Considering LT's - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:24 pm Thread Starter
 
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Considering LT's

I'm new to this forum but thought this would be a great place to pick some qualified brains. I'm at the very early stages of purchasing a used bike and from what I can tell, I definitely want the LT. My question is to anyone who owns an LT and would like to chime in. Considering your first purchase of an LT, what would you do differently in your research to ensure all of the appropriate questions are answered. ie... year, price, final drive issues, electrical, blah blah blah.......?

Thanks for chiming in and I look forward to your responses.

Tom
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post #2 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:41 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

Hello Tom,

This is a great place to research before you buy, I surfed this site a full month every chance I could, before I purchased an 03 LT. My biggest concern was the mention of being top heavy at low speed something that you will overcome with practice. You will absolutely love riding it. This site is a GREAT resource for any questions you may have.

Later,

willow

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post #3 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:44 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Not an expert but can only describe my experience. Couple of months ago I bought a 2005 1200LT with 8k miles. I bought the 05 because they had some changes starting that year such as the automatic center stand. Better slow move handling and most important to me was it still had some warranty left and I still bought an extended warranty.
I bought it from a dealer that provided me with all service records. Very important.
I tried all switches and electrical options for proper operation.
He said that the J-pegs were installed on it. He also said it had been dropped by the previous owner, one time on either side.
Well knowing what J-pegs can do when the LT is dropped, I looked at lower part of the bike and sure enough there was a hole in the lower side from the the J-peg tip. I also noticed some scrapes on the lower plastic.
Those are areas I would never had seen if I had not looked down below. Standing up and looking I would have missed those areas completely.
He replaced all damaged parts as part of the deal plus got some extra money off.
Just because it had been dropped was not enough to change my mind because it usually wont hurt anything except one's pride and maybe cosmetics.
Just like buying a used car-Ask and ask questions, Get service history. Inspect and inspect. Test ride if allowed. Try all OEM functions and any added options. Try to get a since of how the bike was treated by the previous owner. You will love the 1200LT.
Note: There is a lot of remarks on the top heaviness of the 1200LT . Maybe so but it has not been a problem at all for me. I have practiced using the back and front brakes at slow speed while turning. I can do a U turn in a single lane road with no problems. You will also read a lot about dropping it.
You will find that has been done mostly by riders not paying attention to things like where they are parking and what they are parking on.(Gravel, mud, etc.. Or by just not thinking-Like not putting it in 1st gear before putting on side stand or not even remembering to put the side stand down believe it or not. Do not be over concerned.

Last edited by hifiman; Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm.
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post #4 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:44 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Thanks Willow,

Figure I'm better safe than sorry. Why did you choose the 03?
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post #5 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:48 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Thank you Alex, that was insightful. Am I to conclude that there was no center stand prior to 05? I do know that bikes will tip, it happens however, I didn't know to actually look below for peg damage. Great advice!!
Thanks again. Tom
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post #6 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 12:57 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Hi
Yes the pre 05s had a center stand but it was manual. You have to heave the beast up on it. The 05s and after are automatic. Push a button and up on the stand you go. I use it all the time.
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post #7 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 1:11 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

Tom,

With surfing this site, I also was shopping on e-bay and cycle trader. Choosing the 03 was more of a financial decision. I purchased it in Aug. of 07 for 10,500 with 11,600 mi. I was lucky enough to find the LT for sale only 35 mi. from my home. Just take your time and you will find what you are looking for.

willow

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post #8 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 1:31 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Not sure I'm allowed to participate in this thread. All y'all have under 100 posts.

If I were to buy another LT, I'd make sure that it had as many "farkles" (i.e. accessories) as possible. That's the back-end of the deal that nobody warns you about. Once you start reading about all the gadgets and gizmos (that you HAVE to have ), you'll be spending at least $2K to $4K more if your LT doesn't already have some of the stuff. And farkles cost 50 to 75% less when they come on a used bike.

