Should I buy now or wait? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 6:09 pm Thread Starter
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Should I buy now or wait?

I have, perhaps, two months (1300 miles) of riding experience on a Honda Rebel 250. I've been craving something bigger so I test drove the LT last week. I loved the bike but I was afraid of it at the same time! It was so heavy that I nearly dropped it when I lifted it off the kickstand!

My question is:
Should I buy the K1200LT now or should I wait until I have a little more riding experience?

Thanks so much for your help.
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post #2 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 6:33 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

I guess this depends on several factors.

1) What type of riding are you going to be doing? Commuting, long distance touring, short day trips, etc..

1a) Commuting in traffic, this would not be my choice of bikes.
b) Commuting on freeway with very little stop and go traffic the LT would work.

C) Long distance touring: This bike would be at the top of my list.

d) short day trips: I would probably consider a smaller lighter bike.

Roy

P.S. I have been riding for 30 years and I still find the LT a handful at slow speeds.

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post #3 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 6:56 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

two months (1300 miles)

Wait!

At least get the six month hurdle behind you.
And I don't mean six months 1500 miles either. You need to get some miles under you. 5000 miles under you.
My thought for new riders is;
If you can learn to ride a slow bike fast, you will be able to ride any bike.

My next tip is:
If you are going into a right hand curve, slide your butt right and point your right shoulder towards the turn. Viceversa for left curves.

The LT is a good bike, but it is not for the weak hearted or amatures.
The LT is not a weeble-wooble it falls and lands hard.

Did I memtion that the parts are expensive to replace?

Besides, the end of January is an oppertune time to buy.
As soon as the Christmas bills are coming in, some poor guy will unload a nice bike, cheap.

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post #4 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 7:19 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Pants, would you ride a wild mustang as your first horse?
While a lot depends on your build and budget, the LT would not be my first choice as a bike to drop and repair. I know it has been done, but I think the fun factor will be greatly reduced by your (rightful) apprehension while riding.
It is a heavy machine, it smoothness can lure you into thinking you are going slower than your actual speed, and the brakes are phenomenal and sized right for that bike.
It might be a good idea to get a used mid-sized bike, say a 750, that won't put you in the poor-house if you drop it. You can stay with BMW and look for a K750, or get a Japanese. I am sure there is a great deal out there waiting for you.
Once you cut your teeth and build up your confidence I think you will be happier on the LT. JM2CW

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post #5 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 7:20 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

If BMW debutes the new redesigned 2010 GLT at Milan or Intermot over the winter you'll be able to pick-up a lot of used LTs cheap. Actually, there are quite a few bargains to be had in pre-2004 models especially the first couple years they were made. 99-01 models with lots of farkles and pretty low miles.

If you want to ride a big bike, have the time to gain experience with it on a slow, deliberate pace, and learn to ride the beast properly in full gear, I would go for it now. No sense wasting the money on an interim bike when after a few thousand miles you'll be ready to move up again. If this is truly a low miles hobby for you and you aren't inclined to ride ATGATT, I would seek other options. I know a lot of folks that ran a BMW F650 for a few years before moving up. They are marvelous and strong medium sized bikes. But, most continued to pine for the jugs or the flying brick that was ultimately in their future.

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post #6 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 7:38 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

The LT is for experienced riders who need a 2 up touring machine.

Check out the new F800 models or one of the R/RT bikes.

Doug Holck
Lodi, Ca

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but when I do I prefer BMW's.
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post #7 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 7:43 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

What you describe can be done. It isn't the best way to move up, but yes, it can be done.

My first bike was an '05 Honda VLX650. I rode it for 3 weeks and 600 miles before trading up to an '05 LT. I had done 2 or 3 test rides of the LT. After getting it I just took it easy. My advice: take more time on a bike one step up. The LT will still be there waiting for you, and you may be among the first to own the new model if it ever gets here.

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post #8 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 8:12 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

If you have to ask- WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get one good year under your belt. The LT,RT and GT are all top heavy beasts! Get the basics down and then take one for a test ride.

FWIW, the LT is my second bike- my first was a Kawa Vulcan 800 Classic. I put on well over 15G miles in two years before getting the LT. If I had it to do over, I would have gone the RT or GT route. The LT is a great bike but it is so damned heavy. I love it, don't get me wrong. But once my LT is paid off, I believe there is a GT or a GS in my future.

Good Luck!

Rob V.B.
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post #9 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 8:39 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants
I have, perhaps, two months (1300 miles) of riding experience on a Honda Rebel 250. I've been craving something bigger so I test drove the LT last week. I loved the bike but I was afraid of it at the same time! It was so heavy that I nearly dropped it when I lifted it off the kickstand!

My question is:
Should I buy the K1200LT now or should I wait until I have a little more riding experience?

Thanks so much for your help.
If you know enough to ask the question (and read the answers) then you're on the right path. I strongly urge you to wait until you have more experience.

Each time you change to a new bike, your risk increases significantly for the next six months. That applies to experienced riders, but is even more true for first time riders.

In my opinion, you should ride the Rebel 250 a while longer, then buy an intermediate bike between your Rebel 250 and the K1200LT, in the 500-700 cc range, and ride it for a while. If it's used, then you can probably sell it for about what you paid for it when you're ready for the KLT.

If you haven't done so already, please do the following before you do anything else (especially before you buy another bike):

1. Take a good motorcycle rider's course, such as the Experienced Rider Course (ERC) from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).

