Pros & Cons of the K1200LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 6:18 pm Thread Starter
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Pros & Cons of the K1200LT

I am a long time rider and am considering my next motorcycle purchase. I do a lot of long trips and Iron Butts. My '99 Kawasaki Nomad has been an extremely wonderful ride. It is comfortable, reliable and (believe it or not) quite a good long distance bike. But, I think I'm ready for a change.

The LT and RT are my primary focus today. A lot of factors bring me to these two bikes - Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Economy. I have test ridden both bikes. The RT felt light and agile. The motor was pinging along as do most boxer engines. The LT felt was different than any bike I had ever rode. It was like I was in a protective cocoon -- quiet, smooth... very different than my V-Twin Nomad. It has a lot of things that makes sense for long distance riders. I got the sense that I could ride it 1000 miles and still be able to function without a numb butt and buzzing in my head.

I am making this post to seek out the thoughts of those who already own and ride these bikes. Please share what you like and what you don't like about the LT (or RT). I'm considering recent model years, if you could point me to specific years and features I should look for --- that would be very helpful.

Thanks in Advance for your help.

Randy
Acworth, Ga
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post #2 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 6:31 pm
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Since you have already test ridden them then you are aware of the LT's weight and "top heavieness". I've only had my LT for a couple of months but the "drawbacks" would be, having to remove panels to do almost any maintenance. And everywhere I stop it seems people just want to come around and ask all kinds of questions about it, first being..."what kind of bike is that?", followed by questons about all of the switches and controls on it. The HD owners really seem to like the "power windows" option most.
Another drawback would be the cost and avialibility of parts (only from BMW dealers, mostly).
The up side would be its size. You ride it, you don't wear it. It gets seen (if only gawked at). And is a real joy to ride. Has lots of storage room. Plenty of power. And "room for improvement"...read; there are extras you can add/tinker with.
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post #3 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 6:34 pm
 
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Owned an LT for 4 years, and now have moved onto the new K1200GT. (Have you checked one of those out yet? ) The LT really only has one "flaw". It's heavy. Not that it was an issue for me, per se, but it could be an issue for you. Especially if you do a lot of high-mileage days in a row. At the end of long days, you have to be very aware of the LT's weight or you're going to drop it. That last fuel stop, checking into a motel, stopping for a bite to eat. When that fat girl gets tired and wants to lay down, there ain't no stopping her.

Good luck on your decision...and welcome to the forum.
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post #4 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 7:36 pm
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2 cents

I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.

If that's you, and you don't mind the riding position - perhaps light is better (some folks even like lite beer... ). I will add, that this is the first bike in over 20 years that my SO LIKES to ride on...

Good luck with your decision.
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post #5 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 7:39 pm
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Remember that other riders feel differently about their LT, but you did ask for opinions on likes and dislikes. So here are mine.

Owned my LT for two years. I liked it's sporty lines, electric windshield, ABS brakes, smooth power, excellent comfort for rider & passenger (and if not, plenty of aftermarket seats available), great handling, and a excellent local dealer. Carried me thru multiple states and back without one mechanical problem.

Why I don't still have it? A 800 "plus" pound, high seat height, relatively high center of gravity, motorcycle with rider/passenger/luggage (375 additional pounds) was just too much for me to enjoy manuvering and stopping when traveling below 5mph. Did I ever "drop it" when traveling below 5mph? Nope, I dropped it backing & turning on my gravel path. But when out riding it was always, always, always on my mind. Along with "when will my rear drive fail" and my "shifter break". It got to the point I dreaded saddling up for the weekend.

You might find it more then suitable for your style/type of riding, lots of other riders do.

regards
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post #6 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 8:02 pm
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The LT is a heavy bike but I like heavy bikes. I preferred my 04 RT to the new, lighter RT. I really wasn't sure which new bike I would get but the LT won out.
I've had a GT but prefer my FJR to the GT. It really is a get on and ride decision. My dealer (Sante Fe) let me do an overnight test ride and I was sold. If you act fast BMW has some great deals on 06s through the end of the year although who knows, those deals may only get better in 07.
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post #7 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 8:03 pm
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K1200lt

I've been riding the LT now for just a year. I really enjoy the bike. I was riding a Yamaha Venture before this one. The venture is not even in the same ball park when it comes to long distance riding. My wife really enjoys the ride on the LT. Only draw back about the bike I find is that it is heavey especially when riding two up with a full load of luggage. As far as handling at slow speeds it just takes practice. On the twisties this bike handles like a sports bike and would leave the GW far behind. I've also driven the RT which I also like and probably would have bought but my wife preferred the ride on the LT. I think you would be happy with whatever bike you buy. Good luck and happy riding.
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post #8 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 8:45 pm
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Randy, Welcome.


I ride an LT and have never rode an RT. I have 35 years continuous M/C experience and I find the LT very comfortable. I think if you find it still comfortable after 1 hour it will be comfortable at 15 hours. But YMMV.. Actually 750 miles is my optimal distance and I can repeat as necessary. I have done 2 1000 mile days back to back and I was glad they were over when I shutdown.

I think one of the reasons the LT works for me is the weight. I'm not intimidated by the weight but you have to always keep the weight in mind when doing low speed maneuvers. If you have a short inseam the LT will probably always be a challenge. She loves to dance in the curves and that is what I love and why I have one. I spend a very small percentage of time parking compared to riding.

I have 55k+ on mine and I believe that is it the easiest bike to ride that I have ever owned. IMHO if you are into long days the LT will not disappoint you but will also allow a sporty feel to same ride.

