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Hi Everyone,

My name is Bill. I found this site trolling for various information about my 1999 K1200LT. This is my first motorcycle. The size and weight of the bike is a bit overwhelming for me right now. It was my fathers bike and he is not able to ride it anymore. I plan to just take it slow and get used to it in parking lots and around the neighborhood for a while. I haven't ridden it yet since I just registered it today. Anyway I am glad there is a website for me to learn and ask questions. I gladly welcome any advice or information.

Thank you!
 

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Wow! Really? You bought a K1200LT as your very first bike?

Here's my recommendation. Park the BMW, go buy a 249cc Yamaha, Honda, whatever for $1,000. Take a rider course. Ride the "little" bike for at least a year to learn to understand how to ride a motocycle. The 249cc is light enough that you have a little easier mobility in emergencies but will soon realize that you can't move it around like a bicycle.

Then take another rider course with the BMW.

Otherwise, your odds of living to the end of 2016 have greatly reduced (in all seriousness). The K1200LT is *way* too big (not to mention top heavy) and *way* too fast for a first time rider.

I read an article years ago that something like 80% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are a male rider by themselves within the first 6 months of getting license or not having a license at all.

If you really haven't had a bike before, please don't ride your BMW.
 

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Not sure you need to scrap the bike and get something much smaller like Leboyd said BUT, the LT is a big heavy top heavy bike and even fro the experienced rider, it takes some getting used it and most have dropped it several times including myself. There are several new K1200LT rider threads on this forum and most will make several recommendations on how to handle her. Spend a lot of time in a parking lot make sure you are able to start and stop safely. Keep your eyes straight ahead and your front wheel straight and be especially aware of any grade of the pavement when you are coming to a stop. Plan every start and stop so you know where you are going and going to come to rest and stop straight. It takes awhile to get used to the big girl and she is not an easy thing to lift if you don't know how to do it. Watch all the videos from the Illinois BMW club and learn what they have to pass on. It is the premier Sport touring bike bike in its class but that doesn't mean she is all that easy to ride. Get used to her before you head out on the highway and that may save your side panels and your life.

I love mine and it will snake the twisties with the best of them as long as you know how to ride her. Don't push your skills. She is something to grow into. Never lose the respect of the road.
 

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Wow... I would never have considered the LT as a first bike to learn on. My suggestion is to hold off riding it until after you have taken a Motorcycle Safety Foundation first time rider course, where they provide the 250cc sized bikes to learn on. I had taken a 25 year hiatus after selling my '74 750cc Suzuki (that I rode for 50,000 miles) before buying the LT. The LT sat in the garage until I had taken the MSF course, and even after that, I was still intimidated by the LT's size, weight, and reputation for taking naps. Since then, I am much more confident and have put over 25,000 miles on it. Good luck and ride safe! :wave
 

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Wow! Really? You bought a K1200LT as your very first bike?

Here's my recommendation. Park the BMW, go buy a 249cc Yamaha, Honda, whatever for $1,000. Take a rider course. Ride the "little" bike for at least a year to learn to understand how to ride a motocycle. The 249cc is light enough that you have a little easier mobility in emergencies but will soon realize that you can't move it around like a bicycle.

Then take another rider course with the BMW.

Otherwise, your odds of living to the end of 2016 have greatly reduced (in all seriousness). The K1200LT is *way* too big (not to mention top heavy) and *way* too fast for a first time rider.

I read an article years ago that something like 80% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are a male rider by themselves within the first 6 months of getting license or not having a license at all.

If you really haven't had a bike before, please don't ride your BMW.
I agree that you should not ride the beast in traffic for at least one year. To much bike to learn on for the beginner. Something small like a 250 street and trail bike will get you started safely. Good luck.
 

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Wow! Really? You bought a K1200LT as your very first bike?

Here's my recommendation. Park the BMW, go buy a 249cc Yamaha, Honda, whatever for $1,000. Take a rider course. Ride the "little" bike for at least a year to learn to understand how to ride a motocycle. The 249cc is light enough that you have a little easier mobility in emergencies but will soon realize that you can't move it around like a bicycle.

Then take another rider course with the BMW.

Otherwise, your odds of living to the end of 2016 have greatly reduced (in all seriousness). The K1200LT is *way* too big (not to mention top heavy) and *way* too fast for a first time rider.

I read an article years ago that something like 80% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are a male rider by themselves within the first 6 months of getting license or not having a license at all.

