K1600 reliability compared to LT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old Aug 4th, 2016, 1:48 pm Thread Starter
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K1600 reliability compared to LT?

Hi Folk,
I have been riding my trusty 99 K1200LT for 9 years now and put about 50k miles on it during these years. The bike has now 58k and still runs like a champ and looks good too. I have had some issues the first few years of ownership (rear drive replaced twice, broken shifter, cruize control wire cut, etc...) but the bike has been mainly trouble free for the last 5 years now, mostly since I started doing all the maintenance myself on the bike
Although I love my LT and it still works great I am contemplating replacing it soon with a newer bike before issues due to age may occur on mine. Currently hesitating between the Triumph Trophy SE, the BMW 1200RT and the K1600 and doing some research on each of these bikes. What is the general feeling here about the reliability of the K1600? What should I pay particular attention to if I was buying a used K1600? If some of you moved from the LT to the K1600 what do you like and dislike about the the K1600 vs the LT?
Thanks a lot for inputs

Alain

Vieux motard que jamais

Last edited by Alpac; Aug 4th, 2016 at 1:57 pm.
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post #2 of 14 Old Aug 4th, 2016, 2:46 pm
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

The K16 is much more reliable than the LT.

All the bikes you're considering are very different from the LT, and from each other. You really need to ride each bike, then decide which one fits your needs and desires the best.
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Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K 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!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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 #3 of 14 Old Aug 4th, 2016, 5:40 pm
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
The K16 is much more reliable than the LT.

All the bikes you're considering are very different from the LT, and from each other. You really need to ride each bike, then decide which one fits your needs and desires the best.

Since the K16 is new (newer than LT), how is the maintenance cost compared and how much of it can be easily done by owner?

BJ

BJ
2015 R Nine T
2007 LT Storm Grey
2005 LT Gold (traded in for '07)
2007 G 650 Xchallenge
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post #4 of 14 Old Aug 4th, 2016, 6:50 pm
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

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Originally Posted by bjedruszczak View Post
Since the K16 is new (newer than LT), how is the maintenance cost compared and how much of it can be easily done by owner?

BJ
Hands down, the K16 is much, MUCH easier to work on/maintain. Oil/Filter Changes at 6 and 12K miles take less than an hour. You don't have to remove the gas tank for any maintenance - air filter takes minutes. No fuel filter - no dry clutch, so engine and tranny oil are the same.

The ONLY thing that I find to be more of a challenge is the valve check (there are 24 instead of just 16, and they're harder to get to).

I have not used my lift in two years, it's so easy to work on... :-)

Another thing that some would consider a downside: You either have to get a GS-911, or have the dealer reset your "Maintenance Reminder". $tealer was charging me $50 to do that, so I bought the GS-911.
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CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
IBA #31242 (SSx2, BB, BBG)
MOA #136148

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post #5 of 14 Old Aug 5th, 2016, 3:31 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

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Originally Posted by hallzee View Post
Hands down, the K16 is much, MUCH easier to work on/maintain. Oil/Filter Changes at 6 and 12K miles take less than an hour. You don't have to remove the gas tank for any maintenance - air filter takes minutes. No fuel filter - no dry clutch, so engine and tranny oil are the same.

The ONLY thing that I find to be more of a challenge is the valve check (there are 24 instead of just 16, and they're harder to get to).

I have not used my lift in two years, it's so easy to work on... :-)

Another thing that some would consider a downside: You either have to get a GS-911, or have the dealer reset your "Maintenance Reminder". $tealer was charging me $50 to do that, so I bought the GS-911.
How about brake system and hydraulic clutch line maintenance? How do the K1600 systems compare to the LT maintenance/wise? Thanks!

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #6 of 14 Old Aug 5th, 2016, 7:18 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

Both the RT and the K1600s are easier to work on then the LT. They should be more reliable provided you have or are a good mechanic. In 7000 miles I have had no problems with the RTP.
Other than dealer caused problems and the key fob recall no problems in 25000 miles with the K1600 Exclusive.
These are very different bikes and I suggest that you ride both of them.


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post #7 of 14 Old Aug 5th, 2016, 9:40 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

As hallzee and iride4u said, the K16 is much simpler/cheaper to do basic maintenance than the LT. The K16 went through BMW's recent "Reduced Maintenance" program, where they relocated some parts for easier access (oil filter outside instead of up inside the engine, air filter under bodywork instead of under the fuel tank), removed some items (fuel filter removed from inside the fuel tank and replaced with a zero maintenance screen), simplified some items (single front and rear brake circuits instead of dual powered ABS requiring four seperate flushes) and reevaluated standard service intervals.

The exception is the valve check, based on more cylinders, more valves, and different location behind the radiator. But that's an every 18K check (many riders easily do 24K intervals), and very few Slant/6 engines need the valves adjusted over the first 100,000 miles or so, unlike the LT.

And the tradeoff is an engine that is smoother, more powerful, more compact, and tucked up and forward allowing for incredible handling, stability, lean angle, and massive torque that can be enjoyed on every single ride. Plus the plethora of electronic improvements (traction control, tire sensors, iPod/Bluetooth, lean angle ABS, etc.) that we could only dream of on the LT.

