BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I'm a brand new member to this group. I have been a long-time motorcyclist and am a member of ST-Owners group. My wife and I have done a fair bit of two-up touring on my ST1100 - which is also my commute vehicle throughout the year (weather permitting).

We are planning on doing an extensive tour out west and I was considering buying a GW and keep the ST1100. If not the GW, we were planning on just doing it on the ST1100. I did not think I could afford a Beemer.

Well... a strange thing happened... I found a 1999 K1200LT (Elite?) at the BMW dealer I purchased my ST1100 (was a trade in) and the price seems good. Dealer states that it has a 'fresh service and new tires'.

So... if anyone out there could help me out on what to look out for on a 1999, or anything else - it would be most helpful.

A little more background - the ST1100 is about 700 lbs. wet and I do not consider it a heavy bike at all - I just don't feel the weight as some other say. I flick it around easily. I am 6' tall and my knees just touch the back of the fairing.

Cheers!

Jon
 

·
Human Behaviour Analyst
Joined
·
267 Posts
Great Bike

You won't find a better long distance touring bike than either the LT or the GW. The biggest difference in "feel" is that like your ST, riding an LT has a definite "sport bike" feel once you're rolling. You ride "on" the bike whereas with the GW you ride "in" the bike. Feels to me more like driving a car than riding a bike.
In terms of creature comforts for you an the passenger ...... nothing compares! :) Momma will indeed be happy on the back end of an LT !! :bmw:
Before you buy a 99 from the dealer you mentioned though -- look here in the classified area of the site. You may find newer for the same or less money. http://www.bmwlt.com/classifieds/
Welcome to the site !!
Keir
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
You will find the LT bit more difficult to handle. It is a bit top heavy in a parking lot but is well balanced when rolling. I have owned mine for 5 years. Great bike but I took my time with it at first. I feel very comfortable on it now. I now would ride it in any traffic situation.

Make sure you have the bike checked out from top to bottom.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Any 1999 K1200LT gotchas?

wkclark said:
You won't find a better long distance touring bike than either the LT or the GW. The biggest difference in "feel" is that like your ST, riding an LT has a definite "sport bike" feel once you're rolling. You ride "on" the bike whereas with the GW you ride "in" the bike. Feels to me more like driving a car than riding a bike.
In terms of creature comforts for you an the passenger ...... nothing compares! :) Momma will indeed be happy on the back end of an LT !! :bmw:
Before you buy a 99 from the dealer you mentioned though -- look here in the classified area of the site. You may find newer for the same or less money. http://www.bmwlt.com/classifieds/
Welcome to the site !!
Keir
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,795 Posts
Howdy, Jon...
There are many points to consider in the LT.. hard to put into a post here. I "suggest" you post in the forum for your area (Northeast) and ask for a "local" to tag along to the BMW dealer for a lookover of the bike.

Some "high failure rates" on LT:
- "Final Drive"... some fail, some don't. If yours has, ask if it has the new style bearing.. if not, how many miles are on the bike?
- Clutch - and "slave" cylinder... the slave tends to leak onto the clutch and pressure plate... a "tell-tale" sign is oil residue at the seam between the engine and tranny. Some folks are drilling "weep holes" in lowest center of the tranny (bellhousing)... if it's wet, you're going to be walking soon.
- Top Case latch... the handle to close the topcase is made of a "cast" aluminum and breaks on the top left corner in most.
- ABS pump - pretty self explanatory.

Lastly, if you can purchase a "warranty" with the bike, do it then just "ride" the bike. The dealer should be able to address any "pre-existing conditions" before warranty begins or during.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Jon,

You might also want to check out K1200GTs, but as far as the big luxury touring bikes go, the K1200LT is about as close to a sport bike as you can get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
good info!

cfell said:
Howdy, Jon...
There are many points to consider in the LT.. hard to put into a post here. I "suggest" you post in the forum for your area (Northeast) and ask for a "local" to tag along to the BMW dealer for a lookover of the bike.

