My initial K1200LT review - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 54 Old Mar 10th, 2013, 5:04 pm Thread Starter
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My initial K1200LT review

So I've put all of 250 miles on the 2006 K1200LT and I have some initial impressions. This is from the perspective of my other bike, a '98 GL1500 Goldwing with only 10,600 miles.

There is alot to like about the K1200LT and nothing I mention hasn't been mentioned a thousand times before here. I cannot tell you all something you already know. I am very impressed with the brakes. They are almost fantastic. The assist is great and you feel like you can stop on a dime. Haven't tested the ABS thankfully. The bike handles way better than a bike this size should. It defies physics I believe. I also think the bike looks great. Sure some traditional Harley guys may not like it but I dont like their bikes either! :-) The wind protection with the stock shield all the way up(I'm 6'1") is decent. On the interstate running about 77 MPH I found it to be acceptably good. Whats not to like about all the gizmos such as Electro-hydraulic center stand, electric windscreen, heated grips and seats, alarm/central locking ect...

I'm going to flat out say it.....I LOVE the Honda flat six. There is nothing like it. The torque and smoothness is remarkable. It wasn't until I took a 200 mile ride today did I realize how much I love that engine. The BMW isnt bad but in comparison its as if there is a bucket of marbles in the BMW engine. While I found the BMW fairly comfortable, I think I am more comfortable on the Goldwing. I can flat foot no problem whereas with the Corbin seat on the BMW I cannot flat foot at all due to the seat. The Goldwing has significantly more luggage space. At least 30% more in my opinion(I'm talking GL1500).

Beginning to wonder if I should keep the Wing and sell the K1200LT instead.

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #2 of 54 Old Mar 10th, 2013, 6:06 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

If you want, you can leave it in the driveway with the keys and the title and I'll take it off your hands.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #3 of 54 Old Mar 10th, 2013, 6:12 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I looked at the GW for a time it is a nice bike very comfortable, the engine is as you said is great. The thing to keep in mind with the LT is the need to run it at high rpm when you want performance as other have said run it like you stole it

I wanted something that I could tour comfortably with but at the same time get a little crazy with, there really is no comparison between the GW and the LT when it comes to handling at speed you try doing the same thing with a GW and you'll quickly find yourself in deep trouble on the other hand the GW handles far better at low speed then the LT.

I think for me the sports bike aspect is what keep me with the LT that and everyone on the road has a GW or Harley. I spent a little extra and bought a custom saddle and shocks for the LT and for me the bike is everything I want other then having a more powerful engine. I'll likely revisit the GW in a few years since the LT is no longer made and the current offering just isn't what I would call tour worthy by that time the need for crazy will have pasted.

Heck if you have both I would take advantage of it if that's a option.

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.

09 K1200 LT
Project LT:
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post #4 of 54 Old Mar 10th, 2013, 7:12 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Me? I couldn't dump the GL fast enough. Try as I might, I could not get used to the splay-legged riding position. Got really weary riding on my nuts all day. Not for me. Or two of my riding buddies, for that matter who also got rid of theirs.

DW

"A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer."

BMW K1200LT "Carpathia"
Suzuki GV1400 Cavalcade "Paladin"
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post #5 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 8:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonwing
Me? I couldn't dump the GL fast enough. Try as I might, I could not get used to the splay-legged riding position. Got really weary riding on my nuts all day. Not for me. Or two of my riding buddies, for that matter who also got rid of theirs.
Are you basing your GL experience on your 1100 you used to own? have you tried a 1200,1500 or 1800?

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #6 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 8:29 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Keep the one that makes you smile!

We are all different and if one speaks to ya, that's the one for you. If there are just a few glitches that you don't like, there are probably solutions hear with a "search."

It took me about 30 minutes of riding to decide between the Honda and the BMW, and I never looked back. I put almost 50K on the LT in about 8 years and loved every minute.

There were a few things that I didn't like about the LT but was able to make the fixes. I started riding at 16 and never had a bike that I liked as well as the LT until the K1600 came out and I put about 1,000 miles on her. It did take around 5,000 miles on the LT till I was comfortable, but once that happen, I it was simply sweet..

