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Been riding Harleys for 33 yrs. Now have an 05 Hertiage Softtail Classic..I'm going to keep the Soft tail.. The bikes are equipped about the same, heated seats, grips, ABS, GPS, am-fm radio, com hook up, the Honda dealer is willing to discount almost $4500. less than the LT..I have not ridden either bike and I will before I make my choice.......My question to you guy's (and girls) Is there 5K difference in the two bikes, if the BMW dealer does not want to deal.........Thanks for any help you might have..........Storman
 

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Just ride them

There is a lot of information on this site comparing the two bikes that a search will pull up. Can't imagine making a decision based upon someone else's opinion vs a ride. Once you've put a few miles under your belt it should be easy to decide. The bikes are different and one will speak to you. Ride the one that makes you smile. It's a no brainer.......
 

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storman said:
Been riding Harleys for 33 yrs. Now have an 05 Hertiage Softtail Classic..I'm going to keep the Soft tail.. The bikes are equipped about the same, heated seats, grips, ABS, GPS, am-fm radio, com hook up, the Honda dealer is willing to discount almost $4500. less than the LT..I have not ridden either bike and I will before I make my choice.......My question to you guy's (and girls) Is there 5K difference in the two bikes, if the BMW dealer does not want to deal.........Thanks for any help you might have..........Storman
Yup - what Dano sed. Here is a thread to get ya started. And if you input < GL1800 vs K1200LT > in the search box, you'll get several more threads on the topic. Good luck in finding the right bike for you.
 

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Is an LT worth $5K more than Wing? I don't know. Is a GT worth $8K more than a Yamaha FJR? I think so. Is your Softtail worth more than a Honda Shadow? Getting the picture yet? ;)

Buy the bike that YOU want to buy.
 

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That large of a discount (on the Honda) suggests you are purchasing from a large Honda dealer in Chattanooga (Southern Honda, IIRC...?). They have fabulous pricing. Don't forget you'll still probably pay your state sales tax when you return home to register it, and don't pick up your bike on a weekend -- they are way too busy.

You must ride both bikes to make this decision. You'll have an easier time doing that at a BMW shop, in my experience. I've taken several GW test rides, but some shops won't do it; I've never had a BMW dealer blink an eye regarding a test ride. Their standard line is: "Bring it back before we close!"

IMO when you do a true apples-to-apples price comparison the 2 bikes cost about the same, so it's gotta be which bike you like best. If you need limitless torque for trailer-towing the GW may be the way to go. Many LT riders tow trailers too, of course. If you're riding two-up take your passenger with you. (apologies in advance if that is painfully obvious...)

Good luck!
 

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Grunt - Winner GW
Ergos - Winner LT
Twisties - Winner LT
Milage - Winner LT
Low Speed Handling - Winner GW
Reliability - Winner GW
Web Support Group - Winner LT
Options - Winner LT
Price - Winner GW
Two Up - Winner - Tie

Conclusion: Ride them both. Your priorities will be different from others. Both are great bikes. If I wasn't riding an LT I would be on a Wing. The LT suited me a little better so I bought one and have never looked back.
 

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Both bikes are great, I've tested both several times.. but still have not bought.

I like the KLT better and so does the wife but distance of dealership and maintenance prices are a concern on the Beemer. But the biggest thing keeping me from buying either is that I currently ride a 750 Kawasaki and while I want a good two up machine so my wife will take trips with me, I know 80% of my riding will be solo and know I will miss the handling of a smaller bike.

I know, doesn't help you,, go test ride both bikes, take the one that gives you the biggest smile,, you can't go wrong.
 

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Comparo

I put 55k on a GL1500, then another 60K on a Valkryie (which I liked better), then test rode the GL1800, and bought a Harley. The GW18 felt like a mini-bike, and did not fit my large frame at all - the stealer said "well you could make it OK for just $2,500 or so..."

That's not farkles, that's stuff to make it rideable - a new seat (more like the GW15, new bars, etc. (note that my SO does not weigh 300#).

