Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

A question for experienced touring/sport touring riders for someone considering a 1600GT.

Some background on my current state of mind:
I have had the stream of sport bikes in my youth, then moved into a 1998 and than a 2002 VRF. Coming from sport bikes, I found the VFR position very "CBR" ish but a little more sluggish and less agile than rational sportbikes. Hence, I went the route of 6-7 track weekends on a track only bike and left the roads riding to the kids. Then in 2005 bought a BMWGS. I absolutely loved it . .loved the position . .loved the mellow character of the boxer. I'll never return to a japanese sportbike on the road. Last year I sold the GS. Still love it but want a change . .although I may return to the GS again someday. I respect the RT . . . reasonably light for it's purpose, fun to ride . . .maybe too much protection, but lots of fun gadgets. But as the motor is essentially the same boxer, yet with more cramped position, I just didn't think it was me. Then considered the 1300GT . . maybe the same as the RT but with some huge power. However, there was something soulless compared to the boxer and just not enough to push me over the edge there either. Then comes the 1600gt . . which I'm considering putting a deposit on. Exciting new motor . . TONS of toys . . .comfort of the RT with effortless power . . .and really . . .the headlight . .the integrated GPS . . the 160+HP power and all the gadgets has me excited (however shallow that is). And now for the question:

As a bunch of (probably?) LT riders . . .is this new GT in a different fun category than, say, the RT or 13GT (or even 1300S)? In other words, should I be realistic in thinking that as a person that has never owned a proper "touring" bike I should have different handling and weekend twisty road fun expectations than these other (arguably) sport touring bikes? The gold wing or perhaps the LT are spectacular machines . . .but are probably a step further down the touring spectrum than I want. Am I confused, or am I lining things up correctly? If it's a 1300GT/RT competitor . .I think I'm in. If it's a little more Gold wing. .I'd appreciate your words of caution.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 4:21 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

My last 4 bikes have been:
  • 1998 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11 (a VERY fast sport-tourer)
  • 2002 BMW K1200LT ("LT" stands for Light Truck. But it handles better than one might think.)
  • 2006 BMW K1200GT (a fast sport-tourer)
  • 2010 Kawasaki Concours14 (another fast sport-tourer)

I'm looking at replacing my new Concours with the K1600GTL if it's the bike that I'm thinking and hoping that it is. My best guess is that it's going to fit between the GT and LT somewhere. The GT will probably out-handle it just because of weight ... as will the GS/RT. So you may not like where I'm categorizing it.

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post #3 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 4:23 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I came from FJR1300 2008-2009 then a GL1800 (Goldwing) 2009-present. My feeling is the GTL is going to fit perfectly between these two machines. I did not like the ergonomics on the FJR as well as no cruise, radio, etc. and the GL1800 is too big and heavy. I think the GTL is everything I have been looking for. Can't wait!!!
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post #4 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 4:39 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

None of us know, and we won't until we ride it.
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post #5 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 4:53 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Very true, none of us will know until we are able to ride it. By your descriptions and statements, I think you fit the market it/they are shooting for. It can't be compared to any of these bikes, and is in a category by itself.

Hopefully when you try it, you fit the bike, or maybe it's vice versa?

Kirk

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post #6 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 5:46 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by mx125
As a bunch of (probably?) LT riders . . .is this new GT in a different fun category than, say, the RT or 13GT (or even 1300S)? In other words, should I be realistic in thinking that as a person that has never owned a proper "touring" bike I should have different handling and weekend twisty road fun expectations than these other (arguably) sport touring bikes? The gold wing or perhaps the LT are spectacular machines . . .but are probably a step further down the touring spectrum than I want. Am I confused, or am I lining things up correctly? If it's a 1300GT/RT competitor . .I think I'm in. If it's a little more Gold wing. .I'd appreciate your words of caution.

Thanks.
You can bet it won't be like the Gold Wing in its handling, even the LT is more nimble.

My guess it will be more like the K1300GT in its handling, which I found to be outstanding in the twisties. Both the K13 and K16 have a longer wheelbase than the RT, so it won't be quite as nimble as the RT, but nothing out there is for that type of bike.

