Old GT vs the New GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2007, 9:54 pm Thread Starter
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Old GT vs the New GT

I have an '03 GT with Russel saddle, American bar backs (not the ones with the most offset), Ohlins front and rear. I have 20 K on this machine with one 6500 mile trip from Cincy to the West coast and back. I think this bike is just about perfect! It certainly is the best riding BMW I have had. My wife and I are good for 600+ mile days with not a problem; it is comfortable and fast. The Ohlins transform the ride and handling; it is still a heavy machine but they really make it handle-on all types of roads. My question: is the new GT better than this? I know it has more power and may be a little lighter in weight, but really. Has anyone had both? If it is better, in what ways?

Larry
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:12 am
 
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Larry,

I have an '04GT and like you, I love it. The new GT is, from all that I hear, faster, lighter, etc. etc. That being said, its a big piece of change to buy. I suppose it all comes down to what is important to you, money in the bank or the latest and greatest bike.

We have discussed this choice at my house for some time. My wife loves the feel and look of our '04 GT and thinks its more "sexy" than the new model. The weight of our '04 is not an issue to me 98% of the time. We also have a Suzuki DL 650 VStrom and we ride it for slow back roads and times when the brisk power and smoothness of the mighty K12 is not required. It was way cheaper to keep the '04K12GT and buy the Vstrom than to get the new K.

I really like the new GT but for me it just wasn't worth taking a beating on my low mileage '04 to replace it with a very expensive new K. We are happy with our '04 and it may well be the last new BMW we get.

By-the-way, one thing I do like about my '04: you can work on much of it yourself. These bikes have been around for a long time and there is a great knowledge base out there for the DIY folks. If you are into this it can save you a ton of money. Myself I enjoy doing the service work. After 40+ years in the automotive technical field I am OK with servicing machines. I do good work and only hit the dealer when special tools or equipment is required. When I do go to the dealer I know the tech, he knows my machine as he has worked on that model for years. He has seen it all and knows what to do and how to do it. That level of experience takes time to build up. I am sure that in a few more years people will figure out how to do some of the service work on the new GT also. Presently it appears that you must return it to the dealer for some very expensive basic service work. I am sure some of the new GT owners can comment better on this than I.

So, it you lust for a new bike and can cover the tab, go for the new one. If you are happy with the "old" GT, keep it and enjoy it. I had a K100RS before my current '04 GT. It was great machine and I see a lot of them still out there purring away with 100,000 mile on them. The brick is a seasoned bike that has been around and had most of its issues worked out. Nothing wrong with keeping it if it meets your needs.

Good luck and I am sure there are those out there that will tell you how much better the new GT is. To me its a Value issue, is the new bike worth the big chunk of cash it requires.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 7:55 am
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May I add my two pennyworth? I have clocked up only about 100 miles on the new GT but those 100 miles were very telling. In fact the dealer lent me the new GT whilst they did some work on my 03 GT (like yours). Here’s what I said to him when asked “so, go on, what’s your opinion of the new GT?”
My response was that it is “cr*p” ! He looked shocked, to which I responded :-

• The seat’s as hard as a rock
• The brakes are rubbish compared to the old GT
• The seating position is all “sit up and beg”
• The new K engine is rough compared to the silky smooth flat 4

To be honest, I can’t find anything good about the new GT compared to the old. But perhaps I just love my “old” GT too much!

John

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 9:42 am
 
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I traded my 2003 K12GT (barbacks, peg lowering kit) for a 2007 K12GT on March 3, 2007, so I have some time on both. As you said, the new GT is lighter, flicks into turns and sticks like glue, has more power if you're willing to rev it and is generally a sport tourer with more emphasis on sport relative to the 2003.

Now, my wife complains that the 2007 isn't as comfortable or roomy as the 2003. She says the passenger footpegs are higher and the seat feels shorter. I haven't measured any of this to confirm it - just going by her subjective comments. IOW, the 2003 was, by comparison, a sport tourer that emphasized touring. Although the 2007 will flat stretch your arms above 6K RPM, I do miss the tractor-like torque and excellent throttle response of the 2003's "brick" engine down at the bottom of the rev range when piddling through traffic on the commute to/from work.