After two years of trying to get comfortable touring on the Harley - I found my '06 K12LT.

The GW might fit you, but the LT fits me. A lot of folks here comment on the weight of the LT - they have not ridden either the old GWs or a Valk. My GW never felt a stable on the back roads as my LT did on it's first outing, and both of the Hondas together didn't have the available space of the LT.

I would have saved a TON of cash, had I found the LT sooner.

Good Luck -
 

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Go ride them both and figure out which one you like the best. I came from Harleys to BMWs about 10 years ago, and when I moved to LTs I tried the Wing as well. Sure, I could have saved some money going with the Wing, but I would not have enjoyed the ride 1/4 as much as I do on the LT (which I've had 3 of now).
 

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Storman,
If as I think you mentioned, you will be riding one up 80% of the time, the R1200RT is worth a test ride as well. Other than tht suggestion, I would echo what others have said. Ride 'em all and then decide.
 

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In my case, buying used, I bought an LT because of the lousy resale value vs the GW. I would have bought a GW because of the dealer network had I been able to buy for same price. I'm far too cheap to buy new. I wouldn't pay for a BMW CAR what an LT costs, but that's just me. I would pay for a new GW at $15 - $17K, if it wouldn't have put such a strain on the family finances. I'm probably the poorest LT owner on earth, but I don;t mind.

I don;t mind riding the hour to the dealer. I just hope it will always run to get there, so I don't have to load it up. I would have to go 45 min to a Honda dealer I would use. The local has seen the last of my money.

With that said, it all comes down to which bike "speaks" to you loudest. I know owners of both bikes, as well as HD glide owners. Each is loyal to their brand for their own reasons. Good luck with your purchase.

Randy
 

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storman said:
Been riding Harleys for 33 yrs. Now have an 05 Hertiage Softtail Classic..I'm going to keep the Soft tail.. The bikes are equipped about the same, heated seats, grips, ABS, GPS, am-fm radio, com hook up, the Honda dealer is willing to discount almost $4500. less than the LT..I have not ridden either bike and I will before I make my choice.......My question to you guy's (and girls) Is there 5K difference in the two bikes, if the BMW dealer does not want to deal.........Thanks for any help you might have..........Storman
How tall are you? If less than 6' you will probably like the GW better.
 

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rando said:
I'm probably the poorest LT owner on earth, but I don;t mind.
I'll bet you're not. :)

I bought an LT mostly on the strength of the dealer. We (my wife and I) had gone to look at a GW, and no one from the Honda dealer would even get up from their desks to talk to us.

I have no idea if the GW is better but I like my LT.
 

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storman said:
Been riding Harleys for 33 yrs. Now have an 05 Hertiage Softtail Classic..I'm going to keep the Soft tail.. The bikes are equipped about the same, heated seats, grips, ABS, GPS, am-fm radio, com hook up, the Honda dealer is willing to discount almost $4500. less than the LT..I have not ridden either bike and I will before I make my choice.......My question to you guy's (and girls) Is there 5K difference in the two bikes, if the BMW dealer does not want to deal.........Thanks for any help you might have..........Storman
Shop around for the LT...you should be able to find someone to deal, especially on an '06. I got my '06 LT new for almost exactly the same price that Southern would sell me a Nav-ABS GW for. And with the free Nav3 I feel I got more bike for the money...better trim and comm system.

That being said, I would echo everything above....ride both. I spent a week on a rental Wing before making my decision. Loved the Wing, but love the LT more.

If you are coming off a Harley, the GW will probably feel more "comfortable" at first...it is the more Harley like of the two in terms of seating and balance. So give the LT a few miles to make up your mind. It will feel very squirrelly for the first few feet and the power brakes will scare you at the first slow speed stop (you get used to these quickly). I would bring my SO, but spend a few minutes on either bike solo first. In my opinion both bikes ride better with two up, but handling is definitely easier solo.