Food for thought...
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post #9 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 1:52 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

What he says is very true. Some you will almost have to add for safety and others just because you want to. I have added the DK floorboards which lowered my feet position some and pushed the position forward some. I added a rear brake extended pedal. (Because I did the floorboards) I added
flashing brake lights, wings of gold, ( adds lights and turn signals to the clear plastic vent winglets under the mirrors). I added LED license plate that adds additional brake lights and turn signals. I added LED reflectors to my saddle bags that replace the OEM reflectors.
Next is driving and HID lighting to the front a new Cee Bailey windshield and backrest.
I will admit that did all the above for under 1k but I wanted the extra safety, comfort and think they look great! However if the bike had come with any of the above it would have been a big plus. I do not think it matters what you buy. A HD is break you on Chrome and other add ons. To me its part of the fun of making your 1200LT yours.

And let me say this: I have owned a HD Fatboy, BMW R1200CLC, HD Ultra and without a question the 1200LT is the most comfortable, funnest, best handling and quickest bike I have owned. With add-ons or not.

Last edited by hifiman; Mar 30th, 2008 at 2:01 pm.
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post #10 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:12 pm
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If I had it to do again, I'd sure want farkles already on the bike.

I didn't pay much attention to that issue as my '03 had 8700 miles, locally owned, cup holder, and 6 months left on the warranty and $9,999.00 price tag.

So, I'd look for a used one..probably an '06, that had farkles that I wanted and would probably be 1/2 the price of a new '08. Price is what sold me on my '03 as I was looking for a similar year HD Roadglide and all that I looked at were over $16,000.00. It was a "no brainer" for me.

My only problem was the Final Drive failure, but I love the bike so much that I'll just keep fixing it. No way can one predict how long a FD may run!

Just remember it is a machine! Something just might not work as it should.

Good luck in your search and be patient. It'll stare you in the face when you see the one for you!


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Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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78 years young!
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Converted HD rider.
Love this LT bike and still waiting for my first speeding ticket. LOL
Vern
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post #11 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:18 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

I would never buy another lt! with all the problems it has. rear drive bearings ,, slave cylinder,just to replace air filter it takes a couple hours! the mirrors fall off when you hit a hard bump, cruise control never worked. Im sure I missed a few things but I think Ive made my point. For the record I have had a hand full of bikes from harleys to hondas and this is the most difficult to own. I hope to trade this one in next year. I prefer to ride my bikes not spend my time fixing them.
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post #12 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:24 pm
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Sounds like grog got a bad one. Wish he had not and I can feel his pain. Do keep in mind though that that the majority of 1200lts have not had problems and with many miles on them. I hit a pot hole the other day and it was agood one. Mirrors stayed on with no problem. However saying that, there are lemons of every make and model (like my previous Fatboy) so just be careful on your pre inspection.
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post #13 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:43 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

My LT is a true joy to ride. I always had it dealer serviced and was religious about maintenance. However after a 4300 mile vacation, while having new tires and rear shock replaced it was found to have an oil leak around the timing change cover, leaking also at trans and final drive plus a few other problems. It is an 03 LT with 30,000 miles bought a couple of years ago. Still trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and spend $$ for repairs which add up to a large percentage of the value of the bike or trade it in on something else. My wifes saying is "That anyone can afford to buy a BMW but not everyone can afford the upkeep. lol" I would hate to spend all the money needed to get it in tip top order and then have some other costly repair needed.
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post #14 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:50 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

Tom, Much like you, last year I did extensive research and pulled the trigger on a used '05 LT. Part of the reason I went with the '05 was the increased horsepower and the powered center stand. This site is the best source of info on the LT. Some thoughts

The Bad: (really very little actually) The LT can be a top heavy beast. I tipped it over in my drive way. One needs to be on solid ground both with your feet (stay away from gravel) and on the stand (you almost need a concrete pad). There is a tendency for some front end shake at approximately 40-50 mph.

