Test rode the 2018 GA & GTL - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Test rode the 2018 GA & GTL

Well I am nearing my decision on which bike to get. The GA or the GTL?. The wife rode with me on both bikes. See below for pros & cons in my opinion:

Grand America Pros - Wife was a little more comfortable on the GA. Felt solid to her and she enjoyed to ride. Less wind hitting her helmet. Adjusting the wind screen didn't do much for her that she didn't really notice. It was a great ride & I enjoyed the ride.

Grand America Cons - The bike isn't as near nimble at the GTL. Not as nimble going into corners as the GTL (my opinion). The handlebars are hideous but I know if I order one I can get the machined bars like what's on the GTL.
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GTL Pros - Very nimble and seemed easier to maneuver when moving around the parking lot. Great in the corners and a littler more aggressive. I really liked the bike and it was a hoot on the ride. Wife sat higher and had better visibility. She loves the white color.

GTL Cons - Would definitely use the windscreen as she noticed more turbulence, hence she is sitting higher on the bike. Her legs touch the side cases a little but she said would be okay on trips and it's not a big deal (1000 mile trip she might change her mind, lol). The back case moves a little bit since it is removable, she really notices when taking off. I assure her the thing won't come off (at least I hope not ).

So overall both bikes were great and enjoyed both as did the wife. Nothing is perfect but these 2 bikes were close. I am leaning towards the GTL and the wife is okay with that as we have been discussing it a lot. We will still be talking about it when the time comes for me to pull the trigger. Waiting on something that won't break the bank but in the end I am okay if it does.

Would love to hear y'alls experiences on both bikes if you had the chance to ride both and what were some of the nuances that you liked or disliked.
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post #2 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 10:53 AM
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I can't comment on riding a GA as I never have, probably never will either. The ergo's of the bike just don't work for me so there's no need to ride it or the B.

Yes, on the GTL you can remove the top case in 60 seconds if your riding alone. Totally changes the bike in my opinion. You can't do that with a GA

The top case flex she feels will become an afterthought very quickly. The one thing about that my wife did say is that she doesn't get hit in the back with it when we hit a bump in the road like she did on our Harleys.
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post #3 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 11:31 AM
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@Longdraw , I would NOT rule out a GT with a top case. The pillion sits lower and it handles better than the GTL.

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post #4 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 07:09 PM
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The GA see if it pulls to the left on both bikes.

Honesly i wanted the machine bars as well and i am so glad i didnt get it. So much easier to mount more then one accessories onto the handlebars. With the machine brand you have to get a specific mount for those and you cant mount as much . Right now i have mounted a cell phone go pro and cup holder with ease on my handle bars..with room to spare. Gtl cant do that.
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post #5 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 07:36 PM
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I cant talk to the gtl, or the gt, but for me and desire was to get the wife out with me, and the higher pillion on other bikes made her feel perched. She also felt comfortable with the top box behind her. She says its super comfortable, only issue she has is small rear pegs, gonna look at some ilium works when i have a few pennies saved.

I like the lower position to flat feet when 2 up , i found i was a little tiptoed sitting on a gtl in the dealer.

Interestingly many people go one about the squirrelly nature if the GA, but 2 up i dont notice it at all.

Im sure you'll have a blast whatever you choose.
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post #6 of 43 Old 08-05-2019, 09:16 PM
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Had a GTL now a GA. Wife likes the GA better for her back and less wind to her helmet and her back. The GA back rest is solid also. Pegs are lower so it's easier to get up on the GA. She's happy, then we are happy.


Now if only the BMW would remake the LT with the 1600 engine.
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post #7 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 12:39 AM
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I just bought the GA very happy with it got a few shortcomings that I need to iron out the top case can be removed if you are mechanically inclined I am going to make brackets so it’s removable and can be put back on thats for another thread. PS There is a video or thread about removing it no big deal

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post #8 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longdraw View Post
Well I am nearing my decision on which bike to get. The GA or the GTL?. The wife rode with me on both bikes. See below for pros & cons in my opinion:

Grand America Pros - Wife was a little more comfortable on the GA. Felt solid to her and she enjoyed to ride. Less wind hitting her helmet. Adjusting the wind screen didn't do much for her that she didn't really notice. It was a great ride & I enjoyed the ride.

Grand America Cons - The bike isn't as near nimble at the GTL. Not as nimble going into corners as the GTL (my opinion). The handlebars are hideous but I know if I order one I can get the machined bars like what's on the GTL.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GTL Pros - Very nimble and seemed easier to maneuver when moving around the parking lot. Great in the corners and a littler more aggressive. I really liked the bike and it was a hoot on the ride. Wife sat higher and had better visibility. She loves the white color.

GTL Cons - Would definitely use the windscreen as she noticed more turbulence, hence she is sitting higher on the bike. Her legs touch the side cases a little but she said would be okay on trips and it's not a big deal (1000 mile trip she might change her mind, lol). The back case moves a little bit since it is removable, she really notices when taking off. I assure her the thing won't come off (at least I hope not ).

So overall both bikes were great and enjoyed both as did the wife. Nothing is perfect but these 2 bikes were close. I am leaning towards the GTL and the wife is okay with that as we have been discussing it a lot. We will still be talking about it when the time comes for me to pull the trigger. Waiting on something that won't break the bank but in the end I am okay if it does.

Would love to hear y'alls experiences on both bikes if you had the chance to ride both and what were some of the nuances that you liked or disliked.
Ilium Works rear passenger adjustable floorboards will fix the passenger's leg running into the case issue on on the GTL. gives you 3" of adjustibility. I had that issue as well, but easily solvable. I assume you may be working with the folks in The Woodlands, as they have several new/used ones to choose, Don't forget the guys down in S. Houston as well. Less inventory, but good pricing. They have served me well over the years.

On the GTL - you may want to ask if you want/need reverse gear and shift-assist pro or not - which wasn't added until 2018. For me, I didn't have a major issue forgoing either at first, but since I have both I will say reverse has come in handy. As for the shift assist - nice, but I can get smoother shifts manually than it can many times. Others will also say that the 2012-16 have better fuel mapping because of the older Euro emissions requirements. Fixable, but if you can, ride one in that vintage to compare to the newer generation to see if it matters to you.
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post #9 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 01:47 AM
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I bought the GA based upon pillions preference. She definitely liked the wider rear seat and felt more "secure" in the lower seating position. She feels like its a low comfy couch. She felt "less protected" on the GTL , like a "throne chair" My GF is a Marine and Police officer so not faint of heart lady. I liked the GTL better with more luggage capacity and if it was just me, the GT with a top case for sure.

In the end its all about the mission. If making the pillion happy is key to more rides and enthusiasm to ride, think of her subjective preferences. I was really surprised how different the passenger feeling is between these two bikes. Sit on the back seat was well to understand. Life is good if this is ones touch choice.
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post #10 of 43 Old 08-06-2019, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnert View Post
@Longdraw , I would NOT rule out a GT with a top case. The pillion sits lower and it handles better than the GTL.

Duane
I did sit on one and seemed a little to high for me as I was tiptoe. I am sure they have a lower seat so that might be something I will look into giving a test ride.

It'll buff outů...
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