Also worth noting...my closest Honda dealer is miles away; BMW dealer is 75 miles away. It was a factor, but not the biggest one by any means.
 

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all three

I have a Ultra and an LT, and this past fall I was in Las Vegas and rented a GW for three days. I like them all for different reasons. I think the GW is a great bike. It is smooth, has tons of torque and HP, and very very comfortable. MY wife loved the riders seat, and thinks it is by far the most comfortable of the three. The Dealer network is definitely there, and I am told they are very reliable and not terribly expensive to maintain. I am told it is a rarity for a Dealer to let you take one for a test ride though!! I think the riding position on the Ultra is wonderful. The seat is comfortable (at least for me) and highway pegs are relatively cheap and easy to install to change riding positons on longer trips. It is completely different to ride than the GW or the LT. It is much hotter to ride in the summer, and suprisingly colder in the winter--because of the way the air hits you. They do hold their resale much better than either the GW, and especially the LT. They don't have nearly as much HP as either of the others. It doesn't have a abs system available, nor alot of the other amenities the other two do have. My Utlra has always been reliable, and the Dealer network is great. I think the LT is the most fun to ride for sure. I love the way it handles and rides. It gets the best gas mileage of the three (the Harley being second, and the GW third in that catagory), and one has to love the confort and convenience of the controls and the onboard computer--not to mention the ABS system etc. My biggest concern on the LT is the lack of Dealers, and the expense of repairs, and the lack of resale value!! I would never buy another one that wasn't covered by a Warranty, which in itself is a connumdrum, since that means you have to buy a new one, or get a used one and buy an extended service package at considerable expense. From just a riding standpoint, (meaning fun factor, safety, convenience, and mileage) I think the LT is #1. However, next time I am going to seriously think about a GW, unless BMW changes some of it policies and starts encouraging and developing a larger dealer network. The LT is definitely the most fun to ride!!!! Just my opinion. jrlakin
 

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Discussion Starter #17
GW vs LT

My sincere thanks to all of you for the information and thoughs you presented....I know my biggest problem is over researching ( I've spent hours on this web site reading all I could about LT's, RT's & GT's) rather than pulling the trigger and making a decision..I'm hoping to ride both bikes next week weather permitting.......I'd like to say something about this web-site..I'm impressed with the amount of knowledge aviable about the BMW's and related M/C products, I stumbled across the web-site doing research on the BMW's and have personally gained from the site...Now, for the many, many responses I've received from Y'all, (yep, a southern boy) I can't tell you how much I appreciate the responses..In fact this web site will play a part in making my decision........Again many thanks..Storman
 

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Two Quick Thoughts...

Two quick thoughts dealing with test rides...

First, the IMS is going to be in Atlanta Feb 23-25. The demo rides are a bit questionable, but there will be significant factory presence there. Nice to get there and look around a bit. Where else are you going to see a Boss Hoss Stunt Team? Go here for more:

http://motorcycleshows.com/motorcycleshows/

Secondly, see if you can make it down to Daytona for Bike Week 07 March 2-11. If you plan to get to the Speedway early to sign up, the demo rides can be awesome. As stated previously in this thread, it can be hard to find a Gold Wing to demo. You need to get there very early, because the signup sheets for the wings fill up fast. Go here and search for demo rides:

http://www.daytonachamber.com./dbwcalendar/index.cfm

Cheers,
 

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Same 'ol same 'ol

storman said:
the Honda dealer is willing to discount almost $4500. less than the LT..I have not ridden either bike and I will before I make my choice.......My question to you guy's (and girls) Is there 5K difference in the two bikes, if the BMW dealer does not want to deal.........Thanks for any help you might have..........Storman
Sounds about right, they can't give Honda GWs away in South Africa either! You will definitely get a ride on an LT from your local BMW dealer, but a test ride on a GW - doubtful. You have to buy one on hearsay. There are MANY threads on this site that cover the perceived differences between the LT and GW, and as you will read, friends never let friends ride a GW! :D
 
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