One will speak to ya... Follow your gut.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #7 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 10:52 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

As a floridian the GW is suited to long straight roads. Take your LT out on some twisties which are more prevalent in your area and goose it safety first and you will have your decision. For all it's bulk the LT is more like a sport tourer. I purchased mine in July an 03 and have enjoyed the ride. Have not been on a GW however I have great respect. I wish that Yamaha had continued the Venture Royale in its original configuration. The LT will grow on you give it some more miles, join a riding club if not a member already. The 06 was a transitional year with many subtle and significant changes over my 03. Please keep us posted as to your decision.

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post #8 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 12:04 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Although I don't have a GW, I do have an 01 Valkyrie and I also feel the seating on the Valk is far more comfortable than the LT ( I do have a custom seat on the Valk) and of course I love that flat 6 motor.
However I'm not all that sure that the LT won't out perform the LT. I am constantly amazed at how strong that 1200 is,even with over 103K and yes I love the amenities. Can't beat the electrical windshield, but my favorite thing about the bike is the fuel mileage. 32-34 with the Valk, my last 400 mile trip with the LT got me 56 mpg and while I usually run just over the speed limit I did hit 110 a couple of times. Next favorite thing is the handling on the road.
I think with the edition of a quality seat I might actually fall in love with the LT. For now, I'll ride em both and enjoy what each has to offer.

02 K1200LTE (103K)
01 Honda Valkyrie (49K)
1998 Goldwing Aspencade (58K)
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post #9 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
Are you basing your GL experience on your 1100 you used to own? have you tried a 1200,1500 or 1800?
No, the 1100 was an entirely different animal...and I actually kinda liked her. My not-so-great experience was on a 1500. Beautiful bike. But the flat engine configuration forced my legs sort of back under me to the point where I was really perched on the "family jewels" when I rode. I had to part ways with it. As I said, I had two riding buddies who traded in their HDs and bought really stunning 1800s. They both complained of the same problem, only more vocally than I. Both got rid of them within a year--one bought a Victory. The other bought a camper. The Victory owner calls his Vision "the best bike I ever owned" and he's not one to dish out complements.

DW

"A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer."

BMW K1200LT "Carpathia"
Suzuki GV1400 Cavalcade "Paladin"
Kawasaki ZX14 Ninja "Shashka"
Kawasaki GPz1100 "Sicarius"
Buell S3 "Pazuzu"
Honda GL1100 Gold Wing "Aurore"
Honda PC800 Pacific Coast "Octavia"
Honda CB750F "Genvieve"

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post #10 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 12:49 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

To me buy what makes you happy, that is why you have a bike not to make your neighbour, brother, friend..... happy.

Just my thought

Gerhard
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post #11 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Like Dan said, whatever floats your boat. No bike is perfect so the bike that annoys you the least is the one you will love. I have not ridden a lot of different models but I knew as soon as I test rode the LT that I had to have it. After 30,000 miles on my 07 LT I thoroughly have enjoyed it. If the bike makes you smile when you ride it you got the right one.
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post #12 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 3:07 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard
To me buy what makes you happy, that is why you have a bike not to make your neighbour, brother, friend..... happy.

Just my thought

Gerhard
I'll have to keep that response in mind the next time I'm asked "Why didn't you buy a Harley?"

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #13 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 6:34 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I agree that the feet are forced back on the GL1500. I got one after a GL1200 with only 4 cylinders and that was the first thing I noticed. Only when you get used to the LT do you also realise that the GL1500 handled like a bendy bus. I've now had 5 bikes with electric screens since the GL and I now couldn't live without one.
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post #14 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 9:08 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

It sounds like you really need to take a K1600GTL out for a spin . . .

All of the things you love about the LT, in a lighter, better balanced package, with a Slant/6 motor that is so smooth and torquey that it simply beats anything Honda has to offer.

Not only does the K16's Slant/6 beat your GL1500 in torque (by an extra 25 Nm / 18.4 Ft-Lbs), but it also easily beats the latest GL1800 as well. And the Slant/6 also carries a very healthy 160 HP, which no other Tourer can touch.

I'm sure your local dealer would let you take one out for a spin so you can see for yourself . . .

Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 20K miles and counting . . .
'12 Mineral Silver Metallic K16GTLD, 59K miles and gone.
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 32,690 miles & now rebuilt!
'07 Dark Graphite Metallic K12GT, 138,220 miles & now rebuilt!
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BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

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All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from . . .
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post #15 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Only 250 miles??? Honda does have a great motor in the GW, I mean it goes like a bat out of hell in a straight line....I'm still using my GL1800 luggage in the LT, they fit fine..but that 1500 whoa! it's got some big boxes there....If riding in a straight line is your thing, stick with the GL!

RICH CANNON
2000 K1200LT "a great ride"
2002 GL1800 powerful, but boring..(gone)
1979 XS1100 (gone)
1986 VT500 Ascot (gone)
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1961 Lambretta (way gone)
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post #16 of 54 Old Mar 11th, 2013, 9:33 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Get the LT up to 5k-7k rpms and you'll discover a whole new bike that the GL cannot match. While you're at, ride 2-up that way!

Steve & Cheryl
'15 GTLE
'05 LT


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post #17 of 54 Old Mar 12th, 2013, 12:04 am Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Its really a moot point now. Just sold my Wing. Was a '98 GL1500 that a bought for $6,000, installed tires, cleaned the carbs and detailed it out and sold for $8,849. People love Goldwings!

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #18 of 54 Old Mar 12th, 2013, 12:28 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
Its really a moot point now. Just sold my Wing. Was a '98 GL1500 that a bought for $6,000, installed tires, cleaned the carbs and detailed it out and sold for $8,849. People love Goldwings!
You can't beat a deal like that, at least not as the seller. I'm curious how many miles on your GW when it sold?
I'm surprised you're have issues being 6'1" trying to place your feet flatly on the ground. That custom seat must really have a lot of fluff in it.
I'm 5'8", but I am using a stock seat on a '99.

So, are we to assume you like the LT better than you originally thought, or did the chance to make a quick profit sway you?

Jeff
Big D is my neck of the woods

99 K1200LT (don't need loud pipes w/ 8 spk. stereo)
08 HD wide glide
prior:
07 HD XL1200C (sold!
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post #19 of 54 Old Mar 12th, 2013, 5:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerj
You can't beat a deal like that, at least not as the seller. I'm curious how many miles on your GW when it sold?
I'm surprised you're have issues being 6'1" trying to place your feet flatly on the ground. That custom seat must really have a lot of fluff in it.
I'm 5'8", but I am using a stock seat on a '99.

So, are we to assume you like the LT better than you originally thought, or did the chance to make a quick profit sway you?
Jeff, the Goldwing had only 10,644 miles if you can believe it? Once a serious buyer was involved and a near "full asking price" offer was made I decided to part with it when I factored the original decision to buy the BMW. I want to give the LT a chance to grow on me. If it isnt for me I'll sell it and try something else. This is why I wont buy new bikes. If you buy good low mileage bikes at reasonable prices you can almost ride for free.

As for being flat-footed, the stock seat was easy to flat-foot but the $1600 complete corbin setup(that came with the bike) makes this difficult even at 6'1". Once underway the Corbin is extremely comfortable but at a stop, not-so-much.

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #20 of 54 Old Mar 12th, 2013, 7:47 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
...As for being flat-footed, the stock seat was easy to flat-foot but the $1600 complete corbin setup(that came with the bike) makes this difficult even at 6'1". Once underway the Corbin is extremely comfortable but at a stop, not-so-much.
Okay. that makes sense. To fix your problem, you just need to remove that $1600 stuffed into the seat, and then you'll be able to plant your feet on the ground.
Hopefully, you're derrière will appreciate it.

Jeff
Big D is my neck of the woods

99 K1200LT (don't need loud pipes w/ 8 spk. stereo)
08 HD wide glide
prior:
07 HD XL1200C (sold!
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post #21 of 54 Old Mar 12th, 2013, 8:31 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
Jeff, the Goldwing had only 10,644 miles if you can believe it? Once a serious buyer was involved and a near "full asking price" offer was made I decided to part with it when I factored the original decision to buy the BMW. I want to give the LT a chance to grow on me. If it isnt for me I'll sell it and try something else. This is why I wont buy new bikes. If you buy good low mileage bikes at reasonable prices you can almost ride for free.

As for being flat-footed, the stock seat was easy to flat-foot but the $1600 complete corbin setup(that came with the bike) makes this difficult even at 6'1". Once underway the Corbin is extremely comfortable but at a stop, not-so-much.