If you really haven't had a bike before, please don't ride your BMW.
I agree with this and the other comments warning about riding a large bike such as this.

In Belgium with the power restricted (slightly) a 650cc motorcycle is considered a learner bike. I personally think this is too big an engine size! However a friend of mine bought a "learner" 650 - he had major problems with his clutch control. He could only pull away if he dumped the clutch, with high revs, otherwise he stalled the beast. Could not understand that it was his lack of control and not the bike's fault.

After a break of a number of years I jumped on a K100RT. In many ways it was as if I was a learner - though I had the knowledge of throttle & clutch control. Rather scary for the first couple of days!
 

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Not sure you need to scrap the bike and get something much smaller like Leboyd said BUT, the LT is a big heavy top heavy bike and even fro the experienced rider, it takes some getting used it and most have dropped it several times including myself. There are several new K1200LT rider threads on this forum and most will make several recommendations on how to handle her. Spend a lot of time in a parking lot make sure you are able to start and stop safely. Keep your eyes straight ahead and your front wheel straight and be especially aware of any grade of the pavement when you are coming to a stop. Plan every start and stop so you know where you are going and going to come to rest and stop straight. It takes awhile to get used to the big girl and she is not an easy thing to lift if you don't know how to do it. Watch all the videos from the Illinois BMW club and learn what they have to pass on. It is the premier Sport touring bike bike in its class but that doesn't mean she is all that easy to ride. Get used to her before you head out on the highway and that may save your side panels and your life.

I love mine and it will snake the twisties with the best of them as long as you know how to ride her. Don't push your skills. She is something to grow into. Never lose the respect of the road.
Notice that I didn't say scrap the bike.

I suspect you've been riding for years and it's difficult to remember what it was like on your first bike. There's simply too much mass to control an LT when you have no experience in the physics on a motorcycle. Mass doesn't change physics, but it does change timing of events. Learn on something with smaller mass and you have a better change of survival.

I went from the little Honda Monkey (remember those? 49cc), to a 125, to a 425, then a couple of 650s, up to the GW 1,100. I taught my son on a 249cc Yamaha, he's on a 650 Kawasaki now and I suspect will move up to a bigger bike soon.

Don't learn on a LT! You're life is not worth it.
 

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Notice that I didn't say scrap the bike.

I suspect you've been riding for years and it's difficult to remember what it was like on your first bike. There's simply too much mass to control an LT when you have no experience in the physics on a motorcycle. Mass doesn't change physics, but it does change timing of events. Learn on something with smaller mass and you have a better change of survival.

I went from the little Honda Monkey (remember those? 49cc), to a 125, to a 425, then a couple of 650s, up to the GW 1,100. I taught my son on a 249cc Yamaha, he's on a 650 Kawasaki now and I suspect will move up to a bigger bike soon.

Don't learn on a LT! You're life is not worth it.
No, you didn't say scrap the bike. Sorry, I should have quoted you properly and said park it. I too had the usual string of small to larger dirt bikes and on to street bikes. When I blew up my Honda QA50, I found a Honda 70 engine and adapted it. That was an interesting ride ;)

In consideration, the registration history of my LT speaks volumes. Four owners and the last 3 put less than 2K on it combined in 5 years, some only a few hundred miles. I got it because the guy selling it couldn't handle it and knew it. He was never comfortable riding it and I suspect the same for the 2 previous owners as well seeing the very low usage recorded by them.


After the large consensus of people chiming in on not learning on an LT and reconsidering my own experience, I now have to agree. If you have no previous experience riding, then this isn't the bike for you to learn on. Find something else if you want to be a rider. Get some experience on some smaller lighter bikes so you know what the difference is you are feeling when you do get on the LT. If you choose to continue on the LT, please do not put anyone on the back seat for at least a year and take it slow. Take the safety and riding courses so you know what, where and when to look for danger.

Good luck and welcome.
 

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In consideration, the registration history of my LT speaks volumes. Four owners and the last 3 put less than 2K on it combined in 5 years, some only a few hundred miles. I got it because the guy selling it couldn't handle it and knew it. He was never comfortable riding it and I suspect the same for the 2 previous owners as well seeing the very low usage recorded by them.
You know, I hadn't even thought about the fact that even experienced riders dump the LT after a short period of time because they never feel comfortable on it. That's a great additional point.

It's like this bike was built for the Polizei - extremely trained riders. I enjoy mine on days when its 500-600 miles. Over that and I get pain.
 
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