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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2009, 8:44 pm Thread Starter
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RT or GT?

Hey List Members!

FYI, I posted this posting in the K1300 forum sub-section, but wanted to get some feedback from proponents of the R1200RT bike. This is a mini-novel b/c I've ridden a few sport-tourers, but I'm trying to do my homework correctly in preparation to buy a sport-tourer! :-)

I'm a 5'7", 32-inched inseam female Harley rider whose next bike is a sport tourer. I've rent and rode an R 1200 RT for 2700+ miles and 10 days on a recent vacation. I've test-ridden the K1300GT twice, and the Honda ST once. Below are my impressions of the rides, and the BMWs remain above the other prospects (ST, FJR, and Concours) b/c they already have the amenities I want w/o needing to go into after-market and putting on extras that push the cost more toward BMW anyway (cruz, heated grips, ABS). I really dig the R1200RT. However, I want to do thorough research and riding on all of these before I make my decision. As you'll see, I've some likes and dislikes about each BMW, but then again, comparing a bike you've ridden for 2700 miles to one that you've ridden for 20 minutes is difficult. Thus, I'd really appreciate if you'd have a look thorugh my likes and dislikes, and let me know why you would choose (or already chose) the R1200RT over K1300GT or any of the other makers' bikes.

R1200 RT - great bike. Likes the seated position, the turn signals on left and right sides, the nimble handling and easy steering input, light weight of the bike, and the sound of the boxer twin. Look of the bike with bags off - it doesn't look like it's missing something. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. Dislikes: Mirrors (can't see like I like to), and my legs felt a bit cramped, and specifically, my knees hurt after a few hours on the bike.

K1300GT. Likes: Bike with the throttle that never ends and movable handlebars. Light weight of the bikes. I didn't see this bike w/ its bags off, but presume its rear looks like the R1200 RT with bags off. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. The mirrors (I could see every where). Dislikes: Seat felt really stiff and uncomfortable. Felt like a bird sitting on a perch, rather than in the machine as one with it. Turn signals all on one side. I also found the throttle to be very touchy and this affected my ability for smooth throttle ons, etc. With handlebars in most relaxed position, I still felt like I was leaning forward a little too much, as for some reason, my left wrist felt like it was taking a lot of pressure. Steering input felt a little stiffer than R, so I wondered about smoothness of cornering.

HONDA ST (non ABS version): Likes: smooth throttle and stopping, responsive steering input and handling in turns. Gigundus gas tank. Mirrors (I could see every where). The fact that they have rubber mounts on the side that will protect fairing and side area from falls. This bike definitely does not show its weight (heaviest of sport-tourers in the 4 cylinder class). The reportedly low maintenance fees and long distance between standard maintenance checks. Dislikes: . Heat off the engine was extremely uncomfortable within 10-15 minutes or riding. No cruise control or heated grips (why build a mile-eater with no cruz so a person can occassionally rest throttle hand?). Felt a little like I was sitting ON the bike as opposed to in it, but not as high-perched as I felt on the BMW K. This bike looks patently retarded without the bags. Bags were a little more difficult to operate than BMW bags. Same thing as K regarding the handlebar positioning, only the Honda was a little more aggressively seated and thus, my left wrist took even more punishment.

Regards and shiny side up! Signed,

Joyce whose trying hard to do this process right and not let the Bike Bug take over
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flemmings27
Hey List Members!

FYI, I posted this posting in the K1300 forum sub-section, but wanted to get some feedback from proponents of the R1200RT bike. This is a mini-novel b/c I've ridden a few sport-tourers, but I'm trying to do my homework correctly in preparation to buy a sport-tourer! :-)

I'm a 5'7", 32-inched inseam female Harley rider whose next bike is a sport tourer. I've rent and rode an R 1200 RT for 2700+ miles and 10 days on a recent vacation. I've test-ridden the K1300GT twice, and the Honda ST once. Below are my impressions of the rides, and the BMWs remain above the other prospects (ST, FJR, and Concours) b/c they already have the amenities I want w/o needing to go into after-market and putting on extras that push the cost more toward BMW anyway (cruz, heated grips, ABS). I really dig the R1200RT. However, I want to do thorough research and riding on all of these before I make my decision. As you'll see, I've some likes and dislikes about each BMW, but then again, comparing a bike you've ridden for 2700 miles to one that you've ridden for 20 minutes is difficult. Thus, I'd really appreciate if you'd have a look thorugh my likes and dislikes, and let me know why you would choose (or already chose) the R1200RT over K1300GT or any of the other makers' bikes.