Craig, I see the root of the problem.You just need to keep riding. Quit all that stopping nonsense. Seriously though, if the seat is extremely comfortable when moving then I would suggest practicing a lot with stopping till you felt comfortable. You will spend a lot more time moving than stopped.

Robert
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post #22 of 54 Old Mar 13th, 2013, 8:08 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

most aftermarket or custom seats are built out & squared off. making them
the bike seem taller. if you only ride 200 miles a day you may want to try a stock
seat they are narrow.it makes stops easier & a good used seat is very inexpensive.

and that slow speed & stoping uncomfortable feeling will go away soon when you get used to the bike
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post #23 of 54 Old Mar 13th, 2013, 9:24 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
Sure some traditional Harley guys may not like it but I dont like their bikes either!
Any particular reason you value approval by Harley owners? Do you ride with them?

2009 K1200LT
2002 Sportster XL1200 Custom
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post #24 of 54 Old Mar 13th, 2013, 12:27 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I spent a few night hanging out with these guys. Really helped me with some great slow speed techniques.

http://www.azdrillteam.org/
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post #25 of 54 Old Mar 13th, 2013, 12:52 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Welcome to the forum Craig, I think Dan'o said it best,
keep the one that makes you smile,

The LT does take a little getting used to, even more so if it's your first BMW,
give the bike a chance and I think you'll learn to love it.

Personally I think your review is a little "premature"
since you have only ridden it 250 miles,
what did you do after lunch?


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
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post #26 of 54 Old Mar 13th, 2013, 5:10 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Welcome to the forum Craig,what did you do after lunch?

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post #27 of 54 Old Mar 14th, 2013, 12:02 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiler
I spent a few night hanging out with these guys. Really helped me with some great slow speed techniques.

http://www.azdrillteam.org/
It'd be nice to have something like that in the DFW area, or nice if I at least knew about it.

Jeff
Big D is my neck of the woods

99 K1200LT (don't need loud pipes w/ 8 spk. stereo)
08 HD wide glide
prior:
07 HD XL1200C (sold!
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post #28 of 54 Old Mar 14th, 2013, 12:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Welcome to the forum Craig, I think Dan'o said it best,
keep the one that makes you smile,

The LT does take a little getting used to, even more so if it's your first BMW,
give the bike a chance and I think you'll learn to love it.

Personally I think your review is a little "premature"
since you have only ridden it 250 miles,
what did you do after lunch?

Hans, I think your right. Since this is my first BMW I just need to relax and adapt. My Goldwing is being picked up by new owner Saturday and I'm going to try and enjoy the BMW and get used to its nuances.

Hey I'm right up the road from you. Are there any LT get togethers in the area?

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #29 of 54 Old Mar 15th, 2013, 3:21 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

We have had a few LT ride-to-eat meetings in the past,
we are about due for another one,
when we put it together, we'll send you an invite.

I'm through your city every week or two, Mom lives in Lecanto,
it's 96 miles from my door to hers,

I always take the bike and make it into a 250+ mile day,
there are some nice back roads in your area.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
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post #30 of 54 Old Mar 15th, 2013, 7:23 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I also came off a 98 Goldwing. No doubt the honda engine is sweet, but it's not fuel injected which was a pain. Needless to say, greatly prefer my LT but it's also 20 years newer. Current Goldwing vs the LT is a whole other dogfight, one which most people would find the wing wins.
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post #31 of 54 Old Mar 19th, 2013, 3:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

So I took her out this weekend(both Sat and Sun) and put on about 350 miles in the two days and my opinion is changing. This bike handles great! VERY confidence inspiring for an 800+ pound bike. Its almost like a sportbike compared to a Goldwing. The brakes are great and the front end not compressing is getting more "familiar". She really cruises the interstate great! Sure maybe not the same wind protection as the Goldwing but its still uber comfie especially with the corbin backrest.

