Need input. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 28 Old Jun 7th, 2018, 9:43 pm Thread Starter
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Need input.

I am about ready to buy another touring bike, and I have some questions. I don't like Gold Wings, so LT is the logical choice.

Some of my friends are trying to talk me out of it because of scheduled maintenance costs, but I have read that a lot of you do your own, so first question is where to get a manual, and how difficult is it? Next is I see in 07 there was a power increase, what did they do to increase power, and what else changed on the 07-09 models? Is there anything I should be looking for on those model years that could be a problem?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 6:35 am
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Re: Need input.

I have been very encouraged by the many knowledgeable folks on this forum regarding servicing and maintaining our LTs. One the common resources for help is a Youtube channel supported by a member of this forum (Kirk Johnson) and his local BMW club. As far as service costs, it all depends on what you can do yourself versus taking to a dealer. This forum and the videos will help you determine if the LT is for you.

This link is Kirk's Buyer's Guide to the LT. You can find MANY more videos there.
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post #3 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 8:10 am
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Re: Need input.

Actually the "face lift" occurred in the 05 (US) 04 (Europe) and they added "RS" pistons for higher compression and enlarged the throttle bodies as well as a new curve on the cams. Also added a electric center stand and in 07 a dimming dash and factory HID.

John
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #4 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 9:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Actually the "face lift" occurred in the 05 (US) 04 (Europe) and they added "RS" pistons for higher compression and enlarged the throttle bodies as well as a new curve on the cams. Also added a electric center stand and in 07 a dimming dash and factory HID.
Now I'm confused, I knew about the changes in 05, but in the specs I found, it shows a power increase in 07? I have passed on a couple of good deals on low mileage 05s because of that since my motto is too much horsepower is almost enough.
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post #5 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 10:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munmi View Post
I have been very encouraged by the many knowledgeable folks on this forum regarding servicing and maintaining our LTs. One the common resources for help is a Youtube channel supported by a member of this forum (Kirk Johnson) and his local BMW club. As far as service costs, it all depends on what you can do yourself versus taking to a dealer. This forum and the videos will help you determine if the LT is for you.

This link is Kirk's Buyer's Guide to the LT. You can find MANY more videos there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sZXTMMINCo
Thanks, That was very helpful. Is there a list of all the upgrades, and changes that BMW made up until 99? Also, how hard is it to find accessories for these bikes now that they have been out of production for 9 years?
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post #6 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 11:26 am
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Re: Need input.

Go on Ebay. I got my factory service manual there. Don't remember how much. And i bought a used Clymer manual also .But i can tell you 8 times out 10. I consult this forum and it's wealth of knowledgeable members like John Zeiler. Saddleman... Voyager.... Charlie VT.. And Gordon, Bmwcoolk1200. Also go to BMW motorrad club of northern Illinois. The President Kirk Johnson makes great how to videos, which are also on youtube. Without these sources. I could not own the LT.

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post #7 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 11:31 am
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Roney View Post
Now I'm confused, I knew about the changes in 05, but in the specs I found, it shows a power increase in 07? I have passed on a couple of good deals on low mileage 05s because of that since my motto is too much horsepower is almost enough.
I no not know where you got the info on 2007 power changes BUT it is NOT correct. Anything between 2005-2009 (USA market) has exactly the same engine and power. Same changes for other markets but starting in a bit earlier in 2004.

Do NOT believe everything published on the internet.... EXCEPT from our forums here where all the experts hang out.
Seriously, I do not know of a single BMW dealer in the world that has the sum of knowledge you can find here for the K1200LT.

To add insult to injury, a large majority of younger mechanics currently working in BMW dealers where not even on the job when the tech training (and service-Bulletins) where actively being given for these K1200LT. Gee... it came out almost 20 years ago and has been out of production for 9 years now.


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post #8 of 28 Old Jun 8th, 2018, 2:03 pm
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Re: Need input.

