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post #1 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 4:18 pm Thread Starter
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The best bike in the world

Hi Guyís,
I know the forum is all about helping each other with problems and thatís the way it should be. But sometimes we can get so bog down with technical problems that we can forget to let the world know what a great bike the LT is. If you were a stranger to the forum and read the posts I donít think you would get a true picture of the LT.
I ride with a good bunch of guys (Country Cruisers). All sorts of bikes, from cruisers to sports bikes and I want to let the WORLD know that I have the best bike that money can buy and I might add not a lot of money for what you get. I paid Ä5000 for a 1999 with 12,000 miles on the clock. I do all my own servicing so running costs are reasonable.
I have more comfort than the cruisers and can match the sports bikes up to a point.
As for the weight problem at slow speed - no problem - just a little pre-planning as you pull in to a parking spot, no big deal.
I would love to hear about all those good trips with no break downs etc. I am sure there are thousands of memorable stories that folks have and I for one would love to read them.
SlŠinte
Derek

May you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows your dead
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post #2 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 4:30 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

OK, ya want stories?
Mine won't be as adventurous as some, but...last year from Oregon, through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and back. 2,200 in 4 days. Got pulled over twice, so you know we were having fun. The LT performed as well as the Kawai Concours and Yamaha FJR I rode with, but I smoked 'em in the comfort department.
Month later loaded up the wife, rode with 10 other bikes, went through Idaho, Montana, Washington and back. Only 1,700 miles on that one, but the girls don't like to push as hard as the guys. Both awesome trips, and not a problem I can report. All that, and a consistent 50 MPG. Doesn't get much better.

slŠinte mhaith

Frank
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post #3 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 4:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The best bike in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
OK, ya want stories?
Mine won't be as adventurous as some, but...last year from Oregon, through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and back. 2,200 in 4 days. Got pulled over twice, so you know we were having fun. The LT performed as well as the Kawai Concours and Yamaha FJR I rode with, but I smoked 'em in the comfort department.
Month later loaded up the wife, rode with 10 other bikes, went through Idaho, Montana, Washington and back. Only 1,700 miles on that one, but the girls don't like to push as hard as the guys. Both awesome trips, and not a problem I can report. All that, and a consistent 50 MPG. Doesn't get much better.

slŠinte mhaith

Frank
Way to go Frank, thatís the spirit.
I am a little jealous when I read about guyís doing 2200 mile trips as hear in Ireland it is only about 600 miles from North to South and 150 miles from East to West. That said I am gearing up to do some mainland European tours in the future. You have one big patch of soil over in the States.
SlŠinte
Derek
p.s. I have attached a couple of pictures for those that like pictures.
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post #4 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 5:05 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

The reality of life with an LT is such that in the last six years, I have made at least 15 trips in excess of 1000 miles with one flat tire and one clutch linkage issue. I will not hesitate to make the 6000 round trip to visit my daughter in the fall if I can find the time. All machines have issues, but the morning that I get up and do not feel like my LT could do 500 miles that day, it will be gone. So far, so good.
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post #5 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 5:06 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Check out my videos (in my signature) - 17 countries, two continents, and never ever a problem - what a bike.

  • 2005 LT - 17 countries, 2 CONTINENTS & counting !
  • MB SLK 350 MT
  • 1974 Triumph Bonneville 750

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post #6 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 5:47 pm
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Smile Re: The best bike in the world

Well 30 miles from 100k and I still have a smile on my face whenever I have been riding a few minutes, yesterday was kind of window shopping while on the bike riding through the little town I live in and my wife hit me on the head and said "you are riding like a harley rider, lets go", so there is a first time for everything.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #7 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 6:31 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

As I was giving the bike a good spring cleaning today, I mentioned to my wife that the LT is as old now as the Suzuki Cavalcade was when we bought it used. The LT looks and rides better than the Suzuki would have brand new. The bike is solid and still clean looking even with some fading from being parked in the sun each work day.

I also feel good that no matter what goes wrong, at least parts are available, albeit maybe expensive, at least they can be had, unlike the Suzuki.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #8 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Hey Derek, thanks.

