Can GT Displace the LT? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 9:45 am Thread Starter
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Smile Can GT Displace the LT?

To those who saw/get to see the new GT, please respond.

Will the LT go the way of the dinosaur with the shipping of the GT or will the LT continue to [thrive] as a no-nonsense touring bike? I know that at least one of the site owners here has asserted that this may be the bike that displaces [his] LT for serious touring.

So, those that actually see the GT:
1. Sit on it/riding position! How does it feel for long-distance touring, or just a warmed-up/different 12S?
2. Windshield: Good enough for serious wind management?
3. Tupperware, body: Good shielding for legs, upper body?
4. If you could have only one cycle, would this be it?

Of course these are all personal opinions, but we are interested in opinions!

John
Jacksonville, FL, USA
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:14 am
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For several years, BMW has aimed the LT at large touring bike market, such as Gold Wings. A few times, magazines have chosen the LT over the Gold Wing as the better bike.

If BMW still wants to take on Honda for this share of the motorcycle market, then the LT is here to stay, at least for a while. The Gold Wing is much cheaper than the LT. If the prices of the GT that I've seen are true, then the Gold Wing is slightly cheaper than the GT.

However, if BMW is going in a new direction, then who knows. While the K1200S and K1200R indicate a new direction in the K-series bikes, the GT appears to be aimed at a rider who wants a more powerful RT. The GT does share the same luggage capacity as the RT.

I wonder why BMW is still pushing the RT as a police bike. Why not the GT?

Lache pas la patate

Robert Odendahl
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:39 am Thread Starter
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The RT makes less and less sense to me tho' unless they are just afraid to let go of the 2-cyclinder boxer mentality and will ride it into the ground. the 1200 boxer a great engine on my 12GS, and the 12GS can tour, but if the GT hits the market you predict, where does the RT fit.

These are of course questions without answers. I am sure HD faces similar problems issues with their marketing legacy bike, legacy bikes with the new V-Rod engine, blah, blah . . . a fickle market we are indeed!

John
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 11:49 am Thread Starter
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For general consumption and FWIW, the new K series are the only ones with wet clutches. It seems that clutch failures are not that common on BMW's to be a major concern (rear drive failures on LT disappointing), but given my druthers, would rather have a wet clutch than dry clutch!

John
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 2:23 pm
 
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Originally Posted by jpalamaro
The RT makes less and less sense to me tho' unless they are just afraid to let go of the 2-cyclinder boxer mentality and will ride it into the ground. the 1200 boxer a great engine on my 12GS, and the 12GS can tour, but if the GT hits the market you predict, where does the RT fit.

These are of course questions without answers. I am sure HD faces similar problems issues with their marketing legacy bike, legacy bikes with the new V-Rod engine, blah, blah . . . a fickle market we are indeed!

As a "proud" owner of an RT, I'll tell you where it fits...in someone else's garage. If it weren't for using the RT primarily for 2-up, I'd never have the thing. But, we've managed to put about 26K miles on it in the last year and a half. It's top heavy so anything slow (parking lots, etc) must be negotiated carefully. The biggest problem to me though is just the lack of power and torque. I also don't like the linked brakes (it's an 04). But to be fair, for what it is, it is a pretty sporting ride...just underpowered. I didn't consider the old GT because my SO was never very comfortable on my K/RS, likewise my R/RS. So in trying to accomodate her (and now she is really uncomfortable on the S) I looked at the other potentials. The LT was out of the question because it doesn't fit the way I ride. The GS just didn't appeal to me so the RT won by default. In retrospect, I should have considered the FJR but I guess I'm just a Beemer guy. So for me, I'll look real hard at the new GT and if it's OK, it will replace the RT. And I'll definitely look at the FJR (w/clutch) this time. I'll keep the S for my solo riding.

I really don't see the GT having much of an impact on the LT. The riding position is a bit more aggressive (and appears to be more aggressive than the RT as well) and while I'm sure it will be comfortable for a passenger, it won't be the "couch" that the LT is. I suppose the easiest way to view the GT vs LT is that the GT buyer will still have some spirited riding in his soul but has the added bit of comfort for the driver and passenger than would be possible on an RS or S. The LT buyer is after more comfort and "bells and whistles" and I would think that pure performance is a little less of an issue. To me, the bikes are for two distinct markets but the gap is closed a bit with this GT vs the old GT.

While I wouldn't cosider an LT or Wing...the new GT looks real sweet. Can't wait to see it in the flesh. Just my TCW.

See ya.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 5:04 pm
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The similarities between BMW bikes and Porsche cars are interesting. If you look at Porsche in the '80's, they came up with a new line of water cooled, non-Boxer models (924, 944, 928), with the 928 intended to replace the venerable 911. But it never happened. Regardless of what Porsche management thought, or the features/benefits of one design package over another, the customers wanted the 911/Boxer engine. And today the 911 still exists (albeit in a water cooled configuration - but still a Boxer) and the "92X/94X" series is dead (having had to be replaced with other water cooled models - but with Boxer engines).

