Test Ride Weirdness - First Impressions - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2012, 5:53 pm Thread Starter
Sidmariner's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 9
Test Ride Weirdness - First Impressions

The big white semi with the test ride bikes finally made it to Vancouver Island last week and I was given the opportunity to test ride the K1600GT.

I suspect these bikes must suffer from the wide range of rider skill they are exposed to, or the techs have a hard time keeping up with tuning because the bike I tried out was not the smooth running machine I had expected.

On accelertion/deceleration, most especially if the throttle was "blipped", it felt like the clutch/transmission was shunting back and forth in the frame. When I rested my left hand lightly on top of the clutch lever I could feel the lever move back and forth about half an inch ever time power was applied or reduced. What kind of problem would generate this kind of hydraulic feedback, loose slave piston maybe?

When decelerating in 3rd gear, the bike jolted like a hobby horse, or like my 1150RT when the Techlusion unit is out of adjustment. This might just be driver error, but it was odd enough to make me go to neutral and brake for lights instead of dropping through the gears (a normal practice for me anyway, but the option of using engine braking is not one I generally avoided due to poor ride comfort.)

I found the bike noisy, especially when the fan kicked into overdrive, and some of the heat I am so used to from my old K-bikes was still there hanging around my feet on the new bike. Surprisingly, I found the wind noise in my helmet higher that on my RT with its tall C-Bailey screen. I wonder if aftermarket screens will be a requirement for this class of bike now too?

Overall, I think the power and response was great, and the handling was superb. The seat was OK for this short ride, but I wish I had raised it up before the test. I had to squirm around to unlock my hips in the first few hundred yards because my legs were so scrunched up (6'3").

The fancy wheel selector and dash info was a interesting party piece, but not a big deal in my mind. I prefer the simple layout of my RT. One thing I did not like was the turn indicator switch. I am spoiled by the Kisan-mod on my RT which allows for left on/left cancel, right on/ right cancel, both on/both cancel. I've got a big hand, and was surprised I had to lift off to reach over to fiddle with this tiny switch. The auto-cancel was nice though. It's a small thing I know...but I thought it worth mentioning.

I look forward to another long ride some day, hopefully on a tuned up bike. I still have this bike on my lottery wish list, but after this ride I am more open to the 1200RT or a late model 1200LT if one comes up.


Thunderbird 1 - '93 K1100LT
Thunderbird 2 - '02 R1150RT
Thunderbird 3 - '85 K100RS
Thunderbird 4 - '77 R100/7
Thunderbird 5 - '86 K75C

Last edited by Sidmariner; Jul 30th, 2012 at 6:04 pm.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2012, 6:36 pm
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Location: bc, , canada
Posts: 178
So...intersting that this thread popped up today. Just got off my test ride on a 16Gtl. Overall, I dunno.. ...overall...... not really that impressed....
Coming from my K12gt I was really looking for the 'handles way smaller than it looks' feeling that everyone reports.
Well...it is there, and the 16 really could really put away the miles and it does seem to ride smaller than it looks. Shifts are sweet and the engine is magic.
The whole dash electronic thing is cool...usefull ya I guess, little hard to see in the sun though.
I just found that moma BMW has filtered out a lot of the 'sport' out of the sport touring that I have in the K12.
Don't get me wrong..its a sweet ride, but just doesn't bring any real 'wow! to the ride, after you get over the exhaust note and smooth engine. Both are great...but just left 'somethng' lacking.
Any way....got to thinkin after about what the service costs would be say for a 30000 km service on the 6?
Any body know?
Scares the s#&t out of me to keep long term for maintence. I know ya have to pay to play but....?

07 kgt
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2012, 4:10 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Garland, Texas, USA
Posts: 291
Originally Posted by Sidmariner
I suspect these bikes must suffer from the wide range of rider skill they are exposed to, or the techs have a hard time keeping up with tuning because the bike I tried out was not the smooth running machine I had expected.
What riding mode was the bike in? Dynamic, Road, or Rain? To me, anything other than Dynamic makes the bike feel like it's on Quaaludes. Also, the odd clutch lever travel sounds highly suspect. I say you were possibly on a bike that had been thrashed by previous test riders. Hate that most folks abuse these demo bikes much like a rental car. Did you point out any of these issues when you returned to the dealership?

Interesting comments from you as well as Kbikeinbc. Do keep an open mind and ride another some months down the line. I think you'll walk away with a far different impression.
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