I bought my LT a few weeks ago and found this forum after the purchase. If it had been the other way around I may not have bought the bike, there do seem to be many mechanical failures. My bike has been to the dealer for a thorough inspection and it came through fine, no problems. I have put about 1,000 miles on it so far and love it. I have owned a Goldwing and a Valkyrie and like this bike better than either. I appreciate being informed on potential problems but enjoy the positive also.

Brian.
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post #9 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 8:59 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Ah... jeez.... not another "The best bike in the world" thread!
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post #10 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 9:32 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Had my LT for 5yrs now and several fully loaded 2 up trips. Never an issue. Someone on this forum said riding an LT is like setting on the couch back and not in the couch. I'd compare it more, to a setting on top of the world feeling. Anybody else get that feeling.
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post #11 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 10:35 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

I felt the same as you do Brian. Bought the bike before I found this site. Started reading the posts and thought I had bought the wrong bike. This is the only motorcycle I had to learn how to ride. Don't look right or left when stopping . Or it will want to take a nap. Eyes up when comming to a stop. Nap time again.Slow speed tricks to make u turn's especially riding 2 up and parking lot speeds. Put in gear before putting on Side stand. If it wasn't for the nice folks here posting all this good info. I probably would not still have one of the best handling most comfortable best fuel mileage 2 up riding motorcycles on the planet.
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post #12 of 35 Old May 23rd, 2010, 11:09 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Having both a RT and LT, I can attest that BMWs, in general, are the greatest. As a Harley bad a$$ once told me, "BMW stands for Best Motorcycle in the World". That put a smile on my face for sure. With the RT's 96,702 miles, I've suffered one clutch spline lube (at 68K miles) and one HES failure 200 miles from home. Not bad at all in my opinion. The LT with 84,000 miles has only suffered from a detached steering damper and shift linkage break. In both cases, I was able to get it home. The aggregate mileage on the two bikes is 75,000 miles more than on my Town Car and I've spent literally thousands of dollars in repairs on that car. Including new piston and rod that was bent when the head gasket failed and let the cylinder fill with coolant, new intake manifold when the plastic one warped and started leaking. The Ford Ranger I had before that was even worse. About the only thing I didn't have to replace on it was the engine (too weak to get out of its own way!) and the transfer case.

Both bikes have gotten me to California and back to Tennessee without trouble and I will jump on either one and ride for points unknown at any time. These things are mechanical and sometimes mechanical toys fail. If they break, fix it and go on. Once it gets to the point that it's unreliable I'll replace them with another BMW.

Matter of fact, my wife told me that I can pull the trigger on a new bike and to be perfectly honest, I don't know which one I'd replace. For the time being, I'll be content with the two bikes I've got. That says a lot.
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post #13 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 7:31 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

The K1200LT is a remarkable bike.
It's not for everyone, and lots of folks don't get it, others don't want what this bike can do.

It isn't a lounge chair, but it has good weather protection and does alot to reduce road fatigue on long rides.

It isn't a sport bike, but in the hands of an aggressive rider it can keep pace with the average sport bike street rider.

It is a remarkably well engineered bike. BMW's quality control isn't as good as Honda's. I don't know much about modern HDs, but BMW's reliablity must be at least as good, no?

I am sure there are some high mileage Hondas and HDs out there, but those marques don't have the reputation of building high mileage motors like BMW.

"The Legendary Motorcycles of Germany" is a BMW catch phrase from the past: I find it hard to think of modern BMWs as "Legendary". But if you look into the number of old Beemers on the road, and compare those numbers to any other brand, old Beemers must out number all other brands of similar vintage.

Modern BMWs are much more complex, and have lots more to go wrong with them than do the old Airheads, but over all they are pretty reliable bikes. Certainly the K-bike motor is pretty bullet proof.

In the class of sport luxury touring, the K1200LT has no peer. You can get more sport, and you can get more luxury, but I deny any argumentation that there is a better combination, especially if you limit the entries to comfort for both rider and passenger.