R1200 RT - great bike. Likes the seated position, the turn signals on left and right sides, the nimble handling and easy steering input, light weight of the bike, and the sound of the boxer twin. Look of the bike with bags off - it doesn't look like it's missing something. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. Dislikes: Mirrors (can't see like I like to), and my legs felt a bit cramped, and specifically, my knees hurt after a few hours on the bike.

K1300GT. Likes: Bike with the throttle that never ends and movable handlebars. Light weight of the bikes. I didn't see this bike w/ its bags off, but presume its rear looks like the R1200 RT with bags off. Cruise control and heated seats/handgrips. The mirrors (I could see every where). Dislikes: Seat felt really stiff and uncomfortable. Felt like a bird sitting on a perch, rather than in the machine as one with it. Turn signals all on one side. I also found the throttle to be very touchy and this affected my ability for smooth throttle ons, etc. With handlebars in most relaxed position, I still felt like I was leaning forward a little too much, as for some reason, my left wrist felt like it was taking a lot of pressure. Steering input felt a little stiffer than R, so I wondered about smoothness of cornering.

HONDA ST (non ABS version): Likes: smooth throttle and stopping, responsive steering input and handling in turns. Gigundus gas tank. Mirrors (I could see every where). The fact that they have rubber mounts on the side that will protect fairing and side area from falls. This bike definitely does not show its weight (heaviest of sport-tourers in the 4 cylinder class). The reportedly low maintenance fees and long distance between standard maintenance checks. Dislikes: . Heat off the engine was extremely uncomfortable within 10-15 minutes or riding. No cruise control or heated grips (why build a mile-eater with no cruz so a person can occassionally rest throttle hand?). Felt a little like I was sitting ON the bike as opposed to in it, but not as high-perched as I felt on the BMW K. This bike looks patently retarded without the bags. Bags were a little more difficult to operate than BMW bags. Same thing as K regarding the handlebar positioning, only the Honda was a little more aggressively seated and thus, my left wrist took even more punishment.

Regards and shiny side up! Signed,

Joyce whose trying hard to do this process right and not let the Bike Bug take over
Joyce, the RT and the GT are both fantastic sport tourers. The duolever front end geometry on the GT is different and feels heavier at low speeds but it is sensational at high speed. It does take some getting used to but dont worry for a moment about cornering, it is sharp.
For many riders the factory BMW seats are awfull. Its almost a given that they need attention or relacement. I had mine rebuilt with better quality foam and I can now ride all day without numb bum.
The GT throttle is very sensitive but thats because you have nearly 50% more horses than the RT trying to launch you into warpspeed.
Like I said, they are both great bikes but if the turbine smoothness and the 160 horses of the GT isnt your thing, maybe the RT will be more comfortable for you.

Black stuff down, Shiny side up!______________________________
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86 K100RS Sold
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07 Softail Heritage Sold
86 K100RS Sold
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 7:16 am
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Joyce, first welcome to the site. I have about 38K on the RT & 5K on the GT. Although I liked my RT I could never go back after riding the GT. I will layout the differences as I see them for you. The RT has slightly better weather protection, but only slightly. The RT has a higher center of gravity, and the weight of the bike is more evenly distributed front to back, On the center stand both wheels are off the ground. The RT is easier to put on, and off the ceneter stand. The boxer engine was very easy to lug, requires more shifting to keep the RPM's up. The RT is more difficult to lean over in twisties. The RT seating is taller than the GT, and the bars of the RT come back further giving you a more relaxed riding position. The GT has a much more powerful engine, which is all but impossible to lug, and can pull out of almost anything without requiring continual downshifting. The GT has most of it's weight over the front wheel, and despite other reports I have read I find it easier to push around at low speeds than the RT. The GT is very hard to get on and offf the center stand especially when it's loaded up. The GT is easier to lean over into a curve. Just pressing down on the footpegs starts you leaning, the RT nothing happens pressing the footpegs I think the gyroscopic effects of the boxer want it to go straight down the road. The RT overheats in traffic since its air cooled. The GT can sit in traffic no problems. Bottom line is they are both great bikes, and the boxer is closer to what your use to with a Harley, but the GT is the bike if your looking for a change. The throttle is something you get used too quickly. Either way you won't be disappointed most of the differences are subjective.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 6:52 am
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Hi Joyce,

Welcome to the site.

Can't really say much about the RT, I have never owned one, but I do have a GT, so my experience is based on that, however I do some rding mates who have the RT. Just 1 thing, I am 6'4", so keep any comments about size with that in mind.

