"Potential" new LT Owner - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 26 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:16 pm Thread Starter
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"Potential" new LT Owner

First post, so first, I wanted to say hello.

I recently sold my Goldwing. Great bike but I was getting a bit bored on it.

Always wanted a K1200LT so I found an 02 in great shape with low miles for about $6k or an 08 at a dealer with very low miles. Still working on a price but somewhere in the $13K area. It is decision time.

So here is my question. Don't rip me apart. I am seeking advice from those of you with the knowledge.

The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on one of these fine machines is my concerns with the FD issues. I have read about the numerous failures, but I have not read much from those of you without any issues.

How many of you seasoned LT riders have NOT had any issues?

The cracked frame issues on the Goldwing were well publicized but I never found anyone who actually had a problem. So I am wondering how likely the FD failures really are. Is the 4% failure rate an accurate figure?

Thanks in advance for your advice and for not flaming me for bringing this up again.

Rob
2009 K1200LT
Atlanta, GA
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post #2 of 26 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:25 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

The FD issue should not be a show stopper. They do happen but are almost non-existent on the later models. Easy to do a preemptive rebuild as the failure is due to an assembly issue of over shimming at the factory. This appears to have been corrected by 2003. Several on this site will do a rebuild at very reasonable prices and repeat failures have yet to surface compared to dealer rebuilds.

The bottom line is these are a hoot to drive on the slab as well as the twisties. 10 years and 88 K happy with mine.

John
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post #3 of 26 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:57 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

you will most likely not hear any/many posts from people with out problems they are all happy and riding. Don't let these issues dissuade you in your decision, it's a big world out there with a gazillion LT's floating around, if it breaks then fix it. The amount of $$ I have saved from the information here "from people with problems" has well and truly covered any maintenance/breakdown cost on my bike, and my first major problem occurred at 105k trouble free km not bad.

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and no koalas are not Bears



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post #4 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 12:22 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

The K1200LT is a fine choice. I have 92K on my 2004 LT. No trouble with FD at all (knock on wood here) I had a clean magnet on the last FD fluid change.

Scott and Theresa
Munising, MI
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post #5 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 1:13 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Do not get the '02 - the '99 -'02's have the highest FD failure rate.

Get them down on the '08 - good luck!!

Ted

Camarillo, CA
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post #6 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 3:55 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
The FD issue should not be a show stopper. They do happen but are almost non-existent on the later models. Easy to do a preemptive rebuild as the failure is due to an assembly issue of over shimming at the factory. This appears to have been corrected by 2003. Several on this site will do a rebuild at very reasonable prices and repeat failures have yet to surface compared to dealer rebuilds.

The bottom line is these are a hoot to drive on the slab as well as the twisties. 10 years and 88 K happy with mine.
If you find an early model LT that has had it's FD rebuilt and replaced by competent hands, I would think that you should include a '99 - '02 in your purchase decision.

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #7 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 4:18 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Had 12 (or is it 13) LT's now.....never had an FD issue.
Fabulous bike, love 'em!
Simon

2006 k1200LT........my 13th!
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post #8 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 6:40 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorCityBear View Post
...
Always wanted a K1200LT so I found an 02 in great shape with low miles for about $6k or an 08 at a dealer with very low miles. Still working on a price but somewhere in the $13K area. It is decision time...

The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on one of these fine machines is my concerns with the FD issues. I have read about the numerous failures, but I have not read much from those of you without any issues.

How many of you seasoned LT riders have NOT had any issues?

The cracked frame issues on the Goldwing were well publicized but I never found anyone who actually had a problem. So I am wondering how likely the FD failures really are. Is the 4% failure rate an accurate figure?
...
The final drive concern shouldn't stop you from buying a K1200LT, nor should it be the deciding factor between the 02 and the 08 bikes.
There have been message threads on this site in the past about who has not had a problem; the majority have not have problems. In fairness however, these bikes do have more issues than a comparable Honda, just as the Beemer cars have more issues than do Honda cars. But the performance that is engineered into these bikes is remarkable and does bring on a grin.

My suggestion would be to research the differences between the 02 and the 08, there are many, and make your decision based on those factors. The price differential between the two is pretty significant. If I were to buy the 02, I'd plan on pulling off the final drive and having Saddleman or JohnZ (both are on this site) do a rebuild on it. The 02 would then have a final drive with great reliability. The final drive on the 02 could be just fine, but since this is the period known to have badly assembled drives, a preemptive rebuild brings great piece of mind.

