new member and considering K1200LT purchase - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 2:03 pm Thread Starter
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new member and considering K1200LT purchase

Hello!

I'm a brand new member to this group. I have been a long-time motorcyclist and am a member of ST-Owners group. My wife and I have done a fair bit of two-up touring on my ST1100 - which is also my commute vehicle throughout the year (weather permitting).

We are planning on doing an extensive tour out west and I was considering buying a GW and keep the ST1100. If not the GW, we were planning on just doing it on the ST1100. I did not think I could afford a Beemer.

Well... a strange thing happened... I found a 1999 K1200LT (Elite?) at the BMW dealer I purchased my ST1100 (was a trade in) and the price seems good. Dealer states that it has a 'fresh service and new tires'.

So... if anyone out there could help me out on what to look out for on a 1999, or anything else - it would be most helpful.

A little more background - the ST1100 is about 700 lbs. wet and I do not consider it a heavy bike at all - I just don't feel the weight as some other say. I flick it around easily. I am 6' tall and my knees just touch the back of the fairing.

Cheers!

Jon
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post #2 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 2:23 pm
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Great Bike

You won't find a better long distance touring bike than either the LT or the GW. The biggest difference in "feel" is that like your ST, riding an LT has a definite "sport bike" feel once you're rolling. You ride "on" the bike whereas with the GW you ride "in" the bike. Feels to me more like driving a car than riding a bike.
In terms of creature comforts for you an the passenger ...... nothing compares! Momma will indeed be happy on the back end of an LT !!
Before you buy a 99 from the dealer you mentioned though -- look here in the classified area of the site. You may find newer for the same or less money. http://www.bmwlt.com/classifieds/
Welcome to the site !!
Keir
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post #3 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 2:23 pm
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You will find the LT bit more difficult to handle. It is a bit top heavy in a parking lot but is well balanced when rolling. I have owned mine for 5 years. Great bike but I took my time with it at first. I feel very comfortable on it now. I now would ride it in any traffic situation.

Make sure you have the bike checked out from top to bottom.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 3:14 pm Thread Starter
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Any 1999 K1200LT gotchas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkclark
You won't find a better long distance touring bike than either the LT or the GW. The biggest difference in "feel" is that like your ST, riding an LT has a definite "sport bike" feel once you're rolling. You ride "on" the bike whereas with the GW you ride "in" the bike. Feels to me more like driving a car than riding a bike.
In terms of creature comforts for you an the passenger ...... nothing compares! Momma will indeed be happy on the back end of an LT !!
Before you buy a 99 from the dealer you mentioned though -- look here in the classified area of the site. You may find newer for the same or less money. http://www.bmwlt.com/classifieds/
Welcome to the site !!
Keir
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
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post #5 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 3:36 pm
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Howdy, Jon...
There are many points to consider in the LT.. hard to put into a post here. I "suggest" you post in the forum for your area (Northeast) and ask for a "local" to tag along to the BMW dealer for a lookover of the bike.

Some "high failure rates" on LT:
- "Final Drive"... some fail, some don't. If yours has, ask if it has the new style bearing.. if not, how many miles are on the bike?
- Clutch - and "slave" cylinder... the slave tends to leak onto the clutch and pressure plate... a "tell-tale" sign is oil residue at the seam between the engine and tranny. Some folks are drilling "weep holes" in lowest center of the tranny (bellhousing)... if it's wet, you're going to be walking soon.
- Top Case latch... the handle to close the topcase is made of a "cast" aluminum and breaks on the top left corner in most.
- ABS pump - pretty self explanatory.

Lastly, if you can purchase a "warranty" with the bike, do it then just "ride" the bike. The dealer should be able to address any "pre-existing conditions" before warranty begins or during.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #6 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 3:42 pm
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Jon,

You might also want to check out K1200GTs, but as far as the big luxury touring bikes go, the K1200LT is about as close to a sport bike as you can get.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #7 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 7:00 pm Thread Starter
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good info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Howdy, Jon...
There are many points to consider in the LT.. hard to put into a post here. I "suggest" you post in the forum for your area (Northeast) and ask for a "local" to tag along to the BMW dealer for a lookover of the bike.

Some "high failure rates" on LT:
- "Final Drive"... some fail, some don't. If yours has, ask if it has the new style bearing.. if not, how many miles are on the bike?
- Clutch - and "slave" cylinder... the slave tends to leak onto the clutch and pressure plate... a "tell-tale" sign is oil residue at the seam between the engine and tranny. Some folks are drilling "weep holes" in lowest center of the tranny (bellhousing)... if it's wet, you're going to be walking soon.
- Top Case latch... the handle to close the topcase is made of a "cast" aluminum and breaks on the top left corner in most.
- ABS pump - pretty self explanatory.

Lastly, if you can purchase a "warranty" with the bike, do it then just "ride" the bike. The dealer should be able to address any "pre-existing conditions" before warranty begins or during.
Thanks for your great perspectives guys. The bike is being offered (and has been serviced) by a BMW cycle dealer (that is not local to me). Maybe I should check to see if there is another (closer) dealer for service!

