From a Harley to a K1200GT - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 12:02 pm Thread Starter
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From a Harley to a K1200GT

Hello everyone,

Like many, I have been lurking on this forum reading everything I can on the wonderful experiences people are encountering on their new GT's. My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki Ninja around 1990 at the tender age of 22. I had always loved sportbikes. I spent a few years on the Ninja, then sold it because of a near crash experience caused by an elderly lady at a intersection. Many years later in 2000 I bought a 2000 Harley Fatboy and I loved it. I bought it for mostly for the looks, sound and stigma that surrounds the Harley line. I also bought it because a motorcycle of this type and model would help keep me somewhat behaved as to where I wouldn't ride like a fool in which I did sometimes on the Ninja. I traded the Fatboy in Dec of 03' and got an 04' Ultra Classic because the wife and I wanted to tour the country. As of today I have 40k miles on the bike. And we have been everywhere in the upper midwest from the Grand Canyon, to Montana, to Sturgis SD.
My wife also owns an 05 Deluxe and absolutely loves it, and I love my bike but...........

Recently I have started to crave again my old sportbike enthusiasm. But now I'm much older, wiser and want a sport touring combination. I have looked at the FJR and Honda 1300. Although they are decent machines, they just don't rival the BMW prowess. It's also moreless a BMW "thing" for me as well. I've just always wanted one. And the 07' four cyl GT is it.

We will always have our Harleys though because they are just such simple and enjoyable machines. It's just very hard to describe my love for the Harley vtwins. To me the Harleys are definitely not replaceable, but would be perfectly suplimented by a nice BMW K1200GT. I just can't get the cornering, and handling I want with the Harley. The new 07' GT seems to be everything I could ever want in a sport tourer. I wish our local dealer had one now to test drive. But until then I will keep up with the reviews here.

Is there anyone who currently owns or has recently owned a Harley Classic, Ultra or any Harley for that matter that has made the transition to a BMW K1200GT? If so, what are your impressions?
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 4:51 pm
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Your story is very similar to my own. Rode to crazy as a youngster, stopped for 12 years. Got back in on a Heritage(I wanted to go slow), a year later traded up to an Electra Glide. Than a Gold Wing, next an LT. Added an RS. Now it's just the GT. Problem is with the GT I ride faster than ever before!!
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 5:27 pm
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Harleys for 28 yrs,switched to an LT,wife started ridding an 1150RT,I traded for an 03GT and love it.The new gen. GT will be even better with all the HP and better for two up.The best thing I ever did was swicth to BMW.I will never own another harley,I enjoy ridding so much more now,these BMW's still amaze me every time I ride,putting on twice the miles I was on harleys.I predict you will sell the harley,and if you get your wife on one she will give the harley up also.You will enjoy the BMW so much you won't ride the harleys.

I've had three harley ridding friends switch to BMW,one traded in his harley the other two sold theirs within a year. When one friend bought his 03 GT he said he would keep his classic for touring,one trip on the GT and the harley never left town until he sold it.

Enjoying The Ride. Eddie Layton
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 7:50 pm
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I sold a 2000 eletra glide classic and bought a new GT. I have rode the GT a little over 2000 miles and wouldn't go back. The ride and handling on the GT is so much better than the electra glide. I have been getting better gas milage, it handles better in the twisties, don't have to worry about braking to hard and locking the wheels up. That is one reason I got off harleys.
I do miss being able to put my feet up on highway pegs and streching out going down the road, and the seat on the eletra glide was more comfortable. But the Gt is comfortable and is so much smoother at all speeds that it makes up for the few things I miss, and the heated seat and grips is something that you don't miss untill you have and then wonder how you got along without them.
This is just my opinion, but I was looking at a new ultra and then saw the GT at daytona and decided to get it. I made the right choice for me, and would recomend the GT to anyone.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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I have two bikes — an 06 K1200GT and an 05 Harley Road King. And I love them both.

They are two very different motorcycles, and that's what makes it worth having them both. The GT is effortless to control, while the Road King is unwieldy at times, like turning a wheelbarrow. The ABS brakes inspire confidence on the GT, much moreso that the brakes on the Harley. And of course the GT has nearly twice as much horsepower. But the Harley is unmatched for the vibration and grunt, the unmistakeable rumble, and the laid-back seating position that allows for hours of comfort. Plenty of places to put the feet, unlike the GT, which is much more adjustable than it used to be but still leaves you in pretty much the same position all day long.

Sunday I rode into the mountains of upstate New York, and there was no doubt which motorcycle was coming with me. The GT handled like a dream, like one of those Segway scooters where you simply think which direction you want to go and the vehicle magically obeys. Covered 230 miles for the day. The following day I headed into Manhattan, and let me tell you there's nothing like charging through Times Square on a rumbling Road King. Testosterone levels climb to dangerous highs. Broadway on a GT? No thanks, I get enough sleep at night.

The way I describe it to friends — sometimes you want to be on top, and sometimes you want to be on the bottom. The GT is definitely the on-top position — hugging the tank with your knees, leaning from side to side to make it happen on the twisties — and the Harley is the on-bottom position — a more passive experience where you sit back and enjoy the sights.

