Which bike to Buy 02-04GT vs 04 1200RT vs 06 GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2007, 11:54 am Thread Starter
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Which bike to Buy 02-04GT vs 04 1200RT vs 06 GT

I am new to this forum, but not new to bikes. My very first bike was a Honda Mini Trail 70, which gives you an idea of how old I am. I currently ride a 2000 Honda ST1100 which I love, but wish to upgrade. I have elimated the ST1300 and the FJR because of heat issues. This leads me to the BMW. I am 6'6" tall and weight 250 lbs. The Honda fits me perfectly and love the driving position. Every so often I ride two up, so I want the carrying capacity to do that. I want a more updated bike with fuel injection, ABS, and the like. I am looking at the K1200 RT vs the 2002-2004 K 1200GT vs the 2006-2007 K 1200 GT. I hear the boxster has more maint to it, but seems to be the better one for touring. This is what I like to do, I sometimes find myself in heavy traffic so I want something maneuverable. I really don't want to spend $20,000 on a motorcycle unless I have to. What are the real differences between the previous generation and the current generation K1200GT? Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2007, 1:34 pm
 
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All I can suggest is go to a BMW dealer and test ride the bikes that interest you. My 2003 K12GT had barbacks and a peg lowering kit, so my 2007 K12GT has a much more "sporting" riding position than my 03. The 2007 is lighter and turns like a 600cc sportbike in comparison to the 03, but my wife says that the 07 isn't as comfortable for the passenger as the 03 since the passenger pegs are higher and she doesn't have as much room - it's not unbearable, just not as much of a tourer as the 03 was.

In a nutshell, the 2003 was an excellent sport tourer while the 2007 is an excellent sport tourer.

And if you're interested in an oilhead boxer, you're probably looking at the R1200RT, right? R in BMW parlance equals boxer; K equals water cooled inline 3 (early K 750cc) and 4 cylinder engines mounted either longitudinally or transversely. The pure touring K-bike of recent vintage is the K1200LT.

Rusty

Last edited by RustyJC; May 16th, 2007 at 2:41 pm.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2007, 1:56 pm
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Rusty, you said it it like it is. I have had the ST1100, KRS( Old GT) and now the new GT. Loved them all, but the new GT is the best for me, as I am a sport tourer, not a toure sport !

Larry
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2007, 8:37 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Ok, are there any maint issues ? Boxter vs GT? Are the handlebars adjustable on the earlier GT's as they are on the current ones?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2007, 8:27 am
 
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Buy the 07 K12GT with the ASC traction control. Be prepared to buy after market seats and a cold weather (bigger) windshield. It may be a moot point this summer as few dealers have stock sitting around.
I never considered the R1200 and had an 04 K12GT. I could bore you to death with the details in comparison. It is a lot of money for a bike, but worth every penny. Drive it till your grandchildren take it and your license away... you'll be smiling the whole time.
If the money bothers you, have you ever seen a U Haul behind a hearse?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2007, 9:08 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo616
... I have elimated the ST1300 and the FJR because of heat issues.
You may want to reconsider the Yamaha. The '06+ has pretty much eliminated heat issues

Quote:
... The Honda fits me perfectly and love the driving position.
Take a test ride, but my guess is you won't like either of the K bikes.

Quote:
... I hear the boxster has more maint to it, but seems to be the better one for touring.
If you're comfortable changing your own oil and have at one time adjusted the valves on a volkswagen, you can substantially reduce the cost of maintenance. If you're mechanically challenged, any BMW is going to be expensive to maintain at dealer prices. The R1200RT is a great touring machine, probably the closest to your Honda in general overal riding experience (well, except for the engine of course )

Which leads back to the FJR. From what you've said, I'd really take another look. I have a friend with an 06 ... He's put over 20K miles two up with no issues .... best bang for the buck, riding position similar to the Honda or the R1200, slightly smaller and lighter and easier to ride in town traffic and almost zero maintenance.

IBA 18417
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2007, 4:33 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo616
........... What are the real differences between the previous generation and the current generation K1200GT? Thanks for the help.
Old GT vs new GT:

OLD: (2004 K1200GT, footpegs lowered, handlebar setbacks, and Cee Bailey screen)
+Sweet four cylinder motor, laying on its side (like the current LT) (some call it the flying brick), rubber mounted, pretty smooth, very reliable (for me), very comfortable riding position. The BEST stock seat that I've had on a motorcycle in years! Sexy looking, quick, fast (140 MPH+-) and stable. Good handling in broad sweepers, handled wind buffeting from interstate traffic well. 700 mile days were no problem with this bike, never tried for more.

-Very narrow range of movement to the windscreen, saddlebags are a bit small, one saddlebag is smaller than the other due to exhaust pipe clearance, and contents of that bag seemed to run hotter than the other bag. Optional tail trunk bag has know issues about sometimes falling off. Front end feels "heavy" at low speed. Lighting isn't nearly as good as the new GT. Smaller alternator than new GT.

