From cruiser to K1200LT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Aug 10th, 2006, 10:21 pm Thread Starter
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From cruiser to K1200LT?

Hi all,
I found this sight while doing research on the K1200LT. I'm 45, and currently ride a Kawasaki 1500 Nomad FI. For those of you not familiar with this bike, it's a large V twin touring cruiser with a full windshield hard side bags. Lately I have been thinking about switching to more of a sport touring bike like the K1200LT or Goldwing? With the distances I sometimes ride, I figure it would be more comfortable and powerful. Since the riding positions are somewhat different, I'm not sure how easy a transition it would be going from a V-twin cruiser (which is all I have ever ridden) to a bike like the K1200LT?
I ride 5000+ miles a year, with most of the miles on longer touring trips. I live in a northern suburb of Dallas (not a particularly nice riding area), and usually ride to either New Mexico or Colorado for a week of riding every year in the fall when the Aspens turn. I also ride in northern Arkansas a few times a year.
Unfortunately, I have not found a lot of riders in my area that enjoy this long distance touring, so I usually travel alone. Which is another reason I'm thinking about switching to something like the BMW, since it appears that owners of K1200LT type bikes thrive on this kind of riding? I figured I might be able to hook up with a group of riders that enjoy the longer distances?
I'm looking for a little guidance. I'm all ears if you have an opinion or have made the transition from a cruiser to this type of bike. Thanks for your help!

Doug
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post #2 of 23 Old Aug 10th, 2006, 10:33 pm
 
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Doug,

First of all, welcome to the site. There's a lot of great people in here . . . and there are a TON of riders in here from your great state. 5K miles a year? That's actually pretty slim...no offense. I've had my new GT for under two months and it's got that on it. Within the next 2 months, it'll have another five, but I digress.

The transition from your Nomad to an LT is not that big of a deal. That is, IF you're willing to be teachable. The last 4 bikes I've had have been an '83 Honda V65 Magna (muscle cruiser), an '02 BMW K1200LT (luxury/sport tourer), a '98 Kawasaki ZX-11 Ninja, (sportbike tourer) and now a new '06 BMW K1200GT (sport-tourer). Each bike required a certain amount of learning. The LT more than most, due to it's weight...especially in slow speed situations. But this is nothing that practice can't overcome.

Good luck with your decision. And don't be a stranger.
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post #3 of 23 Old Aug 10th, 2006, 11:01 pm
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Well there are people on this board that are much more knowledgeable than me but .....
I dont think most of us consider the LT a sport tourer... I consider it more of a sporty tourer.
I think it is a great touring bike that handles like a sport bike when you ask it too and after you get used to the feel of this great bike.
I also have a V twin that I owned for 26 years.
But it all comes down to what feels good and what you like and your riding style.
I suggest ride them all and see what you like.
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post #4 of 23 Old Aug 10th, 2006, 11:24 pm
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5000 miles a year is not too bad for most "Cruiser" riders, but is on the very low end for many BMW riders (LT or other). These bikes are made to ride long distances.

The thing that will be hard to do is get enough time on an LT in a test ride to have any real good idea if it would suit you long term. One member here very recently asked a lot of questions here, and decided to test the LT. Came back and said that in his test ride he just could not get comfortable. A few days later he was back just having purchased a new LT! He said that even though the test ride made him a little uncomfortable with the height and low speed handling, it kept coming back to him how many things that the LT did very well when he was riding his old bike again, so he went back for a second test ride, and signed the papers!

Try an LT, but just remember that it is going to be considerably different, but keep in mind that anything seeming a little strange or difficult will NOT feel so after a few hours on it. If there are more things good to you than bad, it will likely be a very favorable upgrade, and yes, most of us here feel that as good as your Nomad is, the LT is a BIG upgrade!

I was putting 30,000 miles a year on my LTs for over 4 years. Would buy another one in a heartbeat. Not a better full touring bike made! The Wing is a good one also, but just not for me.

