do what the LT can do which is burn through corners. I think its all a matter of what you want a Cadillac or a BMW.
What is shocking is that you can type that with a straight face (I was looking at Curley at the time ).

The torque numbers of the LT don't come close to approaching those of the Wing. In fact, the Wing makes more torque just off idle (89 pounds/feet @ 1500 rpm) than the LT does at peak. The Wing's torque peaks at 104.

The HP numbers are quite similar between the two bikes.

'06 K1200LT Ocean Blue Metallic
'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
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post #10 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 1:23 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Yikes you you're right LOL what the heck was I reading 123.2 ft lbs vs 92

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09 K1200 LT
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post #11 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 6:04 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
I own both, I ride the GL.
Why own a bike you don't ride?

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post #12 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 6:35 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

If you've ridden them both (I have, but not that much), you're going to go wtih what makes you feel better. Both bikes are great for long-distance tours. So whatever makes you happy. For me, the Gold Wing has a lower center of gravity and is easier at parking-lot speeds. They both feel good on the freeway. I chose the LT because, to me, it looks better and feels right. But I think you can find satisfaction with either one. Very subjective.
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post #13 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 7:23 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

The GL is a fine bike but I prefer my '05 LT. I feel like I'm sitting in the GL whereas the LT feels like I'm on it. There's lots of good advice here, good luck with your purchase. It's all about the ride.
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post #14 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 8:10 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I had a 2006 Goldwing and I put 6500 miles on it and sold it. It was way too heavy for me, I did not like the constant engine wine and the seat is terrible if you ride more than 100 miles. Also it was terrible to handle on windy days. Other than the dated looks it was easy to maintain. I was never more happy to sell a bike than that GW. I considered a BMW before I bought the GW but my friend who had a new GW kept after me to buy the GW and was giving me all kinds of horror stories about BMW's. Well, I listened to him and bought the wing. I realized after about 1000 to 1500 miles that I had made a mistake. I was in DesMoines, Iowa getting gas and a guy approached me and asked me how I liked my GW. I told him it was ok and I had it for sale. He wanted one to make a trike out of and offered me $500 less than I was asking. He was at my house the next day with a check and I was searching for a BMW. I ended up with a RT but I am anxious to see what the 2011 LT is going to be like. Take note that Honda will also have a new GW for 2011.

08 R1200RT Sand Beige Metallic
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post #15 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 8:12 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I have owned two GL1800s and now on my second LT. I have ridden about 165,000 miles on the wings and 75,000 miles on the LTs.

I have to say that I like both bikes a lot for different reasons. If I was to replace the LT tomorrow I would have to think hard which one I would buy.

The nicest thing about the wing is its engine. It is better hands down at any rpm or speed! The LT wins hands down in the handling dept. except for slow, parking lots speeds.

I didn't spend one dime on the wings except for routine servicing; and had great luck out of my first LT. I hope my second LT is as good. So, I haven't had the issue of my LTs not being reliable like some have.

That said, I would just say that I would not consider buying a new LT. They can be had too cheap used. I bought both of mine used. The opposite is true of the wings. They hold their value so well you might as well buy new. I sold both of my wings, which I had purchased new, with about 80,000 miles on them and got about 70% of what I paid for them. You can find used LTs with just a few thousand miles on them for about 50% of their new selling price.

Steve
2005 K1200LT
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post #16 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:16 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Why own a bike you don't ride?
Nothing wrong with having the best of both. I'd love to have a Wing under warranty with a back-up LT

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post #17 of 123 Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:16 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmorley
I have owned two GL1800s and now on my second LT. I have ridden about 165,000 miles on the wings and 75,000 miles on the LTs.

I have to say that I like both bikes a lot for different reasons. If I was to replace the LT tomorrow I would have to think hard which one I would buy.

The nicest thing about the wing is its engine. It is better hands down at any rpm or speed! The LT wins hands down in the handling dept. except for slow, parking lots speeds.

I didn't spend one dime on the wings except for routine servicing; and had great luck out of my first LT. I hope my second LT is as good. So, I haven't had the issue of my LTs not being reliable like some have.

That said, I would just say that I would not consider buying a new LT. They can be had too cheap used. I bought both of mine used. The opposite is true of the wings. They hold their value so well you might as well buy new. I sold both of my wings, which I had purchased new, with about 80,000 miles on them and got about 70% of what I paid for them. You can find used LTs with just a few thousand miles on them for about 50% of their new selling price.
I agree with you totally. I do like the LT but in terms of reliability I would trust the GW ( Honda ) much more.
In the past 10 years I have owned 2 Valkyries I/S, and although they aren't as sophisticated as the 1800 GWs I haven't had a single problem with either one, ever.
I bought my 2005 LT with only 3200 miles in August for less than $10K. You couldn't possibly find a four years old GW in similar condition for less than $17K.
But I do love the handling of the LT.

