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post #1 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:08 pm Thread Starter
 
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Smile What next BM or GW

Hi - UK Newbie here.

I currently ride a Burgman 650.

I am musing about spending some of the kids inheritance and am looking at the Beemer LT or an 1800 Wing.

Apart from the huge amount of money that both these machines will cost what real world advantages will either or both offer over the Burgman 650.

For reference, my Burgman offers:

1. Twin Cylinder 650cc DOHC engine.
2. Fully auto (& tiptronic) transmission which by definition is always 'on song'.
3. True 100mph capability with effortless 80mph cruising.
4. Weather protection for the rider (less so the pillion passenger).
5. In excess of 104 litres of very useable storage space (with a Givi E52 mounted).
6. Around 60+ miles to the UK gallon.

Interested in your view.

Nice website by the way - very well organised and well laid out.
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post #2 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:16 pm
 
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Take off on your 650 for a month put on 3300 miles
If you feel the need to re-ask the question when you return then ask. Scooter = around town.
K1200lt or Wing = extended riding fun.
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post #3 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanB
Hi - UK Newbie here.

I currently ride a Burgman 650.

I am musing about spending some of the kids inheritance and am looking at the Beemer LT or an 1800 Wing.

Apart from the huge amount of money that both these machines will cost what real world advantages will either or both offer over the Burgman 650.

For reference, my Burgman offers:

1. Twin Cylinder 650cc DOHC engine.
2. Fully auto (& tiptronic) transmission which by definition is always 'on song'.
3. True 100mph capability with effortless 80mph cruising.
4. Weather protection for the rider (less so the pillion passenger).
5. In excess of 104 litres of very useable storage space (with a Givi E52 mounted).
6. Around 60+ miles to the UK gallon.

Interested in your view.

Nice website by the way - very well organised and well laid out.
Well, neither is going to compete with the things you laid out other than top speed and total storage capacity. Basically, you will have to ask questions on the items NOT mentioned that may be important to you.

What would you like to gain in a move up? Power? Looks? Long distance Comfort?

Either the Wing or LT is going to be MUCH heavier, and slow speed handling is going to be a bit of a learning curve over the Burgman. Highway speeds are going to be more fun on the big bikes, as likely will be handling in the twisty bits.

Fuel economy is going to be much less, typically low 40 MPG (US) for the LT, High 30's for the Wing.

You will gain things on the LT such as electrically adjustable windshield, good radio/CD sound system (and intercomm optional), ABS/Power Brakes, electrically heated seats/grips, cruise control, on-board trip computer, etc.

Ask us questions about things that in your mind have you considering a move up in spite of the things you will loose relative to your listed Burgman strong points.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #4 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:36 pm
 
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I've rented "scooters" and they can be quite a bit of fun. They are also very easy on the pocketbook as far as ownership goes....if one is more of a on-again, off-again recreational rider.
I think it sounds as though you have made up your mind already. That to get serious about motorcycling means to take the next step.
I'm sure the Burgman is great fun but not nearly as fun as the LT. Talk about effortless cruising at 80!!
Your significant other will also appreciate the accomodations.
Of course, this is a BMW site, so you can guess which way we would recommend you go but I can tell you from my point of view and the way I like to ride...the LT has it all over the Wing.
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post #5 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanB
Hi - UK Newbie here.
I am musing about spending some of the kids inheritance and am looking at the Beemer LT or an 1800 Wing.

Apart from the huge amount of money that both these machines will cost what real world advantages will either or both offer over the Burgman 650.
I'll tell you after I've done about 5K miles on my LT down to Africa in April ... I can easily do bout 500 mpd on the LT and still feel fresh in the evening when I leap off it - still can't do that on any of my cages (you would struggle on a Bergman(IMHO))

  • 2005 LT - 17 countries, 2 CONTINENTS & counting !
  • MB SLK 350 MT
  • 1974 Triumph Bonneville 750

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post #6 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 4:57 pm Thread Starter
 
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Hi

Thanks for all the responses so far they have been quite helpful to me - but I am still musing!

