Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Luzern, , Switzerland
New reluctant owner- strangely happy...
I'm a Brit living in Switzerland. I have to commute approx 100km/62miles per day so reluctantly traded my much loved R1150GS ADV for a K1200LT. I was reluctant because: -
a) I didn't think an LT would be fun.
b) I owned a K100RT for many years/miles and am well aware of their weaknesses.
So why did I buy the LT? I thought it'd be good on the motorway, and comfy over winter. The GS just hated + 120km/hr (75mph). Also, I thought every biker should have an oversize grand tourer at some stage of their biking lives. I thought my time to own one had come, and a Goldwing is just even further in the wrong direction.
First impressions. It was a lot easier to ride than I thought it would be. It was much easier to ride than my GS, being so much lower (I'm 5'6/170cm). It actually rode like a big scooter. The smell of plastic, the gear wine over the engine noise. All my fears were confirmed. It didn't help that I found a vanity mirror in the top box, and the bike I bought had been owned by a person who though 'accessorise' shouldn't be restricted to bags and shoes. At least he'd been reasonably discreet about it.
Is this biking? No.
But then I found that when you rev it and throw it around there really is a motorcycle underneath. It's faster than the GS, but no where near as fast (obviously) as a Busa I once owned, or other sports bikes. It's actually really fun to ride.
I was really surprised by the engine. The K100 I had owned was vibe prone and just plain horrible. This is smooth, tractable, and, well, quite nice. Helped no doubt by the separate chassis with the engine no longer load bearing, and quite long gearing.
The chassis also. The K100 had as much rigidity as I would faced with Grandma in lingerie. You could feel the back wheel pointing a different direction to the front. The LT is something else. It's also surprisingly sensitive. At first I thought it wandered, but then realised that you don't need to man-handle, just little inputs. Thanks Bimota.
It has another quality that I didn't think it would have. I like looking at it. I sometimes go to the garage just to see it. I don't think I've felt that way about a bike for a very long time. I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit that.
The more I ride it the more I think what a stupid bike the GS was. I'd still like a sports bike for hooning around on, but the LT must surely remain in my possesion.
I must add, it's so comfortable. I think it's more comfortable than my car! And surprisingly good on fuel.
Anyway, thought I'd post to say thanks, as I now know how to fit my Zumo and chuck the CD changer that's taking up so much space (I'm more MP3 these days, and actually don't listen to music while riding), so your posts have been appreciated.
One thing I've not found yet, heated feet. They're the only part of me getting cold. I had an unreliable pair on my K100 that were wonderful when they worked, but if anyone know's a reliable pair I'd be grateful.