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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This life long HD rider is test riding a GTL tomorrow morning. I won't get to keep it long so I want to make the most of the ride. Any suggestions on how best to evaluate the bike?

Gotta make it count, may ride it home.
 

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Test ride=buy. May not be tomorrow but soon.... :D
 

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Make another appointment. One short ride is not enough. You need several hours to ride, get off for a while and get back on. The bike will not give up everything in a short ride. I would not have bought mine under those conditions.

I was still hesitant after 1,000 miles and had concerns that I had made a mistake.
 

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DanDiver said:
I was still hesitant after 1,000 miles and had concerns that I had made a mistake.
I think you made a REALLY bad mistake, Dan. I'll take one for the collective community and trade you even for a 2005 LT, just to take that POC GTL off your hands and out of your mind! I know the LT is worth so much more than the GTL, but being the nice guy I am, and since we're friends, I'm willing to eat the difference. :histerica
 

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Sorry Lee!

Something that I wrote for the BMW K1200LT Forum about 9 months ago.

I really do love this bike!

My initial impression, after the first 15 minutes or so of my demo ride was that this bike is way too much for me and that it is going to require a lot more of my attention to really get the hang of it. After about an hour, I felt that it had some amazing characteristics, but still wondered if I wanted to work as hard as I felt I would have to to get her under control. There were so many new and complicated controls and options. By the end of my demo, maybe 2-3 hours later, I still was not sure. The ride was not smooth. (it was me, not the bike)

Several months prior, I had already made the decision to purchase the K1600GTL and a deposit had been put down. The demo was for a final decision and I was not 100% sure.

With a lot of hesitation, I said yes, I want the bike, keep me on the list, but internally, I'm thinking that I still had serious doubts as to whether or not, I had it in me, to really enjoy this bike. I enthusiastically waited for it's arrival and as I rode home on my K1200TL, felt that I might be making a big and expensive mistake.

Several months later, thinking that the bike would be in soon, (two months premature) I put, what had become, by a large margin, the best motorcycle I had ever owned up for sale. The K1200LT had become a part of me and was like a well worn comfortable pair of shoes. Every reaction and action was instinctive and brought a smile. I wanted to ride her and not think about anything else. She sold a week after the ad was placed.

Finally the new K1600GTL arrived and on a very hot day I picked her up and started a month of uncomfortable erratic rides where I just did not feel comfortable all the time. Is it me, or is something wrong with the bike! I maintained a positive outlook, tried to learn a new and different way of riding and wondered if it was just me who was having difficulty with the new bike? It sort of reminded me of my first Honda 350 with a bad carburetor. My riding was horrible and I wondered if motorcycles were this hard to control. (Most of the challenge occurred when slowing down, not accelerating.)

It wasn't just me though on the K1600GTL, and as I learned more about her and what she needed from me, my controls got better. There was a lot of muscle memory to overcome and re-learn.

The K1600GTL is very different from the K1200LT and I really don't think a replacement. They are different in the ride, how they handle and performance. It has taken me many hours and about 2,500 miles to feel like I know what I am doing and really appreciate everything that she will do. Last night, after riding back from the big fish tank that I dive in, everything fell into place and I can honestly say that this bike is for me and I could not imagine not owning her. I have lost all of my doubts and look forward to every ride.

There are still a few things that I like better about the K1200LT, but like all motorcycles, there are compromises. There are a lot more things that I like better about the K1600GTL.

I really was afraid that I had made a bad decision with the K1600GTL because, for me, she was not easy to learn and my early riding, to put it frankly, sucked. I thought it was me, and it was. I asked lots of questions, improved in my skills and can say, without a doubt, that I simply love this bike.

These comments are not to convince anyone to make the switch, just for those that think that they might, have taken a test ride, and are not sure. Your first ride feelings are normal and I too was uncomfortable at times and had my doubts.

I know that I still have lots to learn about her, but now the learning is fun and positive. It just keeps getting better. I still spend time learning about little details and that is fun. Just yesterday I learned that I have three (3) trip odometers. I'm not good with manuals and seem to learn more by doing!

For anyone still uncomfortable on the new bike, hang in there. Given enough time, you will be at one with her. It took me a while too.

(06-28-12, I now have 7,000 miles on her, almost a year and it definitely feel like I made a great decision. I will list what I have added to the K1600)
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Dano
Tampa, Fl.
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And to you my dear sweet wife, thanks for such a nice birthday present. The best I have ever received.
 

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This list has (changed) a little since it was first written......


How did you customize your K1600?

