A few newbie K1200LT questions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 3:00 am Thread Starter
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A few newbie K1200LT questions

Ive just purchased a 2002 K1200LT - SE with 16,000 miles on it, and I have a couple of questions.

(1) What options do I have to improve the lighting on the bike? I have seen threads on HID installs, and I have seen pictures of LTs with small additional lights fitted to the bike. I've started to do long distance riding (Iron Butt) which requires a lot of thru-night riding.

(2) I have a Garmin Zumo 550 - does anybody have any suggestions on how I could mount this unit on the bike. Obviously the "normal" handlebar mounting of the unit is out due to the nature of the LTs handlbars. What other options are there?

(3) Longevity of the rear tyre - what sort of mileage can I expect from the stock rear tyre? and what other (aka better) options are out there which I ought to consider?

Thanks in advanve.
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post #2 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 5:07 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

A handlebar mount isn't impossible - though it would require surgery on the handlebar cover ... probably not a good idea - especially if you change your mind later. Handlebar mounts look clumsy (IMO) anyway.

I bought an accessory shelf ( see http://www.adventurebmw.com/eshoppro...LF_K1200LT.htm ) to allow me to fit a Street Pilot 2720 and modded it as follows:

I didn't like the wide deep flat shelf provided, so I removed that and fitted an aluminium bracket (inverted 'L' ) which hangs down (slightly) over the top of the instrument surround

and fastens to the bolts (1) (which were replaced with slightly longer bolts.)

Originally (other GPS) I used a Touratech mount but (at the moment) I have a Ram-mount ball fitted to the front face of the bracket and the Garmin bike mount is attached to that.

I drilled a hole to the left of the light at the top of the panel, fitted a rubber grommet and routed the cables through that. My bike doesn't have a BMW intercom, so the audio from the GPS is fed (using an isolation transformer) into my Eurocom. - I would like to be able to feed it in as an 'override signal' to the radio installation (but I haven't worked out how to do that yet.)

It shouldn't be too difficult to fabricate a bracket from aluminium. - You'd need 2 vertical strips (well, 'leaning backwards' strips) to run from the mounting bolts, with an L-shaped strip running between them.

NB: It's a good idea to put some sort of padding between the bracket and the bike - a couple of turns of self-amalgamating tape around the 'vertical' arms would do and a felt disk between the L-shaped plate and the tupperware. - Otherwise, the attachment will wear the plastic a bit.

I had a Touratech mount for my Garmin 2720s and I was very pleased with it. - It was far better than the Garmin offering. Unfortunately, Touratech don't seem to do an equivalent for the Zumo.

Sorry - I can't provide a photo of the installation; my K12 went into storage yesterday and I won't see it until Spring.

Manuel

Last edited by Manuel_de_Vol; Nov 4th, 2009 at 5:13 am.
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post #3 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 5:10 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Tyre life: - I got about 11000 miles from my OEM rear tyre. - The front tyre is another matter! - I got 7k from that.

Go easy on the front brake. - If you don't, you may cause an abnormal wear pattern on the front tyre and as that tyre wears, the bike may be prone to front-wheel shimmy.

Manuel
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post #4 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 8:35 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Welcome to the community!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
(1) What options do I have to improve the lighting on the bike? I have seen threads on HID installs, and I have seen pictures of LTs with small additional lights fitted to the bike. I've started to do long distance riding (Iron Butt) which requires a lot of thru-night riding.
Definitely upgrade low beam to HID. Improvement is amazing.

High beam is a different story: I keep high beams as halogen, because you cannot "flash" an HID lamp.

The lamps that you referring to are "Motolights". These mount on the fork legs or on calipers, depending on version. Very useful as fog lights and to aid conspicuity. In addition, you can add another set of lamps with different mounting points. On my previous LT, I had PIAA lamps bolted under the mirrors as driving lights. The brackets attached to mirror mount "pins". Search this forum for pictures of various setups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
(2) I have a Garmin Zumo 550 - does anybody have any suggestions on how I could mount this unit on the bike. Obviously the "normal" handlebar mounting of the unit is out due to the nature of the LTs handlbars. What other options are there?
I use StreePilot 2xxx series, so the mount is a bit different, but this may help:

BMW has a mount adapter that goes on top of the radio control pod. Look through the part fiches. Other option is what I did: I attached industrial-grade Dual-Lock "velcro"-like pad to the radio pod and used it to fasten a cell-phone tilt adapter with Garmin's motorcycle mount. I'll take a picture later and post. You may be able to concoct something similar for the Zumo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
(3) Longevity of the rear tyre - what sort of mileage can I expect from the stock rear tyre? and what other (aka better) options are out there which I ought to consider?
Metzeler Marathon 880's work for me well. Note that there is only one other tire approved for the LT (I think, a Dunlop), so you do not have that many choices anyway. The tire must be able to accommodate the 800 lbs weight of the machine - it's not just the size.