Rusty
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 7:35 pm
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I agree with JIS

I just took a new K1200GT out for a 100 km test ride yesterday and agree totally with JIS. It was crap compared to my 1997 K1200RS. They'd have to pay me to give up the old bike and take the new one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JIS
May I add my two pennyworth? I have clocked up only about 100 miles on the new GT but those 100 miles were very telling. In fact the dealer lent me the new GT whilst they did some work on my 03 GT (like yours). Here’s what I said to him when asked “so, go on, what’s your opinion of the new GT?”
My response was that it is “cr*p” ! He looked shocked, to which I responded :-

• The seat’s as hard as a rock
• The brakes are rubbish compared to the old GT
• The seating position is all “sit up and beg”
• The new K engine is rough compared to the silky smooth flat 4

To be honest, I can’t find anything good about the new GT compared to the old. But perhaps I just love my “old” GT too much!

John
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 2007, 8:00 pm
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There are two things (one is obviously subjective) that the Classic GT is better at on paper than the NextGen GT...styling and braking. Funny that the Classic stops quicker, even at a higher weight. The other, subjective opinion about the styling is backed up (I love reminding certain folks of this) by the fact that Playboy Magazine (page 108, May 2003) had a two-page color shot along with comments regarding the elegance. The NextGen? Nothing, yet...

Now, before anyone gets their shorts in a knot (some have...) I don't think the new one looks that bad. And, BMW listened to a lot of the complaints made about the Classic and fixed them in the NextGen. Plus, it's newer, so it's going to be better in a lot of ways. But, it doesn't impress me enough to sell the current one I have for the newer version.

And, naturally, I'm going to knock the new one for the time being...until I get one. Then I will have a different mindset altogether. Which is how it should be.



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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2007, 8:18 am
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Oh, and I forgot to mention that the gear box was rather clunky too !

One positive thing which I suspect would be nice, is the electronic damping control (whatever the acronym is!) This appears to be quite smart allowing one to go from Comfort to Sport modes. whether this is just a gimmick is hard to say ...

John I. Stephen - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
K1300 GT (quite superb ! )
Triumph Tiger 1050 (2008)
K1200 GT (2003)
R1150R (2002)
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2007, 8:30 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIS
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the gear box was rather clunky too !

One positive thing which I suspect would be nice, is the electronic damping control (whatever the acronym is!) This appears to be quite smart allowing one to go from Comfort to Sport modes. whether this is just a gimmick is hard to say ...
The ESA (electronic suspension adjustment) isn't a gimmick. It allows 3 spring preload settings (rider, rider with luggage and 2 up) along with 3 damping settings (comfort, normal and sport). Changes in these settings are quite noticeable - my bike was delivered with the ESA set for 2 up/sport, and I thought the suspension components had been welded solid! Rider with luggage/normal works for me for almost all conditions when riding 1 up.

And I bad-mouthed the new generation GT as well until I took one into the twisties. It all depends on one's individual preferences and what aspect of sport touring one emphasizes. I won't throw rocks at my 2003 or my 2007 K12GT - they're both quite satisfying, but in different ways.

And it took about 1500 miles for me to learn to execute smooth shifts on the 2007 - about as long as it took me to get acclimated to the 2003 gearbox when coming off a Japanese bike!

Rusty
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2007, 10:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks gentlemen. I see that I am not the only one who feels that the old GT is indeed a worthy machine. And I think I shall keep her, since she is barely broken in and I like her so much.

Larry
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2007, 10:56 pm
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I own and ride an '04GT but have test ridden the new K12GT twice. Both times I came away liking the power but not impressed enough with the overall package to even begin to think about changing.

Likes: Power and handling, tho the front end seems a bit vague at low speeds. And did I say power? Power.

Dislikes: Styling. Apparently, curves are out and slabs are in; I don't like slabs and choppy angles. Engine vibration, much more noticeable than on my '04. Rough transmission in the first three gears. Seat is uncomfortable. $$$$$$$$$$$$

Jury Still Out: ESA suspension. I really liked the functionality, but no one knows yet just how long these suspension units will last and whether or not they are rebuildable. For the money, I'd probably pass and invest in Ohlins for the K12GT.

As always, beauty and suitability for a purpose are in the eye of the beholder. I just don't fine the new K to be compelling enough to warrant dropping $21k on it. For the same or less money I think the R12RT is a better touring machine, FWIW...

Best,

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