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If you are going to buy a GTL for riding two up, I would suggest you look at the review just put up on www.motorcycle.com. They have two or three very significant issues with the ergos for the rear passenger that are worth noting before you take the plunge.
 

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An amazing review until you get to this section...

Just Short of Perfection

Passenger comfort would be better if the seat was extended further rearward.

Grab rail access is hindered by the seat’s outer edge.

The GTL does have one significant foible: passenger accommodations fall way short of the Gold Wing’s. Good comfort exists when a pillion is resting his/her hands on a rider’s waist, with abundant legroom up to the wide and comfy seat. A backrest integrated on the top box provides welcome security.

However, the amount of fore/aft room is somewhat limited. Sitting far back on the seat for the most room, your butt is positioned on the transition from the seat to the nylon box mount, making it feel like you’re sitting in a crevice.

Things fall apart further while riding at a brisk pace when your pillion will want to grip the hand rails. There isn’t sufficient room between the seat edges and the rails to comfortably fit in gloved fingers. And when you do jam them in, the backrest wings awkwardly force the bicep area forward. To riders who frequently travel two-up, this could be a deal breaker, depending on the size of your passenger.

Searching for more nits to pick, the gap between tank and seat is a trifle gauche in light of the otherwise excellent fit and finish of this super tourer built in Berlin. Lastly, the GTL we rode emitted an annoying primary-drive gear whine from 1700 to 2200 rpm, but that seemed to be atypical compared to other K1600s at the launch – the mechanically identical GT I rode was quieter by about 50%. The K16s at the press launch were pre-series production bikes, and BMW engineers note that production bikes will have some adjustment of tolerances that should keep whining to a minimum.
 

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Not being able to look over the screen is another minus point for me.

Strange that nobody, apart from Kevin Ash, has mentioned the lack of power at low revs.

Sounds like a great bike, but will be keeping the LT for a few years yet.
 

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I read a couple of other posts from members that talked about the rear pillion pad intruding over the grab bar. I'm wondering if this is something they might address before shipment, or if maybe they'll offer a different seat on next year's bike?

My SO rides with me maybe 1-2% of the time, so this won't dissuade me from buying this bike. I'm hoping the rear seat is as comfortable as my Harleys, if it is she'll be happy. Time, and a test ride, will tell.
 

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Return of the K-bike whine? Say it isn't so! :wow:

My bet is that like all first year production bikes there will be a NUMBER of issues that will need to be addressed. The passenger seat accommodations just didn't look right when I eyeballed the first pictures that came out. That gap really showed up.

Not having the option of looking over the windshield would be just plain weird - I'm thinking with the tall seat option that would be taken care of for some riders.

Although it appears there are enough distinctions between the two it seems like BMW has taken quite a bit of the "luxury ergos" part of the equation out of the GTL. For worldwide consumption that is probably a good move, but for 2 up super slabbing *American* riders it will be missed. You could say that when it comes to passenger comfort BMW took a back seat. :rolleyes:

I can't understand why they didn't just build in some arm rests for the passenger - the trunk back rest looks like it had a double shoulder amputation. It's just really ugly and strange looking. Maybe they'll be offered as an option?

It took quite a bit of fussing around to get my wife comfortable on the back of my LT:
Raised foot pegs, move the top box WAY back (even though she's small) custom seat, custom armrests with super soft visco foam, and a windshield that took care of her turbulence buffeting issues at speed. The addition of a nice sized bag on the top rack was a huge help to smooth out the airflow. The heated jacket was a hit. It was all well worth it since she'll now tolerate 500 miles days without a peep - and that's NEVER easy for anyone stuffed back there.

Seems like we'll get to go through the same $$$ drill again with the GTL... but I'll wait a few years for factory fixes - and aftermarket goods - before I plunk down $25 large.
 

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The top box here was clearly an afterthought by BMW. I remember when we all saw the first "spy" pics of the GTL and all agreed that what was on the mule surely would not make it into production. Guess what kids, it did. It is clear that the goal with the K1600 was to make a better GT...which it appears that they did well...and throw on a few extras to make the GTL to cover for the loss of the LT. One of the casualties was the pillion accomodations.
 

