Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
Knights of the Roundel #333
Paul_F- I live in NY. Canada won't let me in, I had a DWI 9 years ago. LOL-
GeorgeK1200RS- Yes just kidding. Been a BMWMOA member for 23 years. Planning on going one way or the other to the "National" this year
BC1100S- Hasn't been a BMW dealer in Buffalo for years. Aurora, Ohio is 3 hours also.
I was in this position once. Trying to compare the Honda to the BMW. Wife likes the back seat of the wing. I say it that way because the wing really feels like it has a back seat. That said, we hopped on my GSA and went to a Honda dealer to test the wing. We road about 130 miles to the dealer. We were going somewhere else beyond the dealer's location, but had been invited to a test ride during an open house.
So we rode a new 2011 wing. Even rode two different wing trikes for the heck of it. The trikes were like driving a truck. Maybe someday I may need to ride on three wheels. But right now, at 55, I'm not ready.
The two wheeled wing at 800 miles on it. It is one of their test ride machines. Not broken in yet for sure. We rode on back roads, interstate, some twisty roads, and in some small town traffic with red lights. Wife liked that big back seat with the arm rests.
I thought the bike would be a lot smoother. I mean, a six cylinder ought to be smooth. And have a lot of get up and go. At 70 mph, I cranked the throttle and it just kind of moaned louder and gradually increased in speed. Boring. And while it didn't exactly feel like a truck, there was nearly total disconnect to the riding experience. No fee lto the road at all.
My wife and I both told the dealer it was a nice bike, but it doesn't hold a candle to the GSA in terms of fun. But, if you want a car without a roof and windows, I guess it's alright.
'09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
'77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!
Comparing the Wing to an RT is comparing apples to oranges to me. The Honda ST 1300 seems to be the closest bike to the RT they produce. It is the largest bike that Honda considers a Sport Touring bike. It also has a similar price to the RT.
According to the Honda website, both the ST1300 and the Wing has a fuel mileage rating of 35 MPG. That is the same fuel mileage rating as my 5 passenger 200 HP car. My friends with an RT generally exceed 50 MPG when we travel.
I would consider the Wing to be the Lincoln Town Car of motorcycles and the RT to be the BMW 5 series.
'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.
Yup I've heard the "old man bike" phrase quite a lot. As a matter of fact that was one of the main comments I heard when I got my first BMW in 76. I was told quite often that the BMW was an "old mans bike". I never worried about it. I was the one paying the bills so I rode what I wanted and criss crossed the country several times on my "old man bike" and saw lots of other bikes being towed by the "real bikers". Meh.
I was also told the Kawa that I rode for work wasn't any good either, but for more than a decade I knew differently. Prejudice and bias get in the way of seeing things as they are at times.
I stayed with beemers for more than 3 decades. For the most part they treated me well. At this time they, IMO, are not the bike they used to be in a few ways and are better in others. In my case they cost too much to own and do not fit me well.
I ride what I want. Anyone elses opinion about what I ride / drive is of no consequence as long as they are not paying for it. Until they do they can do as they want and I will do the same.
I don't know if you would be accepted at a beemer rally. I'm just really not a rally rider. There are plenty of folks in the MOA that are just as biased and stilted in their opinion as the Harley folks. As far as I know it's still a free country and the membership card says you are a part of the family whether you cage it or ride to a rally on whatever blows your dress up. If someone doesn't like the wing, tell them when they buy you a beemer, then they can have a say about what you ride.
The sig? I saw it, agreed with it and stole it.
BTW thanks for serving, nice to see other Brothers and Sisters in Arms ride. From an old tanker dog face, carry on jarhead.
DEFINITION OF A VETERAN A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life."
Since I have had both a Wing and an RT I can agree with those who wrote that they are like apples and oranges.
When I had the Wing I was very pleased with it but just couldn't get an RT out of my mind. Even after taking my wife on several demo rides she insisted she didn't like the RT but I bought one anyway.
I loved it. She hated it. Even though she has her own bike, a Kawasaki 900, when we rode separate bikes I seldom got out of 4th gear.
She didn't like the wind, the lack of space, how fast it went, etc.
I tried 3 different aftermarket windshields, new seat, all to no avail.