I ride this bike faster than I ever rode any previous ride and I feel comfortable at high speed even after multiple 750 mile days. I started out worrying about mechanical failures but I have found that good maintenance keeps you on top of some of the problems. Some of the big problems, like rear end, are a relatively low occurence (less than 5%) unless it happened to you. I'm not going to let that ruin my day. All bikes break. Some of the other problems, like slave cylinder leaks, are manageable with a maintenance cycle replacement.

Downsides of the LT.
  • Expensive to buy new.
  • Resale value is not good
  • Expensive to have dealer service.
  • Low volume of dealers especially in low population states.
  • Headlights are poor
  • Accessories are expensive.
  • Accessories are available..
Upsides of an LT.
  • Fun to ride
  • Not a common bike
  • Lots of accessories to personalize
  • If you do your own maintenance this site will be here for you
  • resale value is not good so there are good buys on great bikes
  • If you choose used you can find some that have lots of expensive addons already
  • Fun to ride
  • Fun to ride...
  • Did I mention it is fun to ride?

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA

Last edited by jackd; Dec 28th, 2006 at 8:50 pm.
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post #9 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 8:58 pm
 
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I have a 2005 LT and upgraded from an 800cc metric V-Twin... talk about a change, but in my opinion, a change for the better! What everyone has said about the weight is definitely something you have to respect as a rider, but it is managable. I'm only 5'8" w/ a 30" inseam but can handle this bike w/ the seat on the lowest setting. It's actually lower and easier for me to handle than the RT, which was one reason why I chose the LT over the RT. Trust me, when you've got shorter legs, a couple of inches in seat height makes up for a couple hundred pounds in overall weight. The biggest change for me was the sitting position, though. Having been used to a "forward control" foot position and going to the "knee over toe" upright that the LT provides was quite an adjustment, but it didn't take long at all to master it. The biggest benefit the LT has over my old "V" is its handling. I can really lean this big bike over when needed and have all the confidence I never had on my "V" cruiser. The next benefit is the comfort of the passenger. You definitely will enjoy the heated seats and grips the LT offers along w/ the power windshield. I can ride in 32* weather and not be an icecicle at the end of my ride. But, I think you'd be happy w/ either the LT or RT, or even the GT. They're all great bikes. Best of luck and welcome to the world of Bimmer.... the Ultimate Riding Machine!
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post #10 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 9:02 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bflemingor
I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.
I'm 6'3" with a 34" inseam. But I've only ridden the GT casually for 12K+ miles in 5 months, and I have a 10K-mile+ ride planned for next April. But thanks for the entertainment.

The bike doesn't put a lot of weight on your wrists...YOU put a lot of weight on your wrists. Then again, I was doing 800-mile days earlier this year on a Ninja. Different strokes for different folks. But a lot of riders simply do not know how to ride a sportbike and/or sport-tourer. The GT is definitely a true blue sport-tourer.
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post #11 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 9:29 pm
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Hey Fitch.. I come from a lifetime of mostly HD. The LT is the bike for me. It is a wonderful bike and it is a bit heavy when running slow, sure, but it's not unmanageable. Now, I'm only 6'2", 33 inseam and 280 pounds, just to give you an idea of my perspective.

Whatever you do, don't test ride it... If you expect to run "2 up", do NOT take them with you... you will never hear the end of it.

Motorcycling is certainly personal... as are bike of choice and only you know the stuff that matches your needs.

So, go to a dealer.. spend some time there.. ask lots of questions... Hope your choice is one you are comfortable with.

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post #12 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 9:35 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bflemingor
I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.
I have to agree that the GT is not by any means as comfortable then the LT. I did a weekend swap with a friend and was glad to get mine back. He commented on the much higher comfort level of the LT also. And I'm a strapping 5'7"
My biggest con of the LT and BMW in general is the dealer support. We are planning on moving in the near future, and I fear I'll have to sell my LT as the nearest dealer is +60 miles and I'm not sure how much longer they will be there.
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post #13 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 9:35 pm
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I am not familiar with the GT but with the RT, you can adjust your riding position in many ways. Lowering the foot pegs, a taller seat, different windscreen, handlebar pull-backs and risers are just a few of the options. I have a friend who rides an RT (and taks LONG trips) and is your size. He had several of these items installed on his RT and is very satisfied. Of course, I am partial to the LT, weight challanged as it may be.

Dave
Monkton, MD
and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC
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post #14 of 49 Old Dec 28th, 2006, 11:51 pm
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If your mission is cover a lot of miles multiple days in a row while staying off long stretches the gravel (I did a 30 mile stretch last summer and it wasn't fun) and skipping the dirt roads, you won't regret riding the LT. If you pay to have the work done, it'll be expensive to own.

BTW, I thought about replacing my LT with a R1200GS or GSA. However, I can't part with it (at least yet), so for the first time in 34 years of riding I'm the proud owner of two bikes. The second being an '07 R1200GS.

Regards,
John
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2000 K1200 LTC - Canyon Red
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post #15 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 12:08 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
When that fat girl gets tired and wants to lay down, there ain't no stopping her.
Joe,


Youre bringing back all my repressed college memories!


