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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there everyone!

New to your forum and wanted to start the investigation process regarding the BMW 1200LT.

I've been riding since 1990. Wife and I are mid-thirties. I currently own an '06 HD Ultra Classic, and an '06 ZX-10R (moded for track only). I recently got rid of a Kawasaki ZX-14.

Anyway, I am thinking about getting a different touring bike. My wife loves the HD. I however, find it underpowered (even though I have heavily moded it) and under"technologied" for serious modern touring. The BMW 1200LT and the Honda GoldWing have my eye. The Kawasaki Concours 14 is nipping at my heels, but I fear that it lacking the full "touring" amenties found on the BMW and GoldWing, will not fit the bill.

Obviously, this being a BMW forum I understand what many of those here will respond with. However, that is what I am looking for. Pros, cons, experiences, etc. I tend to enjoy not only the touring aspect of riding, but also those great roads with nice twists and turns that only motorcyclists can truely enjoy.

Finally, I heard from my local BMW dealer that he has heard rumors that a new iteration of the BMW Luxury touring bike will be announced this October. Truth to that? Has anyone heard? If so, anyone know what the rumored changes are?

Again, thanks, and happy to be here.

-MotoVegas
 

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If your SO ever rides on the back of an LT, then all other bikes cease to exist..
For pure relaxed luxury on a long ride they cannot be beat....
How long ? Karen and I did 9,000 miles in one trip last summer and had to stop frequently because she'd nod off......................................
Riding by yourself it's your personal jet fighter.......................................
 

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Discussion Starter #3
STARFIGHTER said:
If your SO ever rides on the back of an LT, then all other bikes cease to exist..
For pure relaxed luxury on a long ride they cannot be beat....
How long ? Karen and I did 9,000 miles in one trip last summer and had to stop frequently because she'd nod off......................................
Riding by yourself it's your personal jet fighter.......................................
That's good to hear. My touring bike is heavily influenced by my SO. Like I said, she just loves the HD, so it will be my job really to convince her to switch to a true modern touring bike. My local BMW dealer will allow me to demo the bike. I plan on taking it out for the day very soon. Half the day solo (to get a feel of it's handling) then second half of the day 2 up.

I noticed the lack of arm rests for the rear passenger. I take it BMW or aftermarket can correct for this? Mod wise, is there a large selection out there for the LT's?
 

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Yep..............................Arm rests by three or four mfgs.............................
Don Muddiman makes a great pair at a fair price.........................................
Karen likes 'em because they flip up nice when she doesn't want 'em and don't stick out the side like some of the others...................................................
 

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But read the posts on the forum first....

I upgraded from the K11 to the K12 this spring, but didn't read the posts on this forum carefully--there are specific handling techniques required by the LT (nothing outrageous but critical) at low speeds.

I took my SO out on my new bike without that knowledge; dropped it three times and it took three months to get her back on, and she's still watching carefully each time I stop...
 

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I was down to between the same 2 bikes. I test rode them both and got the LT. The wife was with me on the wing ride, but not on the LT. Had to drive for 3 hours on my Yamaha to test ride the LT. When I started telling the wife about it she knew I had found my bike.
She does like the bike also after I got it. The passenger seats are different, the wing is laid back where the LT is better for the posture. Both are very comfortable....So I am told...
 

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Sold your '14'?...say it isn't so!!! :( Oh well, you still got the ZX-10, so I'll let ya slide. :)

The LT is a great 2-Up tourer. For 1-Up touring (i.e. true SPORT touring, and/or cross-country touring), I'll take my K1200GT any day.