Jon
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post #8 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 7:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsd-tourteam
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
Hi Jon,
Reading some of the posts on this site you'd swear the bikes were on the verge of breakdown at any moment. I've not had ANY of those experiences (of the expensive maintenance variety I mean), instead I've simply enjoyed riding an exceptional machine. I suspect you would find that it's like most things, some people (the loud minority) spend alot of time complaining and wallowing in small problems.
That said, there seems to be issues with some of the Final Drives and some of the clutches. Normal and thorough maintenance will (changing fluids in line with maint. schedules, etc) will ensure any troubles are minimized.
The bike is generally high tech and extremely well designed and built.
In terms of mileage -- if a BMW is maintained well, I think the darn things go forever. So spend much more time on how/where it's been cared for than the numbers on the odometer.
There are some incredibly well qualified and helpful folks on this site who have a far longer (some of them lifelong) experiences with BMW equipment. It would be a good idea to read some of the stuff you can find written by guys like Dick, Grifscoots, RaffyK, Petevandyke, RonKMiller, Zippy_gg and many others.
My personal experience with the equipment and the online community has been fabulous.
Best,
Keir
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post #9 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 8:17 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsd-tourteam
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
The LT is normally good for 200,000 and more without major engine work. A couple went way over 300,000, one of them still going strong when it was totaled.

Alternator problems? Where did you hear that? The alternator is one of the strong points of the LT, rarely an issue. Alternator issues are normally a bad connection between the dash alternator light and the alternator, causing it to charge intermittently, and the light won't show a problem. (The light is a required item in the excitation circuit, if no current flow through it, the alternator may or may not charge).

The most common big problem is clutch slave cylinder leakage, which usually takes out the clutch. Drilling a drain hole in the transmission boss where the slave mounts alleviates clutch damage when the slave fails.

The other issue is failed final drive crown bearings. Not fun, but in my opinion I would rather have that (and did) than the slave cylinder failure, which I also had, THREE TIMES! Much less time (and money if the dealer does the work) to replace the final drive than the clutch assembly.

One thing to have the dealer check on a '99: some of the earlier '99's had a software problem in the radio that drained the battery when the ignition was turned off. A software upgrade fixed that, and hopefully your dealer can find the TSB and check the version of your radio's software.

Test ride the LT, I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Maybe not quite as sportly as the ST, but closer than one would think for a big heavy tourer. Considerably sportier riding than the Wing in the twisties.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #10 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 10:20 pm
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Hello & Welcome jdsd,

Iím new to this site like you, My story is I went to look for a touring bike with a bit of umpph, As I was riding a YZF-R1, a plodder just would not do!
So I was looking at FJRís, ZZRís, Pan, and the like, then I seen a K1200LT,
Never seen an LT before so I didnít know anything about them,
So I looked at it and thought, BIG!! Very BIG!!
So I put my leg over, and that was it!
IíM IN LOVE!!!
I wanted this bike, and I havenít even started it.
So I talked to the man, how much will you give me for mine & so on,
Then off home to the wife to tell her that Iíve found another love,
as weíve only been marred 7 weeks, I didnít know how she would take it,
but no worries she just said ďit up to you babeĒ, Oh Yes,
so got on the phone to the man, go for it I said,
Had to wait a week, a long week that was,
So I joined this forum, read as much as I could,
Then I thought ďmy good what have I got? All these problems, Drive, Clutch, ABS ect. ď
Hang on, you can get all these with other bikes, right?
So Iím not going to be put off, Iíve got the bike, its got what I want from a touring bike.
Good, bad, whatever...

Than came the day to pick it up,
Wife came with me,
I thought of what Iíd read on this forum about being a bit of a bitch at slow speed,
Bit of a wobble moving off,
So I treated her with a lot of respect, took the long way home, mostly motorway and bypass,

ďBOY OH BOY I LIKE THIS BIKEĒ I thought, or maybe I shouted it out!!

Iíll take some time to get the feel of her at slow speeds , but Iíll never regret buying her,
Its the second best decision Iíve made in a long time,
the first being the wife.

The K1200LT is right for me,
I knew that before riding her,
Its comfortable & sporty
Will it be right for you?
Only you know that. Good look..
Bear-KLT
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post #11 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 10:28 pm
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Arrow Run save yourself.....

Don't do it ! If you buy an LT let me tell you what to expect.

You will find a bike that you will really like. Then you will start reading this forum to find out all you can, learning on each thread about what is sitting in your garage. Then you will start printing out the info and the documents detailing how to fix/change/upgrade/modify etc.

Then you will start to post questions at first, then responses. Then at every opportunity you will jump at the opportunity to check this forum for new info, responses etc. your boss will think you are working hard on the computer as you intensely read the forum at work.

Then after programming your Blackberry or Treo, you will find yourself reading the forum during meetings, dinner, church. You'll find yourself taking apart a perfectly good bike "just to make it a little better". Wash it, wax it. Find the next place to ride it.

Your wife or girlfriend ( or both)will think you have a new love on the computer as it will be in front of you all the time. When you are not around a computer your hands will start to shake, your eyes will dilate, a should/neck twitching will start.

After a while a BMWLT intervention will take place which will result in daily BMWLT Anonymous meetings in which a cold turkey withdrawl will take place.

But it won't work. Once hooked, never free. Then some day..you'll be online trying to warn some one else. Run....run...fast and far..

Or buy a Goldwing and have a normal boring life.

Good luck.. see ya around here..

Psssst...anyone selling a farkle? just a small one...just need a little farkle to make it through the week...... c'mon.. I'll pay for ti on pay day..need a farkle..gotta have a new one.....
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2000 K1200LTC Champagne SOLD 7-08
2006 KLR 650 - RED- The fast dual sport color !
2002 TW 200 - White/Blue - #1,The wife's CRF replacement.
2002 TW 200 - WhiteBlue - #2, My matching toy
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post #12 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 10:48 pm
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[QUOTE=KIC]Or buy a Goldwing and have a normal boring life.