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post #16 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 12:25 am
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Tmi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

...............
J.M.J...
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post #17 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 12:42 am
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I rode my friend down to the BMW dealer to rent an RT this morning. He is a Harley rider and wants to get a bike that is a true long distance bike. We picked up the RT and then rode the rest of the day. We switched bikes because he was thinking about the LT also but thought it might be to heavy. By the end of the day with 150 miles of freeway and 100 of city with some twistys thrown in and he is convinced of one thing the RT is not for him. He is going to look at an LT tomorrow. He was very supprised how the LT felt, although the RT felt smaller he said the LT was much smoother and shifted and was much easier to turn. I rode the RT and felt very much the same. I had a 1200GS for a few weeks as a loaner and put a lot of time on it and liked it. The RT I had to push to get it to turn my LT I only look, slight pressure on the bar and it's turning. It has good power but has lots of vibes even in the sweet spot it is no where near as smooth as the LT. I have small feet but i had trouble shifting, very cramped. The mirrors are lousy much worse than the LT's. I did like the ESA but what happens when you want to add Ohlins or Wilbers? I am glad I rode it as I have thought of what would it be like going from the LT to an RT now I know. He is 6'2" so he had no problem flat footing the LT and the weight didn't bother him coming from the Harley.

05' LT Dark Grey, "Battle Star"
14' KTM 1190
03' KTM 450 EXC Dually
72' Honda SL 100
67' Triumph Bonneville
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post #18 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 8:43 am
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LT thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFitch
I am a long time rider and am considering my next motorcycle purchase. I do a lot of long trips and Iron Butts. My '99 Kawasaki Nomad has been an extremely wonderful ride. It is comfortable, reliable and (believe it or not) quite a good long distance bike. But, I think I'm ready for a change.

The LT and RT are my primary focus today. A lot of factors bring me to these two bikes - Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Economy. I have test ridden both bikes. The RT felt light and agile. The motor was pinging along as do most boxer engines. The LT felt was different than any bike I had ever rode. It was like I was in a protective cocoon -- quiet, smooth... very different than my V-Twin Nomad. It has a lot of things that makes sense for long distance riders. I got the sense that I could ride it 1000 miles and still be able to function without a numb butt and buzzing in my head.

I am making this post to seek out the thoughts of those who already own and ride these bikes. Please share what you like and what you don't like about the LT (or RT). I'm considering recent model years, if you could point me to specific years and features I should look for --- that would be very helpful.

Thanks in Advance for your help.

Randy
Acworth, Ga
hey Randy....

if u want to ride an LT im over in Jefferson....come on over and u can take her for a spin.....

in your post u said "reliability, comfort, performance, and economy"

i wonder if u put those in a specific order by priority?

i have mixed feelings on the reilability issue of the LT......of course i have to weigh what i say against the fact that my bike is a 99 that i bought used with 70k+ on it......since then i have put another 25K on....in about a year and a half......in that time i have had to replace the rear drive main bearing, and the transmission.......the rear drive bearing job cost me about $500 and I took the drive out and put it back in myself....i found a used tranny for $800 that i replaced myself.....so......is that reliable? i dont know....on one hand i dont know any other bikers around me who have remotely near 95K on their bike to start with.....so maybe it is extremely reliable engine wise....it runs like new........

comfort wise.....what i was riding before was either a Honda Shadow 1100 or a Concours.......there is really no comparison going gown the road....the LT is much much more comfortable than either of those....or any of the other bikes ive had.....and my wife loves it too....which is important

performance wise.....when i compare the LT to my shadow.....it is simply no comparison.....the shadow needed to cruise below 80 to avoid excessive vibration or deafness .......the LT can cruise at any speed you want to cruise at.....ive spent alot of hours with the cruise locked on 88 and it is as smooth and solid as at 60......i cant complain about the performance of the LT at all.....the Concours would outrun it.....but.....the LT will exceed 120 and i dont know too many places here in the east that u can do 120 for very long.......let alone faster...(Joe may disagree with me on this point )

economy wise.....my LT consistently gets 44 to 46 mpg......i ride pretty fast and pretty hard.....for the size of bike and for all the crap im usually hauling i am usually amazed at the fuel economy.....

anyway.....if you want to check one out in detail come on over.....

im in the Jefferson phone book....Kip Duke

Kip
99 LT
97 Shadow 1100
Jefferson, Ga
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post #19 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 9:10 am
 
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Outstanding Posts

Randy...Welcome!

The Outstanding Posts by the previous esteemed members present many pros & cons of the K1200 LT. I agree with all of their comments and insights.

This forum is one of the main reasons I purchased another Beemer. I have learned from so many!

Additional Pros -

* Performance
* Pleasure to ride
* Safety
* Pleasure to ride (said that)

Cons -

* Weight below 5 mph
* Tire wear



BIG AL
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post #20 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 9:25 am
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Opinion from the south

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd
Randy, Welcome.


I ride an LT and have never rode an RT. I have 35 years continuous M/C experience and I find the LT very comfortable. I think if you find it still comfortable after 1 hour it will be comfortable at 15 hours. But YMMV.. Actually 750 miles is my optimal distance and I can repeat as necessary. I have done 2 1000 mile days back to back and I was glad they were over when I shutdown.

I think one of the reasons the LT works for me is the weight. I'm not intimidated by the weight but you have to always keep the weight in mind when doing low speed maneuvers. If you have a short inseam the LT will probably always be a challenge. She loves to dance in the curves and that is what I love and why I have one. I spend a very small percentage of time parking compared to riding.

I have 55k+ on mine and I believe that is it the easiest bike to ride that I have ever owned. IMHO if you are into long days the LT will not disappoint you but will also allow a sporty feel to same ride.

I ride this bike faster than I ever rode any previous ride and I feel comfortable at high speed even after multiple 750 mile days. I started out worrying about mechanical failures but I have found that good maintenance keeps you on top of some of the problems. Some of the big problems, like rear end, are a relatively low occurence (less than 5%) unless it happened to you. I'm not going to let that ruin my day. All bikes break. Some of the other problems, like slave cylinder leaks, are manageable with a maintenance cycle replacement.

