View Full Version : starting the process

04-17-2006, 12:59 PM
of moving from my current ride (03 V-Star 1100 classic) up to a Luxury tourer.

So, I went to the local BMW dealer and availed myself of their offer to test drive a K1200LT.

Came away from it with a mixed bag of thoughts:
on the plus side:
- Smooth (mostly see downsides)
- Extremely well balanced
- Quick
- Handles like a sportbike
- Solid
- Riding position (but with reservations, see downsides)
- Lots of neat toys (wife liked lighted mirror in the trunk and the electric center stand)

- need to be quick out of 1st gear into 2nd (running it up to 30 in 1st and then shifting is almost like downshifting - big jerk..probably better off jumping right to 3rd)
- grips - too skinny. I like beefier grip
- leg ergos - (this is what killed me on this bike) as I sat on the bike, my knees were pressed up against the fairing, no matter where on the seat I sat (forward or backward). not the most comfortable.
- Control location - feet didn't fall naturally on the shift lever, had to point my toes to get under the shift lever...strangely tho, no problems with the brake lever.
- Seat - wife didn't really care for the passenger seat. felt it was too stiff for her.

Things that surprised me:
- pegs for the passenger - would have thought boards would have been standard.
- electric up and down on the windshield (that's cool, never encountered that before)
- no obvious place to lock helmets.

Overall - nice, but for $22K the niggling little issues get magnified. IMHO, for that kind of coin it should fit pretty much dead on...this was off a bit (especially with the legs). So I have to rate this as a nice bike....but not for me.

the quest continues.

Next up: Honda Goldwing, Yamaha Royal Star Venture and ??? (fishing for suggestions here)

(oh yeah - i don't mean to turn this into a "convince Matt of the wonders of whatever bike I am talking about that is your favorite". this is just a list of my impressions. take it for what it's worth.)

04-17-2006, 01:23 PM
The wing is nice, no doubts there, but also give the ST1300 a shot. I ride the ST1100 and love it. The ST1300 is not quite as bulky as the Wing, nor as farkle laden, but it's a damn fine touring bike. Fast, nimble, all that. So, I'd check out the ST1300 while you're also looking at the Wings ...

Just my two cents ...

Big Daddy C
04-17-2006, 01:31 PM
It you liked the Beemer, but it wasn't just perfect, you'll sit on the Wing and fall in love. Nothing else is close. And if you think the BMW had loads of gizmos, wait until you see a fully dressed wing. Cinder will have to expound on the details.

You could also check out the HD tourers, If you want it tricked out I would say an Ultraglide, but you can pick up an Electraglide for on 15K of so. Kawasaki makes FI Nomad touring bike which is nice in that vein. Victory is making a tourer with their 100 Ci engine and more of a custom chop look too. I like their Ness inspired styling.

Umm... hmm.. I can't think of anything else for now...


04-17-2006, 05:01 PM
Clair and BDC,

thanks for the comments, I'll check into those otions.

Victory is making a tourer with their 100 Ci engine and more of a custom chop look too.

as to the Victory, i sat on one at the Fall Bike week in MB with the wife...if we were any closer together we would have needed a hotel room...was a tad cramped.

04-17-2006, 06:04 PM

Did someone call? First off, I've never driven the Wing. I don't have the experience. But I've ridden on the back of it for 6 years now. Weeks at a time, 1000 mile days. Have I ever complained? Nope. The above link is an article comparing the BMW K1200LT to the Honda Goldwing 1800. Since you've now ridden the Beemer you should be able to relate well to the article. BDC is right though, there are other models that attempt to be like the Wing, but aren't. The Harleys, Ventures, etc are close but not quite. The Beemer is the only direct competition. The article will sort out the differences far better than I can. The bike is smooth, quiet, powerful, comfortable, spacious (both for people and your stuff) and well farkled.

Our Wing is an older 1500cc model. The 1800's are an improvement over ours. They feel sportier. I haven't been on the back of one yet but my hubby has ridden one and loved it. I don't want to appear to "convince you of my favourite" too much as, I agree, you are right, everyone has their own personal likes/dislikes/comforts etc. But, since my hubby is a motorcycle mechanic, has worked for Honda, Yamaha, BMW and Harley he has ridden most of the bikes you and others have listed. The fact that he has the Wing clearly tells you which bike has left the best impression on him. Both as a rider and as a mechanic. He's not home yet but if you''d like more info on the Wing just post the question and I'll get you an answer.

Note; in the linked article prices and models compared are Canadian. Prices are less of course in US $$. Also, some model features may be different. We get less "versions" of the GoldWing. But, the ones we do get are optioned out.

Big Daddy C
04-18-2006, 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by mbossman2

as to the Victory, i sat on one at the Fall Bike week in MB with the wife...if we were any closer together we would have needed a hotel room...was a tad cramped.

I didn't say it was spacious, I just said the styling was cool.....

Some people like to be that close to their sig. others and like the up close and personal feeling. Personally, when my sig. other rode pillion and leaned on me up close just right I kinda liked it..... ;)

It sounds like with what you described and you priorities, you'll have a Wing in the garage soon. Update us after your ride and let us know how it goes.


