I am the current owner of a Honda CTX700N and am considering purchasing an '05 K1200LT.
My concerns are the weight moving from my CTX and the many many comments of how top heavy it is when riding slow speed.
When I go to look at the bike, what are the main things I should be looking at to feel confident I am making a good purchase?
I realize that it is a rather broad question but a few pointers would be awesome!
I have not ridden a CTX700, but looking at the specs shows that the LT is nearly twice the weight and has a 3" or so higher seat. This is a rather dramatic change. If you are an experienced rider, the transition should be very manageable. If you are relatively inexperienced, and I'm stereotyping here, but the CTX700 has "novice rider" written all over it, then this is probably going to be a challenging transition.
Not impossible at all though. I moved from a Kawasaki KH400 to a Voyager XII. I rode it about 700 miles to break it in and then headed cross country to Utah with the wife and fully loaded bike. Had a great trip. Only took a couple hundred miles to feel comfortable on it.
Everyone complains about the LT having a high CG. I don't know the CG of the LT as compared to my Voyager, but I saw little difference. The issue is these bikes weigh 900+ lbs loaded and ready to travel. That is a lot of weight! Get them leaned over very far and they are hard to hold up. And CG height only matters if you let the bike get leaned over. When vertical, CG is of no consequence.
The key is knowing how to ride. Keep your eyes focused ahead of you. Don't look down at the front wheel. Maintain situational awareness. Don't come to a stop on a slope or an oil patch (toll booths can be tricky).
Many complain about the servo brakes and say not to use the brakes unless the front wheel is straight. Again, the key is knowing how to ride. Just as with power brakes in a car, you can't apply them with the same force as manual brakes. I use my front brake all the time when turning at slow speeds. Not a problem if you remember you have power brakes and use them accordingly.
The main things to think about are:
1. What is your mission for the LT? Why do you want one?
2. Are you either independently wealthy or do you really like working on your bikes? The LT requires probably 3X as much attention per mile (maintenance and repairs) as the most troublesome Honda. Are you prepared for that?