Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Guilford, CT, USA
Ditto to everything that Gilles said. I cannot speak specifically to a 2004 LT (mine is a '99), but in general my .02:
Pros: best bike in the world for 2-up touring - good power if you keep the rpms up, smooth, very little vibration, surprisingly nimble for a bike of its size, good size gas tank, very comfortable for the pillion, and has all the perks - heated seats, heated handlebars, sound system, cruise, etc. Also the best bike in the world for 1-up touring IMHO. All of the regular maintenance can be done by the owner if he/she wants. Has a growing list of vendors that make aftermarket parts - floorboards, leg extender footpegs, auxilliary light set-ups, seats, windshields, higher performance mufflers and chips, etc. Looks like a piece of sculpture, and attracts comments. Relatively quiet. Excellent road handling ability. Excellent weather protection. ABS brakes. On the '04 models, partial integral brakes (using the front brake will also partially activate the rear brake). Decent gas mileage. And a ton of fun to ride.
Cons: known weaknesses that BMW has not fixed - slave cylinder failure, rear drive failure (although the newer bikes seem to have a better record with the rear drive). Lack of dealerships in some areas. Feels difficult to handle at slow speeds for many people, although experience and proper technique will mitigate that feeling. Some parts are very expensive, others are just expensive. Routine maintenance at the dealer is expensive. Tires are expensive relative to other bikes, and there are only 3 or 4 choices.
Kicker: This forum, the best site on the web for information, help, ride advice, and knowledge of all things LT.
Suggestion: Take a long test ride. Then calculate your smiles per mile. You will know if it is the bike for you, and I'm betting that the answer is yes. Good luck.
'99 Canyon Red K1200 LT - Buddah Bike