Is the RT a better choice for me? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 9:44 am Thread Starter
 
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Is the RT a better choice for me?

Sorry guys.....newbie here. I searched this forum for RT vs. GT comparsons, expecting to see dozens, and found none. I'm sure this subject has been beaten to death though.

I am coming off of an MV Agusta Brutale and am looking for a great highway machine now. LOVE the Brutale but it's no good for more than 200 mile days for obvious reasons. Before that I had a Honda ST 1300. I sold it due to lower leg cooking issues but also because I was never completely comfortable with the riding position......a bit too forward, even with 1 1/2 inch risers.

So now it's between the GT and the RT. Of course I crave the power of the GT but am concerned with the more forward leaning riding position compared to the RT. I have read posts from other forums where several people who bought the GT without so much as a test ride reluctantly had to sell it back within just a month or so due to neck, shoulder, wrist and/or lower back pains. They swithched to the RT and all ills were cured.

I understand that Helio bars are now available which raise the bars another inch. People apparently love this addition. The downside is you lose the ability to quickly lower the bars for short, sporty rides. Other people, I see, are lowering the foot pegs already. My concern is that if I have to start dicking with bike geometries right out of the shoot then maybe the bike just isn't a good fit for me. The RT appears to place my 5'10" 185 pound frame in a perfect riding position. At least on the showroom floor. Were I to sit this upright for 600 miles in a single day, would this cause lower back problems (which I'm prone to) and would a slightly more forward lean be the better position in the real world?

So your response should be, "Dude, just get the damn RT then!" After riding a bike with 125 horses strapped to a 400 lb. frame I have grown accustomed to power on demand. I don't think the RT would satisfy this desire. Plus, the RT vs GT is kinda like the X5 vs M5 comparo in the auto world. I prefer the M5.

Lastly, with the Helio Bars in place, does this allow the rider an upright riding position similar to the RT or is it still more aggressive? Thanks for your patience with me.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 10:16 am
 
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Exclamation RT owners - Don't read!

Here's a few random thoughts. Do with them what you will.

I adjusted the bars up all the way on the GT and was still not quite yet comfortable. While in GA a couple of weeks ago, I showed someone how easy it was to adjust the handlebars. I left them DOWN all the way, by mistake. I rode home 750 miles only to discover how much more comfortable I was. Could lowering handlebars actually raise comfort level? It did for me. Since then, I have left them DOWN and I'm one happy camper.

While the Boxer motor works wonderfully in the GS, I hate it in a tourer or sport-tourer. It's your call though. But coming from an ST1300, I don't see how the RT is going to satisfy you in power or smoothness.

I would like to tell you to go buy an RT. But I simply cannot. I rode one for 31 miles, and hated every foot of it.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 10:18 am
no power in the 'verse can stop me
 
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there are precious few RT/GT/RS....RT/whatever comparo's here because
it's a K-Bike forum. We don't care about no steenking RT's

That said, A GT and a family sized bottle of Advil is the way I would go.

tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 10:22 am
no power in the 'verse can stop me
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
, I showed someone how easy it was to adjust the handlebars. I left them DOWN all the way, by mistake. I rode home 750 miles only to discover how much more comfortable I was. Could lowering handlebars actually raise comfort level? It did for me. Since then, I have left them DOWN and I'm one happy camper.
Amazing, ain't it. Using the adjustability of the bike the way the designers of it intended. :wtf

I've been telling all these long legged old men on these forums for years that peg lowering
kits are evil....RAISE your pegs, free yourselves from conventional thinking....

But.......they're all Republicans and can't see outside the box of orthodox and conventional, much less expirement there.

tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 10:24 am
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I don't own the new gen GT, but a 2003 model. I did just rent an RT for two days while in San Francisco and can give you a comparison of the two. Keep in mind the new GT is more powerful than mine but a somewhat similar riding position from what I understand depending on how the adjustable bars are set. I have Type II barbacks on my GT to raise the handlebars.

First, the RT motor is a very good one, but nothing like the GT. There is no "rush" of power on the RT. The motor pulls well in lower and upper rev ranges, but won't pull well at low speeds unless you're in a low gear. The seating position on the RT is straight up and the bars pulled back slightly so the reach is not very far. It handles very good in the twisties but it's not a sport bike.

My GT is not unlike the Japanese fours I used to own as far as power: immediate and powerful. I chose this bike because it gave me the best of both worlds. A good mount for riding all day (or days) and also a lot of fun in the tight stuff. The new GT has more luggage space, power and options than mine but the purpose is the same.

I classify the RT as a touring bike and the GT as sport-touring. I can be happy on either one and the journey is the most fun part of the trip, not the vehicle. If the riding position is more important to you, then you may prefer the RT. If the power is more important then it's no comparison. I enjoyed the RT a great deal and would not mind owning one. Alas, my garage can only handle one bike now, so the GT wins. Someday it will be the new generation GT. Of course, you may be able to get a good deal on the RT since it's sales have suffered once the GT hit the floors. Good luck.


'03 K1200GT

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 10:30 am
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After nearly 7 years, I traded my '99 R1100RT for the new GT in May and haven't regretted it for a moment. My longest day on the GT has been about 450 miles, and my only problem has been some numbness in my right hand. I think I will try the Heli adapter in the hope that the problem will go away.

I really enjoyed the RT, but the GT's smoothness and power are far better, in my opinion. It seems most of us are not comfortable on the GT seat, but the same could be said for many RT riders, as well.

