We spent about 6 hours or so at the show.
Todd, sorry to have missed you at Schooner. We were there with Doug and Vickie. There was a group of riders who came from Vegas in that very inclement weather (heavy rain and fog). The group ride organized by BMW of Ventura County has been canceled due to weather as well. There were very few bikes in the parking lot at the show, quite a different scene from last year. Present bikes were mostly BMW GS 1200s, a few LTs, some 650 and 800 GS, and some V-twins.
Not a big crowd inside, and the pleasant surprise was the absence of hip-hop and RAP music. That was a big turn-off last year!
I took a few pix of both k1600 bikes at the show, but it was impossible to take a shot without someone on the bike as everyone at the BMW booth wanted to test the ergonomics.
First impressions about the GTL: I was able to flat foot both feet, which also means that my knees were bent a little more than I would like, and I a only 5'11" Taller riders may have issues. The bike is and feels lighter, with a lower COG. Riding position seems fine... only day in the saddle will tell.
A nice touch is the pair of engine guards that would adequately protect the power plant.
A big drawback, the seat is a one piece unit, which means no backrest.
From my passenger standpoint the seat id just plain bad. It is tilted forward, and since there is no backrest she has nothing to keep her from sliding forward, especially since the passenger handles are very awkward and do not allow a human hand to grip them (no room for the fingers to go through). Also she felt that the seat was too short in the back (behind her) or the top case was too far forward. Speaking of top case, while it seems well designed and solid I think it is smaller and shorter than that of the LT, or at least it looks like I may not be able to fit 2 flip-up helmets in it.
First impression of the GT: I liked it better than the GTL, despite the more forward position, mostly because of the front seat that is separate from the passenger unit as on the LT. I felt more comfortable and my knees were bent at a lesser angle. The engine crash guards are an option, and the BMW rep stated that not everyone wanted the additional weight... Whatever...!
Again only a few days of riding would confirm the actual comfort, but the ability to add a backrest is a big plus in my book.
Kathy felt immediately more comfortable in HER seat, despite the presence of a top case (which we would immediately add should we decide to buy the GT).
Again this is a lighter bike than the LT, but if feels like I could easily "personalize" it by adding engine guards, a backrest, and a top case. I suspect I may also need some Bar-Back and a taller windshield, but this would come later after owning the bike for a little while.
I can't wait to take a test ride of both machines to confirm or infirm my first impressions.