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Hi,

How is everyone doing?

I've read few of the postings & this is a great forum.

I've owned a 1985 BMW 5 series car for the past 11 yrs & it is by far the best car I owned. So for the past 2 yrs I've been looking on and off for a BMW bike.

My previous bike experience was on a Kawazaki 550 LTD, which is a 4 cylinder cruising/touring bike that I rode around for 2 or 3 yrs. And took some long distance rides on it too.

So compared to many of you I don't have much experience. Even though I ride & used to race bicycles & think that contribute to good balance on 2 wheels.

I was looking at the RT, RS and LT's ...basically a touring/long distance bike with luggage.

I was in San Luis Obispo this past weekend & while there I found a 1999 K1200LT with 13K miles on it. The asking price was $6100, I got the bike for $4600....is that a good deal/price ?

Rode it the 200 plus miles home, which was scary at first since this IS a big and heavy bike (I am 6ft, about 155 lbs).

The side cross winds on parts of 101 was moving the bike slightly side to side.

My questions:

1- Is there a secret to getting comfortable with this bike....I certainly don't want to drop it.
Coming to a stop scares me but I am getting more used to it.

2- As I packed out of the driveway yesterday using the reverse gear then back to N, then to 1st gear. The display showed 1st gear but when I released the clutch, nothing happened. It automatically went to N. It did this few times while I am in the middle of the street.

I turned off the bike and tried again & the gear engaged. I didn't have this problem again today.

What happened ?

3- Tried to lift the bike onto the center stand today using the Reverse gear but that didn't work.

The bike is simply too heavy to be lifted onto the center stand by one person. Is there a trick to this ?

Or is the side stand good enough ?

Is it worth the time & money to install the Hydraulic center stand option (not sure how much they sell for)?

4- Is it usual for a 99 bike to have such low mileage ?

5- While I am very familiar & have done most of the repairs on my 535i BMW, I know next to nothing about bike repairs.

Is there anything I should check right away or do ?

The bike rides great & everything seem to work fine.

6- Is there a trick to handling this beast at low speeds ? Anything I can do to get more comfortable with the size and weight ?

7- One thing that concerns me is if I ever take the bike to San Fran and go up those steep hills. Now I drove a stick shift all my life and know how to handle a car uphill but a bike of this size and weight seem different to me.

Any ideas or advice about this?

I am afraid I will roll backwards on the hill & crash onto the car behind me.

Thank you for your help, any info or advice would be helpful. :bmw:
 

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I had many of the same questions and concerns your having now last year when I got my first LT. Most of your concerns will go away after you get a little more experience on the bike.

The only good advise I can give you as a new LT owner myself is to keep the front wheel straight when coming to a stop. Your going to love your new ride and yes you did get a great deal on yours.
Steve
 

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BMW_forever said:
1- Is there a secret to getting comfortable with this bike....I certainly don't want to drop it.
Coming to a stop scares me but I am getting more used to it.
Ride it! If you are not used to such a large, top-heavy bike, ride it in an area without traffic, like an empty parking lot.

BMW_forever said:
2- As I packed out of the driveway yesterday using the reverse gear then back to N, then to 1st gear. The display showed 1st gear but when I released the clutch, nothing happened. It automatically went to N. It did this few times while I am in the middle of the street.
Put bike in neutral, roll switch to Reverse, press starter button to engage reverse motion. Reverse uses starter motor, not bike motor/clutch.

BMW_forever said:
3- Tried to lift the bike onto the center stand today using the Reverse gear but that didn't work.

The bike is simply too heavy to be lifted onto the center stand by one person. Is there a trick to this ?

Or is the side stand good enough ?

Is it worth the time & money to install the Hydraulic center stand option (not sure how much they sell for)?
Not going to happen.

Foot on center stand "leg," one hand on handlebar grip, other on "lift handle" under/adjacent to seat. push down with foot and pull up and rearward with hands.

Not for my money.

Worth it? Value is up to your perception. Plan on $700-$1500 to do this. I could not ride an LT without one due to injuries, so for me it is essential. Others feel it is a waste and one more expensive part to fail. Is it worth it to you?

I see the low-speed handling has been addressed by another member. You SFO concerns will likely resolve as you gain some time in type.
 

