Big thanks to all of you for the warm welcome!
The need for this site is still there although the people have changed. The majority is probably running preowned bikes which most likely means more complicated questions including a bunch of various extra cables & other gadgets that have been added to the bike by the previous owners.
My 16 years and 230.000 km have been without major problems. My recipe is quite simple:
- I change engine oil every 10.000 km. My engine started burning oil at 185.000 km and then I was advised by a BMW mechanic to use 20W50 mineral and cured my extra oil consumption.
- gearbox oil I change every 15 - 20.000 km. I use Red Line Heavy ShockProof oil.
- final drive oil I change every 10.000 km. I use the same RedLine Heavy every second time and regular 75W90 gear oil every second time. I do have a spare final drive unit which I change every 40-50.000 without questions. The spare one gets a new bearing during the winter months. Most of my riding is nowadays long distance with two up and a Uni-Go trailer behind.
- all brake fluids get changed every second year
The major incidents have been:
- front wheel ABS sensor died at 30.000 km
- reversing sensor (in the side of the gearbox) died at 25.000
- new gearbox at 65.000 km. My fault, I hit the skid plate on a street curb and broke the gearbox housing. (Luckily my insurance covered!)
- changed the clutch at 100.000 km, which turned out to be my therapy only. During the last rides of the season I thought the clutch was slipping but the the snow came and it was too late to double check. So I decided to change the clutch just in case. The old one was all dry and ok...
- during that winter I also did some other "improvements" , like K&N air filter. Big mistake, that caused me excessive oil consumption and was later educated by a German BMW professional that "don't mess with the air filter unless you have full knowledge of reprogramming (i.e chipping) the engine ecu"
- at 175.000 km I converted the bike to run on RE85 ethanol and this lasted about 6000 km until I dismantled the conversion (read my blog if you want to learn more)
- in 2016 I managed to hit a concrete light pole in Poland and lost my right side mirror and aux high beam. New mirror (cover only) from BMW and new Hella from eBay and new headlight bracket.
- my valves are being checked by a BMW professional every two years and this year (at 227.000 km) was the first time one exhaust valve needed adjusting.
- I have of course dropped the bike every now and then but my J-Peg XL's and their "Ari's special stoppers" have saved my plastic side bumpers and their led lights from being damaged
- this winter I dropped my left mirror from my garage shelf (!) and broke the Muth Signal mirror. No replacements available any more but luckily I had saved the BMW original mirror. Some dremeling and glue and now the Muth leds glow behind BMW mirror!
- all my extra electricals with over 50 relays, 15 fuses, couple of hundred meters of wiring, and about 25 switches etc have held well. Two years ago I had a mysterious burning of one fuse which happened to command all my auxiliary lights etc. I reserved one weekend for stripping down the bike and following my cables in order to find the short but I found it during the first 10 minutes. A wire was pinched between the side bumper plastic cover and the J-Peg support bar underneath. One of my happiest days...!
So all in all. LT satisfies my needs for riding both for my work and for longer trips (done a couple of standard Ironbutt 1000 mile/24 h rides but only if I'm going somewhere). I don't go for "fun rides on Sundays". (A few taxi drivers go and ride around on their free time I guess...)
LT is the last model equipped with "normal electrical system" i.e. no CAN bus system. Since I'm a self taught electrician I don't understand the computerized electrical systems. LT has powerful alternator while the new bikes don't.
LT is heavy and my bike is even heavier (about 20 kg / 40 lbs) because of all the gadgets I have added to it. When I grow older the bike gets harder to maneuver. When I can't hold the bike up anymore then I'll quit. Hopefully I can still ride my bike at least for the next 10 years, then I will be 75...