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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned a BMW car, and expected a higher maintenance cost with it, but it seemed more plagued with mechanical issues than any other car I've owned. Granted it was fun to drive aggressively with, but the cost for simple repairs turned me off considering the high number when compared with Jap cars like Toyota.

Which brings me to my question about the reliability/dependability of BMW motorcycles. I've been wanting to get back into a cruiser/touring bike from having a Yamaha Venture Royale which is very dependable. So I came across a BMW K1200LT which seemed very nice and has a smooth ride. I am not looking to drop a lot of cash on a bike I will only take out on occasion, and have been in the market for a couple of years. Ergo I am not in a rush, just looking for a great deal.
I have a guy who owes me money, and has offered to sell me his 1999 with 58K on it cheap. While I am tempted, I also know the older LT's had a rep for final drive problems and other maladies. Plus it lacks some of the upgrades I'd probably prefer like more HP, auto-center stand, reverse, etc.
It is not running, having sit for 9 months, and he thinks it might be the fuel pump. He said it was running good before he let it sit. Do the fuel pumps on the 1999 typical go bad just from sitting?

I might be better off just having him sell to someone else and pay me what he owes in cash, and consider getting a newer one.

Thus my first question if I don't buy his, is what model year did the HP go up?
I think it was in 2003, but am not sure.
What can't miss features like the ones I mentioned above started in what year?

Lastly, my biggest concern is how prone are these bikes to trouble/repair compared to other manufacturers, as I do not want a repeat of my car experience. So if I am going to ge tone, what is the best year and up to avoid the problems. If I do buy one, what major repairs should I insist on been done before I consider buying a particular model year?

Any advice/recommendations/experience would greatly be appreciated.

TIA
 

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The Villages, FL
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It may be worth $1,000 not running, but be prepared to spend another $2k to have it trust worthy and road ready.
Just my opinion!
 

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I switch to BMW after 35 years on Harleys.. My opinion would be to purchase a post 2005 model with moderate miles on it.. I purchased a 2006 for 6000.00, and have not regretted it at all.. It had 61000 miles on it, and i've put 11000, miles on her in the past 7 months including one 4200 mile trip cross country. The reason i would suggest a little higher miles is that all the bugs may have been taken care of. In my case the previous owner had done all the preventive maintenance on it such as stainless step brakes etc. If you buy one with lower miles, it means it hasn't been ridden much and "broken in" I love my LT, and would never go back to Harleys.. Maintenance cost can be lowered by performing it yourself. You learn the bike and learn to truly enjoy it. My oppinion for what its worth.
 

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The 2005 - 2009 model LTs have the higher horsepower, electric center stand, different braking system, and better lighting. The earlier years had a different steering geometry allowing use of radial tires, lower power, older style instrument cluster, and manual center stand. If I were in the market for an LT, I would opt for the '05 & up, but look to ensure it had been properly maintained (fluid changes and brake flushing done regularly), metal fuel line quick disconnects installed, Spiegler brake lines, the rear top case latch is not broken (look for corners broken off of the handle), and the fuel lines replaced inside of the fuel tank (which may be why your 1999 model doesn't run, other than a very dead battery). Remember, these bikes like to be ridden, not just left sitting neglected in a garage or under a tarp somewhere. I sold my '07 to a guy that had put 255,000 miles on his before someone rear-ended him at a stop light. The LT is a great machine, if properly taken care of. It helps if you can wield a wrench and do some/most of the maintenance, otherwise, you will better understand that BMW stands for Bring More Wallet. I hated to see my '07 go, but lusted for the power of a K1600, otherwise, I'd have been perfectly happy to have kept it. :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice/suggestions thus far. :thumb:

I will be back with more specific replies to the posts, but I do have another question. While I am mechanically inclined with tools, knowing about BMW motorcycles is not in my wheelhouse. I live in the Miami area, and do not know anyone who is.
Does the forum have a section or do you guys know of a local riding club where I can get some local advice for inspections?

A generic bike repair place wants $200 to diagnose the lack of fuel problem the 1999 has, and I must trailer it to them. Considering it is 50 miles away, I'd rather figure out a better way to make a decision on it.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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14,128 Posts
Open the gas cap and shine a light in the tank. Turn on the key and the pump should run a few seconds. If you see fuel moving around then a hose has popped off in the pump/filter area or it has split (known issue on very old bikes). Easy fix. There are several of us here to give you all sorts of maintenance advice.
 
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