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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I previously floated this question to the RT1200 group. Leaning toward the k1600gt for several reasons. One reason is the sound of the engine! Love that "turbine squeal", beaing a former USAF officer:


I'm 54 years old, 5'10,240lbs, and ride a Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive( which weighs 618lbs unloaded), and have ridden this since 2007, 24,000 miles. Never a drop, never an accident or incident. Often will ride all day at 80-100mph on this machine, often will go two-up.
Many years of scooter riding precede this on a honda 80cc scooter.Got my cycle license on that scooter in San Antonio, Texas in 1984 when in the Air Force.

I'm seriously loving the touring bikes, and am thinking of the RT1200 or possibly even the K1600GT to be my next bike. I took the MSF course last year, and found that shifting was not such a big deal, and passed on their 250cc Yamaha mini cruiser bike.
Does this group think I would be safe to proceed with purchasing either the RT1200 or the K1600 GT?
I have sat on both bikes in the showroom, and with the standard seat in the low position, I am easily able to flatfoot both bikes. The K1600GT "felt better" for some reason, and I can easily pop either bike up on the centerstand. I live in Northern PA and take weekend-long trips up to the Finger Lakes each weekend on my 618-lb "scooter" , the last one being the day after Christmas, 2011.
Since the relative cost of the two bike is not that big of an issue, I'd prefer to get the one which will make me smile the most!
 

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Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
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If "Shifting " a bike is not an issue for you then either bike would serve you well. I would see If you could get a Test ride on both of them to really see how they feel to you. I have the GTL ,I came from a K1200LT & the K1600 is by far the best bike i've ever owned.
 

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Take both bikes out for a test ride, then you'll know. :bmw:

Seriously, both are fine bikes, with a slightly different focus.

The RT is light and nimble with that big opposed-twin throb.

The GT is cushy and nimble, with that silky-smooth Slant/6 motor.

Both are easily capable of cranking out long miles in blissful comfort, and playing hard on the twisty bits along the way.

You can't really go wrong either way, so it just comes down to which one fits you better. To find that out, you just need to ride them both.
 

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+1 to both comments. The best bike is always the one that is best for you not someone else. That is why it is so important to test them both.
 

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I am going to agree with the previous answers to your question, but will add a few thoughts. You should have enough experience by now on your current bike to make an upward move if you will. The question you pose can only be answered by test riding both bikes. If you jump and buy one of them without riding both you will always wonder if you would have liked the other one better. I will also make this suggestion; don't test ride them just once. Try to take each out and then come back to the dealer for another test ride on each a few days later. By doing so you can let the first test ride "sink in" and then confirm what you think is THE bike for you. Hope this makes sense......

Rick H.
 

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My 00.02

Before buying my present K1600GTL, I owned a K1200LT and over 8 years, put 50,000 miles on it. I knew the K1200LT was for me after a 30 minute test ride. It was the best bike I had ever owned. I had second thoughts when I sold it.

Today, after 5,000 miles, I like the K1600GTL even better.

BUT.......

It took me over 1,000 miles to get comfortable on the K1600GTL! I sort of made the decision to get it based on my previous experiences with the K1200LT. I liked all of the Features of the K1600, but I was not comfortable with my riding abilities at first and really had to learn how to ride it correctly. This might sound a little confusing, but that is my actual experience. Riding the K1600 requires a lot of finesse to do it correctly and I really don't think that it is for everyone. The controls are sensitive and it took me a while to really understand how to ride her correctly and smoothly. One test ride might not be enough. I think after a few test rides, purchases are made on blind faith.
 

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After a 12 year hiatus from motorcycles I started riding again in 2001 on 2000 K1200LT which is a more difficult to handle at low speeds then either the RT or K1600. Either bike will work for you provided you take it easy till you get used to it. You can find a lot of good riding advice on this forum. If it were not for the fact we do two up touring I would have an RT. The K1600 will take a little more getting used to then the RT but both are very good. I could live with either but the K1600 is almost magical to ride.
 

