Have test-ridden both GT and GTL now, can compare them to K1200GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2011, 5:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Have test-ridden both GT and GTL now, can compare them to K1200GT

Well, I've now test-ridden both the GTL and the GT at 2 local dealers, and can make a comparison of the two bikes, as well as to my '08 new-gen K1200GT.

GTL:
Pros:
1: Very relaxed seating position, which is great for low speed maneuvering, with a very low seat height.,
2: Super maneuverable, and feels 200 pounds lighter than its weight. Somehow combines cornering agility of a great naked bike with the high speed stability of a tourer. A great chassis. ESA settings worked well for me, selected changes very noticeable and useful.
3: Engine is awesome, with a great sound, absolutely no vibration through bars or pegs, and excellent power, with butt-dyno power to weight ratio about like my K1200GT. It revs freely and quickly, has just right amount of flywheel effect.
4: Fit and finish excellent
5: Dynamic cornering lights were not evaluated by me, but seem great from on-bike videos
6: I started out in Rain mode, at dealer's requirement, but switched to Sport, whose increased power and reduced nanny intrusion is easily noticed.

Cons:
1: Erect seating posture makes you subject to vertical spine loads over any large bumps, like a cruiser seat, and the U-shaped seat give you no room to move around on the bike for comfort (monkey butt) or cornering.
2: Left handgrip computer controller takes some getting used to, and sometimes doesn't respond immediately to "clicks". Without the manual, it's not obvious how to adjust the ESA preload, just the damping.

GT:
Pros:
All of those for the GTL, plus:
1: Seating position very slightly leaned forward with stock bars and seat, much more comfortable for me overall than GTL. Still more upright than my K1200GT, even with the K12's bars at the highest position. Seat itself is flatter and allows more fore-and-aft, as well as more sideways movement on the bike for comfort and cornering. Seat height is higher, but I could almost put feet flat along bike, at 5'11", with a 31" inseam. Seat is still softer and more comfortable than the K1200GT stock seat.
2: Handling is awesome for a bike of this weight, like the GTL but even moreso. It was very confidence-inspiring on the best fast twisty road in our area, at pretty high speeds.
3: Brakes are spectacular, and I could evaluate them more completely on this more sporting machine, as I could ride it harder and brake harder. Among the best I've ever ridden. Very strong, progressive, no fade ever. Linkage from front brake to rear is subtle and transparent to rider.
4: The windscreen gives good, not great protection from buffeting in its nearly top position for me, with a nice notch at the centerline that allowed me to look over the screen but still benefit from the greater protection overall. I was pretty warm behind the raised screen on the 86 degree F. day I rode the GT on, almost too protected. Moderate helmet buffeting at speed with screen lowered, but I liked it best in that position for spirited riding on a twisty road.

Cons:
As on the GTL as far as handgrip, but not seating, and:
1: A little more radiant heat on my feet, L > R, was noticeable on the warm day I tested the GT. It seemed to be coming from the header pipes, which are in the airstream just in front and below the pegs. Not awful but some sort of deflector at the lower edge of the fairing between the headers and the pegs would help this, I think.
2: The front of the seat is a little wide, so standing on ground astride the bike is a little uncomfortable for long periods.

Overall, I really liked both bikes, but I liked the GT a little more for my riding style and ergonomic preferences. YMMV, of course. I think the greater agility, better ergonomics, and the smoother power with no vibration are both bikes main advantages over the K1200GT. I am now on the list for a GT after the pre-release ordered bike deliveries are done. I'm looking forward to it.

wintermute
'08 BMW K1200GT
'10 Ducati 1198 S Corse
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 11:10 am
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According to my dealer, the only 1600s this year will be the pre-ordered bikes. Maybe there'll be some backouts available?

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 3:21 pm
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Sat on GTL, could have taken it for a test ride but didn't. You do sit low in the saddle when compared to the K1300 GT. It may truly be a grand bike but the "luxo-barge" styling just isn't calling to me.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 8:29 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GillyWI
According to my dealer, the only 1600s this year will be the pre-ordered bikes. Maybe there'll be some backouts available?
I was told there probably will be some. I'm in no hurry. I like my K1200GT fine for now.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 8:30 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K13GT
Sat on GTL, could have taken it for a test ride but didn't. You do sit low in the saddle when compared to the K1300 GT. It may truly be a grand bike but the "luxo-barge" styling just isn't calling to me.
You know this, but the GT has an entirely different look and riding feel, especially without its panniers in place. Very handsome bike.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 9:21 pm
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The 1600GT is appealing but, an engine smoother than my already smooth 13GT, just isn't enough to get me too excited.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old May 26th, 2011, 10:40 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute
I was told there probably will be some. I'm in no hurry. I like my K1200GT fine for now.
Ditto here. The 1200 is just so capable, I just can't imagine it being worth the price of admission. Plus my 1200 is paid for, and only been paid for for a few months, so no thanks (for now). But the 1600 does seem like it WOULD be a hell of a ride!

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2011, 6:39 am
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Thanks Wintermute

Enjoyed your comparison/evaluation. Also have K1200GT 07 model and do enjoy same style riding as you do. Fast riding, screen down with my girlfriend as passenger. I am sure no bike can handle high speed riding with a passenger total loading me and her 160kg and make one feel so confident.

But there is the inherent vibration of a 4 cyl mounted as stressbearing chassis component and I do not like that. And nothing beats the smoothness of a straight six (only a flat 12 cyl engine is more smooth)

Thus it is not a question of if I will get the K1600GT but only when will it be available here in South Africa.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2011, 8:59 am
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Hmmm...

Really doubt the 1300GT is much different than my 08 1200GT, but there is a very noticeable high-frequency vibration/'hum' in the handlebars that is completely gone on the 1600. There is actually a huge difference engine-wise between the 1200/1300GT and the 1600GT. You really need to test-ride a 1600!

And the slow speed handling of the 1600, while heavier, is actually more well-mannered than the 1200/1300; the CG is lower and the bike handles beautifully. I actually am excited to replace my 1200 with the 1600...


Quote:
Originally Posted by eng943
The 1600GT is appealing but, an engine smoother than my already smooth 13GT, just isn't enough to get me too excited.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2011, 10:02 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amzarinelli
Really doubt the 1300GT is much different than my 08 1200GT, but there is a very noticeable high-frequency vibration/'hum' in the handlebars that is completely gone on the 1600. There is actually a huge difference engine-wise between the 1200/1300GT and the 1600GT. You really need to test-ride a 1600!

And the slow speed handling of the 1600, while heavier, is actually more well-mannered than the 1200/1300; the CG is lower and the bike handles beautifully. I actually am excited to replace my 1200 with the 1600...
As for the comparison between the 1200 and the 1300, there is a world of difference( not as much as compared to the 1600). having had both the 2006 1200 and now the 2009 1300, I see the big differences in handling as the 1300 is so much more nimble as the 1200. The 1600 has even better nimbleness. the 1300 hasa much better throttle response than the 1200, as well as better road feel and a host of ther small differences that made my riding so much better on the 1300.

As for the 1600, I will have to wait until there is a 2nd year model with greater improvements and solving the 1st year teething problems.

Larry
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