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post #1 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 7:27 pm Thread Starter
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Donít ya just despise the new guys!

Hi all,
Yep, I am one of them.

I traded in an Ď04 Victory TC that served me well for the 13k miles I put on it last year about 10k 2up. It took us to Montreal, Pennsylvania and all over Maine, NH and VT. The only issue was backache for the passenger on a lot of our days in the saddle. Mechanically the Vic was a very low maintenance machine and although I tried several passenger type add-ons (and a good amount of farkles J) it just didnít cut it.

After plowing around in here under the covers (Lurking) for a month or so and a few test drives, I really enjoyed the comfort and sportiness of the RT. But Passenger amenities were not as good as the LT. I took the LT out for some rides and felt it easier than the Wing for me. Compared to that I felt the LT to be my choice and the Passenger was satisfied as well. Although we have not taken a long day on it yet due to the timing of the acquisition although for a short 1-Ĺ hr drive coming home my better half fell asleep for about 45 minutes when the temp was about 48 (heated seats and vest), which answered the comfort question for the most part.

I loved the low-end torque and grunt that the 1500 offered but just as much and even more love the quickness, quiet and comfort of the LT. After owning this for about 3 weeks and having put on only 2500 miles I do need to ask some questions that I hope you can help me with. I have read as many threads as I can find on these questions until I couldnít even distinguish the characters. The fact that there are so many threads and so many interesting connections to associated threads (Thanks to the new software (not sure yet whether this is a help or hindrance as I have to keep dropping bread crumbs I get so far off the trail sometimes)) But I digressÖ..

I have noticed some things after riding this for a few weeks now that I do not feel the answers from the dealer are anything further than the stock answers so far (I will give examples of them). I have seen and very much appreciated the advice and observations of experience that I have seen on this board. I may be answering some of my own questions but hope you will help me sort out something that may just be the nature of the beast if you will.

1) I have noticed a ďpingingĒ like sound under moderate, heavy acceleration. I also hear it much quieter when cruising speed and do not recall this on the test rides. The Service Manager told me to try different brands of premium and they will look at it again when I take it in this week. Is this a sound that the K bikes make from your experience?
2) The origination sheet said that it included the intercom and a tall windshield. When I picked it up it did not have the passenger receptacle for the audio or the tall windshield. The dealer took one off the floor model and placed it on mine (noticed that the bottom etching was sanded off) and I noticed like sand pits in the shield after a couple of weeks. Are these windshields that soft and are there serial numbers etched in the windshield for anti theft? They ordered a whole new tail bag and BMW refused do they have ordered the parts for the passenger audio.
3) When I ride with the shield 75-100% up I feel a lot of air pressure from the back pushing me forward in the seat, is that normal? I have heard that BMW shields were tested in a wind tunnel and that tells me something ainít quite right!
4) I notice that wind on the highway has much more effect on the handling of the bike when cruising as compared to the v-twin and I am sure it is from all plastic that gives it the kite effect. If I accelerate the aero styling on the front takes over and I have less effect of the wind but I run out of road and have accept that I guess. Also even when there is little to no wind it feels like it wants to wander the lane if I am at just cruising speed.
5) I have read much on oil, maybe too much along with all the posts. These two articles are my favorites:
http://www.ibmwr.org/otech/oilreport.html and http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
What seems (and please donít whack me for this one) the overall choice for those that do there own oil changes? And is there a quality filter that cross references if there is no BMW dealer around at the time?

ON the subject of Brake squeal, a lot of manufacturers of automotive disc brake pads cut a groove in the pad and lately chamfer the ends of the pads to eliminate squeal. Has anyone tried this as a more permanent fix?

Also looking to add lighting and Jpegs as I have days where cramping is non existent and days where my hips just do not want to fit right.

I am North of Boston and would love to attend a tech session if there is a group around and would be willing to assist in organizing or anyother "helper" mode to get started.

Sorry for the long post....soooo many questions!

Thanks in advance
-Bob


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-Bob

'05 Ocean Blue LT
04 Victory (Traded)
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post #2 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 8:02 pm
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Greetings, except for a few quirks the LT is a great bike. Hope you have years of enjoyment. I'd like to comment on # 2 & 3. I found the windshield, after a year of riding, to be difficult to clean and perpetually "fogged up". I finally switched to a Cee Bailey winshield #2 -3" and noticed immediately a reduction in road noise and improvement in clarity. I suspect after enough miles it will have to be replaced as well.

