I've been a two-up GL rider and for the last eight years a two-up LT rider. Having finally test ridden the new GTL and reviewing its ergonomics, stowage, and accessories I believe I can accurately state this bike is no LT. Mostly, it's a GT perhaps on steriods and with a few exceptions, not seriously designed with a pillion in mind. Sure, BMW will tell you it is and point out certain aspects to try and convince you but it simply does not make muster for a Luxury Touring bike. Two-up touring is still a good sized market but a good measure of the decision making process in bike selection is influenced by the pillion herself. Raw power and cases barely able to suit one person for three days are not attractive to the pillion. Dave Swider's article in the magazine didn't really provide anything new that wasn't previously published and was done with Dave riding one up, and again, emphasized power and rider ergonomics. Maybe BMW thinks mostly single guys will buy these bikes. I don't know an LT rider that's single and that's from a club with at least 20 of them. So far, none of us are biting. We've been told in many quarters these are "only" the first BMW bikes to use this engine. We can only hope a true LT will be built with a detuned version of this power plant by say, 2014. If not, BMW has effectively taken itself out of the luxury touring market and as our LTs age and the price of new ABS modulator costs more than the appraised value of our bikes we'll be looking elsewhere for a "real" successor.
Hint to BMW: Survey the right people. Ask the riders "and" the pillions. Drop this obsession with proprietary electronics. and stop assuming you know what Americans want in luxury touring motorcycle. Thanks for listening.
PS: Dave, did you get to keep those sharp riding togs you had for the photo shoots? Wondered if you already had a Shuberth helmet with the proprietary BT system in it or if it was provided. Loved the cows along with the red, white, and black color combination.