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post #5 of 23 Old Aug 10th, 2006, 11:28 pm
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Welcome Doug. I too came in from the cruiser crowd. 2001 Bigdog Bulldog. I got gasps from a friends bike club when I told them the miles I logged without fairings and windshield. The 05 k1200LT was a welcome change and like riding a Lazy Boy Recliner after the muscle cruiser. I'm sure you'll enjoy the change as did I.

Tony 05
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post #6 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 12:09 am
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The LT and Wing are both great bikes. Considerably different than what you are used to but you won't have a "problem" once aware of their character. Either will cost you a lot more in gas money.

Jim
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post #7 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 12:57 am
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Welcome

Doug ,

Welcome to the site. I moved from a RoadStar Silverado to the LT. Actually, I had planned on keeping both (you know... different job, different tool), but after a year of riding the LT, I had logged a little over 12k on it, and only 100 miles on the RoadStar. I decided that was too much money to tie up in a bike that wasn't being ridden.

Difference between you and I is that I have been riding since I was 12, and have ridden a bunch of different bikes. I don't think you'll have much trouble with the transition though. It is taller and more top-heavy than your cruiser, but as soon as you get out the drive and on the road, the weight just melts away.

Once you adjust to the LT, I suspect you'll find it very easy to ride. You'll find it very easy to put miles on also. ...And yes... my mileage amounts have increased significantly since that first year. Last year I put about 30k on my LT.

BTW... I also live in the North Dallas area and wish the locals here got together a little more often. I'm not complaining though, the way this site is structured I could put something together as easy as the next guy. My biggest problem is time. You might also want to consider the MTA. I've only ridden with them a time or two, but they do the kind of riding you've described. Check them out at: http://www.mtatx6.com/index.html

One last note about this forum ... don't own an LT without it. This place is awesome. You'll be amazed at the brain trust you'll find here. It's like none other. ... and that my friend is hands down, no non-sense!

Good luck to you,

Bill B.


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post #8 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 6:33 am
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You Dallas boys should stop lamenting and come to the Munster Gearage tech session Saturday. A tech session is where we get together, tear these bikes down and work on them. There is usually a small fire or two, but since we've learned, we haven't had any explosions lately. With any luck, you'll get to see some valves adjusted. I'm bringing the buckets and it ain't chicken.



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post #9 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 7:30 am
 
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I went from the Suzuki C90 to the BMW a few months ago, it took about 10 mins to get used to the new position. I still have the Suzuki but it has been relegated to the shorter trips only now.

For touring the Beemer is top knotch.

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post #10 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 8:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbaliko
Hi all,
I found this sight while doing research on the K1200LT. I'm 45, and currently ride a Kawasaki 1500 Nomad FI. For those of you not familiar with this bike, it's a large V twin touring cruiser with a full windshield hard side bags. Lately I have been thinking about switching to more of a sport touring bike like the K1200LT or Goldwing? With the distances I sometimes ride, I figure it would be more comfortable and powerful. Since the riding positions are somewhat different, I'm not sure how easy a transition it would be going from a V-twin cruiser (which is all I have ever ridden) to a bike like the K1200LT?
I ride 5000+ miles a year, with most of the miles on longer touring trips. I live in a northern suburb of Dallas (not a particularly nice riding area), and usually ride to either New Mexico or Colorado for a week of riding every year in the fall when the Aspens turn. I also ride in northern Arkansas a few times a year.
Unfortunately, I have not found a lot of riders in my area that enjoy this long distance touring, so I usually travel alone. Which is another reason I'm thinking about switching to something like the BMW, since it appears that owners of K1200LT type bikes thrive on this kind of riding? I figured I might be able to hook up with a group of riders that enjoy the longer distances?
I'm looking for a little guidance. I'm all ears if you have an opinion or have made the transition from a cruiser to this type of bike. Thanks for your help!

