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post #1 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 5:52 pm Thread Starter
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Need K1200LT advice

Greetings to all. I am in the market for a K12LT and need some purchase advice. Just discovered this forum and thought it would be the place to ask.
I have been on bikes for about 38 years and have owned many airhead BMWs. In search of a good, comfortable two-up bike I bought a 1989 Venture Royale at the recommendation of a friend. After getting it into tip-top running condition my wife and I came to the conclusion that it's a nice bike but not quite the ticket. We borrowed an LT (2003) from a friend and after a couple of hours on the bike we've decided it IS the ticket. Now I have a nice Venture Royale for sale.
My questions are these: Are there any years of LT to be avoided and why? Is there a particular "upgrade" year that I should seek and newer? (Wasn't 2005 a year of change?) I am used to doing all my own maintenance and I know this would change with the LT but are fluid and filter changes, battery service and wheel removal DIYable? How much attention do the fuel injection and the ABS systems need? Are valve adjustments for the professionals only? I am on a budget and seeking the best bike for the money. Prices seem all over the map. Can anyone make sense of this or is it a simple condition and location situation?
Sorry for all my ignorance. Just trying to make an informed decision.
Thanks in advance.
Chuck.
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post #2 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Chuck
The BIG difereence in years is the addition of the electric center stand on later years. Most all maint. is DIYable, just a bit different than Airheads.
(You're not gonna change rings in the motel parking lot)
Up above there's a tab labeled "technical"
and under that "hall of wisdom" there you will find answers to all maint questions....well, most.
The first obstical to overcome is the fear of tupperware.........jump in, do it, fear gone. I used masking tape to keep track of where the two sizes of fasteners go until I became familiar.
Clymer is some help, as is BMW CD manual. My first help came from Paul Sayegh DVD's. He shows how to do most jobs.......can be purchased on line.
Sometimes I miss my old Airhead (Simpli Fi) but, the big girl sure is comfy on the road.

Allan..Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas, and tomorrow the Universe
2003 K1200LT trike - Starfighter
2004 R1150RTP - Combat Touring
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post #3 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 6:25 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Hello Chuck, and welcome.
You and I have a couple things in common, Airheads, and Yamaha Venture Royale.
The K1200LT is light years ahead of the Venture Royale. Take the Venture comforts, blend in some BMW Airhead handling.... well, you know....

I have a 2000 KLT with almost 70K miles on it. Very happy with it and wouldn't trade it for a newer one.
If you are willing to do your own maintenace (yes you can, it's not hard, just a little time consuming) the LT isn't that expensive to own.
Everyone loves what they own. I like the early bikes for the ease of brake servicing (later models with integrated brakes are more complicated to service).
A 99 or 2000 with low mileage will give you your best buy IMO. There are a few issues with some of these bikes, but all of those issues have been or can be resolved by referring to information on this site.

Final drive, hot weather hesitation are a couple of concens with the early models. Neither of these issues would deter me from getting another one of these bikes.

Later models introduce a little more power, integrated braking, power centerstand. If any of these are important to you, look to later model years.

There'll be other suggestions. Have fun.

Addendum: You CAN do all your own service. My KLT hasn't been in a BMW shop for years. Even the valve checks and adjustments are within the reach of the DIYer. The only concern was with checking the bike's computer (Motronic) with the dealer's computer (MoDiTek), but that changes with the availability of the aftermarket GS-911. There is a registry of folks who own the GS-911 so you are bound to find someone who is willing to help with that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlipps
Greetings to all. I am in the market for a K12LT and need some purchase advice. Just discovered this forum and thought it would be the place to ask.
I have been on bikes for about 38 years and have owned many airhead BMWs. In search of a good, comfortable two-up bike I bought a 1989 Venture Royale at the recommendation of a friend. After getting it into tip-top running condition my wife and I came to the conclusion that it's a nice bike but not quite the ticket. We borrowed an LT (2003) from a friend and after a couple of hours on the bike we've decided it IS the ticket. Now I have a nice Venture Royale for sale.
My questions are these: Are there any years of LT to be avoided and why? Is there a particular "upgrade" year that I should seek and newer? (Wasn't 2005 a year of change?) I am used to doing all my own maintenance and I know this would change with the LT but are fluid and filter changes, battery service and wheel removal DIYable? How much attention do the fuel injection and the ABS systems need? Are valve adjustments for the professionals only? I am on a budget and seeking the best bike for the money. Prices seem all over the map. Can anyone make sense of this or is it a simple condition and location situation?
Sorry for all my ignorance. Just trying to make an informed decision.
Thanks in advance.
Chuck.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Sep 10th, 2008 at 6:38 pm.
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post #4 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 7:18 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

The unlinked ABS brakes are a lot easier to maintain, 99, 00 and 01--don't remember about the 02.

Count on replacing the brake lines on those years (my front just let go, 00LT)

Count on the speedo reading about 10% higher than actual speed (by design); this can be modded to read actual speed.

Bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #5 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 8:55 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Having had a 2006 LT I can say that I much prefer the 1200RT that I bought to replace it with. I ride single so it was an easy decision but one I am so happy I made.
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post #6 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 9:23 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

If you are organized you can do the maintenance yourself. I used little plastic bags to put each piece of tupperware screws in them to keep track while the bike was apart.