Downsides of the LT.
  • Expensive to buy new. compared to what, right there w/a Wing or full dressed HD
  • Resale value is not good IMO this is not true try to get a 'Steal", not easy. In my area used HD are CHEAP because of flooded market of used bikes.
  • Expensive to have dealer service. IMO, Not much diff than HD or Honda.
  • Low volume of dealers especially in low population states. I agree
  • Headlights are poor Absolutely not true on the new mod's
  • Accessories are expensive. Again not true when compairing, just not alot of aftermarket support like HD or Honda, Chi. BMW gives 20% disc.
  • Accessories are available..
Upsides of an LT.
  • Fun to ride
  • Not a common bike
  • Lots of accessories to personalize
  • If you do your own maintenance this site will be here for you
  • resale value is not good so there are good buys on great bikes
  • If you choose used you can find some that have lots of expensive addons already
  • Fun to ride
  • Fun to ride...
  • Did I mention it is fun to ride?
Welcome,
Just wanted to give my opinion of the downside. Actually IMO, the only REAL downside I have is the poor torque in 1rst gear due to questionable gear ratio. I am very used to it now but will look into revising the gearbox after the warranty expires!
Also if your inseam is shorter than say 30", make sure the bike can fit you. My brother badly wanted an LT but had to get a different bike because it was silly to modify a new LT to MAKE it fit (shocks, seat etc). But then again if you get a steal on a 2005, 06, or 07?????

2013 BMW Damask Red K1600GTL
2014 BMW K1600GTL-E EXCLUSIVE
2001 Honda C-250 Helix
SOLD 2006 BMW K-1200LT "The Manatee"

Smokin'


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post #21 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 10:11 am
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I too come from a Harley background. I have owned my 2000 LT since November of 2005, and I love the bike! I still have my Harley, but rarely ride it anymore. Despite all of the complaints of low speed handling on the LT, frankly I don't think it is bad at all. It just takes some getting use to!!! I do have some complaints, mostly about dealer availability, or non availability. My closest dealer is over 100 miles away, so I would die for one 60 miles from me! The expense in repairs and service is very high, so I would be reluctant to ever buy another one that was not under warranty. Right now my bike has 22000 miles, and my anti lock system lights are blinking. Just the parts to repair it run $1600. So far, I don't have any signs of rear end failure, and the last time I changed the oil there were NO signs of metal! Of course if you are brave and want to chance the repair issues without a warranty, you can get low mileage used LT's for very good prices. Again, I love mine, and despite some issues, I am thinking of a new one already!! I have never ridden a GT or RT, so I can't speak to them. Good luck and hope you take the plunge. jrlakin
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post #22 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 11:40 am
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Smile

I love my 05 LT.........No problems with it being heavy or inadequate lighting..
I have never dropped mine and I have a Corbin standard leather saddle and only a 31 inseam @ 220 lbs.

After 7 HD dressers with floorboards I miss them but the trade off of
terrific handling and power it is worth giving up the floorboards and the
Faux "Pirate Costume" facade to really ride.

47+ Yrs Daily Motorcycle Street riding for Therapy

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour

2007 Black Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom - Sold
2007 Red Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 - Sold
2005 LT Dark Graphite - (Sold)
2005 PearlBlue FJR1300 (Sold)
3 BMW's, 8 HD baggers, 3 Goldwings & 860K + miles later
*Ridin steady since 1973

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post #23 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 3:11 pm
 
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still wanting feedback?

As mentioned above, the 2 major complaints are the 'top-heaviness' and the need for additional/replacement forward lighting. I can't disagree with either of those. I've dropped it a couple times - at least BMW made guards that absorb all of the blow and protect the tupperware. I ordered 1100X's the day after my first night ride, no joke. Problem solved.

I tried to do a 400-mile trip across the state, but ended up having to stop a half-dozen times from a sore butt. The OEM seat kinda sucks and I plan on doing something about it this Spring. I also replaced a foggy OEM windshield for a CeeBaileys - better wind protection, yada yada.

The bike is heavy enough that it garners special tires. They require changing at least every 10-20k depending on the rider. They're not cheap.

Parts are expensive. Many people here work on the bike themselves. Labor is pricey at the dealers. If a rear drive or tranny fails, you're looking at big bucks to fix. I almost had to spend $600 for a $10 windshield arm I got from another member.

I don't mean to scare anyone away from the bike. The point I'm going to make is every drawback listed above is well worth the happiness I get from owning and riding it. I wouldn't be happier on anything else. I put some good mileage on a Honda, then a Harley. I looked into the LT, found a used one, and 7 months & 12k miles later, am glad I got it. I may never buy another brand, let alone different model.

This forum is a great place for people to get together. Everyone is really nice. The available information is extremely useful.

Is the bike worth it? I say so. It's fun enough that I take it for a beat run around town. I like blasting the music. I laugh when I ride with my friends and they tell me to turn my radio up because they can't hear it. The LT is much more spirited than it may look. I can keep up with the fastest of them!
The next day, I can take it for a 150-mile tour of the Wisc country roads. I like getting lost and finding my way home. I have cargo space to pick up groceries. I have a gas tank that lasts 230+ miles and a 6-disc that plays for 7+ hours. I like when people compliment how nice of a bike I have - especially when it comes from a guy on a Goldwing.

Drawbacks? Sure. But is it worth it? Absolutely. Sorry for the novel. Not sure if it even helps in your decision. I just wanted to share my opinion of the LT.
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post #24 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 3:20 pm
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Hey Randy, So far everyone has given you all their personal feelings about the beast itself. The best thing about the bike is the people that ride them. You need to read the SouthEast forum and join us for this little outing. Good weather and you'll have all folks on bikes with all sorts of farkles to drool over. Weather is bad and you'll just have to deal with all the GOOD folks.