QUOTE]


Wife said sheíd leave me if I bought a goldwing

?? now I have a secret weapon if she ever starts bitcing
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post #13 of 57 Old Dec 27th, 2007, 11:56 pm
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Hey, Bear and all...
I agree.. my problems with the LT have been considerable... but they get solved and we move along.

In a discussion with my dealer.. I said.. "I really like the LT, but it really is worrying me".. He said.. "Deacon, I think you're wringing out all the problems and this bike will settle down."

Glad I took his advice.

Everything has been much better.

My earlier post was to detail specifics as requested... and they are all real, having experienced most of them on my LT. I have a couple more I could add to the list, but will abstain.

The bottom line.. each problem has been or will be fixed... and I will keep riding this bike until one of us totally wears out...

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #14 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 6:31 am Thread Starter
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KIC,

Fantastic synopsis and fully understand. Very similar to my experiences over on the ST-Owners site.

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned an alternator problem. That was/is an issue with the early Honda ST's - not the LT's (I must not have been clear, sorry David).

I am very excited... going up to test ride the LT tomorrow (Saturday). I hope I can put some money down and secure it - and I have not even seen it!

Jon
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post #15 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 6:38 am Thread Starter
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Bear-KLT,

You (and I) are blessed in having a significant other that supports their man and (least for me), loves touring with me. This is a major reason for leaning towards an LT. I want to treat her right! And.... um.... not a bad piece of machine for me to use either... (LOL)

Jon
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post #16 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 6:39 am Thread Starter
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And no "normal and boring life" foe me, thank you!!!!!!!!! :-)

Jon
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post #17 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 7:13 am
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It's not a boring life at all. That's why I was in the 42 degree garage this morning at 4am tightening the battery connections to try to fix a radio static noise. OK.. so the cough kept me awake.. but I do have cable to watch instead....

Man I gotta get a life.. or at least some sleep...

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2006 KLR 650 - RED- The fast dual sport color !
2002 TW 200 - White/Blue - #1,The wife's CRF replacement.
2002 TW 200 - WhiteBlue - #2, My matching toy
2001 XT 225 - White/Blue - Sold 7/08
92 K75S Red and fast (sadly gone)
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post #18 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 7:39 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIC
It's not a boring life at all. That's why I was in the 42 degree garage this morning at 4am tightening the battery connections to try to fix a radio static noise. OK.. so the cough kept me awake.. but I do have cable to watch instead....

Man I gotta get a life.. or at least some sleep...
Hope you are feeling better.

I rode in to work this morning and the temp range was between 28 and 31 degrees. I had installed one of my Christmas gifts (a digital 5-function meter) that has a temp function (temp probe and can give ice temp warnings) on the ST. Main reason for the meter is to monitor my voltage since I am using heated clothing and installed higher watt headlamps and my alternator rated about half of what an LT has!

Jon
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post #19 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 1:14 pm
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Considering the LT

Jon:

In my neck of the woods, BMW arranges demo days in conjunction with local dealers. An interesting route is organized and for a modest donation to charity, usually 10 or 20 bucks, one gets to ride any number of models provided by BMW Motorrad as well as enjoy lunch. That was first introduction to the LT. I was smitten.

I then wanted to get my SO's input. BMW dealers are always open to allowing a test ride. I arranged for a test ride with my SO since our plan was to return to long distance touring, something we did 25 years ago on my old Honda 750 and then a series of GoldWings. If the wife approved, I would buy the LT, and if she didn't, then I was going to get the RT or the GT.

SO loved the LT...I bought my '05 in July '06 and proceeded to put on 35,000 miles since then.

Ironically, the SO has yet to go on anything longer than an hour or so on the LT. Not what I planned....but....I have absolutely no regrets in buying the LT. I know they depreciate fairly quickly, the dealership network is sparse (to put it mildly), that the parts and service can be pricey but with all of the excellent resources available, such as the Clymer manual or the DVD's about servicing the bike, plus this amazing community, my ownership experience has been excellent.

As many have said before: the comfort, handling, styling and performance as well as the capability to carry a ton of stuff -- if you like long distance touring with camping gear -- you could not do better than the LT IMHO.

Every time I get off "Tipsy", I thank my lucky stars that I found the most amazing scoot on the planet. And I am smiling from ear to ear. Way too much fun!

Paul M. Feldman

2008 - R1200RT "Cino"
2005 - KLT - "Tipsy" (now "Toasty") RIP
2004 - Suzuki Burgman 650
1978 - GL 1000
1985 - GL 1200 20th Anniversary Edition
1976 - Honda 750A
1973 - Honda CB 360 - "Bone Shaker"
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post #20 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 2:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughts Paul. I introduced my SO to two-up touring less than a year ago using the just purchased ST1100. She only had been on a bike (a HD) years and once before and did not like the experience. She trusted me and we got the ST. (I was originally thinking of a Connie, but when this ST became available, I went for that.) Wow - what a difference the bike (and your companion) makes! It's hard for us to not go two-up riding as often as we can. We have happily done near 1000 mile tour trips over three day weekends - complete with rain, traffic, heat. Truly wonderful. The ST manages to do the job surprisingly well. Yet there is something missing. Perhaps it could be a little more comfortable? It's the most comfortable and smooth bike I ever had. Although it's about 700 lbs wet (and it does not look it to me), it's very flickable and well behaved. With her on, the handling is hardly different - I actually like having her on! Yet, I'm still a little sore after 500+ days on it. I would like to have tunes and it be a little more quiet in the cockpit. It also feels a tad small riding two-up. Plenty of power though. ALways had sport bikes before and some say the ST is top heavy. I don't think that at all! In fact, I thought many of my sport bikes - especially the older ones where the gas tank area really holds gas - were top heavy.