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I also had a K1200 LT for a few years before I traded up to the K1600 GTL and have not regretted it. This bike has a lower center of gravity which makes it quite nimble for twists and turns while offering a lot of power to get where you need to go. At the end of the day you need to decide on the bike that makes you smile and one you are comfortable with. Some guys look at my bike and say it is too big. Everyone has their own style and tastes. I test rode a Triumph cruiser and I knew right away this was not the style for me. I also tes rode a Honda S1300 and same thing. I kept coming back to the touring bike that was comfortable and had all the accessories. There is not much that BMW has left out on this bike.
So yeah, test ride a few bikes of different makes and models. And then take 24 hours to think about them noting likes and dislikes and at the end of it go with the K1600 GTL :rolleyes: . Just kidding, enjoy the shopping and have fun. You deserve it from one military retiree to another.


Cheers.
 

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I went from an '06RT to a GTL, I echo what everyone else said. Both bikes can do lots of miles in great comfort. They both have very similar gadgets. The obvious differences are weight, engine and frame. The mods I did to the RT I did to the GTL. It really does come down to which bike fits and feels better. If you can convince your dealer for an extended test ride (or several test rides with/without passenger if you will be riding with one) or better yet rent one for a weekend you should have no trouble determining which one is best for you. Bottom line you will not be getting a bad bike regardless of which one you choose.
 

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I'll give you a similar, though expanded, answer as I gave you in the RT forum.

The base price difference between an RT and a GTL is about $6,000. For your money, you're getting 200 extra pounds, 40 more horsepower (the power/weight ratio is nearly identical), a wet clutch, a less powerful alternator, the option to have headlights that turn, and a larger bike.

The 6 cylinder is super smooth, and does a tremendous job of getting the K16's bulk to boogie. By comparison, the Boxer twin sounds and feels like a farm implement. Coming from Harleys, I appreciate that. The Boxer, with the buzz it sends through the bike, imparts some character to the bike that's missing in the K16. Similarly, the extra 200 pounds makes itself known when the road gets twisty. The RT will play all day in the mountains like a hyperactive puppy, throwing the K16 around is like trying to hustle a Bull Mastiff. Luggage space is nearly identical. Wind and weather management is better on the RT. Riding position seems better on the RT (that's subjective, of course). The Boxer will also be substantially easier to work on yourself.

I wanted a K16 badly. I had a huge insurance check from my wreck, so price really wasn't an issue. I went back and forth between the two bikes, and I simply couldn't find anything on the K16 to justify the additional money. To make matters worse, the K16 reminded me of a Toyota Camry; a perfectly competent machine that was nearly joyless to pilot.....A riding appliance in other words. The RT reminds me of why I love to ride every single time I get on it.

But, everyone likes different things, and everyone prioritizes things differently. There is no right or wrong answer here, only which bike you prefer. Test ride them both. They're markedly different machines.
 

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05Train said:
To make matters worse, the K16 reminded me of a Toyota Camry; a perfectly competent machine that was nearly joyless to pilot.....A riding appliance in other words. The RT reminds me of why I love to ride every single time I get on it.
Your price comparison is valid, but the Toyota Camry analogy is little off the mark. You could have at least related it to a Porsche Cayenne. Also, I believe you are the first one to describe the K1600 as “a perfectly competent machine that was nearly joyless to pilot”. I acknowledge the RT is a great machine, but I do think you don’t fully appreciate the K1600. BTW – I would be happy with either bike but the GTL suits my needs better!
 

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sorchilla said:
05Train said:
To make matters worse, the K16 reminded me of a Toyota Camry; a perfectly competent machine that was nearly joyless to pilot.....A riding appliance in other words. The RT reminds me of why I love to ride every single time I get on it.
Your price comparison is valid, but the Toyota Camry analogy is little off the mark. You could have at least related it to a Porsche Cayenne. Also, I believe you are the first one to describe the K1600 as “a perfectly competent machine that was nearly joyless to pilot”. I acknowledge the RT is a great machine, but I do think you don’t fully appreciate the K1600. BTW – I would be happy with either bike but the GTL suits my needs better!
As I said, different strokes. You like what you like and I like what I like. Neither of us are wrong.
 

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Wow 05Train: Joyless to pilot.....hmmmm. I more than anyone realize different riders have different needs in a motorcycle, but "joyless to pilot"??? I wonder what you were really looking for in the 1600. I could have believed a lot of describtions but joyless the 1600 is definitely NOT! My son has a 1200RT and I have spent many hours on it. I initially rode it as a comparision with my 1200LT. The LT won hands down in comfort and speed but slightly less in handling. When I compared the RT to the 1600 it was like comparing a Cessna to a Lear jet. If the GTL takes second place to the RT it is only by a fraction of an inch in handling and I mean a fraction. The RT may be able to run the inside of a curve better than a 1600 but the 1600 will come out of the turn faster with the right rider. Don't get me wrong, I like the RT, but it is NO 1600 and a 1600 is not by any stretch "joyless". I somehow don't think you were looking in the right places for the joy of riding a 1600. Just my opinion.....

