A retrospective comparison underway - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 5 Old Aug 14th, 2010, 2:13 pm Thread Starter
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A retrospective comparison underway

In 2007, I purchased my 2003 K1200LT and relinquished my 1996 K1100LT as a retirement present to myself. Wound up with a steep learning curve in the transition, but have had a series of great tours since then. I did obtain a 1991 K75RT for in-town travel, as it was a bear manhandling the K12 at each end of short trips.

After a great 8 day ride in the Canadian Rockies that required a 1600 mile tow up to and back from the rally point in Wenatchee WA, I started to pursue another option: staging a bike up there with my riding friends (who would exercise the bike in my absence). Found a 1993 K11LT that was originally owned by an Iron Butt rider who rode it until 2008, and then put it on the market with all the after-market mods he had made to it--multiple lights, a sophisticated CB-based comm system, Russell Daylong, GPS, Works shock, and all sorts of small but useful mods.

So the question I'll be exploring as I continue to ride my K12 and get more time in the saddle of the K11 is this: given my riding interests and styles, which bike better meets my needs and what is the impact of the changes made to create the K12? At the moment, I have some biases: the weight of the K12 has always been a problem for me, and it's getting worse as I get older. I initially liked the option of removing the top and side cases from the K11, an option not available on the K12 (and that's something that contributes to the weight problem). And while the ABSII option on my original K11 saved my butt in a confrontation with some deer, the Integrated ABS on my K12 is a constant threat to my wallet, as the dealer, after doing a brake fluid change, has twice told me that it doesn't pass the diagnostic and may require the $3K controller change at some future point. The K11's ABS 1 isn't as sophisticated, but it's still operable and I hope sufficient for my needs as a geezer rider. I like the accuracy and constancy of the cruise control on the K12, but the K11 has Throttlemeisters and that allows me the wrist relief which seems to be the most common use I make of cruise control. I have Mik-o-pegs on the K12; I'm not sure how I'd mimic that benefit on the K11, but their benefit largely lies in allowing me to stretch my legs and relieve cramps from time to time; perhaps I'll figure out a way to do that on the K11. I remember being intimidated by getting through the tupperware to the innards of the K11; that was nothing compared to getting through the K12's tupperware.

There'll be other aspects for comparison that will reveal themselves over time. And I'll continue to be an enthusiastic rider of the K12 down here in the Southwest--where long distance riding is a necessary prologue to interesting rides--and merely hope to illustrate how solid basic BMW technology is, how the K11 was incrementally improved by the innovations in the K12 and thus to suggest how future K-LT's may only be incremental improvements on the K12.

Details of the K11 purchase: 91K miles, $3K

Larry Johnson
El Paso TX
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post #2 of 5 Old Aug 14th, 2010, 5:58 pm
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Re: A retrospective comparison underway

I haven't because the SO rides with me frequently enough not to bother, but lots of people have taken the top case off of the LT for better handling. I'm sure several others who have will chime in here shortly. About 35 pounds if my memory serves me correctly.

BMW 1200 LTC 2002

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post #3 of 5 Old Aug 14th, 2010, 7:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: A retrospective comparison underway

Unfortunately, I screwed up the opportunity to take off the top case on the K12 because I wired my Automom onto the wrong side of the connector.
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post #4 of 5 Old Aug 15th, 2010, 10:07 am
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Re: A retrospective comparison underway

Different strokes for different folks,
I bought my first K1200LT (2002)

while I still had my 96 K1100LT
(bought it new and put almost 100k on it)

It only took a couple of days of riding the K12
and I was no longer interested in the K11

As far as I'm concerned there is no weight issue with the K12
once you're moving
which is what I do with motorcycles

St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Our preferred long distance carrier"

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post #5 of 5 Old Aug 16th, 2010, 9:45 am
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Re: A retrospective comparison underway

I had a '96 K11 before my current '07 K12. IMHO, there just isn't any comparison and I would take the K12 over the K11 for any situation.

Handling the K12 is a learned experience, it will expose any weaknesses in your riding skills and with practice it will make you an overall better rider. Beyond that, I was always frustrated with the K11 "K-buzz" vibration you would get in the handlebars and foot pegs at around 4000 rpm. The design of the K12 fixed that.

Life happens...you control your reaction.

2018 Honda CRF250L Rally (fun in the woods)
2015 R1200 RT (holy cow…what a bike)
2007 K1200 LT (sold)
2005 DR 650 (sold)
2002 Harley Ultra (sold)
1999 Harley Road King (sold)
1996 K1100 LT (sold)
1990 Honda Shadow (sold)
1978-1993 Raising Kids; Paying Mortgages
1975 Honda CB550 (sold but wish I still had)
Homemade Motor Bike (mounted a 3.5 HP Briggs & Stratton on my bicycle at age 12)
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