2008 LT Reliability - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:04 am Thread Starter
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2008 LT Reliability

Looking at a used 08 K1200LT with 9k miles on it. Are there any reliability issues I should be concerned about? Besides brake lines and possibly fuel lines?

Thanks
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post #2 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:45 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Not really. Update the fluids, tires, in-tank hoses, and brake lines. Then ride it.
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post #3 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 12:12 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Looking at a used 08 K1200LT with 9k miles on it. Are there any reliability issues I should be concerned about? Besides brake lines and possibly fuel lines?

Thanks
There's lots of common problems but that's part of the love / hate relationship with these bikes, especially as they are getting older. They ride nice but they are expensive and laborious to keep in tip-top shape.
  • Failing power brake units
  • Final drive unit failures
  • Brake lines failing
  • Rear brake rotor buttons worn / rattling
  • Fuel lines leaking / rupturing
  • Speaker / stereo issues
  • Anti-theft / Immobilizer issues
  • Leaky seals (rear main, trans input / output, final drive)
  • Leaky slave cylinder
  • Leaky hydraulic center stands
  • Trunk latch
  • The engine kill switch leaver is weak and prone to breaking off
  • And the list goes on...
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Last edited by lgm118icbm; Jul 31st, 2019 at 5:24 pm.
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post #4 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 12:33 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Looking at a used 08 K1200LT with 9k miles on it. Are there any reliability issues I should be concerned about? Besides brake lines and possibly fuel lines?

Thanks
The engine is quite reliable. The rest of the bike, not so much.

I have an 07 which is the same as the 08 and about the only major things that havenít had some work are the engine and, luckily for me, the ABS. FD bad clutch both failed, mirror mounts broke on both sides, fairing is cracking on both sides, in-tank fuel hose failed almost leaving me stranded, etc.

And this was after pre-emptively doing things like upgrading the QDs to all metal (Jiffy-tites), replacing brake lines with Spieglers, installing FIBIB latch kit, etc.

The LT is one of the most fun to ride bikes I have ever owned, but it is 2-3 times more costly to maintain and repair.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #5 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 8:33 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Its not in ANY WAY a Jap bike........
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post #6 of 30 Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Well, you guys have pretty much scared me off of buying one of these.
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post #7 of 30 Old Aug 1st, 2019, 5:04 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Well, you guys have pretty much scared me off of buying one of these.
Lets put some things into perspective. No matter which K 1200 LT you decide you want to buy, you are going to be buying what is a luxury vehicle that is now lets say on average 15 years old.
Being a touring bike many of them if used as intended will have high mileage, some do some don't.
When you come to the average vehicle based forum you will find that most people come here to talk about some kind of problem they have with their new toy. Not many people come on to forums to talk about how their wonderful machine is ticking along flawlessly, people love to complain, that's human nature.
Luckily when you come to this forum where yes of course many of us talk about the potential problems you also find that many of the members have been there done that and have the answers to your questions. Many of these answers can save you thousands of dollars in repairs to these now old bikes.
Personally I decided I wanted a BMW K 1200 LT and with out doing much research at all went out and bought a very nice looking 2005 model with 91,000 kms on the clock.
I then found this forum and started reading.
I then started worrying and became almost afraid to drive out the front gate. What would go wrong on this trip I thought. Yes there was one time I ventured out and my ABS warning light came on.
I panicked and rode back home and after a short search found that my fluid was down in the rear reservoir. I bled the system and was back on the road the next day. I upgraded all the brake lines and it hasn't missed a beat since. If you are looking for a bike you can jump on and just ride without the thought of maintenance then this isn't the bike for you. If you go into it thinking that you will buy the best example you can find and then make improvements to it then you will be rewarded with one of the best rides bar none. I tend to treat my bike like an aeroplane. before you ride it check it over. When you come back quickly give it a check over.
Don't be put off by the stories of maintenance but remember there is also no shame in deciding you don't want that for yourself.
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post #8 of 30 Old Aug 1st, 2019, 9:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Thanks Wazza, I needed some encouragement and your right, the bad always comes out on the internet. I'm fully capable of working on about anything and have a detached garage and work shop full of tools.

Thanks again
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post #9 of 30 Old Aug 1st, 2019, 11:51 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Looking at a used 08 K1200LT with 9k miles on it. Are there any reliability issues I should be concerned about? Besides brake lines and possibly fuel lines?

