September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2011, 11:17 am Thread Starter
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September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

For those that are on the sidelines trying to make a decision on the new K1600GTL, Motorcycle Consumers new has a nice comparsion writeup with the new Goldwing.
Good reading

Bill Dowdy
2014 RT
2006 LT
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post #2 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2011, 6:11 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldone
For those that are on the sidelines trying to make a decision on the new K1600GTL, Motorcycle Consumers new has a nice comparsion writeup with the new Goldwing.
Good reading
Yes, I just read that. I was pretty surprised. The Gold Wing really hammered the GTL and they commented that the LT was better for the mission that the Gold Wing and LT were designed for. I was very amazed when they picked the Wing engine as superior to the GTL. That is one place I was sure the BMW would come out on top. It sounds like the 1600 has some of the same issues as the LT: too tall gearing, not enough clutch and poor low RPM driveability. I know my 07 LT is not nearly as nice to ride at less than 30 MPH as was my Kawasaki Voyager. When slowing to a stop sign on the LT, if you don't pull the clutch in by 20 MPH while slowing down, the jerk when the fuel injection cuts off is very annoying.

I have reasons for not wanting to ever own another Honda, but it appears that the Honda is now the last survivor in the luxury touring category.

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post #3 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2011, 6:27 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
When slowing to a stop sign on the LT, if you don't pull the clutch in by 20 MPH while slowing down, the jerk when the fuel injection cuts off is very annoying.
I find your comment interesting because in 50,000 miles on my 02 LT, I never noticed this problem and just about always used the transmission to slow down. It might be the gear that you are in?

But, I do notice this in the new K1600GTL if I let the RPMs get too low. Not being critical, just an observation. I really liked being able to easily slow down on my LT with the transmission and find that I have to really work it on the GTL. Just not used to it yet.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

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02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #4 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2011, 6:48 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
I find your comment interesting because in 50,000 miles on my 02 LT, I never noticed this problem and just about always used the transmission to slow down. It might be the gear that you are in?

But, I do notice this in the new K1600GTL if I let the RPMs get too low. Not being critical, just an observation. I really liked being able to easily slow down on my LT with the transmission and find that I have to really work it on the GTL. Just not used to it yet.
Maybe the 07 and 02 behave differently. However, if I am going say 40 in 2nd gear (or worse yet accelerating) and close the throttle to "coast" down, the transition from gas on to gas off isn't real smooth as the FI cuts out. The bike then slows pretty smoothly until the RPM gets to about 1600 and then you can feel the fuel injection cut back in and there is an abrupt jerk. I have gotten to where I can pull in the clutch right before the FI kicks back in, but it is annoying to say the least. The Kawasaki with its carbs was buttery smooth during transition from acceleration to deceleration and would coast down right to idle speed with no abruptness at all.

MCN just noted similar behavior in the GTL as compated to the GW. They said the GW was much smoother at slow speeds and didn't have this FI on/off abruptness.

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post #5 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2011, 7:53 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldone
For those that are on the sidelines trying to make a decision on the new K1600GTL, Motorcycle Consumers new has a nice comparsion writeup with the new Goldwing.
Good reading
I guess everyone has an opinion. The current issue of Cycle World, on the other hand, picked the GLT hands down over the Gold Wing and awarded it top place in the touring category of 10 Best.

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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post #6 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 8:11 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

thinking of what they said. i agree the gtl i felt after driving it does not really fit the pure touring class. the lt & wing are purpose bikes. i liked alot about the gtl but i think it better fits in a sport/performance touring roll.
only my 2 cents
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post #7 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 10:38 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

They are comparing sharks and whales....

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015; SLC, 2017
CCR-R: 2018, Russellville
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
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post #8 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:18 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallzee
They are comparing sharks and whales....
Then I must be driving a Manatee!

I find it fascinating how manufacturers have created these niches - and obviously been successful at filling them:

The Gold Wing
: a literal couch on wheels, does not really take much skill to ride, eats up super slab miles with ease, the favorite of the short legged mini-van and Wal-Mart greeter crowd. You want dependable? - you got it! Stuffed animals optional.