NEW: (2006 K1200GT, handlebar setbacks, Corbin seat, Cee Bailey screen)
+- Awesome four cylinder motor hard mounted transversely in the frame, leaning forward (which is why call it the slant four), with counterbalancers. VERY strong engine, with power everywhere in the RPM band. At certain RPM ranges, some vibration (at least compared to the old GT) creeps through, especially at large throttle openings. Low speed steering is heavier on the front end than the R1200RT, but better than the old GT. At speed it is MUCH more nimble than either of those, it seems to "flick" through turns as quickly as you think about it. Not as nimble as a crotch rocket (too heavy for that), but VERY nimble, yet very stable at elevated speeds to 150 MPH +-. Noticeable lighter than the previous GT. Saddlebags are equal in size, and the same bags (I think) that the R1200RT uses. The BEST saddlebags that I've ever used, bar none! As far as I can tell, the optional trunk bag is solid as a rock, never heard of anyone losing one yet.

The ESA suspension is fantastic! I think the wind & weather protection is somewhat similar to the previous GT, but the riding position is more sporty. Of course, that sporty riding position is what gives such a "connected" feel. I got "ON" my previous GT, with this GT, it is more like WEARING it!
My two biggest complaints:
1. footpegs are so far back that my legs tend to lose circulation (I'm fat, old, and in poor physical condition). I've done 700 mile days on it, but had to stop every hour or so to stretch my legs (not tried anything farther)
2. Almost TOO much power, without constant use of the cruise control, I find myself going WAY too fast. 100 MPH is just loafing, as comfortable as 60 MPH on my Goldwing. I find myself riding much more aggressively when on this bike. Someday, that's gonna cost me a ticket!

I hope that helped. Test Ride, see which "fits" you. I haven't ridden my wife's R1200RT enough to give any opinions on it, but it seems to be pretty awesome too.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2007, 11:37 am
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I agree 100% with what Ruben had to say.

Some of my thoughts.

I found the GTR1000 (Concours for you in the US) perfect for commuting and long distance riding and when looking for a replacement I wanted something as good. Some of the reason for the good compromise, I believe, is the gear ratios and the six gears on the Kwaka as well as the weight of around 250kg wet and the weather protection.

I found the ST1300 was way too high geared and with high gearing and only five gears it is all wrong around town. The R1200RT is similar and both the ST1300 and RT engines don't seem to feel happy below 3000 rpm, despite their high gearing.

Both the 2006+ and less than 2006 GT's have similar overall gearing to the GTR1000 and six gears, which satisfied one of my major criteria. The FJR is higher geared and also has five gears so I was reluctant to get one of them also. The 2006+ GT is similar in weight to the GTR. I have found that I can use sixth gear at any speed and usually change to sixth once I reach a constant speed of around 40mph with no problem. It is doing 3000rpm at around 50mph.

I finally bought a 2007 GT which is everything Ruben said. The only thing I miss from my GTR is the weather protection, which I found better on the Kawasaki, once I installed a CB screen. I also miss the 27l fuel tank which gave me more miles between fill ups.

I found the earlier GT smoother than the later GT due to the rubber mounted engine, similar to the ST1100. THe later GT is also very smooth but there is some high frequency vibration that is felt most through the plastic panels behind the fuel tank and tends to tingle the knees. The suspension and power of the 2007 GT is nothing short of brilliant.

The main thing that put me off the older GT was the dry clutch which seems to be susceptible to oil leaks that require major surgery to fix. The stripped clutch spline problems on some bikes reported on some sites also worried me. To fix the clutch if a seal in the engine, clutch slave cylinder or gearbox leaks or the clutch wears out means splitting the bike in half to access the clutch. Oil leaks have no affect at all on the new GT wet clutch and it is a simple operation to fix the clutch if anything needs repairing.

Rightly or wrongly these clutch issues ruled out an otherwise fantastic bike for me and meant the new GT was the only worthy replacement for the GTR1000 which had covered at least 200,000km and maybe a lot more, depending on how many times the speedo had been around the clock before I bought the 19 year old bike. It still did not burn any oil between oil changes and the gear box was much better than the BMW.

As I have stated in other posts I love the new GT and have found it as good as the GTR1000 for commuting and much better in the country, especially on the rough bitumen roads in country Western Australia. I can lane split with the paniers on now that I am used to it and it is nimble enough and geared well enough to be highly enjoyable on my daily commute to the Perth CBD from the Eastern suburbs. My ride to and from work every working day of the year is the best part of my day and I look forward to it every morning and evening.

Bob

2007 K1200GT Graphite
Ex 1986 Kawasaki GTR1000
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