I confess, I was one of those questioning the $8k price difference between the new Yamaha FJR and the K1200GT. This Forum and others convinced me to buy the K (Crystal Grey) when someone failed to take delivery of one. Also, it was brand loyalty as my first serious street bike was 75/6 and I was seriously attached to my ’02 R1150RT. I just had this urge to try something new. I picked it up last weekend and left Wed for a planned trip with friends. My dealer told me not to worry about the 600 mile check-up, but take an extra quart of oil along ( unlike the boxers – it was never used ) and bring it in when I got back. Well, now after 1800 miles in 4 days from Western PA down the Appalachians, across the Blue Ridge Parkway, through the Tail of the Dragon, across the Cherohola Parkway, back across the Blue Ridge Parkway, and back through the WV Appalachians …. I am In Love. From 40 degrees to 85 degrees, sun to rain, 2000’ to 5400’, bend after bend and a few hundred interstate miles, my personal land speed record (confidential) and my first bike speeding ticket (not during my land speed record, thank God) – VA sheriff informed me it was actually wreckless driving at that speed, but as a former bike owner he just let me pay the fine. The bike ran absolutely flawlessly. Just some thoughts and comparisons to R1150RT for anyone considering the change:
In the twisties: No comparison. The K tracks like a fiend. If you drop the bags and run in 2nd and 3rd gear it is darn near a sport bike. The RT was capable, but the K is outstanding.
On the highway: Cruise control was fantastic and as others have written – spot on. The GPS also confirms that the speedo is much more accurate. 1-2 mph different at 80 vs. 4- 5 for the RT. My first change on the RT was a Sargent Seat and although I did like the heat idea one cool morning my 51 year old butt was in agony by day 3. The seat will have to go. For whatever reason the RT seemed more planted when there were brisk side winds. Maybe the flat side panel acts like a sail??
Ergonomics: I am 5’ 11 and average build. I played with the seat positions and windshield (tall version) positions quite a bit and found that the low seat position with the handle bars fully raised was very similar to the RT as far as torso position. I ended up riding with the seat low and the windshield up about a third of the way. The wind protection was never quite as good as the RT though and I am watching the windshield threads with interest. Unfortunately, somewhere in day 3 and on into day 4 I noticed some discomfort in the knees. Of course, at my age 450 mile days with 80% on the back roads it is probably not totally unexpected, but the legs are a bit more forward and bent than on the RT. I did miss the Elf highway pegs on the highway stretches. No where to really add a highway peg to a K-bike I guess. I may look into a lowering kit, but I don’t want to compromise clearance too much.
Misc: The center of gravity makes the K feel so much lighter. Coming to a stop in gravel on the RT and you had to pay attention to keep upright – it felt much more top heavy. Even wheeling the K around in the garage it feels smaller. I stand flat footed on the K with the seat in the low position and nearly do in the high position. The RT was taller and I couldn’t get both feet flat on the ground. The luggage is also major upgrade from ’02. The easily accessible battery and oil dipstick are great. And after the trip I noticed that cleaning the K was much easier with fewer hard-to-get places.
Sorry about the long winded essay, but in a nutshell – I spent the difference and I couldn’t be happier!!