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Previous replies are all good. I would emphasize that while you are doing parking lot practice, use your front brake carefully. LT's have a tendency to lay down if you hit your front brake too hard while making low speed turns. Anything above parking lot speeds, the front brake is very safe, even preferred, at least by me. There was a hydraulic center stand that sold on eBay yesterday for about $450. However that was just the mechanical part and did not include the electrical controls which your bike does not already have. The hydraulic center stand is great but I never considered installing one on my '00 LT - just thought it would not be worth the trouble or cost. You will be able to manage your center stand with a the proper technique. The bottom line is - just work with your LT - you're going to love it.

Tips
 

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BMW_forever said:
Hi,

How is everyone doing?

I've read few of the postings & this is a great forum.

I've owned a 1985 BMW 5 series car for the past 11 yrs & it is by far the best car I owned. So for the past 2 yrs I've been looking on and off for a BMW bike.

My previous bike experience was on a Kawazaki 550 LTD, which is a 4 cylinder cruising/touring bike that I rode around for 2 or 3 yrs. And took some long distance rides on it too.

So compared to many of you I don't have much experience. Even though I ride & used to race bicycles & think that contribute to good balance on 2 wheels.

I was looking at the RT, RS and LT's ...basically a touring/long distance bike with luggage.

I was in San Luis Obispo this past weekend & while there I found a 1999 K1200LT with 13K miles on it. The asking price was $6100, I got the bike for $4600....is that a good deal/price ?

Rode it the 200 plus miles home, which was scary at first since this IS a big and heavy bike (I am 6ft, about 155 lbs).

The side cross winds on parts of 101 was moving the bike slightly side to side.

My questions:

1- Is there a secret to getting comfortable with this bike....I certainly don't want to drop it.
Coming to a stop scares me but I am getting more used to it.
BE SURE TO KEEP THE FRONT WHEEL STRAIGHT WHEN STOPPING. IF YOU HAVE IT TURNED AND HIT THE FRONT BRAKE IT "WILL" GO OVER.

2- As I packed out of the driveway yesterday using the reverse gear then back to N, then to 1st gear. The display showed 1st gear but when I released the clutch, nothing happened. It automatically went to N. It did this few times while I am in the middle of the street.

I turned off the bike and tried again & the gear engaged. I didn't have this problem again today.

What happened ?

3- Tried to lift the bike onto the center stand today using the Reverse gear but that didn't work.

The bike is simply too heavy to be lifted onto the center stand by one person. Is there a trick to this ?

Or is the side stand good enough ? IF YOU LEAVE IT ON THE SIDE STAND OIL WILL SETTLE IN THE CYLINDERS AND SHE WILL SMOKE WHEN YOU START IT.

Is it worth the time & money to install the Hydraulic center stand option (not sure how much they sell for)? NOT IMHO.

4- Is it usual for a 99 bike to have such low mileage ? NOT REALLY, SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD DEAL. CHANGE ALL THE FLUIDS AND FLUSH THE BRAKES AS A BASE LINE. CHECK THE TIRE DATES AND CHECK FOR DRY ROT, A BIKE THAT OLD WITH ORIGINAL TIRES SHOULD HAVE THEM REPLACED.

5- While I am very familiar & have done most of the repairs on my 535i BMW, I know next to nothing about bike repairs.

Is there anything I should check right away or do ?

The bike rides great & everything seem to work fine.

6- Is there a trick to handling this beast at low speeds ? Anything I can do to get more comfortable with the size and weight ? PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE

7- One thing that concerns me is if I ever take the bike to San Fran and go up those steep hills. Now I drove a stick shift all my life and know how to handle a car uphill but a bike of this size and weight seem different to me. BE WELL EXPERIENCED WITH THE BIKE BEFORE YOU TRY IT. YOUR FEARS ARE WELL FOUNDED.

Any ideas or advice about this?

I am afraid I will roll backwards on the hill & crash onto the car behind me.

Thank you for your help, any info or advice would be helpful. :bmw:
Welcome aboard AJ, I didn't answer the items that had already been addressed. Sounds like a real good deal if it is in good condition. Practice lots in a empty parking lot and enjoy your ride. :bmw: :bmw:
 

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I do not know what the percentage is among owners sidestand versus centerstand but I always leave mine on the sidestand other than when working on it and live with the occasional time it smokes on start up, got used to that with the K100.

you cannot reverse onto the centerstand because the rear wheel comes off the ground
 

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AJ,

With regard to putting it on the center stand, for me it is a matter of focusing on putting the bike "back" onto the center stand rather than "up" on the center stand. In other words the focus of your efforts, while pushing down with your foot and lifting with your right hand should be on moving the bike backwards onto the center stand. I use my right foot on the center stand pointing to the rear of the bike.

