New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 9 Old Apr 3rd, 2018, 7:48 pm Thread Starter
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Question New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

Getting back into riding after a 10 year break...saw a couple of clean-looking K12s this past weekend, and now I need your thoughts and advice.

What I want: Daily rider, excellent weather protection, minimal wrenching. Use Android phone for nav, music. 2-way radio to be added later.

Question: Which bike would you pick?

What I found:
#1: '03, 18K miles. Radio non functional. Accessories: shelf, rack in place of top case (OEM top case included), recovered seat.
#2: '03, 45K miles. Smoked a bit at startup. Accessories: fuse box, floorboards (& pegs), PIAA lights, HID headlight, J-Pegs, Garmin Nav (?Zumo).

Service history...essentially clean on both.

Bonus question: Why would you pick that one?
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post #2 of 9 Old Apr 3rd, 2018, 8:53 pm
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

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Originally Posted by Woodie23 View Post
Getting back into riding after a 10 year break...saw a couple of clean-looking K12s this past weekend, and now I need your thoughts and advice.

What I want: Daily rider, excellent weather protection, minimal wrenching. Use Android phone for nav, music. 2-way radio to be added later.

Question: Which bike would you pick?

What I found:
#1: '03, 18K miles. Radio non functional. Accessories: shelf, rack in place of top case (OEM top case included), recovered seat.
#2: '03, 45K miles. Smoked a bit at startup. Accessories: fuse box, floorboards (& pegs), PIAA lights, HID headlight, J-Pegs, Garmin Nav (?Zumo).

Service history...essentially clean on both.

Bonus question: Why would you pick that one?
Welcome to the forum Woodie. If minimal wrenching is your goal, then the LT may not be your best choice. They are wonderful to ride and offer good weather protection and arguably the best handling of any bike in its class above 5mph. Lots to remove and replace for basic services though.

They all will smoke even when pretty new if stopped and left on the side stand as gravity allows residual oil to pool and seep past the rings being leaned over in that direction so don't let that deter you.

The mileage is pretty low on both but the 18K one has not been ridden much and that is sometimes harder than higher miles Average is only 1200 miles per year or some years higher and sitting for long spells. Just something to think about as the lower mileage is not always the better value.

If it is a daily rider, the extra PIAA lights go a long way towards visibility but you may not get much use out of the J-Pegs if not hitting the highway.

The rest is just personal preference on accessories. The radios were a weak link on the output drivers and often one or both channels would blow. There is someone who does repair them with better drivers.

There is a laundry list of potential things to have fail and if you are not into wrenching, they can get pricey fixing at the dealer.

Good luck on your choice and if you have specific questions, ask away as you will not find a better forum with a deeper knowledge base on the LT than right here.

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 #3 of 9 Old Apr 4th, 2018, 7:17 pm Thread Starter
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Question Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

Hmmm. A little quiet on this post. Ah, I know how to liven it up! <evil smiley>


Since I'm new to K engines, what kind of oil should I put in it: Synthetic or Dino?
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post #4 of 9 Old Apr 4th, 2018, 8:20 pm
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

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Originally Posted by Woodie23 View Post
Hmmm. A little quiet on this post. Ah, I know how to liven it up! <evil smiley>


Since I'm new to K engines, what kind of oil should I put in it: Synthetic or Dino?
Taking your newly re-started life in your hands with an oil thread LOL. Old style lifters so a 20W50 with high Zinc content. The origins of the oil are your own preference. Mobile 1 is always a SYN good choice and meets the need for the lifters.

Sorry I am the only one responding so far. Mabye your oil taunt will get some responses.

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 #5 of 9 Old Apr 4th, 2018, 8:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

Thanks Gordon! At least someone's awake!

Watching videos about K12's now, got my list of things to check mechanically, then to setup a test ride. Coming from two RTs, I suspect it will feel a little strange at first.
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post #6 of 9 Old Apr 4th, 2018, 9:37 pm
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

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Originally Posted by Woodie23 View Post
Thanks Gordon! At least someone's awake!