The K1600GTL
: Designed for the over 50 crowd that believes that old age and treachery beats youth and ambition every time. Eats Ferraris and everything else for hors d'oeuvres at stoplights and reverse camber curves. Has a split personality - totally psycho. Trolls parking lots with ease yet does the ton without a care in the world. Mom's optional - hey, they would really rather ride by themselves anyway. I'll bet a doughnut you won't see many trailers behind them.

The LT: Still by far the best looking of the bunch, it is getting just a bit long in the tooth, but then again it WAS born 13 years ago. Does not suffer fools gladly at slow speeds, takes more skill to ride well then just about any 700 pound plus scooter. Rock solid brick engine (I've never heard of one blowing up) Easy to work on, sips fuel. Still fits in well between the above two once farkled out. Mom's still like it the best due to the excellent wind protection, and you can ride it really fast with two on board all day long. Did I mention it's still the best looking of the bunch? Kinda' like an old girlfriend that's started to get a bit porky, but can still shake it.

If you're wookin' pa nub in all the right places, the LT is still hard to beat.

So there:


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post #9 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:52 am
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Thumbs up Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Then I must be driving a Manatee!

I find it fascinating how manufacturers have created these niches - and obviously been successful at filling them:

The Gold Wing
: a literal couch on wheels, does not really take much skill to ride, eats up super slab miles with ease, the favorite of the short legged mini-van and Wal-Mart greeter crowd. You want dependable? - you got it! Stuffed animals optional.

The K1600GTL
: Designed for the over 50 crowd that believes that old age and treachery beats youth and ambition every time. Eats Ferraris and everything else for hors d'oeuvres at stoplights and reverse camber curves. Has a split personality - totally psycho. Trolls parking lots with ease yet does the ton without a care in the world. Mom's optional - hey, they would really rather ride by themselves anyway. I'll bet a doughnut you won't see many trailers behind them.

The LT: Still by far the best looking of the bunch, it is getting just a bit long in the tooth, but then again it WAS born 13 years ago. Does not suffer fools gladly at slow speeds, takes more skill to ride well then just about any 700 pound plus scooter. Rock solid brick engine (I've never heard of one blowing up) Easy to work on, sips fuel. Still fits in well between the above two once farkled out. Mom's still like it the best due to the excellent wind protection, and you can ride it really fast with two on board all day long. Did I mention it's still the best looking of the bunch? Kinda' like an old girlfriend that's started to get a bit porky, but can still shake it.

If you're wookin' pa nub in all the right places, the LT is still hard to beat.

So there:
Nice assessment.

Regards & Ride Safe!

Bruce
'09 Black LT
4-Wheels moves the body, 2-wheels moves the soul.
IBA # 8547
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post #10 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:55 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Maybe the 07 and 02 behave differently. However, if I am going say 40 in 2nd gear (or worse yet accelerating) and close the throttle to "coast" down, the transition from gas on to gas off isn't real smooth as the FI cuts out.
The secret is finess. You can't chop the throttle or you get the jerk. Gentle roll off and roll on(which means you have to anticipate in the corners) she can be quite smooth.

John
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post #11 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 12:28 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

I have not yet received my September issue of MCN. But I find all the comments here to be very relevant to my situation. Three years ago I totalled my 2000 LT (at 110,000 miles) by hitting a deer. At that time I decided to go lighter (since I am getting older and weaker every day, 5' 11", 180 #, 65 ) with a used RT. I have enjoyed the RT, made a trip to the west coast from NY this spring, but Momma just can't get comfortable on it. So we have been looking at more purposeful touring bikes, GW. LT and GTL. After a 45 minute test ride, I was in awe of the GTL but when comparing the cost of a new GTL to a used RT, I'd take the RT every time. In my opinion the GTL competes with the RT more than the LT. The Goldwing was extremely comfortable for both of us, but absolutely boring to ride. I was very seriously considering one because o fthe comfort, but finally decided I just couldn't enjoy the riding experience on a GW. So I opted for an LT. Found a real nice 03 with only 6,0000 miles. Right now I plan on keeping both the RT and LT, but time and gargage space may change that.