I'm in exactly the same situation as you, even sold my 12GS to get a proper touring bike.. and this baby is it.
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post #7 of 26 Old Dec 1st, 2010, 6:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I think you're probably right. I might be the target audience. . .and it might be in a new category between the LT and the more tourish sport-tourers. Thanks for the input!! I appreciate it.
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post #8 of 26 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 8:51 am
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I think the K1600 is going to be more like the K1300. When I test rode an R1200R, I didn't care for it. I didn't like the vibration and I didn't like the way I felt like I was fighting the bikes natural tendency to roll over every time I gunned the throttle. I know the R1200 is a popular engine and people love them, but for me, I wanted something smoother and more refined. I bought my K1200GT instead and went home smiling. I suspect the K1600 will be even smoother and more refined than the K12 or K13. Inline 6 engines just don't have the same vibration as a 4 and a ton less than a 2. The bike will be heavier than mine as well, making the K16 probably a bit less nimble, the added weight and only small increase in bhp means that it will also be slower off the line. Although honestly the .1 or .2 second decrease won't be a big deal. I think it will be a fine, comfortable touring bike with the ability to sport it up when you want it. For me it is the perfect bike, but I am sure others are looking for something else. I think you really need to define what you are looking for. Comfort over character? Speed over comfort?

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post #9 of 26 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 10:07 am
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

My last four bikes were HD's. I am now riding an ultra with a Road Zeppelin seat. To me, it is a very comfortable touring machine, except for the heat, poor mpg, and marginal performance at interstate speeds. I have ridden a 1200 RT and like those features that are common the the GTL. I did not like the saddle or ergo's of the RT for all day riding. I usually make an average of about a 4000 mile a year road trip plus some shorter runs. I do not use the bike a a daily driver.The GTL appears to have solved the complaints that I have with the HD and incorporate the features I like about the BMW RT. I have put a deposit on a GTL because I like everything about it that I have seen and read except there is no riders back rest and limited foot position. Hopefully those will be options from BMW or aftermarket. Also the HD is fairly heavy and the GTL will be a hundred pounds lighter and maybe a lower center of gravity. Riding two up and loaded lighter is better. When my seat hits the GTL saddle I will know for sure.

Last edited by rodeking; Dec 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 am.
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post #10 of 26 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 2:38 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalli
I think the K1600 is going to be more like the K1300. When I test rode an R1200R, I didn't care for it. I didn't like the vibration and I didn't like the way I felt like I was fighting the bikes natural tendency to roll over every time I gunned the throttle. I know the R1200 is a popular engine and people love them, but for me, I wanted something smoother and more refined. I bought my K1200GT instead and went home smiling. I suspect the K1600 will be even smoother and more refined than the K12 or K13. Inline 6 engines just don't have the same vibration as a 4 and a ton less than a 2. The bike will be heavier than mine as well, making the K16 probably a bit less nimble, the added weight and only small increase in bhp means that it will also be slower off the line. Although honestly the .1 or .2 second decrease won't be a big deal. I think it will be a fine, comfortable touring bike with the ability to sport it up when you want it. For me it is the perfect bike, but I am sure others are looking for something else. I think you really need to define what you are looking for. Comfort over character? Speed over comfort?

I would agree I have no need for off the line speed. I do like the idea of the ability to downshift and make a quick powerful pass, or effortlessly tear up to 100mph and hold it without a manic feel. The GS is more than powerful enough, but if I had an opportunity to cruise at 140KMH (85+mph) it was NOT relaxed. Testing a friends VRF after 3 years on my GS was surprising. I forgot how "sporty" a sport touring position was in a relative sense . . . and I'd forgotten how seamless and quickly it builds stunning velocity. And that was the 2002 version. Coming off of that I thought I might appreciate the (newer) huge power of the 12/13GT, with the character of BMW. I'm assuming I'll get that on the new GT (??). In the handling dept, I found the RT fun enough on backroads and suspect I'll give up a little bit on the GT . . but hoping it won't be overly noticable without back to back tests. I can't imagine 160+HP will fall short on real world power, comfort and character should be good, and hoping it's the same with the handling.
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post #11 of 26 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 9:39 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Because it's a replacement for the K1300 GT, I expect it to be a true sport-tourer with very similar handling.