Yeah, we all wish there were fewer final drive and clutch problems; but I wouldn't hesitate to ride my KLT to Alaska, planning on it.
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post #14 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 7:44 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defaoite
Hi Guyís,
I know the forum is all about helping each other with problems and thatís the way it should
I would love to hear about all those good trips with no break downs etc. I am sure there are thousands of memorable stories that folks have and I for one would love to read them.
SlŠinte
Derek
Hi Derek,

just got back from a 5000 km trip to Central Europe.
And one longer trip report you can see on the link below...

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

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

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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Pictures of various farkle projects:

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post #15 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 8:48 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

After riding yesterday, I stopped in at the neighborhood bar. A couple of "harley" friends were just pulling up with the Harley loaded on a trailer. After the usual BS concerning my bright green vest, and riding gear, they started the BMW vs Harley rant. One of my "harley" buddies (who owns the Harley that broke down) spoke up and said: "you know what BMW stands for..... Big Money Waster." I looked out at his trailer, and simply said "yep" and then changed the subject, offering my tire pressure gauge so he could check the low tire on his Trailer.
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post #16 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 11:06 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

Hi All,

Only 90,000 miles on three LT's, nothing wrong riding, EVER!!! (I should've stressed the riding part more, does not count all the times it has been backed into, knocked over, mice chewed wires, cut off and run off road(not as good as the GS in that department). Now that I jinxed myself, it is the best bike in the world for me(us), as we just keep on riding, it took 16 hours(900miles) from home to Lakewood Camping Resort for the first weekend of the 'Grand Strand Bike Week' or whatever they have to call it now. The reason it took so long was that at every place we stopped, people kept coming over to check it out, see what it was, see how the windshield worked, centerstand, etc. So 10 minute rest stops end up being 30 minutes But, no problem whether it was 95 degrees in South Carolina during the day, and 37 degrees going through the Catskills at 3am, this bike performed flawlessly, can't say that for me!

Hope all your journeys are LT-problem-free ones!
Kirk

'09 K12LT 'Under Warranty' (34k+)
'08 K12LT the 'Hearse' 30K(traded)
'05 R12GS 'Ride 'n Dirty' 40K(traded)
'05 K12LT 'Magic Carpet Ride' 48K (traded for '08)
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'00 R12C 'Bare Bones' 15K (sold)
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post #17 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 11:25 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

Derek, got to agree with you. I'm on my 6th LT, I love 'em
Simon

2006 k1200LT........my 13th!
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post #18 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 12:15 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

The styling is timeless.

The ride is great.

It gets 50 MPG at 70 MPH.

The people on this site can fix pretty much any problem know to mankind.

What's not to like?

Ride it, look back, smile, repeat as needed.
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post #19 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 3:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The best bike in the world

Thanks guys,
Great to read happy ending stories for a change, considering all the doom and gloom in the economy at the moment. Ari, I really loved your write-up re: your trip from Finland to the USA, first class.
Maybe we could have a sticky for all the good stories, to encourage other riders who might be sitting on the fence and also for some winter evening reading - to dream about trips we would like to do - reading Ari`s stories was as good as "The Long Way Down" knowing he is one of our own.
Thanks again guyís
SlŠinte
Derek

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post #20 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 3:59 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

the LT is certainly one of the best touring bikes ever. Great performance in all regards. I'd love it even more if it had about another 20 mph in top end. But for comfort and coronering and breaking, super, super. My 2000 has over 77,000 miles. Only problem was a shorted out 02 semsor. I would trust it, and have, to go anywhere. I've put 40,000 miles on it in the three years I've owned it...and I ride it hard.
However, if you don't do your own work, you can expect to pay a lot of money for maintenance.

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post #21 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 6:27 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

CharlieVT that was an excellent, eloquent answer.

I did not shop at Honda (can't carry any weight) or HD to push for deals, but based upon online research and what I just paid, I think that the K1200LT also was several thousand dollars less that comparably equipped competitors.

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post #22 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 7:08 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

As an ex-K1200LT owner, then a GT, and now the proud owner of a 2010 Kaw Concours, this thread is bringing me much entertainment. (But don't dare start this thread in any other bike forum on the net. It won't be received nearly the same way.)
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post #23 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 8:06 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
As an ex-K1200LT owner, then a GT, and now the proud owner of a 2010 Kaw Concours, this thread is bringing me much entertainment. (But don't dare start this thread in any other bike forum on the net. It won't be received nearly the same way.)