My SO has never been out west (but I have cycle toured a few times out west - on sport bikes) and she REALLY wants to do it via cycle. Yeah! However, we are looking at two to three weeks on the bike and I want her to be as happy as possible (which aids greatly to my state of mind). So I suggested getting a Wing. Then the LT came along - at the same BMW dealer I got the ST (from a trade in).

She says, if it's right - get it. If not, then we don't. Pretty simple and I love her for that. But no matter what, we KEEP the ST.

Perhaps I am wrong in considering the Wing or the LT? Don't know - never tried either. I don't have infinitely deep pockets either. So, instead of adding a top case and seatback for her, and with my knees still touching the back of the fairing with riding pants on, worrying about the low output oil-colled alternator going belly up because we both are in heated gear, maybe look for a bigger touring rig - but hopefully not so big that it like being in a cage.

Jon
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post #21 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 4:53 pm
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GL vs. LT

Jon:

I am not really qualified to give you an opinion of the merits of the GL vs. LT. My GL experience is over 20 years out of date, but from what I have experienced in my travels, the Wing is an extremely popular and capable touring machine. There are numerous threads endlessly analyzing and comparing and contrasting the 2 brands. Honda dealers are everywhere.

From what I can see, the vast majority of riders who drive 2 up seem to be extremely satisfied and well served by either the Wing or the LT. Both are wonderful bikes, but the ultimate test is how well it fits you and your passenger and your unique needs.

Having had the Honda GoldWing experience many years ago and not wishing to buy a bike with an engine the size of my Nissan Sentra (1.8L), I found that the LT more closely embodies what motorcycling is about....from my particular perspective. The consensus seems to be that the LT out-handles the GL by a wide margin. To me, biking is a visceral, in-my-gut kind of experience. Driving the Blue Ridge or the Dragon, or any number of fantastic roads that beg you to 'light the wick' and go is about as good as it gets. To that end, the LT fits the bill, while allowing my SO to accompany me for dinner across town or in Denver, and, better still, letting me play boy racer when its just me and "Tipsy".

Like many others, I feel that the braking on the LT is absolutely second to none. The ABS has saved my bacon on more than 1 occasion. It was BMW's anti-lock brakes that persuaded me that this is the bike for me. I am especially impressed with the LT's engineering of the front end which results in virtually no fork dive in the case of a fast/panic stop. What moved from the Japanese mounts to BMW was the engineering. That said, this does come at a price, which I am prepared to accept because motorcycling is my passion. Money seems to be (almost) no object when it comes to my passions.

I know quite a few riders who are very impressed with the ST. The ST has remained a very competitive bike in it's niche and it is a tribute to Honda's skills as a manufacturer that the ST continues to be very popular. But as a serious touring two up mount, it doesn't cut it as far as my needs go.

As a practical matter, if you are not a fan of Harley -- which offers some very popular and capable 2 up tourers, or Victory, with it's new Victory Vision, there is really not a lot of choice out there when one considers the big, luxo touring mounts with all of the toys.

Let us know how your search progresses. Just go for it, whatever you ultimately decide on. Life is simply too short -- and uncertain -- to fuss too much about trivial things such as the placement of the reverse engagement knob.

Paul M. Feldman

2008 - R1200RT "Cino"
2005 - KLT - "Tipsy" (now "Toasty") RIP
2004 - Suzuki Burgman 650
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post #22 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 7:45 pm Thread Starter
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Paul,

You said it so well and agree with you completely. Biking is truly a more full-bodied experience - similar in contrast between taking a commercial flight or one in a small private plane (yeah, I hold a Private Pilot's Certificate but have not flown in a few years). It can be tough to explain, but simple to experience. And each will do so differently.

Life is short. And I agree with the money aspect of passions. Our passions help enjoy life and they do somewhat define us.

I love my ST and plan to keep it as long as I can. I will test ride the LT tomorrow. I will let you know.

Jon
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post #23 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 8:48 pm
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I almost bought a 99 from the local dealer that I thought was a good deal, after advice from this forum I found an 02 for the same amount of money with all the extras I wanted and glad I waited. I think the benefits of a late model 02 or an 03 would be worth the wait. I also have touring models from Honda and Harley and none will hold up to the LT for long distance and a sporty look. Did 5800 miles in August with passenger and trailer and the LT was flawless. Good Luck! John

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post #24 of 57 Old Dec 28th, 2007, 9:26 pm Thread Starter
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Jon
I almost bought a 99 from the local dealer that I thought was a good deal, after advice from this forum I found an 02 for the same amount of money with all the extras I wanted and glad I waited. I think the benefits of a late model 02 or an 03 would be worth the wait. I also have touring models from Honda and Harley and none will hold up to the LT for long distance and a sporty look. Did 5800 miles in August with passenger and trailer and the LT was flawless. Good Luck! John
Thanks for the input John! I go and see the 99 tomorrow - during a window of decent weather. I must say I'm excited. My SO and I have also figured out how to swing it financially. So if I think it's the one, I can pull the trigger.

I'm so caught up with thinking "99" that I don't have a clue on what an 02 or 03 offers. Then there is the (usual) price jump too. I don't know what a fair (to good) price is for a "99".

