New Member with Concerns - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 9:40 am Thread Starter
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New Member with Concerns

Hi everyone! I am a new member of the forum and seriously considering purchasing a K1200LT. My research shows the K1200LT (for my purposes) is a superior tour bike when compared to the Goldwing and ElectraGlide. However, I have two concerns.

1. I am 5' 8" tall with approx a 30" inseam. When I sat on a K1200LT I can touch the ground only with my toes. After reading threads in the forum, I am somewhat relieved that many other members have the same problem and have compensated nicely. Some with changes to the seat/shocks and some with no changes at all.

2. The other and probably greater concern has to do with the problem associated with the rear drive unit in many of the BMW bikes. It seems to me that the frequency of the problem is far greater than one would expect with normal wear and tear. Has BMW done anything to correct the problem? Also does the failure occur in K1200LTs of more recent vintage e.g. 2008 or 2009?

Thanks in advance for your help and comments.
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post #2 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 10:21 am
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Location: Dandridge (Near Knoxville), TN, USA
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Re: New Member with Concerns

Once one gets over the learning curve the LT rewards your acceptance of parking lot speed and stopping quirks with superior handling at above 20MPH, which you will spend 99% of your time doing.

The final drive failure rate dropped off greatly around the 2005 model year, but there is no guarantee that any one will not fail.

One thing to think of is that replacing the entire final drive on an LT is easier than replacing the belt on the Harley! I have done both, and really hated the belt replacement on the Harley. The final drive is certainly more expensive though, but the failure rate on the later years is probably in the 1% range, not something one should worry about, just be aware it could happen. Of course, there is probably a similar chance of SOMETHING happening to the Harley or GW, just not one single item.

To me, the clutch slave cylinder failure is more of an issue than the final drive. Probably a greater failure rate, far more work to replace, especially if the clutch is contaminated when the slave fails. A great likelyhood if the slave drain hole has not been drilled.

Would I still buy an LT? You betcha! The rewards FAR outweigh the problems.

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)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #3 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 10:27 am
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Re: New Member with Concerns

Don't worry about the height of the seat. I too have a 30 inch inseam and am 6'2" and can handle the bike when stopping and at slow speeds. My problem is I needed a taller windshield. Short legs, very long back.

The final drive issue, I don't know that much about the issue, others on here can give you an opinion. My feelings are, JUST RIDE IT! I have tried the Wing and was not impressed, it is a nice bike, just not for me.

Take care and just ride it.

Jim Woodring
Monroe (Fly Speck), Tennessee
2001 K1200LT Canyon Red
1988 K100LT Tobacco Brown
1976 R60/6 Red
1975 Norton Commando Black with oil spots
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post #4 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 11:37 am
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Re: New Member with Concerns

30" here as well.
FD failure x5 - but the bike is STILL better than any other out there


"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain

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post #5 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 11:55 am
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Re: New Member with Concerns

My 2000 LTC has 64k miles on it. The only thing that I've had to replace is O2 sensor, a fork seal, and throttle cables (normal wear). Taking it in this week for new heated grips, one failed last fall. I ride it hard and love this bike. After awhile and some practice and good posture, the slow speed handling is barely a concern at all. But once you have your feet up and are rolling, this bike is so vastly superior to the others you've mentioned, in my opinion, as to make the choice a no brainer.

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2000 k1200LT Basalt Grey (Roxie)
BMWMOA Number: 134717
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post #6 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 12:46 pm
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Re: New Member with Concerns

I highly recommend the BMW low seat. It is a bit hard, but I like it and do lots of 500 miles days. There is nothing like having you feet flat on the ground.
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post #7 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 1:03 pm
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Re: New Member with Concerns

29 inch inseam here with a Rick Meyers low seat . I still can't flat foot the bike but after 40,000 miles who cares the bike is just the best at what it does. I now have 54,000 miles on the bike (bought it with 13,200 on the clock) all I've had was the shift linkage break. Took me 30 min. to rig it back together and road it home.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #8 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 3:35 pm
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Re: New Member with Concerns

I too have a 30" inseam and bought an '05 this March. You get used to it. Lowered the stock seat (will get a custom this winter, but not willing to take it off and send it in now) and sometimes it's a stretch but it's a problem I have learned to live with.