Look into differences between the 02 and 08: brake systems, handling characteristics, engine power, hydraulic center stand. All that info is here on this site.

Have fun, welcome to what is still the best touring motorcycle available, and the best forum.
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post #9 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 6:42 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

I bought a 2009 LT last April from a private party under 12k on the odo. 13k$$$

2009 BMW K1200LT "Shelly"
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post #10 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 6:57 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

I had a 2000 that i bought in 2006 with 12K on it. I rode it till 2011 & sold it with 72K to a friend. He put another 10K on it before a teenager took the bike out while texting. Never had any problems with the bike. If your really worried about the FD get the bike & send the FD to JZeiler to get it rebuilt. He had done a ton of them.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #11 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 7:41 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

I just purchased an 09 with low mileage (6525) for 11,500. Love it. Came from California. This is my second LT. I have owned goldwings in the past and like this bike much better. I f you are buying I would suggest an 05 or newer.
Good Luck
Dave

09 K1200lt new 6525 miles
05 K1200lt totaled 34k
08 Goldwing trike 57k
89 Goldwing sold with 205k still going
79 Goldwing bought new sold with 33k in 3 years
76 KZ 750 twin sold with 45k
and many more.
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post #12 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 8:27 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

My LT is 2000, final drive rebuilt twice (neither time was I stranded), once I paid, second time was warranty. If it happens within the two year warranty, BMW will do it again, if not, I'll find someone on this site! This site is like a support group-it's a great community who will jump in to help you.

Don't worry about the posts that talk of the problems-which there are as on every bike-but the rest of the LT owners are out riding and don't have time for posting.

I've done over 100K in the past 6 seasons, and while I was cleaning the bike the other day, someone walked by and asked if it was a new model! Get one. If I was looking, I'd be right here in the classified section looking-these guys take care of things.

Dave
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post #13 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 8:46 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

My advice would be, not to let the year or mileage for the LT be a deterrent. You'll see plenty of high mileage LTs. And I believe that you're better off buying from a (LT/BMW) enthusiast because it's likely the bike will have been better maintained as well as outfitted with accessories you'll be glad to have. Good luck with the decision.
Scott

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post #14 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 9:56 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT View Post
The final drive concern shouldn't stop you from buying a K1200LT, nor should it be the deciding factor between the 02 and the 08 bikes.
There have been message threads on this site in the past about who has not had a problem; the majority have not have problems. In fairness however, these bikes do have more issues than a comparable Honda, just as the Beemer cars have more issues than do Honda cars. But the performance that is engineered into these bikes is remarkable and does bring on a grin.

My suggestion would be to research the differences between the 02 and the 08, there are many, and make your decision based on those factors. The price differential between the two is pretty significant. If I were to buy the 02, I'd plan on pulling off the final drive and having Saddleman or JohnZ (both are on this site) do a rebuild on it. The 02 would then have a final drive with great reliability. The final drive on the 02 could be just fine, but since this is the period known to have badly assembled drives, a preemptive rebuild brings great piece of mind.

Look into differences between the 02 and 08: brake systems, handling characteristics, engine power, hydraulic center stand. All that info is here on this site.

Have fun, welcome to what is still the best touring motorcycle available, and the best forum.
Your mindset towards basing a decision on which vintage to focus on was the same as mine after my reading well over 100 hrs of information out on the internet. And spending time speaking with 2 independent and factory dealers/repair shops on the subject of the K1200LT.

While very much a Newbie myself to this model I believe I did make a informed decision pertaining to which year was right to fit my needs. Yes, I knew that my (new to me) 2000 w/25k on it needs to be watched more than a much newer model for a few little details, until I yank the final drive out over this coming winter and have it properly refurbished.

But honestly that is NOT that big of deal.

I've helped friends with R1200GS's with final drive issues a few times, trannie issues with them, a clutch exploding for no reason, and other weird poop going on with that model.

So to see a very small percentage of final drives fail on the LT's really did not bother me, too much.

As a wise man once said when I bought my first Porsche 911, buy the newest one you could afford, I guess I was a slow study or very poor, because I've owned 5 over the last 35 years with the latest being the newest.

Enjoy
M


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post #15 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 10:33 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

When I purchased my LT I was looking for the 03 for the 'safe' year. Actually they made process change on the late 02 manufactured April and later. That's when they changed the bearing suppler too. So if that is a concern for you check on the frame for the manufactured dated. My 03 went 97K miles before trade in with no final drive failure. My bike never stranded me but did have failures like anything mechanical. Had I let it worry me I would have missed out on 9 great years of touring the US with my wife on the motorcycle. Our first trip was the 05 CCR in the Grand Tetons.

