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I just got my first touring bike. 2003 K1200LT with 55K miles. I drove it home almost 200 miles and wanted to drive more. After buying and finding this forum I have been reading up on the bike here. Please share your knowledge and opinions on the following:

1. Rear Brakes The rear brakes made noises, squeals, and grinding since the test drive. The seller said he just put new pads on. From reading on this forum there appears to be 3 main options. A. Silicone the rivets and/or rotor. Some say just do the rivets some say the gap too. Is this a good fix or just a bandaid. B. EBC rotor and pads. If I go this way will I need new EBC pads if the stock pads have just been replaced? C. Newer BMW rotor. I probably won't do this since it appears this is the highest cost - as long as A or B is a good alternative

2. Final Drive After reading up on this, I have noises from the bike that I think could be final drive noises. I'm not sure. Going straight I will sometimes hear noises like a rock tumbler. Sometimes sounds like grinding. I did some slalom practice and hear noises when I am leaning from side to side also. I checked the rear wheel and found no play that I could detect in 3/9 or 6/12 o'clock. The seller made a point after I bought it to tell me he replaces the oil in the Final Drive every 3k miles and gave me a bottle of Mobile 1 gear oil. I'm taking my first multistate ride with family in October. May put on about 1k miles. I dont want to get far away and have a repair or safety issue. I understand that you can check the magnet which I will do in the next few days. The seller said he just changed the oil so I don't know if anything will show up. Am I crazy for thinking about having it rebuilt now??

3. Front Tire Cupping I have moderate cupping in the front tire. It appears that this is a common problem. I read I can put 40PSI in front tire and it will minimize this problem. The bike rides great but I will be in unfamiliar territory and in mountains. How bad does cupping need to be before you replace the tire?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and opinions.
 

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First of all, Welcome to the forum Mike. The LT is a wonderful machine even if she does have a few issues that can spoil a good day of riding.

The Brick engine is often called a box of rocks so some noises are OK while others indicate something needs attention.

If you have the time, money and inclination to do your own service, buy a Clymer manual for it as it is an indispensable resource.

I had the same thing with my rear brakes. Another issue is the cow bell effect when the rotor gets too lose which I didn't have. The grinding I never put a finger on but I went with the EBC rotor and all those issues disappeared, at least so far. pads are cheap but you can inspect them and the old rotor and make a decision if you want to try and reuse them. I would just spend the $20 or $30 bucks and put new pads on a new rotor but save the old ones for when you need them. Just be wary that they will, new or old, ed to bed in and your breaking will be reduced until they start making good contact.

The final drive is a toss up. 2003 was in the time frame when failures of the crown bearing were more prevalent and there are other issues that need looking at if you are in there. Your mileage and year are right about where many had failed but then again, many have not failed also. Checking for play is good and turning it by hand engine off listening for noise might reveal something or not. It would depend on what state it was in if it was actually failing. Dave ( Saddleman ) is the resident expert and re-builder extraordinaire of the FD's If you have any concern, send him a private message and inquire about his services. Dave is in NC also so maybe not that far away. I did my own but then again, I also went and bought a spare in case I didn't get it right. There is a bunch to know and some special tools so it isn't just a R&R of the crown bearing. If they go, they usually do so quickly once they start. The magnet is a good place to start but if the oil was just changed as you said, you may not get any indication there but if you do, now would be the time to have it fixed.

Front tire cupping is an issue on the LT with lower air pressures or the balance of the tire or both. Increasing the pressure some will help but a cupped tire will remain cupped. Up to you on how much it affects the bike and if you want to replace it before the tread is worn. Be aware that your rear tire options are limited as spec is a 79V rated tire with reinforced sidewalls. She is a beast and that limits you to only a few mfg. Front has a few more options with a 58V spec.

There are a few things to look for on your bike. One is does it still have the original rubber break lines. If so, they are an accident waiting to happen. They deteriorate from the inside and can burst at any time likely when you need them most. Spiegler makes a stainless braided set for the LT and they are the lines of choice for most unless you want to try and have some made from the old ones.

The 2003 has the I-ABS brake system with servo assist. There are known issues with these system module failing and they are an expensive ticket and no one rebuilds them yet. Keeping the system regularly bleed can help but won't necessarily prevent a failure. New lines will help keep the fluid clean and bits from clogging up the controller module too. Procedures are documented on this site and also in the Clymer manual.

Watch ALL of Kirk's videos on the LT from the Illinois BMW motorrad club. Another valuable resource if you are turning your own wrenches or to learn about this wonderful bike.

Illinois BMW Riders - Maint./ Repair Videos


Welcome and good luck with it.

