|I hear the shift linkage can break. What's the deal and should I carry a spare?|
|The shifter on the LT has been
a source of
problems. The linkage is comprised of a number of small ball
joints and connector rods some of which have been known to
fail. The parts most likely to brake are easy to get to and
replace so it is suggested that you carry the following spares in
your tool kit:
Retainer Clip 07 11 9 987 611 -
$0.16 (Good to Have a few of these)
|What's all this talk about rear drives failing?|
Yes it's true. There have been numerous reported incidents of the rear drive failing on the LT. Current numbers point to a failure rate of 3-4% of all LTs sold since '99. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the failures. No correlation has been found regarding mileage, load, model year, trailer pulling, etc. Some rear drives fail at very low mileage, others last more than 100,000 miles.
In most (but not all) cases, the bearing retainer fails which results in the seal being destroyed and a loss of fluid (possibly on to the rear tire!). There seems to also be no pattern to any warning signs of impending failure. Some have noted odd vibration or play in the rear wheel (side-to-side motion) but many others have had no warning what so ever.
At this time (late '03), BMW has not made any official comment other than to say they are looking at the issue and that they will consider warranty coverage on a case-by-case basis for those owners that experience a failure out of warranty.
|I hear the mirrors can fall off. Is there a way to attach them?|
| Ensure each mirror is attached firmly at its three connection points and the gap
between the mirror and the bike is consistent (about 1/8"). If a connection
point seems loose or the gap is inconsistent, consider shimming the connection balls the
mirror attaches to. To remove a mirror, smack the outside front of the mirror unit, towards
the back of the bike, with the palm of your hand, being careful not to drop the mirror when it comes off.
The factory may have taped spare washers on the body side of the mirror (these may be bent "lock" washers). It's quite common for mirrors to come off when you hit potholes, bumps, other things, etc. A replacement mirror costs about $200 and you don't want to have one destroyed, especially if you're far from home. We recommend you firmly connect each mirror to the bike so if (when) it falls off it will stay with the bike.
Many riders use heavy duty wire tie wraps to secure the mirrors but some have reported that the sudden impact of a flying mirror can snap the ties. Some owners use twisted wire that but that could snap if pulled too hard, depending on the strength of the wire. Heavy fishing line may work if sufficiently strong (e.g., 100lb. vinyl coated stainless leader line and crimp sleeves).
If you want the very best option, Bob's BMW sells 1/16" aircraft-cable connectors made for this very purpose; they are about $18 a pair and they are very strong. (Call the number listed here)
|My speedometer is way off. Is there any way to fix it?|
|First off, forget the idea of adding a cheap and
easy speedometer recalibration unit such as the Yellow Box to the
LT, they just WILL NOT WORK for a number of reasons. Read more
about it here.
Vic Agresti posted the following in the 'Hall of Wisdom' on the main board:
Correcting an inaccurate K1200LT
speedometer requires access to the back of the speedometer and
soldering two tiny jumper wires on specific points.
careful when removing and replacing the tiny bulb sockets on the
back of the cluster. Several folks have managed to break the
filaments in the bulbs and didn't notice until the bike was back
together. Replacements from BMW are $2.50!
|So, are my odometer and trip computer (BC) also way off?|
|If the speedometer
is registering 10-12% above the actual speed, does that mean that
the gas mileage is also inflated by the same percentage? Isn't
it calculated utilizing the odometer on the bike divided by the
gallons used? Aren't the speedometer and odometer linked?