Seriously I would be more concerned about the low mileage on the bike than the final drive. When did it have it's last 12K maint? Its going to need all the fluids changed and maybe even the brake and fuel hoses. Use that as a bargaining chip to drive the price down.

Just Go
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post #16 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 12:09 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

I worry more about the clutch than the FD.

In the last 2 years...
'08 R1200GS---Loved it!!!
'01 H-D Ultra Classic---Hated it!!! (aka. the infernal noise making machine)
'02 K1200LT(black)---Even my GF is jealous of this one.
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post #17 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 2:54 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Hi, Here's a reprint from a post I did years ago...The poster was asking about the comparison of the LT to an GL1800.
Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents...I owned an GL1800 for 2 years, and enjoyed the comfort, and even more the comfort it gave to my wife riding on the back. The bike is blessed with great gagets and there are tons of aftermarket doodads available for it. But, I seemed to always have this gnawing feeling that I was missing the thrill of riding a motorcycle. It began to seem like I was driving a Civic with 2 wheels. Dude! what ever anyone says about the power of the LT, the GL has torque/power supreme. I mean when you want to go fast, I don't care what speed you are going, or what RPM, when you twist the throttle, the GL just pours on the coals and goes. Not to say that the LT doesn't go like a bat out of hell, it just takes a little more RPM and downshift work to blow by everyone else in the blink of an eye... My wife finally decided to get her own bike, and I thought I would sell the GL, and get a cruiser to ride to work, and for weekend trips. I sold it, and started shopping, with nothing particular in mind. I began to understand that I really wanted all the hard luggage for hauling my stuff to work, and lamented my decision to sell the GL. I no sooner started to whine quietly to myself when I came across the LT on craigslist, for a give-a-way price ($3600)! After some wheeling and dealing (had to pay a little more than asking to get there first) I rode home on my new to me 2000 KLT. I have taken several trips on it to date, 1 up and 2 up, plus 60 miles round trip to work, and I can say from experience that it is definately a more fun ride, gives you a great "Motorcycle" feel, with all the comfort and more than the GL. I would not mean to discount things like dealer network, parts or maintenance costs, or any other ecomomic factor involved in owning a complicated piece of machinery, But for ride factor..I don't think there is any comparison.....LT hands down! I just love riding the big girl!!!! Oh, and I never understood the big deal of an electric adjustable windshield until I got the LT. It is by far one of the best accessories ever! It really allows you to adapt your riding comfort to your speed and riding environment at the touch of a button. Rather than the pull over, manually adjust your windshield, start riding, not right, pull over adjust again, its good now, go faster, not right again, pull over.....etc. Electric adjustable windshield....double extra +++fantastic!
I wrote that about 5 years ago, I love the LT even more now. I prefer it over any car I own, and ride it in all weather except ice storms, and heavy snowfall.
I just had my FD go out, got a rebuilt replacement from a Forum member for $350 plus shipping, and I'm back on the road. Over all, not really what I would call an expensive repair. It sounds weird to say it, but this forum is an actual substitute for a dealer!!! You can buy bikes, parts, accessories, get advise, people will send you things you need, come over an help you. The only thing else you get from the dealer is the part where you drop it off, and pick it up next Tuesday, bring buckets of cash!
Good luck my friend, You WILL enjoy riding this motorcycle!!

RICH CANNON
2000 K1200LT "a great ride"
2002 GL1800 powerful, but boring..(gone)
1979 XS1100 (gone)
1986 VT500 Ascot (gone)
1972 Honda 500-4 (gone)
1961 Lambretta (way gone)
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post #18 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 2:59 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by KI_OTE View Post
I worry more about the clutch than the FD.
Yes and the clutch issue will give you enough warning ie slipping in 5th gear. You won't get yourself stranded with that unless you ignore it.

Just Go
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post #19 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 5:21 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Bought my 05 over 3 years ago for $10k w/29k on it. About to roll over 45k on the odometer and have been using it as a daily commuter inside the last year. No major issues so far. (Knocking on wood) Good forum here with great people willing to share their expertise. Look forward to seeing your pictures of the new ride.
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post #20 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 5:26 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Just replacing the crown wheel bearing is about a hundred bucks and an afternoon job. Take a look at how much shim is in it and consider taking a small amount out. Probably good for 100,000 miles plus then.