I have a 09 Goldwing, 10 Concours and a 06 FJR (not on purpose - I bought the Concours to replace it and it hasn't sold yet).

My hope is that I can replace the Goldwing with a 1600. It is a two-up bike for me, but my wife only rides six months of the year. My hope is that she will be comfy on the 1600, and I'll have more fun riding it by myself and use it more often than the Goldwing when I'm by myself. I still expect to own a second bike, something on the sportier side of the sport touring spectrum.

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post #12 of 26 Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 10:51 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I think the K1600GTL will have its own category....Luxury sport touring!

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post #13 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I agree with all that . . .deposit laid today. Don't have details yet on what is and isn't an add on, but will be going for all i can on the GT.
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post #14 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2010, 8:21 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I've had a K12 that I bought new in 2001 and then 2 FJR's one non anti 2003 and one anti 2005, two Honda VTX's, one 2002 1800 R model and the current 1800 Neo, two RT's, 1996 and a 2002 models, two Gold Wings, a 2005 blue, and a 2008 Black Cherry red.

This little obsession with taste testing is such fun. I too am pondering whether I should "invest" in the 1600 GTL as the replacement for the 2008 GL 1800? From my own experience on the few Bmw's I have owned as well as other bikes I have to think that this machine is going to be not only the replacement for the K12 but, it may well burn it's way into a lot of previous non beemer owners dreams also? The GS was one of the first to feel the serious boost in hp and then the RT felt it and now the big end of the touring platform is getting it? The RR is setting records and making a name for itself, so I just gotta think that the folks who made it want us all to get a shot at the perpetual smile?

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post #15 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2010, 11:07 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

[QUOTE=From my own experience on the few Bmw's I have owned as well as other bikes I have to think that this machine is going to be not only the replacement for the K12 but, it may well burn it's way into a lot of previous non beemer owners dreams also? The GS was one of the first to feel the serious boost in hp and then the RT felt it and now the big end of the touring platform is getting it? The RR is setting records and making a name for itself, so I just gotta think that the folks who made it want us all to get a shot at the perpetual smile?

Flint[/QUOTE]


We all know that one of BMW's goals is to find younger buyers for its motorcycles. The RR is a perfect example of this. I think the K1600's will appeal to the "younger" luxury bike market. Don't get me wrong, the LT and GL are great luxury tourers. But if you lined up all three, I think that the K1600 will pull in a slightly younger buyer.
Look at Cadillac, they are producing cars that appeal to a younger market with the CTS and CTS-V. For them it was a matter of survival.

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post #16 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 12:14 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
You can bet it won't be like the Gold Wing in its handling, even the LT is more nimble.

My guess it will be more like the K1300GT in its handling, which I found to be outstanding in the twisties. Both the K13 and K16 have a longer wheelbase than the RT, so it won't be quite as nimble as the RT, but nothing out there is for that type of bike.

I'm in exactly the same situation as you, even sold my 12GS to get a proper touring bike.. and this baby is it.
I expect that the 1600 will be more nimble than the LT, but I I quesion it against the GW - unless you (or I) are confusing what "nimble" means. In slow speed maneuvering and transitions, the GW is outstanding due to a super low CG. The GW is ultimately limited by lean angle at higher speeds, but still handles very well. The LT is very top heavy and does not handle all that well at slow speeds or transitions, but handles very well at speed one up - not quite as well two up. The 1600 appears to have addressed the top heavy issue of the LT and will probably do well compared to other sport tourers including the GT, FJR, and C-14. I haven't ridden an RT, so can't really comment on it.

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post #17 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 8:14 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

I have ridden my buddy's 08' GW and consider it a very sluggish handling bike next to my 05' LT. At walking speeds it (GW) is not as top heavy but after that the LT is a much more nimble bike especially in transitions. Also taking off the top box on the LT makes it a different bike something that is not possible on the GW. I think the GTL is going to be a great handling bike with the new engine design, hope to see it at the show in Long Beach in eleven days.

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post #18 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 9:15 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodeking
Riding two up and loaded lighter is better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx125
I do like the idea of the ability to downshift and make a quick powerful pass, or effortlessly tear up to 100mph and hold it without a manic feel.
Ignore the HP numbers and focus on the massive torque available right off of idle.

With that much torque, you won't need to downshift. Just twist and go . . .

