She's Spoiled. Now What? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 19 Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 3:29 pm Thread Starter
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She's Spoiled. Now What?

Sold my 2000 K1200LT after 19 years of creating the best memories of (mostly) 2 up riding. It never let me down although I can tell you from first hand experience that there is only one dealer in Nebraska. Thank goodness he was only one exit east of us when we came up with a flat tire on our way home from Utah and needed to replace a flat rear tire.

As my wife and faithful pillion (same person!) predicted, as soon as sold it in August, I would start pining for a replacement. I also ride a R1150RT but it will never be her favorite due to its relative lack of legroom. We need a bike with a longer wheelbase for the two of us.

I've got a K1600GTL in my sights, preferably used and preferably a later model with reverse. I expect it'll need to be modified to get to a passenger comfort level approaching the K1200LT. We've concluded that there isn't a motorcycle in production today with the out of the box comfort level of that machine.

So the question now is, what modifications to a K1600GTL will I have to make to accommodate a pillion spoiled by years of LT comfort? Custom seat, custom windshield, ???

What has worked for you? What hasn't?
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-Richard S.
2000 K1200LT Champagne
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post #2 of 19 Old Oct 24th, 2019, 4:50 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by howles View Post
Sold my 2000 K1200LT after 19 years of creating the best memories of (mostly) 2 up riding... We need a bike with a longer wheelbase for the two of us.

I've got a K1600GTL in my sights, preferably used and preferably a later model with reverse. I expect it'll need to be modified to get to a passenger comfort level approaching the K1200LT...

So the question now is, what modifications to a K1600GTL will I have to make to accommodate a pillion spoiled by years of LT comfort? Custom seat, custom windshield, ???

What has worked for you? What hasn't?
You and I are in the same boat, except that I already have our 2018 GTL. Some of my earlier posts on this site discuss parting with our 2000 K1200LT after 18 years and 100K+ miles. Found myself regretting giving up the KLT at times as there was nothing wrong with the bike.

I'm going to talk like an expatriate turncoat here because I've been a BMW rider since the 1970s and if I could go back a year, I'd do an extended test ride on a post 2016 Honda Goldwing before buying a GTL. The 2017 and later Goldwings are a very different bike from the earlier versions, lighter, more nimble. I'm not saying I would have ended up with a Goldwing, but I wish I had given one more consideration before I got the GTL. We've had a short test ride on the new "Wing", but not enough to get a good sense of the handling in the twisties; I'm looking forward to a former K1200LT owner to do a ride report on the new Wing. There are lots of comparos on YouTube between the new Wing and the various incarnations of the K1600 but I'd like a Wing vs KLT comparo done by an experienced KLT rider.

Okay, that said, here's what I've done to our K1600GTL so far. (This is posted in another recent thread of mine, I think the title is "ride and progress report". But in summary, we have added: AeroFlow mini-wings for the 2018 GTL, a 7Jurock "A" windscreen, Suburban Machinery rider peg lowering kit, tank bag, and a Sargent seat. My OEM seat is off to CA for a Russell Day Long makeover. I'll decide if I am going to keep the Sargent, or sell it after I've had a chance to see how the Russell Day Long turns out.

Wind protection: still not there. Even with the 7Jurock windscreen, which has a lip at the top like the CeeBailey did on our KLT, there is still much more buffeting and wind exposure than there was on the KLT. We still haven't had a long ride in the rain, but all reports are that the GTL in inferior to the KLT in keeping you dry in the rain. The AeroFlow mini-wings do seem make some improvement in the size of the wind pocket and they give the GTL cockpit a little bigger feel, a little more KLTish.
We have not had a chance to evaluate the Aeroflow mini-wings in a steady rain. Note: Aeroflow has different mini-wings for pre and post 2018 GTLs, so depending on the bike you are looking at, there will be differences.

Handling: The KLT offered a little more stability at the expense of "flickability" compared to the GTL. The GTL has sportier handling, which depending on your preferences might be a good thing. But I find that you have to be "on" all the time with the GTL, and the KLT would allow a little more relaxation in the saddle. For casual, long distance touring, the KLT has an advantage in this regard in my opinion. This would also be a difference between a GTL and the new GoldWing. The Wing is a lower seat, lower center of gravity, easier slow speed handling, and comfortable tracking; again, at the cost of being a little less responsive in sporty riding.

Also consider: It is reported that the current K1600 bikes are on a "stop selling" order from BMW due to a problem with the transmission. So if you try to buy one right now, you might find they are unavailable. Those of us with 2018 K1600s are waiting to hear if our bikes will be recalled for a transmission retrofit. If you search on this site and the K1600 site, you'll find discussion threads.

