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New touring bike - BMW or Gold Wing?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by bigtinva, May 30, 2006.

  1. bigtinva

    bigtinva Megalomaniac

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    I am seriously contemplating a new touring bike and have been looking at the BMW K1200LT and the new Gold Wings. I can't make up my mind which bike is going to be the best for me. I am 6' 5" 275 lbs and have been riding on the street for many years, so the size of either bike does not bother me in the least. Both bikes are very nicely equipped and I do want all of the features that both bikes have to offer. I am looking for opinions of either bike from anyone who has experience on either model or can steer me towards some online reviews or forums which deal with the latest model offerings, I have found some Honda/BMW shootouts, but they are from older model year bikes. Thanks in advance. I look forward to reading your thoughts.
     
  2. hankhan

    hankhan Guest

    I've owned and ridden BMW's since the early 70's. My last one was an '04 GS. They're not the bikes they once were and have lots of problems. Rear drive units on the new ones fail far more often than they should. If I were buying a bike for touring today, I'd look at Honda or Yamaha - I think you get a lot more value for your money.
     

  3. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    Not owning a touring bike myself, I'd think that the Honda would be the most popular, have the most aftermarket parts/accessories available, and have the largest dealer network for warranty and repairs along the road. Not that you'd need repairs, the final point is, that it's a Honda, and there's a lot of old Gold Wings rolling down the road.
     
  4. Clydeglide

    Clydeglide

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    I've been eyeballin' another tourer for the last few months. I've owned a few FLH Harleys and they served me well.

    If I were to buy a bike today it would probably be the Gold Wing. They had a few issues early on but '06 seems to have addressed them. It is now available with the heated seat and grips as well as nav. I have also noticed you can get a new one at a real price on eBay.

    For some reason I just can't pull the trigger on a BMW. I like them but.....I don't know...I just can't do it. Same with Ducati.

    And hey.....it's a Honda! Is that a bad thing?

    :cool:
     
  5. bigtinva

    bigtinva Megalomaniac

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    Thank you guys for the quick replies, keep them coming.

    hankhan, I am surprised to learn of the rear drive problems on the BMW's and the smaller dealer network has been a concern of mine.

    Clydeglide, I currently have two Harley's and one will have to go to help finance the new foreign tourer, whichever I decide on. I am just kind of getting tired of the bikes shaking themselves to pieces. well, that is an exaggeration, but on my trip back from Myrtle Beach bike week I had four front rocker box bolts back off and start leaking and the right side muffler could be twisted around by hand.

    I think its time to get into the "90's" and discover some of the newer technology that is out there. Liquid cooled will be appreciated as well.
     
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    The rear shaft drive problem on BMWs are primarily attributed to the cheap skates who ride Bavarian's finest yet don't want to shell out the money for new shocks when the old ones are worn out. Yeah, yeah, spline lubing and all that. It's all bunk. Are there problems with shaft drives? Sure. Just like there are problems with chain and belt. The factory will put out lemons and that's that. However, most of the rear drive problems are stemmed from people running on shocks that are worn the heck out and cause the paralever to tilt at an angle it wasn't meant to be at.

    The Goldwing is a deluxe tourer and then some. It has power and handling PLUS the kitchen sink. Can't say anything bad about the 'Wing. The K1200LT is sportier if that's your swing.

    I would recommend the new K1200GT with the new I-4 and chassis. It probably may not be as luxurious (I don't think that it has CD player), but it has heated seat, heated hand grips, adjustable handlebar height, blah, blah, blah, and most importantly - 152-HP.

    Or if you still prefer the V-twin (180-degree V-twin;) ), check out the R1200RT. 110-HP and plenty of torque plus luxury and sportive handling.
     
  7. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter

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    Falman, my wife is pissed bacause I've got a boner now, and only her to take it out on...
     
  8. Bailer

    Bailer

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    Nice visual DC.

    My last streetbike was an R1150rt. It was an ok ride. The handling was quite good for such a big bike, but the transmission was distracting. It took way too much attention to shift smoothly while trying to run hard in the twisties. The K-bikes might be better, but that was a sore spot with me. For more relaxed touring duty it was a sweet ride.

    Ps. The linked/power/ABS brakes take some time to get used to. The ABS seemed to release a lot sooner than necessary on rough pavement. It's a weird feeling to be bracing yourself against hard braking and then have the bike seem to take off again.
     
  9. Lone_Wolfe

    Lone_Wolfe Sandbox Refugee CLM

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    Here's my $.02 worth..
    I'd opt for the 'Wing if for no other reason than they are the most comfortable bike after several hours in the saddle that I've ever been on. Hands down. Of course the reliability and great color choices don't hurt either...







    I want to see pics when you do buy.:)
     
  10. Clydeglide

    Clydeglide

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    Put new shocks on what? A bike with a couple of thousand miles? This isn't an old bike issue. It has been a problem on recent bikes and mostly while in warranty. It just seems the BMW guys don't want anyone to know their bikes are less than perfect.:supergrin:

    :cool:
     
  11. g29andy

    g29andy CLM

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    Had a 2000 K1200LTC purchased very lightly used. Dealer about 50 miles north of me was pulled by BMW. Sold the bike because I didn't want to have to go to Baton Rouge or Birmingham for service (too far).

