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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 1:19 pm Thread Starter
 
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Hey All, I have been lurking here reading your posts. I guess I have the bug. What I am looking for is a good touring bike. No, not ready for something in the Goldwing class. I want something lighter and easier handling. That led me to BMW. I made the 200 mile drive to my closest dealer this week. I saw the K1200GT. What a beautiful bike! I have always admired the Beemers from afar but never owned one. I also looked at a C14. The local dealers do not have ST or FJ so could not look them over in person. This appears to be a very narrow field. I have never owned a sport tourer. I just came off a Harley. (as in totaled) Question I have: "What are the pitfalls in purchasing and owning this bike?" I know this is a GT forum, but would you buy this bike again?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 3:26 pm
 
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Would I buy this bike again? Hell yeah I would!

Did you ride the GT at the dealership? Better do it. I actually bought mine without ever test riding one, no regrets here. Just finished 1800 miles all loaded up and couldn't be happier. This is a driving machine!

So far my complaints are all personal, that is - only a problem because I let it be a problem. My knees get sore from being bent all the time, but that's because I was riding 150-200 mile legs at one point. Stopping every hour or two (even for just a minute) and there's no problem. But that's just me.

It is annoying cleaning bugs on the inside of the windshield, but oh well.

The first 100 miles or so I didn't like riding it, it takes a little getting used to. Tons of power available and the high compression (what? 13:1 or something?) gives you wicked idle braking. I was bucking myself off the bike at first, very annoying, not a problem at all now.

Did I mention it has all the power you could ever want? Holy cow fun. And even fully loaded (full side bags, top case and tank bag) you can flick this thing in and out of the twisties all you want.

+1 on the center stand, -1 on the side stand (did you see the earthquake thread?). A habit I've gotten into (good or bad, I dunno) is I will roll up in first gear and shut the bike off by dropping the side stand. Then she's in gear on the side stand and it save a step (shut off the bike and then drop it into gear, besides-hard to shift when she's not running).

Like sitting on a sewing machine, smooth as can be. My buddy on his Road King was behind me and asked if it had a turbo (she whines). He said it sounds like a jet engine spooling away.

You'll find varying opinions on the comfort of the seat. It hits me on the back of my legs just below my azz, gets sore as can be right there.

Hope this helps, and welcome to the boards.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 3:32 pm
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One major pitfall in owning this bike: it's EXTREMELY addictive!

Coming off a Harley you're going to have a whole bunch of adjusting to do. First and foremost is the riding position. Secondly, is the power. Gobs of power.

I'd suggest hot-footing back to the dealer and arrange a test ride on the GT, and just for grins, the RT. You might find you like the RT better. Then, if you can, find a test ride on the others to compare for yourself. You're the one that's going to be riding whatever you decide to buy.

The C14, FJR, and ST1300 are all very good bikes, but they lack the creature comforts of the GT. The C14 is a very powerful bike - on paper, more power than the GT. The FJR is slightly below the C14 & GT. The ST is down compared to the rest, but it's still a good touring bike.

You won't be able to get the adjustable bars on the C14 or ST. The FJR has some adjustablility, but I don't think it's near what the GT is.

Then there's the ESA. Try to find that on any of the others.

Would I buy the GT again? In a heartbeat!

Doug Turner
'86 Concours
'99 K1200LT - gone
'06 K1200GT - the new kid in town
'08 Wing - gone
Marshall, TX
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 3:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lano
I guess I have the bug. What I am looking for is a good touring bike.
Sounds like me. A year ago I was in the same place, ready for a new bike (spent 10 years riding several Kawasaki GPZ1100s), so I browsed around for the best sport-touring bike I could find. For me it pretty much came down to ST1100, Sprint, or KGT. I do mainly fun weekend rides with the occasional multi-day and rare multi-week trip, so the "sport" was more important to me than the "touring", something to keep in mind.

Anyway, the reviews pretty much agreed the KGT was the winner if you could afford it. And after a year on the bike I think that's pretty much straight on. My GPZ was a lot cheaper, but the KGT is overall a more solid and balanced bike and the bells and whistles are fun. (ESA, as it turns out, is fantastic. I kind of thought "pfft" when I first read about it, but now I actually adjust the suspension when I take a passenger even on a short ride instead of just living with it being wrong, and being able to set the damping on the fly is really handy.)

If you're really looking for touring first that might change things, more wind protection and more upright seating seem to be popular, but I'll ride all day and day after day on the KGT with the stock windscreen and the handlebars down. (I did spring for a Corbin seat.)

Do a bunch of test rides, for sure. But ride the KGT last... and bring your checkbook.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 4:00 pm
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Don't buy this bike. It sucks.

It makes you burn all your available vacation on long road trips. It causes you to exceed the posted speed limit for even the most mundane of maneuvers. You'll spend all your disposable income on tires, farkles, or other things to make your bike the perfect traveling companion. It will make you go miles and miles out of your way when just going to the store for a gallon of milk.

Oh, BTW, if you do travel with another human companion as a pillion, you might do yourself a favor and do one quick comparison to the K1200LT. You'd be surprised how nimble the Luxo-Tub can be in the twisties -- but it's no K1200GT. I came off the LT before the GT since I only ride 1-up (I am blessed with a wife who rides her own bike), but if I had a pillion, I'd probably have stuck with the LT.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 5:30 pm
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I was looking to go the sport tourer route after I sold my last bike (CBR 1000) and was trying to choose between the C14 and the KGT. Kawi dealer would not allow a test ride and there were no used C14s around to try out. I spotted a 2007 used KGT with 2700 miles for sale, test rode it and bought it on the spot... I may never know if I would have bought that Kawi had I ridden one but I got a great bike for a few thou more than a new C14. The only negative I see and this may not be a problem for you is the 200 miles to the closest dealer. Try to ride all the bikes you're considering and you'll never have to wonder if you made the right choice.

Gary
2007 K1200GT
Dark Graphite Grey
New Jersey-Don't Laugh!
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 6:37 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. The nearest motorcycle dealer is 70 miles away, so 200 is not too bad for the BMW. You guys know what it is, trying to justify the extra 7K. I have read every ride report on the four bikes I can get my hands on. A test ride is out of the question right now. I am still healing from eleven broken bones. The BMW salesman about freaked when I hobbled in with my casts. He tried to keep me as far away from the KGT as possible. So, all I can do right now is research. Hey the casts come off next week!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 7:09 pm
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I'm not sure the extra 7 G's can be justified with the additional equipment, fit, finish and technology alone (over the other big bore S-T's out there).

However, for me there is an intangible difference about how I feel when riding my GT. That combined with the things mentioned above makes the GT's price more than justifiable for me.

But if you don't get that feeling when you ride one, the $7000 price difference may not be justifiable.

Mike M
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 8:00 am
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Most of the people here (including me) are biased because they own K1200GTs. Keep that in mind.

I took a couple years looking around before I replaced my 1986 Honda Magna with a 2007 K1200GT. I have more written notes, brochures, etc. than you can imagine. I looked at, tested, and even rented, many other bikes. The short list was: (1) K1200GT, (2) R1200RT, and (3) Yamaha FJR1300A (manual transmission, not the AE - yuck!)

The reasons I bought the GT are many, but it is sufficient to say that it is the most versatile bike I have ever owned. It has power to spare, handles extremely well, and is loaded with features that are not available on any other bike - features that I use all the time.

The only problem that I have with it is that it makes me want to go out riding all the time.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 10:31 am Thread Starter
 
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Appreciate your honest answers guys. You know you are making it more difficult for me! When I laid eyes on that dark blue KGT oh wow. It is absolutely the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever seen.
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