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Comparing an 1150 RT ( 04 ) to K 1200 GT ( 03 / 04 )


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Now have my 1st BMW , 04 RT . I have a curiosity / desire for a K 1200 GT , probably an 03 or 04 because of price and I like the look over the newer ones. I like the protective ride on the RT , but see that some bodywork was added on the GT's to offer a bit of weather protection.

Anyone with experience on both bikes offer any thoughts. I know the GT has more power which is good and what I am after. I hear that the engine is more smooth than the RT which some think is buzzy . I come from Harley's and feel nothing but smooth on my RT. Is the GT ride as nice, are there anythings I would be giving up going to a GT. They are both pretty heavy. Thanks for your thoughts.

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The GT has a more agressive forward lean to the handlebars, you may find this tiring after a couple hours of riding.

The RT offers much much better wind and weather protection.

The RT manuevers much easier in the twisties and in traffic.


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You are in exactly the position I was in in 2005. I bought an 04 RT in 2004. I really had my eye on the 04 GT, but I let the dealer talk me out of it because of the seating position - "it's too aggressive for you". Turned out he was wrong.


In 2005, I got the bug to look at GT's again. By that time, BMW had stopped making them in preparation to clear inventories for the new GT. I started looking on the used market and found one with 1200 miles, and in Piedmont Red - definitely my color of choice. I flew to SLC to pick it up, and had a great ride home to Chicago.


From the moment I laid eyes on the bike, I was in love. When I got on it for the first time, I was nothing short of thrilled. That exhilaration continues today, and in a way that the RT just couldn't do for me.


OK, moving from the romance novel to the objective stuff:


On the plus side...


The GT has far more power and acceleration than the RT. I can hit 60 in under 4 seconds, and in first gear if I choose. Except for one spot at about 4200 rpm, there is NO vibration from the engine. It's like riding a stick of butter. The vibration of the RT was annoying to me. There is no significant driveline whiplash. I tried everything I could do to learn to shift the RT smoothly, but the GT just does it. The GT came stock with cruise control and heated seats - those weren't available on the 04 RT. The seat and seating position have been a huge blessing for me. I constantly considered replacing the seat on the RT with an aftermarket. Not so on the GT - the seat is great. The seating position allows me to stretch my back out a bit. (I'm 6'3"). I always had problems on the RT with pain between my shoulders after 200 miles. I'm comfortable on the GT all day.


Now the cons...


It eats sweepers, but (at least under my control) loses a little in the tighter stuff. It's a bit of a beast to turn in, and (mostly because of the center stand), the ground clearance isn't great. You do have to get accustomed to the slight lean forward, and learn not to keep the pressure on your wrists. It's certainly not as aggressive as a sport bike, but it's a little further forward than an RT. There are barbacks available. I don't think there's that much difference in weather protection - a little yes, but I've ridden through some heavy rain and felt well protected.


Oh, and one big thing. It hasn't used a drop of oil in the 15k miles I've put on her. Few RT's can say that. lmao.gif

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