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post #1 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 3:12 pm Thread Starter
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Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I have been riding street bike about 20years and dirt bikes another 10 years before that...I have had 2 Honda road bikes a Harley , and on my 2nd yamaha fjr1300.
I'm looking for a touring bike something with cruise and something more comfortable for the wife.....
Im currently looking at a 2002 k1200lt with 55k miles on it....what is your honest opinion on the Beemer k1200lt.....
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post #2 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 4:13 pm
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Smile Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I just bought my first touring bike about 2 months ago (2000 miles), I have been riding dirt bikes for 40 years now and street from enduro to sport since I was 16. I purchased a 2001 K1200 LT with ABS, cruise and reverse. I purchased used because I couldn’t see myself on something so big and a windshield and didn’t want to make a large investment in new if I didn’t like it…. It turns out I love my LT it rides great and handles better than I could imagine, from the info I found here on handling characteristics, keep the RPM’s above 4 in the twistys and I am dragging both stands turning left and have occasionally had to pick my feet up to keep them off the asphalt. I am hooked!!!! I even like the stereo, cruse control and never thought I would like a windshield. I say find a good deal on a used K1200 LT and test the water, you will probably be as surprised as I was. I still have my Ducati 900 ss just in case but have not even ridden her to work since buying the LT. Jump in the water is fine!!!
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post #3 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I have ridden Enduroand Trials till 5 years ago when I bought a run down K100RT and restored it to tour on with my wife. That got us hooked on the touring thing, then we decided to go for more comfort as we intend to continue with touring (hoping to cross the Nullarbor to WA next year). I purchased an '05 K12 with the chrome package and all options except the Navigator. We find it excellent, especially the comfort for the pillion, with foot boards rather than pegs, and heated seats. My advice - do some research into the upgraded specs etc in the model run, that's why I looked for later than '04. Only fault I can see is I am a little cramped leg-wise, so I put on a set of footpeg relocators (fwd & down), but the trade-off is easier to scrape the pegs. But the bike is fantastic for our purpose, cruise control is great, as is the elctric/hydraulic centre stand. Engine is great, ride it sedately and it's happy, cane it and it loves it ! But one, you'll love it !
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post #4 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 5:02 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I bought a 2002 new and have 48k on it. Ridden just about everything since the 60's and I love this bike
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post #5 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 5:15 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I bought my first touring bike (03 LT with 58k) about 3 months ago (2k miles) and I love it. It took a little getting used to, but after a week or two it became natural. My most recent bikes were a CBR 1000 and a VStar 1300. The ABS is awesome and the cruise is a huge bonus. I haven't gotten to take a long trip yet but as my daily driver it is great. I'm hoping to stretch her legs once it cools down a little.
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post #6 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 5:26 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Mestude, I bought an 01 last July with 12K on it for 1/2 of what my FJR cost new, I love the FJR, but someone else didnt on long trips, I now have 20K on it, just returned from a 1300 miler, I will say one thing, the seat, last year was great, this year, not so great. So I might be looking for something to put on her. It does NOT even come close to the grunt the FJR has, but it is formidable, once you get used to it, you can ride it like the FJR but it is different, you will need to slow things down, it isnt as flickable as the yamaha....lots talk about final drives and such...i dont pay attention until it happens, had the drive shaft fall off two days after I picked it up, 900.00 later...all is still good! knock on digital wood.

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post #7 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 5:51 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Go for it, Love mine more with every mile.

Bob

-----------------------------------------------
1999 BMW K1200LT
2004 HD ROADKING
1999 HD HERITAGE SOFTAIL
1998 SUZUKI INTRUDER 1500
1997 HONDA MAGNA
1982 HONDA CB750 CUSTOM
1978 HONDA CB400A HONDAMATIC
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post #8 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 6:07 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I picked up a 99LT with only 17K miles on it 2 months ago now. I too was looking for something more comfortable for the better half.....
I also did not want to spend a fortune on something I was not sure I would like.