Pillion comfort: GTL just isn't like the KLT. My spouse (whom I refer to as WGPR*, no offense to you and yours, as this a very subjective assessment) actually said that the Wing was "too comfortable". Not sure what she meant by that other than she was too likely to fall asleep; something she could do quite readily on the K1200LT. When we had both the K1200LT and the K1600GTL, WGPR would really notice the better comfort on the KLT if we got on the KLT after having been on the GTL. She is very tolerant and doesn't complain about wind or seat comfort, but is aware that both the KLT and the new Goldwing are superior to the GTL. That is a hands down, "no comparison" difference.

Comparing the Wing pillion ride to the GTL, she says she can see ahead better on the GTL and likes the GTL pillion hand grips better. (She really didn't have a chance to get used to the Wing hand grips as she never found them during our test ride.)

In short: I wish I could make the GTL a little more "KLTish" and now wonder if a current model Goldwing wouldn't be a better basis for a KLT substitute. If it weren't so darn fiscally irresponsible, I'd buy a Wing and own it alongside our GTL, and I'd write the comparison myself.



Happy Hunting...

*WGPR = World's Greatest Pillion Rider

Last edited by CharlieVT; Oct 25th, 2019 at 6:11 am.
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post #3 of 19 Old Oct 27th, 2019, 10:00 am Thread Starter
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Helpful comments.

I keep hoping to stay in the BMW family although I suspect that the Goldwing may be a better out of the box 2 up bike. Not only that but Honda does offer a better degree of iPhone integration, a concept BMW that seems to trouble BMW engineers in both automobiles and motorcycles.

It may be a fool's errand to try to remake any other bike in the image of the KLT. But I'll keep that hope alive until I test ride the GTL and the Wing.

-Richard S.
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post #4 of 19 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 5:44 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

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... Comparing the Wing pillion ride to the GTL, she says she... likes the GTL pillion hand grips better. (She really didn't have a chance to get used to the Wing hand grips as she never found them during our test ride.)
I just saw a 2020 Goldwing review online. Apparently Honda got the message and changed the pillion hand grips for the 2020 year model so that complaint regarding the 2019 Wing goes away.
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post #5 of 19 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 8:29 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

After 12 years and nearly 213K miles on the 2000 LT, and 68 years old, I began to think that it was 'time' for another bike for our riding. My guess is 60-70% of the miles are two-up. The LT has been (and is) a great bike but thinking of upkeep and the weight........And too much time on this forum. I began looking and reading and figuring out the next move. We convinced the local (now out of service) BMW dealer to allow us to ride the Grand America for a gracious 10 mile test ride. When we returned, my first question to my wife was 'how did that work for you?' Her less than enthusiastic response made the decision to walk away easy. We put in the clutch on the LT (thanks Kirk), and rode about 14K this year. (I opted to NOT ride the GTL as the looks of it are so unpleasant to me I couldn't see ever owning one)
I did, however find a nice 2010 RT, well cared for and farkeled in Kansas City and did a fly/ride and now have a second (and I hope or bike for the future). I love the lighter weight. We took the RT to Colorado for the month of September and did about 4000 miles. My wife is learning to like it ('this is a really smooth ride' and 'these floorboards are better than the LT pegs'). But her favorite bike without question is the LT ( I heard her tell someone at the top of Road to the Sun rest stop that 'this RT isn't the ride of the LT')
Perhaps a newer windscreen, perhaps a better seat, etc. And perhaps I can manage a few more years of the LT weight before switching to the RT without being a 'traitor' to the LT community.
But with the first snow last night, looks like both bikes will be in the garage for a while.

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post #6 of 19 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

I'm realizing that I may have to accept that the LT comfort isn't going to be replicated by my next motorcycle. I realize from reading this and other boards that the GTL and the Grand America aren't going to be modified into present day LTs.

For me the LT is gone but not forgotten. I'm not inclined to buy another. I went through two clutches and an ABS unit. At least it never left me stranded, though with major repairs like these, I paid through the nose to have the dealer do them. In the end it didn't;t sour me on the bike because it was such a pleasure to ride.

I love riding my RT for its handling and light weight but that's not a two up solution.