Hope this helps.
 

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I also have a '99 LT. I also got it for what I consider a steal...until I saw your price that is! Mine had 63K on it when I bought it, ABS was non-functional, and the radio didn't work...and I paid $4000.

STILL an amazing bike for that amount though. I challenge anyone to find such a fine motorcycle at that price! Honestly, I've never had ABS or a radio before on a bike, so this wasn't that much of a stretch and wound up being cheaper than I've ever paid for a bike. I wouldn't trade it for anything...except a free GTL! Any takers?

Anyway...good posts above. Pay close attention to keeping the front straight when stopping and you'll have very little issues at all. My only tip over was at Deals Gap (Tail of the Dragon) when stopping on a sideways hill (high side to my right and low side to my left). I usually stop by only putting one foot down, my left. At this place, I put my left foot down and there was nothing there. As the bike started leaning to the left, there was still nothing there (Tells you how steep this "hill" was). By the time my foot reached something hard the bike's leaning was was too much to handle and over she went. Luckily, there were plenty of bikers around to help me lift her back up. Nothing damaged but my ego! Another testament to a great design on the bike.

As far as the center stand, I too have difficulty with it. I've only done it successfully once by myself. I had my wife help me yesterday so I could get the rear tire off to go get some new rubber. With help, it was easy. I only weigh about 170 at 5'10", so I've contributed it to not weighing enough to get her up. But, one of the posters above mentioned pulling toward the back of the bike...I've been stepping properly and pulling up, but not necessarily backwards. I'll be trying that soon. But, I've only had one scare on the side stand and that was parked on another hill where the left side was higher than the right side. I thought it was fine until I got off the bike and she started to fall to the right...luckily I caught her before she went too far. There are a lot of complaints about the stubby kick stand, but when you calculate your parking this really isn't an issue.

Getting comfortable at parking lot speeds? Just practice. I got Jerry "Motorman" Palladino's Ride Like a Pro DVD and book and it has helped me tremendously in slow speed maneuvers. Check out the pdf attachments. Our FAITH Riders group at church did a Skills Day event and this was the map/instruction sheet for the event. I can give you dimensions on each event if you have some cones to set up. You can get 4 cones at Wal-mart for something like $7. Or get a bunch of tennis balls and cut them in half. Anyway, this sort of stuff helps, but it takes time and practice.


Skills Day Map by 1worshipguy1, on Flickr

Skills Day Instructions by 1worshipguy1, on Flickr

With reverse, I hardly ever use it. It is very helpful when I need it though. I just make sure I park in such a way to never need it...but knowing I have the option to use it if there's no other option is a huge relief. As far as it not going into gear after using reverse...never had that problem but it does occasionally not like to go into first early in the morning. Then I just talk real sweet to her and she goes into gear...j/k...playing with the clutch a little and manually rolling her forward or backward while trying to tap down into first usually does the trick for me.

Rolling backwards on hills...knowing you drive a manual auto, I'm sure you've used the emergency brake on hills...then release the brake when you feel the sweet spot in the clutch. I do similar on the LT but with my rear brake engaged until I feel the sweet spot take over and then release the brake. On the steepest of hills, you'll need to keep revs a little higher, but you know this since you drive a manual. Same philosophy.

And last piece of advice as many have said over many forum topics..."Ride it like you stole it" (cause you did at that price!)

Enjoy the best motorcycle you can find!
 

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Ride ride ride and ride some more. You will quickly become accustomed to the size and weight. You made a good choice in that your bike does not have linked(front and rear) brakes nor does it have power assist. The older bikes are not nearly as critical about the front brake at low speeds as they don't have the assist.

It is NOT difficult to put the bike on the center stand IF you have the ride height cranked up a bit. There is a knurled knob under the driver seat that adjusts the height. The reservoir needs to be topped up on occaision in order to give proper clearance. The springs also sag over time which exacerbates the problem. You can find out how to add oil to the adjuster by searching on ride height oil. 10 minutes to top it off.

It seems like you got a good buy. Enjoy your new scooter. You will love it!

One last thought. Some folks back the rear wheel onto a 2x4 to get the height they need for an easy lift onto the center stand.

Loren
 

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with regards to the center stand. I have also had trouble at time getting her up. To make things MUCH easier, I always park in my garage with a 1/4 in. piece of plywood under the rear tire. She goes up without any problem at all! Give it a try. It it is still difficult, try a 1/2 in. piece. It really only takes a bit of practice.

