Originally Posted by JohnC
I traded an R1200ST for my GT. I think you'll find they are significantly different bikes, mostly due to the engine. I like twins and 4's, and switch all the time. If I had to have just one, it would be a twin. Some people lean strongly in one direction. If you don't like 4's you won't like the GT. If you like 4's you'll love it.
Other things you'll notice: For me weather protection was up, for you it'll be down a bit. The K bike suspension has a better feel than the R's(the duo-leaver stuff). As competent as my ST felt, the GT feels better.
Get that test ride, but bring your checkbook
Any chance you could flesh out the differences you've found? I'm on an R12ST right now, but am here because I see a GT in my near future...
I use the ST for both commuting (1 up of course) and touring (always 2 up).
Since these are the only 2 bikes BMW lists under sport-touring I figure it has some relevance.
Size: The GT looks and feels a bigger than the ST. You can feel the weight difference too, especially stopped. It doesn't take too long to get use to.
Engine: Pretty big difference, twin vs 4 thing. Naturally the GT is stronger on-top. Down low they are about the same, with a slight nod to the ST. Probably due to weight difference. As with all twins(for me) the ST makes you feel more in control of the power, especially pulling out of a turn. Probably because of all the feedback you get form a twin. Other than a little four cylinder buzz in the mid-range, the GT engine is like an electric motor. The GT is very smooth and strong. Also, the GT's engine is mounted correctly(crank perpendicular to the bike). None of that bike twisting when ham-fisted on the throttle
Handling: The ST changes direction quicker and easier. Shorter wheelbase, and less weight, so it's expected.
Both are very stable in a turn, and hold lines very well.
The ESA on the GT is a fantastic feature. Rides like a buick in the rough stuff(comfort mode), but sport mode tights things up nicely for the twisties.
The GT keeps the wheels better planted on rough turns. I don't know how much is ESA and how much is duo-leaver, but they are more planted. The ST was excellent, but the GT is a bit better.
Both have an excellent balance of handling, feel, and comfort.(as usual for BMW) A slight nod to the GT in all 3 categories.
Ergos: I'm 5'11" 190lbs.
I hated the stock seat on my ST, and the GT is about the same. I can ride my board stiff, flat bench on my 07' Tuono all day without a soar ass, but not the GT/ST. I went with the lower seat on the ST, not for the height but for the shape. The lower seat was flatter, and more supportive. I'm waiting for Corbin on the GT.
The GT is a bit more upright. The GT bars in the lower position are about like the ST in the upper position.
Leg bend is about the same on both. I think the ST was slightly more rear-set, but not much.
2-up, the GT has a longer seat, giving your passenger a bit more room. Not that my 5'2, 100lbs wife needed it<g>.
Weather protection: The GT is bigger across the front. It's great when it's cold, but it's a bit warmer on a hot day. Not bad, just not as cool as the ST.
Wind protection: I loved my ST, with stock screen. It had the smoothest airflow across my helmet I've ever had on a bike with a faring. Sure your up in the wind, but it's smooth, fairly quiet air. The GT is noisier, because all that air it's blocking has to go somewhere. Even with the taller screen, in the highest position I get a lot of wind hitting the top of my helmet. Ear plugs required even for short trips. I tried a taller, and shorter screen on the GT, and went back to BMW's taller screen.
My wife gets wind-slaps in the shoulder on the GT. She was more protected on the ST, perhaps because she was sitting a bit closer to me.
Crosswinds: The ST was the best I've ever owned. Stiff wind, or the wake from a Truck never budged the ST. The GT feels like it gets pushed around a lot in a stiff cross wind. It took a few rides to get use to, but then it was ignored.
Luggage: Same stuff on both bikes, but the GT can carry the larger top-case. I do like the little glove-box on the GT. Great place to store my GPS, ear-plugs, sunglasses....
Extras on my GT I didn't have on my ST:
-Power windscreen. Great feature.
- ESA: Great feature, especially for touring. I use it more than I thought.
- Heated seats: Great, especially cold mountain-top mornings.
- Cruise control: another feature I thought I wouldn't use much. Wrong, it's great.