Years sold: 2003-2008 (K1200GT); 2009-2010 (K1300GT)
MSRP new: $17,990 (2003) to $19,150 (2010)
Blue Book retail value: $6500 (2003) to $17,540 (2010)
Basic specs: From 2003 through 2005, the GT was powered by an 1171cc, longitudinal-crank inline-Four laid on its side with the cylinders on the left. In 2006, the GT was completely redesigned and fitted with an 1157cc transverse inline-Four. Both versions were powerful, great-handling, fully equipped sport-tourers with detachable saddlebags, electrically adjustable windshields and standard cruise control. The ’06-’08 model was more powerful and offered a wider range of optional accessories, including electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) that could be regulated on the fly.
Why it won: Through sheer on-the-road competence, whether those roads were smooth and straight or bumpy and twisted. Both of these 1200s were superbly comfortable for long, mileage-eating rides on the superslab; but given their heritage (some people felt that practically all BMWs were sport-tourers in one form or another) and despite their mass, the GTs were able to rip up the backroads almost as well as some pure-sport machinery.
From the 2003 Ten Best story: “Combining novel creature features with a decidedly more comfortable and upright seating position, greatly improved wind protection and a neat electrically adjustable windscreen has elevated what was previously marketed (mistakenly, in our humble opinion) as an Open-class supersport bike to sport-touring’s upper echelon.”
Useful resources: BMW riders all around the world love to communicate with one another, so it’s easy to learn volumes about these bikes on the Web. Two good places to start are www.k-bikes.com/forums and www.i-bmw.com/index.php. Good tech information abounds, as well, along with a huge assortment of accessories for these road warriors. And even though Kelley Blue Book’s MSRP for a 2003 K1200GT is $6500, we’ve seen several low-mileage examples listed for hundreds less, offering interested buyers the opportunity to pick up a world-class sport-tourer at bargain-basement prices.