RT to K1600 questions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 6 Old Apr 17th, 2014, 7:51 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Posts: 76
RT to K1600 questions

I currently have a 13 anniversary edition RT and am considering moving up to a K1600GT. I would have originally purchased the K bike last year instead of the RT but was turned off by the water pump issues and the left tracking issues i read about.

Well I'm kind of thinking about it again, not that I don't like my RT but riding two up loaded most of the time, I'm thinking the K bike would be a better fit. I do under stand the wind protection is better on the RT and if I did make the swap I would order the bike exactly the way I wanted it....base bike with the safety package only along with the color matched top box. I use my helmet headset for stereo, nav and communication now anyway.

So the reason for this post is for those who made the switch from an RT to the K1600....what was the positives and negatives? Also the most important question is did they sort out the water pump issue yet? What about the bike tracking to the left? I spoke with my dealership and even contacted BMW directly and was advised "what problem"? Anyway this is quite a bit of money for a bike so I'm trying to get all of my ducks in a row before I do anything.

Any advise would be appreciated........
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post #2 of 6 Old Apr 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
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Location: Horsham, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 37
Re: RT to K1600 questions

I swapped from a K1600GT to a RT about a month ago and am seriously thinking of going back to a K1600GT. I never had a single problem with my K16 in 2 years and 50,000 km. No water pump problems and no pulling left or right. I would heartily recommend a K1600.
cheers Andrew
PS I have had the R1200RT in twice for cruise switch problems.
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post #3 of 6 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 1:05 am Thread Starter
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Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
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Re: RT to K1600 questions

Originally Posted by IO222 View Post
I swapped from a K1600GT to a RT about a month ago and am seriously thinking of going back to a K1600GT. I never had a single problem with my K16 in 2 years and 50,000 km. No water pump problems and no pulling left or right. I would heartily recommend a K1600.
cheers Andrew
PS I have had the R1200RT in twice for cruise switch problems.
I appreciate the response.... I was wondering if any one was going to respond. What made you make the switch to the RT?

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post #4 of 6 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 12:10 pm
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Location: Harleysville , PA, USA
Posts: 471
Re: RT to K1600 questions

I went from 2011 RT to the GTL. It was the right move for me; no regrets. The GTL is heavier but has a lower riding position. I prefer that to the higher but lighter RT.
GTL ergos are a little more relaxed, too.
They're both great bikes. Choose based on what suits you best.

2011 R1200RT (sold)
2012 K1600GTL
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post #5 of 6 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 8:56 pm
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Location: New Castle, DE, United States
Posts: 296
Re: RT to K1600 questions

I was rearended on my 2012 RT which totaled it. After I recovered I bought a GTL because I finally admitted that the RT was just a little too tall for me (29" inseam). I was OK 95% of the time but the remaining 5% was tough. Perhaps it's just viewing the departed with rose-colored glasses, but I seem to remember the RT being more of a fun ride than the GTL. Gotta say that there's no comparing the throttle response, though - the GTL is AWESOME.

I like the GTL saddle height and reach but the knee bend is too much for my stiff knees, so I'm looking at lowering the pegs: reduction in lean is probably not an issue since I'm not that aggressive in the twisties. Changed out the windshield so I can look over it instead of through. No water pump or switchgear issues.

I bought the GTL used last fall. It was built in March 2012 so it's an early build, maybe even a preorder. It has a severe left pull issue. It's not gentle drift but enough to change lanes pretty quickly and it just keeps on increasing the rate of the turn. I really believe if I let it go to completion it'd low-side. I've decided that the left pull issue is something I can live with if I have to but would really prefer not to. As the OP noted, BMW doesn't officially recognize the existence of the left pull issue but it's real for me. I haven't seen any recent posts other than resurrection of old threads so they may have gotten that sorted out. Don't think we'll ever know for sure what changed.

Water pump issues finally seem to have been designed out, but all reports say that even before the latest part number it was just a slow drip - not enough to leave you stranded. Posters all said they couldn't even see a drop in the overflow tank.

The RTW has the same improved switchgear as the GTL now, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Excess driveline lash in the early ones seems to have been solved by a redesigned transmission (different P/N than the original). Mine exhibits this condition; it's more prominent in the lower gears but can be adapted to.

I'm doing a long weekend on a rental RTW in a couple of weeks, to see if I want to trade the GTL. I've played with the controller on RTWs and I think I like the menu structure better. I liked the nimbleness of my old RT and would trade the arm-stretching power of the GTL for it. I ride solo so performance with a pillion is not an issue.

For me, making the trade comes down to whether I can deal with the seat height in which case I'll probably switch to the RTW. If not, I'll either keep the GTL and fix what can be fixed, or trade for a newer one where everything's been sorted out.

2020 R1250 GSAW Low
2016 R1200 GSAW Low (traded)
2015 R1200 RT (traded)
2012 K1600 GTL (traded)
2012 R1200 RT (totaled, RIP)

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post #6 of 6 Old Apr 28th, 2014, 1:09 am
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Milton Keynes , , U.K.
Posts: 36
Re: RT to K1600 questions

I made the switch last year from RT to K1600GT

If your doing mostly two up riding then the K1600 is the way to go, its effortless with a pillion and fully loaded.
Its heavier at car park speeds and pushing it about but I find low speed maneuvers easier on the K than I ever did on the RT. I also found the RT front end would feel quite light with pillion plus luggage especially at stop start traffic speeds, I don`t feel this with the K1600.
Wife reports its a lot more comfortable for a pillion than the RT ever was and that wasn`t bad by all accounts but she prefers the K bike.
Not much between the two as far as weather protection , perhaps the Rt has the edge but I put a v stream screen on my K1600 and it is now fine.
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