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'00 Unigo - Dragon's Egg
'01 LTC - Flying Purple People Eater (Ya gotta be old enough to understand)(RIP)
'00 LTC - Canyon Red Rover (RIP)

Have you
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post #25 of 49 Old Dec 29th, 2006, 3:41 pm
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Cool blinking lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlakin
I too come from a Harley background. I have owned my 2000 LT since November of 2005, and I love the bike! I still have my Harley, but rarely ride it anymore. Despite all of the complaints of low speed handling on the LT, frankly I don't think it is bad at all. It just takes some getting use to!!! I do have some complaints, mostly about dealer availability, or non availability. My closest dealer is over 100 miles away, so I would die for one 60 miles from me! The expense in repairs and service is very high, so I would be reluctant to ever buy another one that was not under warranty. Right now my bike has 22000 miles, and my anti lock system lights are blinking. Just the parts to repair it run $1600. So far, I don't have any signs of rear end failure, and the last time I changed the oil there were NO signs of metal! Of course if you are brave and want to chance the repair issues without a warranty, you can get low mileage used LT's for very good prices. Again, I love mine, and despite some issues, I am thinking of a new one already!! I have never ridden a GT or RT, so I can't speak to them. Good luck and hope you take the plunge. jrlakin
Check your rear brake fluid res. May be the cause of your lights. Common symptom that drives us LT fans nuts is a safety feature built in that is not widely known. Add fluid and I bet your lights will be just fine. Had same issue on mine. No big deal.

Rob Nelson

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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
Grey Goose
2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
Toscana Temptress

More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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post #26 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 12:41 am
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I have a 2000 R1100RT and a 2005 K1200LT. Each has its mission. The RT seemed big before I got the LT, but now the RT is the sport bike for me. Yeah the LT is big and heavy but I'm 6'3" and 68 years old. Two up I do have to be extra careful. My wife hates the RT.
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post #27 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 4:44 am
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Joe,


Youre bringing back all my repressed college memories!
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????

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post #28 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 4:52 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFitch
I am a long time rider and am considering my next motorcycle purchase. I do a lot of long trips and Iron Butts. My '99 Kawasaki Nomad has been an extremely wonderful ride. It is comfortable, reliable and (believe it or not) quite a good long distance bike. But, I think I'm ready for a change.

The LT and RT are my primary focus today. A lot of factors bring me to these two bikes - Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Economy. I have test ridden both bikes. The RT felt light and agile. The motor was pinging along as do most boxer engines. The LT felt was different than any bike I had ever rode. It was like I was in a protective cocoon -- quiet, smooth... very different than my V-Twin Nomad. It has a lot of things that makes sense for long distance riders. I got the sense that I could ride it 1000 miles and still be able to function without a numb butt and buzzing in my head.

I am making this post to seek out the thoughts of those who already own and ride these bikes. Please share what you like and what you don't like about the LT (or RT). I'm considering recent model years, if you could point me to specific years and features I should look for --- that would be very helpful.

Thanks in Advance for your help.

Randy Acworth, Ga
The only con is the weight!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #29 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 10:45 am
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I think, since you asked this question on the "K1200LT" forum, you'll get more- "it's great!" answers since just about everyone here did choose the LT. Go and ask the same question on an "RT" forum, then weigh both sets of answers.

I owned an RT before I switched to an LT. I like both of them, didn't really dislike the RT, but the sport position of the pegs bothered me. And for some reason I wanted bigger. The RT handles much better and has quicker throttle response. You really can't get on the LT's throttle and expect to leave someone in the dust. Kind of performance like a 4-cylinder economy car. Somewhat different riding styles between the two bikes are necessary.

The LT's low- speed and no-speed handling REALLY sucks. Be prepared for a daily wrestling match, and as previously stated, stay extra alert and strong at the end of the day.

Be VERY careful parking. Always park it uphill. The side stand doesn't seem to extend quite forward enough or something. The bike is prone to falling over all by itself. I never dropped mine "yet", but I did park it on my seemingly level driveway and only realized it wasn't really level when I simply pressed the trunk latch and had the LT move away from me and then fall over. Of course, at that very moment a Harley riding buddy of mine just happened to turn the corner and stop to say "hello". (At least he did help me lift it).

I don't want to sound negative, it does have a long list of positives. The comfort is unequalled. It's so smooth and rock solid on the highway that you can actually almost lull yourself to sleep. Passengers have been known to fall asleep! The horn is LOUD. The sound system is great, and there's power outlets and room to add more farkles with a shelf or bar mounts. The power window is great too. Storage space is very good.

2010 Honda NT700V
1978 Honda CB400T II

Formerly
2011 R1200 RT
'04 R1150 RT-P
'04 R1200CLC
'06 Triumph Scrambler
'02 K1200LT
'01 R1200C Montana
'00 H-D Dyna Defender

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post #30 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 11:39 am
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05' with the extra hp, I have no problem leaving people in the dust.

05' LT Dark Grey, "Battle Star"
14' KTM 1190
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post #31 of 49 Old Dec 30th, 2006, 12:18 pm
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There's lots of conversation about "slow speed handling"... Well, here's a perspective... There is no doubt when I mount Misty and grab two handfuls that I am doing something serious. playtime is starting and I better pay attention...

Put something exciting between your legs.... way more machine than the HD's ever were..

...............
J.M.J...
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post #32 of 49 Old Dec 31st, 2006, 3:13 am
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I'm still new to the LT family. Here are my observations...