I was toying the idea of a trailer (for the ST - waaaaay before thinking LT). Heard good things on the Uni-Go trailer? (Think that is the brand - or close to it!)

Anyone use an LT for commuting? (Duh, that was a silly question... LOL)

Jon
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post #25 of 57 Old Dec 29th, 2007, 7:40 am
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---------------------

Anyone use an LT for commuting? (Duh, that was a silly question... LOL)

Jon
I commuted 34 miles each way daily, in San Diego traffic, which included 3-5 miles of lane splitting. Did that for over 4 years, much of my 120,000 miles during that time.

The LT actually handles daily commuting and lane splitting VERY well. Wish I had another one!

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post #26 of 57 Old Dec 29th, 2007, 8:39 am
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Anyone use an LT for commuting? (Duh, that was a silly question... LOL)
Up until I went down and totaled the bike on the September 1, my 2000 LT was my daily commuter. I put 87,000 miles on it from April 2004 to September 2007. If there wasn't ice or snow, yes folks Atlanta does get it sometimes, I was on the bike everywhere. My commute would vary from Atlanta to Washington, Poughkeepsie, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Austin, and points all over the southeast US. Yes Gertrude, the LT is a daily commuter.

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post #27 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 1:26 am
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Commuting

Go for the LT Jon. I use my 05 to commute most days here in South East PA. I live in Lancaster county and commute 30 miles into Chester county. It is very stable, comfortable, and offers great weather protection. Traffic can get a little tiring. Stopping and starting is when you feel the weight. They like to be moving! Delaware county could be a rough commute. Good luck on your quest!
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

I have an '03 LTC and have put 30K miles on it in just 2.5 years. My suggestion is to test drive the '99 as you say. But, don't pull the trigger immediately. Take your time !!!! You haven't told us what the dealer is asking for it. There is nothing saying you couldn't get a later model for close to the same price depending on what it is.

Some of the items you will see on '02 and beyond:

* Linked servo ABS Brakes
* Single and Multi-Disk CD
* Alarm/security System
* Better performance/easier low speed handling ('05 and beyond) - The LT will not compare to the ST in off the line torque.

Whatever you decide, they are all great.. Be careful with regard to another issue:

I would not buy an LT that has been sitting for an extended period of time. Check the service records thoroughly. If the bike, a '99, has low mileage (say less then 35-40K), there is a good chance that is the case. If the bike has been sitting for an extended period of time, the possibility increases that you may have issues with engine/transmission/drive seals. These repairs are very expensive. In fact, many of the problems that you hear about (slave cylinder, clutch replacements due to contamination) are due to leaking. The seals go bad... It happened to me. I purchased mine with 800 miles on the clock in '05 and had just had these issues resolved under extended warranty.

I preach extended warranty, especially when you are new to the LT, since you really don't know what you are getting into. Most full coverage extended warranty programs that I have experiece with require the bike to be under manufacturer's warranty for the best rate.

Don't get me wrong, I love my LT.. Just want to make sure that you go into this relationship with your eyes open. You may never have one of these problems. I like you was stricken with the bike when I first rode it..

But, consider protecting yourself financially from this type of potential risk. Especially if you are doing creative financing to get the bike. Also, find out what type of warranty the dealer is offering you on the bike (if any). That is a point for negotiation. I am sure your SO wouldn't be very happy with a bike that needs expensive repairs, right ??? Especially if you need to pay for it.

I wouldn't buy another LT without an extended warranty. I have said it many times and I will continue to preach EXTENDED WARRANTY. They seem to pay for themselves almost always with these bikes after the honeymoon is over!!!!

Good Luck....
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

... You haven't told us what the dealer is asking for it. There is nothing saying you couldn't get a later model for close to the same price depending on what it is.

I would not buy an LT that has been sitting for an extended period of time. Check the service records thoroughly. If the bike, a '99, has low mileage (say less then 35-40K), there is a good chance that is the case. If the bike has been sitting for an extended period of time, the possibility increases that you may have issues with engine/transmission/drive seals. These repairs are very expensive. ...
Thanks!

Ok... went and checked out the bike yesterday. It is a '99 Custom with 56K miles. All required service intervals have been "stamped" and dated at that dealer - so they know just about everything about the bike. It has had 3 owners so far. It seems to have a ll the bells that a custom has - communications system, 6 CD changer, cassette player, heated seats and grips, on-board computer. It was sitting on the center stand.

The bike looks like it was not cleaned much. In fact, it was filthy at the dealer. (I don't know when it was traded in - but my ST was also dirty when I purchased it from the same dealer and it cleaned up well). There were a lot of scuffs and scratches - some green paint scuffs from some other vehicle(?)that most may come out when cleaned/polished. Other locations the black plastic shows through the paint chips. Overall - not bad, but it did cloud my head and made me frown a little.

The windscreen is yellow, has been cleaned with something that took off the plastic film in places. There are also small half-inch cracks going up from the windshield mount that the owner drilled the ends to stop the crack. Dealer says it needs a new screen and it may cost about $200 if I did it myself.

The last owner was a older fellow who dropped the bike on it's left side (believe at 0 MPH) and it had broken some aluminum loop-like thing (didn't see it) inside the left rubber bumper thing. That rubber bumper thing was replaced and the aluminum loop thing TIG welded. The long chrome facia over the bumper was cracked and did not fit well.

It has some "custom" pin striping and some blue and purple painting added. I'm not so hot about it but it does not look that bad. I could live with it.

