A friend and ex-LT'er over on the bmwlt.com forum posted a detailed ride report on his new GT. It contains some great information, so I thought I'd share it here on K-Bikes.com.
TouringProf said:I'll try to provide the same type of detail that ElJeffe did on his trip.
Total Miles: 3,339 - Denver to Atlanta (via Southern Kansas, Lake of the Ozarks area in Arkansas, Northern Mississippi, Northern Alabama); Atlanta to Denver (via South Carolina, North Carolina, Including ride thru Great Smoky Mtns to Tennessee, to Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Missouri, and then 36 from Hannibal to Denver). Avoided Interstate slabs as much as possible.
Average MPH: 53~
Average MPG: 51.2 (unbelieveable)
Conducted an unreplicated factorial analysis on seat combinations, including high versus low, with or without beadrider, with or without sheepskin, with or without airhawk, and various combinations. Results (personal - YMMV): airhawk with seat in high position. After about 5 hours, put sheepskin on top of airhawk for an hour or so to give a surface variation, and then go back to airhawk if more saddle time is required. BTW, my experience with the airhawk is that many folks who have found it unsatisfactory have put way too much air in it. Less is more with this product. Anyway, that solved my seat problem, for the most part. Riding shorts also helped.
Would have liked some highway pegs to significantly alter foot position, but no solution there. Strangely, my legs were never cramped after a long day of riding, though.
I've read some of the recent posts about the engine and windshield, and I'm puzzled. The engine on this bike is flawless. No vibration anywhere in the power band that I detected (although I don't think I ride steadily at 4900 rpm), and super smooth with none of the throttle issues others have experienced. I have no explanation for this, it's just what I found. I have the taller windshield, and with variation in adjustment, found various positions to suit the conditions I was riding in. BTW, in the rain, I found that at about 1/3rd of the way up, the wind off the shield was such that it did a fabulous job of clearing the rain off my face shield (I spray it periodically with an anti-beading material for plastic) in a way my LT never did (stock shield or Cee Bailey) or my FJR does, or the Gold Wings I've ridden have done. It was one of the best attributes I found during my ride - it was almost like having a windshield wiper on my face shield.
Speaking of rain, the lower fairing does a great job above 50 mph of keeping my lower body dry - virtually did not need rain pants (but used 'em anyway). On the dim side of this attribute, my vented pants did not get much airflow behind the fairing while riding in hot weather, without opening my knees up away from the tank.
Was riding with a friend on my VTX 1800. He had no trouble keeping up on the straight roads, but it was hopeless for him anytime the road turned to twisties (like thru the Mark Twain National Park). I simply switched from Comfort to Sport mode, left him behind (easily, although he is a more skilled rider than I), and waited for him periodically to catch up. I have to tell you, when this bike hits those kinds of roads, the bike becomes just a hoot.
I missed the LT stereo, but used my IPOD with helmet speakers. What I didn't miss was the LT weight - specifically the high COG. Small road u-turns, parking lots, sudden stops due to idiots turning in front of me, and gravel overlooks for photo ops - no problem. Never gave it a second thought.
Heat management - I think this is an attribute where the engineers did a fabulous job. We hit unbelieveable traffic coming out of the Smokys into Pigeon Forge - 45 minutes in 94 degrees in bumper-to-bumper traffic to go 2 miles (tip - if you are going west out of the park, skip Gatlinburg & PF and take 73 west to Townsend). Never once did I feel any heat emanating around me from the engine, and nothing ever gave off heat while rolling.
Tires seem to be holding up well at 4000+ miles, although they are Bridgestones and as soon as they are done I'll be going for the Metzlers.
Never needed oil once during the trip.
In summary, an unbelieveable machine. Going from my LT to the GT was, simply, the right decision for me.
The Touring Professor
2006 BMW K1200GT
2005 Yamaha FJR
2004 Honda Rune
2002 Honda VTX 1800R
2005 Triumph Rocket
1999 H-D Dyna-Glide Conv.