After 20+ Years looking to ride again... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 2:24 pm Thread Starter
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After 20+ Years looking to ride again...

Way back in the early 80's, I rode bikes in college. A 1981 Goldwing, and then a 1983 GS1100. I am now researching in order to purchase another bike soon. My wife likes the cruiser look (HD or Victory), but I have always been drawn to BMW's. I like the GS(A) or the 12RT. But before I get too in love with the BMW's, I would like to know something about the general servicing and reliability.

I live in West Texas. The closest dealership is 5-6 hours away. I like to ride, I don't like to tinker. Is a BMW a bad idea for me? I don't want to spend so much time convincing my wife she will enjoy a BMW more, if it is a bad idea...

Not sure if this makes sense or not. Many years ago, I wanted to buy a land rover defender 90. The land rover guys told me it is not good to have if it is main transportation, so I bought a jeep instead. That is the kind of thing I'm asking....

Thanks!

John
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post #2 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 3:00 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpinjohn
Way back in the early 80's, I rode bikes in college. A 1981 Goldwing, and then a 1983 GS1100. I am now researching in order to purchase another bike soon. My wife likes the cruiser look (HD or Victory), but I have always been drawn to BMW's. I like the GS(A) or the 12RT. But before I get too in love with the BMW's, I would like to know something about the general servicing and reliability.

I live in West Texas. The closest dealership is 5-6 hours away. I like to ride, I don't like to tinker. Is a BMW a bad idea for me? I don't want to spend so much time convincing my wife she will enjoy a BMW more, if it is a bad idea...

Not sure if this makes sense or not. Many years ago, I wanted to buy a land rover defender 90. The land rover guys told me it is not good to have if it is main transportation, so I bought a jeep instead. That is the kind of thing I'm asking....

Thanks!

John
John,
I was in your shoes 5 years ago . . .

Fortunately I have a couple of local dealers but the prices are generally incredible. Oil changes are a cinch (have done my own vehicles for decades as well).

There are probably some locals that can assist as "wrenches" on tech week-ends for the other maintenance.

Your wife will love the LT and the comfort.

Go with your gut and heart . . .

Bet you wished you had the Rover!

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post #3 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 4:17 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell
Your wife will love the LT and the comfort.

Go with your gut and heart . . .

Bet you wished you had the Rover!
I guess this means that I can now begin the lobbying process... I will put pics on my bride's computer desktop!

Doing your own oil service is ok? I didn't know if it would need to be done by actual BMW service center to keep the warranty good... Are there regular service intervals that require authorized shops?

regarding the Rover, I would love to have one, but I am so happy that the jeep starts every time!
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post #4 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 4:41 pm
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Hi John,

Here is our brief experience. I took out three of the most expensive Harley's for a test ride, rented a Heritage Classic for a weekend. My SO other loved the thrill of the ride, but for me, it was exhausting, didn't like the noise and wind buffeting.

A BMW shop nearby had an 85 K bike for sale for $2k. That got us in the door. It smoked so bad I refused to take it out.

They had a 97 and 99 R1100RT for sale. The 97 had a lot of grinding when shifting, and backfired. We ended up buying the 99, for too much, but we didn't know any better. That went back to the dealer about four or five times.

Owned it for three weeks, got it outfitted as best we could and took a four day trip with it. It was very tight for two people and luggage, and extremely top heavy, IMO. I dropped it before I ever left the damn lot. It rode so bad on the way back, we stopped at the dealer and ended up trading that for a 99LT. While it was so much better all around, we later found it needed two new tires, brakes, shocks and a few other items, costing well over $2700, not including installation of the shocks!

So far, we have about $9k invested in all this. We knew nothing going in to the venture, never even looked at a BMW prior to this. It is expensive, but it is the best riding bike I have ever been on.

We are preparing to do just about all our own servicing, as much as possible, and hope it pans out in the end. Dealers appear to be few and far between, and expensive, when you can get in.

Bottom line, this is the most fun bike I have ever been on. I stopped riding about 18 years ago, had no intention of riding again.