Regarding the back pressure on the helmet, my stock windshield did this too, my solution was to keep it a couple of inches below my line of sight, so I don't look through it but over it.

Hope this helps, good luck, ride safely.

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
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post #3 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 8:55 pm
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Welcome,

I can touch on just a couple of your questions, as I am new to BMWs AND motorcycles in general. Have been riding a whopping 3 months.

3) The stock windshield creates a quite noticeable "negative pressure zone"; adjusting it, as docwagner mentions, reduces it. For me, all the way up = maximum back pressure. Just came back from a ride with the new BMW tall windshield -- better wind protection, quieter ride, less back pressure, but a ton of distortion. It's going back, and I'm investigating an Aeroflow, Cee Bailey, or going back to the stock windshield with a full-face helmet. Bottom line for me is: I'm not sure WHAT I should be experiencing in terms of wind or "quiet air". Maybe I should keep the shield down and let the full-face helmet keep the air off my eyes.

4) The only times I've ridden the LT on the highway is the long commute to work (55 miles), much of it on a busy interstate at 65-75 mph. At times I feel like a piece of road debris being thrown around on the highway (OK, just a little exaggeration). Tonight's ride -- zero traffic and no wind -- shows me that the effect is caused by all the other cars and trucks around me, plus normal crosswinds. Don't know how much can be attributed to the body panels.

5) My rear brakes squeal horribly -- even after they were worked on last week by the dealer. Lots of posts here about after-market pads; guess that's the way to go.

Good luck.

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 #4 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 9:57 pm
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Smith

Hi Bob,

Welcome to the wacky world of the LT. Iím also rather new to this bike, I have an í05 in Graphite. Iíve been a GW rider and thought I might like something different so I bought an LT this spring and have put about 3k on it.

Your issues with wind turbulence is something Iíve been concerned with myself. I canít really say itís a problem but its more noticeable than on the 1800.

The stock windshield (tall or short) doesnít really offer much protection. I like the Cee Baily with wings. If you order the #2 model (with a re-curve at the top of the windshield), buy one a little shorter. The measurement CB uses does not take into account the added height of the re-curve.

The only answer to the brake noise is EBC brake pads. I have tried everything else and these pads cure the problem. If you bought the bike new, I promise you the dealer is only too well aware of the problem. My dealer replaced the pads at no charge.

I can only tell you the LT has a certain exotic quality about it. The bike makes quirky noises and is expensive to own. Nevertheless, I love it and would not trade it for any other bike.

One other note; if you havenít discovered it already, the bike requires a special riding technique at very low speeds Ė especially if you have a rider aboard. Keep the bike vertical and the handlebars straight when you come to a stop. Itís a real bitch to lift when you drop it. You will never have any handling problems once you get moving, but at less than walking speed, the bike is a hand full, but youíll get used to it.

Stay safe,
Smith
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post #5 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:43 pm
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Smile

Bob,
A shot at number 5:
No doubt you've read plenty on the oil subject. It has been beat to death on this board, and every other corner of the internet that will accept an opinion. Some of it borders on the ridiculous, and some is good usable information. Sorting it out is the tricky part. Sooooooooooooo...................Here is what we do know. If you run BMW oil and filter it removes any question about those componets should you ever have a warranty claim that is oil or filter related. Spendy? Yup, but shop around a little. Might come out a little better. Oil and filter just isn't that expensive.

Not sure what the 05 manual says about oil, but the "old" service manual says "Brand-name HD oil, API classification SF, SG, SH...." So if you find the need to use something else, Castrol and Valvoline make 20w-50 Motorcycle oil with the appropriate API designation and I'm sure that there are others. (I just saw Castrol 4 cycle Motorcycle Oil on the shelf at Wally World for $2.36)
Oil filters: Found these guys, http://www.beemerboneyard.com/newparts.html. (Haven't tried the Bosch branded filter yet but think I will.) As with oil, I'm sure that there are other filter choices as well.

My .05, Good Luck

Duane

Check the obvious first!
01 LT Champagne "The Starship"
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post #6 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:47 pm
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Welcome aboard! This is about expanding the knowledge/safety/self sufficiency of motorcycling... so no, won't chastise ya.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #7 of 23 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 11:15 pm
 
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Regarding the "pinging"...

