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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love my 06 LT but it is a heavy beast and Costly to repair. As I just underwent a total knee replacement, I was contemplating a lighter ride. Looking at the Kawasaki Concours or maybe a St1300. As most of my riding is short trips and mostly around town, I ask myself do I really net this grand touring machine. The sport touring bikes are about 150 lb lighter and maybe a bit easier to handle. I know I will miss all the options like the electric centre stand, heated seats and cruise control, but thats the downside. I can pick up a new 2012 Concours for 15,999. at a local dealer.
Anyone have any suggestions here about which sport tourer to recommend. I know Yamaha has the FJ1300, which is very similar to the Concours. Honda has their V4 which is a very smooth engine. Just can't decide????
Cheers,
Jim :dance:
 

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I just went from an LT to a 2008 RT and love the lighter weight and performance. From what I have seen so far the maintenance is easier than the LT.

You won't have to give up your heated seats and cruise control and it jumps on the center stand by itself (almost).

With a dry weight of 504 lbs. it is worth a look and test ride.

Ron
 

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I sold the LT this spring, bought a 2008 RT for $10,500 (in the U.S.) and at the same time shed 300 pounds. I loved the LT and toured both coasts with it however the 800+ lb. weight was just too much to look after. RT maintenance is easier, the bikes 300 lbs. lighter, has more hp and goes just as quick but with a more nimble feel. You still get all the finer touches that BMW puts into their machines and it has a great reputation of reliability.
Personally I feel its just as comfortable as the LT, although I do have a Corbin seat, my wife is less comfy however she is still up for long tours. I have yet to even come close to dropping it or having to plan ahead for a slow speed u turn because its just so light that I haven't had the slow speed concerns the LT presented.
I'm sure there are plenty of options out there but not so many that give you heat, adjustable screen, electronic suspension and ABS. If I had to make a decision based on a test ride it would be tough, the RT has more vibration on acceleration and feels totally different, however after having ridden it up from Florida in Feb. and getting used to its feel I know that I made the right decision, its just that good.

good luck with your search.

r
 

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If you choose to change out the LT for a sport tourer, regardless of the model you might prefer, an extended test ride might prove to be the deciding factor.

My brother-in-law had replacement knee surgery after which he found that riding any form of sport touring bike caused pain and cramping in his legs due to the angle his legs were placed at.

The closer the seating and leg position is to a cruiser, the easier it is on his new knees, especially on long trips.

All the best with your new knee.
 

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Hi Jim. I made the switch from an ST1300 to an RT this year and I can tell you if weight is an issue you may be disappointed with the ST. Don't get me wrong the ST is a fabulous bike in many respects but it is very heavy and carries most of the weight up high. Once you are moving the weight disappears but slow speed maneuvering requires a lot more care than the RT.
 

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Jim...I went from a '07 ST1300 to my 05' LT. Here is my 2 cents as it relate to the ST. First off, in my opinion, overall the ST is a nice bike. But like all bikes...they have quirks. The biggest complaint for me is that she ran very very hot. Especially when the temp outside starts to climb. I would have to keep moving my legs into the wind to cool it down. I have heard that if you get the deflectors it helps...but you may also want to invest in some high boots or pants. For me it was very uncomfortable. The riding position is slightly further forward (especially when compared to an LT)...some prefer it, but for me handlebar risers was the solution. The ST has less wind protection and if you want / need a top box...finding a Honda top box is difficult and expensive...you will have to go aftermarket (not a big deal for me...but for some it is). Another observation is the throttle on the ST is very sensitive...almost like a switch. There are fixes....the ST forum is very helpful (much like this one)...so there are lots of ideas / suggestions on how to address the ST's personality quirks. The engine is very smooth. Lots of power and nice handling. I also really like the styling.

As others have suggested, I too would definitely recommend a test ride (the longer the better). I can't comment on your other choices...others will likely share their thoughts relative to their experiences. As I am sure you have heard before, there really isn't a right answer...just what works for you.

Let us know what you decide. I hope the knee heals up. Good luck with whatever your choice.
 