I am not sure what you are used to as far as tires go, I think the general consensus is 10,000 miles on a set of tires, with prices ranging from 200 and you install them, up to 450 from a dealer doing it for you. I am leaning toward buying a static balancer and some no-mar spoons and doing my own tire change. The tires tend to cup and make a little (or allot) of noise when leaning, this sometimes is mistaken for something worse going wrong with the bike i.e. the final drive.

If you do not live near a BMW dealer there are plenty of web sites to order the maintenance kits for the routine stuff, these tend to save a few dollars each maintenance, I have used the local shop to support them while they feed me info and tips when I am working on my bike.

These bikes average 45 - 50 MPG, not bad for a big girl.

All in all I love the bike and ride everyday I can. The car has only been to work 2 or 3 times since I bought my bike. I am a pretty new to the K12LT myself, so the honeymoon has not ended for me yet.

Good luck in your adventure

Mike
In the frozen tundra
2003 Impala Brown LT
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post #7 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 9:29 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

They are all GREAT! .I have an 99 and am not going to get off it until it dies I have rode a 03 and an 05 . I think that the power brakes are best brakes bar none . The motor on the 05 is nice but I prefer the 99 final drive gear ratio and MPG . Personally have no use for the electro/hydraulic center stand ,when I cannot get my bike on its center stand I will get a smaller /lighter bike ,that is just me

JUST GET ON AND RIDE

Bob G
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post #8 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 11:38 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Great replies all, just what I need.
You can find something in my philosophy in each of the other posts. I don't feel I need the power centerstand yet-still pretty salty at my age. I'm not enamoured with the linked brakes-actually would prefer the unlinked setup since I have so many years on various surfaces with standard braking systems. (I'm understanding that the unlinked system was through 2002?) This bike is for two-up riding and MUST HAVE the heated seats to make mama happy-if I go solo I will probably take the 1985 RT (with the R100 top end). I hear ya about changing rings in the parking lot-I've had bikes apart on the side of the road and at the campsite at rallies. I'm pretty organized and meticulous about maintenance so I'm sure I could adapt to the new models. 10K is acceptable for tires. I can pull the wheels from the bike and the dealer can mount and balance for reasonable rates.
So what I'm thinking is the additional power, power centerstand and upgraded dash of the '05 and up don't trump the lower price and maintainability of the earlier models. And it seems there is an exponential price jump between '03 and '05 so this is definitely a factor. Anybody definitely favor the engine and dash changes for the '05+ years?
Thanks again for the feedback. Keep it coming.
Chuck.
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post #9 of 10 Old Sep 10th, 2008, 11:50 pm
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjlipps
Great replies all, just what I need.
You can find something in my philosophy in each of the other posts. I don't feel I need the power centerstand yet-still pretty salty at my age. I'm not enamoured with the linked brakes-actually would prefer the unlinked setup since I have so many years on various surfaces with standard braking systems. (I'm understanding that the unlinked system was through 2002?) This bike is for two-up riding and MUST HAVE the heated seats to make mama happy-if I go solo I will probably take the 1985 RT (with the R100 top end). I hear ya about changing rings in the parking lot-I've had bikes apart on the side of the road and at the campsite at rallies. I'm pretty organized and meticulous about maintenance so I'm sure I could adapt to the new models. 10K is acceptable for tires. I can pull the wheels from the bike and the dealer can mount and balance for reasonable rates.
So what I'm thinking is the additional power, power centerstand and upgraded dash of the '05 and up don't trump the lower price and maintainability of the earlier models. And it seems there is an exponential price jump between '03 and '05 so this is definitely a factor. Anybody definitely favor the engine and dash changes for the '05+ years?
Thanks again for the feedback. Keep it coming.
Chuck.
I don't remember if 2001 or 2002 was the cutover year. The easiest way to tell is to look at the brake calipers, if Brembo then you have unlinked brakes and if BMW, then you have linked. That's the easiest way I know to tell.

The price difference is the change to the instrument panel, the power centerstand and a few more ponies on the '05 and up. Plus from everything I've heard the '05 seat leaves more to be desired than the previous years.

Good luck on your decision.

On His Ride,
Steve
-
KA5MTE
'02 LTE - Red-blooded Dragonfly
'00 Unigo - Dragon's Egg
'01 LTC - Flying Purple People Eater (Ya gotta be old enough to understand)(RIP)
'00 LTC - Canyon Red Rover (RIP)

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post #10 of 10 Old Sep 11th, 2008, 8:41 am
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Re: Need K1200LT advice

Look for a bike with a lot of extras already added, especially the extra lights. If you are buying an older bike these are almost guaranteed to be included as the stock light is not impressive and this is usually a first must have add on.

GPS can be found on eBAY or buy a newer version then what came on the older bikes if this is an option you want. I wanted it when I bought mine and now I wish I had bought a newer model GPS, mine works fine but not as nice and I still had to buy updated maps and connector cord to transfer maps to it.

Mike
In the frozen tundra
2003 Impala Brown LT
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