I have just turned over 23K miles and completed a 2400 mile trip to the east coast(6days)

Wife is very comfortable......me not so much(have to do something about better driver seat)

It will handle much better than you expected and is faster than it feels (deceptive)
It is very fuel efficient for such a big girl.

Only gripe, is headlight is very poor..........addressing that with plug and play HID that hasnt arrived yet.

Good luck

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1999 Concours 107K Km

Doesn't matter what you ride, but ride it, don't spend all your time polishing!
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post #9 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 6:18 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

LT is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I had an R1100RT for a long time and my bride would not accompany me. She loves the LT and even falls asleep on the plush back seat and back rest (heated of course). The rider's seat is another issue however and many folks go for after market seats. The LT is a heavy beast and if you are inseam challenged, it can be awkward at stops and turning around in tight spaces. You have to learn to ride it and keep the tiller straight when coming to a stop. Once you get the feel of it you will love it. 55k isn't high mileage at all. Given proper care and attention to servicing, she will last a long time.

Good luck in your decision.

Bill
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05 Honda Sabre 1100
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post #10 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 7:27 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestude
I have been riding street bike about 20years and dirt bikes another 10 years before that...I have had 2 Honda road bikes a Harley , and on my 2nd yamaha fjr1300.
I'm looking for a touring bike something with cruise and something more comfortable for the wife.....
Im currently looking at a 2002 k1200lt with 55k miles on it....what is your honest opinion on the Beemer k1200lt.....
I purchased my 2000 in 07 on Ebay. It had 37k miles on it. Now has 87k miles. I love this bike. She has never let me down once...and as I reported in another post, I ride her hard. Great bike. Super comfortable. Your wife will love it. Great long distance touring bike and it will handle corners like no bike you've ever owned. Mine has been totally reliable...totally.

Greg
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BMWMOA Number: 134717
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post #11 of 28 Old Aug 21st, 2011, 7:32 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Best two-up tourer around. If all the pertinent details check out, go for it.

Regards & Ride Safe!

Bruce
'09 Black LT
4-Wheels moves the body, 2-wheels moves the soul.
IBA # 8547
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post #12 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 7:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

tell me about the shaft drive...is it an issue? is there and "updated" part , if it is an issue. Im guessing its something i should find out about the bike im looking at....
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post #13 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 7:25 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mestude
tell me about the shaft drive...is it an issue? is there and "updated" part , if it is an issue. Im guessing its something i should find out about the bike im looking at....
Check the #3 sticky at the top of the page.

Ron
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post #14 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 8:03 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Like my fellow Aussie K100Dennis above, I went for an '05 - 3 weeks ago. I have a Honda vtx1800 which I've been riding and touring on, and the BMW K1200LT is a sport-bike by comparison - I like both bikes but the VTX is for a quick day ride for cruising fun (with huge torque in any gear), and is relatively low to the ground but you gotta work it through corners. The K1200 has high center of gravity which you feel at speeds below 10mph but above that it's beautiful - smooth as silk, fast, comfy etc. Note that I am not including the heated seats and grips as a benefit as I have those on my (rather unique) VTX (it was rather involved to do all that).....

With the caveat of being fairly new to this board, the most widely known issues I can see seem to be the rear drive in '04's and below (apparently while only a few 05's have had issues, a recent post on this board from the rear drive expert charlievt suggests there are still some concerns to pay attention to), and weeping clutch slave cylinder that leads to a dead clutch. Fix on the rear drive is a pre-emptive rebuild - but only if there's shiny stuff in the rear drive oil plug or the oil itself has darkened more than usual. Fix on the clutch is to drill a weep hole (see sticky video at the top of this board) so that all that will happen is one would need to rebuild or replace the slave cylinder if it failed. Both fixable and both not so bad that I didn't buy one. And I do have to get that weep hole drilled yet (been busy getting kids off to college).

