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I have ridden GW for 25 years. I sold the 2005 GW 3 years ago and tried to kick the MC habit but can't. SO I am looking and have discovered BMWs in my looking and just not sure about the transisition. I know the ride of the 1800 and have no expereince with LT. Not sure how to get a test ride. Also why would I want to make the change?
Bill
 

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I don't believe anyone can tell you why to make the change, especially on an LT owners web forum. Suggest you ride both bikes, decide which one speaks to you and make your decision.
 

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I've ridden both. I really like the fit of the BMW better. I felt closed in on the GW. Plus if you're a spend thrift like myself, you can get a used LT a lot cheaper than a used 1800 GW.
FD
 

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I was given the green light a few years ago by She Who Must Be Obeyed to buy a large touring bike with all the bells and whistles. I started doing the research and stumbled across the LT. Once I looked at a few pictures I was hooked. Once I stumbled across this site I was nearly unhooked because of all the repair issues. I went on a 250 mile ride and came across a guy on a LT and that was it. I was hooked deep! Started the hunt and quickly found what I was looking for. I have put nearly 30K trouble free miles on it and I'm so glad I made the BMW decision.

Even the wingers eye it with a kind of awe. It is uncommon enough that not too many folks know much about it and this lends to its mystique.

The ride is amazing! In all fairness, I have a friend with a newer Wing and he feels the wing is the bees knees.

Go to a local BMW dealer, take a test ride and you should know right away which one is right for you.

Loren
 

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billy1 said:
I have ridden GW for 25 years. I sold the 2005 GW 3 years ago and tried to kick the MC habit but can't. SO I am looking and have discovered BMWs in my looking and just not sure about the transisition. I know the ride of the 1800 and have no expereince with LT. Not sure how to get a test ride. Also why would I want to make the change?
Bill
Bill,
Welcome.
There is a huge amount of threads on this site comparing the GL11800 to the K1200LT. Using the search function, and various search terms you should be able to dig 'em up.

Test Ride: BMW has been the leader in offering test rides. Generally better to ride a bike into the dealership, but if you just ogle a bike, unless things have changed you should be able to get a test ride. The K1200LT, being a discontinued model, may be a little different because dealers won't have a "demo" model.
Another thing about test rides, it is hard to get a good feel of the BMW on a short test ride. I think it took me about 8000miles on the K1200LT before I fully "got it" with respect to quirky BMW low speed handling, and how it will respond if you push it a little in the curves.
Why change? Again, this has been hammered to death in past posts, but reliability, cost, maintenance issues aside, the reason to switch is the ride.

I've ridden a GL1800 for a week with my wife riding pillion. She liked it, but not hands down over the K1200LT. (Her GL experience did get me to add passenger floorboards and arm rests.) There are many pillion riders who express a preference for the K1200LT.

For me the GL1800 was very nice, smooth, comfortable, and sterile. I thought that the 1800cc's of the GL would make the Honda seem much more powerful than the 2000 K1200LT I have owned since new. No so, the passing power, get up and go, throttle response of my 2000 KLT was every bit as good in my opinion, it just uses more RPMs. Think of the sound of a racing engine, cranking out rpms.... the K1200LT doesn't come alive until it is wound up, and the engine loves it.
Handling: again the Honda was very respectable in my opinion, better than I thought it would be (my previous experience on a Gold Wing was a GL1500 and it was a dog in braking and handling, the GL1800 was much better). That said, the BMW just feels more solid and more responsive in cranking the twisties. I've run, two up, with sport bike enthusiasts in the tight mountain curves, and while the K1200LT certainly isn't a sport bike, it can stay with 'em pretty darn well, and you won't feel like you riding on the edge. I don't think the GL1800 comes close to feeling like that.
How young and sporting do you feel? If you just ride the highways, and want comfort the Honda is great. If you want to feel exhilaration the K1200LT is more likely to get you there; oh yeah, the K1200LT does the highways mile after mile just as comfortably as the GL.
Have fun.
 

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Wish the LT was still a choice. I'm just not sold on the 1600. Soon I will be looking for a used LT. If not, I don't know what will be my next touring bike.
 

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i own a 99 lt and believe there are no upgrades available in the market except a newer LT .

but if i find a GL11800 i might consider it :)
 

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I switched from the GL1800 to the LT, and as was stated earlier by Charlie, it definately is the ride. I was also impressed that the LT (at least the one I got) has way more features than the GL, the absolute best being the electric adjustible windshield...I really love it. At first the LT motor feels a little buzzier, but once you get used to it, and figure out how to use the motor to best advantage, you will really enjoy your new ride, the final thing is that you can buy one for a lot less than a GL, so you don't have to invest an arm and a leg to find out why we all like them so much.
 

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YOU have to make the final decision and it can only come from the ride.

For me, I felt like I was in control of the K1200LT and when on the wing, I felt like a passenger. Just a different riding sensation.

It took me about 30 minutes on the K1200LT, after an hour ride on a Wing demo. Maybe not enough time on either, but 50,000+ miles later, I'm very happy.

I will admit though that it probably took 5,000+ miles on the LT before I really felt comfortable and in control!

Recent switch to the K1600 has been similar, only on it, it took about 1,000 miles to feel in control.
 