Watching videos about K12's now, got my list of things to check mechanically, then to setup a test ride. Coming from two RTs, I suspect it will feel a little strange at first.
It is top heavy and wants to nap at low speeds so keep the bars straight when stopping if you are allowed to test ride or you may be paying repair bills from a drop if you don't buy it. Not sure what the RT's have but the brakes can be quite touchy grabby at low speeds till you get used to them.

It should start when cold without touching the throttle.

My Major item check list beyond regular maintenance.

Final drive failed/repaired, Y/N ( low mileage so would not expect quite yet)
Clutch O-ring replaced/repaired Y/N
Brake lines replaced Y/N ( necessary age/construction related)
Fuel lines inside tank replaced Y/N ( age/ethanol related)
Canisterektomy Y/N
ABS lights extinguish after movement Y/N
Top case latch top corners broken, distorted Y/N

Mods
Brown wire present/cut Y/N (research this one)
Modified ECU Chip Y/N ( John's stage ?, Rhinewest )

Wants
Heated seats Y/N
After market seat Y/N
Additional lights Y/N
HID/LED low beam Y/N
Non HID unless fast start HB Y/N (Slow start HID HB is pretty useless )
Fix it before it breaks or replacement top case latch Y/N ( no longer available)

Have fun looking at them. I really love riding mine as it is a great road machine.
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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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Last edited by bmwcoolk1200; Apr 4th, 2018 at 9:49 pm.
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post #7 of 9 Old Apr 4th, 2018, 10:05 pm
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

I would lean toward the bike with more miles. Unless, you know the bike was ridden over 500 miles each year on the low mileage one. If the low mileage one has been sitting for 2+ years, you may find it has more problems at first. Barn find motorcycles are GREAT if you are willing to put in the time, effort and money to restore them. Me, I would rather ride than restore a bike but some people enjoy restoration more than riding.

It seems these bikes are like cars. Sometimes, people get lemons (that are really hard to turn into lemonade). Percentage wise, you have a good shot at getting a great bike that won't have major problems. Many people come to this forum looking to resolve problems which skews the numbers to some extent for problems.

You had BMWs before. You know the cost of maintenance at a shop vs doing it yourself. Basic oil change stuff is easy enough. The tupperware is a pain but with a few practices, you will do it easy enough and take care of more stuff when it is off rather than fixing things here and there.

Regular maintenance is key of course with these bikes. They are German over-engineered but you already know that. Either sounds great. I may have a friend interested in the one you don't choose. Good luck with the test rides and decision.

Current Ride: '02 LT - The Mistress
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post #8 of 9 Old Apr 5th, 2018, 12:25 am
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Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

All good information above. Right off the top you will need new brake lines, buy a Spiegler set. The servo system bleed is complicated so look it up. The brakes on this year are a bit to get used to. The ABS modulator is out of hand money wise to replace but the latest (4/4/18) is that Idaho Module masters is getting very close to being able to rebuild them for $750, or a company in Germany for $1000. New ignition wires needed. And as mentioned if the engine output 19x4mm O-ring has not been replace, it will come to the point that it needs to be done, huge expense, or a big job for you. OEM is Buna N, the new one going in should be Viton. All the rubber bits on top of the engine (buried) are old and rotten so be ready. So I personally would not pay more than 3 grand for one. All work completed you have a bike that will go 150K miles +. Everyone I see who owns one that is running well loves it. So if it is the bike for you, then any money you put into it is still much cheaper than a new bike. Keep in mind you are looking at a vintage bike that is 15 years old.
If you ever do need a new 19x4 Viton O-ring, contact me and I'll send you one free. Or 2 bucks if you want to cover costs. Your choice.

Beech
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I change your tires $40, you buy them on the web.
K13S, S1000R (gone through a few GS's & RT's)
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post #9 of 9 Old May 18th, 2018, 10:30 am Thread Starter
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Talking Re: New - Looking at '03 LT, but I'm concerned

I see it's been a while since I checked in...thought I'd better close out this thread.
Thanks to all for the feedback - it was highly educational.

In the end, I came across an '09 RT, and it just felt right to me, so I bought it. Putting a miles on it every week, and it's getting close to being set up the way I want it.

See you on the road!
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