It has new tires and the brake pads are "thick" (according to the salesman). It has had some bearings in the final drive replaced. Something about the bearing cages that broke up and were fixed at the dealer. I think the fluid was replaced there too. I asked how much new tires cost and he said about $400 installed.

Upon start up, it smoked like crazy!!! It fogged the place outside! The salesman says it was the fuel stabilizer. It did not smell like antifreeze or oil. I guess it was the stabilizer. It took a mile or two before it was gone.

I rode it for about 10 to 15 miles. True to what others have said, the weight seems to go away once you are under way. It seemed almost "flickable". It had about half a tank of fuel. (Does it require premium fuel???)

I noticed the seating position was limited - up close and personal with the tank area (I am not a large guy). The shifts required a little more pressure that my ST and the 2 to 3rd shift seemed to not want to go unless I applied firm pressure. Other than tat, the shifts seem clean and noise-free and tight.

Engine seemed very smooth and nothing seemed to buz and I was delighted in that. As smooth as my ST (which I think is very smooth).

All the mechanical stuff I could play (or figure out) with seemed to work fine. The cruise seemed to work; I heard tunes out of the radio; felt heat out of the grips and seat; windshield went up and down. Having the signal cancel on the right side was different! I once hit the horn when I wanted to turn on the left signal to get around a truck early in the ride (and when it was still smoking - what I dufus I must have looked!).

When I got back, the salesman was no where is sign (fine...) and so I explored the bike some more. Put it easily on the center stand. I found two tiny manuals - a maintenance (?) manual and a operating (?) manual. This showed me how to cycle through the (tiny) computer display and that you press the keylock in to activate the latches of the boxes. Nice that you do not need to use a key if you don't want to lock them (like the ST).

From the center stand position, I started it back up and there was no smoke.

I told the salesman I liked it. He never asked me if I wanted it. Other people came in (I think he knew them as regulars) and that was about it. I was prepared to put a sizeable chuck of money (almost half) down to hold it but it never got that far. I am thinking of coming up this next week with the SO to see it for herself. The decision, though, is up to me. I'd be surprised if I could get an extended warrentee but I did not ask - again, it never got that far.

What would you folks do? Should I run or not? What is a fair price? (They are asking below book retail.)

Jon
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post #30 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 4:21 pm
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They all do that.

Smoke is normal, while it has been sitting for a while. Next time you start it, let it seat up right for a few seconds before starting.

Second I did not believe the 99 or any older BMW had central lock with a touch of a button. See what kind of seat it has. Mine came with the up graded seat, the comfort seat. Love it.

Sounds like a great motorcycle to me. I wouldn't run. I would by it. My 99 this past june to took me to Alaska and back with out a hitch.

John
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post #31 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 6:47 pm Thread Starter
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Going to make an offer

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorman587
Smoke is normal, while it has been sitting for a while. Next time you start it, let it seat up right for a few seconds before starting.

Second I did not believe the 99 or any older BMW had central lock with a touch of a button. See what kind of seat it has. Mine came with the up graded seat, the comfort seat. Love it.

Sounds like a great motorcycle to me. I wouldn't run. I would by it. My 99 this past june to took me to Alaska and back with out a hitch.
John,

Thanks for the info and support. I am going to ask the salesman what the min he will take in cash. If it sounds good, I'll try to pick it up this next weekend.

BTW - Do these bikes take premium? And, do you know of a good way to attach a Garmin zumo GPS? And, is it dorky (and possible) to put a tank bag on these? I'm thinking about long tour and using the extra space.

Jon
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post #32 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 8:49 pm
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Thought I would chime in, I had done a look at the GW and the LT as well. At the time I was looking I had a 98 1100RT with only 11k on the clock . Skip forward... today wife and I rode my new 2007 K1200LT first to the SD BMWOC meet then a nice ride north of SD with our ride leader.

The LT feels like a totally different bike to the RT I had, it is nimble and surefooted when you are not foot paddling. The features on it are amazing, I was lucky to get a great deal on a floor model with all the bells and whistles on it. I have done just going on 100 miles on it in less than a short day. The best moment, stuck in traffic on the I5 heading home with the radio blasting out Sweet home Alabama across the speakers as they adjusted volume to speed.

Seriously taking turns out the back of Carlsbad and just doing it like a bike 500 lbs lighter, amazing.

Cheers, hope you made it on one.

Tony
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post #33 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 9:23 pm
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Sounds like the bike needs some things. A new windshield sounds mandatory. If it requires body work, the price of the parts will be astronomical if you plan to replace them unless you buy them used. Then the may need painting which is also expensive as well.

Sounds to me like the bike needs a thorough check over by an independant party. The price is absolutely critical. There are alot of great deals out there on '99s. The mileage sounds fine though.

If you can live with the condition, the tires are good, brakes are good, no leaking, etc. It might be a worth while deal. But again, service is expensive so changing brake pads, shocks, etc. are expensive...

You may want to solicate a knowledgable member of this forum to check it out if you don't feel comfortable.

Here is what I would check:

1) Check rear tire for side to side play. If there is any, final drive is an issue

2) After running the bike for a while, check under the bike between the transmission and the engine (or anywhere else for that matter) for moistness from oil, transmission fluid, etc. Any oily wetness would show some kind of seal leaking.

3) Check the tires to see how much tread is left..

4) If you can get them to drain the final drive fluid so an inspection of the drain plug magnet can be made to see if there are any metal filings on it would be good. If there is, final drive may be at issue.

5) Get the full service record and review it personally.

Any work that needs to be done should be added to the price if you can not negotiate it out of the deal. That will add directly to the price of the bike.

