New to the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:08 am Thread Starter
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New to the LT

Hello all,
I've been reading on here for a few days and figured I should say hello to the people who will undoubtedly be answering more than a few questions about this fantastic bike.

My father in law very recently (weekend before Easter) handed me a key and asked if I'd like another motorcycle. I thought he was pulling my leg but then I noticed the key said BMW. Turns out he had just turned over the keys to his one-owner 2003 LT.


Needless to say the first thing I did after taking it out for a spin was to look for a forum to soak up knowledge from. I have always owned sport bikes from Japanese manufacturers so this bike will be a welcomed learning experience.
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post #2 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:26 am
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Re: New to the LT

Welcome and worship your Father-in-law.

Just Go
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Mike
Cleveland Ohio
2014 K1600 GTL Grey Wolf.
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post #3 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:51 am
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Re: New to the LT

You were just handed the key to happiness my friend. Welcome to the forum, familiarize yourself with the search feature and start making a notebook (either physically or electronically) with prints of threads that have info you can use. I am getting quite a substantial file of them, I had to organize them into different folders for farkles, roadside repairs, maintenance etc. - just so much good info on this site and knowledgeable and helpful people (and then there are people like me).

-Steve

2000 BMW K1200LT
2000 BMW R1200C
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post #4 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:54 am
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Re: New to the LT

Welcome to the world of BMWLT. There is a huge support system for all things LT here. If you notice the tabs near the top of this page, there is one titled 'Technical'. Become familiar with this tab as it contains "Halls of Wisdom" which is a database loaded with helpful information.

Also for your viewing enjoyment and learning about the bike, take a look at http://illinoisbmwriders.com/service...-bike-overview

Scott and Theresa
Munising, MI
2004 K1200LT Black
2014 Kawasaki KLR650

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post #5 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:49 am
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Re: New to the LT

First thing, Ignore 100% of the "these things are junk" posts here. the only people complaining are people that have problems. Most of the LT's on the road do not have failed Final Drives, Oil soaked clutches, ABS that has failed, etc.. Tons of these bikes go over 100,000 miles without trouble.

Reading this forum will make you think the bike is ready to explode at any moment, and its just not the case. The BMW needs maintenance, that means yearly fluid changes or more depending on how often you ride. Yes that means brake fluid, clutch fluid, etc... And it's easy as pie to do at home, nothing on the LT needs the dealer to work on it.

Dont know if you found out yet, but the bike is very heavy and top heavy. coming from sport bikes you already have a major advantage over most people that buy the LT as you are used to top heavy. Being a 2003 you have Power brakes and ABS. the power brakes will suprise you fast in a parking lot. barely breathe on them and NEVER hit them while turning the front wheel and moving, or you will be over on the side in a heartbeat.

Read up on everything but don't worry about it, most of the failures will not happen to you. Some are simply maintenance issues, like replacing brake hoses every 10 years.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #6 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:02 pm
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Talking Re: New to the LT

Welcome.........you're gonna LOVE this website.!!! AND the bike..one up or two!
Glad you found it so quick. I had my '03LT several thousand miles before I found it. I could have avoided many little mishaps had I read some of the things on the site ahead of time.

As mentioned above..THANK your Father-in Law!


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====
Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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78 years young!
04 Honda Reflex.....Hers (it mostly sits)
Converted HD rider.
Love this LT bike and still waiting for my first speeding ticket. LOL
Vern
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post #7 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New to the LT

Thank you.

One thing that was explained to me as the keys changed hands was the responsiveness of the brakes. Boy was that an understatement. Best brakes I have ever felt.

I did receive it with a known abs issue however. He told me that he thought there was a leak from the abs control unit which causes a low fluid condition in the under seat reservoir. I'll hopefully get into that this weekend. Other than the annoying lights, it runs like a dream.
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post #8 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:34 pm
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Re: New to the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkings View Post
Thank you.

One thing that was explained to me as the keys changed hands was the responsiveness of the brakes. Boy was that an understatement. Best brakes I have ever felt.

I did receive it with a known abs issue however. He told me that he thought there was a leak from the abs control unit which causes a low fluid condition in the under seat reservoir. I'll hopefully get into that this weekend. Other than the annoying lights, it runs like a dream.
Dont be afraid of the brakes over 10 mph, go out to a parking lot and do some panic stops to get used to the bike. I am hoping your leak is not the ABS unit and simply a hose, ABS units are expensive to buy and last I heard, hard to find.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #9 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:56 pm
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Re: New to the LT

Welcome! I too have a 2003 and soon after I got the bike got the wig-wag ABS failure lights and dreaded I had a major issue. First thing to check is the brake fluid level in the rear reservoirs - if that is just slightly low, the level switch trips the ABS warning. That was the problem in my case.

Good luck & enjoy your father-in-law's generosity!