With your track experience and being an ex-'14' owner, you're going to find that both the LT and GoldWing are going to feel under-powered. It's just a fact. The GoldWing will feel better out of the hole, but the LT wins once they're rolling. Personally, I like the scream of the LT's motor at 6-8K. Very cool. But just know that the LT's lean-angle has it's limits. You're going to grind hard parts on your first ride, I guarantee it. But that's OK, it's only metal and sparks. :D

Plenty of aftermarket products for the LT, but NOTHING when comparing to a Jap bike of any model. But that has it's advantages too. At least you won't feel like just another number when there's a big group of bikes assembled somewhere. When you ride a BMW, you will always be in the minority group...and that's pretty cool if you ask me. Unless you go to a BMW-based rally of some sort. But those are few and far between. (Thank God! You've never seen so many geeks in your life! :eek: :rotf: )
 

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MY SO's comments on the LT vs HD....

I picked up an 04 LT two years ago. Prior to that I only had (still have 3) Harley road bikes. I love the LT's ride but must admit that I feel a bit out of place on it after 25 years of Harleys....I still bleed orange and black but then again...if I see one more guy riding a HD v-rod with a back pack on his shoulders and loafers on his feet I may just sell all my Harleys....lol.....but thats another story.

The LT has average power to me but I still find myself riding it like a Harley....cruising and shifting at lower rpms. The LT has good power in its power band but I am betting you will be dissapointed compared to your Harley. It has a much higher CG than any Harley and it is a bit clumsy at slow speeds....especially when loaded with a passenger and gear. Once rolling though it feels super light and nimble to me but, all my street bikes have been HD's. The heated seats, hand grips and windshield allow me to ride it all year which is great and it is a GREAT LONG TRIPPER....which is what they are for...right.

Now... the Sig. Others comments. She does not like the passenger seat position compared to the Harleys. She admits it is very comfortable but it is too high up and far away from me. She gets a lot more wind blast/swirl than my HD's that have/had windscreens. We do not wear helmets unless required but that will probably not be an issue to most riders of the LT.

In summary....a GREAT touring bike with adequate power for touring with a fairly high passenger seat compared to the HD's.

Steve
 

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I had a Ultra when I got my LT. The first year I had both, I put 12000 miles on the LT,and about 2000 on the Ultra. Guess which one I liked riding the most? I sold the Harley this year. My wife likes the seat on the LT, but frankly I think she liked the one on the Ultra a little better. Actually, she liked riding on the GW best of all. I think u will find the LT faster, smoother, cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter (sort of hard to believe it is both I know). It also get better gas mileage and is just plain more fun to ride! JMO
 

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IMHO, the LT is the best 2-up touring bike around and I believe that once your SO takes a test ride (hopefully you can get a test ride with her), she will make sure you buy one. The closest competitor is the Goldwing, also a very comfortable 2-up motorcycle. I prefer the LT because even with all the creature comforts and size, it still feels and rides like a motorcycle. The Goldwing to me, feels too much like a car on 2-wheels. Good luck and let's here what you end up with.
 

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I saw a couple of comments from other posters on your questions and want to interject my two cents. First, the LT is NOT underpowered by any stretch of the imagination, and second, I have yet to see a stock Harley (or a relatively modded Harley) that accelerates and handles like the LT. My friend's '03 Ultra Classic has a 103 cu in kit and screamin' eagle carburetion/exhaust mods. He readily admits (after we swapped bikes for an extended ride) the LT would humiliate his Ultra anytime, anywhere.

I think you would tremendously enjoy the performance and handling of the LT. For me, low speed handling has never been an issue and I have only dropped my LT once in the five years I have owned the bike (due to planting my foot on rounded gravel and having my foot go out from underneath me - not from any top-heaviness of the bike). An added benefit is the gas mileage. I ride at the 3000 - 5000 ft elevation level and consistently get 60mpg at 70 mph....no Goldwing or Harley will do that. The anti-lock brakes have saved my bacon on more than one occassion. Passenger comfort is superior and my SO also nods off because she is so comfortable (yes, passenger armrests are available). My LT is a 2000 model rated at 100hp and 84 ft lbs of torque. Because I typically pull a trailer (at between 400-500 lbs loaded) I installed a Rhinewest performance chip at CCR 2005 and have been very pleased with the results. The chip adds 7-8 hp and 9-10 ft lbs of torque; for me it was a worthwhile expenditure ($400).