Good Luck...
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post #34 of 57 Old Dec 30th, 2007, 10:05 pm
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Cool Broken Frame Tabs?

Jon, I would ask the Dealer to have a good look at the item you are describing in the following paragraph:

"The last owner was a older fellow who dropped the bike on it's left side (believe at 0 MPH) and it had broken some aluminum loop-like thing (didn't see it) inside the left rubber bumper thing. That rubber bumper thing was replaced and the aluminum loop thing TIG welded. The long chrome facia over the bumper was cracked and did not fit well."

If what they are talking about is the frame tabs, the Bike was very possibly totaled in the past! The main frame is aluminum, and the tip over bars reside under the "rubber thing". If the tab (aluminum) is broke BMW will not repair it, even though a good welder probably can. Double check the Title to see if it may have been salvaged with that kind of damage.

Otherwise, most of the rest of what you describe is stuff you could easily fix up yourself over time, and should not affect the Bikes performance. The only other item of concern might be the Final Drive if that was worked on. This has been a problem area especially after any work was done on the Drive rather than simply replacing it.

Good Luck, and you will enjoy the LT, just make sure that you know what all is wrong with the Bike you are looking at before taking the plunge.

John

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post #35 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 6:11 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If what they are talking about is the frame tabs, the Bike was very possibly totaled in the past! The main frame is aluminum, and the tip over bars reside under the "rubber thing". If the tab (aluminum) is broke BMW will not repair it, even though a good welder probably can. Double check the Title to see if it may have been salvaged with that kind of damage.

Otherwise, most of the rest of what you describe is stuff you could easily fix up yourself over time, and should not affect the Bikes performance. The only other item of concern might be the Final Drive if that was worked on. This has been a problem area especially after any work was done on the Drive rather than simply replacing it.
John,

Thanks for the warning. Hmmm... I will ask them today about what was welded again (and if the bike was totaled!). And also, what was done with the final drive. The price thay are asking is, I feel, low. (And one often get's what ya pay for!) Thanks again.

Jon
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post #36 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 7:12 am
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Definitely take your wife to test ride with you - but be prepared to by an LT after you do that. Whether this one is a good one or not, who knows, as several have mentioned, you can probably find a better deal person to person if you can wait a bit.

I had the same experience as you did, feeling up close and personal with the tank, although I was coming off a K75S. You'll get used to it, but the body position is not a forward lean and the handle bars come much further back, giving you that hemmed in feeling. By the way, the top box can be moved in two settings (at least on my 02), the back setting makes for plenty of room for the passenger.

If you decide to pick it up and want a used windshield, let me know. I kept mine when I changed out to an aftermarket one thinking I may need it, just yesterday decided to stop cluttering up my garage and throw it out. It's perfectly usable, I just got carried away on a group buy and got another one.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

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post #37 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 8:29 am Thread Starter
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Definitely take your wife to test ride with you - but be prepared to by an LT after you do that...

...If you decide to pick it up and want a used windshield, let me know.
Joel,

If I do pick it up and your 02 shield will fit, let me know the particulars you need. (I will probably know today if a deal on the bike will happen.)

They told me that I cannot take a test ride with my SO. (Dealership insurance reason or policy.)

I believe I saw (maybe wrong) that the topbox/backrest can be moved in the manual of this one.

I have a Honda ST1100 (and I will be keeping) and I can move around pretty freely on that flat-ish stock seat. Does anyone put "highway foot pegs" on these bikes? I see that there are fold-away pegs that are located (fit/replace?) the side rubber bumper things.

Jon
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post #38 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 10:15 am
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Personally from what I have read here you may just want to look elsewhere.

My 2 biggest concerns are the final drive and the welding.

Final drives don't have a lot of success on rebuilds except from the expert 4%'s on this forum. The preload technique on the rebuild is all but impossible except for someone has the proper jig to accomplish it. Not saying it cant or has not been done successfully, it has, but I thing blind luck, and the BMW God were smiling that day. The only up side is you can find them on e-bay reasonable, 350-400, compared to 900 plus from Chicago BMW.

The welding thing is just too weird. The black tip over wing covers an aluminum bar that slides into to pockets. If those pockets were welded I would be very leery. It would also lead me to believe the it was NOT a 0 mph drop.

The maintenance thing is a big plus but does not address the two above issues.

You also say the exterior is a little rough and believe me body parts are very expensive for these things. I know as I have replaced a tip over wing cover, a mirror, and a rear chrome strip on my right side. It is something I hope never to do again. It was big money for a stupid right turn, incline, another car making a bad choice, and me following with a front brake clamp, wheel turned and the BRAND NEW LT taking a nap, and sliding on an incline. Head up, striate ahead, wheel strait is my mantra on stops now. I do not short cut stopped turns any longer. I am a fast learner when my wallet gets scorched hard.

We have a member here who is going through this and has and is replacing things at an very quick pace on an older model. I cant recall his handle but I think yeachave? Anyway find all posts by him and read and see what you may be in for.

I would start looking on e-bay for price comparisons. Look in the classified here as there are some selling.

All that said the LT is a joy to run and own. It does have it's quirks but is the best all around touring machine I have ever thrown my leg over.

I would hate to see you buy this one and end up in the situation as the previous poster I tried to point you to.

54 on the clock and you need a windshield, probably shocks, maybe a battery, and a questionable FD heritage, I guess you asked mileage on that repair?

Also the biggest thing that bugs me is the treatment you describe at the dealer. The salesmen sounds rude and disinterested in you and your money so I would follow suite and be disinterested in spending my money with him.