Dave Granzin
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post #12 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 12:30 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Did I mention it's still the best looking of the bunch? Kinda' like an old girlfriend that's started to get a bit porky, but can still shake it.

If you're wookin' pa nub in all the right places, the LT is still hard to beat.

So there:
Nice characterizations, Ron. I think I'll take her out on a date.

Benny C. (Central Texas)
2001 LTC Pacific Blue (Babe...the blue ox)
1986 Kawasaki Concours (Connie) sold
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post #13 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 2:48 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
The secret is finess. You can't chop the throttle or you get the jerk. Gentle roll off and roll on(which means you have to anticipate in the corners) she can be quite smooth.
Exactly, which is a characteristic of good riding technique no matter what you ride.

Regards & Ride Safe!

Bruce
'09 Black LT
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post #14 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 2:55 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallzee
They are comparing sharks and whales....
Agreed...these bikes are radically different.
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post #15 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 4:14 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
The secret is finess. You can't chop the throttle or you get the jerk. Gentle roll off and roll on(which means you have to anticipate in the corners) she can be quite smooth.
What John said.

Also note that the 'Wing has a much larger flywheel, and thus is slower to spin up and slow down, so it tends to tolerate abrupt rider inputs easier. Same thing can be said for its overall heft, and resistance to manic steering inputs. But that also means that it is somewhat slower and more cumbersome when you want to wring it out . . .

Ken
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post #16 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 6:28 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
The secret is finess. You can't chop the throttle or you get the jerk. Gentle roll off and roll on(which means you have to anticipate in the corners) she can be quite smooth.
No, that isn't the issue. Even a slow roll-off of the throttle causes some lurching at least as compared to my Kawasaki. And when the FI kicks back in when coasting to a stop while in gear, that is completely unrelated to anything the rider is doing. That is simply bad programming of the FI controller or injectors that can't flow small amounts of fuel.

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post #17 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 6:42 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
No, that isn't the issue. Even a slow roll-off of the throttle causes some lurching at least as compared to my Kawasaki. And when the FI kicks back in when coasting to a stop while in gear, that is completely unrelated to anything the rider is doing. That is simply bad programming of the FI controller or injectors that can't flow small amounts of fuel.
-

I've never had that issue on either of my LT's. Strange... both are 2001's. The first made 140K - and working on 30K on the present.

I've always been impressed how "tractable" the brick is.. When I'm solo I've ridden it all over the rev range on silly stupid curves and hills. It's never failed to respond perfectly to throttle input. Granted, it's a lot a of metal to be pushing it like a road racer, but with a good suspension setup and fresh rubber it CAN be done.

Have you tried running some Techron through it? I know it seems like a "mechanic in a bottle' won't work but my experience with it has been excellent. Seems to me your injectors aren't happy.


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post #18 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 6:44 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
-

I've never had that issue on either of my LT's. Strange... both are 2001's. The first made 140K - and working on 30K on the present.

I've always been impressed how "tractable" the brick is.. When I'm solo I've ridden it all over the rev range on silly stupid curves and hills. It's never failed to respond perfectly to throttle input. Granted, it's a lot a of metal to be pushing it like a road racer, but with a good suspension setup and fresh rubber it CAN be done.

Have you tried running some Techron through it? I know it seems like a "mechanic in a bottle' won't work but my experience with it has been excellent. Seems to me your injectors aren't happy.
So, if you put your LT in first or second gear, get the RPM up to at least 2,500 and the roll off the throttle and coast down in gear, are you saying that you can't feel it when the FI cust back in somewhere around 1600 RPM? Maybe the FI on the older bikes doesn't cut out completely when coasting with a closed throttle.

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post #19 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 6:52 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
So, if you put your LT in first or second gear, get the RPM up to at least 2,500 and the roll off the throttle and coast down in gear, are you saying that you can't feel it when the FI cust back in somewhere around 1600 RPM? Maybe the FI on the older bikes doesn't cut out completely when coasting with a closed throttle.
Can't say that I have, but next time out I'll give it a go.