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I recently traded a 2004 GW for a 2003 LT-C. I did the same thing that you’re doing now, (had reservations, asked friends and posted the question on forums) and I got the same response everywhere. Had I listened to what others told me versus what my heart was saying I’d still be riding the Wing and wondering. No one could understand why I wanted to swap the Wing for the LT and like you, at the time I hadn’t ridden an LT either so the initial attraction was just that, I simply loved the look of the LT over the Wing. I found a dealer who had a 03’ with about 30,000 fewer miles on it than my Wing and after we came to an agreement on the numbers, I took it for a spin and the difference between the two bikes was immediately clear yet I knew right then what I wanted. Despite what I was told, I thought (and still do) that the LT handles better. I also think that the LT has a smoother overall ride, especially when going solo and/or in top gear. To me, (6’-04” & 190 Lbs) the LT feels far more open and seems like it holds more cargo but the latter could just be my imagination. Although I absolutely love my LT, it does have a down side. First, (and when it comes right down to it, it’s my only real complainant) it’s really top heavy. Dropping it is an easy thing to accomplish, especially when trying to lift it onto the center stand. On the other hand, picking it up is not so easy! I believe they went to an electric center stand in 04’ or 05’ so maybe something to keep in mind as you shop around. I believe that the most noticeable difference is the power. The LT just doesn’t have that thrust and torque that the GW does but to be fair, you’re also reducing your displacement by 600 CC’s!! Depending on your riding type/style, you can remove the trunk on the LT and it handles a lot better without making it appear as if something has fallen off the back of it and when the time comes for a trip, just put the trunk back on. I’ve owned two Gold Wings throughout the years and it never dawned on me until I jumped to the LT but I always found myself buying things for the GW to make it look better yet I’ve bought nothing cosmetic for the LT and don’t expect to, it’s just a beautiful machine the way it is. Finally, my wife also prefers the LT over the Wing. She says that the LT is more comfortable and quiet and she doesn’t feel “trapped” as she did on the Wing. If you can get a dealer to agree, take the LT out for a while first and vary your riding environment as much as you can. I’m sure you’ll find the pro’s and con’s to making the switch but if I had it to do over, I’d make the same trade again in a second.
Good Luck!!
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if it tips over at no to extremely low speed on the first ride.
DON'T let that affect your descision. Shake it off. Get back on, and ride.
 

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rvint said:
I recently traded a 2004 GW for a 2003 LT-C. I did the same thing that you’re doing now, (had reservations, asked friends and posted the question on forums) and I got the same response everywhere. Had I listened to what others told me versus what my heart was saying I’d still be riding the Wing and wondering. No one could understand why I wanted to swap the Wing for the LT and like you, at the time I hadn’t ridden an LT either so the initial attraction was just that, I simply loved the look of the LT over the Wing.

I found a dealer who had a 03’ with about 30,000 fewer miles on it than my Wing and after we came to an agreement on the numbers, I took it for a spin and the difference between the two bikes was immediately clear yet I knew right then what I wanted. Despite what I was told, I thought (and still do) that the LT handles better. I also think that the LT has a smoother overall ride, especially when going solo and/or in top gear.

To me, (6’-04” & 190 Lbs) the LT feels far more open and seems like it holds more cargo but the latter could just be my imagination. Although I absolutely love my LT, it does have a down side. First, (and when it comes right down to it, it’s my only real complainant) it’s really top heavy. Dropping it is an easy thing to accomplish, especially when trying to lift it onto the center stand. On the other hand, picking it up is not so easy!

I believe they went to an electric center stand in 04’ or 05’ so maybe something to keep in mind as you shop around. I believe that the most noticeable difference is the power. The LT just doesn’t have that thrust and torque that the GW does but to be fair, you’re also reducing your displacement by 600 CC’s!! Depending on your riding type/style, you can remove the trunk on the LT and it handles a lot better without making it appear as if something has fallen off the back of it and when the time comes for a trip, just put the trunk back on.

I’ve owned two Gold Wings throughout the years and it never dawned on me until I jumped to the LT but I always found myself buying things for the GW to make it look better yet I’ve bought nothing cosmetic for the LT and don’t expect to, it’s just a beautiful machine the way it is.

Finally, my wife also prefers the LT over the Wing. She says that the LT is more comfortable and quiet and she doesn’t feel “trapped” as she did on the Wing. If you can get a dealer to agree, take the LT out for a while first and vary your riding environment as much as you can. I’m sure you’ll find the pro’s and con’s to making the switch but if I had it to do over, I’d make the same trade again in a second.
Good Luck!!
Paragraph breaks make large posts easier to read....
 

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billy1 said:
I have ridden GW for 25 years. I sold the 2005 GW 3 years ago and tried to kick the MC habit but can't. SO I am looking and have discovered BMWs in my looking and just not sure about the transisition. I know the ride of the 1800 and have no expereince with LT. Not sure how to get a test ride. Also why would I want to make the change?
Bill

it sounds like your old enough to own and ride a GW, I wasn't yet, I wanted the more sporty ride and handling of the LT without giving up ANY comforts

There is nothing that can be said bad about the Goldwing as you already know.
I feel overall the BMW LT performs better, a bit better ride quality (takes bumps better particularly rough roads in curves where it really does make a difference),
better handling quality (in the twisties, in town and stopping! it just feels more nimble (easier), and more responsive) with just as good dependability , now that said, the newest GW I rode was an '06 now,

that said the next issue is fit, you are going to have to ride one more than around the block, find a dealer willing to let you take it for a good ride, tell him you are a GW rider looking to see if you want to make the switch

BUT if your really set on the GW, don't ride the BMW, you will take it home if you do IMHO <grin>
 
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