Sorry Sailor. I didn't mean to leave you out as one of the forum wise men i turn to. There are many on this forum. Hard to remember all that offer advice.
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post #9 of 28 Old Aug 12th, 2018, 9:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

Everywhere I pull up specs for 05/07 model years it says 98 horsepower, then it jumps to 115 for 07 up. I have checked several places including magazine reviews.
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post #10 of 28 Old Aug 12th, 2018, 10:38 pm
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
Everywhere I pull up specs for 05/07 model years it says 98 horsepower, then it jumps to 115 for 07 up. I have checked several places including magazine reviews.
who believes journalists anyway....
the wise men here know more.

actually, didn't the Xenon HID headlight upgrade come in 2006? my 2005 was a facelift, built in 2004 with the power increase, EHCS etc etc, but missed the HID. Hilton bought the 2006 model (in Aus) and got Xenon. Not sure of build date.

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post #11 of 28 Old Aug 12th, 2018, 10:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

Can someone show me in black and white where BMW states the horsepower of an 05?


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post #12 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 8:09 am
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Re: Need input.

Yes. 116 hp 05 and up compared to 98 hp on first gen models.Cam timing and higher compression pistons

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1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
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post #13 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 9:59 am Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

I finally found an excellent article on the LT, so I am posting the link for everyone. I suggest someone make it a sticky for anyone thinking of buying a LT.

March 2016 ? Bike Review ? The BMW K1200LT ? Then and Now
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post #14 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 10:31 am
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
I finally found an excellent article on the LT, so I am posting the link for everyone. I suggest someone make it a sticky for anyone thinking of buying a LT.

March 2016 ? Bike Review ? The BMW K1200LT ? Then and Now
Why would you believe that article when there are so many others that contradict it yet you wouldn't believe the experts on the forum that rose up because of that bike? If you do get one, I hope you are a competent mechanic, able to do your own maintenance and repairs. If not, I hope you have deep pockets. In any case, should you get one and have trouble, the members on this forum will be here to help you as long as you believe them when they tell you something.

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post #15 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 11:07 am
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
I finally found an excellent article on the LT, so I am posting the link for everyone. I suggest someone make it a sticky for anyone thinking of buying a LT.

March 2016 ? Bike Review ? The BMW K1200LT ? Then and Now
Nothing new or exciting here. Most of the forum members here already know everything in this article, and a whole lot more, and freely pass it on to newbies who are willing to listen. The newbies who aren’t willing to listen go find old articles like this that contain less knowledge, but somehow seem more credible to them. Go figure...
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post #16 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 1:55 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Why would you believe that article when there are so many others that contradict it yet you wouldn't believe the experts on the forum that rose up because of that bike? If you do get one, I hope you are a competent mechanic, able to do your own maintenance and repairs. If not, I hope you have deep pockets. In any case, should you get one and have trouble, the members on this forum will be here to help you as long as you believe them when they tell you something.
I think you just talked me out of a LT. My friends were telling me how much more often the LT needs maintenance vs a Goldwing. Sorry if I wanted confirmation from BMW, or someone that makes their living testing motorcycles, and in this case also owns one. That article was written in 2016, so I thought it was fairly current. If I rubbed you the wrong way, I'm sorry, I work hard for my money, so I want to be sure the research I do before I spend it is correct.


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post #17 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 1:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Nothing new or exciting here. Most of the forum members here already know everything in this article, and a whole lot more, and freely pass it on to newbies who are willing to listen. The newbies who aren’t willing to listen go find old articles like this that contain less knowledge, but somehow seem more credible to them. Go figure...
I thought is was a well thought out review that sums up the LT very well, and the reviewer actually owns one, so lots of info all in one place.


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post #18 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 2:01 pm
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Re: Need input.

I bought my 05 in June of 2004 new. It has different cams (based on PN), 2 mm larger throttle bodies, flat topped RS pistons that were not on the 99-2004 (US) models (they have dished pistons) and its manual states 116 BHP. The ECU is a different PN. It has the EHCS but not the dimmable dash or factory HID those upgrade came in 06 or 07. The 2008 and 2009 were built from leftovers on the production line and only offered in Black.

By the way there is no more knowledgeable resource on the K1200LT than this web site period!