Slow your heart rate down and look around there are a bunch of LT's around that are waiting for new owners, and I would find one of those.

Lee
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post #39 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 11:36 am Thread Starter
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Lee,

I just asked the salesman and he says that:

"the final drive was done and the bearing [singular] was replaced. The BMW mechanic remembers putting a new rear rotor on about 1K miles ago.

Also, the left engine bar tab was welded [due to the fall].

[Has new Metzeler tires]"

Jon
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post #40 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 11:37 am
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+1 to Lee's advice
I've seen 99's that are in perfect shape on the West Coast for $7k that don't sell. The LT parts and repair can be expensive so buy a bike that needs as little as possible done at purchase time, you'll need the money you save to spend on farkles. Take your time and a late model 02 or 03 will eliminate the need for repairs that could be expensive down the road. I don't know what your budget is but the bike explained above would have to be awful cheap to make it worthwhile.

John
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He also said the bike has had the scheduled services and is currently fresh.
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post #42 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 11:52 am Thread Starter
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Sometimes less than 7 for a 99?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akzl
+1 to Lee's advice
I've seen 99's that are in perfect shape on the West Coast for $7k that don't sell. The LT parts and repair can be expensive so buy a bike that needs as little as possible done at purchase time, you'll need the money you save to spend on farkles. Take your time and a late model 02 or 03 will eliminate the need for repairs that could be expensive down the road. I don't know what your budget is but the bike explained above would have to be awful cheap to make it worthwhile.
John,

Really?! Less than 7K? Wow. I'm on the other coast. :-( This one is less than 7K... but it's not perfect (by a ways).
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post #43 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 12:06 pm
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JD.. you pay your money and take your chances. Granted, I purchased "new"... wanted the "full warranty" experience... hahah..

You may have a diamond in the rough.. or you may have a bucket-o-problems... new or used.

I would "ride new" on a test ride.. then go with your money to the used bike... pay the guy then ride the bike with the understanding if you don't like it, you get your money back minus $25... can't hurt.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #44 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 12:06 pm
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Is there any warranty with the rear drive?

If not, I would offer him less than 6K and walk away if he doesn't take it. You could be in for a lot of trouble if that goes. Plus you need new shocks, about 1200-1500. Anything higher in price you will be able to get an '02.

There are many bikes out there for sale, just wait for the perfect one.

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
"Far away, is far away...
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Only if you don't go!!!"
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post #45 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 12:31 pm Thread Starter
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Neil, the salesman has not said if there is any warranty. He says hardly anything unless I ask him!

JD
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post #46 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 12:39 pm
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[QUOTE=jdsd-tourteam]/He says hardly anything unless I ask him!/QUOTE]

That's not a good sign....

Ted

Camarillo, CA
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post #47 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 12:50 pm Thread Starter
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Ted, I agree. Still... I purchased my ST from him and I am very happy with it. Same thing then too - actually even less talking! Maybe I was just lucky. Bike was also dirty, but it cleaned up to like new. I don't think this one will clean up as nice and I am waaaaaay more concerned with the mechanical aspect.

Perhaps it all boils down to what Deacon says, "you pay your money and take your chances". I would like to take the chance with a warranty.

JD
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post #48 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 1:04 pm
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As a newbie to the BMW fold I would see if Dave, or someone wants to chime in on that FD bearing only thing.

Again it sounds like he avoided the MILEAGE that that took place and the warranty on the drive.

Service records are only as good as the dealer performing them. But in the scheme of things on a 99 with all records that is a +.

Cosmetics not sure how fussy you are, but if your initial was ahh, well I can live with that or this, you may be fooling yourself after the thing is sitting in your garage.

The WELD is still a big question to me and I would think you need advice from the guys who really know what the hell they are talking about. If it was just the bar and it was replaced no big deal but to me welding means snapped something, and I think they total LT's for a certain snapped thing.

Again I caution you from the other poster and his woes purchasing from "his" dealer.

Deep breaths, slow down, look at e-bay, Craig's list, any local newspaper or list you can find for motorcycles, and buy smart.

Hope you find your "one".

I did............


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsd-tourteam
Lee,

I just asked the salesman and he says that:

"the final drive was done and the bearing [singular] was replaced. The BMW mechanic remembers putting a new rear rotor on about 1K miles ago.

Also, the left engine bar tab was welded [due to the fall].

[Has new Metzeler tires]"

Jon

Lee
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15 R1200 RTLC San Marino Blue Metallic (Sold)
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post #49 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 1:22 pm
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I just did a map quest on your town and see you are around Philadelphia. You may want to try dealers from a wider area.

Personally Trans Am in Lancaster PA is who I bought mine from. I trust their Service Manager EXPLICITLY. The owner is a stand up guy. I do, and will continue to support them as much as I can. In my years this is the first dealer I can say that about. Of course my previous experience was all Harley so maybe not a good comparison

As a impulse buyer who has made mistakes before, slow down and think it through, LOOK outside of your area.

You have time so if it was supposed to be it will be there after you look around. And after what I drove through last night (snow and more snow) I don't think it is quite bike frenzy selling time yet.

Lee
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post #50 of 57 Old Dec 31st, 2007, 1:50 pm Thread Starter
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Lee,

Thanks so-o much for giving me this insight. I have not real measure on how well to trust the service manager at this particular dealership. Finding one that you can trust is golden. I'm a little over an hour from Lancaster - I would be happy to check out Trans Am. Got a salesperson you would suggest to work with?

JD
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