My buddy has an 82 GW, rarely has anything done to it, tires brakes and battery, and it runs well. He bought that for $2500, put another $800 in it, and that was it. Lots of GW's for under $5k. I couldn't find a GW that had reverse in my price range. I also attempted to move my buddy's, and couldn't, so that was the end of my GW shopping. I had looked for almost six weeks for a nice GW, but some twist of fate had us end up with the LT. Other than the expense, we love it.

If we had to do it over again, I would buy privately, and get what you want already on it. There sure was not much out there for comparison. I just did not like anything else. After riding the LT, I knew if there was a bike for us, this was it.

Lots of much better deals on this forum that what we got! Without all the help here and on the RT forum, we never would have left the house with the RT, and probably would have sold that and that would have been the end of our riding, period.

Hope that helps!
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post #5 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 4:50 pm
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Cool Cadillac commercial

A good point to remember is the current Cadillac commercials running on the TV. You have to ask yourself "Does it turn you on!"
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post #6 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 4:50 pm Thread Starter
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Sounds like fun!

Would you consider the bike if there was no dealer close by?

(My wife doesn't know how badly she wants to ride yet!)

See 'ya,
John
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post #7 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 5:19 pm
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My SO is the one that wanted to do this. I had no problem walking away from it. I had enough with the Harley rental and the RT purchase. My decision at that point was to sell the bike and be done with it.

My SO had never been on a bike prior to the Harely rental, got her MC license right after the RT purchase, and has a smile from ear to ear when we ride. She has a very stressful, terribly underpaid job as a crisis intervention employee for the State, and this is her way of dealing with it.

If you know what your looking for, and know what the bike is worth, I would buy the LT. We had no idea what we were getting in to.

The Paul Sayegh service videos are outstanding! If I didn't have those, I might not have wanted to venture into any servicing. A couple hundred in tools, his dvd's, and some parts, should take care of most issues.

I would not have wanted any other bike that I have been on. I don't know how I went all those years without an electric windshield or cruise control!

For us, it was the LT or nothing. If we needed to travel for service, we would.
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post #8 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 5:27 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpinjohn
regarding the Rover, I would love to have one, but I am so happy that the jeep starts every time!
So does our 98 Rover Discovery with its 131K mikes on it. Never let us down and very comfortable.

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post #9 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 7:29 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zippy_gg
So does our 98 Rover Discovery with its 131K mikes on it. Never let us down and very comfortable.
We were looking at a 93 D90. It was the last year they were to be brought into the states (I believe)... I do like the new LR3's...

See 'ya,
John
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post #10 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 7:38 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yechave
My SO is the one that wanted to do this. I had no problem walking away from it. I had enough with the Harley rental and the RT purchase. My decision at that point was to sell the bike and be done with it.

My SO had never been on a bike prior to the Harely rental, got her MC license right after the RT purchase, and has a smile from ear to ear when we ride. She has a very stressful, terribly underpaid job as a crisis intervention employee for the State, and this is her way of dealing with it.

If you know what your looking for, and know what the bike is worth, I would buy the LT. We had no idea what we were getting in to.

The Paul Sayegh service videos are outstanding! If I didn't have those, I might not have wanted to venture into any servicing. A couple hundred in tools, his dvd's, and some parts, should take care of most issues.

I would not have wanted any other bike that I have been on. I don't know how I went all those years without an electric windshield or cruise control!

For us, it was the LT or nothing. If we needed to travel for service, we would.
Thanks, I will definitely make a note of the service videos. Now forgive me, but do you have the LT or the RT... or both? I got confused. Right now, I am thinking the LT is a bit overkill. I will be riding this in my daily commute (roughly 40 miles highway) and on weekend fun rides with my wife. So, I'm thinking a GS or RT....

