Hey List Members
I'm a 5'7", 32-inched inseam female Harley rider whose next bike is a sport tourer. I've rent and rode an R 1200 RT for 2700+ miles and 10 days on a recent vacation. I've test-ridden the K1300GT twice, and the Honda ST once. Below are my impressions of the rides, and the BMWs remain above the other prospects (ST, FJR, and Concours) b/c they already have the amenities I want w/o needing to go into after-market and putting on extras that push the cost more toward BMW anyway (cruz, heated grips, ABS). However, I want to do thorough research and riding on all of these before I make my decision. As you'll see, I've some likes and dislikes about each BMW, but then again, comparing a bike you've ridden for 2700 miles to one that you've ridden for 20 minutes is difficult. Thus, I'd really appreciate if you'd have a look thorugh my likes and dislikes, and let me know why you would choose (or already chose) the K1300GT over the R or any of the other makers' bikes. I see in a lot of reviews that engine power and speed are factors, but all of these bikes, including the R are like lightning to me coming off a Harley!
One of my main questions about the K is--does that seat break in??? It's not too comfortable. Here's my impressions:
R1200 RT - great bike. Likes
the seated position, the turn signals on left and right sides, the nimble handling and easy steering input, light weight of the bike, and the sound of the boxer twin. Look of the bike with bags off - it doesn't look like it's missing something. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. Dislikes:
Mirrors (can't see like I like to), and my legs felt a bit cramped, and specifically, my knees hurt after a few hours on the bike.
Bike with the throttle that never ends and movable handlebars. Light weight of the bikes. I didn't see this bike w/ its bags off, but presume its rear looks like the R1200 RT with bags off. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. The mirrors (I could see every where). Dislikes:
Seat felt really stiff and uncomfortable. Felt like a bird sitting on a perch, rather than in the machine as one with it. Turn signals all on one side. I also found the throttle to be very touchy and this affected my ability for smooth throttle ons, etc. With handlebars in most relaxed position, I still felt like I was leaning forward a little too much, as for some reason, my left wrist felt like it was taking a lot of pressure. Steering input felt a little stiffer than R, so I wondered about smoothness of cornering.
HONDA ST (non ABS version): Likes:
smooth throttle and stopping, responsive steering input and handling in turns. Gigundus gas tank. Mirrors (I could see every where). The fact that they have rubber mounts on the side that will protect fairing and side area from falls. This bike definitely does not show its weight (heaviest of sport-tourers in the 4 cylinder class). The reportedly low maintenance fees and long distance between standard maintenance checks. Dislikes:
. Heat off the engine was extremely uncomfortable within 10-15 minutes or riding. No cruise control or heated grips (why build a mile-eater with no cruz so a person can occassionally rest throttle hand?). Felt a little like I was sitting ON the bike as opposed to in it, but not as high-perched as I felt on the BMW K. This bike looks patently retarded without the bags. Bags were a little more difficult to operate than BMW bags. Same thing as K regarding the handlebar positioning, only the Honda was a little more aggressively seated and thus, my left wrist took even more punishment.
Regards and shiny side up! Signed,
Joyce whose trying hard to do this process right and not let the Bike Bug take over