The Good: (too much for here) Once moving, the LT handles remarkably. I took a 10 day trip last summer where basically I looked for squiggly lines on the map. It is not a sport bike, but I can say there were no disappointments. The LT is amazingly quick, comfortable, and a dream on long rides (and daily commutes). Plug in the iPod and cruise - YIKES too much fun. I have no regrets. Good luck.
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post #15 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 3:22 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

I bought my '06 just a couple of months ago. I bought it instead of the '05 ($1000.00 less than the '06) because the '06 had one year of factory warrenty left plus I could purchase an extended warrenty for it. That was the most important part of my decision process. No warrenty, no purchase.

You can make do without a warrenty, but I personally would not. But then again, I was also looking at buying a new LT. The used one saved me $6K ~ $8K over a brand new one.

I also did not care about all the potential farkles on it. I would add what I wanted, not what someone else wanted to add. Farkles are good if they are the ones you want, otherwise, they can be a pain to remove. Might add some money in your pocket when you sell them though.

I also did not care about final drive issues or anything else that others have encountered. Why? Because I have a warrenty (see where that peace of mind comes in handy). The LT is also not a top heavy beast. My previous motorcycle, a '02 Concourse was far more touchy and would lay over at the drop of a hat. The key to the LT is to use the rear brake only at slow speeds. If you use the front brake and stop the bike short, the wheel can turn and the motorcycle can go down.

I do recommend you have the motorcycle checked out by a BMW dealer if it is a personal sale. If it being sold by a dealer, you can always take it to another dealer to get it checked out if you have any misgivings about the current dealer. Service records are key to my purchase of an '96 RT. I could tell it had been well maintained by the original owner, and the second owner did some work but missed the 60K service (I'm doing that), and after test driving it I bought it on the spot.

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post #16 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 4:48 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

I recommend you take one for a test ride if you have not already. This is the best way to get the feedback. I prefer hands on approach.


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post #17 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 5:49 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

Quote:
Originally Posted by OU812
I recommend you take one for a test ride if you have not already. This is the best way to get the feedback. I prefer hands on approach.
Ditto! Feb '02 a friend insisted that I test ride his LT, the wife and I rode to Supper about 75 miles form the house... About half way home my wife said I think we need one of these. Well, what's a man to do? When to the closest dealer Friday AM purchased a '99 with 13K on her, 110K later I happy as I can be.

Bill Jennings, fhp
Denison, TX

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post #18 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 7:10 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

Tom

I joined this site for a year before my purchase. I waited for the great deal. My bike didn't have all the trimmings but I did get a good price so I could buy extras. Take your time and learn from this site. Read everything you can about the LT including the hall of wisdom. I learned from this site I wanted a 2003 because that's when they changed the rear end design with the bearings, the low speed handling cautions, what addons to get first etc. Want a powered center stand? Get a 2005. Want a more comfortable seat get a pre-2005 or get a custom seat. Ask questions. Study! Learn! Wait for the opportunities. Visit BMW dealers take test rides. Oh what fun you're in for.

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post #19 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 11:02 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Thank you very much to all who have chimed in! I can tell that LT owners are a tight community. All of the feedback has been positive overall ( except for the dude with the lemon, sorry brother.) I will take everyones advice and stay focused on this sight.

Cheers!!
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post #20 of 28 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 11:36 pm
 
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Talking Re: Considering LT's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomko
I can tell that LT owners are a tight community.
Tight? Or . . . CHEAP?!?!


Welcome to the site.
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post #21 of 28 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 7:22 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

I never thought I would own another BM, my first was a '72, my last was a '76, the difference in price is astronomical...$2200.00 for my '72, a new 2007 listed at $27,000.00 in Canada. My wife found me a great 2004 last fall with 29000 miles on it and in A-1 shape. As well, the owner had added a power center stand, I am not sure if this is available for all pre-2005 models, but I would check into it..I am not sure what it cost him to install, but it is well worth the money. He even added a safety feature that means you have to push a hidden button plus the center stand button to prevent anyone from messing with it, even that is a very remote possibility. The long and short of it is I love the bike, even though I haven't put a lot of miles on it. My brother- in-law owns a Gold Wing and I toyed with the idea of getting one of them, but one ride on this bike made me glad I wasn't on the wing. There are pros and cons for this bike for sure, after a 20 year absence from riding I was not sure about the stories about it being top-heavy and hard to handle at low speeds. Other than my first drop at a stop sign which caught me unawares about how different this bike was from my old ones, I have had no problems. A lot of slow driving and parking lot practice has made this a lot easier to handle. I have never been someone to buy "used", but considering what I got for the price, what a new one costs, and my finances, I am very glad that my wife found this one for me.