Some of the above comments though seem to bracketing the Burgman as a town runabout scooter which while it can do that; it is capable of more - and I thought it mught be helpful for those unfamilar with this machine if I gave a couple of video links (hope this is not breaching a rule).

As ever these links are not optimal for those on dial up.

Burgman Video 1

Burgman Video 2

Appreciate your comments, views and any advice.
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post #7 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 5:20 pm
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Why are you thinking about moving to an LT or Wing? If the Burgie suits you then why change? I have a friend who used to ride a wing but it got to heavy for him so he got the Burg and rode it everywhere, he was very happy with it but if he could still handle the wing he would still have it. Have you done a test ride on the LT or Wing? When you do that you will be able to feel the difference. I rode on the freeway for a couple of miles next to two guys on a Burg at 85mph and I can tell you they were not as comfortable as I was, but I was amazed that it could do that!

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post #8 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 5:30 pm
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Hello Norman,

Several members here either currently have or have recently had the larger Burgman scooters. In many ways these are more like a bike than what most of us think of when you mention the word scooter. Just give it a bit more time and I'm sure some of the folks with more direct experience will chime in.

But the overall advice remains valid. First, decide on what you're looking to improve on that a large luxury touring bike will provide. And second, none of the talk matters nearly as much as a test ride.

Good luck in your search.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #9 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 6:26 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanB
Apart from the huge amount of money that both these machines will cost what real world advantages will either or both offer over the Burgman 650. Interested in your view.
Well, I'll take a stab at adding some perspective to your basic question. As others have tried to establish, the question comes somewhat from "out of left field", meaning, it's really difficult to make a comparison between heavy-hitter touring machines and a 650 anything, more especially so if it's a "scooter".

I'm not being critical of the Burgman. I did watch both the video links you offered, which are commercials for it, but well done ones, and they make it look quite enchanting. But we know about the Burgman in these parts as well...one of the forum members owns one, and I got a close-up and personal look at it at one of our local forum "tech sessions". It's a cool little machine, one I wouldn't mind adding to my stable. But, I digress.

Which "other" machine you ultimately decide to buy should be based on your personal priorities. Both the BMW LT and the 1800 Wing have strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion, which is based on 50 years experience riding and owning probably 25 or so motorcycles. I currently own both an '04 GL1800 and an '06 BMW LT.

Let me try to capsulize how I see a comparison between the two.

1) Engine torque: The Wing has it in spades. You can drop the clutch at idle, and the bike will go. It won't stall. That torque is present evenly throughout the bike's powerband, even at low speed in 6th gear (overdrive). The LT, on the other hand, has very little low-end torque, and moving off from a stop requires a completely different technique to avoid stalling the engine. Starting from a dead stop takes a little throttle and a smooth clutch on the LT - not an issue, but definitely a contrast to the Wing in this area. Aside from very low rpm issues, the rated power of the LT is comparable to the Wing, an amazing fact, given that it's only two-thirds the displacement (116hp vs 118hp for the Wing). The powerband of the LT comes to life around 3,000 rpm, and can really produce some impressive performance from there to 8,000 rpm redline, although I frequently operate my LT in high gear at 2,000 rpms, and it doesn't complain. Summary: the Wing's the "hot-rod" here, but the LT gets along fine and produces impressive torque and power in its intended powerband.

2) Low speed handling: No question, the Wing excels in this area. The lower center of gravity of the 1800 makes maneuvering at very low speed a simple proposition for a rider of average proficiency. In contrast, this forum is replete with threads discussing how to deal with the notorious low speed handling issues of the LT, due to its higher center of gravity. Notwithstanding, familiarity and frequent use tend to render this a non-issue.