2. Read Proficient Motorcycling, by David L. Hough. The 2nd edition was just released, and it has more up-to-date accident statistics about new riders, for example. You can probably find a copy of the 1st edition at your public library, just to see what it is about.
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post #10 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 10:50 pm
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Smile Re: Should I buy now or wait?

I normally subscribe to the " bigger bike more power" theory but in your case I don't think it would be wise. I assume that the experience you mentioned was your total of all motorcycling? No long history of dirt bikes or other 2 wheeled toys? I gotta give you credit for approaching this logically and asking advise of others. Many men wouldn't do it. You're a smart guy.

The reason I questioned your total back ground is that folks with off road riding have the benefit of motorcycle control experience under a huge variety of conditions. Not that it has squat to do with traffic laws or defensive riding on the street but the "bike handling" part is good. Rather than pedal any more advise your way how about taking a look at the questions below and honestly answer them for yourself. I'd be interested know how you feel about their relevance to your situation.

1) Excluding external threats from traffic and the like, are you as comfortable operating your current motorcycle as your automobile?

2) Do you ever find yourself spending too much time "thinking" about what should be second nature with respect to riding your bike? Don't forget question 1. A yes on the first question should be a no here.

3) Can you aggressively counter steer to avoid objects in the road?

4) Are you comfortable using the front brake with more authority than the rear?

5) Do your feet come off the pegs just before you come to a final stop at a light? Do they go back on the pegs as soon as forward motion starts?


6) Can you ride you bike at a slow walking speed, feet up and make a u-turn?

7) Can you lean your bike comfortably in turns? Look at your back tire to see how far you've been.

8) Last but not least...have you scared YOURSELF lately? I don't mean some fool trying to ruin your day. I'm talking self imposed fear.

There isn't a day that goes by while riding that I don't see someone riding around with the wrong answers to these basic questions. Just so happens most of the people you see on the road exhibiting the wrong traits are riding big 800 lb bikes. Big bikes are not a very good tool when your early in your learning curve. Just figure out where you are in your learning curve and buy accordingly. You should never be uncomfortable handling the bike your riding. Never. There are so many outstanding bikes on the market today that aren't quite as massive and intimidating as the LT. Heck for the price of a new LT you could buy 2 bikes.

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Last edited by LARK; Jul 10th, 2008 at 12:36 am.
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post #11 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 12:38 am
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants
I have, perhaps, two months (1300 miles) of riding experience on a Honda Rebel 250. I've been craving something bigger so I test drove the LT last week. I loved the bike but I was afraid of it at the same time! It was so heavy that I nearly dropped it when I lifted it off the kickstand!

My question is:
Should I buy the K1200LT now or should I wait until I have a little more riding experience?

Thanks so much for your help.
I would suggest getting some more time and mileage under your belt, maybe just a couple more months. The LT won't get lighter but you'll get better and more confident. Also, ride some bigger/heavier bikes during that time. The LT weighs almost 3 times as much as your Rebel, it will take some getting used to.

David Taylor
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post #12 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 6:55 am
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Greetings Smarty!

One of the best first posts ever! Welcome to the madness.

With gas prices the way they are, I would NEVER part with that rebel! You should be getting 70-80 mpg?

As you stated, you felt the weight of the LT. I rode mine for over a year and then traded to a GT because I never was comfortable with the weight of that big monster. So, as you are considering trading up, I would take your time, ride your 250 for another year, then check out the RT and GT also.

Be safe and best wishes.

"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 #13 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 10:37 am Thread Starter
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Thanks everyone for your input!!!

The majority of you said to wait (as impatient as I am) that's what I'm going to do. For at least 2 months.

XMagnaRider... I have taken the MSF motorcycle safety class and I loved it!
Thanks for the book reference I'll get it and read it right away.

LARK... I actually do answer all of your questions correctly, but I can see where I have a lot yet to learn. I did dump my 250 in a parking lot while practicing some of the manuvers I learned in the MSF class.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys are amazing!

P.S.
I'm going to hang around, if you don't mind, even though I don't own a BMW.

smartypants
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post #14 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 1:32 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants
Thanks everyone for your input!!!

The majority of you said to wait (as impatient as I am) that's what I'm going to do. For at least 2 months.

XMagnaRider... I have taken the MSF motorcycle safety class and I loved it!
Thanks for the book reference I'll get it and read it right away.

LARK... I actually do answer all of your questions correctly, but I can see where I have a lot yet to learn. I did dump my 250 in a parking lot while practicing some of the manuvers I learned in the MSF class.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys are amazing!

P.S.
I'm going to hang around, if you don't mind, even though I don't own a BMW.

smartypants
Sure thing, we got lots of hanging around types!

I see you're in Utah. A bunch of us will be in Midway at the end of August for the Curve Cowboy Reunion. This is a rally/gathering that was born from this group and welcomes pretty much anyone on a bike. Check out the CCR site for more info, maybe you an join us!

http://www.curvecowboyreunion.com/

David Taylor
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post #15 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 5:10 pm
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Re: Should I buy now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartypants
Thanks everyone for your input!!!

The majority of you said to wait (as impatient as I am) that's what I'm going to do. For at least 2 months.

XMagnaRider... I have taken the MSF motorcycle safety class and I loved it!
Thanks for the book reference I'll get it and read it right away.

LARK... I actually do answer all of your questions correctly, but I can see where I have a lot yet to learn. I did dump my 250 in a parking lot while practicing some of the manuvers I learned in the MSF class.

Thanks again for all the input! You guys are amazing!

P.S.
I'm going to hang around, if you don't mind, even though I don't own a BMW.

smartypants
Be sure you let us know when you take the plunge on a new bike. Everyone loves to see people buy new toys!

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