While the engine is down on torque compared to the Goldwings, once you spin it up she pulls quite nicely. A friend blew by me on a Vulcan 2000(125cu. in) so I dropped down a couple of gears and opened her up and before you know if I was doing 106 when I passed the Vulcan. I of course waived as I blew by and had a sip of gatorade from my sportbottle that I have on the handlebar bottle holder

Where I once felt like I wanted to go back to a WIng, after this weekend I think I'm gonna ride this thing into the summer and see how I feel after that. Its a bike with so many quirks that I think the more I ride it the more I'm going to like it.
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2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #32 of 54 Old Mar 19th, 2013, 3:42 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
before you know if I was doing 106 when I passed the Vulcan. I of course waived as I blew by and had a sip of gatorade from my sportbottle that I have on the handlebar bottle holder

Where I once felt like I wanted to go back to a WIng, after this weekend I think I'm gonna ride this thing into the summer and see how I feel after that. Its a bike with so many quirks that I think the more I ride it the more I'm going to like it.


NICE.
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post #33 of 54 Old Mar 20th, 2013, 12:12 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigmri
Where I once felt like I wanted to go back to a WIng, after this weekend I think I'm gonna ride this thing into the summer and see how I feel after that. Its a bike with so many quirks that I think the more I ride it the more I'm going to like it.
I had a similar experience. The dealer needed to keep my R1200C over the weekend to complete a 24K service and was nice enough to loan out the demo LT. If it would have been a normal demo ride I would have kept the C. But I ended up putting almost 500 miles on it over the weekend. Honey Bunny spent more time riding with me that weekend then the previous year and a half on the C.

The more I rode it the better it felt. After picking up the C and riding back home I really noticed how much my current bike sucked.

So keep riding it'll just keep getting better and better.


Greg


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post #34 of 54 Old Mar 20th, 2013, 7:09 am Thread Starter
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruivis

After picking up the C and riding back home I really noticed how much my current bike sucked.

Greg

Dude, thanks for the morning chuckle. I needed that!

Craig
Brooksville FL
2006 BMW K1200LT
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post #35 of 54 Old Jan 10th, 2014, 3:12 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I'm getting back into riding after a few years of hiatus. I've previously owned a Goldwing, a Sportster and way back in the day a CB750F. My interest has turned to the BMW, more specifically the K1200LT. From all reviews I've read, I won't be disappointed. My only concern is I've never ridden a BMW, so I'm looking for some opinions. I've got my eye on one and will hopefully hear back in the next week or so. Being that we're in the midst of a Polar deep freeze here in central Canada, I won't have the chance to test ride the bike I'm pursuing. Is there anything in particular I should watch out for?
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post #36 of 54 Old Jan 10th, 2014, 3:57 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

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Originally Posted by dnilsson View Post
I'm getting back into riding after a few years of hiatus. I've previously owned a Goldwing, a Sportster and way back in the day a CB750F. My interest has turned to the BMW, more specifically the K1200LT. From all reviews I've read, I won't be disappointed. My only concern is I've never ridden a BMW, so I'm looking for some opinions. I've got my eye on one and will hopefully hear back in the next week or so. Being that we're in the midst of a Polar deep freeze here in central Canada, I won't have the chance to test ride the bike I'm pursuing. Is there anything in particular I should watch out for?
You may want to start your own thread, but even so, you probably ought to start by searching this site as well as Google. There are a lot of very friendly, very knowledgeable, very helpful ppl on this forum, but you gotta realize that your question is both extremely general and extremely common. There are certain issues that seem to crop up fairly frequently (e.g. final drive, radio, brakes, etc), but they are sometimes model-year specific so we can't address your question without more info.

IMO, get the newest one you can afford, research it first, and expect to either pay the dealer for expensive services or DIY (which is what I do with help from this forum). If you liked your GW you will like/love the LT. And I have next to zero experience on a GW.

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post #37 of 54 Old Jan 11th, 2014, 5:13 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

I've owned an 07' GL1800 Comfort>Audio>Navi. Goldwing. Things I liked, Silky smooth engine, Suspension settings, fairly nice navigation system. Things that made me sell it right away and go back to my love...the LT:
Incredibly clunky gearbox
Feels like your riding a moped when you look down
Cheap plastic feel to it...especially the compartments
Seating was too low for my taste
No electric windscreen adjustment.
Etc.
The LT, to me, still stands out. Even compared to the new 1600. The new 1600 is a great engine, but the back compartments look like an after-thought.

Gov't run healthcare, and we still call ourselves 'free'??? Keep your programs, I'd rather have Liberty.
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post #38 of 54 Old Jan 12th, 2014, 2:34 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

250 miles ONLY!!!