Gordon from Sugar Hill, GA
 

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What Gordon said and the "rear drive noise" is likely your tires. By the time you hear or feel anything on the drive it will be puking oil all over the place. The frequent oil changes and periodic 3/9 and 12/6 checks will give you piece of mind.
 
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Thanks to Gordon and John for your replies. As a new owner this helps me to make some decisions and feel better about them. Here is my plan.
Brakes I ordered the EBC rear rotor and pads. I do have rubber brake lines so I will replace those as suggested by Gordon.
Final Drive I'm just going to ride as much as possible and deal with it if it becomes a problem. I'm sure a lot of the noises are from the brakes. It makes sense that the tires may be some of the noise as John stated. I will send it to Dave "Saddleman" if it becomes an issue.
Tires The bike is so awesome even with the cupped front tire. I haven't decided. It rides so nice I may just wait.
I plan to look at the videos. That is great information for a newbie.

Gordon. I see you are in Sugar Hill. I was almost your neighbor up until 2 1/2 year ago. I used to live in Cumming, GA Just over the Buford Dam. Hopefully one day the wife and I will ride the bike back that way and we'll say hello.

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks to Gordon and John for your replies. As a new owner this helps me to make some decisions and feel better about them. Here is my plan.
Brakes I ordered the EBC rear rotor and pads. I do have rubber brake lines so I will replace those as suggested by Gordon.
Final Drive I'm just going to ride as much as possible and deal with it if it becomes a problem. I'm sure a lot of the noises are from the brakes. It makes sense that the tires may be some of the noise as John stated. I will send it to Dave "Saddleman" if it becomes an issue.
Tires The bike is so awesome even with the cupped front tire. I haven't decided. It rides so nice I may just wait.
I plan to look at the videos. That is great information for a newbie.

Gordon. I see you are in Sugar Hill. I was almost your neighbor up until 2 1/2 year ago. I used to live in Cumming, GA Just over the Buford Dam. Hopefully one day the wife and I will ride the bike back that way and we'll say hello.

Thanks again.
I look forward to it. Always nice to meet another LT owner. Pay attention to the meet ups spawned by the LT group. A fine lot of people for sure. Upcoming is the fall reunion at the IronHorse lodge in Stecoah NC in October and another in April called Spring Training which last meet was joined by the K1600 group and their Tame The Dragon gathering all at the lodge. It was a blast. See the link below for the upcoming reunion gathering roster if you are interested.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rides-rallies-get-togethers/156433-2016-smokey-mountain-fall-reunion-roster.html

Meets can be found on the Forums > Community > Rides Ralleys and Get Togethers

Here is the link to last years Spring gathering. Lots of pictures and commentary.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rides-rallies-get-togethers/143961-roster-2016-stc-april-14-16-a.html

Enjoy and if you have any issues, do some searches and if you don't find what you are looking for, post some questions and someone will answer in short order.

Gordon
 

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Welcome home Mike. My LT had and still has lots of noise. A simple test ride with the wind shield removed will eliminate most of these noises. I did this on mine as a last resort and yes, it sounded like some other bike. 80% of the noise disappeared. Of course I do not advice to remove it permanently. Anyway this wind shield is one major reason that we buy this bike, it keeps us off the wind and gives a comfy ride.
And of course, stay away from bad car drivers as much as you can. My LT is still in the BMW dealer being repaired after a bad encounter I had with a drunk driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info Nikos. I was able to see some of the beautiful historical sites in Athens a few years ago. Hope you are on the road again soon.

Gordon, thanks for the info on checking out events. I will check those out and will plan for the future. I forgot to mention that I got a Clymers manual and a BMW tool kit when I bought the bike:)

Mike
 

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I forgot to mention that I got a Clymers manual and a BMW tool kit when I bought the bike:)

Mike
Congratulations on your new-to-you bike and welcome to the forum! Hope you like the very comprehensive tool kit that came with the bike - my BMW tool kit consisted of a screwdriver...). :wave
 

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Welcome to the forum. I just put on Avon 3D XM radials on my 2001. They are much softer than the Metz and excellent in the rain. Just my input on tires. Happy riding and rubber side down!
 

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Hey everyone. I just joined this forum and this was the first thread that I came upon. Having had my 03' 1200 for just one week, I found you all to be a wealth of information and have not even asked a question yet. Thanks for being here ahead of us all and creating such a good example of the touring family.
I am following all the great advice posted above.

Don
 

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Hey everyone. I just joined this forum and this was the first thread that I came upon. Having had my 03' 1200 for just one week, I found you all to be a wealth of information and have not even asked a question yet. Thanks for being here ahead of us all and creating such a good example of the touring family.
I am following all the great advice posted above.

Don
Welcome to the asylum. You don't have to be crazy to own an LT, but it sure helps!
 
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