'87 K100LT
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post #18 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 6:49 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I hired a new Wing for one day before buying my LT. I loved it, however...
Personally, I found that the wing was just too cumbersome around UK roads. Even with the suspension pumped up to the max, I was always grinding the 'pegs' on roundabouts. The LT is more to my tastes.
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post #19 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 7:16 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I traded in my 2000 Honda Valkyrie for my 2009 LT. I do love the LT, but I do miss the Valkyrie. If honda still made the Valkyrie, I would have bought another one over the LT. It has a very low center of gravity and is incredibly reliable. Since the Valkyrie and the Goldwing shared the same engine (except the goldwing had the 1800 and the Valk had the 1532 since the last year they made it was 2003) I have a lot of confidence in the flat six engine. The valk was the easiest bike anyone could maintain. Everything was easily accessible. I am no gear-head, but valve adjustments, oil changes, final drive fluid changes, were so simple anyone could do it. If the goldwing is this easy to maintain, once the plastic is gone, then it has to be a great bike. The looks of the goldwing just didn't do it for me. I love the looks of the LT, but the black bitch is top heavy....but I still love her..
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post #20 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 7:53 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

The local Honda dealer gave me a Wing to ride when he found out I was considering trading my Midnight Venture. I rode it but I never liked it. It was just all wrong for me. I love my LT and nothing has ever been as much fun to ride as the LT. I'm going to wear this bike out and ride it as long as it will run. But I'm not sure I could ever buy another one. I've spent more on this bike than all my other bikes combined. Had I not been able to do the work on it myself, I would have gotten rid of it. It would have been a money pit. I love this bike but when I hit the road I know there's a chance I'l be coming home in a Penske truck again. I have never considered that on another bike...........

2006 R1200RT
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue
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post #21 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 8:40 am Thread Starter
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Thanks guys for the honest input. I am plagued by not being able to test ride a K1200LT anymore (they are discontinued and not often in the BMW dealers showrooms). I can test ride a Wing, but I have nothing to compare it to. The person who is currently selling his 2002 K1200LT is away in hospital so I have no way of test riding the bike until he is out - and if I hold fire with the decision until he comes out, then the current deal on a 2006 1800GW will more than likely be gone.

Im 6'5 and not on the small side, and I do a lot of 2up bike riding with the good lady. I also do long distance riding (Iron Butt rides - so a lot of night time riding) and will be using the bike for that. Ive sat on a Wing and the bars arent in the "perfect" position for me - but with the application of a 50buck set of risers they would be. My primary interest points for the new bike:

- Heated seats/grips
- Good windscreen
- Able to haul my ass around with ease (and also with my pillion/luggage on)
- Not to be crucified by dealer service charges (I always get a dealer to do the work)
- Longevitiy of rear wheel
- Maximum mileage per tank of fuel (for my IBA riding)

??
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post #22 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 9:39 am
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Cool Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Well Leigh, now that I see your list of preferences, I do believe the Wing would work out better for peace of mind in your case. Although I have no experience with the Wing, it is clear that they do have plenty of power, and the dealers over on this side of the pond have a pretty good deal that a lot of folks are purchasing which covers their service for some time! I feel that the LT may win out in the windshield and mileage category's, but feel that the Wing will probably provide more peace of mind. Maybe a little less fun though!

Good Luck with whatever you choose!

John
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Thanks guys for the honest input. I am plagued by not being able to test ride a K1200LT anymore (they are discontinued and not often in the BMW dealers showrooms). I can test ride a Wing, but I have nothing to compare it to. The person who is currently selling his 2002 K1200LT is away in hospital so I have no way of test riding the bike until he is out - and if I hold fire with the decision until he comes out, then the current deal on a 2006 1800GW will more than likely be gone.

Im 6'5 and not on the small side, and I do a lot of 2up bike riding with the good lady. I also do long distance riding (Iron Butt rides - so a lot of night time riding) and will be using the bike for that. Ive sat on a Wing and the bars arent in the "perfect" position for me - but with the application of a 50buck set of risers they would be. My primary interest points for the new bike:

- Heated seats/grips
- Good windscreen
- Able to haul my ass around with ease (and also with my pillion/luggage on)
- Not to be crucified by dealer service charges (I always get a dealer to do the work)
- Longevitiy of rear wheel
- Maximum mileage per tank of fuel (for my IBA riding)

??

John & Marilyn Fisher
'00 K1200LTC "Katie"
'95 Triumph "Tigger"
'12 Triumph 800XC "Tigger II" (RIP)
'12 Triumph 1200 Explorer "Shadow Tigger"
Hillsboro, Oregon

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post #23 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 9:40 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

The heated grips on the GW and the LT are about the same. The heated seat on the LT for the passenger is better than the wing due to the back rest.