Here is a scanned page from the 05 manual and the conversion from KW to HP.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Horsepower.PNG
Views:	21
Size:	57.5 KB
ID:	147563   Click image for larger version

Name:	Horsepower1.PNG
Views:	18
Size:	6.0 KB
ID:	147565  
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post #19 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 2:14 pm
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
I think you just talked me out of a LT. My friends were telling me how much more often the LT needs maintenance vs a Goldwing. Sorry if I wanted confirmation from BMW, or someone that makes their living testing motorcycles, and in this case also owns one. That article was written in 2016, so I thought it was fairly current. If I rubbed you the wrong way, I'm sorry, I work hard for my money, so I want to be sure the research I do before I spend it is correct.
If you can find one that has already had the major possible failures dealt with like the trans seals rear main/ oil contaminated clutch replacement by the dreaded O-ring plus a properly rebuilt final drive ( preferably by Saddleman) , then all you would have to deal with is the possibility of the ABS module failing and that can be bypassed if necessary. There are rewards to owning an LT as it arguably is one of the best sport touring bikes that was made with a few possible quirks. They are not necessarily cheap to own but you may be able to find a well cared for one that has already gone through the issues and be able to get many pleasurable miles with only moderate input. A Gold Wing will never be an LT and an LT would not want to be a GW. They are two entirely different animals and the LT loves to run over 5K RPM.

No, you didn't rub us the wrong way. We on the forum know that when certain people speak, we all tend to listen. If you do end up with one, you will learn that pretty quickly hanging out here and there is no better place for an LT owner to hang out. Good luck if you do get one and don't be afraid to come back. We will still be here to help anyone who needs it and is willing to get their hands dirty.
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post #20 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 2:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

To be truthful, I'm getting to the stage in my life where I'm getting tired of working on cars, and bikes. I never liked Goldwings, but after hearing about how advanced the 2018 is, I wish I could afford one.

I enjoy a more sporting ride so a LT was looking good to me, but now I'm having second thoughts. I put 102,000 miles on a Yamaha Venture Royal with only regular service (oil & filter), brakes, tires, and water pump seals. Now I don't know what I'm going to do?
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post #21 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 4:58 pm
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Re: Need input.

Look at the R1200RT. They are a blast to ride. Solid reliability. Or a Yamaha FJR. They now have cruise. Or a K1600 GT. All reliable. Yes The LT is Maintenance intensive. But once most of failures are addressed. It's pretty confidence inspiring. But the maintenance is not for everyone. I can only say. It's never left me stranded. And it just spoke to me on my test ride. My Final drive has been rebuilt. My ABS Pump went out last year. I just got it back on the road end of May. I have a Suzuki VL Intruder 1500. I love that bike. But. Couldn't wait to get the LT back out. It's just that special a machine. If i had to chose. I'd probably keep the LT. And i put alot time,sweat and custom parts,some parts i handmade on the Intruder. It was the first and only brand new bike i bought. It's trouble free ,typical Suzuki.That should tell you something.
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post #22 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 5:39 pm
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Re: Need input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
To be truthful, I'm getting to the stage in my life where I'm getting tired of working on cars, and bikes. I never liked Goldwings, but after hearing about how advanced the 2018 is, I wish I could afford one.

I enjoy a more sporting ride so a LT was looking good to me, but now I'm having second thoughts. I put 102,000 miles on a Yamaha Venture Royal with only regular service (oil & filter), brakes, tires, and water pump seals. Now I don't know what I'm going to do?
The 2018 Wing is advanced .... compared to a 2017 Wing that is an 18 year-old design.

Compared to a K1600, which itself is at least a 6 year-old design now, it is not advanced in any meaningful way. It has less power than the K, a less sophisticated suspension, less fuel capacity, less luggage capacity, more weight, poorer nav system, no adaptive headlight, etc. The only two ways you can reasonably argue it is more advanced is the dash display (which is hardly a major consideration) and DCT, yet BMW’s quick shifter does everything the DCT does except clutch-less starts. And I suspect BMW will come out with a newer dash in the near future and then the Wing will at best have the DCT as its only real advantage in comparison.

A clean sheet design that is less advanced than a 6 year-old competitor is hardly advanced in an absolute sense. It is only advanced in comparison to its VERY antiquated predecessor.

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post #23 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 7:43 pm
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Re: Need input.

Just go for a ride on the LT. It will out handle the GW . I'm 73 and saving the GW for when I get old. As for service you can certainly do most yourself. It's not rocket science. Everyone that takes a spin on the LT is greatly impressed. The only advice I have for you is not be a short guy. It helps to flat foot the LT as it is a bit top heavy until under way. Good luck!
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post #24 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 8:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need input.

Thanks, I'm 5' 7", but 30 inch inseam.


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post #25 of 28 Old Aug 13th, 2018, 11:15 pm
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Re: Need input.