This is a lunch run for me and my wife!! I would take it out for at least 1000 miles before I decided this is not the bike for me!! Find some hills and twisties and run the rev's up around 4500 to 6000 and then decide. Not the same bike as in a straight line.

good luck with your selection.

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post #39 of 54 Old Jan 13th, 2014, 11:15 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwarren View Post
You may want to start your own thread, but even so, you probably ought to start by searching this site as well as Google. There are a lot of very friendly, very knowledgeable, very helpful ppl on this forum, but you gotta realize that your question is both extremely general and extremely common. There are certain issues that seem to crop up fairly frequently (e.g. final drive, radio, brakes, etc), but they are sometimes model-year specific so we can't address your question without more info.

IMO, get the newest one you can afford, research it first, and expect to either pay the dealer for expensive services or DIY (which is what I do with help from this forum). If you liked your GW you will like/love the LT. And I have next to zero experience on a GW.
I'm new to the forum, which is probably quite obvious, and not sure how to go about starting my own thread. I thought this would be a great place to start by getting opinions from guys/gals who ride these bikes. The one I'm looking at is a 2001 with less than 15,000km. So with such low mileage, I'm assuming there shouldn't be any outstanding maintenance issues. With my previous bikes, I always did my own servicing, so I would be doing the same with this one. I have done a fair bit of research on the BMW and I haven't come across too much for negative comments. The GW I had was a great bike and I don't have any complaints other than the clunky gear box. I have read about some isssues with the final drives in some models, is this something common or a result of poor maintenance?
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post #40 of 54 Old Jan 13th, 2014, 11:38 am
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnilsson View Post
I'm new to the forum, which is probably quite obvious, and not sure how to go about starting my own thread. I thought this would be a great place to start by getting opinions from guys/gals who ride these bikes. The one I'm looking at is a 2001 with less than 15,000km. So with such low mileage, I'm assuming there shouldn't be any outstanding maintenance issues. With my previous bikes, I always did my own servicing, so I would be doing the same with this one. I have done a fair bit of research on the BMW and I haven't come across too much for negative comments. The GW I had was a great bike and I don't have any complaints other than the clunky gear box. I have read about some isssues with the final drives in some models, is this something common or a result of poor maintenance?
The final drive problems seems to have been an assembly issue and not due to lack of maintenance. IIRC, the year you are looking at was during the problem years. The sticky thread on final drives has the years with problems identified, note that the failure rate has been characterized are less than 5 percent. Another area you should look at is I the brake fluid has been changed on a regular basis. When you get the bike, change all fluids so you have a known base line. Also you should do a search for Tupperware party, you will need to know how to get the panels off.
For new threads go to the forum you want to post in and select new post. Congrats and ask any question you need help with, lots of great folks standing by to help.

Of Btw, update your profile with a location, we might be neighbors, someone here is.

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post #41 of 54 Old Jan 13th, 2014, 4:22 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Thanks for the info John. I'll have a look at the thread and get some more info on the bike before purchasing. Seems to be alot of knowledge and support on this forum.
My location is MB Canada, not exactly biking weather for a few more months yet!
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post #42 of 54 Old Jan 13th, 2014, 6:18 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

The LT has as good, if not better rain and wind protection IMHO than the Wing. It also depends on your windshield. I have a Cee Bailey. And if I'm moving, unless it's a downpour ,or I'm stopped. I don't get too wet.
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post #43 of 54 Old Jan 14th, 2014, 8:18 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

" I also think the bike looks great. Sure some traditional Harley guys may not like it ...."

I had the comments from the harley riders when I bought my LT.. went on a fall ride with the group and we hit rain. after 100 miles of drizzle and a stop for food and coffee, they all noticed that I was dry and not wearing rain gear while they all were soaked and miserable.