She was just too spoiled by the Goldwing.
In any event I wound up being at a dealer who had the Victory demo truck there and rode a couple of Victories. Would up getting a Cross Country Tour. She loves riding on the back of it. It's okay for me but I'd rather have a Goldwing because of the power, smoothness, response, etc.
Neither compare to the RT but again it gets back to how you ride, where and how long. If your wife doesn't ride back seat comfort becomes a non issue.
If you enjoy smooth comfort, no wind, and can deal with the weight during slow turns in the parking lot it's the Goldwing. Best compromise is to buy both.
FWIW: I prefer the lighter weight of the RT. The Wing runs it down low, and it is a great bike for what it is designed for, but is not a sport/tourer. It is a touring machine in the same market as the Ultra's in the HD world. I have never cared for the big heavy bikes ever, so I guess I was spoiled by the BMW's.
I do not understand the comments I see on the net about the RT being top heavy, and hard to maneuver at low speeds, etc. I can slow race this thing at a pace boring to someone walking, and have no problem with very low speed maneuvering so I guess I am missing something. I actually find that the RT is easier to work at low speeds (parking lot speeds) than my R1200R which was very easy to ride slowly and is 80 pounds lighter
I recently had a chat with a QC guy at one of our Riders Edge classes who asked why I had not chosen the Ultra or Wing over the RT.
In the case of the Wing, the RT has better mileage, better useful load (yes, the RT carries more useful load than the Wing...look it up!). The RT handles much quicker and has all the goodies I might want. At high speed cruise I find it much more stable than the Wing.
In the case of the Ultras, the RT has superior brakes, handling, fuel range, wind protection, heat control, and can lean into curves at way better angles than the HD. More important to me: There is NO chrome to polish. (Got that T-Shirt in the US Army 40 or so years ago!).
Essentially I agree with someone who had noted that the RT is the best mid weight sport/touring bike on the market, period. It is a joy to ride, and the SO is quite pleased with the large top-case as her backrest and the Kontour seat is outstanding for comfort for both of us.
Last edited by ka5ysy; 03-28-2012 at 12:54 PM.
Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
MSF #127350 NAUI #36288
One-up touring: RT.
Ya gotta love the light weight.
Handles like a dream.
Two-up touring: Wing.
The Wing has the best back seat in the industry, IMHO.
Smoothest motorcycle engine in production. Handles better than you'd think with all that mass, but not as sweet as an RT on a mountain road.
I've had both.
Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com
A fair comparison is very difficult between these two bikes, because they are so much different. How the heck can anybody compare a 1832cc flat 6cylinder to an 1170 boxer? A more fair comparison was done by Rider magazine most recent issue. They rode the Wing and the K1600GTL back to back over and over. Guess what?, no clear winner. The GL1800 is riding on 12 year old technology and the GTL is the latest stuff. That speaks volumes for the Honda. I rode the K16GT for an hour and a half last summer at Bloomsburg, all the while hoping that I would hate it so as not to need one. Not enough there to push me to need it. If I am riding solo, its the RT everytime,going loaded up with the wife on the back, its the Wing everytime.
I had to spend a lot of bucks but with the Russel seat she is a happy rider. Also she likes the air she gets on the GS when it is 90-100 degrees here in Texas. Plus the GS has a way better ride than the wing.
My prized possessions. 74 R90/6 Mine! (also know by bride as the Black Hole). 09 R1200 GS. My wife, 1953 model who has survived aplastic anemia and a bone marrow transplant. My most prized possession is my relationship with Jesus!
Two thoughts: comparing an RT and a Goldwing is apples to oranges in the riding experience - both great bikes just way different. A K16GTL would be closer in experience (and price) but still very different riding experiences. I would first and foremost buy the bike that suits me the best regardless of the dealer convenience. Doing it the other way is kinda tail wagging the dog right?
Secondly, are you sure that the Honda shop is a dealer that you'd be comfortable trusting your Goldwing to for maintenance? Our local Honda dealer is a great business as it our BMW dealer but not every dealer is run by reputable people and offers good service. We have a few multi-brand rice burner dealers around here that I would give up motorcycling before I gave them my business again. "Screw the customer" seems to be their mission statement. Just saying, it's not all about location.