The stock seat on the Wing is great. A large number of LT riders spend incredible sums of money replacing the crappy LT stock seat.

The torque of the GW beats the hell out of the LT...no competition. The fuel mileage on the Wing, with two up and at highway speeds is better than the LT (per my initial response to you). The LT has better fuel mileage with a single rider than the GW.

I had a good dealer and always liked visiting there (even though it was 110 miles from my home.) However, the LT will drain the hell out of your funds if the dealer is going to do the work. Oil changes can run you $150 -$250...12,000 mile tune ups will run in excess of $900. You will get raped on maintaining the LT if you do not do the work.

The Wing handles much better in adverse weather and wind conditions.

The high center of gravity on the LT sucks. Take a look at the number of people who drop the LT. There are, for the most part,two types of riders....those who have dropped the LT and those who will drop the LT. Admittedly, there are a few exceptions...but they are the exceptions...not the rule. The bike sucks in parking lots and in the high Sierras when stopping on sloped roads.

The windshield on the GW is great. It has a vent in the center. The LT does have the electronic windshield adjustment. The GW has a manual windshield adjustment. Once you set the windshield, in either case, it normally is not a major item of convenience.

The GW is very easy to manually put on the center stand....not a problem at all...and I have two steel knees compliments of Viet Nam. The LT was such a son of a bitch to put on the center stand, that they developed the hydraulic center stand which is nice....as long as it does not leak.

I really liked the idea of owning a BMW...until I finally admitted I was sick of being raped by the dealer, hated slow speed handling and found the bike to be too temperamental. The LT does look classy.

There is much more storage room on the Honda...much more. Also, for those of us that like to dress the bike up....there is a ton of stuff for the Wing....not much for the LT and what there is costs up the whazoo.

The touring pegs for the Wing are great and infinitely more comfortable than those available for the LT. Also, the touring pegs on the LT will interfere with the tip bars on the bike incase of falling over. Riding pegs on the LT are like being on an OBGYN table.

It still boils down to personal choice. As others have said, pick the bike that talks to you....as long as you can afford the consequences.

I want to die young...at a ripe old age.

Several Triumphs (which I still love)
one Beezer 441
Harley Sportster (which I still hate and was ecstatic to see go)
2003 LT- traded for 2005
2005 LT- traded for deer (dead after the introduction to the LT- both totaled)
2005 LT- sold for a 2008 Gold Wing GL1800
2008 GL1800 Gold Wing
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post #24 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 9:50 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Thanks guys for the honest input. I am plagued by not being able to test ride a K1200LT anymore (they are discontinued and not often in the BMW dealers showrooms). I can test ride a Wing, but I have nothing to compare it to. The person who is currently selling his 2002 K1200LT is away in hospital so I have no way of test riding the bike until he is out - and if I hold fire with the decision until he comes out, then the current deal on a 2006 1800GW will more than likely be gone.

Im 6'5 and not on the small side, and I do a lot of 2up bike riding with the good lady. I also do long distance riding (Iron Butt rides - so a lot of night time riding) and will be using the bike for that. Ive sat on a Wing and the bars arent in the "perfect" position for me - but with the application of a 50buck set of risers they would be. My primary interest points for the new bike:

- Heated seats/grips
- Good windscreen
- Able to haul my ass around with ease (and also with my pillion/luggage on)
- Not to be crucified by dealer service charges (I always get a dealer to do the work)
- Longevitiy of rear wheel
- Maximum mileage per tank of fuel (for my IBA riding)

??
I can only say what the LT does here, and what my '02 has and does.
  • Heated seats (and passenger backrest) and grips BMW yes
  • I ride a lot of 2 up. Between my wife and I we're probably right at 400 pounds. Add the luggage along with that and the LT is superb.
  • Dealer service charges. Oh well they can be high. But you can do a lot yourself if you want. BMW can = Bring Massive Wallet
  • Rear wheel longevity. The previous owner had put on a ME880 and it had 13,000 miles on it when I replaced it and it still had some miles on it. I've got nearly 4,000 on the rear bridgestone with no noticeable wear. Front ME880 has nearly 17,000 on it!
  • Fuel mileage. While I beleive the BMW has a slightley smaller gas tank, it gets better gas mileage and goes further on a tank of gas.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #25 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 11:29 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Thanks guys for the honest input. I am plagued by not being able to test ride a K1200LT anymore (they are discontinued and not often in the BMW dealers showrooms). I can test ride a Wing, but I have nothing to compare it to. The person who is currently selling his 2002 K1200LT is away in hospital so I have no way of test riding the bike until he is out - and if I hold fire with the decision until he comes out, then the current deal on a 2006 1800GW will more than likely be gone.

