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Thread: Initial ride impression of GTL

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
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    37

    Thumbs up Initial ride impression of GTL

    Ok, took delivery Friday, 7/1 and rode it about 20 miles home. Spent Friday evening going over the owners manual, etc., with plan to try to put about 200 miles on it Saturday, and at least 100 each day over the holiday weekend to get within sight of the initial service. Rode 184 miles Denver to Breckenridge and back.

    First impression: WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!
    This is probably the single best motorcycle I have ever owned, and behaves like no 770#+ motorcycle has a right to.
    It is heavy, not a struggle to get off the side stand but it doesn't pop right up either, once up, it's ok. Be sure you have solid footing under you when taking it off the sidestand. Pops up on the centerstand very easily, get the feet centered, stabilize it with your right hand on the passenger grab handle, put your weight on the stand and it comes right up. Start it, and the only way you'll know it's running is because you can hear it, you sure can't feel it.
    Engine is truly like buttah, smooth as can be and pretty much willing to pull in just about any gear. Didn't rev it out past about 4k or so since it's so new, but didn't need to, it just goes. The tranny is almost set it and forget it, riding 285 out of Denver into the mountains, 5th gear would pull just about anything. There is a bit of driveline lash, but that will be minimized as I get used to the clutch and shifting action, certainly no more lash than my 1200RT that was the trade, or my 1200GS, have, probably a bit less. I am sure that after a few more rides me and the bike will be in synch as far as shifting, rev matching, etc.
    For a while the throttle spring seemed a bit heavy but perhaps I got more used to it as the ride went on because I stopped noticing it and my wrist wasn't sore when I got home, and I only stopped twice.
    Handling is truly amazing. Solo rider, sport mode, select a line through a corner and go through it, hold the throttle steady. Even minor imperfections in the asphalt do not upset it. I always felt I had to "wrestle" the RT a bit and make mid-course corrections. Not so with the GTL. Stable and like on a rail, but not heavy-feeling, either. Didn't think to try standard suspension mode while heading east back to Denver on I-70 but sport didn't beat me up on the highway.
    Seat started out feeling somewhat firm (low seat) but upon arrival home I didn't feel like I couldn't wait to get off the bike. Even after the short ride home from the dealer my wife commented, "Now, that's a comfortable seat."
    Gas mileage as shown on the display was 43.8, didn't refill the tank yet so haven't done the manual math to check it. On my RT it was almost spot on. Speedometer, on the other hand, is quite pessimistic, about 10% slow, an indicated 65 was 71-72 according to the GPS. Got the BMW Nav 4 GPS, integrates nicely and works with the display.
    Ok, so no bike can be perfect, niggles:
    Having ridden either BMWs or Harleys almost exclusively for the past 20 years, I have gotten used to a turn signal button under each thumb, left for left, right for right, and now I have to get used to the rocker switch on the left side. Do-able and a personal niggle, however, because of the thickness of the thumbwheel for the multifunction display, your hand is a bit farther away from the switch and you can't just rotate your thumb over to the switch, you have to rotate your wrist. IF the thumbwheel had been half the width it is now it could still be manipulated and allow your thumb to reach the signal switch more easily. Not a problem for the long of thumb.
    The trunk opens with hydraulic struts when you press the button, however, when you close it is does not latch automatically, you have to hold down the lid with one hand and close the latch with the other. Inconvenient if you are holding your helmet which you have just taken out of the trunk. The trunk did hold a large HJC Symax 3.
    This bike could be hazardous to your driver's license. It's like the Ronco Kitchen Magician, you can chop, slice and dice your way through traffic without even breathing hard.
    This thing just plain rocks.

  2. #2
    Richard 88880's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Fraser, MI
    Posts
    17

    turn indicator

    I have found the solution to the turn signal rocker. I use hand signals unless i am at an intersection.

    I was brought up on a bonneville that had none, i did like the paddles on both my lt's and the rt. presently riding the harley davidson (till saturday the 9th, then my dealer owns it cuz.......... MY new GTL is being delivered.)

    funny about your wife and the passengerr seat, my wife rode the width of 3 parking spots back there and said, this is nice, 2 miles later, with suspension set up for 2 up she said, this is smoother than the lt was....

    i cant wait, enjoy, maybee see you at the rally?

    Richard
    Richard
    2012 GTL blue delievered 7/9/2011
    2003 fltri, 1972 A65 Thunderbolt

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Jun 2005
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    Lakewood, CO
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    37
    not this year, too many other summer plans.

  4. #4
    Tonk
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    West Hartford, CT
    Posts
    80
    Haven't been able to ride a K1600, but sat on both models and was surprised to find my legs were bent at least as much as on my RT (which, granted, has lowered foot pegs, but also lowered seat, so is probably close to stock distance from saddle to pegs). I've read nothing but good about the GT and GTL, but I don't understand why BMW made a bike that allows over 250 miles on a tank of gas, but makes you get off to stretch out every hour or two. Or is that not the problem I think it is?

  5. #5
    neanderssance man sedanman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Beacon, NY
    Posts
    540
    I rode one this weekend when I caught up with the BMW demo truck. If you think you might want one of these but can't swing the payments, DON'T RIDE ONE! Everything you own will be for sale on e-bay. Do they stilll buy kidneys in other countries?
    Paul
    "Friends don't let friends ride junk!"
    2011 R1200RT

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,254

    Heat

    No mention of heat, especially on left side. Perhaps it was a cool day, but heat is there, like the old K1200rs - No?
    MOA #46783
    2014 R1200RT

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    110
    I have been avoiding it....but with time to kill this past warm Saturday....I test rode a GT. Without a doubt - the best bike I have ever been on. I ride my RT to it's limits, but I would be dead if I tried to ride the GT to it's limit. It is sooo much bike, in a class of it's own.

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