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Hello Friends,

I joined forums for the Mercedes Benz and Porsche enthusiast years ago and enjoyed my experience. One of the things that I learned was how to give and receive beginning with an introduction. My name is Jeffrey and I live in Houston, Texas.

I joined the BMWLT forum because I bought a 2002 K1200LT with 32,272 miles on it. The previous owner was an enthusiast who took good care of the motorcycle and added some upgrades like a Russell Seat and Ohlin’s shocks. I spent many hours reading reviews, studying the bike’s evolution and incremental improvements, and watching YouTube videos. I was trying to decide between the R1200RT and K1200LT. My wife said she would not be comfortable on the back of the RT, so I chose the LT.

Yesterday, I exchanged cash for the bike and hopped on for a three hour ride from the seller’s home in the country to my home in Houston. The seller went over all the buttons, knobs and latches with me. I had downloaded the owner’s manual and read each page before going to pick up the bike.

My stature is 5’8 with a 30 inch inseam, wearing riding boots adds an inch to my reach for the ground. I was on the tips of my toes to touch the ground. The first stop sign that I approached leaving the seller’s home was a startling experience. The handle bars wobbled from side to side as I approached the stop.

I was not sure what caused the wobble, but it was terrifying. It could have been caused by my feet poking the ground as I was coming to a stop. It could have been caused by the front calipers gripping the rotors out of sync? Perhaps the rotors are warped and that caused the left, right, left grip that wobbled the steering? Slowing down from highway speed, the front brakes felt normal and didn’t wobble. I adapted my braking technique to apply the front brake with a lighter touch coming to a full stop.

I started riding motorcycles as a teenager starting with a 50cc Honda and rode larger bikes up Harley Davidson Electra-glide Limited. I rode thousands of miles on two different Harley Road Kings that weigh about as much as the K1200LT. I have never felt a front end wobble like this on another bike. It does not wobble at 20mph or 100mph, just approaching complete stop at 1mph,
Has anyone else had this experience?

Second issue is the seat height. The seat is in the B positioned which is lowest. Does anyone have advice on lowering the seat height? Should I be looking for a factory original seat or lower seat?

Best regards,

Jeffrey
Houston, Texas
 

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Hello Jeffrey, I am also new to the K1200LT having purchased mine 2 weeks ago from a dealer in Florida.
Mine is currently in my garage with just about every piece of body work removed. I am doing basic maintenance since I was not able to talk to the previous owner. I am also removing a bunch of led lights the previous owner installed. All of them were no longer working as they were either absent or had been disconnected.
One or both of the front rotors could have just enough of a warp to cause the low speed wobble under lightly applied brakes and not be felt during normal braking. If you have, or know someone that has, a dial indicator, set it up to measure rotor runout on both rotors.
I also have the 30" inseam and can put both toes on the ground in my normal seating position when wearing my boots on the stock seat. There are companies that either make saddles or can remake a saddle that you send them.
I am seriously thinking about sending mine to have it redone with about an inch less of padding to get lower to the ground. I would contact Russell and see what they can do for you.
I am not familiar with the Ohlin shock. But if it has an adjustment collar on it you could run it up some and that would allow the bike to settle lower.
 

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Hey, Jeffrey, welcome to the forum! Great first post! Love the authenticity.

Listen, I got nothing for you. My LT is a sidecar rig which means you could be 5'2" and still not have a problem with your tippy-toes. It AIN'T gonna fall over. LOL

My only thought is that the RDL is of course kinda famous for being WIDE so if there is a way to narrow it up closer to the nose that might let you reach the ground a little easier at stops.

The head shake is certainly a weird thing to happen. But, for sure, not a normal thing. There's something out of whack and the guys here on the forum are gonna help you figger out what that is and how to fix it.

