When the quest started for a new bike, thought I'd trade my 05 Road Glide for a new 07 HD Wide Glide but made the mistake of just sitting on a GT, then a bigger mistake by taking one out on a test ride. Now I have an 07 blue GT sitting in my garage, dang the luck
Dealer is 170 miles down the road, all experiences with BMW Little Rock are positive. Took delivery last Sat. and they helped load it onto my trailer for the ride home.
Next day, much cooler and rain. Let the rain pass and rolled the new GT out with all of 6 miles and off we went down a still damp to wet road.
Fired up the new Nav. III system they installed, looks good to me, didn't do much but let it map out the ride. According to the GPS, my speedo is about 4 MPH fast, I don't consider that a problem.
Now, on a cool day like this, normally I would bundle up, heavy gloves, leathers from head to toe and my helmet. But, I just tossed on a leather bomber jacket, full gloves but not my heavy gauntlet type and my helmet. Took off, carefully, hit the bypass and was cruising about 65 MPH and realized I forgot to put down my visor. Now, that I think says something for the fairing and stock tall BMW shield. Blue jeans, not so much as a ripple from the wind. shoulders and sleeves, a little, but not much. Put the heat on the grips and seat, have to love that feature! I wound up riding until the sun went down. Further by twice then what I had planned.
The seat, I have a gun fighter type on my Deuce, quite hard, and a softer Mustang solo on my Road Glide, I prefer the seat on my Deuce for a long ride. The seat on the GT feels similar to my Deuce, I liked it, comfortable for me and I think I'lll probably keep it. Thought I might have trouble with that skimpy gear shift, NOT, decided for now, that the pegs and shifter are in the right place. The bars are all the way up, not bad, but I'll probably lower them. The dealer, I'm sure, set it up to keep the bike in my comfort zone coming off HD's
The motor, well, what can I say? I had no issues, no fueling problems, it just ran. The transmission, might be clunky compared to some other marks, but compared to my HD's I thought it shifted just fine, maybe better than fine. The only surprise for me was how close together 4th 5th and 6th seemed. Especially 5th to 6th. I'm probably one of the few that looked for a 7th, but, I'm not used to cruising at elevated rpm's, compared to my low rpm torquey HD's. I would give the nod to HD for off the line torque. Once rolling neither of my HD's (both 95", cammed, and one with headwork, high compression blah blah) have a passing gear like the GT. Smooth, very compared to my Deuce with the TCB motor, but the Glide is just as smooth IHMO.
I pulled off the road at one point and into a smallish parking lot, with some concern. I should not have been concerned, turning radius was smaller than the Deuce which also has a heavy feeling front end. Also, at low speed, I found the GT was easier to handle then the Road Glide, for me anyway.
Came back into town using a meandering and very curvey two lane. I was loafing, taking it very easy and when I glance down I was averaging a good 10MPH over what I do on the Glide, which I am used to. The GT inspires a confidence that the HD suspension just can't claim.
Paniers, I like the way they come off the bike, should be very good for long trips, just take them into the hotel, I love that, much better than the HD setup for that. But, for day to day, I like HD's. flip the top up, drop in small items and no worry. The GT opens like a suitcase, I can see small object getting caught between the two halves, also, difficult. to load up for say, a grocery run. To get around this, I've ordered one insert and one divider, I'll try a different approach to each side. Tried inserts with the HD, hated them, but for the BMW, I think they would be very use full.
Bells and whistles, if you are interested, the BMW has them in spades. But, I miss the factory CD and radio in the Road Glide. The Glide does have a good system. In addition, being an occasional cigar smoker and banned from the house, I sit out in the garage, flip on the tunes, put a removable backrest on the Mustang seat and use the Glide like an easy chair. Big plus here for the Glide and nada for the GT...
I had to say something good here for the Glide.
Sound, well, if you want SOUND, the HD has that in spades as well. I run V&H on both of them. But, the GT, no complaint, in fact, I kind of like the break from HD's after market pipes. The GT reminds me of a well tuned sports car, so no complaints. But, given time, I might opt for a new can.
Now, a big plus for BMW, it runs good right out of the box
Both my HD's were operated on before they ever rolled off the dealer's lot. A stock HD, IMHO, leaves a great deal to be desired. If anyone wants to argue that point, use the words HD tax, that pretty much sums things up.
I like both marks for different reasons. I'm vastly pleased with the GT. Looks good, don't have to add chrome, change the pipes, do a stage I or stage II and on the road, the GT is firmly planted and as I said earlier, is inspiring and a confidence builder. I would not recommend this bike for a novice rider. It's just too fast and it is heavy, but not bad if you compare it to my Road Glide. I found shoe horning the GT into the garage actually easier than either the Glide or Deuce, but the Deuce wins hands down for stops. It is very low stock and mine is even lower.