I just completed a ride from Portland, Oregon to Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Crater Lake and finally Hollister, CA for a total distance of approximately 3,200 miles. I did this trip solo with just the saddle bags. No top box or extra duffle bag. Here's my report on the new KGT.
First, I've owned the original KRT, went to a KRS, another K11LT, then finally last August, the 06 KGT. I also own a 03 Ducati ST4s. Prior to all of this I rode Harley's of all varieties for 13 years.
And just for clarification, my comments on the new KGT exclude the seat. Please see my other thread on the Corbin seat project for information on the seat.
This is the best motorcycle I've ever owned period. I'll try to break down each section.
It works. For extended straight line slab riding the comfort setting is great. Moving to the high speed sweepers, the normal setting is better. Then getting into the twisties, the sport setting is great. All three setting work as advertised.
Great feature. I've never used any type of throttle assist system before. Ever. I quickly adapted to the cruise control on the KGT. It was nice to be able to set the cruise for the long stretches and relax. I could enjoy the scenery, even take some pictures. No worries. And riding a bike with this much power and speed it's nice to let the cruise control do the throttle work. It can keep you out of trouble. At least me anyway.
Power and Speed.
What can I say. The engine sounds like a formula 1 car when you twist the grip. But the power comes on differently than any other bike I've ridden. It's so smooth that you accelerate much quicker than you realize. The upper end of the rpm range is rarely touched under normal riding conditions. Max speed? Still don't know but I have confirmed 142 MPH with bags at an unknown location at an unknown time by an unknown vehicle operator.
Low speed throttle issues.
There's considerable discussion on this website about the 7.0 software upgrade. My bike still has the original fuel injection and ignition mapping and so far I'm completely satisfied and do not want to upgrade. I can pull from a dead stop with just the release of the clutch and do slow speed maneuvers with ease. No abrupt throttle response or surging. I like it!
Gears and spacing.
Perfect. What can I say. It pulls like a mule in 6th from 3000 and beyond so down shifts are at your option and I never catch my self going for another "top" gear like I would on my other Beemers. The gear shift clunk is most prevalent in the first 3 gears then disappears in the last 3. Speed shifting, oh yes, oh yes. No problem. Down shift snags. Just during the first 600 miles and I blame myself for not downshifting in step with my speed reduction. But now no worries. Shifts great and I'm either just getting used to the clunk or it's actually going away as I don't notice it as much.
Clutch Groan and Chatter.
Occasionally. Just at initial engagement but nothing to complain about yet.
Again perfect. I have the factory tall windscreen and I left it in the full up position during most of the highway miles. I'm 5' 11' and in the full up position I can still see over the top of the windscreen but the wind noise is greatly reduced. At the end of a 600 mile day I didn't have any ringing or buzzing in my ears and I wasn't wearing earplugs. If I want or need more air, just lower the windscreen. Very nice.
Simply incredible. I was able to pass in the curves on two lane asphalt under full acceleration with complete confidence. The bike was well planted and went where I wanted to. I've never ridden a bike that has handled as easily as this one. The only complaint that I have is that it doesn't like 18 wheeler or side wind gust air turbulence. I attribute this to the aero dynamics. The same characteristics that give it it's missile like abilities are a negative when you get hit with side winds. I had a couple serious wind gusts riding across the Montana open plains that scared the hell out of me.
Electric Servo Assist Brakes.
I know this has been discontinued but it's worth mentioning. The brake system may not have gotten a fair shake. It works. It's different but it works. Being able to haul a bike down from the 1 ton mark with ease and confidence is a plus. And in spite of those that have said otherwise, it still has brakes with the ignition off.
On Board Computer.
Nice feature. I was able to monitor my miles to empty. The ambient temperature and my oil level with the push of button. There were several times that the freeze warning indicator came in handy.
Average Fuel Economy.
I don't know how the engineers did it but I averaged 48 mpg for my whole trip. Many times I could get approximately 300 miles between fuel stops. And this was at 80 plus mph for miles.
Saddle Bag Capacity.
I purchased the factory bag liners and I did not have any issues packing clothing, extra gloves, liners and my computer. The only negative with the bags is the plastic lip on the inner half of each saddle bag. This lip contacts the rubber seal on the outer half for a water proof seal. It's too easy to catch something between the bag halves during closing and damage the lip. I actually broke a small section of the lip right after I purchased the bike when the inner bag retaining strap dropped in between during closing. I fixed with some JB Weld. I've since completely removed the retaining straps. Stuff happens.
Handle Bar and Grip Position.
I usually get a pinch between my shoulders during long rides. Never happened. Could be because my ass was hurting so bad but I doubt it. I never experience shoulder or back pain. The adjustable handle bar system must be working.
I can't think of anything else for now. This bike is an absolute dream come true. I intend to add an Autocom system and maybe some tunes. I'll share this with you as it happens.
Thanks to all that contribute to this forum. It's the best!
Ride safe everybody!