Some "high failure rates" on LT:
- "Final Drive"... some fail, some don't. If yours has, ask if it has the new style bearing.. if not, how many miles are on the bike?
- Clutch - and "slave" cylinder... the slave tends to leak onto the clutch and pressure plate... a "tell-tale" sign is oil residue at the seam between the engine and tranny. Some folks are drilling "weep holes" in lowest center of the tranny (bellhousing)... if it's wet, you're going to be walking soon.
- Top Case latch... the handle to close the topcase is made of a "cast" aluminum and breaks on the top left corner in most.
- ABS pump - pretty self explanatory.

Lastly, if you can purchase a "warranty" with the bike, do it then just "ride" the bike. The dealer should be able to address any "pre-existing conditions" before warranty begins or during.
Thanks for your great perspectives guys. The bike is being offered (and has been serviced) by a BMW cycle dealer (that is not local to me). Maybe I should check to see if there is another (closer) dealer for service!

Jon
 

·
Human Behaviour Analyst
Joined
·
267 Posts
jdsd-tourteam said:
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
Hi Jon,
Reading some of the posts on this site you'd swear the bikes were on the verge of breakdown at any moment. I've not had ANY of those experiences (of the expensive maintenance variety I mean), instead I've simply enjoyed riding an exceptional machine. I suspect you would find that it's like most things, some people (the loud minority) spend alot of time complaining and wallowing in small problems.
That said, there seems to be issues with some of the Final Drives and some of the clutches. Normal and thorough maintenance will (changing fluids in line with maint. schedules, etc) will ensure any troubles are minimized.
The bike is generally high tech and extremely well designed and built.
In terms of mileage -- if a BMW is maintained well, I think the darn things go forever. So spend much more time on how/where it's been cared for than the numbers on the odometer.
There are some incredibly well qualified and helpful folks on this site who have a far longer (some of them lifelong) experiences with BMW equipment. It would be a good idea to read some of the stuff you can find written by guys like Dick, Grifscoots, RaffyK, Petevandyke, RonKMiller, Zippy_gg and many others.
My personal experience with the equipment and the online community has been fabulous.
Best,
Keir
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,165 Posts
jdsd-tourteam said:
Keir,

Thanks for the feedback. Having not had the chance to ride either, I was hoping (from reading reviews, etc.) that I would not have to give up some sporty feeling that I like in the ST. I guess I wanted to see if I could have both - super tourer AND some sportiness.

Any comments on maintenance issues? I hear horror stories about being taken at the dealer but perhaps that is only year-model specific? Weak spots?
What is considered low-mileage? High?

I did not do much research before getting the ST and long after the fact, I found out that the early ones have an alternator issue. "If it has not yet failed, it will." kind of thing. So now I know and will keep a look out for tell-tale signs.

For the 1999 K1200LT - is there something similar? Or is it essentially bombproof?

Jon
The LT is normally good for 200,000 and more without major engine work. A couple went way over 300,000, one of them still going strong when it was totaled.

Alternator problems? Where did you hear that? The alternator is one of the strong points of the LT, rarely an issue. Alternator issues are normally a bad connection between the dash alternator light and the alternator, causing it to charge intermittently, and the light won't show a problem. (The light is a required item in the excitation circuit, if no current flow through it, the alternator may or may not charge).

The most common big problem is clutch slave cylinder leakage, which usually takes out the clutch. Drilling a drain hole in the transmission boss where the slave mounts alleviates clutch damage when the slave fails.

The other issue is failed final drive crown bearings. Not fun, but in my opinion I would rather have that (and did) than the slave cylinder failure, which I also had, THREE TIMES! Much less time (and money if the dealer does the work) to replace the final drive than the clutch assembly.

One thing to have the dealer check on a '99: some of the earlier '99's had a software problem in the radio that drained the battery when the ignition was turned off. A software upgrade fixed that, and hopefully your dealer can find the TSB and check the version of your radio's software.

