View Full Version : Comparision of RT with GT -- Any Insights

02-08-2009, 12:47 PM
I need some input from the members of this list, please. I am currently contemplating upgrading my RT to a GT (there is a great deal on a 2008 fully loaded demo bike at my dealer's). Any experiences regarding the differences between the R1200RT and the K1200GT? Any insights would be greatly appreciated. TIA.

Steven A. Melnyk

02-08-2009, 01:43 PM
Power issues aside - weight and level of "spin", at least that's how I preceive the major differences. I'm 60, I do not need any extra weight, be it lifting from the side stand or pushing in the garage, my knees say less it better.

"Spin", well that's my subjective term for how busy it ALL becomes. To me Harley Davidson are very low "spin" or much less hurried in all their operations, engine cycling at any given speed, turning, shifting...you name it. The other end of my "spin" spectrum is an Asian 600cc rocket wherein we do 5-6k RPM just to do highway speeds, turning is razor sharp...you get the idea.

GT for me is more weight than I need or want, but also more spin or more busy than I enjoy. The RT it lighter and much lighter feeling and it is lower, much lower on the "busy" meter. The cadence of all its functions are more relaxing, not to say you can't turn up the wick if need be, but you don't have to feel like the experience is all about rushing, more settled in all its functions. No doubt engine configuration is at the heart of it all, but it is more than that.

That said, both bikes are great - Good luck with your decision.

02-08-2009, 04:06 PM
Good points already brought out. RT is light and less power, GT is heavier and more power, we call that a trade off. Also consider the difference in fuel mileage, a plus for the RT, a little cheaper on normal maintenance. Both offer the same or nearly so options by BMW and aftermarker.
Again, if you want to go fast the GT is the one. The RT is fast but not the 4 cylinder 150 hp plus fast.
I am also 60 and did own a RT1200. Great gas mileage at speed limits. Really, two up with all are stuff for a week, no problem with power. I am 230 and my wife is 150. My vote is an RT unless you have some Concourse or FJR or Honda ST guys you need to lead.


02-08-2009, 04:13 PM
Looks wise much better looking "I think" than the RT of that same vintage.
K motor doesn't need the valves adjusted as often as the R motor but I believe Dealer costs on maintenence is more on the K than the R. Then again, the R requires more trips to the Dealer if you don't know how to do the work,so probably a wash......
K motor more powerful...= less gas mileage...and in my hands plenty of "performance awards"...so I opted out and stayed with the R motor installed in a GS frame..I do like the funny shake of R motor....
Handling about the same K-RT. Seat in my opinion more comfortable on the K than the RT.
If ya don't like the one you purchase,you can always sell and buy the other....I've done that before.

02-08-2009, 05:01 PM
I find that the K is not a nice on twisties, although as a straight roads cruiser is it fine. Acceleration is addictive, if not dangerous to your license.! A good description of the RT is "quiet elegance" I would say that the K is "Holy Crap!"

02-08-2009, 10:36 PM
I guess it depends on which type of riding you prefer, among other things. Both are great bikes, but each has its advantages at each end of the spectrum. The K is an awesome straight bike, with seemingly limitless power that while great, can be scary when you think about the speeds that it can acheive. It handles well, but in my opinion not as well as the RT. The K feels like you drive it into a turn while the R feels like you ride it into a turn. I have to give the ergonomics favorite to the RT, it seemed easier to operate than the K. But I am 69 inches, 210, and was coming off of an Electra Glide, so I think I was more favored for the upright RT than the forward lean of the K. The RT has enough power for me. I waited till way after break-in to see what it would do, and was very surprised at its pulling power. My days of being a speed freak are over (I think), but it is nice to have a bike that will pull hard when needed, and carve the twisties when desired. I like to pull my own maintenance, so the nod goes to the RT. I hate taking my bikes to a dealer nowadays, seems the technician turnover is very high and as soon as you get to trusting a tech he leaves. Also, the nearest dealer is a two hour drive. As you can see below, the RT was the choice for me. Sometimes I wonder if I should have gone with the K, but I think if I had gotten the K I would have wondered more about getting the RT. If I desire some speed again, I will just get an older K1200RS, and keep the "all around" RT.

02-09-2009, 12:58 AM
Both great bikes. The RT will provide you with better protection from the elements. The GT will give you POWER! As for maintenance check out the service costs for the RT and the GT.

Getting a new bike is always fun.

Good luck and let us know.

04-16-2009, 08:30 PM
I currently ride a 2007 RT, purchased new and has about 9,100 miles on it. The RT is my first BMW. I recently test rode the 1300 GT. After the GT test ride I have to say that I appreciate my RT more than ever. Nothing I write should be taken as a knock against the GT, it is just that the two bikes are different in some very important ways. My impressions are subjective and based on a ten minute ride on the GT compared to 9,100 miles on the RT.

