Considering LT, concerned about maintenance - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 7 Old Sep 12th, 2018, 10:37 pm Thread Starter
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Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Hey everyone, I am currently not an owner of an LT but have been looking at a number in my price range.

I currently ride an '04 Victory Kingpin Tour and do not plan on getting rid of it. Love it too much. Has 65K miles, length around 92", seat height is 26", and dry weight under 700 lbs. I'm a couple cheeseburgers over 260 and my bride of over 30 years is in the 130's. Loaded up for a long trip we're easily over 1000 lbs. I've seen a number of posts about low speed handling issues with the center of gravity in regard to the height and weight of a K1200 LT. I have to ride one to see if that is an issue for me. Inseam is 30". TMI?

Bottom line is long trips together can be rough. Biggest con is storage and then comfort for her. Some might flip that but whatever. She has a gel pad that helps quite a bit. I'm considering the LT as an option to add as a second bike but am concerned with cost of parts, general maintenance, access to do maintenance, etc. I have been working on my 'Pin for 10 years but it is pretty easy to work on. General seasonal maintenance, replaced belts, fork oil changes, cable replacements, brake maintenance, tires (first time to do this winter), etc. I've stripped it down completely (without taking the engine off the frame) for overly compulsive off-season cleaning. I'm not a mechanic but not shy about working on a bike.

That said, what are the cons of working on an LT? What are the key pain points? What general maintenance is the biggest cost? What can't be done by weekend wrenches (need to get a dealer involved)? I have a bro-in-law and friend that have BMW cages and the cost of parts is insane. I'm kind of a cheap guy so anything outside of normal is high to me though. Is that the same for the bikes? I saw a couple posts about most parts are BMW only (OEM only, no after market parts). How accurate is that?

I'll keep searching this and other forums for the same info but anything you can provide would be appreciated. I want to get a long distance touring ride but don't want to get into a money pit either. Not concerned with resale value as I would drive this into the ground. I see K1200 LT's with reasonable miles in the $6K range. If I need to dump hundreds of bucks into an LT every year I may look at other options.

Thanks everyone. Maybe by next spring I'll be an active member with a LT sitting in my garage

Walks
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post #2 of 7 Old Sep 13th, 2018, 11:26 am
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Re: Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Welcome. People who own LT's love them. I suggest you go to the LT section:
https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/
and read back a few years. Will take you a few evenings but you will get a good feel for the bikes and their issues. The best way to survive ownership is to do all the work yourself that is possible. A copy of Clymer's service manual and a collection of metric tools will be needed. Nearly every problem that is possible has been hashed over here and there are threads on them. Most are willing to repost but do go back and do some reading.
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post #3 of 7 Old Sep 13th, 2018, 1:06 pm
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Re: Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hey everyone, I am currently not an owner of an LT but have been looking at a number in my price range.

I currently ride an '04 Victory Kingpin Tour and do not plan on getting rid of it. Love it too much. Has 65K miles, length around 92", seat height is 26", and dry weight under 700 lbs. I'm a couple cheeseburgers over 260 and my bride of over 30 years is in the 130's. Loaded up for a long trip we're easily over 1000 lbs. I've seen a number of posts about low speed handling issues with the center of gravity in regard to the height and weight of a K1200 LT. I have to ride one to see if that is an issue for me. Inseam is 30". TMI?

Bottom line is long trips together can be rough. Biggest con is storage and then comfort for her. Some might flip that but whatever. She has a gel pad that helps quite a bit. I'm considering the LT as an option to add as a second bike but am concerned with cost of parts, general maintenance, access to do maintenance, etc. I have been working on my 'Pin for 10 years but it is pretty easy to work on. General seasonal maintenance, replaced belts, fork oil changes, cable replacements, brake maintenance, tires (first time to do this winter), etc. I've stripped it down completely (without taking the engine off the frame) for overly compulsive off-season cleaning. I'm not a mechanic but not shy about working on a bike.

That said, what are the cons of working on an LT? What are the key pain points? What general maintenance is the biggest cost? What can't be done by weekend wrenches (need to get a dealer involved)? I have a bro-in-law and friend that have BMW cages and the cost of parts is insane. I'm kind of a cheap guy so anything outside of normal is high to me though. Is that the same for the bikes? I saw a couple posts about most parts are BMW only (OEM only, no after market parts). How accurate is that?