Good:
B M W
Comfort
Wind Protection
Music
Highway Weight (they don't call it Light Truck for nuthin')
Unique and Different (the LT's a real looker)

Not so Good:
Top Heavy (not a major problem if you pay attention)
A bit of a Wanderer at Speed (not as planted like I would like it to be)
Stock Seat is a Stinker! A Custom is a Must.
"Waist-high, in your Lap" Handlebar/Arm Position

So far, I love the LT for what it is. A big comfortable Luxury Cruiser/Tourer with guts. I don't try to make it something it isn't.

My 2 cents...

Mike M

2007 K1200GT Dark Graphite
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post #33 of 49 Old Dec 31st, 2006, 2:57 pm
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I have checked the brake fluids and even added some, as did the dealer. It has been checked and reset twice at the dealer, and he told me if it did it again, he would do a flush of the brake system, but if that didn't work, then the options are to put tap over the lights, or replace the abs. It did do it a third time, but I haven't had time to make an appointment and take it over there. As I said, it is over 100 miles away, and it is a small dealerships with only one Cert. BMW Mechanic. It generally requires at least a 3 week wait to get it in---again, one of my complaints with BMW. I will probably opt for tape if the flush doesn't work. But, I do appreciate the advise. jrlakin
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post #34 of 49 Old Dec 31st, 2006, 8:29 pm
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Pros and Cons of the K1200LT

Randy

I love my LT. I bought it new in June of 2000. I missed a the 2004 riding year due to surgery. My LT has 99,000 miles and I would not trade it for anything currently on the market. I have done a Butt Burner and a Butt Burner Gold. I have done many 700 and 800 mile days and on some trips several in a row. It has taken me from Utah to the Arctic circle and back. It has taken me all or the western US and Canada as well as a little bit of Mexico. The only time it left me stranded was when the throttle cable broke in the back woods of Idaho. I use to spend a great deal of time traveling at high speed, 100+ mph. My foot pegs have had a half inch of foot peg ground off because it is so much fun in the curves. I have never had a problem with luggage space. I pack all three bags and have bag on the topcase as well as another in the back seat. My wife carries her own luggage on her K1200RS. Pick up a Russell Day Long Seat and you will never want to get off the bike. For me there are no drawbacks to the LT. I have never found the weight to be a problem and the new model has better low speed maneuverability although I have not found a problem there either. I am 6'4" tall and weigh 300lbs. I spent too much time on the weight bench in years past so I am good with the size and weight of the LT. Sorry for the length of the string but I love my LT.
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post #35 of 49 Old Dec 31st, 2006, 9:18 pm
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LT vs RT

I had a 2004 R1150RT for 48,000 miles (written off). While I'm still waiting to buy a replacement bike (LT), I rode my dealers LT demo for several thousand miles.

The seat on the RT was not up to the job. I did a BBG1500 on it and found myself stopping because of the seat as much as any other reason. With a Rick Mayer seat it was brilliant. It was nice to ride, reliable and reasonably easy to service. Fuel consumption 45 mpg average (UK gallon).
When the RT was in for services I used to insist on borrowing the LT. I used to book the services on a Friday and call later in the day to "ask" if I could pick mine up on Monday. I loved riding it. I found myself riding for the sake of riding, going for a ride after work (driving for 10 hours a day). I loved the low seat height and the hydraulic centre stand. The fuel consumption was brilliant averaging around 55 mpg(UK). I even managed to keep the average above 75mpg(UK) for a ride through London!! Compared to a previously owned GL1500 which averaged 33mpg(UK) this made a massive difference to costs on a long ride.

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post #36 of 49 Old Jan 1st, 2007, 4:14 am
 
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The big difference in the RT and the LT is weight. The LT is perfect for interstates and sweeper type roads. I used to think the LT was good in twisties until I rode my brother's 06 RT. Now it feels like I have to throw the bus around thru the curves on the LT. The LT is much more comfortable out of the box, the RT requires modifications for touring. In parking lots the LT is difficult to handle, and the RT, in comparison, turns on a dime. Don't know what I would buy, if I were to trade now.
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post #37 of 49 Old Jan 1st, 2007, 7:26 pm
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I loved both my 2000 and 2005 LT, and found that getting used to the top heaviness problem was no big thing....especially if you practiced for awhile with darn near no gas in the tank first. But...I got out of them because I was afraid to leave town with the issues of the final drive breaking down. I did'nt like the front tires wearing out and starting to make the bike wobble at about 3500 miles either..but could have lived with it. I miss it....but have not yet found a suitable replacement for it so am still just in a cager. Believe it or not...I might have to go with a Harley for more reliability (I NEVER thought I'd say that....) and will truly miss the great braking system despite its own separate issues.....gonna make a decision on a new bike by spring.

If its got tits or an engine you're gonna have trouble with it

05 Graphite K1200LT
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post #38 of 49 Old Jan 1st, 2007, 7:43 pm
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Did you actually have final drive and ABS "issues" with your bike, or are you talking about what others have said? If you never had those issues and are letting mere possibilities of problems dictate your future decisions... well, that would be very foolish.

Personally, I'd NEVER be considering a bike without ABS again.

Lots of things that have discussion forums- computers, cameras, stereo equipment, cars, etc. etc. list so many things that CAN go wrong, you'd never buy one of those things. Sh*t happens to mechanical things all the time. Just with the internet being available to report to me personally here in my little town in NJ in the US of A, every little thing that went wrong with someone's K 1200 in South Africa, something that just a few years ago I'd never find out about.... well, you see where I'm going....