The Wing might be the next best thing among present day options but I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger. True confession: it's an ego problem. I hope I can find a way to get us into another BMW, even if it means waiting for the next new generation/redesign of the GTL.
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-Richard S.
2000 K1200LT Champagne
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post #7 of 19 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 5:13 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

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... I hope I can find a way to get us into another BMW, even if it means waiting for the next new generation/redesign of the GTL.
Yeah, good luck with that.
When the GTL came out and the KLT was discontinued, I predicted that the GTL was a "place holder" for the next KLT. Here we are 10 years later...
So much for my predictions.
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post #8 of 19 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 11:15 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Waiting just means another year without something. We are all getting too old for that.
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post #9 of 19 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 3:21 pm Thread Starter
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Cool Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

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Waiting just means another year without something. We are all getting too old for that.
So true. My plan is to ride the current R1150RT as long as it takes to figure out a good two up option. Two up rides will be limited to under 200 miles per day. But solo rides will still keep me in a happy place all day long.

-Richard S.
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post #10 of 19 Old Nov 4th, 2019, 10:59 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

I test rode a 2019 Goldwing Tour last week, one up. The dealership told me to keep it as long as I wanted. "We close at 7:00." I was on it for an hour and a half. Closest twisties to me are Hwy 321 between Lenoir and Blowing Rock, NC. The Wing handled well, but doesn't feel as intuitive in the curves as the LT. Power was awesome. That flat six pulls very well. Once in Blowing Rock, I turned to go through town on 321-A, back to 321, and down the mountain. This was a mistake. Almost the entire road was under construction. Walking speeds and flagmen. Huge graveled humps. I thought the LT was a pain in those conditions. The Wing was just as bad. I can't say worse, but it was bad. The factory seat (yeah, I know) put a pain in the end of my spine after about 15 minutes. Foot position is forward of the LT's. Much less cramped and not such a deep bend in the knee.

Flash forward to this past Friday. I rode a Grand America around some of the back streets/roads south of Charlotte, 2 up. This test was much shorter, so I want to spend a bit more time in the saddle to make sure it fits me. I'll need a higher seat or maybe need to put my Airrider back in service, but I want one. Pricing is nearly the same. Slow speed handling requires one to be aware, but not like on the Wing.
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post #11 of 19 Old Feb 11th, 2020, 8:05 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

I'm doing the same research for our next ride (see my post from earlier today "Goldwing vs. K16 ...". We have ridden the Goldwing Tour and GTL, and there were tradeoffs on both, but prefer the BMW. Power, Ride, Handling, etc., so much better. Even the wife felt more secure and more planted on the GTL. I took a B out last weekend and I think the Grand America is probably the right balance for us. Waiting on the dealer to fix the transmission/recall on the Grand America in his showroom, so the wife and I can do a proper test ride. I'll report back.

Chris
2019 BMW K1600B Grand America (2020 - ) / 2008 Honda Goldwing (2018-2020) / 2005 BMW K1200LT (2012-2018) / 2004 BMW R1150RT (2010-2012) / 1998 BMW R1200c (2007-2010)
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post #12 of 19 Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 4:49 pm
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Red face Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Here is a different opinion. That's what makes this forum interesting right? After 15 years, and around 120,000 miles (mostly 2 up) on the k1200lt, we moved on to the 1600 GTL this year. So far, my wife loves it, as do I. The bike is immensley more stable than the LT ever was. The lower center of gravity makes up for a lot. My wife says she just "feels better" on it. As for wind protection, yes there isn't as much on the GTL. But we have usually complained more about being to hot and not enough air movement than the other way around. You can always add a layer if your cold. The power and torque on the GTL is addictive. Yes, it is a little homely next to the LT, but I think the LT was one of the most attractive bikes ever made. Personally, if I ever seriously considered a Gold Wing, I would probably skip a step and go straight to the Winnebago.
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post #13 of 19 Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 8:08 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

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Here is a different opinion. That's what makes this forum interesting right? After 15 years, and around 120,000 miles (mostly 2 up) on the k1200lt, we moved on to the 1600 GTL this year. So far, my wife loves it, as do I. The bike is immensley more stable than the LT ever was. The lower center of gravity makes up for a lot. My wife says she just "feels better" on it. As for wind protection, yes there isn't as much on the GTL. But we have usually complained more about being to hot and not enough air movement than the other way around. You can always add a layer if your cold. The power and torque on the GTL is addictive. Yes, it is a little homely next to the LT, but I think the LT was one of the most attractive bikes ever made. Personally, if I ever seriously considered a Gold Wing, I would probably skip a step and go straight to the Winnebago.
GTL homely ? I like the LT but itís looking a little dated to me. To each their own. Good luck on the big K
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post #14 of 19 Old May 31st, 2020, 3:00 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

I think BMW came out with the Grand America as the new LT. In BMW's view at least in taking over for the KLT. I've been told by a former owner of both a KLT & a GTL who now owns a K1600GA it is the closest to a LT. I intend to find out for myself this summer with a test ride of a K1600 GA.