I'm not sure which one I'd setlle on if I had to choose between them. As it stands, they serve different purposes.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 8:00 pm
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I have a Harley Road King and a BMW KRS and a Duc ST4s. I have to keep all three since they are all so different. As much as I like the BMW, I have to ride the Harley every other day. The low rumble, constant vibration, and relaxed ride is just great.

07 BMW K1200 S (cosmic blue/titan silver)
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2006, 9:06 pm
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I have been riding some sort of motorcycle for close to forty years now. I have owned every motorcycle that I wanted to own. That does not mean that I have owned every bike out there, just the ones that have interested me. Motorcycling is different things for all of us. For me it has been the one true extension of who I am. I can tell you that I have owned about 10 Harley's. I liked all of them but one. And the one I didn't like was because it really did have many problems (this bike out of the crate was bad). I can only speak for myself in regard to your question about coming from an Ultra or Electra Glide. I have owned 5 Ultra's my last was the 100th anniversary 2 tone. All of the dressers that I owned served me well. They performed just like the book said. They are one of the best big bikes out there for two up touring. They are big, they are comfortable, in my experiences dependable and they dam sure are beautiful machines to look at. What they are not is a high performance sophisticated piece of machinery. They are a motorcycle that is built in todays world with todays technology but with yesteryear blueprints. When we try to compare our BMW motorcycles to an HD it truly is like comparing a Corvette to the old Chevy beach wagon. Just is not a fair comparison. No doubt that the BMW is a very sophisticated machine. It handles better (not better than a Ducati or MV Augusta) it has a stronger engine(not stronger than many metric bikes) it has superior brakes for most of us mortals (but not the best compared to several exotic bikes). You get the idea. I really find the Beemer to be a very good motorcycle. It in no way is the best motorcycle. It does many things very good making it one of the best all around motorcycle's with a little mystique to add to the flavor. I have also fallen into the category of riding the Beemer more than any other bike. I had three street bikes registered up until last year. I kept only the Beemer. It does everything I need it to do at this time. However the Harley would still be in my stable if the wife and daughter where still riding with me. Both have taken time off from riding. My daughter is growing up and has other interest than riding around this planet with dad right now. I'm hoping she comes back. And my partner on my life's journey spends most of her time with my daughter. Both of them have rode with me for thousands of miles and both of them because of the luxury of the Ultra do not like the Beemer and for that matter any other bike I have put them on. Don't sell the Harley just yet, you may decide that the BMW is all that you need just make sure. If you look at that Harley in your garage and it looks right parked there keep it. If
you look in the garage and only see the Beemer than it is time to decide if it would be better with some other individual. Every bike was built for a purpose, ride it that way and you won't be unhappy. Most of us try to redesign the bikes we own, some of us love to do that others are trying to make it something that it is not. If you like them both and can afford to keep them both then do it. I have no regrets owning an HD and can not rule out that I may ride one again.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2006, 1:04 am
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[QUOTE= If you like them both and can afford to keep them both then do it.
I'm in the boat of "not being able to afford both". I like riding a Harley..."never my own" but, if I could afford to have one in the stable for putting around town I would. Not a fan of the full dresser bikes or the performance that comes with them. a softail standard with loud pipes and straight bars would do it for me...hmmm...nighttrain anyone? oh well, of these days.... Even then I will have to have something that has some useable performance when I want now the K12RS fits all my needs....

"flying through hyper-space ain't like dustin' crops boy"
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2006, 7:14 am
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Moved to Colorado 3 years ago. Had I moved to Kansas I might have considered another Harley. The GT is perfect for spending a weekend riding throught the Rockies.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2006, 8:06 pm
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I've been riding since 1985 and I have a 1992 Fatboy that I bought brand new in 1992.
I've logged well over 230,000 miles on this beast and yes just about everything but the frame has been replaced at one time or another. Needless to say, I've been through alot with this bike but she has always gotten me home. Looking back, I have to say that some of the happiest times in my life have been on the Harley trips with my wife who has her own HD. I learned what motorcycling was all about on the HD.

It has evolved over the years and looks sort of like a 1949 Pan with minimal chrome and lots of black powdercoat. At this point I am running a 96 CI S&S motor that did 92 rear wheel horsepower on the dyno ( about a month before replacing the rings I might add)

Eventually, I decided that I was tired of the little things constantly shaking themselves to failure and the BIG failure that seems to occur every couple of years. In 2004, everything was gone through and freshened up. The windshield came off and I have promised to keep it off, because now the Fatboy has been designated the low mileage cruise around town motorcycle. Day trips, on warm days just putting along slow and enjoying the sights with a big smile on my face.

I've had BMWs before and I picked up a K1200GT in 2004. The way I usually describe the difference between the Harley and the BMW is that it's like comparing a propeller plane to a jet plane! The BMW is so much more advanced than an HD. Lets face it BMW was doing things on the 1985 K100 that Harley couldn't even imagine doing until the late 90s. For that matter, HD just came out with ABS brakes for Police bikes only last year, obviously in an attempt to regain some of the Police bike business that they are losing to BMW. How long has BMW had ABS? Since 1988!!

But I'm getting off the point. The point is Timbo, that we are fortunate to have both bikes in our stable. They are two completely different animals but they both put a big smile on our faces every time we press the "go place" button and ride! and that's what counts.

I hope I never have to only choose one. I just don't know what I would do.
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