A lot of the noise may be the sound of the fuel injectors... I know I can hear mine singing away...
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post #8 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 2:59 am
 
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Quote:
When I ride with the shield 75-100% up I feel a lot of air pressure from the back pushing me forward in the seat, is that normal?
This isn't unique to the LT - I notice the same effect on my R1100RT. I adjust the shield to give no air pressure on the back of my head (whilst minimising the airflow against the front of my helmet) when it's cool, but on warm days, put the windshield down to get as much cooling as possible. I also have to adjust the windshield position when my son's on the back - if I set it for minimum turbulence on the back of my helmet, he complains about being shaken around.

I would prefer to look over the windshield, rather than through it and I'll probably replace the tall windshield fitted to my LT with a shorter model. I don't like the distortion I get looking through the windshield and when it rains (which is when I would prefer to have the windshield up) I have to put it down to see properly.

As far as turbulence goes, I do find that the LT is affected more than the RT - but it's not that bad and since the turbulence is usually caused by the wake from other traffic, It's fairly predictable.
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post #9 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 4:28 am
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Wind?

Being an old ST1100 owner as well as a K12lt, I know what wind turbulance can do! The odd thing is, that most of it is in the mind. You hear a gust, compensate just as the gust dies down and are putting the bike back on track just as another gust comes along.
Answer - earplugs - yep, I couldnt believe it when I was advised to use them for wind!
But it really does solve the problem. You are far more relaxed, far more able to consentrate and the gust noise doesnt make you over react. Beleieve it or not, I can hear my speakers better with ear plugs in as well!

"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 #10 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 8:14 am
 
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Bob: Welcome! You will receive alot of great advice from this group. I have the normal BMW windshield on my bike and I like to ride with it in the down postion unless pouring rain. I saw a post by Dave Dragon on the old board to newbies regarding the 5 best modifications made to his bike. So far I have made two and he was absolutely correct!

1. Laminar Lip - $75. Dramatically, reduced back pressure, wind noise and helmet buffeting. In fact, I can ride with the shield all the way down in the rain and it lifts the water right over top of me.
2. Highway Ottomans - $135 - I am a young 43 but have arthritis in my hip and need to move positions. These are great add ons.

I just ordered the HID kit both high and low beam from HIDs-on-line in the UK so we will see how that goes. I am not the most mechanically inclined individual but these have all been very easy modifications to do.

In addition... I can not say enough about Paul Sayegh's maintenance videos. He does a great job of walking you thru taking off the plastic, changing oil etc...Look under the technical section for his address.

Enjoy. Mike
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post #11 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 8:54 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Feedback

Thanks everyone, 25 years ago I had a Honda 750 and did quite a bit of touring on it and when we got back into cruising last year with the V-Twin it came back quickly. This is the first BEEMW I have owned and am still feeling it out beyond the initial joy. I have always done my own maintenance and really appreciate the feedback as this is a little "different" experience for me. I agree with WFZone that there is a lot of great advice on this board as I have been digging through the threads.

Again, thanks for all the feedback as it has raised the comfort zone another notch higher for the noobie here and hopefully I will be able to contribute as well in future posts.

-Bob


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-Bob

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post #12 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 9:15 am
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Hi Bob,

Welcome... I will try to address my experience with items 3,4,& 5:

Yes, I think we have all experienced the turbulance on a windy day. Try riding on Highway 80 either in Wyoming or Iowa and you will know what being pushed all over the road is. If it isn't the truckers, it is the crosswinds. There was one day last month on my way back from Chicago that I had to stop for the day because I didn't feel safe in that wind. I can tell you though, if I had our Magna, it would have been three times as bad...

Windshields: I have a standard BMW shield, a tall and a Cee Bailey Mod 2 -3. The tall is better then the standard and the Cee Bailey is a bit quieter but is narrower by at least 1 inch on each side then the tall. So, you end up getting more side wind unless you buy it with the wings. My strategy is to use the Cee Bailey during the summer months and use the tall during colder months. Since I don't ride 2 up very much, the turb. to the passenger doesn't matter really.

Oil Filters: I saw the Oil Filter kit on Chicago BMWs website for 12 dollars and change. Yeah, you can save a few bucks going somewhere else. But, that includes the rings as well. Not enough in my book to worry about considering you can say you used bmw parts. Oil: SG rating is what is required from what I understand. I use the Castrol 4 stroke motorcycle oil from Wally World and it has been fine. I used it on all my bikes with no problems. I will continue to use it until 18,000 miles and then switch to Mobil 1 (auto oil)..