Rick H.
 

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Take it easy, guys. :) He said the GTL isn't for him, he didn't say that it isn't the right bike for you or anyone else. ;)

05Train said:
The 6 cylinder is super smooth, and does a tremendous job of getting the K16's bulk to boogie. By comparison, the Boxer twin sounds and feels like a farm implement. Coming from Harleys, I appreciate that. The Boxer, with the buzz it sends through the bike, imparts some character to the bike that's missing in the K16.
And there's the difference. I've ridden RT's, and the buzz that he calls "character", I simply find annoying. That doesn't mean it's bad or wrong, it just means that I'm not a Boxer kind of guy.

And that's why we all have so many great bikes to choose from, so we can each find one that fits us and how we ride . . . :bike:
 

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Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
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Hey Ken have you been on a K1600 yet? Want to take mine for a spin in Duluth? Sammie & I will be busy one day up there that I know of & will not be riding that day. :rolleyes:

BTW I agree that "Joyless" does describe my K1600. Hell even when I rode a 1500 Goldwing I would not even call it "Joyless" . "Boring" maybe but not Joyless.
 

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meese said:
Take it easy, guys. :) He said the GTL isn't for him, he didn't say that it isn't the right bike for you or anyone else. ;)

05Train said:
The 6 cylinder is super smooth, and does a tremendous job of getting the K16's bulk to boogie. By comparison, the Boxer twin sounds and feels like a farm implement. Coming from Harleys, I appreciate that. The Boxer, with the buzz it sends through the bike, imparts some character to the bike that's missing in the K16.
And there's the difference. I've ridden RT's, and the buzz that he calls "character", I simply find annoying. That doesn't mean it's bad or wrong, it just means that I'm not a Boxer kind of guy.

And that's why we all have so many great bikes to choose from, so we can each find one that fits us and how we ride . . . :bike:
Ohgoshyes, I'm not judging anyone's ride, I'm just not at that stage of life where a huge, heavy touring bike is what moves me. The K16s are massively competent bikes, but they don't speak to me. Hence the Camry comparison. Hell, the Gold Wing too for that matter. At some point in the future, they might, but right now, the RT is about as close to perfect for me as I think I'll find.

The OP's looking for advice and opinions. My advice to him is to ride both bikes and buy the one that speaks to him, and go in armed with as many varied opinions as possible. Bottom line though is that all this stuff is subjective.
 

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05Train said:
My advice to him is to ride both bikes and buy the one that speaks to him, and go in armed with as many varied opinions as possible. Bottom line though is that all this stuff is subjective.
Exactly. Which is why my original post said "Take both bikes out for a test ride, then you'll know." ;)

It's all good . . . :bike:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had dinner this weekend with a BMW owner from Rochester, NY. He has owned "12 BMW bikes over the last 10 years" . surprised he's not running this forum or even ON it for that matter.
ANYHOO...He maintains that the 1600 is just "way too much bike for me" ,and that its power upon throttle twist will cause me to have wheelspin, and an immediate accident because it is " more than I'm prepared to handle".
I WAS going to keep it in the rain mode until I got used to it, but he maintains I'm an accident waiting to happen.
From all I've read, and from this august group, I've determined that all should be well for my first test drive. ( I have to budget some time to drive to a dealer several hours away and DO THIS soon.)

Any thoughts?
 

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Try to maintain an even keel until you take it for a 1600 for a test ride, but if you are at all like me you will need a least two rides to make the decision one way or another. One test ride just isn't enough and left ME with more questions than answers. Good Luck!!!
Rick H.
 

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I test rode my dealer's demo while I was waiting for my bike to arrive and I started out in "Rain" mode just to get a feel for the bike. Within a couple of miles I was in "Dynamic", and that's where I ride 100% of the time (unless it's raining).

I let a friend take mine out for a spin last fall, and started him out in Rain as well. When he came back 45 minutes later he was in Dynamic and had a huge $hit-eating grin on his face. Apparently he didn't leave it in Rain very long either! :cool:
 
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