Doug
Hi Doug,
A number of us made the very same transition. El Jeffe was riding a Royal Star before his LT. Grif was a Harley Head. I had a Yammy Virago, and a Moto Guzzi V11EV before. VTwin Willy, well that's obvious! My wife and I got bored with the Saturday lunch rides and wanted to travel to far off places in comfort. El Jeffe turned me onto the LT, and it changed our lives. I used to be a 4k to 5k miles per year rider, then I put 15k miles on the LT on average every year since I have owned one. We learned about CCR and made some of the best friends we ever had. I have been involved with this web forum for about five years now, because it's like a family. Come on over to our place on Saturday and meet some of the guys and watch us tear up a bike or two. Here are the directions. http://john.munson.net/mundir.html
I look forward to meeting you.

Blessings!
munson+

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post #11 of 23 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 9:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbaliko
... currently ride a Kawasaki 1500 Nomad FI...
Doug,

I came from a Kawasaki 1600 Classic about 15 months and 15K miles ago. The best advice that I can give you is to keep the RPMs up. Don't even think about shifting until you are at least 4K. The LT's powerband is between 4K and 7K. Personally, that was the hardest thing for me to get used to, but once I did ...

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post #12 of 23 Old Aug 12th, 2006, 9:22 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your replies. I'm going to see if I can rent an LT and a Goldwing each for a weekend, putting a few hundred miles on each. This should give me a better idea of which, if either, is for me. Thanks again for the help!

Doug
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post #13 of 23 Old Aug 12th, 2006, 6:43 pm
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Ditto

Doug, am in the same boat you are, but here in New York state and with a 2004 V-Rod that desparately wants to be a touring bike. I spent today at the BMW dealership and tested both the LT and the RT and even though my first jaunt (40 minutes or so) with the LT was a little nerve wracking, my second time out (20 minutes) after thinking about it sealed the deal.

Going from the cruising postion on the V-Rod to the LT is something I'll just tough my way through, but after only an hour on the LT can tell it will be worth the effort!

IMHO

NeoSirfir
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post #14 of 23 Old Aug 12th, 2006, 7:27 pm
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I Just Changed From My Nomad To An Lt!

Your inquiry caught my eye because just two weeks ago I traded my 2003 VN1500fi NOMAD for a 2001 BMW K1200LT. I was visiting the dealership and had not even an inkling of buying or trading, but one test ride on the LT made me a believer. Since then, for me the biggest adjustment has been the sitting position. It took some time for my body to adjust to the more "forward" position on the LT, but now I am OK.

I logged about 350 miles yesterday and I feel great this morning. I still find myself wishing I had some forward pegs and will probably add a set of "J" pegs to the LT, just to be able to change positions. The cruise control is magnificent as is the adjustable windshield!!! I wouldn't worry too much about the slow speed handling characteristics of the LT, because the NOMAD wasn't really any better, just not wuite as top heavy, nor as tall. You will know this...The NOMAD was terrible at slow speeds and had a reputation for such.

At speed, there is absolutely no comparison between the Nomad and the LT, with the LT winning hands down. I can ride for hours and not even feel tired. In the curves...oh my gosh...the LT is awesome. No more fighting the bike to keep it in the curve. My wife feels the same and loves the LT much more.

Ride it first, but be ready to trade or buy when you do, because you are going to love it. Also, most of my buddies (whom I thought would laugh when they heard I had a BMW) have been very complimenting and actually love the look and feel of the bike. You know what else is cool...the bike makes a statement and you don't see one on every corner! When my friends ride it...they are amazed and so am I! God bless.

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
'06 Goldwing - "The Black Pearl"
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post #15 of 23 Old Aug 13th, 2006, 4:09 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccpastorjack
I still find myself wishing I had some forward pegs and will probably add a set of "J" pegs to the LT, just to be able to change positions.
Also look at the Mick-O-Pegs. They move your feet forward, but not as far out as the J-Pegs do.

