Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Dayton, Oh, USA
GT demo ride
I definitely don't want a Honda ST1300 or the FJR.....now that I have ridden the KGT.
Saturday ....dealer has a dark graphite GT with slightly over 100 miles on it. It has just been repaired after another demo rider hit and killed a deer during his demo ride. (Dealer hasn't heard from this person since). Bike did not go down but the left side fontal area was damaged. The dealer says no structural damage and the bike tracked straight and true at over 80 mph on the freeway.
Ok. it's just starting to rain as I put on my gear after signing all of the dealer paperwork. I wait for it to clear to the point of a drizzle and decide to go ahead and see how the fairing and windscreen work in the rain. All I can say is I was bone dry, even with the shield 1/2 down.
Took it easy in the rain on a back road which was newly paved, kind of twisty but not too bad. Easily took every corner 2x or more of the posted limit. My moto is "can't see the exit of a curve - slow down"...loved the fact that 5th gear from 30 to 110 mph was effortless. Just a little more twist, as the injectors start to make the motor "work" there is a different sound from the engine: a noticable growl (good sound) as the bike builds up speed. Six gear on this back road was pretty useless because of all of the curves.
About twenty miles of this, made a turn around - picked up the dry wife (the sun was out now) and we rode two up over this same road. She immediately fell in love with the bike. Even on 'sport' setting she said she hardly felt any of the bumps in the road (with her "butt") quote - un - quote "much better than the ST". We were talking back and forth with our face shields up and we were not yelling at one another.
She also loved the fact that I was not constantly shifting the bike. Now we go out on the four-lane highway. Don't like the 1 - 2 gear clunk at all (dealer says it will get better as the bike gets broken in ) Up thru 6 nice and easy....engage the cruise control 80 mph....no hands and the bike is as solid as can be. Take off the cruise up to 110 in a heartbeat, back down to 80. Put the cruise back on and relax with one arm resting, riding in a more relaxed posture the bike feels at home. No leg cramps, no back cramps, little feeling in the wrists but this is normal). Go down to 65 and the bike is exremely quiet. Play around with the screen height and other than the wind in our face(s) no buffeting at all even with the screen down.
About fifteen miles down the road..turn around...get on it and the wife holds on tighter. 110 in no time at all and I'm not going full throttle acceleration either. Left lane cruse at 80 and a LEO comes over the rise. Apply the brakes to acknowledge his authority slow to 65 quickly and he keeps on going. No heat from the bike at all, no vibration whatsoever, the comfort, normal and sport settings is really nice and evident in the re-bounce when making a change. Like the turn signal's buttons, didn't try the heated seat or grips.
The wife gave her riding experience an A+, other than down shifts on the country road she never slid forward in the seat (ST - constantly shifting around). No wind buffeting even at 110. The bike did not have the side bags nor the top case.
Only passed one semi going in the same direction at over 80 (semi was probably 70+mph) was expecting some side turbulence but absolutely no swerve or hint of being blowed off center). Wifes' comment - boy that was smooth going around that semi.
Back up a little country road down the hill to the dealer. Let the wife off at the SUV and rode the bike around the back. I'm 5'8" with a 28 inseam and riding a good quality hiking boot I am not flat footed but solidly on the balls of my feet. Back up the bike fairly easy even though the pavers had grass and crap all over them. Put the bike back where I found it.
The luggage rack had evidence of rain splatter, the front bottom of the fairing was dirty but other than that the bike was pretty clean given the ride in the rain.
Only down side was the gear clunk - + the seat may not be a 400 miler but that's easily fixed. Stuff some jell packs under the covering.).
Comparing the KGT with other bikes I have owned....
2002 VMAX : pull the trigger and it gets up and goes at 120 I was constantly being pulled off of the seat by wind turblance over my helmet - KGT - gets up and goes and has wind protection (gearing is taller on the GT I belive but the extra ponies makes it effortless). No wind turblance at all.
'98 Concours: Loved the six speed - quick and precise. Seat height too high, tippy toes kept dropping the bike - KGT - six speed, quicker and the tracking was impecable. More flat footed, more easily moved around in the parking lot.
1500 GW (can't remember the year): nice heavy bike, computer cut out the injectors at 115, kind of hot without the extra "wind deflectors" sold by almost everyone, then there is the "reverse lever" - KGT - not heavy at all, speed is not computer controlled at least not up to 110....and no heat off the engine what so ever (that I noticed). And the element protection was very very good. Don't need reverse since I can touch the ground better.
For a score of out of 10 I will give it 9 - gear clunk has to be adjusted or something.
Dealer says '07 will not have the "assisted power brakes "- some one in the UK bitched quite hard when their battery level went below the point where the pump kicks in during some rider education courses. The alternator was not being used enough to replenish the battery.. he probably failed the quick stop portion of the test.
They have been talking to one person about a demo ride but they have not showed up. The bike was hit by a deer...everything fixed except the deer. They are expecting '07's in very shortly. The wife and I are expected to hear about her disability retirement at the end of the month (retired police officer). Then we will either buy this one (I think I would like the current braking system over the '07) plus they said if they still have the bike at the end of the month they will deal some, or put down a deposit on an '07. Like the dark graphite better than the light color.
Holt BMW in Athens Oh - been around for some time - I was teaching MSF in 97-99 and they were in business at the same location back then. 300 miles round trip from Dayton.
On maintenance - they will sell me a copy of all of the service manuals (CD's) they get from BMW if I buy the bike. I didn't ask about the diagnostic computer and software. They say they plug the bike into a PC and then contact BMW over the internet and BMW sends them back all of the necessary informaion on this specific bike (by VIN number) that they need - software updates, service bulletins, etc. Software updates at their dealer are only done if the customer ok's them. (can't be reversed). Pos to neg wire for 1/2 hr - wipes out the adaptive memory in the computer. If you have installed an update and don't see imediate changes based on what the software was supposed to fix. - clear the adaptive memory. (their recommendation anyway).
They schedule maintenance for a specific date (or days if extensive work is needed). I bring in the bike that day and pick it up the same day...no leaving the bike for days or weeks at at time. Because the Cincinnati BMW dealer closed their doors, they say they are about three weeks ahead in making an appointment. That is still better than leaving the bike for three weeks waiting for it to get fixed. They charge "actual time" for the work done rather than a shop-rate-time.
Sorry if this is long - butt it's kind of hard to put into words the experience. If this post does nothing but get someone to "demo" the bike then it will be worth the time to post it.