Thanks
I have about 200k miles on 3 KLTs, a 1999, 2000, and now a 2005. It's been my favorite bike. I've had issues with each of them, including the electric center stand on the current one, which developed shortly after I got it. This forum helped me fix that easily. It's a complex machine, and it's not perfect, but it's a great ride. Nine thousand miles is barely broken in: less than 1k/year. In many ways it's essentially new, unless it's been left neglected in a garage. Most all of that can be fixed by a complete service. My brake lines didn't have issues until 50k. Enjoy!
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post #10 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 2:35 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Thanks Wazza, I needed some encouragement and your right, the bad always comes out on the internet. I'm fully capable of working on about anything and have a detached garage and work shop full of tools.

Thanks again
You are welcome, all of us have had our moments with these bikes but you have to ask yourself. If they were really that bad why do we all have one and some of us more than one.
Best thing you can do is start watching Kirks videos and educate yourself. It is a BMW and parts are not always going to be cheap but in January I spent $7,500 fixing the transmission in my car and it's only a Ford. When you look at the vast amounts of money some people spend restoring classic motorcycles I sometimes laugh when I see someone on the forum complain about a part costing $50
I'm not saying the LT is a classic motorcycle but you never know, it might be one day.
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post #11 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 9:43 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

The LT has been the most reliable bike in my stable.
Same KMs as my GS but less trouble.
I do care for it though.
ABS failed, and paid $4k 8 years ago to replace it. Thatís it.
I love to just look at it and love even more riding it.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


-----------------------------------------------------
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post #12 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 1:08 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
The LT has been the most reliable bike in my stable.
Same KMs as my GS but less trouble.
I do care for it though.
ABS failed, and paid $4k 8 years ago to replace it. Thatís it.
I love to just look at it and love even more riding it.


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You must only own BMWs and Harleys then.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #13 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 3:01 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
You must only own BMWs and Harleys then.
Haha!
That was almost accurate (first bike was a Sportster), but now I have a Suzuki DRZ400E, and about to buy a Husqvarna 701 Enduro.

----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


-----------------------------------------------------
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post #14 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 4:28 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Haha!
That was almost accurate (first bike was a Sportster), but now I have a Suzuki DRZ400E, and about to buy a Husqvarna 701 Enduro.
I was pretty sure. I donít think I know anyone who owned Japanese bikes first who says an LT is their most reliable bike. I owned three Kawasakiís before my LT and they really make the LTís maintenance and reliability look poor in comparison. The LT is better handling and performing to be sure, but decidedly not more reliable.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #15 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 5:26 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

I am with Voyager. Just get it out of your head when you buy ANY BMW that its going to be trouble free as MOST Jap bikes. Its going to perform well in most every category but dependability and ease of maintenance. So much so on the performance end that people like Voyager,me and numerous others just put up with it.
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post #16 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 5:35 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

But then most Jap bikes are no where near as complex as an LT. More to potentially go wrong.
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post #17 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 6:28 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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But then most Jap bikes are no where near as complex as an LT. More to potentially go wrong.
True, but so far none of my failures have been in the ďcomplexĒ parts, they have been in the mundane parts: transmission seals, pinion seal, fuel hose, brake lines, mirror mounts, etc.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #18 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 9:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Well, the owner of the 08 LT wouldn't budge off of his $6,900 asking price so I told him no thanks.
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post #19 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 9:27 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I was pretty sure. I donít think I know anyone who owned Japanese bikes first who says an LT is their most reliable bike. I owned three Kawasakiís before my LT and they really make the LTís maintenance and reliability look poor in comparison. The LT is better handling and performing to be sure, but decidedly not more reliable.


Well, thatís the thing. Besides the ABS issue, itís been 45k km of absolutely trouble-free miles.
Granted. I go beyond whatís needed in maintenance. Replaced the brake lines with spiegler before they failed. Replaced the quick fuel plastic connectors with metal ones before they failed. Replaced the fuel lines in the tank before they failed.
Replace seals on the stanchions every four years before they fail.
Same with brake fluids , coolant.
I love working on the big girl.
Hence, itís very reliable.

I do the same with all my bikes. The GS is a gem of reliability.
The K12R and K12S are nice looking junk.
The DRZ is 19 years old and no one took care of her, and keeps on ticking ..: buts thatís a Japanese bike. I also take care of her ...

