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post #1 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 11:00 am Thread Starter
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Prospective K1200LT owner

Greetings All,

Lurker doing his due diligence before possibly buying a BMW. I am curious with the lack of BMW shops should I be worried about break downs on tours?(Is breaking down even a concern?)Are there any years to avoid.I am looking to keep price down. Thinking of 2005 or newer but I would not pass up a GREAT deal... I own a Honda VT1100 right now but looking to upgrade. I may have a line on a sweet deal for a Road King but have gotten used to the relative quiet of the Honda.

Thanks for any and all insight.

Ted
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post #2 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 11:16 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddyTelco
Greetings All,

Lurker doing his due diligence before possibly buying a BMW. I am curious with the lack of BMW shops should I be worried about break downs on tours?(Is breaking down even a concern?)Are there any years to avoid.I am looking to keep price down. Thinking of 2005 or newer but I would not pass up a GREAT deal... I own a Honda VT1100 right now but looking to upgrade. I may have a line on a sweet deal for a Road King but have gotten used to the relative quiet of the Honda.

Thanks for any and all insight.

Ted
I've added over 35K to my 2000 over the past few years and never had a problem on the road. Toured Nova Scotia in 2010 with a couple of friends (all Beemer bikes) and we just gassed and went!

I do all of the PM and took it into a dealer shop for a a few items (again PM's like quick- disconnect gas lines and ss brake lines) because I didn't have the time to do it myself.

Buy one and "Ride It Like You Stole It!"

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post #3 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 11:20 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I just came from a Road King TO the LT. Mine is a 2003, and I'm super satisfied. My road king at highway speeds would get 100 miles per tank. (70-80 miles per hour) and I could only bear to sit about that long.

My K1200LT gets 200+ miles per tank (70-80 mph)

My harley was such a dog power wise, and the lt is not.
You have more storage with the LT, you have heated seats and grips, and a trunk. You have a sweet radio, and cruise (depends on year of road king for cruise)

The harley would literally rattle and run with such high revs at highway speeds, it wasn't comfortable.
The BMW feels like floating on air with a radio blasting at highway speeds.

I felt like everyone had a road king and it kind of sucked.
I feel like more of an individual with a BMW... and most people think I'm "Rich" now.

road king will last around 100,000 miles if you're lucky

BMW = 200,000 - 300,000... just ask some people around here.

Most all of the gadgets that you'd pay for on a Harley comes stock on a BMW. (radio, windscreen, heated grips and seat, etc.)

But it's all up to you. only you will know if you'll be happy on one or not

Ean

2003 BMW K1200LT
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post #4 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 11:47 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I would just add that there are a few items that "seem" like they cause trouble.

Unfortunately for the K1200LT like most situations the bad press often has a louder soloist than the song of the choir that sing her praises.

With that said, I had a 2000 LT that was not maintained by her previous owner and the only problem I had was a brake line go bad at 60K miles.

My I put 20K on my current 09 and put 25Kmiles on my old 09 and never had a minute of trouble outside of tires, general maintenance, fluid changes.

I did have a reverse sensor that was covered under warranty.

otherwise I would say I have 65K+ miles three LTs and no real trouble..

2009 K1200LT The Черный заяц 2 March '12 -
2008 R1200GSA Dec'11 - March '12 (sold)
2009 K1200LT The Черный заяц Nov '10 - Nov '11 (sold )
2000 K1200LT Flying Purple Mile Eater May '10 - Nov '10 (sold)
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post #5 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 11:49 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Hope you can find one to ride (more than just around the block). Then - ride the one you love! That's what we did. On our 2nd LT. Love it!!!

Jim Taylor
Minneapolis
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post #6 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 2:06 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I moved from a Harley Electra Glide to a 2009 LT in October 2012. I love the LT. The bike has a top heavy feel at slow (parking lot) speeds. Besides this, it's all good.

My wife and pillion partner prefers the LT's ergos and features over the Harley, particularly the heated seat and backrest.

Don't let complaints about final drive (FD) failure discourage you. The majority of LT owners never have a problem. A friend of mine has an LT with over 200K miles. He rides his bike hard and has never had a problem.

BMW's small dealer isn't an issue either. The bikes are very reliable. If you're concerned about breakdown, consider an emergency roadside assistance plan such as AAA RV Plus. You might also check with your insurance company to see if coverage is available.

2009 K1200LT
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post #7 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 2:22 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I had a lot of concerns before getting one myself just reading the problems people discuss but don't be scared away by that. Remember that people gather here to discuss opinions and solutions to problems and too infrequently to discuss the pleasure of riding the LT.

I was also concerned about the top-heavy handling of the LT but I have found that my '00 requires no extraordinary skill to handle (as I have no extraordinary skill and do fine), it is heavy though so you have to keep any eye out for things that you might otherwise pay less attention to like road slope, dips where you stop etc.