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post #22 of 28 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 9:48 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

I wouldn't worry about the power centerstand so much. I thought it might be a great idea, but if you change your own oil and or tranny fluid, you would have to take extra time to remove it. I have an 02 without one and using the proper technique after getting used to it, it is not that big a chore to put it on the center stand. Plus the hydraulic model is just one more thing that can need repair in the future.
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post #23 of 28 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 12:22 am
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Re: Considering LT's

I beg to differ on the power center stand. One of the many reasons I bought a later model. Horsing 850 pounds up isn't doing your back much good. Even with proper technique it can getcha occasionally.

On my RT, I find that rocking it side to side a bit and then as it comes on the side you are standing to step on the centerstand and lift it;ll pop up much easier. But if your timing is off even the littlest bit all the weight falls back on your shoulder and back. It hurts.

Now if you are in better shape than I am (not hard to do) or younger and in better shape, well that might make all the difference.

2006 Magnesium Black Metallic K1200LT (sold - sigh)
1996 Sinus (aka Cirrus) Blue Metallic R1100RT
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post #24 of 28 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 12:19 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

I agree, I tried to use it without the lift as I couldn't remember where the previous owner had told me the 2nd button was to get the hydrolic to work. Maybe if I was 20 years younger and in better shape it wouldn't matter, but not now. As far as something to fix, not sure about that, how often would this be used? Can't be all that often that I can see using it, for the most part I use the side stand. Time will tell I guess.


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post #25 of 28 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 4:08 pm
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Cool Re: Considering LT's

As a correction, the center stand does not have to be removed when changing the fluids.

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post #26 of 28 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 10:43 pm
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Re: Considering LT's

You are correct. The center stand does not have to be removed, and in fact it is what holds the bike up while you are working on changing the fluids. What does need to be removed to change the tranny fluid is the skid plate. As far as the hydraulic equipment, I didn't know for sure, as I have never worked on one and was just speculating that it might cause a few problems in getting at stuff. I stand corrected.
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post #27 of 28 Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 10:54 am
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Re: Considering LT's

Another back-end consideration is maintenance. Warranties are all well and good, but that necessitates having a dealership that is close to you. It looks like you have one within 30 miles and another within 90 (follow http://www.bmwmotorcyclesus.com/deal...kane&states=WA ). Of course, a 2003 prob will not come with a warranty. However, you will have to deal with maintaining your new purchase. That means paying a dealership, or doing it yourself (the preferred mode). I'd call up your closest dealerships and get pricing info on the 12000 mile services and the 6000 mile oil changes. That way you can determine if it is worth your own time.

For comparisons sake, the price for the 12k/24k service at the Orlando and Daytona, Fl dealerships ranged from $1000 to $1200. Which is a large reason to do it yourself. The costs do seem to fluctuate, so do call and check them out. To get parts pricing info, one of the better sites is http://www.beemerboneyard.com/ . They have individual parts and kits (the 12k kit is $85 plus s/h). The majority of the dealership cost is labor, so the savings really does get passed on to you if you do it yourself.

If you are interested in doing your own work, there is a large amount of resources available here, and the differing repair manuals can help as well. There are occasional Tech Sessions that are hosted where people get together and do maintenance/upgrades/etc on the bikes. Very hands on, and one of the best ways to learn about the bike.

Hope that helps,

Adam
2006 K1200LT 2001 Kawi KLR650
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post #28 of 28 Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:24 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Considering LT's

Thanks so much Adam! The good thing is that I'm not above turning a wrench and I agree that the more hands on, the more I'll learn about the bike!

Thanks again,
Tom
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