Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
First Weekend on the GT2
First weekend with the new to me 2006 K1200GT in that fastest of all colors, Silver. Took off Saturday morning with three friends (two Ducati’s and an Aprilia Tuono) and we headed for the Sierras. From Sacramento headed out hwy 16 to Ione Road and then up around Lake Pardee. Great twisties with almost no traffic. Though I did have a California Turkey Vulture play Stuka and dive bomb within about 10 feet of me! The weather was great and the rodes were clear. Had lunch outside in shirtsleeves at the Kirkwood Inn and had a snowball fight afterwards! Afterwards, my buddies took off back to Sacto, and I continued on to Virginia City. Some thrilling twisties on the grade between VC and Reno. Need to do that run going uphill!
All the bikes ran like the great machines they are and they all are beauts, but this is about my new bike.
Changing from a 2000 RT to the K12GT was….interesting. Both big bikes with plenty of touring capabilities, but also quite a sportiness to them that draws me to the twisties. To me, after a 400+ mile weekend with at least 50-60 miles of real twisties and the rest nice sweepers and some boring straight stuff, the GT does not yet seem to have the “flickability” in the turns that I like on the RT. Having said that, I’m not sure if it is the duolever suspension or not, but the GT inspires great confidence in the turns: both sweepers and twisties. By Sunday afternoon my corner entry speeds on the GT were noticeably higher than on the RT AND the bike felt more “sure” in the curves. The torque of the GT is awe inspiring. Whether from 30 to 60 mph or from 60 to 90 mph those 152 horses get that machine moving in the blink of an eye. Passing those inconvenient cages on 88 was a breeze.
Other differences of note: Wind protection on the GT was slightly less so that my arms were buffeted more than on the RT. Riding position only a bit more forward and the footpegs a bit back so I have more knee bend. Taking some getting used to, but another ride or two should resolve it. The engines definitely have a different feel and sound to them and there is something about the boxer engine that I still love. The power to weight of the GT is a joy to experience. I am finding that I very much like the partially integrated ABS. Whether I needed to do a quick stop or just brush off a bit of speed for a corner entry, the brakes were flawless. A light one finger squeeze smoothly adjusted my speed to where I needed it for the turns
Obviously, comparing a 2000RT to a 2006 GT is somewhat apples to oranges given the technological differences between the model years and the inherent differnces of the RTs and the GTs. However, the power and control of the GT is something else. I love the ESA (available on newer RT’s as well) and notice a huge difference when switching between comfort and sport settings. Comfort is definitely easier on the body on those freeway/straight stretches and is a benefit for the long distance rides.
I loved the RT and, if I had room for two bikes, I might have kept it. The GT is one hell of a machine that can fly like a bat out of hell both on the straights and in the curves and is quickly earning my admiration. There is a reason this bike has won sport tourer honors. I have pics of the RT and GT side-by-side but they are too large to attach and I am too technology challenged to decrease the pic size. :o
Some great info on this site and I look forward to continuing to learn more about the GT from all of you.