I enjoyed the hll out of both my LTs, for well over 100,000 miles on two continents. But I just can't see swapping back after putting near as many miles on K16's. For me and my riding style, the K16 just fits better.

Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K 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!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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 #8 of 14 Old Aug 5th, 2016, 10:02 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

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Originally Posted by JNW003 View Post
How about brake system and hydraulic clutch line maintenance? How do the K1600 systems compare to the LT maintenance/wise? Thanks!
Easier and Easier. FYI, K16 clutch fluid is mineral oil (which has nothing to do with ease of maintenance, just throwing it out there).

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
IBA #31242 (SSx2, BB, BBG)
MOA #136148

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post #9 of 14 Old Aug 5th, 2016, 10:48 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

You asked about clutch and brake hoses, newer BMW bikes now use teflon lines that have a stainless steel mesh cover. No worries there. Take a hard look at the new RT. It is not as powerful as the K bike but the new ones are lower the past couple of years by 21mm in the bars, pegs and seat. They are a big motorcycle but the weather protection is second to none. The K bike is a little heavier. For sure you need to test ride these bikes. The RT maintenance is even easier than the K bike in my opinion.

Beech
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post #10 of 14 Old Aug 6th, 2016, 10:50 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

Yeah, the RT is lighter than the K16, with a shorter wheelbase that makes it easier to handle at lower speeds. And since the chassis is shorter, the rider sits closer to the front fairing and windscreen, giving pretty good stock weather protection. Many people love the RT for solo riding, and occasional two-up duty.

But you really need to test ride both the RT and K16, preferably back to back. I can see the appeal of the RT, and the newer water cooled versions are the smoothest, most powerful yet. But I'm an old Inline-4 guy, so I just couldn't get used to the ever-present Boxer Buzz. It's just a personal preference.

Sure, the K16 is longer and heavier (although still significantly lighter and better balanced than the LT), but that massive Slant/6 torque and well-balanced chassis means that it just pulls hard in any gear. Add a passenger and a week's worth of luggage, and the mighty K16 just doesn't even seem to care as you point it towards the horizon and throttle away.

Ken
SoCal
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K 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!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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 #11 of 14 Old Aug 7th, 2016, 12:44 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

If you get a chance, test ride the GTL, GT, and the RT. I did the GTL and RT the same day, preferred the GTL, and subsequently bought a GTLE. At the 600 mile service, I rode a GT loaner and it was also a nice bike.

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #12 of 14 Old Aug 7th, 2016, 7:35 am
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Re: K1600 reliability compared to LT?

There is really no comparison between the LT and the GTL. Aside what has already been said, the only thing that I can think of that is possibly better about the LT is two-up. I'm rarely two-up, so that wasn't an issue for me.

BMW read my mind when they came out with the GTL. It had everything stock that wasn't on the LT that I added and either got rid of or changed what I didn't like. They reduced the weight, shortened the turn radius, added HP, made it easier to service, more reliable, got rid of the hydraulic center stand, improved the electronics etc.... The only thing I don't like about the GTL is the GPS inside the console. It is very had to read except in perfect light conditions.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

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post #13 of 14 Old Aug 7th, 2016, 10:36 am
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Easier and Easier. FYI, K16 clutch fluid is mineral oil (which has nothing to do with ease of maintenance, just throwing it out there).
Actually, a big part of the hassle of clutch and brake fluid flushes on the LT is protecting the paint from DOT 4. Mineral oil would ease the fluid changes.
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post #14 of 14 Old Aug 7th, 2016, 10:58 am
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There is really no comparison between the LT and the GTL. Aside what has already been said, the only thing that I can think of that is possibly better about the LT is two-up. I'm rarely two-up, so that wasn't an issue for me.

BMW read my mind when they came out with the GTL. It had everything stock that wasn't on the LT that I added and either got rid of or changed what I didn't like. They reduced the weight, shortened the turn radius, added HP, made it easier to service, more reliable, got rid of the hydraulic center stand, improved the electronics etc.... The only thing I don't like about the GTL is the GPS inside the console. It is very had to read except in perfect light conditions.
I agree. There is no comparison as the target missions are quite different. I am continually looking for a successor to my LT due to the time and cost of upkeep, but the K1600 keeps coming up short as does the RT.

I just rented one for the second time for a two week tour of the U.K. I rented a GTLE this time to see if it was better than the GTL I rented in 2013. No significant difference for me or my wife (the UK GTLE lacks the armrests).

The weather protection is far inferior, but I understand a $1000 or so added to your $30,000 motorcycle will help with this. The drive train still has too much slop and the transmission is very clunky compared to the LT. And passenger accommodations are far inferior according to my wife.

The K1600 is probably great for solo riders. Although, after test riding a 2015 Yamaha FJR1300, I would buy that over a GTL. It lacks the raw power, but more than makes up for that with a silky smooth drive train. Now that it has cruise, it is a worthy contender for the solo rider.

I keep hoping for a true successor to the LT, but finding none as yet, I invested a month this spring and rebuilt the oil contaminated clutch in my LT and hope for another 8 years and 54,000 miles before I really need to swap for something newer. Who knows, maybe the rumored new Gold Wing will be a real contender. It is supposed to be lighter with a modern suspension and other accoutrements and may even be a hybrid. And knowing Honda, they won't ignore the passenger in their design.
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