Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Redmond, WA, USA
My perspective on a couple of the items you raised.
Resale value: The depreciation hit is really bad for the first couple of years (much worse than the GW for example), after that it slows to about $1,200 per year, for average mileage use. So, if you're planning on selling it, best to pick up a used one (I would target something that is more than 2 years old but not 3 years old so you have the option of picking up an extended warranty, or get one that has an extended warranty in place). Or don't worry about it. I picked up a 4 year old model without a warranty and while others experiences have been different have yet to pay for anything other than maintenance or upgrades (24K in the past year and half).
Maintenance costs: The LT has two service intervals and an annual - as I understand it, someone will probably chime in to say I've got it all wrong and I'll be happy to be better informed. Minor service at 6,000 mile intervals, if done at the dealer costs about $250 to $300. If you do it yourself, it is simple and costs about $20 - $70 depending on type of oil. Major service at 12,000 mile intervals, if done at the dealer costs about $700 - $800. If you strip off the body panels and have the dealer do the service work, you can save $300 or so. If you do it yourself, the material cost is about $200 - $250. There is also an annual service if you don't hit the 12,000 interval in a year (and yes it happens even in the LT crowd), which will run about $250 (primarily brake and clutch fluid change). After seeing the first $800 bill from the dealer, my wife told me to sell the bike or learn to do the service myself, so I've done all the service since the first one after my purchase. It's not difficult, but time consuming.
Hope this helps.