So, yeah the LT is my most reliable bike.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


-----------------------------------------------------
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post #20 of 30 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 11:52 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Looking at a used 08 K1200LT with 9k miles on it. Are there any reliability issues I should be concerned about? Besides brake lines and possibly fuel lines?

Thanks
Lots of great advice on here. If not for this forum, I would not own my K bike. When looking for a bike, I wanted either the K or R and went with the one I found first in the price range I could afford. If you can do the wrenching yourself, you are only out the parts cost. I saw you have a shop and tools; the tips, tricks and tutorials here will help you do just about anything needed on the bike. You will learn to take care of multiple things when you have the body panels off. These are not the easiest bikes to work on but plenty doable. There are thousands of K bikes on the road and not heavily involved in this forum. Yes, a very few bikes have lots of problems, as happens with any vehicle manufacturer.
Lots of people love low mileage. When looking for a car, I want low, low mileage. Bikes seem to be a little different. Most bikes don't have the mileage on them as comparable cars of the same year. I would rather buy a motorcycle with a medium amount of mileage that was taken care of than a very low mileage one that sat and sat.
Yes, I have worked on my bike. I would say routine maintenance for the age of the bike. Yes, the bike can be frustrating to work on at times. But, these bikes run and run and run. You can sit back and relax for 500 miles a day without a problem. Want to rip through some curves, no problem. I have a friend who rides a sexy new sportster, my big old bike dances circles around him; he does look really good on his bike and it sounds great though. All in all, if you take care of the bike, you have a 95% chance of getting a very reliable bike. Keep looking and get one while you can. Or, look for a nice Honda that people on those forums complain about, too.
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post #21 of 30 Old Aug 3rd, 2019, 1:02 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by guitarjim View Post
Lots of great advice on here. If not for this forum, I would not own my K bike. When looking for a bike, I wanted either the K or R and went with the one I found first in the price range I could afford. If you can do the wrenching yourself, you are only out the parts cost. I saw you have a shop and tools; the tips, tricks and tutorials here will help you do just about anything needed on the bike. You will learn to take care of multiple things when you have the body panels off. These are not the easiest bikes to work on but plenty doable. There are thousands of K bikes on the road and not heavily involved in this forum. Yes, a very few bikes have lots of problems, as happens with any vehicle manufacturer.

Lots of people love low mileage. When looking for a car, I want low, low mileage. Bikes seem to be a little different. Most bikes don't have the mileage on them as comparable cars of the same year. I would rather buy a motorcycle with a medium amount of mileage that was taken care of than a very low mileage one that sat and sat.

Yes, I have worked on my bike. I would say routine maintenance for the age of the bike. Yes, the bike can be frustrating to work on at times. But, these bikes run and run and run. You can sit back and relax for 500 miles a day without a problem. Want to rip through some curves, no problem. I have a friend who rides a sexy new sportster, my big old bike dances circles around him; he does look really good on his bike and it sounds great though. All in all, if you take care of the bike, you have a 95% chance of getting a very reliable bike. Keep looking and get one while you can. Or, look for a nice Honda that people on those forums complain about, too.


What he said


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


-----------------------------------------------------
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post #22 of 30 Old Aug 3rd, 2019, 6:47 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Well, thatís the thing. Besides the ABS issue, itís been 45k km of absolutely trouble-free miles.
Granted. I go beyond whatís needed in maintenance. Replaced the brake lines with spiegler before they failed. Replaced the quick fuel plastic connectors with metal ones before they failed. Replaced the fuel lines in the tank before they failed.
Replace seals on the stanchions every four years before they fail.
Same with brake fluids , coolant.
I love working on the big girl.
Hence, itís very reliable.

I do the same with all my bikes. The GS is a gem of reliability.
The K12R and K12S are nice looking junk.
The DRZ is 19 years old and no one took care of her, and keeps on ticking ..: buts thatís a Japanese bike. I also take care of her ...

So, yeah the LT is my most reliable bike.