For me the real pleasures of the LT are the cruise control, audio system, fuel economy and adjustable windshield. I think my FD is going to put me among the 4% crowd soon but I'll just get it repaired and continue enjoying the ride. The bike on whole is just too much of a joy to let something like a FD or clutch etc ruin it for me.

One thing I can promise you - it will carve out a canyon road better than any HD.

-Steve

2000 BMW K1200LT
2000 BMW R1200C
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post #8 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 3:40 pm
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You might say Im a little bent toward BMWs having owned them for 32 years and a little over 500K, 233K on my 1999 LT, yes I have repaired one FD, at about 87K, and a transmission bearing at 204K. We ride about 20K+ per year and the LT is more than a pleasure to own plus my wife loves it...

Bill Jennings, fhp
Denison, TX

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post #9 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 3:44 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I bought a well maintained '03 in 2010 (12K miles), had it checked by the dealer and had all the fluids changed. After putting on a few thousand miles, myself and she who must be obeyed took her to Anchorage via the Al-Can. Along the way we encountered lots of Harley's with drive belt problems.

Yes, dealers are rare, but I have never had any need for one other than the scheduled maintenance. In three seasons of riding, added 26K miles to the odometer.

If you are not mechanically inclined, the maintenance can seem to cost a bit too much, but i GUARNTEE you will never get as much fun per $$$$ as you will get out of an LT.

Buy it, enjoy it!


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post #10 of 22 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 5:40 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

BMW's thin dealer network has never been a problem for me. I've ridden a total of 55K miles on two LT's and never had to fix anything anywhere but at home. And, that was one low cost repair of my shift linkage. There is preventive maintenance to do, but if you get a well maintained bike to start with and keep the PM schedule, you should be good to go for a long time.

Tips


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post #11 of 22 Old Jan 26th, 2013, 12:31 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I was riding a 1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500 LC which i bought new,and still have.I started thinking about getting a touring bike due to the fact i've traveled all over with the LC and the wife was riding with me more and more. And in spite of ergonomic improvements i'd made .It was still stretching it for her as far as comfort for touring two up.So i looked at a wing and an Ultra,Both not quite what would fit the bill.I discovered the K1200LT upon a internet search. I found a local dealer that had a 2006 ,I called.Sure..he said.. Come and test ride it.I fell in love in the first 500 feet. He wanted a bit too much $$$.So i found a 2004.And bought it,i haven't looked back since.You'll love the creature comforts. Heated seats(including the pass backrest) & heated grips.Plus the power windshield is awesome.And it is sooo smooth.It really is the most comfortable bike i've ever ridden.And the wife just loves that bike.I bought it with 37K on it in July of 2012. I put 4,500 miles on it in 4 months, Including two out of state rides,one to Tennessee of 1,550 miles,it hasn't skipped a beat.Test ride one and you'll understand.

2004 K1200LT. Big Mama
1999 Suzuki Intruder VL1500LC. Betty Lou.
I'm a 4 percenter.
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post #12 of 22 Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:36 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I call my LT a "Road Couch."

06 K1200 LT
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post #13 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 7:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Well the road king deal fell thru. I now have a verbal agreement to purchase a 2009 K1200LT. It still has a bit of the warranty left.I will be flying to pick her up and riding home (if the weather EVER breaks...)I am a gambler but hate to lose. What if any thoughts on an extended warranty? Any significant problems with the 2009 (Henry Ford special) Any color you want as long as it's black

2009 BMW K1200LT "Shelly"
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post #14 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 7:43 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I came from the VT1100 myself and bought the first one that I rode and couldn't be happier. I usually ride two up and it works great. I did have an issue with the Cruise Control which was fixed under its warranty. Had to wait a couple of weeks for the part to come from Germany. Since the part wasn't in the States I believe that its not a common failure.

You will enjoy this machine.
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post #15 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:28 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

If you are concerned about repairs when travelling the POI Factory Here has a download for your GPS that lists all of the BMW dealerships and independent shops in the US and Canada.
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post #16 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 11:37 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Buy an extended Warranty.

I bought my LT from Bob's BMW. When the warranty was about to expire, i inquired and then purchased an extended waranty for the big girl.

Sleepwalker
2008 K1200LT New Ride
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post #17 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 11:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

What is the ball park for said extended warranty?

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post #18 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 11:53 am
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalker
Buy an extended Warranty.

I bought my LT from Bob's BMW. When the warranty was about to expire, i inquired and then purchased an extended waranty for the big girl.
Well, that's one way to ensure no problems- buy an extended warranty.
Actually, that's what I plan to do for the new Ford I bought 'cause there's too much technology on it that's going to be dealer only items.

Jeff
Big D is my neck of the woods

99 K1200LT (don't need loud pipes w/ 8 spk. stereo)
08 HD wide glide
prior:
07 HD XL1200C (sold!
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post #19 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 12:13 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

From a fellow 1970, 1972 and 1975 Norton and 2007 LT owner I bought my LT with 1100 miles on it and got a 4 year extended waranty for around $700. I figured in 2014 when the warranty is over I'll buy a new bike. To me since I'm not a mechanic and the cost to fix anything major is major dollars it was worth it.
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post #20 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 1:26 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

it is cheaper to get the extended maintenance agreement while she is still in factory warranty than to wait so assure the in-service date and the mileage before you get the bike and consider the price of the warranty.

my 36 month service contract was $1700, but it was purchased after the bike was out of warranty.

pretty much bumper to bumper everything..