Im 6'5 and not on the small side, and I do a lot of 2up bike riding with the good lady. I also do long distance riding (Iron Butt rides - so a lot of night time riding) and will be using the bike for that. Ive sat on a Wing and the bars arent in the "perfect" position for me - but with the application of a 50buck set of risers they would be. My primary interest points for the new bike:

- Heated seats/grips
- Good windscreen
- Able to haul my ass around with ease (and also with my pillion/luggage on)
- Not to be crucified by dealer service charges (I always get a dealer to do the work)
- Longevitiy of rear wheel
- Maximum mileage per tank of fuel (for my IBA riding)

??
Those of us who have been blessed to own both can tell you this...

You won't be sorry with either. They both have gobs of power, are extremely comfortable, and eat twisties and slab for lunch.

One's a Porche 911, the other's a Cadillac CTS. Tough choice huh?

'06 K1200LT Ocean Blue Metallic
'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
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post #26 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 11:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Yes its nice to have a choice. Ive currently got 2 Triumph Rocket3s in my garage - one of which is my favourite bike of all time, streetfightered (I think you USA guys call it pro-street?) and is what I ride when im riding solo and not "against the clock". The other is setup as a touring/long distance bike - and is trying its best, but its a cruiser with long distance stuff bolted on. The best thing about the Rocket3, apart from the unique amounts of torque and power (mine has 205bhp at the rear wheel and 195lbs of t) is the feet position - every so slightly forward. What narked me a bit about the Valk was the "feet straight down" position. Sure, I could do a few hundred on the bike with no problems but it was easier with highway pegs.

Having a choice is great - but the question is if you had to have one, and you were doing what I want to do with the bike - which would it be.
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post #27 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 12:22 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Having a choice is great - but the question is if you had to have one, and you were doing what I want to do with the bike - which would it be.
And the answer to that question is not with us, but with you.

For me, it'd be the Wing. For many others, it'd be the LT. That doesn't mean we don't like or respect the other bike. But they are dramatically different.

It really all depends on the type of riding you will do the most, the roads traveled, need for storage (or many a pull behind trailer), seating position, your build, 1-up vs 2-up, etc.

It's a ton of scratch. Find a way to ride both extensively, even if it means renting.

When I bought my LT, I stopped into a dealer around 10am looking at helmets and sat on the bike (I rode in on a Harley Ultra Classic). The owner tossed me the keys and said "We close at 6".

3 hours later, I was doing paperwork.

Similar story with my Wing.

'06 K1200LT Ocean Blue Metallic
'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
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post #28 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 12:51 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents...I owned an GL1800 for 2 years, and enjoyed the comfort, and even more the comfort it gave to my wife riding on the back. The bike is blessed with great gagets and there are tons of aftermarket doodads available for it. But, I seemed to alway have this gnawing feeling that I was missing the thrill of riding a motorcycle. It began to seem like I was driving a Civic with 2 wheels. Dude! what ever anyone says about the power of the LT, the GL has torque/power supreme. I mean when you want to go fast, I don't care what speed you are going, or what RPM, when you twist the throttle, the GL just pours on the coals and goes. Not to say that the LT doesn't go like a bat out of hell, it just takes a little more RPM and downshift work to blow by everyone else in the blink of an eye... My wife finally decided to get her own bike, and I thought I would sell the GL, and get a cruiser to ride to work, and for weekend trips. I sold it, and started shopping, with nothing particular in mind. I began to understand that I really wanted all the hard luggage for hauling my stuff to work, and lamented my decision to sell the GL. I no sooner started to whine quietly to myself when I came across the LT on craigslist, for a give-a-way price ($3600)! After some wheeling and dealing (had to pay a little more than asking to get there first) I rode home on my new to me 2000 KLT. I have taken several trips on it to date, 1 up and 2 up, plus 60 miles round trip to work, and I can say from experience that it is definately a more fun ride, gives you a great "Motorcycle" feel, with all the comfort and more than the GL. I would not mean to discount things like dealer network, parts or maintenance costs, or any other ecomomic factor involved in owning a complicated piece of machinery, But for ride factor..I don't think there is any comparison.....LT hands down! I just love riding the big girl!!!! Oh, and I never understood the big deal of an electric adjustable windshield until I got the LT. It is by far one of the best accessories ever! It really allows you to adapt your riding comfort to your speed and riding environment at the touch of a button. Rather than the pull over, manually adjust your windshield, start riding, not right, pull over adjust again, its good now, go faster, not right again, pull over.....etc. Electric adjustable windshield....double extra +++fantastic!
I wish the weather was nicer right now....after all this talk, I want to go for a ride....Wet, Windy and Raining like crazy near Seattle...