See 'ya!
John

BTW, this is a great forum and thanks to all of you who are answering.
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post #11 of 17 Old Dec 16th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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You'll have to ride all three to decide but if I was using my bike to commute on the highway it would be an RT or Lt ..........your wife will like the LT the best.
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post #12 of 17 Old Dec 18th, 2007, 9:45 pm Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to try all three. Of course, I would love to have a GSA and an LT or RT. Fly the GSA solo and pull out the LT or RT for my bride

She prefers an classic type look. So, I'm trying to convince her that the boxer twin is very classic. She absolutely refused to even step close to a GW. Said it looks like old people bike. Doesn't matter that I rode one in college!

I certainly hope to be on two wheels by summer!

See 'ya,
John
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post #13 of 17 Old Dec 19th, 2007, 7:17 am
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My closest dealer is an hour away. In my opinion, I would own any vehicle I had to ride or trailer (if it's broke that bad!) for 5 hours to get to a dealership. But that's just me. I'm not in a BMW-rich area, so there isn't anyone much to help locally if something breaks or needs repair.

I love the LT, but I don't love any vehicle that much. I don;t even use the dealership much. BUt still, that is too isolated for me.

Good luck with whatever decisioin you make.

Randy
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post #14 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2007, 5:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpinjohn
....The closest dealership is 5-6 hours away. I like to ride, I don't like to tinker....The land rover guys told me it is not good to have if it is main transportation, so I bought a jeep instead....
Well John, I would start by researching the reliability of the models that you're considering. There is no shortage of data available.

As much as I like the looks of Land Rovers, the data suggests "SHIT RELIABILITY!" Jeep is only rated slightly better.

But, how do you analyze the bike that just feels so right when you're riding it? Tough to put that emotion into logic.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #15 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2007, 7:35 am
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If your wife liked the Harley look, you might try the R1200CLC. BMW only made it in 2003 and 2004 and you can find them around at a pretty good price. They have a very distinctive look with a batwing fairing, bags, and topcase kind of like a European version of the Ultra Classic Electra Glide. They have all the touring goodies including electronic cruise control, AM/FM/Weather radio, fantastic ride and a great pillion that your wife will love. Find one in the brown metallic with the tan seats (like mine) and it will attract more attention than any other bike you've ever owned. The big plus ... there's no tupperware to tear off for most of your servicing. This is a very easy bike to work on if you're planning on doing your own maintenance. The only things that need replaced IMHO are the goofy windscreen with the dip in the center and the driver's seat. With these small changes, you've got a great touring bike.

If you're looking to make the "Jeep" over "Land Rover" choice, I'd go with the Suzuki Burgman 650 Exec scooter .


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'04 R1200CLC, Mojave Brown, tan seats
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post #16 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2007, 8:16 am
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I would also be a bit concerned about the distance to dealer part. One thing I can tell you about bike ownership is that you will have more help than you ever could imagine. I cant speak for all makes but the help I get from the BMW and Moto Guzzi riders is outstanding. Im handicapped in the turning the wrench dept (others would say that it extends beyond that as well but I dont want this thread to be about me) and without asking these folks jump in and lend a hand. It really helps when you have so many fine people watching your back. Its also a plus that these bikes tend not to need much help so I wouldnt make dealer distance a huge issue.

If your going alot of two up I would be hard pressed to pass on the LT. It has all the comfort, space and speed thrills you could ever want in a motorcycle for two up. Dont discount the Wing as it will pin you head back to. Good Luck in Your search... Im sure you will have fun with whatever you pick.

Jim

PS - Should've got the 90.

Jim in Dublin, OH

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post #17 of 17 Old Dec 20th, 2007, 9:40 am
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I commute 55 miles each way on my K12. almost all interstate. I tried out the RT, and the LT won hands down on the road (hated the RT buzz) I ride solo mostly, with my wife of 26 years following on her 2007 Yamaha V Star 1100 custom. we did a 2 up ride from maine to dallas and back 2 years ago. 4100 miles in 8 days. What a hoot! Go for the LT. in my opinion, it is the best all around bike for road riding.

mine is a 2005, with 55k on her. absolutely the best touring bike I have ever ridden.

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20 grand & 2K miles don't make you a biker
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I COULD TELL THEY WERE BIKERS,
IT SAID "LIVE TO RIDE" ON THEIR TRAILER
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