Hope this helps

Paul

2009 K1200LT The Черный заяц 2 March '12 -
2008 R1200GSA Dec'11 - March '12 (sold)
2009 K1200LT The Черный заяц Nov '10 - Nov '11 (sold )
2000 K1200LT Flying Purple Mile Eater May '10 - Nov '10 (sold)
2005 VTX1300s Nov '09 - Nov '10 (sold)


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post #21 of 22 Old Mar 25th, 2013, 2:57 pm
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

I am fairly new to this forum, having owned my LT for less than a year. I researched here before buying and was concerned about a few of the issues (e.g. final drive). I was also put off by how much things cost to repair/replace on this bike.

However, this forum has nothing but experienced, helpful people willing to explain everything (and I do mean everything) you will need or want to know about your bike. I can't say enough good things about the collective wisdom and willingness to help that exists on this forum.

You never mentioned what your tolerance for working on your own bike is, but as a data point, based on this forum (and my unwillingness to pay to have things fixed) I have done the following:

1. Replaced rear brake rotor to solve vibration (cowbell) noise. Cost: $169 for the rotor if I remember correctly. Dealer would have charged over $300. Forum gave all the information and the process is literally a 30 minute job with simple tools.

2. Installed Hyper-pro springs (original springs were working as designed, but the bike is undersprung): Cost: $260 for the springs. Dealer was going to charge $300 to install. Forum has information/procedure on how to do it, but I did not have a method for separating springs from shocks. Luckily, as I mentioned above, there were many offers to help. I took a ride out to Robert's (Scouter-50) place and he replaced the springs for me using a tool he built. Other people have found auto shops that would do it. This was quite a learning experience because it forced me to basically strip the bike to get to the front spring. Again, doable in your garage (and maybe at Robert's garage too), but not a 30 minute job.

3. Performed 12k service on my bike. Cost: $300? in parts. I don't know exactly how much I spent because some parts came with the bike when I bought it. Point here is that the dealer wanted around $1000 just for labor for the 12k service. Since I already knew how to strip it, and had the collective knowledge of the forum behind me, I decided I'd do it myself. I ran into some obstacles based on my inexperience, but with several pleas for help and response from this forum, I was able to get:

a. spark plugs replaced. Had plugs.
b. air filter replaced. Had filter.
c. (skipped fuel filter replacement due to forum advice)
d. valve check and adjusted (adjustment would have been additional to the $1000 quote above). Had never adjusted valves on anything before. $60 for parts but could have been free from forum community if I were more patient.
e. changed oil and filter. Had filter. $35? for oil

also, based on time since last known service I:

f. replaced brake fluid (borrowed a special tool from DanMartin). $6 in brake fluid.
g. replaced coolant. $50? for the bmw coolant.
h. replaced clutch fluid (in progress). $6 brake fluid

based on the forum's "while you're in there" advice I:

i. disconnected the fuel vapor cannister. $0 in parts
j. replaced plastic fuel connectors with metal ones. $60 in parts?


I likely would have done none of this work myself were it not for this forum, but if you have the tools and some interest in DIY and/or learning, you can save a ton of money (assuming you consider buying new tools with that money "saving", which I do).

Finally, I would not get an extended warranty for this bike. Assuming you're going to maintain the bike according to specifications, your greater probability of cost will be maintenance rather than failures. You are almost guaranteed to go to 12k or 24k or whatever and face the maintenance cost, but you are likely not going to encounter a failure that would fall under warranty (using a general statistical argument to justify this statement). I pay more attention to minimizing my "guaranteed" costs and less to my "unlikely" costs. I suggest doing your own maintenance and banking the savings to offset failures. If you don't want to do your own maintenance then bank $1000 for self-insurance and don't sweat it.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I really love this bike. I bought it with the intention of taking a long two-up ride (which I did) and then selling if I didn't like it enough to keep it. It turns out I'm most likely going to sell my Triumph because although it appeals to the sporty side of my riding desire, I don't actually ride it that much and I'm only a racer in my head.

GET THAT BIKE!

Chris W

Current
'14 K1600 GTL

Previous
'09 HD Fat Bob
'07 K1200 LT (gf misses it)
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post #22 of 22 Old Mar 27th, 2013, 2:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Prospective K1200LT owner

Thanks All.

Chris I am pretty handy with the tools. Just like you I have yet to try to do it. I do a lot of my own work on my tundra as there is plenty of room to work. I am also a gambler who likes to win(who doesn't) so I will roll the dice on the bike. Now if spring would get off its' ass and "sprung" I can bring her home to her new garage...

2009 BMW K1200LT "Shelly"
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