Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Huntington, IN, USA
Re: Harley to BMW 1200 LT
I figured I should probably step up and share my own H-D experiences for comparison to the LT. I have owned two dressers, an Evolution FLH Standard and a Twin Cam FLHTCUI. I had always been attracted to H-D's since I was a youngster, probably because of Evel Kneivel and the endless onslaught of advertising over the years, and because I ride to as many Grand National Dirt Track races as possible, the H-D seemed like a logical choice for a touring bike for me. So....let me compare a few things for you.
The first thing that comes to mind is luggage capacity and storage. This was a BIG issue for me. The H-D still to this very day has the same poorly designed saddlebags with lids that will either latch down crooked or just plain flop open at inopportune times. The top case (of course) only opens to the side, and putting a tankbag on in any workable fashion was nearly impossible. For comparison, the LT's luggage is water tight and it's possible to use both a tankbag and a case on the rack......yes, my wife and I carry a lot when we go on vacation.
Power and handling? You already know from everybody else's comments that there is no comparison. I have ridden a Screaming Eagle Street Glide recently and yes, it does indeed have torque and if blasting about whacking the throttle open just to irritate people with your straight pipes is your thing, then the Harley is King. Yes, the new Harleys handle pretty good....for Harleys.....but not compared to the LT. For covering distance swiftly and in comfort the LT is light years ahead. As far as passenger comfort, my wife reports that the LT is 'a thousand times better' than our previous Harleys and Wings. Keeping Momma happy is a Big Deal....'nuff said.
Living with each bike day to day? For myself, in either long trips or short jaunts, the LT is easier to ride. Part of that comes from being able to sit upright and not have to have my feet stuck out in front of me so that all my weight rides on my tailbone. Part of it is the power and handling (I love the way the motor feels), and part of it is just getting to have a damned centerstand!.
Maintenance? I will probably catch hell from other forum members, but I don't see the maintenance as an issue. I do almost all the work myself (just like I did with the H-D's) and thus far, I haven't had any real issues to deal with. In my eyes, the LT has 'character' and being involved in the maintenance only enhances that.
One last thing. I rode all my H-D's as much as I ride my LT, meaning I always expected them to be ready to go whenever I was. When my Evolution started spewing oil from the base of the cylinders, I rebuilt it with all new S&S pistons, jugs etc.......at 30K miles.
The Twin Cam was one of the first of the new motors. It went back to the dealer in a truck with an electrical problem with 26 miles on it. Not a big deal, I guess, they fixed it.....but pushing a brand new motorcycle across the busiest intersection in town was a little embarrassing. The kicker came when I had the bike loaded up and was headed out to the Springfield Mile on Labor Day. Wife and I...ready to go...tickets in hand......heading down the road.....when we experienced the infamous Cam Bolt Failure. There we sat, with a 20K bike with a blown motor, tickets to a race we couldn't attend, no dealer open, scrambling to find someone to haul the broken thing home.
Oh yeah......I got my warranty recall to fix the cam bolt problem the following Tuesday.
'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