2010 Honda NT700V
1978 Honda CB400T II

Formerly
2011 R1200 RT
'04 R1150 RT-P
'04 R1200CLC
'06 Triumph Scrambler
'02 K1200LT
'01 R1200C Montana
'00 H-D Dyna Defender

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post #39 of 49 Old Jan 1st, 2007, 8:53 pm
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I have ridden an RT but not put many miles on one. I did several 1,000mile days on my '05 LT and really felt I had found my LD & touring bike - until I bought an R12GS Adv. after a couple of trips on the GSA I quit riding the LT and eventually sold it.

I guess after owning the GSA I'd now seriously consider the RT over the current LT.

Dave

BMWMOA #120588
website has been hacked - down for now
Riding since '65 - 30+ bikes (lost count)
Current Stable:
'06 R12GS Adv, '98 Buell, '95 Ultra, '95 Fatboy, '71 Rickman, '53 Panhead
2009-2010 KxxxxLT or whenever BMW updates the platform


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post #40 of 49 Old Jan 1st, 2007, 9:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riderup1
I loved both my 2000 and 2005 LT, and found that getting used to the top heaviness problem was no big thing....especially if you practiced for awhile with darn near no gas in the tank first. But...I got out of them because I was afraid to leave town with the issues of the final drive breaking down. I did'nt like the front tires wearing out and starting to make the bike wobble at about 3500 miles either..but could have lived with it. I miss it....but have not yet found a suitable replacement for it so am still just in a cager. Believe it or not...I might have to go with a Harley for more reliability (I NEVER thought I'd say that....) and will truly miss the great braking system despite its own separate issues.....gonna make a decision on a new bike by spring.
This has got to be the deepest pile of BS I've ever seen in one post,
there are riders right here on our forum
that have ridden their LT's in all the states and neighboring countries,
accumulating hundreds of thousands of miles, sometimes on just one LT,
and this guy is presently driving a car because he's afraid to take an LT out of town
bahahahaha
and his front tires wear out when most of us get 20,000 miles out of them,
gonna buy a Harley for dependability,
heeheeeheee, stop please stop I can't laugh any harder.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
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post #41 of 49 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 7:08 pm
 
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I love my K1200 LT. I just don't like the front foot pegs and the angle of my legs. I want my feet a liitle forward and a little lower on platforms. But, what a smooth ride. Handles like a dream. It doesn't like stop and go in the heat, tends to overheat quickly. Great balance, so the weight is no big deal. My wife falls asleeo on the back!
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post #42 of 49 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 10:16 pm
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If you're getting more than 6000 miles out of a front 020 you must be driving in nothing but straight lines and never using the front brake. If you drive the LT around town at all you will be able to feel the front tire cupping at 1500 miles if you check it with your hand...and on an 05 model with the new steering geometry that will result in a tank slapping wobble at 2000 miles if you let go of the handlebars to zip up your jacket at the wrong speed. Dealer and manufacturer solution??????? "Buy a new front tire at your own expense (not warranty) and don't let go of the handlebars." Does that sound right to you? Not for the price the bikes cost it does'nt. There are a lot of great features of the LT, but its been around long enough now for its weaknesses to be known by BMW. Its about time they addressed their problems instead of ignoring them, and offering the GT as an alternative is not the same as addressing their problems to compete with the other top of the line cruisers in the marketplace. At least with a Harley you can (a) find a dealer if you break down and (b) the dealer will usually have a part in stock instead of having to send away for it. I've never even seen a sign on a freeway advertising an upcoming BMW dealer except near Daytona Beach....but I can't even count how many harley dealers I've driven past on those same roads. And I truly found it to be a pain to be running on 3 cylinders on my LT and have the nearest dealer be 220 miles away. Do I own a harley yet? NO....Will I? Maybe when they make them stop better. They have heated seats, grips and a hydraulic clutch now, so they must have figured out what part of the market they can draw new owners from (BMW?). Am I saying the the LT is a POS? NO...not by a longshot. Its a beautiful and comfortable machine. But I can't justify the costs of owning one any longer without feeling confident that I can get out of state and back after it has 20,000 miles on it. If getting service were as easy as getting service on a Harley that would be another issue, but thats not the case is it? We each have our individual priorities, and I have simply stated what mine are.

If its got tits or an engine you're gonna have trouble with it

05 Graphite K1200LT
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post #43 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 12:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riderup1
that will result in a tank slapping wobble at 2000 miles if you let go of the handlebars

There are a lot of great features of the LT, but its been around long enough now for its weaknesses to be known by BMW.

But I can't justify the costs of owning one any longer without feeling confident that I can get out of state and back after it has 20,000 miles on it.
It seems a shame that you have had all of these "perceived" problems.
My experience and opinion of the LT is light years from yours and apparently my riding style and general outlook is a lot different also.
I've never owned a "perfect" motorcycle but there's not much I'd change about the LT,
and yeah my 02 broke down once, final drive went out, cost me $400 and a couple of days,
The day it was fixed I left on a 10 state 8000 mile trip without a glitch,
was I worried, nope, been riding too long for that.
anything can happen anytime that's what riding is all about.

If you think you'll be better of with an HD because there's a dealership in everytown,
you just might be in for a rude awakening,
chances are you'll be "visiting" those dealers quite regularly,
they will certainly stand behind their customers, just bend over.