    Otherwise, I'd still be riding that bike. You can't go wrong with a Wing either, I've got no experience with these. If you buy one used, check the frame welds, there was a recall on those.

    The K1200LTC was comfy. Could cruise 100+ very smoothly all day long. I'm 6'2", and installed the J-pegs to give me some room to stretch the legs. If you park on the sidestand for extended periods, you'll get some smoke on the next startup. But I used the centerstand most of the time. Heated grips, heated rider and passenger seats, 4 speaker stereo, CD changer, power adjustable windshield, cruise, reverse gear. The new K1200LT's have a power centerstand option, and hopefully better headlight performance, and a little more power.
     
  12. norton

    norton

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    I haven't ridden a newer model Gold Wing, but its a proven design. Honda products aren't perfect, but you can see the extra touches on the Big H bikes you just don't see on other brands.
    I would especially lean toward the Wing if you really plan to ride long distances, or if you usually ride two up.
    There are plenty of Honda dealers to service your bike too.
     
  13. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    BMWs are far from perfect, and I read a lot of these shaft drive problems on the internet but somehow I don't see any showing up at the various dealerships in SoCal for this problem. There are more BMW riders and BMW dealerships in SoCal and Bay Årea than any where else in the US much less the world. We all meet up and we all swap lies. If this problem is as pervasive as the internet claims make them out to be, I would have seen one or two by now.

    The big issue with current model right now is the electronic speedo on the R1200GS that goes into a funk. That's a real issue. BMW also issued out ABS inspection recall on some of the new flat twin and I-4 bikes. I have a close connection with a certain person who's working for BMW Motorrad USA. He gives me scoops about my bike even before they dealerships know about the scoops. He also works on bikes that are "unfixable" by the dealerships. Some of these bikes are truly sick while most of them can't be fixed due to the incompetence of most dealership mechanics. It's sad to say but the many BMW dealership mechanics are found wanting.

    The current stock BMW shocks aren't all that great. They get worn out by around 15,000-miles. That's like half a year for most BMW riders. It's almost understandable that you don't want to shell out for new shocks on a bike that's barely a year old, but if you value your bike at all, change out that shock for something better (Ohlins, Works Performance, etc.). I have a minor shaft drive seal leak at 19,000-miles. It's like a five minutes fix.

    It's a known fact that the cheapest thing on a Beemer is the rider.

    My Aprilia had already eaten a chain and a rear sprocket at 9K. I think that I'll stick with shaft drive for serious riding.
     
  14. Motor-T

    Motor-T Windbag

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  15. Catbird

    Catbird loves guns!

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    I'm a BMW guy and currently have an '05 R1200RT. In spite of that, if I was going to do some serious touring, I'd prefer to do it on a GoldWing. My dealer let me (and my wife) take a new K1200LT out for a several hour ride. It was very nice, but if I was going to rack up thousands of miles, I'd rather do it on the Honda.

    My 'RT' is perfect for my kind of riding - a little of THIS, a little of THAT.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. bigtinva

    bigtinva Megalomaniac

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    Catbird, Would your dealer happen to be Morton's? I plan to go there tomorrow morning to kick some tires. I am interested in why you would rather rack up thousands of miles on the Wing as opposed to the LT, fill me in. Good lookin RT, BTW.
     
  17. Catbird

    Catbird loves guns!

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    Yes, Morton's. I have been dealing with them since 1996 when I bought my first BMW (below pic).

    Just personal preference, but if I was planning on doing a lot of highway miles -- like from here to Mt. Rushmore/Sturgis/Black Hills, etc. and back, I'd rather go on a GoldWing because it feels more roomy to change positions, has a bit more plush ride and is quite a bit heavier, IIRC.
    I'm not saying the LT isn't a great bike, but I just feel the GoldWing has a slight edge in the creature comfort area.

    My first BMW R1100RT from Morton's:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. bigtinva

    bigtinva Megalomaniac

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    Thanks Catbird. Actually the specifications for weight are very close...835 with fuel for the LT and 838 dry for the Wing. I am kind of leaning toward the Wing, but I just need a good test ride on both bikes to make up my mind. So, Morton's has a demo LT huh?
     
  19. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Any respectable BMW dealership would let you test ride anything in their inventory.
     
  20. Catbird

    Catbird loves guns!

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    Absolutely!!

    Saturdays are rather busy, but if you can deal directly with Jeff Massey (owner), I would suggest it. He is friendly, helpful and accomodating. If possible, take a demo ride up 208 toward Spotsylvania courthouse, snake around and come back north to the dealership on 95. That way you'll get a pretty good feel for how the LT handles the typical roads.

    The LT is very high on my list of great touring bikes.

    Have fun!

    [​IMG]