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Thread: 2019 Grand America vs. GTL comparison

  1. #1

    2019 Grand America vs. GTL comparison

    Hi everyone. I'm in the process of upgrading from my 2014 R 1200 RT to either a k 1600 B Grand America or a k 1600 GTL. I like the operator running boards, audio system and the look of the Grand America, but according to the specs its a bit heavier and has less cargo space than the GTL. However, with the GTL, the passenger (my wife) sits up higher and looks like may be beaten up more by wind. Has anyone done a proper side-by-side comparison on the 2019 models?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! Hope you get some good owner's info to help you with your decision.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jbergau View Post
    Hi everyone. I'm in the process of upgrading from my 2014 R 1200 RT to either a k 1600 B Grand America or a k 1600 GTL. I like the operator running boards, audio system and the look of the Grand America, but according to the specs its a bit heavier and has less cargo space than the GTL. However, with the GTL, the passenger (my wife) sits up higher and looks like may be beaten up more by wind. Has anyone done a proper side-by-side comparison on the 2019 models?

    Thanks!
    Weights are very close - right around 775 for both bikes. Grand America has more usable space in top case (you can usually fit two helmets), but smaller side bags. Side bags on GTL will take a helmet, Grand America ones won't. Pro's and con's to sitting up higher - she probably won't have to look at the back of your helmet (or head) all the time, but there is more buffeting. Many of us are on the quest for a windshield arrangement that solves that. Center of gravity higher on the GTL (a negative). GTL has 2 small side storage compartments for misc crap. And oh, yes, that terrible, terrible problem on the GA of being limited to about 105 mph which your wife will definitely complain about. I mean, who doesn't want to go 120 with the wifey on the back!

  4. #4

    Thank you for the great info

    Thank you for the great insight, K1200travelor. I was leaning away from the GTL because of the high passenger seat.

    Happy riding!

  5. #5
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    2019 Grand America vs. GTL comparison

    I struggled with the decision whether to buy the Grand America or the GTL as well last year. I opted for the Grand America for a few reasons, but there are some trade-offs. First the GA is about 30 Lbs heavier than the GTL fully fueled, 802 for the GA, and 772 for GTL. 30 additional pounds is not noticeable given how well these big bikes handle, even at low speeds, plus the GA has a lower Cg and slightly lower seat.

    Coming off of years riding Sport Tourers, I needed something with more upright seating and leg room, plus better accommodations for a passenger. For me, the GA beats the GTL with a flatter more roomier seat, easier for Rider re-positioning. The GTL seat put me in a fixed position and would be less comfortable on long rides. The Passenger seat was much too high and takes more effort for Passenger mounting.
    The GA also came standard with the Floor Boards which allows me to relax my knees on long rides, a real advantage for old bones like mine, and at 6' 3", there's plenty of room to move around with the flatter seat.

    The downside is that the Side Bags are slightly smaller because of the teardrop taper, so as mentioned by the other Reviewer, Full Face Helmets won't fit in the side cases. The cases are also fixed to the bike making servicing and rear wheel cleaning a little more difficult. The Top Case is also fixed, but I believe is slightly larger than the GTL case which slightly makes up for a little lost space in the side bags. I guess what really helped me make my decision, was overall looks. For me personally, I felt that the Grand America was a much more attractive bike, especially the rear tail lights and large chrome exhaust which gives it the "Bagger" look. Before I purchased my GA, I found this awesome Bike review comparing the 1600B to the GTL. I found it very informative....enjoy.
    - Kevin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3QSjh4Kxcc

  6. #6
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    i came from sport and sport touring bikes and went with the GTL for many reasons. I just purchased my first bmw over the past winter.
    reasons i went with a GTL vs bagger
    removable bags and top box, i feel the top box on my bike is pretty darn big and havent seen how the GA was bigger.
    plenty of gently used ones around, i bought a 2016 GTLE with 700 miles for $16k(my first bmw and im testing the waters)
    i did not like the giant cannon exhaust of the GA
    after having 2 harley "touring" bikes i grew to dislike floorboards.
    the big reason was ater 2 weeks in tialy on a RT i fell in love with the bikes neutral riding position.

    Now as far as the GTL having a lower seat i sort of solve it for myself by using a gel furry seat pad. this raises me up about an inch and put my wife where she felt comfy. if it didnt solve it i would have looked into a different seat. cold weather riding i am alone and ditch the pad, however i noticed it puts my knees at a bend that forced me out of sport touring bikes.

    im sure the GA is a great bike, it just wanst for me i would suggest doing a few demo rides before buying one.

    BTW if your looking for a rocking stereo system buy a Harley or Indian, i am less than impressed with the BMW systems. Actually gave up after a day and bought a bluetooth and stream via the NAV or cell phone which is much better.
    Last edited by 1jeep; 06-21-2019 at 12:30 PM.
    2016 K1600 GTLE
    previous 2013 Kawi 1400

  7. #7
    Registered User forbegos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1jeep View Post
    i came from sport and sport touring bikes and went with the GTL for many reasons. I just purchased my first bmw over the past winter.
    reasons i went with a GTL vs bagger
    removable bags and top box, i feel the top box on my bike is pretty darn big and havent seen how the GA was bigger.
    plenty of gently used ones around, i bought a 2016 GTLE with 700 miles for $16k(my first bmw and im testing the waters)
    i did not like the giant cannon exhaust of the GA
    after having 2 harley "touring" bikes i grew to dislike floorboards.
    the big reason was ater 2 weeks in tialy on a RT i fell in love with the bikes neutral riding position.

    Now as far as the GTL having a lower seat i sort of solve it for myself by using a gel furry seat pad. this raises me up about an inch and put my wife where she felt comfy. if it didnt solve it i would have looked into a different seat. cold weather riding i am alone and ditch the pad, however i noticed it puts my knees at a bend that forced me out of sport touring bikes.

    im sure the GA is a great bike, it just wanst for me i would suggest doing a few demo rides before buying one.

    BTW if your looking for a rocking stereo system buy a Harley or Indian, i am less than impressed with the BMW systems. Actually gave up after a day and bought a bluetooth and stream via the NAV or cell phone which is much better.
    Indeed, BMW stereo system is not good at all. Also, for the GA, be aware that the speed is limited because of issues with stability at speeds over 80 mph.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbegos View Post
    Indeed, BMW stereo system is not good at all. Also, for the GA, be aware that the speed is limited because of issues with stability at speeds over 80 mph.
    Everybody keeps repeating that the Grand America speed is limited by BMW due to a known stability issue at high speed, which is not true. BMW limits the speed on their Bagger because of the Foot Boards. If you read the Owners Manual, the reason for the limitation is because the Foot Boards do not have Shifter and Brake controls....it's a safety concern that they have because of the Rider being able to remove their feet from the Foot Peg controls. If a Rider has their feet on the floor boards at high speeds and needs to emergency stop by downshifting and full braking, they can't without relocating their feet back onto the rider pegs. That's why the GTL doesn't have that restriction....it doesn't come standard with Floor Boards.
    I've ridden my Grand America to 100 mph multiple times with no stability issues both in Cruise (soft suspension) mode and Road/Dynamic (stiffer suspension) mode. I'll admit, Road/Dynamic mode handles wind buffeting better than Cruise mode. As far as the stereo system, Blasting music at speed is useless with all of the wind noise. I use Blue Tooth to the helmet which offers great sound without having to annoy the neighbors.
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    Last edited by 18grandam; 06-30-2019 at 10:25 PM.

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