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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks I am new here, I currently own a 21yr old BMW K75rt which i use all year round come rain or shine snow or hail, but the old girl is near the time when she needs to retire to that showroom in the sky. Now to the meat of the matter.

I am soon due to inherit some money and I am looking into getting a luxury tourer to use all year round.. having looked at yamaha's, Victorys, kawasakis etc. etc.

I've whittled it down to 3 bikes but cannot decide on either a K1600gtl , R1200rt or a Goldwing (Which was always my dream bike). now im guessing some of you guys and ladies have ridden some or all of the above what i am after is some honest opinions to help me make my mind up..

Am leaning towards a k1600gtl at the moment but that is likely to change again!!! :confused:
 

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Have you taken any of your choices for a ride? If so, which one do YOU prefer? If not, do that first.

What are you looking for?

Just an FYI - I was initially interested in a Wing, but after taking the K1200 for a ride, I never looked back.... When the K1600 came out, I placed an order... Have not regretted the decision.
 

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DanDiver said:
Have you taken any of your choices for a ride? If so, which one do YOU prefer? If not, do that first.

What are you looking for?

Just an FYI - I was initially interested in a Wing, but after taking the K1200 for a ride, I never looked back.... When the K1600 came out, I placed an order... Have not regretted the decision.
I'm with Dan on this one, test ride all of the bikes that you are looking at & let the bike tell you which is best for you.

BTW I was also looking at wings when i bought my K1200LT & then went to the K1600GTL 6 years later. Both bikes fit my needs very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both of your comments Dan and Katnapinn.. Not ridden them as yet as dont want to fall in love till the money is in the bank..

Basicly I am looking for a all round workhorse with creature comforts like traction control to help cope with the vagaries of british weather as well as decent wind and rain protection for the same reason..

Reliability is also a massive factor as this is my only means of transport and my place of work is not local.
Fuel efficiency is another factor thanks to living in a country with one of the highest fuel prices around and cruise control would be another big plus..

Carrying capacity for shopping and those weekends away.

A smooth ride to eat up the miles without my hands going numb with engine vibration and general all round comfort also a bike that isnt to wide as in britain we mostly have skinny roads apart from carrigeways and motorways..

Quite a tall order i guess but i live in hope
 

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I can only give my personal experiences, and so please take them with a pinch of salt! (Ok a bag of salt.)

I went from a K100RT to the R1200RT, after the test drive of the R I was smitten. In terms of ride there is an improvement from the K100 to the R1200, and I would assume that there is a similar ride experience in the K1600, just a smoother ride as it is not a twin.

I ride the R1200RT every day to/from work come rain or shine. In fact if it is not snowing or ice on the ground the bike travels the 15 miles to work. She has not yet let me down, so I would say the reliability of the R is not in question.

In terms of riding at Easter I went from Antwerp, which is at a similar parallel to Harlow, to Scarborough. This was via the Tunnel, and Brentwood. I was surprised at how fresh I was when I arrived at Scarborough. The standard seat is a pain, but you can get over it.

One thing to look at is your dealer, you have to make sure they they will look after you. As it is a major investment, I would check around for prices, and options. See what the dealers can do - also this is a single market, so check the neighbouring countries what they can do for you. I bought my 1200RT in the UK, as it was significantly cheaper, now there has been a price increase. You would need to make sure about the head lamp assembly - mine was replaced for free.

As with the other responses, go for an extended test drive to see which bike has the "wow" factor and screams "buy me"

With careful research, & test drives you will be happy with your decision!

If you want to have a chat, and have a landline phone - please send me a PM. I will however be out of touch next week though.

Best regards
Sleuth
 

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Obviously you must be aware of some of the quirks with the K1600's. If not read some of the forums posts here and elsewhere to become better educated. Having said that I would also strongly urge you to take a demo ride or two on your selected motorcycles. It took me two demo rides to realise the GTL was absolutely THE bike to own. Unfortunately I was unable to try a GT as many that own that model are quite pleased with them also, but perhaps I will try the GT next time. For right now I am quite pleased with my GTL and would suggest to anyone asking that they try one. This was the one bike that I can honestly say may me look back at it and smile after my second test ride. I have a job that requires I be away from home for several weeks at a time and I really miss the GTL when I go on these trips. If by chance my wife reads this I miss you too just differently.......

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thannks Sleuth and Ric all good suggestions and ideas yes i think now after weeks of reading reviews etc. is to take the plunge and go test ride these little beauties (As soon as work permits of course)
If anyone else has any comments about the bikes in question feel free to comment as i am taking it all on board.
Once again thanks for the help you have all given.
 

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One other thing to think about is will you ride solo or two up. I was looking at a Gold Wing and LT and brought my wife along and she hated the seating on the GW and loved the LT.

And after riding the LT that was it. Had to have one. And the wife was happy.

Of course now I can't start the bike up without her jumping on but it's all good! :)
 

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I have had a 2001 GW,2005 LT and now a 2012 GTL. I must say they all have their plus and minus's. If you want passenger comfort(the wife is 5'9) either the GW or LT is better than a GTL,if you lean towards performance then the GTL has the advantage. The GW is a great bike,easier to intergrate electronics,the beemers have an advantage in brakes and cornering plus the adjustable windshield is a plus. So I would put the GW as the ultimate highway comfort bike(handles very well in the twisties too), the LT falls in between the GW and GTL being a tad sportier than the GW, The GTL is more geared for a solo long distance performance orientated rider with pretty good passenger facilities. Of course this is my opinion and the only way to figure it out is some careful testing of all makes...
 

