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Discussion Starter #1
After two years with a 2008 Honda Goldwing, I’m ready to upgrade and considering three models at time of this writing. Honda Goldwing Tour (2018–2020), BMW K1600GTL (2014-2020), BMW K1600B Grand America (2018-2020).

Considerations
● Wind protection
○ Existing screen acceptable?
○ Larger OEM screen needed?
○ Larger 3rd Party screen needed?
● Wind ventilation
○ Existing acceptable?
○ Larger OEM vents needed?
○ Larger 3rd Party airwings needed?
● Armrest
○ Existing?
○ OEM needed?
○ 3rd Party needed?
● Highway pegs or floorboards
● Passenger floorboards
● Storage space
● Trunk rack
● Power outlets

Here are my Pros and Cons for each:

BMW K1600 GTL
● - Leg bend: more bend then I prefer - sporty
● -/+ Seating position: sit on not in, horse and jockey feeling
● – Wind protection: Limited, especially on highway and for passenger
● – Maintenance: High costs
● + Engine: a real gem
● + Suspension / handling: amazing, amazing, amazing
● + Storage: Plenty
● -/+ Passenger seating position: High

Honda Goldwing Tour 2018
● – Noise, noise, noise – why did they make those pipes roar?
● – Wind: still more wind that we prefer
● – Power: not as much as I was expecting with this engine size
● + Seating position: very comfortable for both rider and passenger
● + Dash & Technology: looks good and has good tech
● – Storage: bags smaller than they should be on a Goldwing

BWM K1600B Grand America
● + Engine & trans: – amazing – a real gem
● + Suspension & handling: amazing, amazing, amazing
● – Maintenance: High costs
● +/- Storage: it is enough but no glove box
● + Shift assist Pro: so cool, great feature
● - Knee bend: more bend then I prefer but it’s manageable
● - Reach to handlebars: a bit far but manageable or fixable
● - Wind: still more wind that we prefer - could handle with aftermarket windscreen

I am leaning toward the Grand America based on riding the three bikes. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bikes, it feels ‘just right’.

I’d like to hear from others who have made this decision or are going through the research. Other considerations I have not listed? Your experience with these bikes? Thanks
 

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You can get some great advice over at K1600forum.com.

My thoughts: it's a lot easier and cheaper to modify wind management with aftermarket parts than to increase engine power or tighten up handling...

To answer your concerns on the Beemers:

● – Maintenance: High costs
Many of us do our own basic maintenance.

● +/- Storage: it is enough but no glove box
A tank bag or small handlebar bag can help with that.

● - Knee bend: more bend then I prefer but it’s manageable
There are peg extenders available.

● - Reach to handlebars: a bit far but manageable or fixable
There are handlebar extenders available, or you can fit the GTL bars.

● - Wind: still more wind that we prefer - could handle with aftermarket windscreen
AeroFlow makes better windscreens as well as add-on fairing wings that work very well for both rider and passenger.

● Armrest
There was a K16 Exclusive model that came with factory armrests. They can be added, but they're BMW-expensive.
Some owners have modified aftermarket armrests to use on the BMW trunk, but that requires some fabrication skills.

● Highway pegs or floorboards
Several versions are available.

● Passenger floorboards
Several versions are available.

● Trunk rack
Several versions are available.

● Power outlets
Easy to add wherever you need them.

Note that every Beemer I've owned has benefitted from a custom seat and windscreen. I just include that in the cost of purchase. :bmw:

If the K1600 platform speaks to you after a good long test ride, then the rest can be modified to better suit your needs.
 

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@meese is pretty much on point. I had a 2014 K1600 GTL, then a 2017 R1200RT after the GTL was totaled. The wife needed something easier to get on and off, so I planned to trade in the RT. I test rode both the 2018 GoldWing and 2018 Grand America. I like the GoldWing’s DCT and tech. But the GA’s K1600 engine just lured me back in, and that’s what I ended up with.

Aftermarket accessories will solve most any bike’s problem you may have an issue with. And FYI, the GoldWing’s maintenance costs aren’t much higher than BMW’s.