Obviously, a test ride of both bikes will be the best way to determine what's right for you. But I wouldn't describe the "forward lean" position on the GT as anything more than moderate. The rest of the GT's attributes, for me, made the decision very easy.

Good luck with your decision making.

Bud
2006 K1200GT - Graphite
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 1:41 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsterMVA
...I am coming off of an MV Agusta Brutale and am looking for a great highway machine now. LOVE the Brutale but it's no good for more than 200 mile days for obvious reasons. Before that I had a Honda ST 1300. I sold it due to lower leg cooking issues but also because I was never completely comfortable with the riding position......a bit too forward, even with 1 1/2 inch risers.
If the ST1300 with risers wasn't comfortable, I doubt that you will be comfortable on the GT either. Sounds like either RT or LT for your preferred riding style. Take a good look at the LT, some fine examples of good used ones are available now. The RT is lighter, and provides nearly as much wind and weather protection as the LT, but I HATE the vibration, and the constant valve adjustments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsterMVA
... I understand that Helio bars are now available which raise the bars another inch. People apparently love this addition. The downside is you lose the ability to quickly lower the bars for short, sporty rides.
Actually, they bring the bars BACK towards the rider, the height is the same as the normal top position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsterMVA
... Other people, I see, are lowering the foot pegs already. My concern is that if I have to start dicking with bike geometries right out of the shoot then maybe the bike just isn't a good fit for me. The RT appears to place my 5'10" 185 pound frame in a perfect riding position. At least on the showroom floor. Were I to sit this upright for 600 miles in a single day, would this cause lower back problems (which I'm prone to) and would a slightly more forward lean be the better position in the real world?

So your response should be, "Dude, just get the damn RT then!" After riding a bike with 125 horses strapped to a 400 lb. frame I have grown accustomed to power on demand. I don't think the RT would satisfy this desire. Plus, the RT vs GT is kinda like the X5 vs M5 comparo in the auto world. I prefer the M5.

Lastly, with the Helio Bars in place, does this allow the rider an upright riding position similar to the RT or is it still more aggressive? Thanks for your patience with me.
If you need to lower the footpegs on the GT, you've bought the wrong bike, in my opinion!

I agree the RT feels more upright, therefore more comfortable on the showroom floor. The real test is a long riding test, at least an hour on each. I find that the upright position of the RT kills my lower back, I can hardly walk the next day after riding for an hour on one. The GT doesn't do that to me, although until I got the seat rebuilt, the pressure points on the "butt bones" caused me discomfort after a couple of hours of non stop riding. I had a custom seat made for my Goldwing that allowed me to slide back two more inches, allowing for a bit of forward lean for the same reason. It was giving me lower back pain. Now, 1,000 days are easy on it, with no problems the following day.

My advice. Test ride the GT.

More advice. Buy the GT, any engine that doesn't spin up to at least 10,000 is only of value in a dirt bike. So, if you are thinking boxer, look at a R1200GSA. Of course this advice is worthless, only you can decide.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 4:26 pm Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the advice, particularly from those with experience riding the two bikes. I agree that the possibility of lower back pain would increase in the more upright RT. But I also think that neck, shoulder and wrist pain could be a problem with the forward leaning GT. It may be that riding a Brutale has gotten me used to a slightly forward lean as I do not experience these pains after riding it. I certainly did with the Honda ST 1300.

Riding a GT is great advice. Actually finding a dealer that has a demo is a different story. They laughed at me a couple of months ago when I asked for a test ride as all their incoming bikes are presold for several months on out.

From other threads it sounds like BMW trannys are still kinda clunky and that preloading is still recommended by some. This would be hard to readjust to as my past 3 bikes have all had silky smooth transmissions. Certainly not a deal breaker though.

Lastly, the ST 1300 literally cooked a rider's lower legs (bad fairing design). Are there any heat issues with the GT? Anyone else from Texas or the South that can chime in?

Thanks again.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 4:56 pm
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What Messenger said.

I've been riding RT's since 1996 and my wife still has on '04 which I hate riding now. I was big for upright riding, but I now think it sucks after having the GT. An R11RS was a bit much, but the GT is just right and an RT is "sit up and beg".

Like Joe, I dropped my bars a bit and it was even better. I think there is a myth that the more forward riding position puts more weight on your wrists. I heard two guys that were sitting on the display GT at the CCR complain about that. One guy even said, "Damn, I bet that I'm supporting 10 pounds in this position". I call BS on that, for me at least, it's just not true.

I rode the wife's RT down to pick up my GT from the shop yesterday - sucked large.

Phil Space
Springfield, VA
2007 K1200GT the road beast
2009 F800GS - My little adventure bike.
2007 F800ST - Her's, but I can ride it.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2006, 5:27 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsterMVA
From other threads it sounds like BMW trannys are still kinda clunky and that preloading is still recommended by some. This would be hard to readjust to as my past 3 bikes have all had silky smooth transmissions. Certainly not a deal breaker though.

Lastly, the ST 1300 literally cooked a rider's lower legs (bad fairing design). Are there any heat issues with the GT? Anyone else from Texas or the South that can chime in?
The tranny...good news and bad news. Gears 1, 2, and 3 are indeed clunky. But gears 4, 5, and 6 are very smooth. It's almost like BMW made the lower 3 gears, and Kawasaki made the upper 3.

Heat management? EXCELLENT! While riding in 100+ temps in GA, no problem. Jeff (elJeffe) lives in Texas and raves about the GT's heat management. So trust me, it's not an issue. Living in northeast Ohio, I'm going to wish it wasn't so good a few months from now. Thank God for Gerbing's.
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