Jump to content

1150RT vs 1200LT ?


Recommended Posts

I am a proud owner of a 2003 / R1150RT, and I am thinking of upgrading to a 2005 / K1200LT. I always liked the LT, but found it too BIG to buy. Eventhough, I haven't test rode it yet to get my own immpressions, I would appreciate your thoughts, since I guest many people here have passed from the RT before the LT, and opposite.


My fears are its weight (!!!!) and its size. I am 5,9 with 30" inseam.


Thanks in advance

Link to comment

G'day Nick


I currently have a K1100LT and very happy with it.


I test rode the 1200LT when they first became available. Beautiful ride. smile.gif They seem heavy when you first get on but as you ride away the weight seems to fall off and the bike becomes lighter.


For a full-on tourer, they are the best (in my humble oponion). Everything you could ask for, heated grips and seats, good weather protection, ample storage, music and nav systems. Bugger, scratch the nav system (better to get miss-placed and have spend another day getting to where you are going).


The dealer who lent me the bike is only about 5'7" and he had no trouble. 1000km days no dramas.


But in the end, it is you who has to ride the bike. So choose carefully as to the requirements that you want. It is a big investment of dollars.





Gold Coast Australia

Link to comment

Never riden the K1200LT but I hear it's a lot more nimble than it's weight, and with the electric centerstand and reverse parking shouldn't be a problem as long as you can reach the ground.


As for me and my house, we will ride the 1150RT Twin Plug. Does everything I need and more.


But hurry, I hear BMW is comming out with a Special Edition LT . . . the K1200LT-AARP...





Link to comment

I'm about the same size...the LT will seem heavy if you do a lot of stop and go in-town riding, but of course its not designed for that.


If you do mostly solo rides with an occasional 2 up trip you can remove/re-install the rear trunk in about 3 minutes...actually looks pretty good removed and reduces some of the heavy feel...plus you get a few "that looks like an LT, but what is it?" questions. grin.gif


Take the LT over 2 miles an hour and it handles great. I managed to keep up - mostly - with some of the Texas Hill Country riders a few years ago.


Great thing about most BMW dealers, they offer test rides...go for one - the best opinion is your own.

Link to comment

You need to demo the bike and see how YOU feel on it. Ride it on the highway, on some twistys and in city traffic if you can to really get a feel for it. I always liked the looks of the LT and really wanted my test ride to be nothing more than a rubber stamp so I could convince myself to get one. The bike is extremely comfortable, handles very well and feels balanced. But, despite all its many positive traits, I couldn't get past the one BIG negative - it is an 850 lb beast and slow speed handling is a real pain. I passed and probably saved myself a lot of $ from repairing slow speed drops.

Fyi, I'm 5'9", 170 lbs and in good physical shape. But I don't think size is the real issue as the seat height is low so flat footing is not a problem. Its just real heavy!!

Link to comment

Over the years, I have ridden as lead or sweep rider on test ride days for my local dealer. I always enjoyed getting on an LT for the novelty of it. It is gargantuan. As reference, my ride was a K1200RS - same engine, different tune as the LT is tuned for more torque and less horsepower.


As others have said, it is heavy until you get going. But is does handle well and it has lots of power for passing. You just have to work it a bit harder. Comparing it to your bike, you will find the LT has less vibration and offers better wind protection.


You should take one for a long ride.

Link to comment

Hello in Greece. I would like to offer my opinion in this discussion. Having owned almost every model BMW has produced in the last 8 years I would suggest the R1200RT for you with the low seat option. It has all of the features I like off a KLT; heated grips/seats, moveable wind screen,electronic cruise control.What it does differently is: bags are detachable with a Trunk option available, weighs less, costs less etc. I happen to still own a K1200LT that I just can't seem to get rid of, also have a 1150 GS that is in the same boat but 95% of my needs are handled by the RT.

Cheers, Ralph in sunny California wave.gifwave.gif

Link to comment

As you are probably aware the current K1200LT is due to be replaced sometime next year. You might like to factor this into your thoughts.


For my own part (also with a limited inseam) I have migrated through the recent BMW 4 cyl line from the K1100RS, K1200RS and now own the new K1200GT.


Before swopping I tried the R1200RT and the K1200LT and found (for my taste) the RT too vibey under harsh acceleration with rotten mirrors and the LT too lardy compared to the nimble GT.


I ride mostly two up and tour at least 3 times a year for 7-14 days the GT not only won my seal of approval but that of my pillions as well.


Maybe worth a look before your final decision? confused.gif

Link to comment

Fighter Cockpit versus Road Sofa? How old do you feel?