Hope this helps.

Enjoy the new bike.

Regards,

Bob Glassman
Littleton, CO
'03 LTC - Impala Brown - 13K
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post #13 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 10:59 am
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Howdy Bob..

No worries on this board about being a newbie - the more the merrier! I would like to address Pts 1 & 3 of your post:

1) It seems that the minimum RON for fuel in the landship is 95. Before I get blasted by the silent majority, this is from MY experience. Yes, they will run on 91 octane, but like you, my steed sounds like there are a couple of marbles rattling around in a can under the fairing. In OZ, Shell market a 98 octane product that is just fine for beating the ping one encounters with lesser octane rated fuels. BTW - have you encountered a flat battery at any point since owning your steed? This too can contribute to poor fuel usage. If yes, you may need to reset the engine management computer. This is simply done by disconnecting the battery, then letting it sit for not less than 30 secs. Reconnect, and turn on the ignition key. (Dont start up) Leaving the ignition on, rotate the throttle around to fully open, then return to fully closed. Do this three times, so the management system learns where fully open is again, and fully closed. Take the steed for a ride, being mindful of the potential for chugging at low speeds while the management computer sets up completely. Mission accomplished.

3) An aircraft wing works by increasing the distance air travels over the top surface (curvature), which creates an area of low pressure beneath the wing. Nett result is lift. You are experiencing lift generated by air moving faster (and further) over the front of your screen, creating an area of low pressure at your back. You interpret the lift created as push, but lifting it is. Have you tried setting the wind deflectors below the mirrors to be at 90 degrees to the fairing? This disrupts the airflow around you, and the lift phenomenon is confined to the screen area. If you have already done this, try other settings such as 45 degrees.

Seeing as you mentioned brake squeal, I might as well needle the silent majority again by offering my two cents worth. I had significant squeal on my original rear pads. On replacing them when they were worn out, the replacement pads had both a groove cut into them, and chamfered leading / trailing edges. No more squealing, ever. The replacement pads were standard BMW parts.

And finally - HID lights have proven to be the easiest and extremely effective method of lighting up the roadway. Auxiliary lights are not a bad method either, but if you like those smooth flowing lines of the fairing, go HID. There are numerous pix and posts on the topic on the board - but again, this is MY experience.

Regards & welcome

Chris Paine
Carool NSW Australia
'01 K1200LT
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post #14 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 11:28 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaine
Howdy Bob..

No worries on this board about being a newbie - the more the merrier! I would like to address Pts 1 & 3 of your post:

1) It seems that the minimum RON for fuel in the landship is 95.
FYI:

95 RON is 87 MON.

The two BMW mechanics I've talked to in San Diego suggest running 87 in the LT unless you modify the Motronic's ability to retard.

I've run both 4 tanks of 87, and 4 tanks of 91 to test. My observations are that I have been unable to get my bike to ping, even on 87 octane out in the Borrego desert when it was 100+ degrees under a full throttle roll-on from 40MPH in 5th gear, or pulling the 8% grades at 80+ MPH.

Like I stated above, the little rattling/pinging sound I also heard and mentioned to the service department has been identified as the fuel injectors firing. No matter what grade I've used they sound the same.

I also seem to consistently get 2MPG better with 87. This tested on over 4 tanks of each grade.

Anyone else with thoughts on this? This topic is almost as hot as an oil debate.

I was so confused I finally decided to do my own testing, and that in concert with the local mechanics preference of 87 worked for me. And with the mileage I ride it saves me $200-300 per year which is nothing to laugh at. That more than covers insurance and one tire.
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post #15 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
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Good Info

Thanks Warren, Chris et al...I will try all of these suggestions. I am on the road now and should be back by end of week.

-Bob


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post #16 of 23 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 8:20 pm
 
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For the hip cramping, I think the Suburban footpeg lowering kit is the greatest help. You just need to straighten out the hip angle a little bit, I had the same problem. If you haven't done it, raising the seat to the high setting would probably also solve it, but short inseam prevents me from doing that.
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post #17 of 23 Old Oct 13th, 2005, 1:39 am
 
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windshield/turbulence

I'm fairly new to the LT world myself. Bought a '05 new in April and have over 7m miles on it.

