Another First Long Ride Report - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 4:54 pm Thread Starter
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Another First Long Ride Report

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.

ESA. 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.

Cruise Control. 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.

Windscreen. 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.

Handling. 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!

John

Last edited by John06KGT; Sep 23rd, 2006 at 5:58 pm.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 5:35 pm
 
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john
200% EXCELLENT REPORT
thanks for taking the time to post all of this... it means a lot to all of us (especially me)
i love my GT as well and your thoughts are completely in line with mine

BMW has hit this one OUT OF THE PARK
i'm so glad that you agree

now that you've experienced BMW's cruise control on a bike.... you'll never own another long-distance bike without it.... trust me
that's the main reason i traded in my GS when i bought the GT
....... and bought my 910R just for fun
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 5:50 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks Greg! I have business from time-to-time in Florida and one of these days I know I'll be down your way. You are a constant positive contributor and I would enjoy meeting you and your wife and share some riding stories.
Sincerely,
John
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 6:05 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John06KGT
Thanks Greg! I have business from time-to-time in Florida and one of these days I know I'll be down your way. You are a constant positive contributor and I would enjoy meeting you and your wife and share some riding stories.
Sincerely,
John
it would be our honor to meet you in person...
i surely hope that happens one day soon....
1. we'll go out to a great meal (if my recent overeating allows me to fit into ANY of my pants )
2. i have the 2 bikes.... so that we can go riding together, if your schedule permits
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 9:35 am
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John, the best and clearest report to date on this wonderful bike.
Thanks!

Larry
Deep Blue 2009 K1300GT
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 10:05 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John06KGT
....
Windscreen. 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.
...
This one bothered me yesterday.

I'm 6 foot and with the BMW Tall screen it was a roar with a full face Shoei RF-1000 and no plugs. Normally, I wear ear-monitor plugs but I didn't have them in for the 15 mile freeway run and the noise was deafening!

The Shoei RF-1000 was supposedly one of the quietest helmets out there but mine doesn't seem that way. If I placed my hand horizontally around the upper vents the noise (drone) went down considerably. The seal around the visor was tight and choking my neck didn't demonstrate any neck seal noise problem. It has to be some turbulence associated with the shape of the top of the helmet and/or vents.

If I duck down behined the shield it is quiet. Just something not right here....

Maybe I need a Cee-Bailey 4+2 shield? Or a different helmet? Dunno...

Still, your comments are pretty much spot on with mine. Really is a great bike!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 10:16 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
This one bothered me yesterday.


If I duck down behined the shield it is quiet. Just something not right here....

Maybe I need a Cee-Bailey 4+2 shield? Or a different helmet? Dunno...
Maybe. If you get the chance, stand straight-up on the pegs while at speed (preferably on a straight stretch if you haven't done this before) and see if it returns to being quiet. If it does, your windscreen level can drop as well as rise to move the air turbulence off the top away from your helmet. Laminar lip does this by pushing the wind up higher, as well as going for higher numbers on the screen. Or, like some of us in the summer, get a short screen and the turbulence hits your chest (helping to keep you cool, too).



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 10:19 am
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Nice read , excellent report.

Tim

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 11:00 am
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John, thanks for the great ride report. Regarding the ESA, both of my cars have the feature as well as the new GT. Can not and will not ever have either with out it again!!!
Regarding the BMW liners for the saddlebags, interesting note of your issues with the retaining straps. My straps seem to be always in the way even when latched. I leave my liners in 24/7. However, I have had to rig a two point system on one side to a single strap on the other in order to manage the retention of the bags. The liners always want to fall out, regardless of side stand or center stand postion, upon openning. Still have em, love em. IMHO, the top case liner is even better. Fills the entire space ridgely, ( is that even a word), and allows for a ton of gear.

Have got to ride up in the Portland, Bend, and Settle area one of these days. Assume weather is great during late Sept and earlyt Oct? Congrats on your new bike.

"The more people I meet the more I love my dog !"

07 K1200 GT deep blue metallic
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 2006, 1:23 pm Thread Starter
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BeemerDude, I too noticed that the bag liners tend to roll out of the saddle bags evey time you open them but I've just learned to catch them. I admit that I was caught off guard once opening the left bag while on the side stand. That won't happen again either!

Come on out to Portland, OR anytime. You're more than welcome to stay at my house. We have plenty of room and garage space. Summers start late, usually beginning early July but go late sometimes into November without much rain. In the valley, otherwise known as the I-5 corridor, the temperature usually stays around mid 70's. But in August we get our share of 90 plus days too. Shouldn't be a problem for a local Texas boy!

The invitation extends to anyone else interested in a Northwest road trip. Maybe we can organize a special KGT event up here sometime. I'm already planning on an Alaska ride for my 50th birthday (yes, I'll be offically old soon) for the first two weeks in August next year. We'll see how it goes.
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