It's been sorely neglected lately with the arrival of my Trail 90.


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post #20 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2011, 7:14 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
So, if you put your LT in first or second gear, get the RPM up to at least 2,500 and the roll off the throttle and coast down in gear, are you saying that you can't feel it when the FI cust back in somewhere around 1600 RPM? Maybe the FI on the older bikes doesn't cut out completely when coasting with a closed throttle.
Voyager (Matt)

I think I know exactly what you are talking about because it really is the only think that I don't like, so far about the K1600GTL. I never had an issue slowing down with it on my 02 K1200LT and I really did like being able to use the transmission to slow down smoothly.

I cannot smoothly slow down YET, on my K1600, but I'm getting better as long as I keep the RPMs up and I gear it down. I do use the clutch more and my brake. Getting off of cruse control and slowing down is another matter! UGLY!!!

I have ridden other K1200LTs and none of them had the problem that you describe with yours. Have you ridden other K1200LT that act as yours? I don't know what is causing it, but I do think that it is unique to your bike. It is not the way any of the K1200LTs that I have riden behave.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #21 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 7:45 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

No one has mentioned storage space. If the stats I read are correct, the GTL has less storage space than the LT, which was already space challenged. Can anyone confirm that?

Ultra LT
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post #22 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 9:06 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

I think the GTL has, per spec, a bit more trunk space than the LT.

I do not see the advantage of taking big, clunky and dirty hard bags into a motel. But then, I use liner bags on the LT. They stay clean, dry and look like a lot of other black soft luggage. Between what the LT side bags hold and UPS/Fed EX, two of us go up to 500 miles and 3-5 days without problems.

We do use that 2 foot wire they include for the helmets thought, when the LT is fully loaded, which can be a pain. But in really hot weather, we take the helmets in with us to cool off too.

I heard that BMW and the aftermarket has GTL liner bags either already here or very close.
Bill

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post #23 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 9:31 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

The GTL has been compared against other bikes in several magazines and web sites. I just do not think I have seen a valid comparison yet.

Both Hallzee, in about 6 words, and Gizmo1137, in 3 paragraphs summed up the problem better than all the editors did. +1 to both of you. But Gizmo, what do you have against Walmart greeters???

The LT and the Gold Wing essentially make up the Luxury Touring class. I don't find the current Wing to be any more comfortable or couch like than the LT is. I do think the LT gets the points for styling and ride ability in the curves, IMHO.

The GTL may be in the Sport Touring class, but is clearly not meant to be in the same class as the LT and Wing. It has the newest technology, it is rally fast. It has some great features and will handle two up fairly well. But whatever points it scores for style on the front end, it looses when you see the second half of the bike and that afterthought luggage. It kind of reminds me of a mullet. My guess is some BMW designer has already tweaked that so the profile will improve in 2013.

It is really hard to imagine what bike the GTL could be compared too. I am not sure that it has carved out a new niche so much as being so far ahead of the rest. Something like a high tech, nearly 2L sport touring bike.

Bill

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post #24 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 10:31 am
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
It's been sorely neglected lately with the arrival of my Trail 90.
The Wing is better than that bike too!

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015; SLC, 2017
CCR-R: 2018, Russellville
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
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MOA #136148

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post #25 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 2:05 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

All of the reviews I've seen prior to MCN lacked pillion related comments including a BMWMOA article that was a pathetically uncritical evaluation that lacked any insightful comments. And all of our local club LT owners who've tried the 6 panned it as being in no way a suitable replacement for an LT and a couple found that moving clutch lever annoying as well.
The only 6 at UnRally last week was apparently ridden solo and the general consensus among more experienced BMW riders seems to be that the 6 is a nice but complex machine that's heavier than most want for sport touring.
I expect the model will find its place eventually but I don't see the 6 as the bike that takes over a lot of other sales and creates copycat models from other makers. Its not the best 2 up tourer and being both pricey and heavy will limit its appeal to others.
I expect distance riders will not appreciate the way its torque will shorten tire life.