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post #19 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:25 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatson
I have ridden my buddy's 08' GW and consider it a very sluggish handling bike next to my 05' LT. At walking speeds it (GW) is not as top heavy but after that the LT is a much more nimble bike especially in transitions. Also taking off the top box on the LT makes it a different bike something that is not possible on the GW. I think the GTL is going to be a great handling bike with the new engine design, hope to see it at the show in Long Beach in eleven days.
Either the wing you rode hade worn out or underinflated tires or the rear suspension was set at too low a preload.

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post #20 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:27 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Ignore the HP numbers and focus on the massive torque available right off of idle.

With that much torque, you won't need to downshift. Just twist and go . . .
You hit the nail square! Horsepower sells bikes, but torque propels them.

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post #21 of 26 Old Dec 7th, 2010, 7:27 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

It was set up fine and had only a few thousand miles on it. The low cg helps at parking lot speeds but after that they don't like to turn like an LT, I guess I should have ridden it in a parking lot.

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post #22 of 26 Old Dec 7th, 2010, 9:24 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatson
It was set up fine and had only a few thousand miles on it. The low cg helps at parking lot speeds but after that they don't like to turn like an LT, I guess I should have ridden it in a parking lot.
With thousands of miles on both wings and LTs - mostly riding in mountains and winding back roads with little interstate travel, Solo an two up, I have to disagree.

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post #23 of 26 Old Dec 8th, 2010, 12:41 am
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

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I am now riding an ultra with a Road Zeppelin seat. To me, it is a very comfortable touring machine, except for the heat, poor mpg, and marginal performance at interstate speeds.
LOL! That's a tour bike?! That sounds like a cruiser! How can you do serious LD riding on that??
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post #24 of 26 Old Dec 8th, 2010, 8:39 am
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

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LOL! That's a tour bike?! That sounds like a cruiser! How can you do serious LD riding on that??
Harleys certainly aren't my ride of choice, but they really aren't bad highway cruisers. With a decent seat they are fairly comfortable and have cruise, stereo, GPS, etc. ridden well, a new one will accelerate with a pre 2005 LT.

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post #25 of 26 Old Dec 8th, 2010, 2:47 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

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Harleys certainly aren't my ride of choice, but they really aren't bad highway cruisers. With a decent seat they are fairly comfortable and have cruise, stereo, GPS, etc. ridden well, a new one will accelerate with a pre 2005 LT.
I consider the HD Ultra to be a very comfortable tourer, not a cruiser. I have never ridden a GW or a BMW, except 1200 RT. Again I loved the RT's engineering and performance but the ergo's and seat were not to my liking at all. I ordered the GTL for a touring machine. If it is not comfortable I will refuse it. Dealer says that he should have demo late March as well as options and prices. Some of the posts on the forum are of the opinion that BMW is catering to the younger riders because of the styling, handling, and power of the GTL. I want the lighter weight, lower CG, higher performance that the GTL offers for my style of riding. I scrape my share of metal and have never owned a bike that I did not push to its limits fairly often. I have been riding motorcycles 53 years and I am really excited about the GTL as a sport/tourer. There just ain't much sport in a HD tourer.
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post #26 of 26 Old Dec 8th, 2010, 3:22 pm
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Re: Some advice from touring pros re: Fun factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodeking
I consider the HD Ultra to be a very comfortable tourer, not a cruiser. I have never ridden a GW or a BMW, except 1200 RT. Again I loved the RT's engineering and performance but the ergo's and seat were not to my liking at all. I ordered the GTL for a touring machine. If it is not comfortable I will refuse it. Dealer says that he should have demo late March as well as options and prices. Some of the posts on the forum are of the opinion that BMW is catering to the younger riders because of the styling, handling, and power of the GTL. I want the lighter weight, lower CG, higher performance that the GTL offers for my style of riding. I scrape my share of metal and have never owned a bike that I did not push to its limits fairly often. I have been riding motorcycles 53 years and I am really excited about the GTL as a sport/tourer. There just ain't much sport in a HD tourer.
Agree. I thought the Ultra had a much nicer seat than the stock LT seat - 300 miles and begging for relief. Of course, not all of us find it that way - all hail the aftermarket.

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