I believe as a touring bike the K1200LT offers the best value - electrically adjustable windshield, all the other amenities etc. - way better value than a Honda Goldwing. The other bike I wondered about before deciding on the BMW was a Kawasaki Concours 14 but it's more sport touring - I wanted a bit more comfy than that (however the Kawi is a terrific ride). For the BMW I purchased, aside from looking into the two items I mentioned above, I'll be figuring out how to make a Starcom1 intercom and Garmin Zumo 660 (both of which I already had) integrate with the BMW electronics (mine didn't have an intercom) - I think I'm close and then I start soldering....

Hope this helps - good luck with your hunt!

BMWMOA member

Current rides:
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic BMW K1200LT
2002 Pearl Orange Honda VTX1800 Retro

Prior rides:
Suzuki GS425E (Australia)
Suzuki T250R (Australia)
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post #15 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 8:11 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I owned cruisers (both Honda and Yamaha) as well as an FJR1300. I, too, was worried I might not like the bigger, heavier touring bike. I was looking at Goldwings but just couldn't make myself buy one as every Goldwing owner I knew was an "old fogey". I had a few riding buddies with Beemers (K75s). I got to ride one once and was impressed by smoothness all the way around. I found a '99 K1200LT for $4000 with no ABS or Radio, 63,000 miles. I traded off my V-Star 1100 for the KLT with trepidation...still not knowing if I'd like it. I did spend significant time on internet research and on this forum before I pulled the trigger.

Since then...that was January...I've put 9000 miles on the LT. I'm honestly not sure I can ever own another bike. It is the best ride I've ever experienced. I agree with the post above about it not comparing to the FJR1300 on the "get up and go" meter...but she's still got an amazing amount of spunk and, in my opinion and in my riding skill, just as much fun in the twisties. It's not for everyone...but it was for me an amazing deal. I can't believe I basically stole this bike from the dealer for that price. Even without ABS and the radio, it should've still been way more than that for the ride she gives.

Go for it.

Associate Pastor, Pickens, SC
Director of F.A.I.T.H. Riders Ministry at my church

'07 BMW R1200GS Adventure - White (easily my favorite bike to date!)
'07 Honda Gold Wing - Metallic Silver
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post #16 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 8:22 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Came out of the Wing Department. 1500 GL and then Valkyrie before I changed over to BMW. Belive I would never, ever change back. Own my LT since 2002 with about 80k km on the clock. No Problems at all.

Manfred
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post #17 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 8:53 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Get it. Your wife will love you for it.







......
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post #18 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 9:58 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Here's my honest opinion, I got my flame suit on. I want to love the bike. I hate that I don't have a dealer within an hour of me. So I can easily run get parts. I had a 600 shadow for 25000 miles. Nothing ever broke. I had the 86th Vstrom ever made in the world (2002). Nothing ever broke for 25000 miles. Had to tighten a screw or two here and there. I have ridden 12K miles on my 03 LT (18K total) and it is now in the garage because a $3 part is broken and I'm an hour from a dealer that isn't open on Monday. My local Suzi/Yam and Kaw/Honda shops are open today. SO I'm irritated with me for buying a bike that has no local dealer. For all the advanced technology supposed to be in a BMW, $3 parts should not let you down.

I worry about what willl break next (final drive? Slave cylinder? What? something random?) Fortunately there is a GREAT community here that jumps in and helps you when you need it, And they are open on weekends and mondays. : )

Basically, it is a great bike, a fun bike. BUt if you are not comfortable working on it yourself or don;t have a lot of money, you might want to look at a different brand. I really like the bike and how it performs. But as much as I like it, I will probably not buy another just based on living an hour from a dealer.

Good luck deciding
Randy
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post #19 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:23 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
Here's my honest opinion snip.........., For all the advanced technology supposed to be in a BMW, $3 parts should not let you down. ......end snip

Randy
Randy, I don't think I would give the failure of a $3 part another thought. If you broke a $3 part on your bike you can be sure that you have replaced the ONLY $3 part that was ever attached to the bike! From here on any parts you replace should cost a WHOLE LOT MORE $. Using the logic in your above statement is it all right for an LT to fail as long as the part costs, say, $274.87 or more?