The reverse is also true.)

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post #24 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 8:14 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

My LT has broken down more than any bike I ever owned but it's still my favorite and the most fun to ride.........................

2006 R1200RT
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue
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Totaled Oct 2, 2010
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Most of us would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
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post #25 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 8:31 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
The styling is timeless.

The ride is great.

It gets 50 MPG at 70 MPH.

The people on this site can fix pretty much any problem know to mankind.

What's not to like?

Ride it, look back, smile, repeat as needed.
I think in some ways this forum is the best thing about the LT! I am continually amazed at the collective knowledge and experience of the people who frequent this forum - and their unselfish willingness to use that knowledge and experience to help out fellow LT riders.

I owned a Kaw Voyager XII for 17 years and it was a great bike for the first 40,000 miles, but then had two final drive failures (seals, not bearings), the last failure took out the pinion bearing when the spring from within the pinion seal came out and got into the bearing. It is too soon to tell if my LT will be better than the Voyager as I have only 3 years and 17,000 miles on it. It certainly is a far more capable bike than was the Voyager, but then it is 20 years newer!

My main complaint about the LT has nothing to do with the bike, but rather with the limited dealer network, the extensive need for expensive special tools and the ridiculous price of BMW parts. Fortunately, the folks here have found replacements for most of the special tools and expensive parts!

So, yes, the LT is a great bike, but the LT forum is even better!

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2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #26 of 35 Old May 24th, 2010, 10:22 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

I just bought a 2000 LT last week. I have put about 500 miles on it so far and absolutely love the bike. I found out the hard way about the weight problem at slow speeds. Pulled into a parking spot at, of all places, a cycle shop, and promptly dropped her right in front of 5 or 6 fellow bikers. Fortunately, nothing was hurt but my pride. I had read an article on picking up a bike with your back to the bike and using your legs, I had never tried it before but was able to get the bike up on the second try. I have to hand it to the guys that witnessed me drop it. No one said anything or even looked my way. They just went about their business.
But I am definitely I am going to have to work on slow speed control!
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post #27 of 35 Old May 25th, 2010, 1:33 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

I had an aunt pass away in Arkansas late last summer, so I decided to take the LT down vs. sitting in a van 10 to 12 hours answering nosy questions from my sister-in-law. About a 1400 mile round trip. Going down I hit the superslabs since there was a visitation that evening. After the funeral the next day I took off north from Conway taking some state & county roads that I had looked up on the net to Missouri staying overnight at the mother-in-law's. Then next day home. It was an awesome ride in the two mentioned states. Heading down I-44 towards St. Louis I noticed a bike light in my mirror. I was set on 80 and he just kept coming. Finally he pulls up next to me and he's a 02 silver LT just like mine, plus he was pulling a camper trailer. He motions me over at the next rest stop and we shoot the breeze for about 30 minutes before we head on our way. His name was officer Bob (retired) from the Charlotte N.C. area. Any of you guys know him. Can't recall his last name at the moment. Anyway, he was returning to N.C. after riding out west for 3 months and camping in parks. He was on his 2nd LT after hitting a deer with his 1st one. He had logged almost 200k between both bikes and mentioned that he had not had any major problems with either bike. I said no final drives or seal problems? He said no, he just keeps up on the maintenance. That was good news to me.

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post #28 of 35 Old May 25th, 2010, 1:56 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

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The reverse is also true.)
AaaaaMEN!!!
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post #29 of 35 Old May 25th, 2010, 12:52 pm
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Smile Re: The best bike in the world

I have had more favourable comments and "Thumbs Up's" in the two months I have owned it than I had on any other bike I've owned. On a pit stop on the weekend, I came out of the Coffee shop to find my wife in conversation with 5 people who had come over to see the bike. The group included a Ducati, a Hyabusa, and a Ninja owner as well as a couple of Cagers. We rarely stop anywhere without someone commenting on the bike.
The most important thing about it is that it has convinced my wife to ride more, which means more riding for me!
On my Buell S3T she is done after an hour. This weekend we did a 8 hour ride on Sunday and a 5 hour trip for an ice cream cone on Monday with no complaints.
Long live the "Big Silver Cow"