I find that the RT is lower in the saddle than the GT. For me leg postion was quite important, as my knees are not like they should be, and I couldn't think of spending hours riding in a cramped position. The GS is taller that the GT, and it might be an alternative. Dadicool has one and he just did a huge ride to the Sth of Aus, and he seemed to be quite happy with it. As a next bike, I would seriously consider it, mainly for the seat height.

The seat on the GT is a love/hate thing. Some have no problems, others lots. I personally hate the bloody thing. After about 1hr, my a$$ is sore...trouble is here in Europe it is hard to find an aftermarket seat, otherwise I must import from the US.

You mentioned you like the sound of the twin. Its a taste thing. This is where the GT shines, for me, there is no better sound than the K1200 winding up...and boy, does it fly. The Prolink front end together with ABS is nothing short of awesome. I am now going to replace the tyres on mine, and for me a first, I will replace both the front and the rear together. I have reached the low tread indicators on the outside of the tyre, but there is between 0.5-1.0mm more tread in the centre. This has never happened that I have replaced both at the same time. Oh, yes, I managed to get only 4200km out of the 020's.

You can adjust the handlebars, so this should not be a problem. The new controls seem to be another love/hate thing. I have the older, and there are pro/cons on both. The GT's have not been without problems, however many of the throttle issues seem to be solved with the 13GT. The jury is still out on the Final Drive.

Anyway, hope this has helped.

Cheers,

Bloke

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember engineers built the Titanic, but amateurs built the Ark...

There is less to fear from 100 horses under the saddle, as from the 1 donkey on top.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 9:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flemmings27
Hey List Members!

FYI, I posted this posting in the K1300 forum sub-section, but wanted to get some feedback from proponents of the R1200RT bike......

I’ve been fighting this dilemma myself for some time now. I’ve seen your inquiry on other forums and please keep in mind that you are on a Forum dedicated to K Type engines.

Although I still change my mind from time to time, my next bike just might be the K1300GT. I did walk into a BMW dealership with a Credit Union check in pocket and turn around, walked out of a dream. There were still some niggling doubt and the though of what the rumored R1300RT might bring deepen that doubt…a smidgen.

Then came the research into the Kawasaki Concurs - 14 with its no (none what-so-ever) lash final drive and a price tag $8K less. But, for now, I’m still sticking to BMW…unless the rumored VFR1000 proves to be a factor.

So to be honest with you I don’t know where I’d go or where you should go. They are both fine machines. Do a little more research. I have an entire external drive devoted to this type of research. I’ve found:

1. There are a lot of converts R1200RT to K1200/1300GT

2. There are just as many converts K1200GT (1300GTexcluded) to R1200RT

3. There are a lot of mind changers R1200RT to K1200GT back to R1200RT

4. The R1200RT outsells the K1200/1300GT buy a great amount.

5. Despite the numbers sold a used R1200RT is not easy to come buy.

6. It is a Buyer’s Choice when it comes to the GT. There are quite a few out there. Unlike with a used R1200RT, you don’t have to settle of a color that's available, you actually have choices and can take your time shopping without the fear of losing out on a good deal.

7. Unlike the R1200RT, the GT is sometimes not a good fit (Comfort and Power) for the average rider.

8. K1200/1300GT owners for the most part (not all of them) tend to be more aggressive and outspoken. R1200RT owners tend to be more mild mannered. Whether this is true a matter of opinion. But try reading posts from GT and RT Forums and its easy to see there is a difference in what is posted and how it’s answered.

There is really no way to know for sure unless one spends a great amount of time on each. You did it on the R1200RT now do the same for the K1300GT. Just about anyone can live with the R1200RT but the K1300GT is a “Yes” or “No” bike. After you’ve already spent a great amount of time on the R1200RT you’ll know within an hour if the GT is for you. There is a lot to choice from. So find the one that fits your personality/style.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 7:34 pm Thread Starter
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R1300RT and other musings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier6162
I’ve been fighting this dilemma myself for some time now. I’ve seen your inquiry on other forums and please keep in mind that you are on a Forum dedicated to K Type engines.

Although I still change my mind from time to time, my next bike just might be the K1300GT. I did walk into a BMW dealership with a Credit Union check in pocket and turn around, walked out of a dream. There were still some niggling doubt and the though of what the rumored R1300RT might bring deepen that doubt…a smidgen.

Then came the research into the Kawasaki Concurs - 14 with its no (none what-so-ever) lash final drive and a price tag $8K less. But, for now, I’m still sticking to BMW…unless the rumored VFR1000 proves to be a factor.