RICH CANNON
2000 K1200LT "a great ride"
2002 GL1800 powerful, but boring..(gone)
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1986 VT500 Ascot (gone)
1972 Honda 500-4 (gone)
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post #29 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 7:28 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Im 6'5 and not on the small side, and I do a lot of 2up bike riding with the good lady. I also do long distance riding (Iron Butt rides - so a lot of night time riding) and will be using the bike for that. Ive sat on a Wing and the bars arent in the "perfect" position for me - but with the application of a 50buck set of risers they would be. My primary interest points for the new bike:
I would make sure you have knee clearance on the Wing as they tend to be a little tight in that regard for those 6' and over.

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post #30 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 7:32 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

[QUOTE=airborne]The fuel mileage on the Wing, with two up and at highway speeds is better than the LT (per my initial response to you). The LT has better fuel mileage with a single rider than the GW.
QUOTE]

That certainly hasn't been my experience. My wife and I get better mileage on our LT than do two GW riders we travel with and this is on the same roads, same weather, same level of shall we say "intensity" of riding. We routinely get 50 MPG riding two-up and I've never seen an 1800 Wing get 50.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
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post #31 of 123 Old Nov 17th, 2009, 7:57 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
Does anyone have experience of riding both the K1200LT and the GL1800 Goldwing? I just wondered what the ride performance was like between the two? I currently have 2 Triumph Rocket 3s which have power and torque like no other bike on the road, but I did have a 1520cc Valkyrie for a time.

Anyways - whats the real performance difference likely to be?
Being a graduate of MMI and a former MMI HD instructor, having worked for HD, Indian and Big Dog factories, it was a big change for me to make the switch from an American V-twin to an LT. I looked at only two long distance bikes, the GL and LT. Maintenance cost did not come in to play as I do my own wrenching. The point of sale for me was it's looks. The GL looks like boxes stacked one upon another, no clean flowing lines at all. In simple wording; UGLY! The LT on the other hand has beautiful smooth lines and looks like it's doing 90 MPH while on the center stand. About the only thing I would change is the flow of the tour pack, it just seems to be "cut" off in the rear. AS far as handling, I don;t believe that a GL can keep pace with the LT in the twists. In fact, last Sunday I returned from a ride to TN for some fishing. I took my Bushtec trailer and had a blast through the mountains. That was until I found out that our cabin was off road down some very bad fire roads. Anyway, the LT did an outstanding job as an "all terrain vehicle". I shot some video from the LT as we rode down the dirt roads and will post soon.

2003 Black
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post #32 of 123 Old Nov 18th, 2009, 12:25 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I did a careful back-to-back test of both, most suprising was the Wing doesn't ride as nice on bad roads. Also, it's thirsty- 10 mpg worse than my early LT at any speed. I DID like the Wing clutch and transmisson better, and it handled just fine! Runs out of ground clearance sooner, though.
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post #33 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 1:13 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Hi all. I traded my 2001 BMW K12LT after 40,000 miles of riding it with my wife a lot and pulling a Uni most of the time. I would probably still be on it or a newer one if I hadn't made the "big mistake" of taking a Wing for a drive. Bought a new one in 2005 and then traded it in a year ago for a new 2008 with the GPS and heated seats and grips. I have been riding bikes since the late 50's (mini bikes) and have had a lot of different ones so I have some experience with them and I gotta say we loved the K12. Only thing is that bike was sooo lazy. It would just lay down for a nap whenever it wanted one. Just kidding but of all the bikes in all the years that one was hard to keep upright. The first time it was still new and I had washed it and pushed it in the garage out of the sun to dry it off. I walked out front to shut off the garden hose and heard an awful crash. Ran back in the garage and there she lay on her left side. Apparently I had not extended the side stand far enough and then double checked it and it s l o w l y tipped over. (No it was not running and no my garage floor doesn't slant.) In the following four years that bike managed to do a lot of resting and I learned why BMW had put the crash bars on it. One time I had been riding all day going from Trenton, Ontario to Peru, Indiana on a hot humid summer day. I was a little heat exhausted and really didn't realize it and I rode into a motel and up to the office area. When I stopped and put my legs down I just could not hold it up and down I went. I loved the way it handled and rode on the road but, at low speeds it was just to much. If I wasn't VERY careful about where it was parked it would idle itself right off the side stand and BOOM on it's side again. Another small aggravation was the location of the reverse lever on the K 12. I had to be very sure of my footing with that bike and it was scary sometimes to have to move my left leg to fish around for that lever and then the backing up was scary too? The one thing we did love the absolute most about the K12 was that after some time we realized that it came complete with a large group of new friends and ya'll are the cats pajamas.