I'd be more interested in a smaller 6 tucked into something the size of K1300GT. (If this were to happen I'd expect BMW to use an S type set of ergos so it would be of no interest to me anyway). To me what can justify the complication of the extra cylinders is the incomparable smoothness of an inline 6, not huge power by itself. But I also want to test the new Motus (V-4) when it becomes available- if its exposed pipes don't fry the rider and the execution is good, it looks like a fun sport touring machine and it sure would be nice to have something made in this country that isn't an air cooled V-Twin or a low volume overly expensive motorcycle freak.

Last edited by racer7; Aug 17th, 2011 at 2:16 pm.
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post #26 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 4:28 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

There was a comment from someone who used his LT soft bags in the GTL saddlebags, and said there was some room left over. Plus the GTL's 49 litre trunk is larger than the LT's trunk.

But y'all really need to get over the "tacked-on luggage" rant. It's not supposed to be permanently integrated into the bike, it's supposed to be easily removable.

And the luggage isn't removable so you can drag a heavy, dirty saddlebag into a motel room. It's removable so you can leave it at home if you're out on a quick day ride, or commuting to work where it isn't needed. That alone takes a lot of weight off the bike, making it nimbler and more fun to ride. For longer trips, just get a set of soft bags and be done with it.

And here's another glaringly obvious point that keeps getting overlooked: The GTL is not supposed to be just a newer LT. That's why it isn't called a K1600LT.

Y'all keep saying how the LT is as comfortable as the 'Wing, but lighter and more fun to ride in the twisty bits. The GTL is just the next iteration of that philosophy: lighter, more powerful, and still loaded with creature comforts.

But if the LT really is your dream bike, then there are lots of great low-mileage bikes out there on the used market, for a significant cost savings over a shiny new K16 . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
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post #27 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 9:23 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
No, that isn't the issue. Even a slow roll-off of the throttle causes some lurching at least as compared to my Kawasaki. And when the FI kicks back in when coasting to a stop while in gear, that is completely unrelated to anything the rider is doing. That is simply bad programming of the FI controller or injectors that can't flow small amounts of fuel.
+1 including the Kaw comment. 30K+ miles on an '08 Concours 14 and never had throttle kickback. Simply trying to fit in with a stream of urban traffic that varies from 35-40 mph on my GT is difficult using small throttle inputs. There is a sharp throttle off/on that needs to be cleaned up. I might also try using "rain" mode in the situations to see if the throttle better handles these small inputs.

Steve W
Canton, MI USA

2012 K 1600 GT (#901 from 8/6/2011)


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post #28 of 28 Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:30 pm
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Re: September Issue Motorcycle Consumer News

Well, good for mcn. I personally like the gtl better than the honda or the lt.

It certainally is in a class by itself.

I would never take the bags off to go into a motel. I have soft liners, they work fine.

with a steady hand and a quick learning curve i can do the 30 to 45 in traffic all day long. I ride in dynamic always. You will all pick it up.

All of the doubters, dont buy it. you can find a problem with anything. to me it is the perfect balance of a 1200s and an rt.

I would suggest anyone who doesnt want the excelence of the gtl to please buy a used lt, or an rt, or even a honda or connie. like i said above, they are all in a different class.

as metioned by another member, they didnt call it a k1600lt for a reason, its not heavy, it handles like you wouldnt believe, smooth and quick as all get out when you want it. the most enjoyment is trying to ride it and slowly accelerate. I truly doubt you will find these bikes 8 years old with 6k miles on them like alot of lt's.

I owned a 99 ltc, and a 2002 ltc. I am glad i no longer have to ride one and I get to ride on the best tourbike ever built/designed. I dont know what everyone else is looking for, but I ride the whole rear tire, and I dont get flat spots like most lt's and hondas i see. but then again i do go over 20 degrees lean angle.

Perhaps most of the doubters dont like riding with a smile on thier face, thier loss.

Have a nice ride, ride what you want, If you dont want a gtl, dont buy it, dont dis it either, and good luck keeping up to me in the twisties, rofl

Richard
2012 K1600Gtl Royal Blue #578 I will ride it like I stole it, wooo hoooo
2002 BMW K1200LTC - SOLD Rode it like i stole it.....
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