I'll keep searching this and other forums for the same info but anything you can provide would be appreciated. I want to get a long distance touring ride but don't want to get into a money pit either. Not concerned with resale value as I would drive this into the ground. I see K1200 LT's with reasonable miles in the $6K range. If I need to dump hundreds of bucks into an LT every year I may look at other options.

Thanks everyone. Maybe by next spring I'll be an active member with a LT sitting in my garage

Walks
Dear Considering... lol. I have owned many brands of motorcycles since the 1970s. I used to ride 30,000 miles every year through all four seasons in the northeast. I did not own a BMW back then, though I had a friend with over 300,000 on his R75/5 which was amazing! I always thought about owning one over the years.


Fast forward to today: my wife and I own 11 vehicles, mostly German "cages." I have been driving an '84 BMW 325e for forever. It costs more in insurance, and parts than either of our MBs, our old Porsche, or VWs. Why? I do not know, it just is the way it is.

Last year, I finally bought a large BMW for cross-country pursuits: 2000 K1200LT, and it does not cost anywhere as much as the car.

Both Beemers are the most fun to drive day-to-day, and that consideration plays into why I would not sell either for any reason I can think of. My wife usually drives a V-6 Camry back and forth to work which is boring as anything-but-is cheap and reliable. I do all the wrenching on all the vehicles. I enjoy that. Our other vehicles are all for fun, and hobby: pickup truck, van, luxury tourer, convertible, sports car, VW bug, etc.

The K1200LT takes a bit to get to the wrenching part, but it is a fascinating machine. Taking off all the "Tupperware" is what some gripe about, though that plastic shields the rider from heat, and I like that. I took off the top box, and prefer the bagger look with a rear tray I bought to hold stuff when necessary. I also bought a "Smuggler's Trunk" by Corbin which eliminates the second seat, though can be switched back to any combination in about ten minutes!

It is big. It is beautiful! And, it rides like a dream! It isn't perfect, but a lot of us love them!
NOTE: I am over 62 years old, weigh 135 lbs., am 5'8" tall, and an 800+ top heavy motorcycle takes a bit to get used at parking lot speeds, but otherwise: WOW! It is amazing!

Bob
Covina, CA
2000 K1200LTI Champagne


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Last edited by kbob12; Sep 13th, 2018 at 1:15 pm.
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post #4 of 7 Old Sep 15th, 2018, 7:13 am Thread Starter
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Re: Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Thanks Bob. There's a nice 2009 LT at a local dealer with 52K miles on it that I hope to test ride this weekend if time allows.

Paul
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post #5 of 7 Old Sep 15th, 2018, 7:14 am Thread Starter
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Re: Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Will do and thanks!
post #6 of 7 Old Sep 15th, 2018, 10:20 am
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Im new to BMW as well. Traded a car that I had not been using for a 99 LT. I cannot comment on reliability yet, but have spent the last 2 weekends tinkering to make sure everything is ready to go. I have completed service items. Replaced brake lines, tires, and fuel pump all from the center stand sitting on my garage floor. Thus far parts pricing has not been out of line ( Amazon Prime is my friend ) gaining access for repairs is a little tedious due to all the plastic, but its not that bad just like everything there is a learning curve. I probably never would have looked at a bike this big and heavy. I borrowed my fathers Electraglide for a road trip last year from Colorado to California and absolutely hated it. After riding the LT no comparison yes its big and heavy but I think it carries itself better than the Harley. I am absolutely stoked about mine!
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post #7 of 7 Old Sep 15th, 2018, 10:40 am
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Re: Considering LT, concerned about maintenance

Paul, you may want to look into the newer K1600GT/GTL's found here: https://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-sale-bikes/
I've seen some go under $10 K if that is in your budget.
I had the LT for many years, loved it. The two LARGE items to be concerned with are:
1- Clutch slave cylinder
2-Clutch
Additionally (depending on year) ABS pump/control system.

Good luck on your search!
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