I don't think the LT was ever designed to have the reliability of a family truckster. But then it doesn't drive like one either. If you are going to keep it you need to be willing to let it sit for a while if something fails.

As far as dealers go it is more of a Bentley than a Chevy.

Loren

WAK1200LT
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post #20 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 5:10 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Not necessarily a hyjack, just a continuation.
I've been lurking this forum a couple months. I've been on bikes 40 years. I've ridden just about everything over the years except a Harley(which doesn't interest me) and a full size touring bike. My favorite all around bike of all time, not surprisingly to this crowd, was a 1200GS. Unfortunately, my wife joins me less and less these days. She says she's tired of the noise, being uncomfortable, etc. I ride less because I feel guilty being gone for the day or weekend out on a ride without her to enjoy it with me.
So I'm considering an LT to woo her back on the bike more often. My questions are rear seat comfort, rear wind buffeting, and lastly..... The all so talked about high center of gravity.
Everywhere, I read people say "Expect to drop the bike once in a while" That just seems crazy to me.
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post #21 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 5:33 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

She's a tall top heavy German girl..... And if your wife isn't exactlly petite, Then you've got a lot of weight awfully high up to keep balanced... That's it in a nutshell.. If you've got good balance and coordination you'll likely have little trouble with the LT... As long as you can reach the ground...

Drop it,... Well, Yes, you're probably going to stop over a low spot or slide a foot in some gravel or something... Yes you're going to drop it....Get used to the idea that a bike doesn't always stay pristine... Dropped my LT three times.. Never dropped my RT...yet...

And the wife has her own bike now.....

You WILL have to have an aftermarket seat to ride long distances comfortably.

Good Luck

John

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post #22 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 5:44 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappp
Not necessarily a hyjack, just a continuation.
I've been lurking this forum a couple months. I've been on bikes 40 years. I've ridden just about everything over the years except a Harley(which doesn't interest me) and a full size touring bike. My favorite all around bike of all time, not surprisingly to this crowd, was a 1200GS. Unfortunately, my wife joins me less and less these days. She says she's tired of the noise, being uncomfortable, etc. I ride less because I feel guilty being gone for the day or weekend out on a ride without her to enjoy it with me.
So I'm considering an LT to woo her back on the bike more often. My questions are rear seat comfort, rear wind buffeting, and lastly..... The all so talked about high center of gravity.
Everywhere, I read people say "Expect to drop the bike once in a while" That just seems crazy to me.
The bike is actually built to handle the occasional "nap", so no real harm done to her when it's time.

The biggest problem you'll have is getting your wife OFF the bike. She will be the one suggesting "honey, wanna go for a motorcycle ride?" That's when you know it's all good in the 'hood.

Life happens...you control your reaction.

2018 Honda CRF250L Rally (fun in the woods)
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post #23 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 7:05 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

If your wife likes to ride with you, you can't beat it. You have to focus on keeping the front wheel straight ahead at stops and not get worked up when you drop it, because it will happen. Other than that ride it and enjoy it. With 55K on the clock you might set aside $2K for the eventual clutch replacement, although if you're handy, there are several folks who will help you through a do it yourself process and then you're just out parts costs. I brought a used 02, put over 50K on it since then, and other than a clutch this past year have done nothing other than routine maintenance, and plan to keep riding it for several more years.

Joel
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"Mauve Mile-Eater"
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post #24 of 28 Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 8:38 pm
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

One more thing about the final drive.. If it hasn't failed by 60K then chances are it won't..
Only a very low number have failed post 60K.. So if the bike you're looking at has the original drive, Chances are you're home free..