Our introduction into the world of Wings came in Chattanooga when we put the K into a trailer and hauled it from our home in Wyoming to Tennessee. The 2005 GL we traded for was a beautiful bright blue color and we got to take a small ride on it before it went into the trailer for the trip home. We managed to make it over into Georgia for some peanuts in Plains, (didn't get to see Jimmy and Rosalyn) and a great meal in Columbus. Did the gulf coast drive all the way through Nawlins, Loosiana and up through Texas and two different blizzards on the way home.

I had to adjust to the GL a little bit after 4 years of the K12 and the smaller motor. the wing will just ease away from a stop with either no or minimal throttle. It also is MUCH easier to handle at low speeds than the K. It didn't take long to fall in love with the Wing's power band, which is, if it's running it makes power. This bike will come away from a light with the back tire spinning and then if ya just stuff second gear it will yank the front wheel off the ground. The only way to truly explain the GL's power band is to just go ride one. If you do, do not take your checkbook with you. :^) I was approaching my retirement so in 2008 I traded in the 05 and got a new one with the upgraded six speaker stereo and heated seats and grips and the on board GPS.

At first I really missed the electric wind screen of the K bike but, I quickly learned that the little adjustable window in the GL screen is pretty cool too. I can't raise and lower the screen in flight but it is nothing to pull over for a sec and just raise or lower it from the seat and that relocates where the little window is too. I agree that the wing isn't as smooth on the road but, as we all know with the Ohlins mods for the K12 there is the Traxxion mod for the GL. Totally changes the handling of the Wing just as the mod to the K12 does to it. Apparently generic suspension for the masses is no better than generic seating for the uh, er, well butts of all.

We pulled that Uni (which I still have) all over North America and loved it but, I really did not like it on the wing. The hitch on the beemer allowed the Uni to be attached to the bike from a mounting point that was very close to the draw bar and the one on the wing didn't. It mounts way up under the seat to the rear frame and it would wallow around on quick transition corners and up set the aplomb of the bike. I bought a tear drop shaped trailer from J&E Enterprises in Indiana and had it painted to match the wing and then at the BMW rally here in Gillette, Wy. last summer I had them both pinstriped. It makes for a nice looking package with all the chrome gee gaws I have added to the wing.

Any one who thinks the K12 really handles may want to check out the web page titled Yellow Wolf on the Dragon and consider if you can run with him? He has the respect of most of the crotch rocket guys on the Dragon on that GL. The interesting thing is that, that film was made by a friend who was on another yellow GL. His name is Fuse and he can cut a rug when the need arises.

All in all we honestly loved both of these bikes and after a few drops I finally learned to always be very careful about parking and low speed maneuvers on the K12. The GL's are pretty much bullet proof and stand up to a lot of hard riding with very few failures that I have ever read about. Honda addressed the frame issue in the 01~03 bikes very quickly and in some cases they even replaced the frames if it was necessary. Since then there has been no further trouble with the frames since they changed the thickness of the parts in the areas where a failure had occurred and they didn't fight with the customer about it they just made it right ASAP. I was lucky in that I never had a rear end go out but we all know there have been some failures and some interesting issues getting them fixed?

Wing uses more fuel but, it runs on lower octane so what I lose in mileage I make up in the cost so that one is a toss up. I look at my bikes as toys for my soul and just abide with whatever it takes to enjoy them. I know this is a beemer page so I have to allow for some bias just as the GL pages do the same thing, only in the other direction. If ya really want a laugh go to BurgmanUSA and read about how a 650 scooter is as good or better than a Gold Wing. I have always loved the kick in the pants of some thing under me with some horsepower and am to old to ride a Hayabusa and look for trouble.

Flint

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07 Honda VTX 1800 Neo
07 Suzuki V Strom 1000
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post #34 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 3:32 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood
As far as handling, I don't believe that a GL can keep pace with the LT in the twists.
My 'Wing buddies tell me that a full Traxxion suspension upgrade significantly increases the 'Wing's performance in the tight stuff to where a decent rider can easily keep up with an LT. Then again, an Öhlins upgrade puts the LT right back on top.

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post #35 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 4:12 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Currently, I have a 2000LT and can honestly say that I love the bike. I also have a 2000 K1200RS rocket. I wanted to get a touring bike for my wife and I that was a little more comfortable for the misses. I rode a new 1800GW and thought that it was a really nice bike. The pick-up is something else like it almost feels like my k12RS but not quit there. I rode a friends LT and thought the ride was a little more to my liking. It is quite agile and feels good on the twisties. I bought the 2000 LT and really love the bike. I've been on several rides with friends who own GW's and I CAN say that unless I keep the RPMS up around 7000, the GW pull away with ease. I still love the LT and the ride. The bottom line is for a person looking to buy, try both and get the bike that feels good to you, AND NOT SOMEONE ELSE. Maybe I'm just a BMW guy.
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post #36 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 4:24 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
My 'Wing buddies tell me that a full Traxxion suspension upgrade significantly increases the 'Wing's performance in the tight stuff to where a decent rider can easily keep up with an LT. Then again, an Öhlins upgrade puts the LT right back on top.
Having ridden both extensively, I can tell you that a Wing with full Traxxion (front and rear) brings it even with an LT with Ohlins. The Wing is certainly deficient in stock form to the LT, but the Traxxion setup is so superior that it levels the playing field.