First, the RT feels very confidence inspiring. When I am riding the RT I enjoy the ride, the controls are in the right place, the right size. I feel that my body is in the right posture, the RT is the right height the center of gravity seems to be right. I feel the throttle response is correct, the breaking is excellent. I feel the bike is willing to do whatever I want, it cruises fine on a country road at 45, stable/comfortable on the interstate at 85+, able to take moderately aggressive riding in the twisties with ease, comfortable with my wife on the back, and still a pleasure to ride when it is hot, cold or raining. I like the sound and the feel of the motor. To make a long story short the RT is the perfect bike for me at this stage of my riding life.

The GT made me feel the need to focus on the bike. The GT's throttle response is more sensitive and it seemed harder for me to ride the GT smoothly. The GT revs up fast, accelerates fast and it seems to do that from any gear at any speed. I was not connected to the sounds of the engine and felt the need Concentrate to modulate throttle inputs and pay attention to the RPM's. The ride height seemed about the same, but it felt like the center of gravity was higher and my knees seem to be at a sharper angle with a bit more forward body lean. The RT seems to settle into a turn much easier for me and it feels like the RT does it with less of a lean angle in the turn. With the RT you do have to be in the proper gear for strong acceleration out of a turn, but it seems more intuitive for me on the RT. The GT had stability control, and I felt like it was useful to have in order to stay out of trouble accelerating out of a turn. BMW moved the controls to the right, and made them smaller. I don't like that. I also felt the windscreen on the RT gives better wind protection, and feels quieter. And finally, the sound from the GT engine lacks the character, texture and feel of the RT motor.

If I were to make an analogy to horses. The GT is like a, somewhat skittish, Thoroughbred and the RT is more like an American Quarter Horse. Or, for those the right age to remember Gilligan's Island. The RT is like Maryann and the GT would be like Ginger. I always liked Mary Ann.

04-16-2009, 10:50 PM
"The RT is like Maryann and the GT would be like Ginger. I always liked Mary Ann."

What a great way of putting it.

Thanks for making me smile.;)

04-17-2009, 06:57 PM
I went to the dealer with my sights on the GT. I new I was going to buy that bike that day. The salesmen set-up a test ride for me I rode the GT and he rode the RT. We switched bikes about half way through the ride and when I sat on the RT it just fit. I rode home with the RT. I never looked back, I made the right choice for me.

04-17-2009, 09:46 PM
I have an 1100 RT and I rode a 1300 GT last month. I can't disagree with anything that has already been said! The wind howl, cramped knees and frame buzz left me scratching my head. I was bummed that the test ride woke me from the dream. My only solution is two bikes. Gotta love the RT for everything it does but in another way I still like the experience of more complex machinery like that found on water cooled bikes.

04-21-2009, 12:17 AM
I have owned two RTs and now own a 1200GT. I also own an R1200S, so I do love the twins...a lot.

Hands down the GT is a more capable and comfortable long-distance mount. If I were riding the Dragon frequently, I would nod toward the RT, however, for the majority of cross-country travels with its long days, the GT will leave you feeling far less "buzzed." I took an RT from Massachusetts to South Dakota, Wyoming, Denver and back - put 8,000 miles on the bike in the 7 weeks last summer that I owned it. Immediately upon return, I traded the RT for the GT. The RT is a VERY capable machine and very good in the twistier stuff than the GT, but for 500 mile days, with the type of riding implied by that sort of mileage, I find the GT leaves me far more refreshed at the end of the day, and this is my barometric gauge, if you will, for a touring mount. The engine makes less noise and is smoother than the twin. Forget about power, touring isn't about power...the RT has plenty enough, it's about the factors above, the comparison for which requires very long days in the saddles, on back-to-back days. And, I've done that and the GT wins by a country mile, hands down! FWIW, I'm 6'2" and 235 pounds, 33" inseam.

BTW - the stock saddles on both suck.

04-21-2009, 10:06 PM
I usually read more than I post - but the "which is best" discussion caused me to throw in my 2 cents. Wife and I originally toured on an 1150 GS. After two years, she wanted something more specific to touring, as she put it. I rode both the 1200 RT and the GT. Put in quite a few miles on both - then selected the GT. Not for the power - it's sure got that. It just fit us better for what we do. RT is more nimble to be sure, but I don't notice the weight difference all that much. GT is a bit nose heavy at slower speeds, but not that noticeable. It sure carves canyons like a dream. And when you gotta get around that semi you've been stuck behind - it does it NOW. Like was mentioned, after along time in the saddle, I don't feel exhausted. Somebody mentioned fuel mileage. That's not my highest priority, but I due take note of it. Right now my 07GT pulls down 43 -45mpg riding slightly above posted speed - 2 up. Got better mileage until they added the eco friendly alkeyhaul. Got enough range for me. It really boils down to what fits you best for what you're intended use is. When I solo, it's on a 1200GS. I rarely ride slab with either bike. Try them both - put some time in the saddle and then decide which one speaks to you. they're both great bikes.