3) Other than low speed handling: The LT wins in this department, hands-down. Nothing else to say. The bike handles wonderfully, much more nimble than the Wing. It's exhilerating to ride. The front suspension design is a pleasure to have, and it eliminates "dive" in hard braking, which occurs with conventional hydraulic fork designs, which the Wing has, although the Wing attempts to get around this problem with "anti-dive" components, which work acceptably well.

4) Maintenance: The Wing requires less. Scheduled maintenance intervals are less frequent. It has no separate transmission to drain. Parts availability on the LT can be problematic; the handlebar cruise control switch failed on my LT and a replacement had to be ordered from Germany. Result: 2 weeks downtime for a switch. Also, when maintenance is necessary on the LT, it tends to be more expensive.

5) Ride Quality: With the re-design of the GL1500 to achieve a "sportier" bike, the ride went from soft to quite firm, too much so for my tastes. I much prefer the ride I get from my LT. It's soft, yet quite capable of handling the demands of high-speed maneuvering. You must be the arbiter in deciding how you like your ride to feel.

6) Bells and Whistles: I believe the overall audio package of the LT is far superior to that offered in the OEM Goldwing. There's better quality sound, and more and better quality speakers. I'm uncertain about new Wings, but my '04 did not even come stock with rear speakers installed - they were extra-cost options. The same can be said about many Wing options - what used to be included are now extra-cost accessories. The Wing does, on the other hand, come standard with intercom; the LT does not. The LT offers a hydraulically-actuated "push-button" centerstand, very cool, and an electrically-height-adjustable windshield "while-you-ride", also way-cool. Those were hooks to me, when I bought my LT. It's a pretty sophisticated machine (but they all are, these days).

Although not attempting to address the specific questions you posed, I hope some of the above helps you make your decision. Others will probably note that I omitted mention of the LT's power-assisted and proportional brake system. That's purposeful. I'm willing to concede it's a step forward in terms of brake system performance and riding safety, but I get my Wing stopped when I need it to stop, and have with other bikes I've owned, so I'm still not ready to be a cheerleader for that alone.

Last edited by CriticalMass; Mar 11th, 2006 at 6:28 pm. Reason: Delete more of quoted post
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post #10 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 8:14 pm
 
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norman ... how you ride will dictate the answer. if you are an urban dweller who seldom ventures outside the city, i'd stay stick with the burgman.

if you plan exploring some horizons then a good touring bike would serve you well.

the gold wing was expressly designed for the wide-open expanses of the u.s., in opinion. if i lived in europe i would definitely opt vor the bmw, i think. better fuel economy and superior nimbleness on tight roads will win you over.
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post #11 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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NormanB, as you can see by my avatar, we have both the Suzuki Burgman (our daughters - it's the 400, not the 650) and a K1200LT.

Having ridden both, I can honestly say that if you're not going on any long trips, or doing a lot of 2-up riding, and you're completely comfortable with the Burgman, stay with it!
The handling of the LT, especially at low speeds, will be a somewhat unpleasant change from the handling of your Burgy. Even with many thousands of miles on heavy cruiser style motorcycles, the LT took a long time to become accustomed to. If the only riding I did was in-town, with small amounts of highway now and then, I'd be perfectly happy with the "scooter".
Now, that's not the type of riding I do. Lots of touring, mostly 2-up with my wife (and all the associated luggage she brings along) and 120 mile commutes on the highway during the workweek. For this, the LT is outstanding. It is, by far, the most capable and comfortable bike I have ever been on. I did test ride the Wing as well, and was impressed by it, but the LT won me over.

In the end, it's all going to come down to personal preference (riding type, need, handling, comfort). My best suggestion would be to ride your Burgman to both a Honda and BMW dealer, and ask to test ride the bikes you are considering.
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post #12 of 21 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 11:39 pm
 
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Norman Look Out

Norman, Welcome, but use caution going to this chit chat section. They don't remove much here. Just joking. For the rest of you Norm and I go back.

Have you talked to January 14 about his transition to the GW?