2003 LTE ( Big Silver Cow)
2000 Buell S3T (Little Black Beauty)
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post #30 of 35 Old May 25th, 2010, 5:29 pm
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Smile Re: The best bike in the world

Hey All;

This is the best bike I have ever owned. 14 others, kaw,yam,honda,2 bmws. Raced for 5 years, 40 yrs of riding. This is by far the most fun I have ever had on a bike. I have 173k on her now with really no issues. And after 8 yrs with her I just cannot wait to get back on.
We have done 6k trips and 150 mile trips with the same result, miles of smiles. And ever so often I ride home and find a corner or 2 drag the pegs and it all comes back how great this bike really is. It doesnt do 180 but it will do 100 all day thru Montana in 100 deg heat.
We stop at a rest stop just long enough to get water and off we go again with no hesiation.
I will never buy anything else but BMWs from now on, even it breaks, this is too good of a bike to let go. I better stop my passion is showing, and I have places to go on the best bike in the world.

Zeke

45 years riding and still more places to see.
2002 K1200LT
2016 R1200RT
IBA # 41935
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post #31 of 35 Old May 27th, 2010, 12:10 am
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Re: The best bike in the world

Hi all.

I'm new to the forums and I like what I see. Sounds like a lot of fun and frivolity as well as very good techo information as well.

Just bought the 08 LT but still to pick it up in a few days.

Doesn't BMW stand for Best Motorcycle in the World?

Cheers from Perth Oz

Joe
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post #32 of 35 Old May 27th, 2010, 10:39 pm
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Re: The best bike in the world

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Hi all.

I'm new to the forums and I like what I see. Sounds like a lot of fun and frivolity as well as very good techo information as well.

Just bought the 08 LT but still to pick it up in a few days.

Doesn't BMW stand for Best Motorcycle in the World?

Cheers from Perth Oz

Joe
Just be careful for a while when riding at slow speeds or you will add an entirely new meaning to "pick it up in a few days!" :-)

I have had no problems with my 07, but many here seem to have a bad case of the dropsies.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #33 of 35 Old May 28th, 2010, 7:25 pm
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Location: Rushville, OH, USA
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Re: The best bike in the world

After 94k miles in 4 1/2 years (45% commuting miles) the only "breakdown" I've had was when the dealer's service tech left the FD fill plug off. I arrived 3 hours later at my destination with a ruined FD. Self-inflicted, I say.

In separate trips, we have traveled two-up with a trailer to Montana, the Ozarks, Minnesota, the Gulf coast, and several closer places. The only thing that might be as comfortable and just all-around pleasing to ride two-up might be a Gold Wing.

So, if you don't count the FD failure and the time I ran out of gas (my fault, duh), I've never been stranded. (Actually, even when the FD lost all gear oil I refilled it and rode it home... carefully.)

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #34 of 35 Old May 28th, 2010, 8:15 pm
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Location: Blossvale, NY, USA
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Talking Re: The best bike in the world

12000+ miles in 28 days. Four corners ride endorsed by Southern California Motorcycle Club. Included Four corners of America plus central new york to Maine to start and the return from west coast. SO rode back from west coast with a couple 800 miles days. Not complaint one the whole trip, well... maybe the rip off from stealer in Orlando BMW, but no problems with bike.

Toby in New York
1983 R80RT Red (sold)
'03 R1200CLC (T-boned and replaced with)
'04 R1200CL Sidestand problem, BMW traded me for
'05 K1200LT. Goldie, Priceless
Lusting after K1600 GTL
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post #35 of 35 Old May 28th, 2010, 10:36 pm
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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 725
Re: The best bike in the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defaoite
Way to go Frank, thatís the spirit.
I am a little jealous when I read about guyís doing 2200 mile trips as hear in Ireland it is only about 600 miles from North to South and 150 miles from East to West. That said I am gearing up to do some mainland European tours in the future. You have one big patch of soil over in the States.
SlŠinte
Derek
p.s. I have attached a couple of pictures for those that like pictures.
Well let me tell you here in Canada the trip across our 10 provinces is just as long of a trip,


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