Add to that the ridiculous amount of low end torque, and you get videos like those shot of Yellow Wolf at The Dragon.

For a while, Yellow Wolf (his name is Rick) had a business at the Gap where he would follow you down the run with video cameras mounted on his bike and sell them to you. He would chase and record sport bikes down the Gap all day long. No one ran away from him.

I'm not looking to get into a pi$$ing contest. As an LT owner, I obviously love the bike. But with the right suspension (the stock stuff sucks), the Wing will surprise you.

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'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
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post #37 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 4:43 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Bottom line is they are both great bikes. I'd ride both, but prefer an LT because it's a bit more nimble.

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post #38 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 5:35 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

OK, let's bring on that new LT with the Concept 6 motor. Maybe that will finally put the LT vs. GL subject to rest (at least briefly)!

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post #39 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 8:52 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickerbiker
OK, let's bring on that new LT with the Concept 6 motor. Maybe that will finally put the LT vs. GL subject to rest (at least briefly)!
I am not so sure as they have a new Honda coming also.

And if BMW does not address the FD on the new LT it will never get more then a glance from me.

I plan on keeping my 07 till I am gone, but if and when it goes too far tits up, the Wing will be my next one. Only because BMW refuses to listen to the people shelling out the cash. And a Wing maxed, with everything but airbag is 24-25 something. Especially if they redesign the look a bit and get a button for the windshield. All who ride them say they are bullet proof.

And as far as stock suspension on bikes they all suck and most cars too. Stock brakes suck too. Braided lines, upgraded pads, upgraded shocks/forks with RaceTech valves and springs, are a must on just about all bikes except the top end exotics.

All in what you demand in your driving habits and how much you are willing to part with to get there.

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post #40 of 123 Old Nov 20th, 2009, 9:02 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

I have owned both. I bought a brand new black 2006 premium audio model. It was the basic GW with the upgraded stereo. I owned it for a year and it was paid off and we decided to build a new home so I sold it for extra down payment money. I really enjoyed the bike and I loved the engine.Honda's are very solid and dependable. The tupperware scratches very easily and since it was black showed every little swirl and I am a fiend on keeping a bike shiny. It handled like a 900 illb sport bike. Wow! A jet ! I just bought a gorgeous 1999 K1200lt this spring from a older fellow who couldn't handle the weight of the big Lt anymore. It had 16k miles on it and it was showroom condition and I got it for under $9k. It has everything on it and I mean everything ! Great stereo , hwy pegs,cb,intercom,cruise floorboards 6cd changer and on and on and I love the bike. Great engine and easy to ride at any speed. I am 6'4" and have no issues with the weight. I need a big bike to feel comfortable. The other folks are correct in that you can find real bargains on the LT if you look and not so much on the wings.The quality of the BMW is second to none period. Its built like a fine German sedan and it cost like one. My bike cost $19k new in 1999. The owner threw another $4-5k in add-ons onto the bike. The beemer handles very well in all types of roads and handles easier than the wing in the twisties . I owned Honda Valkyries , a wing ,cbr's and magnas before I got the Beemer. I will take the K1200lt over the wing for many reasons. Safety(abs),quality, looks and you don't see them on every ride. Good luck.

GOGRIZZ
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post #41 of 123 Old Nov 21st, 2009, 2:27 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by airborne

The touring pegs for the Wing are great and infinitely more comfortable than those available for the LT. Also, the touring pegs on the LT will interfere with the tip bars on the bike incase of falling over. Riding pegs on the LT are like being on an OBGYN table.
I don't think airborne is taking into account Mick-O-Pegs for the LT... There are many more choices of highway pegs for the Wing, but the issue is similar with the LT - you have a wide faring if you want a 'cruiser riding position' with your feet ahead of you knees. For the very tall riders (6'2" +), Mick-O-Pegs provides more comfortable choices on the Gold Wing because we can get your shins away from the fairing with Mick-O-Pegs, but on the LT, you may need to make other changes to get your shins away from the fairing.

I have had both and have enjoyed both and you have some very good perspectives shared above. Good luck with your choice.