From what I have read, BMW had the same thought process with the R bikes. With the power, smoothness, reliability, and other 'benefits' that the K bikes had over the R bikes, the K bikes could not be stopped from taking over the market, and R bikes would just head into the sunset. But... BMW customers thought differently and continued to want the R bikes. So BMW re-thought its plans and revised/upgraded the R Boxer engine and bikes as well.

There will always be a place for a machine in a manufacturer's line-up as long as they sell in the volume and at the margin the manufacturer wants. So while the RT "makes less and less sense" to some (and perhaps even to BMW), it will continue to be produced and upgraded as long as enough others feel that it is the bike they need (and will buy).

Of course there are some who are lucky enough to have multiple bikes, and can enjoy the different advantages that each platform provides...

Tom
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 5:15 pm Thread Starter
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Nice reply Tom. Market driven, huh?

John
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by jpalamaro
Nice reply Tom. Market driven, huh?
Yup. Just that some may be driven by the marketing more than others!

"But really Hun, I can justify all three bikes if you would just stop yelling at me..."

Tom
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 8:31 pm
 
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The Perfect Rider vs. The Perfect Motorcycle

A few years back my wife and I journeyed to Tahoe attending the 80th anniversary celebration of BMW motorcycles. BMW can sure throw a party when they want to.

One of the attractions at the three day event at Squaw Valley was the performance of stunt rider Jean-Pierre Goy. Have to tell you that guy is amazing. Not a big person, maybe 5'8" and 160 lbs. His riding included three motorcycles: an F650, an R12 cruiser, and, (I'll be damned) an LT.

He did everything imaginable on all three bikes: stood on the seat, did wheelies, faced backward, did handstands, stoppies, and turned all three bikes on a dime.

My reaction to all this was this dude really didn't need to figure out which bike was best; they were all equal to whatever he wanted to do on each of them.

But, not many of us are like Goy; the perfect rider. We have different requirements and maybe what we were watching in awe was literrally in a vacuum.

So, we all look for that perfect motorcycle: one that will provide a platform to execute that perfect turn, go thousands of miles towing a trailer, lean until the parts scrape, provide the cocoon of blissfully quiet riding, a radio, long range tankage, gobs of acceleration, light weight, great stability in the face of a stiff cross wind. And any of us can add to the list.

We are looking for the combination of the right features that, in sum, work out to the perfect motocycle - within the paramaters of our personal financial situations.

Enter the new generation of BMW motorcycles with all of their attractive "new features". New engine, new transmission, new front suspension, esa on the rear, canbus electronics, new rear drive, digital read-outs, etc. Appealing, correct?

Now, for a what-if; ok?

What if BMW had introduced both the K-S and the new GT at the same time? (I don't think the K-R owners would have faced this choice). Which of these two motorcyles would have been our choice?

This new GT proves a delimma for many of the present K-S owners. Sure, the K-S could tour, had those cute little expandable saddlebags; but, would some of those with the K-S actually, given the choice, opted for the new GT in lieu of the K-S? Some knew of the rumors or just had a hunch that a new GT (or RT at the time) was imminent and decided the "comfort" features of better weather protection, more commodious luggage, more upright riding postion, more relaxed leg position, electronic cruise, etc. combined with the new engine, tranny, suspension, yada-yada, was worth waiting for.

Looks? Well, that's more subjective. The K-S is lower, sleeker, sexier; the GT, maybe more handsome - at least based on the pictures.

Compare it to the present LT? Well, it figures that a new LT will follow the new GT given the way BMW is rolling out new motorcycles. Maybe the new GT is a bit of a testbed for the LT. You can assume that the 155 engine is the one that will appear in the LT. And, if the new GT weighs 600 lbs, then the new LT will probably come in at about 100 lbs less weight than the current LT. I'm betting that BMW is enamored with their new emphasis of lighter, sportier; and, this might be a better way for BMW to compete with the lardy Honda products: both their ST and the Goldwing.

That's my take on the world of new Beemers - now for some feedback out of Long Beach and and San Jose. <g>

Miles
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2005, 8:50 pm
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I don't see this displacing the LT at all. Will it take some LT sales? Yes. But displace? No.

I've wanted a "mid-ranged" luxury sport touring motorcycle for a long time. I've had the K1200RS (two of them) and a K1200LT, and I still long for something "in between". Something with the sportiness of the RS, but with the creature comforts of the LT. I am not a fan of the anemic boxer in the RT (even the R1200 variant) in comparison to the smooth roll-on of power from the flying brick K or the heart-pounding pull from the slant-4 K. So I yearn for that middle ground between the super sport touring and the luxo barge LT. The new K1200GT appears to be that motorcycle.

Now, we may kid about the LT by calling it a Luxo Barge or Light Truck, but the LT is surprisingly nimble in the twisties. I know several RS riders at the Texas Hill Country Rally that were amazed at the LT's ability to keep up in many (not all, but many) situations. And there are several other LT riders, namely Pep and a few others like him, that can out ride many (again, not all, but many) RS riders with their LTs. But, let's be real, only a small percentage of LT riders are really taking advantage of the LT's abilities in this manner.

So, do I see the GT as a viable replacement for what most LT riders are looking for? Not a chance. Will it attract a few like me? Absolutely.

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Last edited by eljeffe; Dec 9th, 2005 at 9:01 pm.
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