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post #15 of 19 Old Jun 1st, 2020, 9:13 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Having ridden the Goldwing and the GA previously, the 'Wing was out. I liked the looks of the GA, but the GTL in Blue Planet Option 719 was BEAUTIFUL! I wanted it. Couldn't get the closest dealer to make me a decent offer. The dealer about 2 hours away did. The only hiccup was, they didn't have the Blue Planet GTL and there were none in the warehouse. They had a GTL in Pollux Metallic. BMW's website makes the color look HORRID. The dealer sent me some pics of the bike outside. I perused Cycle Trader for more. Pollux Metallic is a very dark, dark (did I say dark?) green. Pictures do not do it justice. I like the color better than I ever thought I would. The ride is awesome. The seat could be better. Seems motorcycle manufacturers are in cahoots with aftermarket seat makers to make the most uncomfortable seats possible. I'll have to upgrade, but I have no idea as to what.

Lee
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post #16 of 19 Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 8:12 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee510 View Post
The ride is awesome.
Yes, yes it is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee510 View Post
The seat could be better.
Yes, yes it can...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee510 View Post
I'll have to upgrade, but I have no idea as to what.
There are several bolt-on and custom aftermarket seats available at various prices, as well as a bunch of seat-top solutions like beads, gel pads, and air cushions.

But save yourself a whole lot of trouble and wasted expense trying and rejecting multiple solutions like most of us did, and just go with Russell Day-Long. Unless you're particularly short of stature (custom seats tend to add a little height, as being too thin is one of the main issues with the stock seat), then this is simply the best solution.

Your butt and your wallet will thank you...

Ken
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post #17 of 19 Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 7:40 pm
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Thanks, for the info on the Russell seat, Ken. I had a borrowed BMW comfort seat on the LT. It was better than stock, but likely not as good as custom. I have seen no info from BMW on a comfort seat for the GTL. Why do the seats have to be so darned expensive?!? That's a lot of money to put out and not know if it will be a good fit. I'll take the plunge. I know I have seen good reviews on the Russell.

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post #18 of 19 Old Yesterday, 8:30 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

The stock BMW seats come in low, standard, or high, with two-piece for GT and one-piece for GTL. They're meant to look and feel good in the showroom more than they are 8-10 hours in.

As far as Russell goes, they're not cheap, but they do excellent work. The only complaints I ever hear are looks (the shape is designed for all-day comfort, not showroom sleek), and cost (I've spent way more on wrong seats and gotten much less value).

I think the biggest testimony is that more than 50% of the last Iron Butt Rally riders were on Russell seats, including all of the top-10 riders.

So yeah, just do it right and do it once.

Ken
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post #19 of 19 Old Yesterday, 8:51 am
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Re: She's Spoiled. Now What?

Quote:
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Unless you're particularly short of stature (custom seats tend to add a little height, as being too thin is one of the main issues with the stock seat), then this is simply the best solution.
The Russel SPORT SEAT is a great compromise for us 'underheight' riders. Their website doesn't do a great job promoting or providing info for the Sport Seat, as it's quite hard to find, but there IS some info there https://day-long.com/day-long-vs-sport-seat/

From the Russel website:
Quote:
The Day-Long Sport Seat is designed for the more aggressive, vertically challenged, and style concerned rider. The Sport Seat allows you to move side to side by minimizing the defined pocket of the seat so you can feel a pocket while cruising, but drag your knee while cornering. It keeps the rider very close to the same height as the stock seat after the break-in period. The Sport Saddle has minimized wings that are not as defined as the suspension Day-Long.

The comfort of the Sport Saddle can range due to rider’s needs. Generally the more buttock that is supported the less pounds per square inch of pressure there is. Therefore we take into consideration information provided on the order form, along with required pictures to make the most comfortable and efficient seat for your build, riding tendencies, and style. We can keep you at a stock height while achieving a good comfort range. The initial build may raise you approximately 1/2 in. After a proper break-in (usually 500 + miles) the saddle should settle you in at stock height.
I'm not at all concerned with "dragging a knee" but would appreciate the increased comfort without losing much ground reach. I believe they're priced at 10% less than the comparable Day Long seat.

I'll definitely be looking into one of these for my GTL (hopefully for next season)!

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