New K1200LT owner - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 5:59 pm Thread Starter
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New K1200LT owner

My generous father in law has gifted me a 1999 K1200LT with ~48k. It's in great shape for it's age. He has 5 motor cycles total and is extremely meticulous about maintenance.

This is my first BMW and large tourer. I actually haven't rode since I left San Diego after the turn of the century, aka 2001. Wow that makes me feel old. I rode various things since I was a kid, and luckily always kept my motorcycle even changing states twice.

We checked on insurance this morning (I'm good to go), and I'm going helmet shopping tonight. He wants to do a couple things to it this weekend, but I'm sure I'll squeeze a ride in He had not rode it a lot recently, but it did fine from Weott, CA to Chattaroy, WA (It's new home).

I am already making plans for some upgrades/mods. Specifically I want to upgrade the lighting. The first time I saw it, it was at night. It was immediately apparent that the lighting was inadequate for deer country.

Am I correct that there are 3 bulbs in that housing? So can I upgrade all 3 with HIDs? ie 2 lows and a high beam? I think I'd also like some lights on the forks/calipers to help in turns and to make me more visible. Any links to specific recommendations?

The other thing I'd like to update is the suspension. I did some research into this and know I want progressive rates springs (I installed them on my 4Runner too ), but I started to get a little lost in the options. I will mostly be riding this bike solo from Chattaroy to Colville along 395. Occasionally, we will be doing 2 up riding. Is there a best spring/shock to handle both? Obviously I will give up something to get good performance in both situations, but what? Is the big issue I will rub the centerstand when the two of us are travelling?

I was pretty excited when he sent me a text "I'm bringing you the beemer"

I was also happily surprised to find an entire forum dedicated to the bikes today.


It's a pretty bike. So far I've only moved it into the garage from teh drive way. I think the heaviest bike I ever rode was a 750 Katana. This is a little heavier than that!

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to start asking questions. I did try searching first, but that led to my confusion about the springs and the lighting. I did go look at the headlight on the bike, and it appears to have 3 lights, but it's hard to tell. He has a cover over it, and it's still got all the bugs on it from the ride up here.
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post #2 of 12 Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 7:16 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Welcome to the forum and a return to riding! Until 2012, I had been on a 25 year hiatus from riding, until I bought the '07 LT. I didn't ride it for a month (it just sat in the garage), until after I'd completed a MSF rider course and passed the motorcycle test at the DMV. There was no way I was going to take the LT for the riding portion of the test, and successful completion of the MSF course satisfied the riding portion of the DMV test, using their 250cc bikes.

The LT is a very heavy bike and would caution against jumping on it and assuming you can safely ride it after being off bikes for 14 years. I practiced turns in an empty, large parking lot on the weekend. The LT can also tend to take naps unexpectedly if not careful. Mine gently rolled off the side stand on my first ride, as I had left it on a very slight incline and out of gear - pretty embarrassing when you stop to show your friends your new ride!

I would suggest that you take some time reviewing previous forum threads on LT lighting and suspension upgrades. Also, check if your '99 still has the stock brake lines. If so, I would recommend changing them to Speigler stainless steel brake lines, as one of the first upgrades, as it helps to be able to reliably stop the beast.


Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #3 of 12 Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 10:08 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Instead of the HID, you might consider the LED. I upgraded to the HID last year, but I find that the light is spread too broadly because it doesn't have the proper reflecto. There's a recent thread on the LED. I should be ordering mine in a couple of weeks (heading out of town and can't do anything until I return). So, I'll be replacing mine soon.

2000 BMW K1200 LT (Alice)
Gone, but not forgotten:
1983 Venture Royale
1982 Goldwing Aspencade
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxxim
1975 Yamaha 650 Special

Katy, TX
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post #4 of 12 Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 10:30 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

What a generous father-in-law you have! Congrats.

Welcome to the LT forum. Lots of help and helpful information here.