I initially thought that I really hadn't done too much to it, compared to my K1200LT, until I listed everything. Looks like this bike is becoming a bad habit. Seems like every other day the mailman is bringing another package to the door.

Suburban Machinery peg lowering http://www.suburban-machinery.com/

California Science Windshield http://www.calsci.com/

Schroedie Shop – Two-color BMW Emblem Indicator Lights (I love this)

Rear Inertia brake flasher www.powersportinnovations.com

Shifter Extender http://www.iliumworks.com

RKA Tank Bag http://www.rka-luggage.com (Sent back - IT IS TOO BIG. No replacement yet)

TLC Saddle bag Liners Top and Sides http://www.tlcproducts.com/

Garmin 660 GPS

GPS Antireflective screen Protector www.posr.us (Does not work)

BMW Engine Protection Bars

BMW Fog Lights

Flash to Pass Garage Door Opener www.F2ptechnologies.com

Stebel Nautilis Compact Air Horn

Grip Covers

3M Bike Clear Coat

All Chrome Replaced with Black items Wind deflectors/handlebars, radiator cover

Wind deflectors (not installed yet)

Backrest redone (removed the hump)

Beaded seat cover and sheepskin (Replaced with an Air Hawk 2 - awesome!)
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(That is it!)
 

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lawman1841 said:
This life long HD rider is test riding a GTL tomorrow morning. I won't get to keep it long so I want to make the most of the ride. Any suggestions on how best to evaluate the bike?

Gotta make it count, may ride it home.
Ride on bumpy roads, curvy roads..I was riding a HD til I test rode GTL..Bought it the minute I got off it, still love it!
 

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I put the topcase light in for additional safety. Not sure why BMW doesn't do that stock.
 

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Reid said:
I put the topcase light in for additional safety. Not sure why BMW doesn't do that stock.
Speaking of top cases, if you ride a GTL, remove the top case for your demo. It will make a nice difference. In fact, remove all of the cases. Only takes about a minute.
 

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Depending on what you are used to, the bike can feel a little top heavy with the top case. It is just extra weight.

The K1200LT felt VERY different without the top case and many people preferred the way that it handled. The GTL does feel a little different, but not as much. The GT is standard without the top case, but some add it for the storage.

The great feature of both the GTL and the GT is the fact that the cases are so easy to add and remove. No more than a minute, if you know how to do it.
 

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DanDiver said:
Depending on what you are used to, the bike can feel a little top heavy with the top case. It is just extra weight.

The K1200LT felt VERY different without the top case and many people preferred the way that it handled. The GTL does feel a little different, but not as much. The GT is standard without the top case, but some add it for the storage.

The great feature of both the GTL and the GT is the fact that the cases are so easy to add and remove. No more than a minute, if you know how to do it.
OK got it , im try mine without top case, thanks
 

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I ride mine without any of the cases all the time it is like having 2 bikes almost. When I rode to Florida a few weeks ago I left the top case home & I loved the way the bike handled passing trucks.
 

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On my May ride to Bryce Canyon and back I left the top case at home. It does make a difference in how it feels. A little easier throwing the leg over too, don't have to worry about hitting the top case with my foot.....just the right side case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
WOW! What a machine. Had a great test ride on the GTL and wish I was face to face with several of you GTL owners to talk about what I experienced.

To sum it up, I was really impressed with the scooter. More power and better responsiveness than I've ever experienced but I'm not sure if I can get used to the riding position. The seat was the 2piece GT seat as opposed to the lower seat, which was good for my taller frame and wore out knees. Still, in the slightly forward position, I found myself leaning against the handle bars several times and I know that's not going to make for a comfortable long haul.

Anyway, I'm not done yet. Going to go back and ride it again. Wish I could take it to the Hill Country for a weekend. If I could, I think I'd be hooked. Get excited just thinking about it. :bmw:
 

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lawman1841 said:
WOW! What a machine. Had a great test ride on the GTL and wish I was face to face with several of you GTL owners to talk about what I experienced.

To sum it up, I was really impressed with the scooter. More power and better responsiveness than I've ever experienced but I'm not sure if I can get used to the riding position. The seat was the 2piece GT seat as opposed to the lower seat, which was good for my taller frame and wore out knees. Still, in the slightly forward position, I found myself leaning against the handle bars several times and I know that's not going to make for a comfortable long haul.

Anyway, I'm not done yet. Going to go back and ride it again. Wish I could take it to the Hill Country for a weekend. If I could, I think I'd be hooked. Get excited just thinking about it. :bmw:
What dealer are you going to?
 
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