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After I wrecked the LT I bought an 08 connie. Awesome bike no doubt. But I had to make a bunch of comfort mods to it to make me happy after coming off the pure comfort of the LT.
As it comes it is NOT a long tourer.

Here's what I had to add to make 450mi/day:

Corbin Seat (Must have)
Cee Bailey touring shield
Lower fairing heat dams (Must have)
DOUBLE handlebar risers (Must have)
Rear pillon backrest
Insulated tank and fairing
Front and rear peg extenders
Exhaust shield under rider (fasioned from shields off a set of Suzuki pipes I have)

I think that does it.

That being said, you can make a comfortable touring rig out of it. And, compared to the LT, you can flick it around like a bicycle... it's a whole lot of fun. I commute on it every day I can. I'm satisfied. The connie is relatively inexpensive to buy, parts/ accesories are plentiful and cheap, and I've read that on the latest models they have addressed the engine heat blowing on the rider issue. (But this was accomplished on my 08 with mods- see above).

But, started to miss the LT. It's been in storage for two years since the deer strike. I've decided to put it back in service. Boxes upon boxes of parts are streaming in now. Should have it rolling by end of summer.

Wonder what it will feel like after riding the connie all this time?

Ed
 

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kellenbenz said:
I just went from an LT to a 2008 RT and love the lighter weight and performance. From what I have seen so far the maintenance is easier than the LT.

You won't have to give up your heated seats and cruise control and it jumps on the center stand by itself (almost).

With a dry weight of 504 lbs. it is worth a look and test ride.

Ron
I came from an 05LT and loved the bike. I also have bad knees and am somewhat vertically challenged so I found the LT to be a hand full at low speeds. I now have a 2010 RT and really enjoy the bike. Of the three FJR, ST, and RT, the RT is the lightest by a fair margin. It has all the touring ability of the LT but is slightly less comfortable (IMO). Performance is good. Although the RT have less HP than the LT, it is much lighter and therefore performs very well. Oil changes and other routine maintenance are completed on the RT without removing body panels and the bike is much easier to work on than the LT. BUT ......

The RT is different because it is a twin and there is more personality in the engine. For what its worth here is my story.

I took the LT in for service. Dealer said take this RT for a few days until I get the work done. First day on the RT, I didn't much like the bike. Day two I decided to stop riding it like an LT. I gave it more revs and rode it more like a sport bike. It handled like a dream. Didn't have to pay attention to corners and work to get around them like the LT. I went home that day with stiff face muscles from all the grinning. Day three I had some concerns about the engine not being as smooth as the LT. Day four I went back to the dealer and told him I wanted the RT. I have no regrets whatsoever. The engine performs well. It's not a four but as the engine breaks in it gets smoother. I now feel very little if any vibration at cruising speeds.
 

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My last 3 bikes: an '02 LT, an '06 GT, then I bought my current 2010 Concours14. (Please don't pronounce the 'S'. ;) )