Plainfield, IN
'05 LT Ocean Blue
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post #9 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 4:16 pm
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Re: New Member with Concerns

Consider wearing thick soled boots. Every lil bit helps!

2005 Kawasaki Z750S
1999 BMW K1200LT
1972 Honda CL350

BMWMOA # 139202
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post #10 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 5:32 pm
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Re: New Member with Concerns

Raise the seat and be sure the adjustment bar is in the correct or low position. I have a new '09 LT, a 28" inseam, and have no difficulty, although I obviously can't flat-foot it. Be cautious in low speed turns, parking spots, etc. Once she starts to really lean, there is no stopping her. I traded my G.W. for her, and am glad I did.

"What a long strange trip it's been."jg
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post #11 of 14 Old May 17th, 2009, 6:07 pm
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Wink Re: New Member with Concerns

I too am of your same height and inseam. I have made no modifications to my 03 but have had no problem handling the bike. You'll find tire pressure vital to the ease of handling the big girl particularly during stops. BMW does in fact fail to recognize several major design flaws one of which is the rear drive units. I had mine rebuilt at 40,000 but there was no indication of a looming failure. It would seam that more failures occurred on earlier models than later and BMW blames the failure on rider abuse and lack of maintenance. Another design flaw was the rear brake rotor. You'll find many comments regarding rear brake squeal and the floating rotor failures. Many have found that an aftermarket rotor and pads were the answer. I've never ridden the GW but I think you"ll find should you ask enough people who have ridden both, that the combination of the ride and handling of the LT has no equal. I have been riding BMWs now for 25 years and while the GW may offer some additional comfort you'll enjoy the ability to leave them wishing they could keep up with you in the corners. I have entertained the thought of changing rides on principle but fear that I'll be very disappointed in the end. Good luck with your decision.
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post #12 of 14 Old May 18th, 2009, 8:13 am
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Re: New Member with Concerns

like everybody else says, you'll get used to it. i've got a 30" inseam and it just sort of comes to you to slide your butt over to one side or another when you want to put your foot down.

it's been a while since my LT days, though (sold my 2002 last fall), and I'm spending time on the Ural sidecar these days, but also have a GS - which is even taller than the LT.

Of course fondness makes the heart... and all that. I'm seriously thinking about a new LT.

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post #13 of 14 Old May 18th, 2009, 9:16 am
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Re: New Member with Concerns

Iím 28Ē inseam, not a problem, just compensate a little at stopís,
I wouldnít swop the LT for a bike that I could flat foot, no way,
At a bike meet, a rider of a brand new £23,000 wing sat on the LT and was well impressed by the seating position and much preferred it.
All bikes can have their problems, be it mechanical, electrical, neglect, misuse,
you can have a good one or a bad one, lucky or unlucky, you Just Ride It, and fix it if itís busted......
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post #14 of 14 Old May 18th, 2009, 9:25 am
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Adding to the chorus

I have a 29" inseam and that didn't deter me from purchasing an '09 LT. I've put 10K on the LT since getting the bike in mid-December. I bought an extended service warranty from Zurich, for my peace of mind. The LT is great on the open road and not all that difficult in the city. I live in Manhattan and regularly ride in the city. You definitely have to be very deliberate with your steering input and plans where you want to put the bike during walking speed riding, when fully loaded with luggage and 2-up. When it's just me, no problem. I test rode a GW and liked it, but as soon as I rode the LT, it knew it was for me, it was as though I had been riding the bike for years--I never got that sensation with the GW. Good luck with your decision.

- 2009 LT
- BMW MOA #92950
- BMW RA #41621
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