One of the guys on this forum put over 300,000 miles on one LT
http://www.donarthur.net/

He's been able to make it "out of state" once or twice and come to think of it so have I


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St. Petersburg FL

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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #44 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 12:05 pm
 
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I`ve just gone through every post,and I think you are probable as undecided now as you were in the beginning. About six months ago I went through the same thing you are now. I`m 61 yrs. old,been riding something with a motor in it from 5th grade on. How ever old you are in the 5th grade. From 1993 until now its been HD. I have no complaints about Harleys, but like I said I`m 61 and I don`t know how many bikes I have left in me. In the back of my mind I`ve always wanted to own a BMW. I also went on the search, rode the 1150RT and the newer 1200RT, and to be honest, they just felt too lite to me. As it ends up, I found a 2005 K1200LT on e-bey,from a dealer in south Fl. and bought it, at a very-very good price, compared to new, with warranty until 9-07. Now you have to understand that I had never ever even ridden a LT before, let alone the one I had just purchased. Just like you, I read everything on the internet about the bike I could find. When my wife took me to the dealer to pick the bike up I was very apprehensive. From the moment I left the dealership, I new I had never been on anything like this in my life, and right now I can`t imagine going back. There are only two things that I would tell you about, that need to be addressed for my liking. The seat,and I`ll never have one without warranty. I just wish I new more BMW riders in my area to ride with. The LT does it all, from hitting the back roads to taking my wife out to dinner, in fine style. Never repled before, but I know what you`r going through,so you can take that for what it`s worth. I couldn`t be more pleased with my LT. Thanks Marc.
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post #45 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 12:22 pm
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Quote:
...I was afraid to leave town with the issues of the final drive breaking down...
I am more afraid of a left turning cage or a stupid deer.

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post #46 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 12:35 pm
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Cool Great first post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodi
I`ve just gone through every post,and I think you are probable as undecided now as you were in the beginning. About six months ago I went through the same thing you are now. I`m 61 yrs. old,been riding something with a motor in it from 5th grade on. How ever old you are in the 5th grade. From 1993 until now its been HD. I have no complaints about Harleys, but like I said I`m 61 and I don`t know how many bikes I have left in me. In the back of my mind I`ve always wanted to own a BMW. I also went on the search, rode the 1150RT and the newer 1200RT, and to be honest, they just felt too lite to me. As it ends up, I found a 2005 K1200LT on e-bey,from a dealer in south Fl. and bought it, at a very-very good price, compared to new, with warranty until 9-07. Now you have to understand that I had never ever even ridden a LT before, let alone the one I had just purchased. Just like you, I read everything on the internet about the bike I could find. When my wife took me to the dealer to pick the bike up I was very apprehensive. From the moment I left the dealership, I new I had never been on anything like this in my life, and right now I can`t imagine going back. There are only two things that I would tell you about, that need to be addressed for my liking. The seat,and I`ll never have one without warranty. I just wish I new more BMW riders in my area to ride with. The LT does it all, from hitting the back roads to taking my wife out to dinner, in fine style. Never repled before, but I know what you`r going through,so you can take that for what it`s worth. I couldn`t be more pleased with my LT. Thanks Marc.
Kodi,

Good to hear from you!

As a rider since 1971, I loved my LT and rode it hard for four years. On 7/7/06, I moved up to the new GT. SWEEEEET, ask Joe.: More nimble. I'm only 5'8", so the GT is better for me in the city (I commute in Cleveland traffic daily). My pal of many years is an HD employee. He said get the BMW. Shot shows the GT with large top case installed. SO and I love being able to take off the cases and carry them into the hotel. I own HD stock, I just don't think they are the bike for my riding style and needs.
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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
Grey Goose
2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
Toscana Temptress

More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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post #47 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 7:21 pm
 
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No argument here!
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post #48 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 7:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riderup1
If you're getting more than 6000 miles out of a front 020 you must be driving in nothing but straight lines and never using the front brake. If you drive the LT around town at all you will be able to feel the front tire cupping at 1500 miles if you check it with your hand...
My front stones typically last to about 9K or more. I would guestimate that the one I have on now will probably best my average. If you have really poor tire milage, indicated by irregular bumps or waves on the tire at 1500 miles I would submit that you have air pressure issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riderup1
on an 05 model with the new steering geometry that will result in a tank slapping wobble at 2000 miles if you let go of the handlebars to zip up your jacket at the wrong speed. Dealer and manufacturer solution???????
There is a normal wear pattern that I experience on every front BT020. It is a bump distributed on the tread. Shows on each side of center and has been documented multiple times on this forum. For me it usually shows up starting at about 6K or more. I experience this bump on every front tire. Even the ones that don't get a tank slapper at 40 MPH... IMHO this 'tank slapper issue' is a balance problem, again IMHO, (the current front tire I have has this phenomena..) When I get the 40 MPH slapper issue I usually get the front rebalanced until this situation goes away.

However, this last front tire change I thought it really was the rear causing the 40 MPH wobble/slapper but when I put on a new rear it was still there. I decided to see if it really was something to worry about.. so I did not pursue a resolution at that time. So far the only problem I have is to remember not to take my hand off the grip anywhere within 5 MPH or 40 MPH.. other than that it is steady as a rock anywhere above 50 MPH.


PS.. Kodi Great first post!!!!

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #49 of 49 Old Jan 8th, 2007, 8:12 pm
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When I read many of the comments on the LT on this forum about the handling of the bike, I always try to find out what year of bike the writer owns. Given that 2005 model bikes and newer have upgraded engines and a different camber angle for better slow speed stability, I simply don't experience the top heavy problems complained about by those with older bikes. Readers should make sure they drive a newer LT given the 2005 design changes. I have owned a 2004 RT and several HD models including the Road King. I am 5-9 1/2 and my 2006 has over 10K miles with no drops or complaints. Yes it is heavy, but very stable and extremely reliable.

I took some abuse from my friends for buying a "old man's bike" (2006) but, two of those friends now own LT's. The bike speaks for itself and is in a league where any percieved disadvantage is far outweighed by the tremendous advantages the bike gives to two up riding.
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