The LT is in a class all by itself as far as being a two-up luxury tourer. But most of my riding is one-up, and shall we say, at a VERY spirited-pace. I loved the GT, but the final drive let loose in Nevada and I decided that I just didn't trust it anymore. So I got the Connie. I ride it just about everyday, and still enjoy saddling up 15K miles later. Work has kept me from going on any extended trips, but I have done 700 miles in one day, and for me it wasn't an issue in stock form, other than installing cruise control. Since then, I've installed an aftermarket windshield that makes the bike really work for me. Wish you lived closer, I'd let you take mine out for a long ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, Thanks everyone for the great comments. I did look at the connie yesterday and it is a very nice machine. I do intend to take a test ride on both the connie and the st before I decide what to do. As most of my riding is short hops around town and some shorter tours, I should not become too uncomfortable. I can't understand why these sport touring bikes don't come with cruise control. I think the riding position on the connie can be improved with floorboards. A good backrest and curise control may be necessary additions. Even a taller windscreen could be considered. Our local dealer has the concours priced at 15,999.00. A good deal! By Aug 1st, I hope to test drive a few new bikes.
Thanks again for all the great information.
Jim :dance:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yesterday I went over to the local BMW dealer to look at a new RT. It is a very nice machine and I would consider that bike also. I found a used 09 RT with 13k miles on it for $14,000. Looks real nice but I really want to go for a test run before I commit. This bike is about 500 miles away so I may have to find a local RT owner and swap bikes for a quick test run.
I like the features of the RT in that it has cruise control, heated seats, easy maintenance. power windscreen etc. Also it is much lighter than the LT.
Cheers,
Jim :dance:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
gladiator99 said:
Yesterday I went over to the local BMW dealer to look at a new RT. It is a very nice machine and I would consider that bike also. I found a used 09 RT with 13k miles on it for $14,000. Looks real nice but I really want to go for a test run before I commit. This bike is about 500 miles away so I may have to find a local RT owner and swap bikes for a quick test run.
I like the features of the RT in that it has cruise control, heated seats, easy maintenance. power windscreen etc. Also it is much lighter than the LT.
Cheers,
Jim :dance:
Well, here it is May 2013. My knee has healed up pretty good aside from some stiffness in the mornings. I have booked a test ride on a new RT later this month and I do intend to take out a connie and maybe a new FJ. I have been riding my LT around town and It feels really good again. I am fairly comfortable and handling right now is not a problem. I really do like all the comfort of the LT and I am wondering if I would be nuts to trade it in with only 14000 mi. on the bike. It looks like new and so many folks have said what a beautiful bike you have. Now I am thinking that I should hang on to it for another year or 2 as I know I won.t get much for a trade in.
We'll see how I like the Ride on the RT.
Cheers, Jim :dance: :dance:
 

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I traded my 2004 LT which I really loved, as did my wife, for a 2010 RT, and haven't regretted it once (except that my wife doesn't like the RT as well and doesn't go as often), but for me that isn't a real negative, I like solo riding better anyway. The RT is just a better, all around bike for me. If I want to run over town, I don't mind taking it, but to do that on the LT was never an option. I love the RT on the highway, in town, and on the twisties. A friend of mine had an ST and didn't like a lot of things about it. He has since gone to a Gold Wing, but he looks longingly at my RT whenever we are out.
 

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The weight off the bike does not really matter if you don't intend to carry it around. I ride a 950 Lbs HD same as I ride a 600 Lbs small bike. There is no diffeence and there are no top heavy bikes. Just riders that need some training.

I suggest starting with a Ride Like a Pro class. You might want to keep your bike after that.

I just got a K1600 GTL after having a HD CVO of 950lbs. The BMW feels like a kids toy.
 

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Why not keep the LT and find a way to make it work?

I've always had knee problems (not to your extent yet...) and was lucky enough to find a deal on an LT with the Voyager convertible kit. Plan was to ditch the kit but found it so darn easy to ride with the kit on i decided to use for a while to get used to the quirks of the LT.

It takes 10 minutes to convert back to two wheels for those rides with your buddies that have the training wheels comments.

My wife even rides again. We witnessed our friends go down and she was pretty much done after seeing that. So, the kit is used to build up her confidence again and eventually get her back on two wheels.

Just really nice to have the options.

Again, just another option...

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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I switched last fall from an LT to an RT and couldn't be happier. If you haven't already you may want to pick up the May 2013 issue of "Rider" magazine. They did a write up on sport touring bikes. of course nothing replaces a test ride and finding what works best for you. Good luck in your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ride2Ski said:
I switched last fall from an LT to an RT and couldn't be happier. If you haven't already you may want to pick up the May 2013 issue of "Rider" magazine. They did a write up on sport touring bikes. of course nothing replaces a test ride and finding what works best for you. Good luck in your search.
I took a test ride this afternoon and I liked the bike but the leg position on the shift lever was very uncomfortable. As compared to the seating position on my LT, the LT is a lot more pleasurable to ride. I just may keep the LT for another year or 2 but I still want to test out a Honda st13oo and a Kaw concours. Just to see if I like any of these sport touring rides.
Thanks for all the great ideas and experiences.
Jim :dance: :dance:
 
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