John

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post #25 of 28 Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:43 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappp
Not necessarily a hyjack, just a continuation. Snip.....
I ride less because I feel guilty being gone for the day or weekend out on a ride without her (wife) to enjoy it with me. ......end snip
Maybe the best thing to do is just come to terms that you might be spending time on the bike without her. I love spending time with my wife. We have been best friends since 9th grade but I have finally figured out that I have WAY more fun on my LT without her. She is a great person, great wife, great mom, all around great person.

She does not like to ride. She never has and she never will. So why try to make her enjoy something that will just never happen?

When she rides with me I have to keep the bike perfectly upright, even when cornering at 15 mph on a 25 mph curve. The freeway is too fast, two lane roads scare her because of the close proximity to oncoming traffic, city traffic has too many turns and too many cars, she's too cold, too hot, too wet, too thirsty etc. My ribs hurt when she gets scared and whacks me in the sides with her arms. I guess the intercomm is not as effective as side whacks because it takes a fraction of a second to open the mic circuit (vox). Using the intercomm might possibly find us too far down the road to perdition to allow any chance for recovery.

She has never been a whiner or complainer except when riding. She is so miserable it just never stops!

Yup! Life is just much better for both of us when I ride and she pursues other interests. Do I wish she enjoyed riding? Absolutely! In the meantime I will follow my favorite adage. 'Never try to teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and it annoys the pig' Author unknown

Loren

WAK1200LT
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post #26 of 28 Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 2:05 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

Here in the uk I have owned ,most BMW bikes, keep coming back to the GSA and the RT, but there was always something that spoilt the enjoyment especially on longer trips, what was it,,,? VIBES , as good as the boxer twin is I was always effected by vibes, I was lucky to be able to buy new or nearly new bikes but swopping around all the time was costing me so I took the plunge and bought an 03 LT SE with 10,000, yes10,000 miles on it, the oldest bike I have ever owned, so far I love it for its smoothness and express train feel on the Motorway, the screen is brilliant and the radio a big plus, I intend to do my own maintenance, and hope nothing major goes wrong! I also have an f800gs but the bike that i want to ride is the LT, Dave.
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post #27 of 28 Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 6:35 am
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

To ZAPP, re your query about buying an LT, I am 52 years young, also been around bikes for 40 odd years. This is my first K12LT (2005). My wife is not petite, and I can definitely notice it when she climbs aboard so this is my advice - look for a pair of boots with really grippy polyurethane soles, they're out there, then learn to "set yourself" for the loading up experience, that is, feet down on good surface, bars straight, front brake firmly on and bike nicely centred. If you lean forward it also helps (IMO). I like you, do not intend to be dropping my bike if at all possible. I have a golden rule that is the same for when I'm using a chainsaw, "make every movement quite deliberate and take your time". Once rolling the K12 is dead easy to ride, even fully laden 2 up, and we go the full 600 Kg's.
I am smitten with my K12, I don't mind admitting it, but none more than my wife !
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post #28 of 28 Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:31 pm
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Location: Jeddo, MI, USA
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Re: Looking at my first BMW. Opinions pls...

I may as well throw my 2 cents in on this. I too have been riding all my life, and still do ride dirt bikes regularly. If you came up on dirt bikes, I believe the high center of gravity issue some complain about will not be an issue because you are all ready used to balancing and
using the clutch and engine speed to keep you upright. I've never had a problem with it even with my wife on board.
Secondly, I would look for at least on 2005 or newer if for no other reason than the extra ponies (around 20) available. You can never have too much power, especially loaded and 2-up.
I would guess on an 2002, the shocks are probably a little tired as I have an 2007 and can already feel they are not as firm as they were. The biggest up-side to this bike for me was
it handles like an over sized sportbike. Even loaded, and 2-up, you can pitch this thing into a curve and it just goes where you want it without a hint of frame flex or any drama 'till the center stand drags.
For what it's worth, BMW of Southeast Michigan has a couple 2007's right now, And no I don't work there!!
Good luck
mioffroader is offline  
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