I can't comment on the "next generation" of LT's because to the best of my knowledge no facts, only rumors, exist.

I had the opportunity to ride the K1200GT, the R1200RT, and the K1200S at Sturgis last week. The GT has great power (152 hp) and the RT has very good power (110hp). The riding positions and wind protection were not to my liking. The RT also buzzed my throttle hand to the point of two-finger numbness after a 45 mile run. Both the RT and the GT had suspensions too mushy for my taste (maybe their suspensions are adjustable?). In short, I would not trade my LT for either of these current models. If the "next gen" LT is a warmed-over version of the current GT, I will keep my 2000LT.

The K1200S, while not a distance tourer, was an absolute blast to ride. At 167 hp, the only bike I have ridden that compares to it is the Kawi ZX-14, but only in the power department. The K1200S suspension and handling was noticeably better than the ZX's. While at a gas station in Sundance, WY I saw a K1200S with a Florida license plate. The rider confirmed he did, indeed, ride to Sturgis from Florida and averaged better than 50 mpg. If I had an extra $15K I would own a K1200S in a heartbeat (as an addition, not a replacement, to my LT).

That's my $.02. Get yourself an LT, you won't regret the decision.
 

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I had on '01 HD Ultra Classic that I sold in March and bought an '07 LT. I was tired of draggin' hard parts on every corner. The SO has ridden pillion for 30 years and says the LT is the most comfortable ride ever. Added Don Muddiman's armrests...says her stock seat is great right from the factory (her's, that is, the driver's seat is another story completely...worthless and plan to replace it). The LT still drags the pegs, but at a much improved velocity! As is stated on this thread, the bike does handle a bit top heavy, but nothing that takes very long to get used to. IMHO, compared to the HD it feels like a sport bike.
 

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Just be sure you ride the LT. It takes some getting used to re high CG and slow speed handling. Agree the front seat is crap, and you will need to replace it. The Ultra et al has it's place in life, but high speed long distance touring is not it.
 

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All we can tell you is we had a Harley Custom Softail for 21 years and just recently purchased a used BMW show bike K1200LT and we absolutely love it! You are right, the Harley's are definitely underpowered compared to the BMW and you can tell your wife it's the most comfortable ride she will ever have and it certainly has all the toys for you as well. We love it! Good luck in your decision.
 

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Moto:

Your story sounds like mine. Just joined today because I need to find if a 1200LT is in my future. I'm looking for a new bike to provide truly long distant comfort (read that as the comfort of the Nagivator). My current long distant bike is the '02 Connie, but at the COG Rally a week or so ago, took out the new C14 and was underwhelmed. Granted. it was faster than snot, handles fabulously, but the rider passenger ergos left a lot of room for improvement. The list of farkles seemed to be a lot longer than I'd like to try to get it right for the touring we do. With over 30 years in a variety of saddles, and a retirement looming pretty close, I'm trying to find a solution that doesn't have the word "Wing" in it.

Good luck in your search, and I'm looking forward to this forum.

Tom
 

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Love my LT

I had a 2001 Kawi Nomad before buying an LT. I thought it was the best bike for the two of us until I took it for a long tour of over 1000 K. Both of us were pretty sore in the lower back.

We really liked liked the touring so I started shoppping. I really considered the Goldwing but the salesman acually talked me out of it because of my size. Next was the HD Altra. It was pretty much the same as my Kawi for sitting.

The BMW salesman let me take a 05 LT for the day. Awsome machine. It was a little bulky at slow speeds but not too bad. I knew I wanted one. I bought an 06 just before Christmas last year.(hear in Richmond BC we can ride pretty much all year). We rode to the Black Hills in the summer 6100K. No pain, very good gas milage. The only problem I had was my co pilot would rap my helmet when I got around 140Kph.

I like the looks I get too.

Cheers,

Norm
 
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