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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 2009 and it's my first BMW. It has 77k mi which is the highest mileage bike i've ever owned but overall it seems to be in really good shape. I just replaced the tires today and I noticed that it has braided steel brake lines instead of the originals which I hear are faulty but I have no idea of the service history because the previous owner is deceased. What type of oil should I use not knowing what's in it now? What other things should I service at this stage?
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K1200LT 2005
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I believe stainless brake lines were standard by 2009. At 77k it's nicely broken in. Should have lots of life in it. Major and minor service schedules here with intervals: https://www.motorcycleparts-hornig.com/BMW-K-1200-LT/Maintenance-interval-service/
If you have no idea, better to do complete major service than be sorry, I suppose, but odds are good that it was well maintained from the looks. Fluids include engine oil (plus filter), trans, final drive, coolant, clutch and brake fluid. Fuel filter, fuel lines in gas tank, air filter, spark plugs. Check brake pad wear, etc. Clymer guide will give you details on fluid specs. Search this site for details on pretty much anything on your bike. The search engine is good, and there's a wealth of info on every topic. Welcome aboard!
-Dean
 

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I don’t think SS lines were ever OEM on the LT, but no matter as long as you have them you should be good to go for a long time. 77K is nothing for an LT. Mine just rolled over 96,000 and runs better than ever.

I could concur with Dean and suggest a complete 24K maintenance cycle since you lack service history. The 24K goes through fluid and filters pretty thoroughly and things like a valve clearance check and adjustment if needed. A few things to consider that aren’t in the BMW maintenance list are lubricating the shift linkage, lubricating the centerstand pivot points (a real PITA) and replacing the fuel tank quick disconnects if they still have the plastic parts, the male plastic part in particular.

And ensure the battery is good as the LT does weird things if the battery gets low as I found during my last brake fluid flush.

As for oil, you will get a hundred different recommendations. Many will say car oil is fine since the LT is closer to an auto configuration than are most bike since it has a separate transmission. However, it is still a high output, high revving, solid lifter engine, unlike most modern car engines that rev less and have roller tappets, so it needs the high pressure capability of things like ZDDP, which has been greatly reduced in modern auto oils. Personally, I stick with Castrol motorcycle oil as it contains a sufficient amount of this compound. Some of the auto oils such as Mobil 1 15W50 apparently still have significant amounts since this oil is not recommended for any modern car, but I still pay the extra for motorcycle specific oil to be on the safe side.
 

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77k is just getting started for a BMW.

I owned a 1998 R1200c that I purchased with 89k miles and sold a few years later with 98k miles. I'm sure the thing is still going strong.

Enjoy your 'new to you' K1200 - they are great motorcycles.
 

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Two common things
  • Brake fluid: Perform regular fluid changes to extend the life of the power / ABS unit. They're pretty pricey to get rebuilt (mine was $1,800 with me doing the R&R). Alternately, you'll also see people bypassing the units when they fail.
  • Final drive: Supposedly diff failures became less common toward the tail end of the production run but always a good idea to change the fluid regularly and keep an eye on the magnet on the drain plug.
Seal leaks and clutch issues are also pretty common so just keep an eye out. LT's ride nice but they are a labor of love, especially now they are getting old(er).
 

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Seal leaks and clutch issues are also pretty common so just keep an eye out.
If it isn't already accomplished, a weep hole in the clutch housing may be a wise idea also. It keeps oil from collecting in there and also acts an early indicator of a leak!
 
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K1200LT 2005
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I don’t think SS lines were ever OEM on the LT, but no matter as long as you have them you should be good to go for a long time. 77K is nothing for an LT. Mine just rolled over 96,000 and runs better than ever.

I could concur with Dean and suggest a complete 24K maintenance cycle since you lack service history. The 24K goes through fluid and filters pretty thoroughly and things like a valve clearance check and adjustment if needed. A few things to consider that aren’t in the BMW maintenance list are lubricating the shift linkage, lubricating the centerstand pivot points (a real PITA) and replacing the fuel tank quick disconnects if they still have the plastic parts, the male plastic part in particular.

And ensure the battery is good as the LT does weird things if the battery gets low as I found during my last brake fluid flush.

As for oil, you will get a hundred different recommendations. Many will say car oil is fine since the LT is close to an auto configuration than are most bike since it has a separate transmission. However, it is still a high output, high revving, solid lifter engine, unlike most modern car engines that rev less and have roller tappets, so it needs the high pressure capability of things like ZDDP, which has been greatly reduced in modern auto oils. Personally, I stick with Castrol motorcycle oil as it contains a sufficient amount of this compound. Some of the auto oils such as Mobil 1 15W50 apparently still have significant amounts since this oil is not recommended for any modern car, but I still pay the extra for motorcycle specific oil to be on the safe side.
All good points, Voyager. While you're down by the center stand, cleaning the shaft that points rearward out of the Electro-hydraulic center stand lifter unit will perhaps keep it from getting scarred or scuffed up.
I recently switched to Lucas oil when I couldn't find synthetic 20W-50 oil at the local auto parts store. High Performance Synthetic Motorcycle Oils
-Dean
 

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2009 K1200LT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All good points, Voyager. While you're down by the center stand, cleaning the shaft that points rearward out of the Electro-hydraulic center stand lifter unit will perhaps keep it from getting scarred or scuffed up.
I recently switched to Lucas oil when I couldn't find synthetic 20W-50 oil at the local auto parts store. High Performance Synthetic Motorcycle Oils
-Dean
I have no idea if what's in it now is synthetic or not, should I go with 20w50 synthetic regardless?
 

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I have no idea if what's in it now is synthetic or not, should I go with 20w50 synthetic regardless?
There is no need for synthetic in the LT unless you plan to ride often below zero or above 120 degrees F. The LT will yield no benefit from synthetic oils in the temperature ranges that most of us operate as it has no turbo or other feature that makes synthetic oils useful.
 

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I have no idea if what's in it now is synthetic or not, should I go with 20w50 synthetic regardless?
No, your engine technology requires good levels of Zinc additives which you will not find in modern synthetics. Use a classic mineral oil of 20W50 viscosity. You will pay more for the same lubricant if labeled for motorcycle use, so don't fall for that one!
 

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Hi LT_Vegan!
Nice ride! Lots to sort out, but it looks like you are doing okay with SS brake lines from the previous owner.
Changing all the fluids should be the way to go along with rubber and tires, etc.
It will always be something on an older bike, though it is a great ride when you have it dialed in for you!
Cheers!
 

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www.kirksmotorrad.com is your friend. He suggests a blend of high zinc motorcycle oil and the remainder anything slippery of the correct viscosity. Many of his videos have saved me $$$ on my 2004 LT. More recently, and due to my negligence, he remedied an ABS failure with a bypass and all SS brake lines. Chicago is a bit far for you (I’m in OH), but his videos are very helpful. Enjoy your LT! 👍🏼
 

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I use synthetic in my LT's so I can extend the engine oil change intervals. I'm currently using Amsoil 20w50 and changing it every 10,000 miles that is the recommended interval from Amsoil.
 

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Nice ride! I also notice your ride has the Russel Day Long full rebuild, as do I. A big and expensive, but well worth it, upgrade. Also looks like the V-technic tall windscreen, as do I. Great wind protection.
oh, my 2009 LT did NOT have braided SS brake lines as original .

is it possible that your prior owner also upgraded the suspension? Take a look at your shocks.
 
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