You test rode all 3 - you know what you want.
 

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Why does everyone think the maintenance cost on a BMW so much more than a Honda ? Is it the valve adjustment? I have had both Honda & BMW. General basic service on both are about the same. BMW has the motor that GW can’t beat . Close but no cigar.
 

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I never paid much attention to maintenance costs, because I just do it all myself... :bmw:
 

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Several of my friends have them. My friends are appalled at the cost and requirements of owning BMW. I own one because I've always wanted one. I have Honda equipment too, and I feel anything that says Honda, will run forever and take a lot more abuse. Good luck with your choice
 

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Meese provides a lot of suggestions to counter the OP's concerns on the GTL, and it's usually from his perspective, or more specific his skill set. I do my own repairs as well because I have the know how, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want to. The expense factor typically sways me. Re: adding aftermarket accessories/farkles, Meese doesn't consider that some riders don't want the hassle, regardless of their abilities. Why can't i apply the same logic to buying a motorcycle as i do to buying a car? I want a one stop shop; one "buyer's experience", and one financial transaction (monthly payments excluded). Yes, I realize every manufacturer has accessory shops and can address some of the desired options/capabilities, but everyone knows that really adds more to the price, as oppose to the price of a vehicle factory equipped. Now that that's out of the way, I suggest the OP look at the R1200RT. A newer one has more wind protection, larger/wider fairing and comparable if not more cargo capacity. The rider position looks more relaxed also. Just a suggestion.
 

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After two years with a 2008 Honda Goldwing, I’m ready to upgrade and considering three models at time of this writing. Honda Goldwing Tour (2018–2020), BMW K1600GTL (2014-2020), BMW K1600B Grand America (2018-2020).

Considerations
● Wind protection
○ Existing screen acceptable?
○ Larger OEM screen needed?
○ Larger 3rd Party screen needed?
● Wind ventilation
○ Existing acceptable?
○ Larger OEM vents needed?
○ Larger 3rd Party airwings needed?
● Armrest
○ Existing?
○ OEM needed?
○ 3rd Party needed?
● Highway pegs or floorboards
● Passenger floorboards
● Storage space
● Trunk rack
● Power outlets

Here are my Pros and Cons for each:

BMW K1600 GTL
● - Leg bend: more bend then I prefer - sporty
● -/+ Seating position: sit on not in, horse and jockey feeling
● – Wind protection: Limited, especially on highway and for passenger
● – Maintenance: High costs
● + Engine: a real gem
● + Suspension / handling: amazing, amazing, amazing
● + Storage: Plenty
● -/+ Passenger seating position: High

Honda Goldwing Tour 2018
● – Noise, noise, noise – why did they make those pipes roar?
● – Wind: still more wind that we prefer
● – Power: not as much as I was expecting with this engine size
● + Seating position: very comfortable for both rider and passenger
● + Dash & Technology: looks good and has good tech
● – Storage: bags smaller than they should be on a Goldwing

BWM K1600B Grand America
● + Engine & trans: – amazing – a real gem
● + Suspension & handling: amazing, amazing, amazing
● – Maintenance: High costs
● +/- Storage: it is enough but no glove box
● + Shift assist Pro: so cool, great feature
● - Knee bend: more bend then I prefer but it’s manageable
● - Reach to handlebars: a bit far but manageable or fixable
● - Wind: still more wind that we prefer - could handle with aftermarket windscreen

I am leaning toward the Grand America based on riding the three bikes. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bikes, it feels ‘just right’.