Loren, yes I'm back in this hemisphere! Had a great trip and drove over 5,000 miles throughout New Zealand. I do wish I had my motorcycle with me! Oh yeah, I forgot to check and see what way the water swirls in the toilet when it was flushed. I always hate to look in there!
 

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Oh, I see the map part on my sig is gone again. I give up on trying to keep the D#!n thing there!
 

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Sounds like a super deal to me and I got my 02 LTE for 3500..but it does need a clutch replaced..which I will be doing right away.
As for being on hills, get used to using that rear brake, if you don't already..guy I ride with never seems to use his, putting both feet on the ground at a stop..Been after him to keep that right foot on the brake and only use the left to hold the bike up..We both have VALKYRIE's, which are big heavy beasts though about 50 lbs lighter than the LT's.
Practice, practice, practice.
 

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I have driven the hills of San Francisco and I have 72K and 8 years on my LT and I won't do a few of them on the bike. It is just too hard especially those up Russian Hill.
 

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Congrats on a great deal....Like Loren said, the only technique I know of to get comfortable with the big girl is to just ride the piss out of it...take it everywhere, the more you ride, the more comfortable you will be with the weight....But..you do have to respect the fact that when she decides to take a nap, just step to one side, cause you ain't gonna stop it...not even. There is a good video of a gal picking up a motorcycle using the proper technique on You Tube, check it out.. As far a SF, well, SF is all about those damn hills, you have 2 places you can put your brakes on at, hand and foot. or if you are really in a bind, just shut her off in gear, then brake, clutch, start and go....PRACTICE!!! As far as the center stand, it is all about technique, not brute force. You need to keep your tires inflated properly, 42 front 48 rear, jack your suspension up as far as it will go( knob under the seat all the way down) then get a friend to help you support the bike on the right side, put your foot on the center stand, rock the bike a little to make sure you are on both feet of the stand, grab the handle under the seat, with your right hand, or use the handle on top of the side case, push down on the stand with your right foot, and pull up on the handle (other hand on the left handle grip) practice it a few times, and you will begin to feel the dynamics of how the bike rolls up on the stand. to get it off the stand, I just get on and rock the bike forward, controlling the drop off the stand with my hand brake....Good luck!!!!!!!!!!! :bike: :bike: :bike: :yeah:
 

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AJ

Welcome

Your fairly close, I live in Brentwood. If you have time any weekend take a ride out and we'll a short tech session once over on your LT.
Just send me a PM.
 

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OK..............Now you have heard all of the basics from most of the BEST.............

Let me now add that after you have developed a little bit of comfort..........and have practiced your drills...............

just, and I must emphasis, "RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT"................

Surrender to the fact that you may lay it over in a parking lot.........that is why the engineers placed such an excellent tip over wing design on this machine.........after all, if you can afford these marvelous pieces of engineering brilliance, you can afford, at a later date of course, to replace those cheesy little rubber skids some time down the road after you have learned why they were placed in such a strategic location.................

You, my new amigo, are about to depart on the adventure of your here to fore, boring existence...............enjoy.........

Once you have become familiar with this work of art..............you will feel like nothing on earth, on two wheels, will threaten your place in the food chain...........

always, B-Safe, .................and do enjoy..................Jim
 

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BMW_forever said:
2- As I packed out of the driveway yesterday using the reverse gear then back to N, then to 1st gear. The display showed 1st gear but when I released the clutch, nothing happened. It automatically went to N. It did this few times while I am in the middle of the street.

I turned off the bike and tried again & the gear engaged. I didn't have this problem again today.

What happened ?
What happened here is that the LT's transmission is not syncronized and you weren't fully into first gear. When going from neutral to 1st gear it can help to just slightly let out the clutch while shifting. This will get you solidly into gear. Then, when upshifting, preload the gearshift with your foot just prior to pulling in the clutch. This will give you a nice solid shift and you'll avoid spending too much time with the clutch disengaged (which is what gets the gears out of sync).
 

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wa1200lt said:
Ride ride ride and ride some more.
+ 1 to infinity and beyond!
 

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I bought myLT in 2001, and I still get the beast onto the center stand. If I gave to get her up I place a 2 foot piece of 2X4 right behind the rear tire, use reverse, and as she goes back stnad on the center stabd, She usuallt gies up.
Best from Tucson
Bob
 
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