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post #21 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 8:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Thank you for all the replies and the great advice. I feel much better about buying the LT.

I will check back in once I get it.

Rob

Casualemt Great comparison with the Goldwing!

Rob
2009 K1200LT
Atlanta, GA
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post #22 of 26 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 11:39 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

If I were you, I would ride both a pre 05 and a 05 and up. I like the early and the 99-01 without the servo ABS. I did not like the servo assist, too much assist for my taste. You might like it or not. Also the seat position is different, the steering geometry is changed. I am not saying the older ones are better, just that you should ride both and make your choice based on what you like more.
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post #23 of 26 Old Jul 16th, 2014, 6:50 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorCityBear View Post
First post, so first, I wanted to say hello.

I recently sold my Goldwing. Great bike but I was getting a bit bored on it.

Always wanted a K1200LT so I found an 02 in great shape with low miles for about $6k or an 08 at a dealer with very low miles. Still working on a price but somewhere in the $13K area. It is decision time.

So here is my question. Don't rip me apart. I am seeking advice from those of you with the knowledge.

The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on one of these fine machines is my concerns with the FD issues. I have read about the numerous failures, but I have not read much from those of you without any issues.

How many of you seasoned LT riders have NOT had any issues?

The cracked frame issues on the Goldwing were well publicized but I never found anyone who actually had a problem. So I am wondering how likely the FD failures really are. Is the 4% failure rate an accurate figure?

Thanks in advance for your advice and for not flaming me for bringing this up again.
Things to consider: If you can do your own preventative maintenance that will save you money and if you can do your own major work you are golden. I do preventative maintenance but the stealer does my major service intervals every 12K miles and it costs anywhere from $800 to $1100 a clip. Usually that includes either a front or rear tire replacement and the higher $1100 is when they do the ABS service. My 07 has 30K on it and has given the wife and I 6 years of absolute touring fun. Knock on wood we have not had a problem at all. The bike in my opinion is so superior in delivering a smooth comfort filled ride with great technology for its day that I can't imagine owning anything else. My suggestion is to go for the 05 or later because of the improvements. Yes it costs more but an older bike with higher mileage will also cost more as it will need work as parts wear out and need replacing. Make sure the proper maintenance has been done and if the bike was not garaged stay away as water and corrosion can cause a lot of issues.
Good luck and I am sure you will be very happy with an LT of any year.
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post #24 of 26 Old Jul 22nd, 2014, 4:48 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

My 2000 LT has 103k miles. I've never had a problem with the final drive and there are no indications now that I might have one. Great, great, great motorcycle. Just have to pay attention in parking lot speed situations.

Greg
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post #25 of 26 Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 12:13 am
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

My 05 LT has over 80k and no problems with anything other than the electric/hyd center stand. John Z rebuilt that a couple yrs ago.
I am sure the old LT is the most top heavy low speed bike, and the most comfortable all around bike I have ever been on.

I was going to sell my 05LT after a 13 GTL purchase, but the old LT just does some things better than any bike including the 1600...such as the long hauls when comfort and wind protection are important.

Get an LT and if sorry.... well just blame me. Heck, what do I know.

Chris from Kansas who was a proud owner of a HODAKA ACE 100 in the 60s.

Life is ephemeral. Don't waste it lookin up big words.
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post #26 of 26 Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 10:06 pm
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Re: "Potential" new LT Owner

I have an 2004 i bought at a dealer with 37,300 miles on it in 2012. So far I've replaced or repaired... The radio had right channel amp fried out after i got it. Sent it to Baris in England for amp upgrade and aux jack installed. $400.00 Could have done Jensen marine radio. But i wanted controls to work and a stock setup. My FD went out 2 months ago. But not due to a bearing issue. It was due to the Hubs which are pressed together seperated. Sent to Dave Selvig who rebuilt it $400.00. Also the maintenance i did. Fuel,air filters. Spark plugs & quick fuel disconnects.It now has 52,270 miles.So i have dumped some $$$ into big mama. But i can tell you this.. All bikes have individual issues. I have yet at this point to ride a Touring bike that is as comfy as the LT. As nimble and fun in the twisties as the LT. And it really starts to shine on the freeway speeds above legal posted limits which is 75 and up. It really is a great machine for what it does.The FD issue. If it goes you fix it. Dave does a great job with rebuilds. I hope to have it a long time.And would probably buy another if their still around.Yes. I think they are that good of a touring bike.Lots of guys on this forum have no issues.

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