NO! Even though they share the same pickup signal,
the odometer (and thus the trip computer) use a different decode
method so the odometer and gas mileage calculations are only of
|My LT fell off the sidestand! What the heck is going on?|
| Never park your bike facing downhill and use the
sidestand if you can help it! The bike will roll
forward and fall. When using the sidestand, it is important to leave the bike in 1st
gear to prevent it's movement. Try to find a level spot or slight
uphill grade to park. Roll the bike forward with the engine
off, the transmission in 1st, and the clutch out until it stops
(6"-8"). Then kick the sidestand hard forward and
get off the bike. This should minimize the chance of a
One other note: On a hot day, it is typical for your sidestand to sink in the asphalt and your bike may fall over. Try a small piece of aluminum plate (or similar) under the sidestand when you park. Don't forget to pick it up when you leave. Also, the same sinking problem can occur using the center stand on a hot day. Beware of parking your bike on the sidestand in heavy winds, the substantial area of this bike could cause a tip over depending on location and slant If unsure, put the bike near a wall or perhaps pointing into the wind.
|OK, I dropped the fat pig, now how do I lift it back up?|
|A full write up is available here but the basics are: Ensure key is off, place bike in gear, back up to bike placing your seat on the edge of the bike's seat that is closest to the ground. Grasp hand grip with one hand and the saddlebag grab rail with the other (or center stand grab handle, if working on that side). Slowly back up keeping knees bent. Once bike comes up enough, drop side stand and you're home free.|
|What is all this talk about a "Brown Wire"?|
|LTs produced up until
July 2000 were equipped with an engine control module (Motronic)
that was programmed from the factory with a single fuel/ignition
map. One of the attributes of this map is the ability for the
Motronic to react to high ambient air temperature by retarding
ignition timing under certain circumstances to avoid pre-ignition
(pinging). Unfortunately, this often occurs in low speed
situations such as going around a corner in town and can cause the
bike to hesitate or stumble at a critical time. This most
often occurs when the outside temperature is above 85 įF and the
engine is hot (such as stop-and-go traffic in the summer).
To address the hesitation problem, BMW modified the Motronic to include an alternate map that eliminates the troublesome feature BUT requires the use of Premium Grade fuel. This was made as a "running line change" in July of 2000 so any LT manufactured after that date SHOULD have the new Motronic but the only way to know for sure is have your dealer connect the bike to their computer and read out your Motronic's part number.
If you have the later Motronic, you still need to activate the alternate map to resolve the hesitation problem (more on that in a minute). BMW has issued a service bulletin to their dealers authorizing them to replace older single-map Motronics if a) your bike is still under warranty and b) you bitch and moan loud enough. This is really going to depend on how well your dealer works with you but keep trying, and you should get results.
Once you ensure you have the new two-map Motronic, there are two possible ways to activate the alternate fuel map:
1) If your bike is a 2002 or later, look under the seat near the battery along the right side frame rail. You should find a single exposed loop of brown wire taped to the outside of the wire loom that runs along there. You can find pictures of this wire in the service bulletin or on the main board by doing a search for "brown wire" (be sure to select "All Posts" and "All Forums" when searching). Once you identify the correct brown wire, just cut it. This will activate the alternate map and away you go!
2) If your bike is a 2001 or earlier AND you don't see a brown wire as described above (some 2001's have the wire), you have the older wiring harness that uses something called a Cat Code plug. The Cat Code plug is located under the top case and is usually yellow in color. It's a plastic cube about 1" on a side and it just snaps into a socket under the right rear of the top case. Remove your top case and the black plastic cover underneath to expose the Cat Code (this is an excellent time to do a Canisterectomy as well). Remove the Cat Code and you're set to go.
NOTE: Many riders report that the alternate fuel map not only removes the hesitation in warm weather but provides a noticeable improvement in the way the bike runs in ALL conditions. Just remember to use Premium Grade fuel to avoid pinging.
NOTE: More great information in this post by David Shealey
ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Many riders have found relief from hesitation by disconnecting the air temp sensor on top of the left side radiator. See a full discussion of that method here.
|My temperature gauge spikes up almost all the way to the top during stop and go traffic. Is this normal?|
|Yes. This is normal behavior. The temperature gage will rise near the top during stop and go driving in warm weather. Just when you start to panic, the fans will come on and bring the needle back down to mid-range. Most LTs operate with the temperature needle just below the half way mark when cruising down the road. The only time you need worry is when the needle goes into the red and/or the overheat light comes on.|