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We had a 1250RT for four days in Spain last year and while the shorter wheelbase and lighter weight were nice I missed the -=6=- more than I can convey. The wife on the other hand was happy with the RT but I think that was because her attention was focused on other things.
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I own a 2014 and the suspension is stiffer than a GTL. Comfort is better than Road, but it will still be a stiffer ride than a GTL in comfort. For comparisons for you this is how the suspension relates between the two bikes when it comes to the comfort, road and sport on these model years. Comfort on the GT is the same as Road on the GTL, Road on the GT is the same as Sport on the GTL. Comfort on the GTL is a much smoother ride than Comfort on a GT. There is no equivalent to the comfort setting on the GTL to a GT. So if Comfort is not smooth enough on rough pavement on the GT, you might want to try a GTL out. And if you do not like the trunk, you can remove that. The GTL foot pegs are slightly more forward and closer to the ground. The handlebars on a GTL come back quite a ways further than the GT. If comfort in the suspension is really important to you, but you like the GT look and seat, foot pegs, handlebar relationship. It can get real expensive in a hurry to change out handlebars, foot peg brackets, seats, etc. Probably cheaper to have some custom shocks set up for you.
 

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My mate's wife rides pillion with him pretty much all the time. He changed from a K16GTL to an XR1000 and was all chuffed, posting photos of it on facebook etc. etc.

He made a mistake, he did not include his wife in the decision making process.

His wife went on the XR1000 an everything went quiet for a while.

Next thing, he has a R1200RT. Did he get some ribbing or what............................................
I'd be looking at what he didn't get.........just sayin.
 

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I'd be looking at what he didn't get.........just sayin.
Hi KSam, Not sure what you think he didn't get.....................

He had a GTL for a couple of years. In 2017 about 10 of us were in Scotland, I had a four week old K16 GT Sport on that trip.

We arrived in a village and the guys parked up outside a coffee shop, he stopped to let his wife off and then he and I turned our bikes to park up alongside everyone else, all eight bikes were in a row and he parked at the end. I followed in beside him. He forgot to put the GTL on its side stand. When his bike fell, it missed me, but he didn't, about 15 stone hit me on my right side.

His bike fell on top of him and his boot stopped it from hitting the ground fully. He got away with a sore ankle but not a scratch on his bike.

I got about £250 of damage to the badges on the fairing etc. Lets say I was not a happy bunny, but after a while we all had a laugh about it. Life's too short etc.
 

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As many have said, comfort will be subjective. I'm amazed at how many times I've seen folks comment over the years that their passengers are more comfortable on ADV bikes like a GS or Multistrada than they are on touring or sport touring bikes. I think it just confirms comfort is a personal thing.

That being said, I've got both a RT and K1600 and there is noticeably more space for the rider and passenger on the K1600's. Though power to weight is similar for both bikes where the RT is less powerful with less weight and the K1600 more powerful with more weight, the K1600 never really cares what gear it is in. The RT is not terribly concerned about what gear it is in but more so than the K1600's.

Many have said the RT's are more comfortable for a passenger, many have said K1600's are more comfortable. Some say the GT is better than the GTL and vice versa. All are great choices but the GT will have more room than the RT and The GTL will have more room than the GT. All are great options.
 

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I can only answer half of the original question.
My wife enjoys being on the back of the GT. She’s 5’2” and has no problem getting up there. Leg and seating position are fine. She wasn’t in love with the original seat. I went with the Sargent seat and passenger backrest. The Sargent is a little wider, flatter and more supportive.
 

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Take your wife for a ride on a k 1600 GTL. Let her help you decide.
did that for a friend who was dead on set on buying a H-D. Let him use my 2012 K model for a day, his wife suggested they skip the H-D and buy BMW.
Ymmv,
RBGary.
 

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As many have said, comfort will be subjective. I'm amazed at how many times I've seen folks comment over the years that their passengers are more comfortable on ADV bikes like a GS or Multistrada than they are on touring or sport touring bikes. I think it just confirms comfort is a personal thing.
I'm curious how many of those comments were made after a 500+ ride. You might get a different opinion.
 

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I'm curious how many of those comments were made after a 500+ ride. You might get a different opinion.
I agree. Makes no sense to me but it does surprise me how many folks say their pillion is more comfortable on ADV types of bikes even on long trips. Guess we all have different bums!
 

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If you are testing the RT vs. GT or GTL, I recommend adding the B/GA. My wife did not like sitting so high in the GTL, she was too much in the wind and didn't feel as secure. Once on the Grand America, the lower stance and lower passenger seat was much more comfortable.
 
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