Depending on your ride style, expect between 7k and 10k miles - amazing distance for motorcycle rubber.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #5 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 9:07 am
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GPS mount

Well, here is my GPS mount, as described in post above. Solid as a rock.

That'll give you some ideas for your install. My mount is located in the same spot as the BMW factory bracket.

Should I wash my bike?
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Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #6 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 9:42 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker

Depending on your ride style, expect between 7k and 10k miles - amazing distance for motorcycle rubber.

I must ride like a chicken since I get 12 - 15 k miles with the rear and 17-20 k miles with the front ME 880

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #7 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:00 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
... I get 12 - 15 k miles with the rear and 17-20 k miles with the front ME 880
Miles, not kilometers?
I always say you guys have much smoother roads than we do.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #8 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 11:02 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg
(3) Longevity of the rear tyre - what sort of mileage can I expect from the stock rear tyre? and what other (aka better) options are out there which I ought to consider?
The last four words are critical here...

Some folks tell you Metzler... that's it... But you have to think about the type of riding you will be doing. Are you riding in wet? You may want a tire that has a better grip in wet.

Are you riding a lot of twisties? You may want to consider a tire that works well in the corners and has an aggressive side contact patch.

You riding two-up in any of the above conditions? Make sure the tire has good grip and is weight rated for the bike.

Most of the tire manufacturers that make an LT compatible sport touring tire have stated that they should carry more pressure than an OEM. So run your pressures in the 42F/46R range for soft / grippy compound tires and 46F/48R (or more) for the harder long distance compound type tire. Depending on your riding style, you should get anywhere from 6 to 12 K for an aggressive ride and 12 to 18 K for a nice leisurely ride.

You have to make the decision on which tire based on how you ride and the conditions you ride in. Take what you read here as a recommendation, not etched in stone.

But whatever you do, just ride it... and welcome to the asylum...

Uncle Mark

BMW '06' 1200LT "Wild Blue"
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post #9 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 11:41 am
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Ram mount do a specific mount that sits onto the top of the clutch resevoir.
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post #10 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 1:24 pm
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
Miles, not kilometers?
I always say you guys have much smoother roads than we do.
Yes Robert, miles. (In km my rear does 19 to 24 k and front 27 to 32 k)
I don't know about the road smoothness in our country...You see most cars run winter tires with studs and those tend to eat up the roads pretty bad so they have to be repaved every few years. Gets pretty expensive for us taxpayers...

Actually, one of my longest lasting front ME 880 run 37.000 km and the first 10.000 km were done on our CCR 2006 trip in Canada and US. Go figure....

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #11 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 2:38 pm
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

I bought the bmw adaptor that fits above the radio quite easy to fit got mine off ebay for £20 from a breakers.Its quite easy to fit and the zumo bracket mounts directly onto it.Its nice to see another new lt'er in the uk dont forget next years lt treffen being held not to far from you.
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post #12 of 14 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:05 pm
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

Motolights, Rider West LED Tailight/BRakelight, and Riderwest LED Saddelebag lights...

http://motogear4you.com/catalog/prod...roducts_id=164

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post #13 of 14 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 7:12 am
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Thumbs up Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

my vote is for me880's. keep your tires' pressures at 42 front , 48 rear . for 2up add 2 lbs pressure.

check them often and you'll get 20,000 front and 12 to 15000 rear. my only objection to the me880 is the noise in a curve. i ride hard and have been 74000 miles on me880's in 3 years. i'm convinced.


it's a choice. pay more and change tires less often or pay less and change often. new tires every 6000 miles might be a good thing for some. just not for me!

i'd rather slow down on wet pavement than give up miles on a tire for grip. of course i don't live in a rainy area.

just my opinion, of course.


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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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Love this LT bike and still waiting for my first speeding ticket. LOL
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post #14 of 14 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 1:43 pm
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Re: A few newbie K1200LT questions

This is an excellent article on what to look for in aux lighting and what you get for your money, The dude really laid his cajones on the line for some of the things he said but he seems to have the necessary credentials. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the most expensive is not always the best. Good read:


http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ht=parts+store





This is a link to a very inexpensive and practical aux lighting mount. I did it, took less than 30 minutes, and they work great. Total cost? $4.00 for 2 ea. stainless steel bolts from the local hardware store. I used a Dremel tool to relieve the underside of the mirror instead of files so the job went quicker. I also painted all brackets, bolt heads, nuts and washers black to blend in. They look great.


http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...=hella+install


Loren





WAK1200LT
Loren

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