Jim
2003 BMW K1200LT (my favorite 2 wheeled land yacht)
2008 Yamaha FJR1300 (recent addition)
1982 Yamaha Vision (long gone)
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post #10 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 6:21 pm
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Re: New to the LT

I have to agree with mwnahas, worship your father-in-law and maybe buy him a lifetime supply of fine scotch whiskey as a small token of your appreciation....Enjoy
As a newbie to the BMW world, I too am finding this forum a great place for anything BMW, good, bad or otherwise. The people are genuinely helpful and quick to respond to even the simplest questions that us newbies may have.
Finally got my 04 out for the first good ride of the year over the weekend and came to realize, the more I rode the bike, the more I wanted to ride the bike. I'd say one of the smoothest, quietest bikes I've ridden. No disappointments whatsoever!
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post #11 of 15 Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 7:03 pm
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Re: New to the LT

Welcome to the forum, Bkings. I bought an '02 LTC, and saw a lot of this Country on it. It also introduced me to this forum, which I am forever grateful.

Having said that, the BMW K1200LT is a rolling contradiction. You mark my words. You are going to have many "Wow! This is an AMAZING bike!" moments. And shortly after, you'll have several "What the $%^* were they thinking???" moments. It's a fantastic long-distance tourer, that does pretty darn well when the roads get a bit twisty. But it is no sportbike, and it does not have the reliable or dealer-network that the Jap bikes have.

As for the blinking ABS lights, I'm betting on simply a low fluid issue. That rear brake reservoir is often over-looked. It's a bit hidden under the frame rail. Add a few ounces of fluid, and you'll probably be good-to-go.

Speaking of the brakes ... under 10-15 mph, REAR pedal ONLY! Over 15mph, using the front level.

Tires ... watch your pressures. The more the better for optimum mileage. Let the pressures drop, and the LT burns through tires, front and rear. Then again, if you're used to Jap sportbikes, you know what it is like changing tires every 4-6K. But you can get 12-15k out of a set of tires on an LT with proper (read: HIGH) pressures.

Yeah ... your father-in-law is a pretty cool guy. A friend bought me a bike once. That's something you'll NEVER forget!

FWIW, I'm currently riding a Kawasaki Concours14. After the LT, I bought a new K1200GT in '06. It broke down on my in Neveda, so I returned to a Jap bike.

- Joe
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post #12 of 15 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 12:49 am
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Re: New to the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkings View Post
Hello all . . . .

My father in law very recently (weekend before Easter) handed me a key and asked if I'd like another motorcycle. I thought he was pulling my leg but then I noticed the key said BMW. Turns out he had just turned over the keys to his one-owner 2003 LT. . . .
Welcome
As I read this my mind drifted back to 60's or 70's to a show called "The Millionaire" where the host used to give away $$1M with the only stipulation you could not say where it came from. Your father in law must be a h*ll of a dad. No such luck I had to dig deep (in my pocket) that is for keys to my '09 Enjoy your bike
ride safe
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post #13 of 15 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 2:05 am
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Re: New to the LT

Welcome Bkings, hopefully the ABS issue isn't serious! I am on my second. Had a 99 for a while and have just bought a 2004 here in the UK with assisted brakes etc. in my experience, servicing is not a major issue other than the "preparation" - getting the plastics off etc. it just takes time and a bit of memory (or a set of pictures etc)
Get a manual (the BMW one is good), a GS911 to diagnose issues and reset faults (sorted my faulty ABS on my 99 bike in 5 minutes)

As has already been said the bike is top heavy at low speeds but being confident with the old girl is the best approach I have found.
My wife loves the comfort and heated seats, the bike is pretty economical, and having come from more sporty bikes (GSXR, ZX etc) I love the touring lifestyle now.

Get on, fill her up and follow your nose! ENJOY!!!!

Bob
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post #14 of 15 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 7:15 am
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Re: New to the LT

A few things to add that hasn't been covered yet.

Before leaning the bike over onto the side stand...shut the engine off with the transmission in first gear. Roll the bike forward to take up the slack in the drive train, let it stand for about 30 seconds. This allows the oil to drain back into the oil pan instead of pooling on the back side of the pistons. This will alleviate a smoke show upon the next start-up. Now you can lean the bike over onto the side stand. These bikes will roll off of the side stand in a heartbeat, thus the first gear thing...trust me...make it an automatic response.

Here is a new member gift for you...
http://www.carlsalter.com/pdfs/BMW_K...air_Manual.pdf
It covers bikes from 99-04

Congrats on your new ride. I hope your Kbike becomes an old friend to you.

FS

Friends know the song in your heart, and can sing it to you when you have forgotten the words.
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post #15 of 15 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 7:42 am
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Re: New to the LT

Absolutely fantastic!!! Thanks FS and also to the other members of the forum who provide great advice and guidance. I've owned my 2000 LT for three weeks and my book of knowledge is already swelling with information I've collected from here. Keep the info coming.

Rob
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