So to be honest with you I don’t know where I’d go or where you should go. They are both fine machines. Do a little more research. I have an entire external drive devoted to this type of research. I’ve found:

1. There are a lot of converts R1200RT to K1200/1300GT

2. There are just as many converts K1200GT (1300GTexcluded) to R1200RT

3. There are a lot of mind changers R1200RT to K1200GT back to R1200RT

4. The R1200RT outsells the K1200/1300GT buy a great amount.

5. Despite the numbers sold a used R1200RT is not easy to come buy.

6. It is a Buyer’s Choice when it comes to the GT. There are quite a few out there. Unlike with a used R1200RT, you don’t have to settle of a color that's available, you actually have choices and can take your time shopping without the fear of losing out on a good deal.

7. Unlike the R1200RT, the GT is sometimes not a good fit (Comfort and Power) for the average rider.

8. K1200/1300GT owners for the most part (not all of them) tend to be more aggressive and outspoken. R1200RT owners tend to be more mild mannered. Whether this is true a matter of opinion. But try reading posts from GT and RT Forums and its easy to see there is a difference in what is posted and how it’s answered.

There is really no way to know for sure unless one spends a great amount of time on each. You did it on the R1200RT now do the same for the K1300GT. Just about anyone can live with the R1200RT but the K1300GT is a “Yes” or “No” bike. After you’ve already spent a great amount of time on the R1200RT you’ll know within an hour if the GT is for you. There is a lot to choice from. So find the one that fits your personality/style.
_________

Xavier,
Thanks for your insight, especially the facts and figures about the number of switchers between the R and K bikes, and the popularity of the R1200RT. R1300RT??? I presume you are referring to the rumored new R bike about which there has been no official announcement. I'm waiting, watching, and researching. As for spending the same amount of time on the G as the R, that's not going to happen anytime soon b/c I've been searching high and low for a place in New England to rent one, but haven't come across one yet. It seems there's mountains of places to rent west of the Mississippi, especially in CA--indeed, I rented the R in San Jose, but I can't find any businesses in the area that do it. Thus, it's 20 minute test rides for the K. I find the throttle hard to get used to--it's very touchy.

Yes, I know I'm on a K-bike site and that has its own biases. There is no longer a site dedicated to R bikes, so I've been asking for info on a number of sites of BMW lovers. I've also checked the ST owners group sites and talking to local friends who own sport-touring bikes.

Let me know what you get!

Joyce
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 4:38 pm
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[QUOTE=Xavier6162]
8. K1200/1300GT owners for the most part (not all of them) tend to be more aggressive and outspoken.

I AM NOT FU$&ING AGGRESSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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86 K100RS Sold
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 5:19 pm
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rt vs gt

any way ya look at it...comin from a harley your moving way up!

rt vs gt? how deep are your pockets?

kbikeinbc

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 5:47 pm
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Joyce, I've had both. Actually, I've had a '77 R100/7, an '01 R1100RT, an '03 K1200RS, and now an '07 GT. Of them all, I enjoy the GT most of all, and plan to ride it until I'm too old to swing a leg over it. All these guys who tell you it has to be you who makes the decision are telling you the absolute truth.... We're all different, we all have different priorities, and some bikes fit and some don't. Having said that, for my money, the GT does everything better than the RT does, with the possible exception of weather protection. I don't know how the new ones are, but my '01 R1100RT had better wind and weather protection than any other bike I have ever had. But the GT comes close. The riding posture of the RT and the GT nowadays is similar, and both have the same type of luggage. What the GT has in abundance over the RT is power and smoothness. That alone is what sold me on the new GT. Good luck with your decision. Do your research, listen to others, ride both, and then do what your heart tells you to do.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2009, 10:05 pm
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I traded my '00 RT that I bought new for my '07 GT. I agree with much of what has been written thus far with a few exceptions, and this is only my experience. I find that the two are extremely different motorcycles with a mostly similar purpose.

The GT has power in spades though the RT is no slouch either. Both can handle triple digit speeds all day long. They can both go slower too . I found the RT to be quite flickable in the really tight stuff, far more than the GT. Where the GT excels is in the high speed sweepers and of course its power comes in real handy when passing other vehicles.

My RT also had the best weather protection ever and IMO, the GT isn't even close in that regard. The GT has a slightly more aggressive seating position and even a slightly better yet equally intolerable stock seat.

In all honesty, I miss my RT. I'm still in lust with the GT (only 36k thus far) but I was both in love and in lust with my RT, for easily more than twice the miles. The relaxed boxer power (even at the redline, which it likes) and perfect comfort for me. Not nearly as fast but surely plenty fast enough. If I'm still young enough when I tire of or wear out this GT, I'll probably be back on an RT.

I appreciate the effort you're putting into your decision. As I reread this, I can see that I've probably not helped at all.

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