I’d like to hear from others who have made this decision or are going through the research. Other considerations I have not listed? Your experience with these bikes? Thanks
Well. Let's start off with Ergonomics. (Seating, wind protection, Armrests.& pegs) Aeroflow makes aftermarket windshields and winglets for the fairing to manage wind alot better on the GTL. An aftermarket seat is almost a must have with any bike, especially BMW and the Goldwing. BMW makes armrests for the GTL. but not cheap. Suburban i beleve is one company to offer peg lowers. Also check Wunderlich for peg lowers and passenger footrests. A GTL Exclusive will have a better passenger backrest(and heated) and factory armrests. The maintenance costs aren't much more than the Goldwing. The big cost with the BMW 6 cylinder is the valve adjustment. That's it. I believe the GTL or the Grand America is the way to go just for the fact of better engine,suspension, and definitely more luggage space. The other stuff can be rectified with aftermarket products mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well fellow riders, I made a decision ... I bought the K1600B Grand America. My wife and I went on a test ride last weekend and both felt is was the right balance of performance, handling and comfort. Made a good deal on a 2019, and my wife negotiated the armrests and foot boards at dealer cost (which was still expensive). But a happy wife is a happy life.

Now I need to add two or three items. Suggestions welcomed - actually requested:

>> Larger touring windscreen

>> Handle bar risers (my GA has the GT/GTL forged handle bars)

>> Top case rack (maybe not - I like the way it looks without, but when we travel, we usually strap on an extra bag)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes. Made the deal on a Saturday. Dealer had the transmission fix done Tuesday, and added my wife's essentials (armrests and foot platforms) on Thursday. I picked it up on Friday. that was a week ago.
 
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Why does everyone think the maintenance cost on a BMW so much more than a Honda ? Is it the valve adjustment? I have had both Honda & BMW. General basic service on both are about the same. BMW has the motor that GW can’t beat . Close but no cigar.
Why? Great question. I'm a reentry rider that got back on a bike in 2005. Since then I've been active in Honda and BMW centric forums and also in my local BMWMOA chapter. Most of my riding buddies in 15 years I met in MOA.

It's anecdotal but in that time the number of new forum or local MOA members that come in saying "I'm tired of the dealer maintenance cost of my X I'm switching brands" totals zero for one brand and "many" for the other. Myself, I'm particular about maintenance and can do my own maintenance and do it on time to the manufacturer's schedule so the cost difference for me is far less than an owner that relies on the dealer. For a long time the closest BMW dealer had a terrible reputation for gouging and many relied on a dealer twice as far away (150 miles) with a great reputation. I'll be the first to say that Honda dealers have no better reputation overall, probably worse, but many Goldwing owners do their own maintenance or ignore it and still rack up high mileages without fear of Big Bill paying a visit. Just my observations and worth about what I charge for it.

To the OP I believe you made the right choice for you. I'm assuming there was not interest in DCT, that's a game changer for many people changing to the new GL platform.
 

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I never paid much attention to maintenance costs, because I just do it all myself... :bmw:
Not all of us enjoy doing our own maintenance. Cost of maintenance is a consideration for me. I have found that maintenance costs seems to be a lot more dependent on the dealership used than the brand bought. For example, a BMW dealership out in central Washington installed a new rear tire on my RT for about $175 (tire + labor) less than what I was paying in the Seattle area.
 

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Your analysis and conclusion was pretty close to what I did two years ago. The main difference was that I included the new Yamaha Venture Intercontinental in the mix. My wife and I also picked the GA as the best of that lot, but I did not buy one as you did. The reason was that we both decided our current 2007 LT was still better for our riding style than all four of those candidates. So, we added a Russell seat and have ridden it another 20,000 miles since then, but I am getting the urge for something newer as I approach 90,000 miles and 13 years of age.

I like the looks of the Corbin case modifications for the new Wing. The aren’t cheap at nearly $2,000 for all three new lids, but it appears they would bump the luggage capacity up to about match the GA, but still be shy of my LT. That still leaves the too small gas tank and the too noisy exhaust, but I can probably deal with those and the Wing was priced a couple grand less than the GA, so the Corbin additions would still give a lower to comparable price. And I like the easier maintenance and broader dealer network and better aftermarket support that comes with the Wing.

Decisions, decisions. I am hoping you will post some of your experiences with your new GA for the rest of us to read. I am particularly interested to hear how your wife likes it and what mods you make to increase the wind protection as that is where the BMWs both fell well short of the Wing.
 
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