Yay!:clapping:
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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If you do hunt with your toes as you come to a stop it will be hard. Rule #1 on the LT always make your stops with the bars straight ahead and drag a little toe to feel the ground and make a positive stop with a single foot plant (choose left or right, I prefer left) at the same time. If you have the bars turned just a bit she will want to dirt nap on that side. Once you master that you will be fine. The brakes can be a bit grabby when slow, best to ease them on to a full stop and not punch them.
 
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Hi Jeffery!
Great motorcycle!
Everything everyone stated is true... it will require getting used to.

I love my 2000 k1200lt!
I am 5'8", 30" inseam, 135 lbs. and it took me a while to get the 850+ lb. beast* under control at 5 MPH, or less.

As stated, stop with the bars straight, in 1st gear with your left foot down, clutch pulled in--right foot on the brake--don't use the hand brake until you are really confident with your stops... and life is good. Any variation may cause a little trouble unless there is help around to get you back up and running.

Follow the suggestions for brake line replacement if they haven't been changed out, check the dates on the tires, fluid maintenance, etc., and you will be up and running for a long time! Cheers!

(*I carry a lot of tools, a 2 gallon auxiliary gas can, camping gear, water, etc. so my bike is over 850 lbs. without me.)
 

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Just a thought here, is it possible that on that first stop you grabbed a little bit too much front brake and what you were feeling was the ABS kicking in? I know the first time I hit the ABS on my bike it startled me, once I knew what to expect life was good.
 

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Jeffery,

I bought the 2004 last fall and have ridden four times now - still very conscious and a little anxious with each stop. It takes practice for sure, and I'm not riding enough yet.

Another upgrade to check for is the fuel line quick disconnects should be upgraded from plastic to steel. It's about $75.

The plastic will crack and leak and there have even been a few cases of fires.

Good luck. You'll find this site is a complete resource for us newbies.
 
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Welcome Jeffrey,
I live west of you in Fulshear. 30 miles w of downtown on Westpark Tollway.
I have a couple of seats, Original BMW, Kontour and maybe a Corbin.
Welcome to try any of them.

Dan Martin
281-701-6208
 

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Hi Jeffrey, Welcome to LT ownership and this forum. I bought my 2005 LT used last year and i've got to say it's a great ride. It is one of the most confidence inspiring bike i've ridden and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. That said the bike takes a little getting used to especially at slow speed which others have already addressed and once you have a handle on those related things, she's a wonderful machine to ride. As far as the forum is concerned the guys here are GREAT! My bike has a little under 30K now and since buying it I've replaced the stereo, the brake lines (put on Spiegler lines - highly recommended), and done some lighting upgrades, including a XENON low beam and LED High beam, as well as adding a Vizi-tech Supabrake brake light modulator (SupaBrake-3 BMW motorcycle tail light modulators | vizi-tec - and excellent device with outstanding product support). The help from the guys on the forum especially with the radio and brake lines, including flushing the ABS, was invaluable and I can't say enough
good about our fellow enthusiasts. Anyway, welcome again and enjoy your LT.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello All,

Wow! Thank you for the generous responses. I would have replied sooner but was on a road trip to New Orleans with my wife to visit her nephew and his wife who welcomed a healthy 8.0 pound baby boy named Everett into the world.

dedgar: Have you created a thread to detail your maintenance activities? I will certainly be interested in reading about your experience. I started a list of things to do and have added a few more things to do after viewing the responses to my intro. I will be testing my front rotors, rim and tire with a dial indicator, based on great suggestion. My previous owner applied amber LEDs that appear to be working. Being more visible at night is safer.

DRONE: The Police model Road King has a wide saddle that uses an adjustable air bladder that was incredibly comfortable. I rode 1,000 miles from my apartment in Grenoble, France to the Calais Ferry in one blast stopping only for gas and food/coffee. The RDL has a similarly wide shape that is making the bike taller to ride compared to the OEM seat. The three hour maiden voyage to home was comfortable on the LT when I was moving.

jzeiler + kbob12: Excellent advice on procedure for stopping... I plan to practice stopping on what will be "closed course" conditions.

oldmopars: I have never owned a motorcycle with ABS brakes before. I squeezed the hand brake the way I have on motorcycles for 40 years. Normally, applying the brake provides feed back from the bike to know if more or less hand grip is needed. The hard wobble from side to side surprised me. I would expect the ABS to kick in when or if locking up was demanded. If ABS was activated, it would ideally grab both rotors at the same time and release both rotors at the same time.