CriticalMass summed it up well in my opinion, having rented a GW before I bought the LT. I have found if we go two up even around town we are using the LT more and more. If Clearview will get my windshield here, that might change. Of course you know I have a B400 and since you have owned both Burgmans you can understand this difference.

Someone talked about storage on the LT being better than your Lardy. I disagree. If the Burg has a 52 l. top box it will have more usable storage than an LT.

The biggest thing I can say is power adjustable windscreen. There is a reason the Burgman Executive went to one. Once you have one it's hard to go back.

PM me here or there if you have specific questions I might shed light on about the LT.

Rick
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post #13 of 21 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 5:12 am Thread Starter
 
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Hi Rick!

You know I am just a techno luster - who is just travelling through successive mid life crisis. ((Of course I will talk to January 14 once he racks some miles up)

I want to thank all the forum members here for giving such good responses to my rather impossible question. In particular my sincere thanks go to CriticalMass for a most thoughtful, analytical and well crafted response which has given me some tangibles to 'muse' upon.

Of course I am experienced enough to know that the acid test is an extended test ride of both the LT & GW, but an informed consumer is more likely to make the right decision. My question and your answers have set me down that journey of discovery.

Thank you for being so patient with me. I would still be grateful for any thoughts other forum members may wish to add to this thread.

In the meanwhile I am reading this excellent forum (and Steve Saunder's Goldwing site - Linky ) rapaciously - much to the consternation of my wife!!

Last edited by NormanB; Mar 12th, 2006 at 5:25 am.
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post #14 of 21 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 1:55 pm
 
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Switching from Burgman 650 to LT

Norman,

I have just done exactly what you are considering doing. Although I only got my Burgman 650 Exec last May, and really love it, I rapidly found I was doing about 1000 miles a month. The Burgman is a great bike to ride and I found that for solo trips it was fine and I regularly did 200+ mile commutes on it. However, when I started my IAM (advanced riding) lessons I found that the Burgman's acceleration and general handling meant that I rapidly started to outgrow the bike's capabilites. I did some very long demo rides (total about 14 hours, over 2 weekends) on an LT and found it superb. Neither of the local Honda dealers would even arrange a test-ride on the GW(!!), but I did go and give it a good going over at the NEC Bike Show last Nov and was not overly impressed by comparison with the LT.

Yes, the LT is totally different to the Burgman and, as stated by one of the previous contributors, if all you are doing is solo riding, whether town or country riding (you are on UK roads after all), then I would stick with the Burgman. However, if you want to go out and keep up with the sports bikes with a group/club, do European tours, take 2-up, or go for longer distance rides in UK, then go for the LT. If you can arrange test rides on both the LT and the GW, then try both, but if you want excitement and performance, then the LT has it. However, I must admit I did cheat slightly - I have kept the Burgman for short trips, especially going into town - the LT is NOT a town bike if there's lots of traffic.
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post #15 of 21 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 3:06 pm
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Smile There's only one way to find out!

Norman,

You can read reviews on here until your eyes pop out oif your head, butthe only way to know what is best for you is to go and ride one> Now I know other manufacturers are not forthcoming with test rides but all the BM dealers I have been in to usually offer the facility of a 24 hour / over night test ride facility if you are serious and ask nicely (they do like their bikes to be garaged overnight though for obvious reasons).

You have nothing to loose and you may answer you own question and enjoy yourself at the same time. Personally I am a converted Harley rider, I still have my Hog but spend most of my time on the LT now. Two good friends of mine both have wings, its definitely different strokes for different folks, they are both excellent machines, I just prefer the BM.

Good luck in your choice
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post #16 of 21 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 5:00 pm
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Cool Lt Vs Gw

Norman,

I was struggling with the same decision you are. Back in 2002, the GW had 2 major issues. First was frame weld failures. Second was over heating at low speed. I rode both. The LT felt best. I commute in Cleveland, Ohio, city traffic when it is not snowing! I love the LT. Good luck. Now I am lusting over the new GT with 300# less mass and 50% more HP than the LT I love. Why am I never totally satisfied?

