If you think the LT is The Ultimate Luxury Tourer
and everything else just plain sucks, then you might as well just skip this post. But if you're actually interested in a real comparison using the facts that we do know, along with a few educated guesses from someone who's done 130K miles on LTs, and 150K miles on GTs, then read on.
Originally Posted by WildBil
it seems to have less space, less capacity and less touring capability that the LT.
OK, I keep seeing these themes repeated here from the old guard LT riders.
The problem is, they're only assumptions based on nothing more than a few glossy photos. And they're just plain incorrect.
Let's look at the numbers, shall we?
Wheelbase on the K12LT is 1632 mm, and wheelbase on the K16GTL is 1618 mm. That's less than half an inch of difference. My 6 foot, 34-inch-inseam frame fits just fine on the K12GT which is almost 2" shorter than the K16. And with the peg extenders on my K12GT I actually have more
leg room than I do on the K12LT, and still way more cornering clearance (along with a chassis and motor that can actually make good use of that extra clearance).
I'll give you that the LT has awesome passenger accommodations. And that the K12GT gives less passenger space and a smaller seat. But both of those have been addressed on the GTL. That rear seat looks an awful lot like the LT's rear seat, and one of the reasons the GTL trunk looks pushed further back is to allow for more spacious passenger accommodations.
So, until we can actually sit on a GTL, there's simply no basis for the claim that it's "less spacious".
This one is just flat wrong.
My K12GT has slightly larger saddlebags than the LT, and the 49L trunk is almost half again as big inside as the LT's trunk. As an example, the LT's trunk will fit two full-face helmets, but only if you place them vertically, chin up and neck rolls together. Whereas the 49L trunk swallows two full-face helmets placed neck-down flat, and still has room for a decent jacket or other goodies.
And that doesn't even cover the LT's obsolete CD changer that takes up half of one saddlebag . . .
So, the current GT and the future GTL easily has much more capacity than the LT ever did.
Less Touring Capability
OK, this one's kind of nebulous, but I'll take a shot.
I've done literally dozens of thousand-mile days on my K12GT. Now granted, I did lower the pegs and raise the handlebars, but these ergonomic changes are built-in to the new GTL. So comfort simply won't be an issue.
You've already ceded the advanced electronics, especially in the entertainment area, so we'll leave that one be.
Sure, there's no reverse or power center stand. And a few folks that have trouble handling an 850-lb bike will miss them. Personally, I'm going to look into getting a ride-off stand that is easily deployed while sitting on the bike, and that you can simply ride away on. I had one on an old Yamaha tourer almost 25 years ago and I still miss it.
But I maintain that losing almost 100 lbs
over an LT makes a significant difference in every aspect of the bike. From low-speed handling, to high-speed corner carving, to simply floating down the interstate, there is simply no area where the current LT handles better than my GT. Trust me here, folks, the combination of ESA and the DuoLever front end simply beats the LT hands down.
And the GTL has been improved even more over my "obsolete" K12GT.
Yeah, this one's subjective. But the main complaints seem to be the headlight, the trunk, and the bodywork.
The headlight is, quite simply, revolutionary. Just think for a minute what it will be like to be able to see around corners while leaned over
. This is a serious game-changer, in the way that ABS was many decades ago. I don't really care about the halo-edged high beams or long LED turn signals, but they do give that distinctive BMW look.
Some of you don't like the looks of the trunk, or think it looks "tacked on." Again, subjective. But what I see is a trunk that has a huge capacity
, that has been pushed slightly back to allow for more passenger space
, and that has factory-optional armrests for better passenger comfort and touring capability
. And it has the very useful advantage of being easily removable for those time that you don't need it. I ran a lot of miles on my LT with the trunk off, and taking 35-lbs of high, rearward weight off made a noticeable difference in that bike's abilities.
The "floating" bodywork simply reflects BMW's current styling trend, as we've seen in the R-bike line for some time now. In fact, they have been moving away from the bulbous LT-look on all of their new models. It also offers the advantage of greatly reduced maintenance time (for the home wrencher) and costs (for those who are still dealer-dependent). And the exposed engine means that tip-over bars are trivial. Heck, BMW even offers their own set. But even better, it means that highway pegs and lower light mounts are also trivial. How long has the LT crowd been fighting with these exact issues?
OK, this isn't listed as a complaint, but from someone who traded a 95-hp LT for a 152-hp GT, the beauty of the 160-hp Slant/6 motor cannot be overstated. And horsepower aside, the Slant/6 has an incredible 175-Nm of torque available. That is more than double
what the LT offers, and still so far ahead of the Wing's much-vaunted 104-Nm that it's not even in the same class. And this is on a bike that weighs 100 lbs less
than an LT, and 200 lbs less
than a Wing.
So there's more HP, much more torque, and the perfect smoothness of a naturally-balanced inline 6 motor which is still capable of 50+ mpg. Sounds like a pretty damn impressive motor for a continent-crossing tourer to me . . .
And let's not forget that the GTL also has many other "expected" luxury touring features, like central locking, ground lighting, a killer stereo with Bluetooth and iPod control, and several lockable fairing compartments. And a larger gas tank for even better range, along with a proper built-in yet still easily removable GPS mounted high and center where it belongs, not tacked on like some cheesy afterthought.
So with the possible exceptions of reverse and the power center stand (both of which add unnecessary weight and complications), I'm betting that there is simply nothing that the LT will do better than the GTL.
Some of you may still disagree. And to them, I say that there will be an awful lot of low-mileage LTs out there real cheap, real soon.
The rest of us will still wave as we fly past, honest . . .