What a day! I didn't start out to do that many miles, but it just sorta turned into something longer.
First, some stats:
The northern portion of the Texas Cemetery Run
Talimena Skyline Drive (both ways)
2 helpings of banana pudding served by one great waitress
41.6 MPG overall
63 MPH overall
Top Speed - I cannot confirm, nor deny my actual top speed for the day
Question of the day: How long does it take the new K1200GT to pass 3 semi-trucks?
Answer: Whatever it is, it is definitely measured in NANOSECONDS
I cannot get over the acceleration this bike has. Sure, we all expect it from bikes like the K1200S and K1200R, but geez! Who would have thought you could have this much power in a full-blown touring bike. Wow!
Instead of just more of the same report I just posted yesterday, let's hit the things I didn't like.
The Seat: It sucks. Period. Since it is impossible for any manufacturer to make a seat that fits anyone, I'm not gonna hold it against BMW. We'll see how the 2000 mile trip to Red River next week turns out. I've got almost 700 miles on the bike now, and the seat isn't getting any better. But I have found something out. The lower position is actually more comfortable than the high position. I am 6'3" and you would think being in the high position was better. Not the case. Leaving it in the lower position makes it tolerable. I'll probably be talking with Ron Miller at Kontour Seats very soon.
The Windshield: It's no wonder there is such a large market for aftermarket windshields. I don't know what human being BMW used for wind tunnel testing, but I just can't seem to find that right spot to keep the wind blast or buffeting from driving me nuts. My thinking is that Cee Bailey's will make a +4 wider +4 higher with a laminar flip very soon. I'll be talking with them tomorrow on another issue, so I'll bring it up with them.
Okay, enough of the bad. Now the good.
I love ESA. Comfort/Sport/Comfort/Sport. There's lots of flat and straight between twisties in this part of the world. ESA allows the K1200GT to be a capable touring bike, and provide the sport that the K1200RS lured many of us to BMW. In conjunction with the Hossack suspension, this bike does things that are simply amazing for a big 640 pound touring bike. After spending most of the afternoon at the Talimena Skyline Drive (think of it as Cherohala Skyway, but longer), the new GT is a perfect balance of sport and touring. Normally, this is something that can't be done very well and still get both spot on.
The word is "Effortless". When it comes to steering this beast, that's the only word you can use to describe what it takes to fall into a turn. The twistier, the better. 15 and 20MPH turns were a breeze at 2 and 3 times that speed. It's amazing how well this bike response to input in even the most difficult of turns (outside decreasing radius turns, for example). David Scott switched off bikes with me on the Talimena Skyline drive, and it was amazing the difference that exists between the RS and the new GT. The refinement that BMW has put into this bike in terms of handling, steering, and suspension.
Where does BMW send the engine heat? I sure as hell couldn't find/feel it. Somehow, somewhere, BMW has set up the airflow on the new GT to dissipate heat in a way that I haven't quite figured out. I was on the bike for nearly 10 hours yesterday and couldn't feel any heat. Sure, it was 72 degrees, but still there should be some heat off the engine. Gone are the days of the K1200RS/GT cooking your leg. Someone out there at BMW really gets it. The guys at Yamaha and Honda could learn a thing or two about heat management from this new BMW.
It's the little things that catch you off guard. The cruise control is seamless. Just as on the LT and the newer RS/GT, the cruise works perfectly. And with this monster of power engine in place, there are no issues with And who would have thought a computer display could be so helpful? Finally, two trip odometers. Not that big of a deal, but once you start using them, you start to wonder why they weren't there before. MPG, average MPH, temp gauge, all at the touch of a finger.
18 miles and I wanted her back. When David Scott and I stopped in Mena for some gas, I offered to let him take the bike on the way up to the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge. It was only 18 miles, but I wanted my baby back. While the K1200RS/GT was a capable bike for its run of 1998-2006, this new generation K1200GT outclasses it in so many ways. It's funny how you can get used to certain things like the heat coming off the engine, the box-o-rox feel at idle, the lag in the old brick spinning up -- none of which you would notice if you hadn't corrupted your soul with the new K1200GT.
For those of you satisfied with your K1200RS or previous generation K1200GT, DO NOT TEST RIDE THE NEW GT. You won't be able to go back to your bike and be satisfied.
Feel free to fire off all the questions you want. I couldn't think of anything else to write, so I just threw this together. If there's something I didn't cover in the first report and this review, let me know.