04-18-2006, 09:02 AM
Or... you could get completely farkled out: http://www.beginnerbikers.org/showthread.php?t=5996

04-18-2006, 10:33 AM
Did you adjust the seat on the Beemer?
When I test sat on one at a show they adjusted the seat height and postiton for the 'rider'. It made a bunch of difference with the controls and knee clearance.
I wish there was a dealer closer by, I would love to try one out for real.


04-18-2006, 11:11 AM
actually, no I didn't (didn't know that it could, but being short legged --> 6'2" with a 30" inseam, I am not sure that I can go much farther up). Although it might make a difference, I am not sure that it will address the other issues that I have with the bike, but, seeing the dealer is on the way to and from lots of places, I'll stop in again.

Big Daddy C
04-18-2006, 11:32 AM
I didn't see your sig there mbossman...

Join me, and we can end this destructive conflict and rule the galaxy as father and son!


04-18-2006, 11:32 AM
Are you looking at sport-tourers? If so the Yamaha FJR would be on my shopping list.

The H-D touring bikes aren't priced much higher than their "regular" cruisers. Given any thought to a Road King?


04-18-2006, 12:25 PM
Trying to keep to a belt/shaft drive, there is always the Concours.

The Venture's a nice looking ride. Like the V-4 motor.

The other BMW, R1200ST, might be worth a peek.

The Wing's tough to beat.

Too many choices. :)

04-18-2006, 12:52 PM
I am open to anything that will:

provide the carrying capacity to haul me, my wife and luggage down the road (in style).
have lots of neat toys to play with along the way.
is, of course, comfortable.

anything that fits those 3 is a viable option for review.

So far we have:

Honda Goldwing
Honda ST1300
Yamaha FJR1300 (neighbor had one of those)
Yamaha R/S Venture
H/D Road King, Electraglide and Ultra Classic

I'll have a busy time to review each and see what I can see...

thanks folks.

I'll keep you up to date as I move forward.

04-18-2006, 01:28 PM
GL 1800 owner here.

Tried them all.

Love the Wing.

Big Daddy C
04-18-2006, 04:07 PM
The Road Kings won't have any toys since they have a detachable windshield instead of a fairing. The Ultraglides, Streetglide and the Roadglide all have fairing and can get stereos, GPS, CD players, cb's and the rest.

The FJRs and ST won't come equipped with those either, and I don't think they have those options from the factory, although I believe there is aftermarket support to provide most of the upgrades, though most of them will require compromises since their smaller bikes, and I don't think you can get all the goodies you'll find on the Big K or the Wing.

The R1200RT can be equipped with all the goodies as well, and it's much more in the FJRs and ST1300s size and rideabliity. Out here the local CHP rides converted RTs so if you get a black or a white one you get some added bene's......

In the end, IMO if you want full-out luxo-boat there is only one choice, the Wing. The Beemer, K1200LT, and the Ultraglide offer comparable equipment and performace for people that aren't in love with the Honda or prefer their styling which for most buyers is about 50-60% of whart motivates them to buy.

Every single performace comparison I have ever seen in the Luxo-boat category the Wing wins hands down.

It's just a matter of what's important to you...


04-18-2006, 10:18 PM
http://www.beginnerbikers.org/gallery//files/2/3/3/gallery_895_125x125.gif (http://www.beginnerbikers.org/gallery//showimage.php?i=633)

Don't forget to farkle! :lol2:
Seriously...I agree with what BDC states in the post above. The sport-tourers are all very nice, meet most of your criteria and go like stink. They tend to vary though on the scale from "sport" to "touring". For example, the ST tends to be more on the "sport" end, it sits more like a sport bike and many people complain about wrist pain on long rides. The FJR is more "touring" stance with a more upright position. The Concours is very out-dated as far as styling goes, but, if you like everything else about the bike who cares? Some of the other metric "tourers" (especially older models) are known to be top-heavy. The LT & the Wing are purpose-built to put on high mileage, carry 2 people and their stuff. Everything else is a compromise. The Harleys are bigger cruisers (seating position etc.) with stuff, the Decker is the only one that actually comes with the trunk. Most of the sport-tourers don't come with trunks either, some don't even have the bags, you have to add them! Getting the options added can cost you a fortune. But, if you find the bike that suits you best adding the features it's missing can usually be done. You have alot of VERY nice bikes on your list, all are good and will do the job you require. Good luck and keep us updated!
(Again, opinions expressed above are exactly that, everyone's impressions are personal and what doesn't work for my hubby or his customers may be fine for someone else. Just listing the most common issues he runs into.)

04-19-2006, 07:04 AM
my whole point is, I going into each bike with an open mind...as few pre-conceived notions as possible and all bikes get a fair shot.

I may find something that I never intended nor expected (that happened with the search for wife's car: thought I'd like "F", be neutral about "H" and dislike "C"...well, I hated "F", neutral on "H" and really really liked "C"...that taught me a lesson) during my search.

04-19-2006, 09:49 AM
If you're willing to deal with a chain, the Aprilia Futura or Ducati ST2/3/4 might be worth looking at, too. Automatic chain oilers will greatly ease maintenance.

Also with a chain are the 'Busa, Blackbird, ZZR1200 and ZX-14 (with a rumored shaftie version as a Connie replacement).

An FZ1 has plenty of power and is said to be comfy 2-up as well.

To be honest, if my wife said, "Honey, you should get us a bike that we can take for weekend rides, or longer, together."

I'd go out and get a 'Wing. A yellow one.