I will say that I rode a lot of Wing miles before returning to BMW and the first time in the parking lot with a friends brand new LT, I dropped it. How embarrassing!! The LT has not only a much higher center of gravity, but also a higher 1st gear so that combination took me some time to get used to. When I have to do parking lot exercises, I still have more difficulty with the LT and when she starts going down, I haven't often been successful in recovering.

When you're comfortable...Riding Is Wonderful

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post #42 of 123 Old Nov 21st, 2009, 2:45 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAF
Stock brakes suck too. Braided lines, upgraded pads, upgraded shocks/forks with RaceTech valves and springs, are a must on just about all bikes except the top end exotics.
Actually, I think BMW has brakes down pat. Or at least they're simply smart enough to farm all that out to Brembo.

Seriously, the only complaint I've ever had about BMW brakes was the sucky rear pads on my '99 LT. EBC HH pads fixed that, but my '02 LT and my '07 GT have absolutely awesome brakes in fully stock form.

I believe that older LTs can benefit form replacing the stock brake lines with braided lines, but that's true for any older bike. And I think the GT comes with braided lines from the factory.

Note that I do use EBC pads on my GT, not because of any improvement over stock, but just because of excessive cost. If I get the EBC's on sale, I can get two full sets of pads (6 pairs) for just about the same cost as one BMW pair (rear or one front side). So that's a no-brainer.

Ken
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post #43 of 123 Old Nov 21st, 2009, 5:27 am
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Talking Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

If you buy a goldwing that'll make you a goldwing owner.....can you live with that?
Simon

2006 k1200LT........my 13th!
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post #44 of 123 Old Nov 21st, 2009, 11:36 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Put 109k on my 99LT. Put 65k on two different GW1800 (04 & 06). I'm back on an 06LT.
I like the better handling on the LT, the 04 Wing had the modified suspension the 06 did not. My wife and I both prefer the LT ride over the GW, smoother, quieter. The fuel mileage on my LT's were better than either Wing (one up, two up, pullling trailers). The torque of the Wing is impressive and better than the LT, once you are moving the LT and Wing are about equal. I like the heated seats and grips on the LT better than the GWs. The adjustable windshield can't be beat, the GW vent is nice, but the stock airwings on the LT give the LT better overall air management for me and my wife. Changed out the seats on all the bikes to find the right one, but in the end using the stock seat with an AirHawk cushion gave about the same comfort. The GW headlights are top notch, the LT lights not as much (the 06 with HID is better, but still not as good as the Wing). The powered center stand is super, no sweat at all getting the LT up. The GW audio system is better than the LT Voice ll system.

Maintenance costs on the bikes are about the same because I do my own maintenance. My 99LT dropped the rear at 53k, the 06GW lost a front drive shaft and also had the alternator drive replaced at 30k. No major repairs on the 04GW or the 06LT.

I like the LT better overall, but either bike is a great choice. For me the LT fits in the sportier touring category, while the GW fits in the touring workhorse catergory.

You won't go wrong with either bike in my opinion. You need to find the one that fits you best.

Randal Tebeau
Blairsville, GA
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post #45 of 123 Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 11:02 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

dido, I put 40k on a GL1800. I bought a 2002LT. "didnt like it" I could not put it on the center stand and the engine power was low. I kept it a month and bought a 05 LT. The 05 has improvements that put it ahead of the GL.

I dont do twistees, or full throttle pulls very often, but I like the idea that its there if needed.

For me and my build the LT is better after I installed a russell seat, cee-baileys windsreen, and mick-o-pegs. i ride two up, usually pulling a trailer, 6 hour days. the LT has better ergonomic qualities, and deffinatley better air management. "less buffeting" at 80 MPH on the interstate around semi-trucks. We are less beat up after a all day ride on the LT.

Last but not least. We like to stop in on places where bikers congregate, usually filled with harley riders. We dont get the same ole smart ass comments or looks associated with riding a goldwing. Usually I have to answer questions about the LT. I really dont care about this but it is part of the motorcycle experience.
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post #46 of 123 Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:28 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
If you buy a goldwing that'll make you a goldwing owner.....can you live with that?
Simon
I own both. What does that make me?

'06 K1200LT Ocean Blue Metallic
'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
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post #47 of 123 Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:34 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdtebeau
You won't go wrong with either bike in my opinion. You need to find the one that fits you best.
The best post in this thread.


'06 K1200LT Ocean Blue Metallic
'06 GL1800 Candy Black Cherry
Recovering Harley Rider
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post #48 of 123 Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:49 am
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman
I own both. What does that make me?
Ans: "Envied" by too many.

When you're comfortable...Riding Is Wonderful

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post #49 of 123 Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 4:34 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman
I own both. What does that make me?
Bipolar.

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post #50 of 123 Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 6:10 pm
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Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Bipolar.

Stop it....yer kill'n me!

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'02 K1200 LT-Blackie II
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