They all started asking a LOT of questions about the LT while we had coffee and waited for them to warm up and dry out.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #44 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 12:35 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Took my 2003 sub 22k out for a hundred mile spin yesterday...still waiting on new windshield, Remus exhaust. Still watching the low speed characteristics very closely, it is very nervous to start out from a rolling parking spot, but once above 10mph the handling is pretty amazing. Went through some "sweepers" and you can pretty much "floor" it without control loss (my HD Softail Deluxe would not let you hold a line like the LT). My only question is where the heck is first gear? Unless you are 1)moving or 2)lucky, the darn thing is near impossible to engage. Push down, Neutral light goes off, let off, neutral light comes on again.
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post #45 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 12:53 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

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Originally Posted by donaldus View Post
Took my 2003 sub 22k out for a hundred mile spin yesterday...still waiting on new windshield, Remus exhaust. Still watching the low speed characteristics very closely, it is very nervous to start out from a rolling parking spot, but once above 10mph the handling is pretty amazing. Went through some "sweepers" and you can pretty much "floor" it without control loss (my HD Softail Deluxe would not let you hold a line like the LT). My only question is where the heck is first gear? Unless you are 1)moving or 2)lucky, the darn thing is near impossible to engage. Push down, Neutral light goes off, let off, neutral light comes on again.
Donaldus, it is likely your shift linkage needs to be serviced, lubed and tightened up. There could be lose ball studs or the bellcrank bolt could be lose. These things limit the full movement of the linkage and makes shifting hard to get into gears. It will only get worse if it is lose and that is when the ball studs can break.

#13 gets lose and limits the movement on #10. The ball studs #3 also need to be checked for tightness.
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post #46 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 3:03 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Yes, on one occasion I could shift out of 4th!!!
It was the linkage. I was all paranoid thinking it was the gearbox.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2006
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Honda CB550Four 1978 (still away, trying to sell...)
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)

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post #47 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 3:26 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldus View Post
Took my 2003 sub 22k out for a hundred mile spin yesterday...still waiting on new windshield, Remus exhaust. Still watching the low speed characteristics very closely, it is very nervous to start out from a rolling parking spot, but once above 10mph the handling is pretty amazing. Went through some "sweepers" and you can pretty much "floor" it without control loss (my HD Softail Deluxe would not let you hold a line like the LT). My only question is where the heck is first gear? Unless you are 1)moving or 2)lucky, the darn thing is near impossible to engage. Push down, Neutral light goes off, let off, neutral light comes on again.
It may be a dry linkage as was mentioned already. It may also be the natural character of a dry clutch. They lack the viscous drag of a wet clutch and thus don't keep the transmission internals spinning as well when disengaged.

My LT will pop into first about half the time (things were aligned for engagement in tranny) and "block" the other half. When first blocks, all you need to do is hold light pressure on the shift lever and slowly release the clutch to the friction point. The bike will pop right into gear then. It takes longer to describe than to do.
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post #48 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 7:10 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
It may be a dry linkage as was mentioned already. It may also be the natural character of a dry clutch. They lack the viscous drag of a wet clutch and thus don't keep the transmission internals spinning as well when disengaged.

My LT will pop into first about half the time (things were aligned for engagement in tranny) and "block" the other half. When first blocks, all you need to do is hold light pressure on the shift lever and slowly release the clutch to the friction point. The bike will pop right into gear then. It takes longer to describe than to do.
I agree with you that problem is often the technique and adaptations.

Many new BMW owners who come from earlier motorcycles having a wet-clutch, do not understand the rotation / friction differences of a dry clutch. To be able to mesh, the gears need to rotate - a dry clutch when fully pulled will stop all rotation of the transmission shafts. Hence, you need to use technique described in above post from VOYAGER.

ALSO, as stated by other members he should check / clean / lubricate the external linkage anyway as a regular service item (maybe one a year) to make it even easier. See this video tutorial from one of our members:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 91,000 miles)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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post #49 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 8:47 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

To the OP, you gotta' do what makes you happy! There's no pressure to suffer something you aren't happy with. I would make sure your engine is up to snuff and running correctly but that's up to you. The LT is beautiful. I've never even ridden one but have always been attracted to them. I certainly like the GW 1800 too but have never ridden that either. I know that sounds weird but so be it. I'd have either but wouldn't suffer with one I didn't like.

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post #50 of 54 Old May 4th, 2016, 9:05 pm
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Re: My initial K1200LT review

Voyager is spot on on the technique. The R bikes with the dry clutch are also the same way.
I don't think about it anymore, just hold the pressure on the shift lever and ease out on the clutch. That's it. Very smooth.
Unlike some K12R I know...


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2006
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Honda CB550Four 1978 (still away, trying to sell...)
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)

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