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The only reason I would sell my Connie would be if the GTL paralleled it in performance, and out-performed it in two-up comfort. Sounds like my wallet is safe until they get that mess straightened out. (Whew!) ;)
 

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Like I said before, it will have to pass the passenger test. If she ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Then my 2 up machine will remain the LT.
 

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Ron,
Look at the size of that thin wisp of a girl in your second photo.
I would say that most of us are at least older than middle age and probably very few of our spouse look like a 14 year old teenager, size wise.
 

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Won't speak for all but my Wife is 54 and is no larger than the lady in the photo.
I agree with the previous poster, If she ain't happy nobody is happy.
 

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Looks like sex on a stick for 1 up riding. Since I'm 2 up 60% of the time and she's 5'11", I'm hoping they make room back there so I can seriously consider the GTL in the future. :corn:
 

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While the majority of the time I'll be riding solo - sans pillion and top box, we did notice the top box was mounted further back than my fiance' (she's the wisp of a girl in the photo) would like as it made her lean angle too far back. I am thinking/hoping that I can get the rack from a GT in order to get the top box to fit closer to where she would naturally sit. Of course getting parts right out of the gate from BMW might be a challenge. To the point made earlier, the after market may resolve some of these size/fit issues - either saddles, or alternative replacement backrests.
 

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MountianMama said:
Ron,
Look at the size of that thin wisp of a girl in your second photo.
I would say that most of us are at least older than middle age and probably very few of our spouse look like a 14 year old teenager, size wise.
I've been married to a wisp for 18 years. She'll be 54 next December.

It would have been so easy to design that top box to slide back and forth... Oh geez, I may have come up with the very FIRST ghetto mod for the GTL! :eek:
 

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It seems to me that if they made the area of the top box lid that has the back rest attached to it straighter like the RT box it would have improved the position. Having the lower part of the box vertical and the upper part slanted looks like it would be a challenge to be comfortable during a long ride.
The other negative aspect for me is having to look through the GTL shield. I never look through my RT shield (have a v-stream) and I have all the wind protection I need. I will hopefully get to test a GTL with a GT shield and see if that works. We all have our quirks and one of my many is to look over my windshield.
 

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simoncharles said:
Not being able to look over the screen is another minus point for me.

Strange that nobody, apart from Kevin Ash, has mentioned the lack of power at low revs.

Sounds like a great bike, but will be keeping the LT for a few years yet.
Simoncharles, I noticed Kevin Ash's remarks about low torque at low rpms also.

Interstingly, the next couple of reviews that follow Kevin Ash's reflect what I
see as dissimilar remarks about low end power. Although we haven't seen
a torque curve yet, BMW has told us BHP and max torque numbers which
just don't match up with Kevin Ash's remarks which seem execution was
disappointing....Like you, his remarks caught my attention and I hope his
view isn't what I observe when I finally get to ride the GTL.

On the Pillion ergo issues. Appears to be a couple of very obvious bad choices
made with the passenger seat, passenger handles and non adjusting top box that
are repeated critisisms in early reviews. This is not a good thing for BMW or
sales of a new model. If BMW doesen't address these issues quickly, these
design faux-pas will quickly be the bad things about the bike that stick in
people's minds. BMW needs to correct these things quickly.....It's the
internet/info' age and rumors out the GTL has some design issues that
will hurt sales to two-up riders. Come on BMW,..listen and act.
 

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....a sliding mount for the top box.... now THAT's a good idea. Even something like a forward, mid, and back mounting positions would have been simple enough without adding to weight or complexity - just a different design of the rack.
 

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stepheg said:
The other negative aspect for me is having to look through the GTL shield. I never look through my RT shield (have a v-stream) and I have all the wind protection I need. I will hopefully get to test a GTL with a GT shield and see if that works. We all have our quirks and one of my many is to look over my windshield.
The German accessory catalog revealed that there is also a low windshield, lower than the GT's windshield, available for the GT and GTL.
 
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