Newbie "Near" K1200GT Owner Checking In - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 12:57 pm Thread Starter
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Newbie "Near" K1200GT Owner Checking In

Just wanted to check in with a board which has been very helpful to me in my role as un-registered "lurker".

My wife and I have been in the market for a new "sport tourer" for a while. We have gone to demo rides and shows, rented bikes on various trips, read about bikes, etc. Our current "touring" bike is a 1990 Honda CBR1000F with Krauser bags. It is a wonderful bike, but getting a little long in the tooth, and we want something with a little more "tour" in the sport tour so we can take a few longer motorcycle vacations.

We originally rode a K1200S when they first came out (2005?) during a dealer demo ride and were very impressed. We loved the character and comfort, but it was similar enough to our existing bike in the touring department (and expensive!) so I just put it down as yet another bike I loved but probably wouldn't own.

Since then, we've rented a ST1300 (Which was a bit disappointing for a Honda fan/owner I preferred an older ST1100 I test rode a while back). We recently ruled out the Kawasaki Concours without a ride, as just sitting on it proved the passenger accommodations were a poor fit.

So, that left the FJR1300 Yamaha and the (expensive!) K1200GT, which seemed to retain most of the character of the S that we liked and added more "tour".

We recently had an extended rental of a K1200GT on a California trip, and we loved it. The price (and our commitment to ride it enough to justify the price) was holding us back.

Also, the complexity. My existing bikes have never seen the inside of a motorcycle dealership since they were sold. The idea of not being able to do most of the work on the bike myself was a bit disconcerting.

Well, I recently stopped by my "local" (45 minutes away) dealer's website, and they had quite a stable of lightly used bikes (the poor economy?), including a Yamaha FJR1300, which was the one bike we were interested in that we hadn't been able to try out.

We spent half a day at the dealership this past weekend, and rode the FJR and their 2008 Demo GT back to back. There were some things I liked about the Yamaha (relative simplicity, low speed maneuverability), but the GT again proved the better bike.

Since the 2009's were coming in, the edge had been taken off of the expensive part a bit. Also, with an extended warranty, the fear of the complexity was reduced a bit.

I'm definitely thinking of going for it. It's the only bike from a riding standpoint that we couldn't find fault with. Even after a good solid week of hard riding two up through 40F-105F temperatures.

A little worried about some of the "getting stranded" failure stories on here, but I went through the same thing with an earlier truck purchase (boards made it sound like a lemon, but it's been wonderful for me), so I'm looking at some of that as a sheer luck issue.

Anyhow, it's down to the purchase decision. I appreciate all the help the board has given me (silently) up until now, and welcome any comments or suggestions ("run away!" ).

I'll let you know if I end up buying one!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Hello Chris,

Welcome to the group.

It sounds like you have already made up your mind to buy a GT, and the only questions are what model year, color, and options you want.

There are some 2008s still around for a much lower price than the 2009s. The 2009s have a different switch layout, a slightly larger engine, and supposedly many of the "bugs" in the 2006-2008 series were fixed or at least improved. Some people don't like the "feel" or "quality" of the 2009 switches, either. Whether the differences are worth the extra cost is a matter of opinion. Search the forums and you will see various discussions on all these topics.

You might also want to search for a used K1200GT in good condition. My guess is that the price drop on the 2008s probably dropped the bottom out of the used market, too.

I bought my 2007 K1200GT in June 2007, and couldn't be happier. No regrets. This bike does everything I want, and far more. The Yamaha was my second choice.

Whatever you decide (or if you buy a Yamaha or another bike) we are all behind you!

Cheers,

XMR
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 2:16 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
Hello Chris,

Welcome to the group.

It sounds like you have already made up your mind to buy a GT, and the only questions are what model year, color, and options you want.

There are some 2008s still around for a much lower price than the 2009s. The 2009s have a different switch layout, a slightly larger engine, and supposedly many of the "bugs" in the 2006-2008 series were fixed or at least improved. Some people don't like the "feel" or "quality" of the 2009 switches, either. Whether the differences are worth the extra cost is a matter of opinion. Search the forums and you will see various discussions on all these topics.

You might also want to search for a used K1200GT in good condition. My guess is that the price drop on the 2008s probably dropped the bottom out of the used market, too.

I bought my 2007 K1200GT in June 2007, and couldn't be happier. No regrets. This bike does everything I want, and far more. The Yamaha was my second choice.

Whatever you decide (or if you buy a Yamaha or another bike) we are all behind you!

Cheers,

XMR
Thanks for the welcome! We're definitely looking at "left-over" 2008's (demos and maybe a new one). Being a long-time Japanese bike rider, I'd really rather have the "standard" switchgear on the 2009's (which I know a lot of you long time BMW riders aren't all that impressed with), and some of the claimed improved front-end feel, but the rather large difference in price is not worth the incremental improvements.

If things fall through for one reason or another, I'd probably just wait until they were having a sale on 2009's next year!

Sadly (for my wallet mostly), the Yamaha seems to have slipped off of the radar. A nice bike (with some surprising rough edges), but probably only ideal for one-up touring.

Nice to hear that rare voice on a board that is happy with their car/bike/RV. Long experience has told me those who have had good luck don't have as much to talk about!
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 4:34 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilodon
Being a long-time Japanese bike rider, I'd really rather have the "standard" switchgear on the 2009's
I wouldn't worry about the switch gear too much. You'll get used to the 'traditional' BMW switches pretty quickly. I rode UJMs almost exclusivley for 20 years before buying my K1200r. And switching back to the Jap bike is pretty easy too.

Mike

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 6:12 pm
 
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Welcome aboard! Tons of great folks here chock full of crap, I mean good info!! You'll be surprised how much work you can do on your own, most maintainence stuff. Post pics when you get the bike.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 7:13 pm
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These things are just wicked.
For 2-up you probably want to factor in the large top case, or a Bakup backrest if you don't need the extra crammin' space.
I say go for it, I'd try for an 08.

Gilly
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2009, 10:39 pm
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My vote is go for the GT 1200 0r GT1300, I went from an 05 FJR to the 08 GT1200 and getting 7,000 off sticker put it back close to an 09 FJR or Concourse. Only problem I have is the clutch rumbles iwhen I take off slow. The GT 1200 acutually weighs a few pounds less than the FJR although the FJR look more sporting. GT1200 leans over farther and eaiser than the FJR.

Marty
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 2009, 12:18 am
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I've had a couple of issues with my GT like a leaky final drive and a broken ignition wire. Both were fixed under warranty and got to use the BMW road service with the ignition issue. The wife and I ride multi-day trips when we can and found a after market seat was nice. She does get more air on the shoulders and head than she got on either the RT or LT we had prior to the GT. That being said she can still get comfy enough that she naps on the back during some of the more boring sections of our rides, she uses a large topcase as a backrest.

I wouldn't obsess over the getting stranded issue. It can happen and it is a good reason to travel with a phone and a towing insurance policy. I wouldn't hesitate to take my GT cross country right now if I could get away. Buy what is right for you and enjoy the ride.

Darrel
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 2009, 7:15 am
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Hi Chris
I made the exact change that you are looking at, last year. I sold my 88 cbr1000f and bought a 2007 kgt. I couldn't be happier. The bike is even more fun to ride and can be riden much longer thru the seasons. Absolutely no regrets.

Herb
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 2009, 7:48 am
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Take your time and shop around. My dealer had one 2008 GT left and took $4000.00 off the MSRP. I traded in my GS for it and even got an excellent trade in value. Love the GT. Didn't feel the 2009 GT was worth the extra bucks. Good luck.
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