By reading your post, it is obvious to see that you are very excited about this new-to-you bike. Rightly so. Be patient for awhile and try to soak it all in. There are many items that you can address for upgrades and services to the bike. One of the resources I go to often is Maint./ Repair Videos

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

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post #5 of 12 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 12:01 am
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Welcome Hayduke. +1 on the brake line replacement if they are original and getting to know the old girl. If your headlights are like my 2001, and I don't know the answer to this for sure but I suspect there are only 2 bulbs high and low and a parking light. I just put LED over HID on my LT and they are very white and bright. See this thread for some pics I took of the before and after. Be careful about the LED bulbs with fans on the back. I chose a Phillips bulb with a copper band heat sink. Supposedly it draws heat away much better than the moving fans which are something that can fail. Putting HID on a high beam is not recommended as there is warm up period where they don't put out so much light. LED has no warm up but I haven't done my high beam yet, the low may be more light than I need.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...ml#post1415609

There are several aftermarket brands that people talk about for shock upgrades. Ohlin and HyperPro. You can search the forums for threads with those keywords and see what people have to say.

She is heavy and does like to take naps. Be very deliberate on your stops, looking forward, head up with the bars straight. If you stop with them turned, she will want to go over so just get out of the way and learn how to pick her up. Hopefully you can flat foot her at a stop, that helps in keeping her upright. There is a very fine line in a stopped lean and a stopped lean where she will end up on her side.

Be careful riding her and don't ride 2up for awhile till you get used to her. A slight lean by your pillion can take her to her side if you aren't ready fir it.

I have been really pleased with this forum. There is more wisdom here and many man years experience to draw on for just about any issue you might have. You came to the right place.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #6 of 12 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 1:30 am
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Welcome and congrats on the LT. Get to know the beast and she'll treat you well. Spend some time on U-tube viewing all the maintenance videos and you'll have a good amount of knowledge to work with.

2000 Lt
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25 yrs. without
750 Suzuki
550 Suzuki
160 Honda









The ride is fresh under diamond skies, makes me glad to be alive.
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post #7 of 12 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 5:49 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of BMW motorcycles.
Your father In-law must be a great guy to give that kind of gift.
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post #8 of 12 Old Oct 5th, 2015, 1:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Thanks for all the welcomes and advice!

I've maintained my motorcycle license/endorsement all these years, so I don't have to test or anything.

I'm not an aggressive rider, so I promise I'll be careful. I live in a fairly rural area (I'm in the denser populated area with houses on 2.8 acres or more), so there is very little traffic when I ride around the 'block' here.

I won't be putting my wife on back for awhile. Possibly not until next season. I don't think I have much season left way up here. When I used to ride daily, it was in San Diego. Climate is a little different up here in Chattaroy, WA.

I finally bought a helmet yesterday (Shoei RF1200 if anyone cares), but didn't get a chance to ride yet. Gonna go for a little test ride this evening.

Here is a picture of her...


She needs a good cleaning
My FIL wants to do a fluid change before he heads back to CA. He said the rear end was rebuilt not too long ago. BTW, I thought it had 49k, it's actually 74k miles.

I didn't get a picture, but she already has some extra lights installed in front of the radiator. I played with them last night, and they seem pretty bright in the garage. They weren't on the first night I saw her, so maybe that upgrade isn't as urgent as I thought. I'll definitely look into LEDs before I do any upgrades. I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron too, so I was already eyeing some LED lights for the rear and sides.

I'm not real excited by the grey color, so I'm thinking about painting it too. I'm lucky to have, in addition to the garage in the pic above, another shop that I'm setting up as a paint booth (we bought a new house in June) to paint a couple other projects. Lot's of projects to keep me busy during the winter.

Anyway... thanks for all the replies. I will definitely continue reading all the great info here.
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post #9 of 12 Old Oct 5th, 2015, 2:09 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

49k, 74k, makes no difference on these bikes if the owner cared for it. And from the sound of it, your FIL cared for it. It even looks like an aftermarket seat.

Have fun!

2000 BMW K1200 LT (Alice)
Gone, but not forgotten:
1983 Venture Royale
1982 Goldwing Aspencade
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxxim
1975 Yamaha 650 Special

Katy, TX
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post #10 of 12 Old Oct 5th, 2015, 4:54 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Just another point . . .
LT's love paved roads and hate any kind of gravel.

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post #11 of 12 Old Oct 12th, 2015, 8:58 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

Lucky you to have such bike as a gift. Leboyd is correct LED would be better and more sufficient compared with HID. I bought a kit from 4 wheel Online brand was rigid and I'm pretty much content and happy with its output.
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post #12 of 12 Old Oct 13th, 2015, 8:52 pm
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Re: New K1200LT owner

I'm thinking of installing an auxiliary like in the pic. I found a same product from Rigid industries, but would it be effective at all also how can I hook it up the system?
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