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You just have to ride them and see what suits you.
Having had a GW and an RT and having ridden a GTL only about 50 miles I can give you my impressions.
Loved the RT. Wife didn't like it compared to the GW. Lots of turbulance, nor enough room, went too fast.
She got spoiled on the Wing.
I have some neuopathy in my feet and after being on the RT for about an hour I had some numbness......hard to feel the brake/shifter.
Bought a Victory Cross Country Tour primarily for the foot position. Not my favorite bike. Preferred the GW. Without the foot problem I think the GTL would probably be first choice.
 

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I just rode my GTL from Los Angeles to Fairbanks and back by way of Yellowstone Park. Never got tired, even after a few 9 hour days in the saddle. I do haved foot pegs, which made a difference in knee comfort (I'm 6'1"). Bike performed magnificently, no problems, everything worked as it was supposed to work. Being able to raise and lower the windshield while moving was a great advantage, particularly in the rain. Encountered wind, rain, hail, and beautiful sunny days. See advrider.com under Ride Reports "Alaska on a BMW K1600 GTL" for the story. I've ridden a GW from LA to San Francisco and back. Great bike but not the road feel or handling ability of the GTL. This is not a complaint but I've never regretted having the GTL. That was aboug 9000 miles of pure riding pleasure.
 

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As all have said, you have to ride them all and decide which feels best for you. Another riders impression may be totally different than yours. All 3 bikes you are looking at are excellent and you cannot go wrong with any of them.

With that said, here are my impressions: First the wing-absolutely a smooth, powerful bike. Handles very well for it's size. For me though, there was nothing to get excited about. They for some reason remind me of my Honda Accord. Fantastic dealer service and easy to get parts or aftermarket add ons. Very capable long distance bike. I was surprised by the riding position however. Pegs are more under the seat and feel a bit awkward to me. I am sure that would be easily correctable with an aftermarket part.

I bought an R1200RT after I sold my 02 K1200LT. I sold the LT for two reasons: Looking more for a sport tourer and concerned about reliability of the LT. Let me address the reliability issue first. There is none. I got all worked up reading posts on this site. What I came to realize is the percentage of issues is very low. Also this site is to help others so you read more about them. This site is unbelievable wealth of knowledge, but it can at first scare you until you get a grip on what it is. FWIW, the LT I sold is still going strong. Now the sport touring aspect. While the RT does feel substantially lighter, I did not feel a dramatic increase in overall abilities. While very comfortable, not near as much as the LT. I really never got the feel it did anything enough better and constantly mised the LT. Tried a Kawasaki C14 (very fast, not comfortable) and finally the FJR. The FJR was as comfortable as the RT, a lot faster and handled way better. To me, it is the best sport tourer on the market. I don't think of the RT , the C14 or the FJR as a luxury tourer.

Now to the LT. No bike I have ever ridden has "fit" me like the LT. Once I hit the seat it is as if I become one with the bike (I know...cheesy ) . No matter how hard I tried over the years between the LT's, nothing even came close. Handling, comfort, style...it has it all.

The K1600 I refuse to ride. I really don't want to try and figure out how to afford one :). Something tells me it would be a very quick transition from test ride to finance department.
 

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I think I can help with the OP. I owned a 1999 R1100RT, a 2004 Goldwing, a 2009 K1200LT and now a 2012 K1600GTL. The RT was a great bike and handled well but had a clunky transmission and didn't offer good weather protection. The Goldwing with the 1800 engine is smooth but can be somewhat boring. It handles better than it has a right to but is too easy to scrape the pegs (even when you are NOT trying). The LT is a great touring bike, in fact none better in my opinion. The GTL splits the difference between the RT and the LT. It has better sporting pretensions than the RT but not as good touring capability as the LT. It is well built, everything works great and has an abundance of power. The more I twist the throttle, the more I'm convinced, this is the most amazing production motorcycle available today.

Having said that, I agree that you need to ride everything on your short list and see which one speaks to you the most as an individual.
 

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esmurrell said:
..... The Goldwing with the 1800 engine is smooth but can be somewhat boring. It handles better than it has a right to but is too easy to scrape the pegs (even when you are NOT trying). .....
I take corners slowly with as little leaning as possible. I'm a big chicken. I followed a Goldwing on my VStrom on light twisted roads once. He scrapped in every turn. I was very disappointed cause I once wanted one.
 

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Hi David.
I went from a '96 K75RT to an 05 K1200LT.
Tried the 1200RT's, tried a Goldwing, had tried an ST1100 before I bought the K75.
I think the K1200GT hadn't come out when I bought the LT... I may well have considered that since I was looking for something sporty but still comfortable for 2-up touring, as well as my daily city commute.
Having since sat on a 1300GT & 1600GT (not actually riding them) I found them somewhat less comfortable after getting used to the LT.
For my 2c, the K1200LT is still pretty hard to beat, unless you are looking only at "new" machines.
Have fun shopping and trying!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Everyone for the great input it has opened my eyes somewhat and will definitely be giving them all a good ride.. still oscillating between the GW and the GTL guess will just have to try them and see which fits me better. Will let you know the outcome and what made me choose in the end.
 

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I've owned and/or ridden the 3 bikes you mention (along with a Pan European ST1300A and my current K1200LT) and, as others have said, they each have pros and cons and it is essential that you ride them all on extensive tests - a day preferably so you get at least 4 hours in the saddle.

From your description of your needs however I'd say the two bikes your are leaning towards are too big. The RT would probably fit the bill better. More interesting might be the new Triumph Trophy, unless you're looking to buy second hand.

...now running for cover..........
 
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