Santa6bmw: Great suggestion about quick connects and anything else that carries pressurized fuel. On Mercedes Benz vehicles, the rubber that connects fuel rail to fuel injector can dry rot and then spray 28-PSI gasoline vapor onto hot engine and catch fire! I have also read that the original brake lines are prone to give out; so I added stainless steel brake lines to my list.

DanMartin: I will be calling you! A man with three seats must know a lot about the riding and handling of the LT.


I did a search on wheel wobble and read some additional threads here on the forum.

Some of the general ideas that I get from reading about wobble are:

  • Tire Pressure - tire pressure of 36 up front is not enough, go with 42 front and 46 rear.
  • Tire Cupping?
  • Wheel out of Round?
My to do list... Am I missing anything?

Check oil engine

Check fork oil level

Wash and wax motorcycle

Wheel wobble - check air pressure, check tires, check brake pads, warped brake rotors?

Change seat

Check fuel line quick disconnect to see if they are plastic or metal. Check other fuel delivery rubber parts.

Set clock

Remove excess stuff from saddle bags.

Attach cable to mirror

I feel grateful for the forum and membership. Life is good...:wave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello Good Bikers,

I inspected the front brake rotors and discovered that the right side rotor felt gummy and coated with brake dust. See attached photo. I cleaned both rotors with brake cleaner and wiped with cotton tee shirt rag.

The next ride was vastly different with almost no wobble from the front wheel from 1-5 mph. The front braking still feels binary; it is either on grip or not. The front brake stopping felt more synchronized on my test ride. I still need more practice slowing to a stop and sticking the landing at one time.

I gave the LT a sponge bath with gratifying results. The bike looks brand new. Were the plastic covers painted originally or just colored plastic? My bike is the bronze color. I could not find a paint chip or a road rash. The dirt and bug kharma just wiped off.

Yesterday, I wrote a reply that answered everyone's comments and feedback. 24 hours later, I don't see my reply. The was a message that said my post had to be approved.

Best regards,:wave

Jeffrey
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
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Panels are painted and there is no way to check fork oil save removing them and pouring it out. Don't worry about it as the oil has no function other than to lube the sliders as all shock function is in the single shock absorber on the telelever. Yes for some reason your post was flagged for approval by a moderator, happens on low posters and should go away now.

Oh and only use one or two fingers on the brake lever. You will get used to it.
 
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Oh and only use one or two fingers on the brake lever. You will get used to it.
As well as something that can't be repeated often enough... Never pull the front brake unless the front wheel is around straight ahead. I did it twice before learning that lesson!
 

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As well as something that can't be repeated often enough... Never pull the front brake unless the front wheel is around straight ahead. I did it twice before learning that lesson!
There are two lessons to be learned, you also get to learn how to pick her up too!
 
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Same height and have had my Beemer since 2000. I have a extra heated lower seat and have used neither the seat or the heat. It requires trimming some of the tupperware to fit but that is one solution for the inseam impaired. Another is to get your seat redone. Mine is narrower at the front when I had the faux leather replaced by Meyer. Don't know if the they are still in business.

Email me if you might be interested in the lower seat.
 

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One person mentioned that the RDL seat is wider than the stock seat, and most RDL seats are also taller than the stock seat. While the RDL seats are great for comfort, they do make getting your feet on the ground a bit harder.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Hello Good Bikers,

I fixed the seat height issue using my wife's good electric turkey knife after drilling out the rivets and peeling back the leather cover. I removed an inch of foam from the top and sides. Now I can touch the ground with confidence on a flat left foot and balls of my right foot.

The video was helpful. Thank you all for sharing!

Best regards,

Jeffrey
 

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