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That is great. I wish I could say the same as I love almost all other aspects of the LT. Your ABS repair alone cost 4 times more than my Voyager cost me in maintenance and repairs during the entire 17 years I owned it ... and that includes the oil changes (everything but tires). Just to put it in perspective. It was sad when Kawasaki dropped the Voyager (calling a Vulcan a Voyager doesnít count). I was ready to buy the new, advanced Voyager in 2004 and then it never materialized.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #23 of 30 Old Aug 4th, 2019, 2:16 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgm118icbm View Post
There's lots of common problems but that's part of the love / hate relationship with these bikes, especially as they are getting older. They ride nice but they are expensive and laborious to keep in tip-top shape.
  • Failing power brake units
  • Final drive unit failures
  • Brake lines failing
  • Rear brake rotor buttons worn / rattling
  • Fuel lines leaking / rupturing
  • Speaker / stereo issues
  • Anti-theft / Immobilizer issues
  • Leaky seals (rear main, trans input / output, final drive)
  • Leaky slave cylinder
  • Leaky hydraulic center stands
  • Trunk latch
  • The engine kill switch leaver is weak and prone to breaking off
  • And the list goes on...

I have heard many times that the LT is hot on your pelotas.
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post #24 of 30 Old Aug 4th, 2019, 3:37 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by wethead View Post
I have heard many times that the LT is hot on your pelotas.


Any bike thatís neglected will be a pain.
LTs are complex and therefore more things could fail.
If properly maintained the thing will almost have Japanese dependability (not really but you get the idea)


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


-----------------------------------------------------
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post #25 of 30 Old Aug 7th, 2019, 8:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Well after a lot of thought I went another direction. I found and purchased a 2011 Kawasaki Concours with 4k miles in perfect condition for $5,200. Unbelievable bike. Completely different than the K1200LT I was looking at but still fits my riding criteria. Thanks everyone for the input.

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post #26 of 30 Old Aug 7th, 2019, 9:27 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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Originally Posted by KC317718 View Post
Well after a lot of thought I went another direction. I found and purchased a 2011 Kawasaki Concours with 4k miles in perfect condition for $5,200. Unbelievable bike. Completely different than the K1200LT I was looking at but still fits my riding criteria. Thanks everyone for the input.


I owned a C-14 and if it wasn't for the high pitch vibrations on the throttle side of the handlebars, I would still have it. I can't tour with numb right hand...awesome bike though
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post #27 of 30 Old Aug 7th, 2019, 9:38 pm
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

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I owned a C-14 and if it wasn't for the high pitch vibrations on the throttle side of the handlebars, I would still have it. I can't tour with numb right hand...awesome bike though
I scratch my head as to why Kawasaki has failed to fit cruise control, particularly after Yamaha finally did that for their FJR. Then again, I scratch my head as to why Kawasaki decided not to replace the Voyager XII. That is still my wifeís favorite touring bike, even over the LT believe it or not. The XII treated the passenger quite nicely. Nice sculpted backrest, rear audio controls and three cubbie bins she could access.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #28 of 30 Old Aug 9th, 2019, 10:08 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

Well said. When I bought mine, a 2005 LT with 25K on the clock, I did my research and went in to it eyes wide open. That said, I am just as certain of my decision to buy the LT now as I was then, it's a great ride.
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post #29 of 30 Old Today, 4:53 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

You made the correct choice in this case. If you treat the LT like you would an aircraft, it will be the best bike that you have ever owned. And yes, without this forum, I would have rolled mine off a cliff a long time ago. These K bikes are for a special class of "do it yourself" riders. We fabricate, repair, upgrade and ride these bikes because we love to ride. I still own a 1984 Honda Nighthawk SC. I have replaced tires, brake pads and a broken throttle cable. everything else is still factory original. That bike has NEVER let me down.

Bruce
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post #30 of 30 Old Today, 7:20 am
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Re: 2008 LT Reliability

I've owned my 2007 LT since around 2012. In the last two years I've done 2 trips of halfway around Australia. Round figures, 10,000 km each trip. Not a single issue on either trip; it never missed a beat. However, it is a complex beast and I'm quite prepared to make sure it's in tip top condition prior to doing a trip like that. New tyres, oils, filters, service and any issues that pop up during that service.

The last thing you need when you're halfway across the Nullabor or between Alice Springs and Darwin is to have a bike like this break down. There are no dealers for parts and any recovery is going to be horrendous. Apart from the basics that I'm prepared to do, I've made sure the complicated issues are dealt with by people who really know what they are doing. Like any complex equipment, you need to keep on top of it with preventative maintenance.

This site has been a goldmine of information about those things that that can go wrong so you know what to check or deal with prior to it happening.

Russell Ikin
1970 R60/5
2007 K1200LT
Perth, Western Australia
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