Rob Nelson

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post #17 of 21 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:31 am
 
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Norm, I see you live in NH. I recommend Max BMW as the BMW dealer of choose if you don't already know of him. I purchased a GS and now have an 05' LT from MAx had I can honestly say he is the best "customer focused" dealer of all manufacturers I very done business with. If you want to do demo's, Max is the guy to see. Take the whole day and ride anything and everything he has. If he sold Honda's, I'd buy a GW as well. I owned a 97' GL1500SE and my wife prefers it to the LT. I've demo'd the GL1800 on numerous choose and find in underrated when compared to the LT. I'd suggest the GL is more cost effective over the long run than the LT - BUT - Max definitely helps in the category with cost-effective maintainance. He is located on RT1 in North Hampton. Not sure that you could possibly received any better but mention Lee Eckhart to Max if you go there. Also, if you really want to get into a "nest-of-BMW-knowledge", seek out the Yankee Beemers MC. You won't find a better group and although most own at least on BMW, all manufacturers are represented. We have a breakfast meeting coming up March 19th. If interested, please PM me or go to www.yankeebeemers.org for details.

The only dealer I am aware of in MA that does GW demo's is Bettencourt's in East Bridgewater. See Mark Bettencourt when you go.

PS: I am also in the market for a B650 to commuting to Norwood from Assonet. If you here of a used on, let me know. I am also a member over on the BurgmanUSA site as YBLee.

Hope this helps,
Lee
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post #18 of 21 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 8:56 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanB
Some of the above comments though seem to bracketing the Burgman as a town runabout scooter which while it can do that; it is capable of more - and I thought it might be helpful for those unfamiliar with this machine if I gave a couple of video links (hope this is not breaching a rule).
OK I will eat my word on that one after seeing that clip but would you really want to do some long range touting two up on the "Funky Urban Cruiser" as she called it. I did see the the front fender looks like it was patterned after the k1200 LT.
It is very impressive though.
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post #19 of 21 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 6:57 pm Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Reno
snipwould you really want to do some long range touting two up on the "Funky Urban Cruiser" as she called it. snip
Yeah if there was ever a phrase to consign anything into the realms of 'I do not want to be associated with that' - it is those three words 'Funky Urban Cruiser'!!
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post #20 of 21 Old Mar 13th, 2006, 7:01 pm Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leckhart
Norm, I see you live in NH. snipped We have a breakfast meeting coming up March 19th. If interested, please PM me or go to www.yankeebeemers.org for details.
Hope this helps,
Lee
Hi Lee
Thanks for the helpful response and I appreciate the effort you made and everything. But I will have to let you down for the breakfast meet (although I would dearly like to make it.) - Wrong Hampshire!!! - I live in the original one!

Best Regards.
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post #21 of 21 Old Mar 15th, 2006, 12:59 am
 
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Norman,

Both bikes your are considering serve the same purpose, with not a whole lot of differances. They are the top two touring bikes in the world. If you can find a copy of last months Cycle World, you will see a fairly good comparison of them and the Harley.
They rated the Wing tops, but by a slight margin. Most of the pros and cons of both bikes are based on personal preferance.

One place where the Wing excels, is in low speed handling. I ride with a close friend who has an 1800, and he can one-hand his bike in slow traffic. In first gear! I'm a bundle of nerves.
Other then the slow traffic, we have a blast riding together.

But what you should do, is check out the BMW and Honda dealers in your area. Talk to them and get a feel as to your impression of them. Ask to take a bike of for a ride.
Would you do your own servicing? Or would you have the dealer do it. What are their costs for the servicing? Having the dealer do the servicing as per the manual can be very expensive.

It's how the bike feels to you, that is important.
Good luck and let us know.
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