I rode a GW, an older one. It was nice and comfy and like to go straight. i couldn't believe how much work it took to get any lean on it.
The LT is very comfy going straight and will run and run on the freeway. Once the roads get curvy, the LT leans and leans and screams for more. It zips out of curves and is loads of fun.
If you are looking for a relaxed cruiser to take it easy and enjoy the views, there are loads of choices for you. I think the LT puts the SPORT in sport tour. I do all maintenance myself. Oil changes are easy after the first one. Other fluids are pretty easy to change out too. Taking off all the plastic to do more things takes some time, especially at first but will cause you to take care of multiple things at once.
If you don't want to fuss with maintenance or repairs, spend the money on a new bike. You can put thousands of miles on a new BMW and just change some fluids. It really comes down to what kind of ride do you want to experience? What bike give you that ride?

Current Ride: '02 LT - The Mistress
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post #26 of 28 Old Sep 3rd, 2018, 3:10 pm
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Re: Need input.

I have only been able to do one good ride (meaning fun roads instead of around town) since picking up a 2002 with 85k on the odometer last week.
I don't think I would have gotten it if I didn't have another bike (2014 Suzuki Dl1000).
The one good ride made me wonder why I didn't know much about this bike before. If I realized what it would be like to ride, I would have done it a long time ago!

Since getting back into bikes in 2013 I got back into it with some inexpensive bikes that I felt I could learn to do more wrenching on without a mistake destroying a new or newer bike. I have done some valve adjustments (not any where you have to remove a cam though), Steering bearing replacements and rebuilt forks.

I look forward to getting to know more about my K1200LT and learning more about wrenching. If a service or repair takes a while, I at least have a newer bike to hop on to reset myself.
I would not look at the K1200LT as any type of investment other than personal. Enjoy the ride, try to enjoy learning how to keep it running well.
The price of admission for me was spent for the experiences of riding this bike AND working on it. I hope I get quite a few miles and memories before a decision has to be made of what to do with it if it gets too far down the road to keep on the road.
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post #27 of 28 Old Sep 5th, 2018, 12:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goes2fast View Post
To be truthful, I'm getting to the stage in my life where I'm getting tired of working on cars, and bikes. I never liked Goldwings, but after hearing about how advanced the 2018 is, I wish I could afford one.

I enjoy a more sporting ride so a LT was looking good to me, but now I'm having second thoughts.......... Now I don't know what I'm going to do?
Here's my .02 -- We all want the "new" bike, whether it's a K1600B, or Wing or something else. I test rode a "new" K1200LT in late '98 back home in Alabama -- could not afford it, so bought a demo Concours for 1/3 the price. Since then, I've been thru an older 'Wing 1200 Aspencade, the Conny, Valkyrie(my fave), an FJR1300 (shoulda kept it) an VN2000 Vulcan (a beast), and my flying brick since May 2013. I also was concerned about excessive maintenance on the Beemer; so i bought a Clymer service manual, a few new tools, made my own "lift" and tore into it. She's never left me stranded, although I had a close call riding first time at near 100 F. (Disconnected the air box sensor) After joining this forum, I have found a gold mine of info and advice. Also watching Kirk's videos is essential. Everytime i think about a "new" bike, I just go for a ride and pretend it's back in late '98

Btw, what's the verdict ?? Did you take the plunge for a new Goldwing or find a nice K bike ?? Best of luck & watch the idiots
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post #28 of 28 Old Sep 5th, 2018, 5:23 pm
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Re: Need input.

I never worked on much mechanically until I bought my '99 in '07. I wanted to know all about it because I would be riding where there might not even be cell service. Many tools had to be purchased. Through this forum, which led me to me become a Lifetime Member because of the support I've received (THANKS ALL!), I've done all fluids, added all farkles, made mods to the speedo, windshield, top box, coolant rubber... that I would not have thought I could ever accomplish. The crowning example was to remove a faulty ABS, send it out for 'reconditioning' and reassemble to fully functional condition (had to use it last Thurs), then (Thanks Kirk) replaced my aging rubber brake lines with SS. Rereading what I just wrote astounds me!

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BMWMOA #157323 / ABC #11368 -- All-in-all a newbie!

I love these bikes regardless of what I've needed to fix on them. I'll: Just Ride 'em!
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