Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Uxbridge, Ontario
First off - Welcome! Where are you in Canada?
Those are three very different bikes. The B is of course the cruiser, a bit more unique, most laid back seating position, also the most compact seating position of the three. Not so much that at 6' it is going to be a problem. The B will allow you to ride alongside that HD crowd of friends and when the time is right, leave them in the dust while you carve up the road.
The GTL and GA are the two most closely related beasts. They are the sport tourers in the crowd. A bit more nimble than the B (GA then GTL) but in either case you are talking 'better goldwing', not sport bike with luggage (as integrated as the gold wing but not looking like an adult scooter). The GTL has better luggage in my opinion than the GA as the bike can be stripped back to its least encumbered form (no bags), and all three cases can hold a full face helmet. The GA sits a bit lower so ergonomically that may factor in for you. Recently some of the forum members have modified their GAs so that the top luggage can be removed in a few minutes. Where the GA is the fully dressed cruiser the GTL is the fully dressed sport tourer. (flame suit on). Its subtle and if I could buy two new bikes today I would probably buy a GA and an ADV bike (probably KTM). If you are riding two up, the GA would be the new bike I would buy simply because its a bit better bike for the passenger (my opinion) due to its slightly lower passenger riding position and slightly lower center of gravity. Because my wife is only an occasional pillion I have the GTL. I strip the GTL back to a purely 1 up bike during the week and then either throw the panniers on for an overnight or panniers plus top box and arm rests if the wife is going.. its a 2-3 minute difference in activity either way. The GTL is the most versatile of all of the bikes for this reason. Even fully stripped the GTL is no GT, in its lightest form it is a more nimble GTL and easier to flick in corners but its not a GT.
The GT is the touring sport bike. It has the most aggressive riding position and suspension and is similar to the others until you turn up the wick. That slight change in riding position gives you more of a sport rider (but not pure track bike) focus as well as properly aligning your weight over the bike. If you are a more aggressive rider and know you are 1 up most of the time and you want to eat up the miles as well as carve the canyons, this is probably the bike you want.
The speed limiters as well as throttle response on all of new bikes can be adjusted through an updated ECU flash so don't be distracted by those items. Cannot speak to the switch packs as I don't know anyone who has had a switch problem. The admittedly few K1600s around me seem to be as solid as mine which has been a tire munching but otherwise standard maintenance beast.
The GPS is a whole other thing. In my opinion the whole electronics package needs to be updated on the bike but the GPS is the worst offender. The good. Its a garmin, its rugged, it can be removed, it is easy to update and manage. It is integrated into the bike audio system. The bad. Its a garmin, its a standalone GPS, and its kinda small in this day and age. Mine is a dash ornament waiting to be replaced with a wunderlinq. I have switched wholly over to using a phone as my main GPS plus entertainment/weather/etc. Its been a real revelation to be able to talk to my electronics (Cardo packtalk Bold headset) and ask it to do everything for me. Even while mid sweeper I can ask Siri for something and it just works. If I was evaluating a new bike... well I am always evaluating but if I was seriously evaluating new bikes I would not put electronics at the top of my list other than making sure it had a readable tach and decent telemetry which the K1600 has. I would not even consider carplay or android auto (have both in cars), for a bike solution as they are simply unusable on a bike and they ultimately limit what the phone can do. No thank you, not spending 1500 on an upgrade that does less than what I have now.
The other issues you will notice when you ride the bike is that it is a more lively ride than the HDs (in a very good way). You will feel the road in a way you never could on any HD, again, in a good way not in a 90s suspension kind of way. The bike will also dance a bit more in dirty air. Across the board the KBike is not a bike that you ride with a death grip and muscle leverage. The bike is effortless whether it is carving a corner, abusing the passing lane, or just eating up the miles. It will effortlessly cruise at speeds that are unthinkable on any HD. There are numerous threads on farkles that are recommended for the bike and for the most part they apply across the range. I would find a dealer with the range available and go test ride as ultimately thats the only way you will know which one is for you.
2012 BMW K1600GTL