I'm wondering if the turbulence isn't also influenced by the driver's height and how you sit on the bike. I have the stock windshield on my LT. I almost always ride with it in the "up" position. I am 6'5". And I ride sitting straight up, so I am always looking over the top of the windshield. I have not experience the pressure on the back of my helmet that you refer to. I do a lot of long distance riding and earplugs are a must with me. They filter out the wind/road noise while allowing me to enjoy my headphones.

I love my LT -- even more than my R75/5 that I have owned since I bought it new in 1972.

Enjoy yours.

JT
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post #18 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2005, 9:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaine
If yes, you may need to reset the engine management computer. This is simply done by disconnecting the battery, then letting it sit for not less than 30 secs.
Good advice, Chris, but it is easier to pull the fuse for the Motronic than to disconnect the battery. From the old site:

For '99 to '04 bikes: The motronic fuse #4 is the lower fuse on the box to the far right of the bike -- driver's right.

For '05 bikes: Fuse Box 1 #2 10 Amp Engine Electronics.

Ken
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #19 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2005, 10:32 pm
 
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I too had serious brake noise, dealer replaced the pads which helped a little. Oddly, it is only when I use the rear brake alone (in a parking lot or low speed maneuvers) that I get the brake squeal. In a strange sort of way it is good to know it is not just my bike.
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post #20 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 12:56 am
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Oil and filters

"...And is there a quality filter that cross references if there is no BMW dealer around at the time"
------------------
Do the math to determine what's best for you, but it doesn't seem worth the pixels to struggle over this one.

I ride 10K - 12K miles/year. Wow, I could save in the neighborhood of $60 annually (3 changes) if I go mail-order on non-BMW oil and filters! In the whole scheme of things with the LT, that's a drop in the bucket. I buy 8 20W50 quarts and 2 filters when I run out, or I keep the inventory at this level if I'm at the parts counter for a $175 piece of plastic, which seems to happen twice/year ... well maybe you riders of the newer models don't have that expense (ha, ha, ha)

2000 K1200 LTC

Regards,
John
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post #21 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 6:38 am
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Neutral Steering and tech

Quote: " Also even when there is little to no wind it feels like it wants to wander the lane if I am at just cruising speed."

Discounting road surface, tire wear, etc., you make just be getting used the the neutral steering characteristic of BMWs. Compared to old Hondas and I suspect your prior Vtwin (never ridden one), BMWs do not resist leaning into a turn. One first time BMW rider thought it felt like he "was going to fall into the inside of every turn". When you learn to fully appreciate this characteristic, you will understand why so many of us have loved BMWs for years, the handling. You can almost set up a turn on a constant radius curve and take your hands off the bars (not recommended) the the bike will keep the lean angle until you provide other input. First time riders sometimes mistake this neutral steering for instability.

Quote: "I am North of Boston and would love to attend a tech session if there is a group around and would be willing to assist in organizing or anyother "helper" mode to get started."

I am less than a couple of hours away from you, you are welcome to come for a "tech session" sometime. I'll be tearing down my bike to install Ohlins, check the clutch slave, etc, sometime in the not too distant future. Send me a message if interested.

Parts: Max BMW has a great online parts fische and ships quickly. Good parts source. Chicage BMW also has online ordering and offers 20% discount; be prepared to wait longer for delivery from Chicago.
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post #22 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 8:21 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Good advice, Chris, but it is easier to pull the fuse for the Motronic than to disconnect the battery. From the old site:

For '99 to '04 bikes: The motronic fuse #4 is the lower fuse on the box to the far right of the bike -- driver's right.

For '05 bikes: Fuse Box 1 #2 10 Amp Engine Electronics.
And don't forget to set the TPS, Throttle Position Sensor. Turn the key on, turn the throttle twice, shut if off. It tells the computer it's there after a reset.



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post #23 of 23 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 10:41 am
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#1 attempt

I have close to 15K miles on my 05. I notice a considerably higher noise level when accelerating under load. When I downshift and raise the RPM's above 4K the noise goes away. Also observed that the sound the engine makes when I am going up through the gears is much more pleasant then (probably) the same sound when i am slowing to a stop. I have also noticed a slight increase in MPG's when I ride at a level that keeps the RPM's above 4K. This was observed on several long stretches of road on the trip to and from CCR. 3K miles in ten days.
What a blast. what a fantastic ride and my SO wants when we can go again.

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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