Originally Posted by copperstatetour
I guess I was a bit ambiguous in my original post, this is what I was trying to say, there is a huge difference between an LT and say an RT, I guess I just don't see that big of a difference between the GT and GTL.
The first time I put the MRS. on the back of an LT at the dealer I had approval to purchase one (actually I had prior approval to buy a goldwing but once she got on an LT that was revoked in favor of the LT). I got no such permission with a GTL.
I am just guessing that BMW is not stealing any market from Honda based on SO authorization, the only sales they are getting from Honda is either loyalty to the BMW brand or riders who get to make the ultimate decision about which bike they would rather ride (I still have no doubt the GTL is superior to a Goldwing just like the LT was).
I suspect you're right about the 1600 purchases being driven by riders rather than passengers in most cases, and that the passenger accommodations on the LT are a little more passenger-friendly for the majority.
There are some exceptions, though. My wife made the comment - totally unsolicited - that she feels fresher after a full day on the GTL than she did on our LT. I know I do, and I attribute that to the smoothness of the engine. But I was surprised that translated to the passenger...or maybe it's something else. She also liked the stock GTL passenger seat better than the stock LT passenger seat...at least on our several-years-old LT. The last thing she wants while riding is music in her ear, so the lack of passenger speakers is a no-op for her. And she tends to be a little claustrophobic, so you couldn't put armrests around her at gunpoint.
I think in general the wind protection on the GTL is inferior to the LT, primarily due to the narrower fairing. As we know, we're all such drastically different shapes and sizes, not to mention having different relative tolerances for things like vibration, noise, wind, cold, space, etc that it's impossible to know which bike suits you best unless you're able to give them a try.
So we're all very different, and we can be glad there are a lot of very good choices out there, the 1600 and LT no doubt being the best.
I agree that the GT and GTL are more alike than different...just tuned differently as they are, of course, fundamentally the same bike when equivalently optioned out. I suspect BMW did some hand-wringing trying to figure out how to position the 1600 models along the sport-touring to pure touring spectrum. I wouldn't be surprised to see a more pure touring model come down the pike.
A side note...we received one of those marketing surveys (with a dollar bill "for your trouble"...tells you what they think my time is worth) in the mail on "cruiser motorcycles". I glanced at it and saw lots of "Harley" and "Victory" words so was about it pitch it, when I saw that one of the options was BMW K1600GTL. Never knew I owned a cruiser. So I did my best to answer the questions, although they were asking a lot of questions about things like leather saddlebags and chromed floorboards that I probably didn't help them much with.