Personal taste of course, but I can't get the image of a roto-tiller out of my head when I see the handlebars on an LT.


I think the 1150 raises testosterone levels, whereas the LT is calming...you know...kinda like a big turkey dinner. smirk.gif

Link to comment

I have an 1100rt and a 1200lt. The 1100 is much easier to ride. The luxury and presence of the 1200 takes some beating and when mobile it carries its weight with aplomb. But - when it's fully loaded with luggage and carrying a passenger it's a real struggle at low speed. Riding technique helps overcome some aspects of this but you really need to take control and show it who's boss at parking speeds.


If I was asked to part with either of them I'd be hard pressed to choose.


Take a ride and see what you think.



Link to comment

Hello Greece,


I was in a very similar position to you. I was looking for a comfortable bike to take my good lady wife and I on continental tours. A Goldwing had always been an option but I really wanted to keep as much agility as posible to enjoy the ride too. Much trawling of magazines and web sites led me to giving serious consideration to an early K1200LT.


My local BMW dealer was more than happy to let me take a newish one out for a test ride. Like others here I was anxious about the weight so I took it out solo, if I couldn't hack it one up a pillion was a non starter. It proved to be an easy enough bike to ride but I found it uninspiring and nowhere near as comfortable as I had hoped. It just didn't make me feel like riding down to Italy (which is what I really want to do). A few stops in two way traffic with my feet on loose gravel was extremely unsettling and then parking outside the dealer on a very slight down hill gradient killed the idea for me, too bloody heavy! Incedently I'm 5'7" with 29" leg and 155lb.


The sales team could tell by my body language that I was not impressed. After much discussion I was persuaded to take out an R1200GS. Oh boy I had forgotten what made me enjoy riding. Light weight, agile, smooth enough; I have not felt so at home with a bike so quickly. That very bike is now sitting in my garage. Whether or not it proves to be the right bike we shall know after this summers trip to France.


As others here say you need to try one yourself. I can really see the appeal but for me it didn't fit my expectations.


Good luck


Derek and Jackie




Link to comment

It comes down to personal preference. I have an LT; most of my riding is one up, around town. I don't find it difficult to ride under those conditions but then again I'm a little longer of leg.


Heavy, yes, but I think it's much easier to handle than my first bike, a K100RS, with its short bars and clunky frame. Plus, the LT has reverse if you get in a tough spot. I once parked my RS pointing downhill; I thought I'd never get it backed out of the space.


I've always enjoyed riding R-RTs, but the inline K engine is smoother.

Link to comment



I have a 99 R1100Rt and a 05 K1200LT along with a few other bikes. I like both the BMW's, they are suited as described in the other posts for somewhat different purposes. If I had to chose only one it would be the K1200LT for me, but to each his own.




Link to comment

I have a few bikes and there isn't a bike out there that will do everything great. I ride with a few guys who ride RT's and I have ridden them also I have no problem keeping pace with them. I would not trade my LT for an RT. The LT is so smooth on the road and comfortable and it is heavy feeling at walking speeds but I don't walk it I ride it. One thing that i have done to make it feel much lighter is take off the rear box, this make a huge difference I don't ride 2-up and if I did it only takes 15mins to put it back on. I have a nice billet rack for the rear and a choice of soft bags to fit what I am doing. I think they are both great bikes but I just don't like the boxer motor's vibes. Both are beautiful bikes and it boils down to what appeals to you, oh ya heres a pic of my hippo.


Link to comment

Hello, My wife just recently purchased a 1997 R1100RT (w/140k miles) and I have a K2002LTE which I love. We are both coming off the Harley wagon so the vibes with the RT don't bother us at all or even seem excessive. I do realize that this is not a fair comparison. The reason we went with the RT for her is because of the weight difference. It will be +- 300 pounds lighter than her other ride. The seat height is taller for her than the HD but the lighter weight should more than compensate (in regards to her confidence level.)

An unrelated question for you is would you please tell me about the kit or parts you used to remove the top case from your LT? I simply LOVE it! You say it can be converted in 15 minutes? I think it is a great idea and eagerly await being able to do it on my LT. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks and good luck

Link to comment

The top box has four bolts that are under the liner and some electrical connections under the rear seat. The first time you do take it off it's a bit slow so it takes about 30mins, after you see how it goes togather that changes to about 10-15mins. PM me and I will run through the drill with you, it is also covered in the manual. The nice thing about the trunk is that it can be moved to the rear postion to give the passenger more room. I was at Irv Seavers BMW dealer today for the open house and had ten guys come over to my bike and ask about this, one guy was going to sell his LT for an RT until he saw this.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...