It should come as no surprise to anyone that the redesigned GoldWing would beat the K1200LT in all of the new comparisons. Honda's motorcycle marketing team has a lot more money to throw around than BMW, and these guys all know where their bread gets buttered. I'll keep the LT, thank you, and laugh at all the Wings gassing up in stations along my route...
Of course, since most Harley's seem to tour the country in the back up pickup trucks, reliability doesn't really enter into the picture, does it? Nor does long term comfort or performance either. Only that nebulous quality called "resale value" (as if the first thought anyone has about buying a bike is how easy it's going to be to unload). Hey, I RIDE my bike to trailer week in Daytona!
And I know I'll get flamed, but I just gotta chime in here. Of all these guys who sneer at "jap crap", how many of them eschew imported consumer goods of all kinds?
Just TRY to buy one single thing at Wal-Mart or Sears that is actually made by hard-working americans. It's not impossible, but it's hard as hell.
Clothing, shoes, underwear, spatulas, batteries, rubber chickens, whatever- they're all made by people working under awful conditions far, far away.
In fact, the only things in H-D dealerships made in the US of A are the salesmen, mechanics, and (most of) the bikes. All the crappy clothes and accesories are made in Asia, it seems. Funny how those guys never bring that up...
It will no doubt interest you to know that BMW have also decided that the K-brick has reached the end of the road. The British paper Motor Cycle News printed an article a couple of months ago from sources inside the BMW factory which said that development was well under way on a successor which will be a water cooled flat four of around 1400 to 1500cc, producing a lot more power and torque than the present engines. It is common knowledge that BMW originally intended the K series to be a flat four but went back to the drawing board after Honda announced the Gold Wing because they didn't want everyone to accuse them of copying Honda. Now that the Wing is a six BMW can go back to their original idea but with updated technology. Should be interesting!
A BMW will retain 55% with in five years. At ten years they bottom out and in fifteen years they start going back up. With tweny loving years of riding you get what you paid for it while riding the whole time.
I thought online magazines were supposed to be the quickest way to get new info. Imagine my suprise when I see the GL/BMW comparo come through 1 day AFTER I get the same thing in the mail via RIDER magazine....both from the Honda press party in Ohio. Come on, you can do better than that guys.
I too have an LT. Over the past year I have put over 18000 miles on it. My first impression of this Lux-O-Barg was that it was like driving a fine German sports car. It had excellent acceleration, excellent braking, was very steady through a corner at some very respectable speeds and the instrumentation was sports car like.
I find the adjustable windshield to be very useful, in that I can change the height and angle based on speed, outside temperature, and weather conditions such as rain showers.
The new wing has an engine which is approximately 50% larger in displacement, but the LT has a detuned RS engine which has been reduced from 130hp to 100hp. With the RS tuning and it's 6 speed gear box, much of the Wing's power advantage would be gone. As it now stands I believe that BMW may have been somewhat concerned that the greater horsepower may have not been that well advised in what was designed as a luxury touring bike rather than a canyon racer. I find that my bike will stay with most other bikes in the twisties, up to some pretty amazing speeds, above which one is asking for trouble on anything other than a race track. The engine has to be operated in the optimum RPM range to get the most out of it's power, so one has to row through the gears, but that is part of the fun, sort of like the early M3s with the four bangers.
From the articles that I have read, it appears that the LT has better wind and weather protection overall, in than there is a cove for one's feet which shields one's lower extremities from both wind and road spray, and with the side vent wings and adjustable wind shield the airflow to the rider can be regulated pretty much to suite all conditions. Some reports have stated that the Wing still has a problem with airflow coming up from below which cannot be regulated.
The LT also comes with heated grips and heated seats on the Custom model. At first I thought that they might be a superfluous luxury but after having used both, they make riding in cold weather a whole lot easier.
No doubt the Wing is a fine bike, and Honda has done their usual development in sorting it out, but we are essentially talking about two different concepts in touring. If one merely desires to cruise down the super slab, then the Honda might be best, but if one leans more towards the sporty end of the scale it would seem that the BMW would more likely fit the bill.
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