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post #16 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 5:58 pm
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I got off a Yamaha Venture and bought an 03 LTE and it's great. It's nimbler than anything I've ridden. I've done 75K in 3 1/2 years on cruisers. I hope I can keep that up. I'm 58 and looking forward to it........
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post #17 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 6:50 pm
 
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I guess I made the biggest jump. From a Yamaha Majesty 400 cc "scooter" to a K1200LT. MAN, you talk about different. Twice the weight, three times the displacement, I have no idea how much more HP, but it's a bunch. And light years difference in the comfort.

It took me a while to get used to the difference, shoot, I guess I still am, but I'm a lot more comfortable on it than at first. I was literally scared to death. I had never ridded a motorcycle of any kind with a conventional transmission, or with a rear foot brake. (Well, I might have had 3 or 4 miles on a Suzuki 250 at the MSF never getting out of second gear.) I guess I didn't know enough to know what I didn't know. I've put just over 3,000 miles on in the month or so I've had it though.

If I can make that jump, your's should be a snap.
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post #18 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 11:06 pm
 
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At 44 I went from never owning or riding a motorcycle of any kind in my entire life, to about a year around town on a 50cc scooter, to riding my LT home 50 miles on a learners permit that I got while the dealer was finalizing my paperwork.

Almost three years and 30,000 miles later and I'm not regretting my decision one bit.
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post #19 of 23 Old Dec 4th, 2006, 11:36 pm
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I have been riding for 42 years and have had many bikes. When I bought the LT I never even rode it, just researched it and the GW and the LT was the winner. When I rode it home I thought what the heck have I done, buy the time I got it home I thought ok, but hope I didn't make a $20k mistake. Every time I rode it I liked it better and better, now with close to 20k on it I love it. The slow speed handling and the top heavy part was not that much of a problem because of my dirt bike skills but some have a problem with it, just practice and keep out of areas that cause problems until you get used to it. And like others have said don't lug it, it loves 4k-8k and you will to!

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post #20 of 23 Old Jun 29th, 2009, 8:42 pm
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Re: From cruiser to K1200LT?

A LT is a very wise choice for touring. I recently purchased a 6 year LT for performance and comfort. Last year we drove from Austin to Arizona and that trip made me a believer of the LT. At the time I was very satisfied with the GT, but the LT is very comfortable. The only drawback is the motor. It is a little slow off the mark, but it handles really well!
Two up riding in central Texas is a peice of cake.
Good luck with your decision. New bikes aren't cheap and good used bikes move real quick!
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post #21 of 23 Old Jun 29th, 2009, 9:48 pm
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Re: From cruiser to K1200LT?

I went from a Victory Cruiser to my 02 LT 6 mo. ago, and I love it. As everyone said it is more top heavy than the cruiser but I didn't take long to get use to it. If your planning on 2-up riding your wife will love it. Thats the reason I bought mine. If your looking for a use one check the classifieds on this board and craigslist. I found mine on craiglist. Good luck finding one, I know you'll be pleased.
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post #22 of 23 Old Jun 29th, 2009, 10:25 pm
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Re: From cruiser to K1200LT?

I came from a VStar 1100. It was a great bike, but really after 4 hours of riding it it became very uncomfortable.

5000 miles a year isn't much at all, but after all, you're riding a cruiser. For an LT, 5000 miles is an oil change.

The LT runs cooler, rides smoother, lasts longer, etc etc.

I bet if you get the LT you'll be doing a lot more than 5000 miles a year You'll love it, as most of us have.
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post #23 of 23 Old Jun 29th, 2009, 11:18 pm
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Re: From cruiser to K1200LT?

I know this is an old thread that has been resuscitated, but I hadn't seen it before. I also noticed that Doug only made 2 posts and hasnít been heard from again - so maybe he chose the Goldwing.

I read the post to my daughter, she smiled too when I got to the bit about 5000+ miles per year. Like many of the people on this forum, we have all probably done that (or more) on a 2 week vacation trip. But I do understand that riding a cruiser is different. My wife had a Honda Magna for a while, and all I could manage on that was 50 miles before I needed to stop. The LT just makes it so easy.

Dave

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