Test ride the LT, I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Maybe not quite as sportly as the ST, but closer than one would think for a big heavy tourer. Considerably sportier riding than the Wing in the twisties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Hello & Welcome jdsd,

I’m new to this site like you, My story is I went to look for a touring bike with a bit of umpph, As I was riding a YZF-R1, a plodder just would not do!
So I was looking at FJR’s, ZZR’s, Pan, and the like, then I seen a K1200LT,
Never seen an LT before so I didn’t know anything about them,
So I looked at it and thought, BIG!! Very BIG!!
So I put my leg over, and that was it!
I’M IN LOVE!!!
I wanted this bike, and I haven’t even started it.
So I talked to the man, how much will you give me for mine & so on,
Then off home to the wife to tell her that I’ve found another love,
as we’ve only been marred 7 weeks, I didn’t know how she would take it,
but no worries she just said “it up to you babe”, Oh Yes,
so got on the phone to the man, go for it I said,
Had to wait a week, a long week that was,
So I joined this forum, read as much as I could,
Then I thought “my good what have I got? All these problems, Drive, Clutch, ABS ect. “
Hang on, you can get all these with other bikes, right?
So I’m not going to be put off, I’ve got the bike, its got what I want from a touring bike.
Good, bad, whatever...

Than came the day to pick it up,
Wife came with me,
I thought of what I’d read on this forum about being a bit of a bitch at slow speed,
Bit of a wobble moving off,
So I treated her with a lot of respect, took the long way home, mostly motorway and bypass,

“BOY OH BOY I LIKE THIS BIKE” I thought, or maybe I shouted it out!!

I’ll take some time to get the feel of her at slow speeds , but I’ll never regret buying her,
Its the second best decision I’ve made in a long time,
the first being the wife.

The K1200LT is right for me,
I knew that before riding her,
Its comfortable & sporty
Will it be right for you?
Only you know that. Good look..
Bear-KLT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Run save yourself.....

Don't do it ! If you buy an LT let me tell you what to expect.

You will find a bike that you will really like. Then you will start reading this forum to find out all you can, learning on each thread about what is sitting in your garage. Then you will start printing out the info and the documents detailing how to fix/change/upgrade/modify etc.

Then you will start to post questions at first, then responses. Then at every opportunity you will jump at the opportunity to check this forum for new info, responses etc. your boss will think you are working hard on the computer as you intensely read the forum at work.

Then after programming your Blackberry or Treo, you will find yourself reading the forum during meetings, dinner, church. You'll find yourself taking apart a perfectly good bike "just to make it a little better". Wash it, wax it. Find the next place to ride it.

Your wife or girlfriend ( or both)will think you have a new love on the computer as it will be in front of you all the time. When you are not around a computer your hands will start to shake, your eyes will dilate, a should/neck twitching will start.

After a while a BMWLT intervention will take place which will result in daily BMWLT Anonymous meetings in which a cold turkey withdrawl will take place.

But it won't work. Once hooked, never free. Then some day..you'll be online trying to warn some one else. Run....run...fast and far.. :dance:

Or buy a Goldwing and have a normal boring life. :histerica

Good luck.. see ya around here..

Psssst...anyone selling a farkle? just a small one...just need a little farkle to make it through the week...... c'mon.. I'll pay for ti on pay day..need a farkle..gotta have a new one.....
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,795 Posts
Hey, Bear and all...
I agree.. my problems with the LT have been considerable... but they get solved and we move along.

In a discussion with my dealer.. I said.. "I really like the LT, but it really is worrying me".. He said.. "Deacon, I think you're wringing out all the problems and this bike will settle down."

Glad I took his advice.

Everything has been much better.

My earlier post was to detail specifics as requested... and they are all real, having experienced most of them on my LT. I have a couple more I could add to the list, but will abstain.

The bottom line.. each problem has been or will be fixed... and I will keep riding this bike until one of us totally wears out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
KIC,

Fantastic synopsis and fully understand. Very similar to my experiences over on the ST-Owners site.

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned an alternator problem. That was/is an issue with the early Honda ST's - not the LT's (I must not have been clear, sorry David).

I am very excited... going up to test ride the LT tomorrow (Saturday). I hope I can put some money down and secure it - and I have not even seen it!

Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Bear-KLT,

You (and I) are blessed in having a significant other that supports their man and (least for me), loves touring with me. This is a major reason for leaning towards an LT. I want to treat her right! And.... um.... not a bad piece of machine for me to use either... (LOL)

Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
And no "normal and boring life" foe me, thank you!!!!!!!!! :)

Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
It's not a boring life at all. That's why I was in the 42 degree garage this morning at 4am tightening the battery connections to try to fix a radio static noise. OK.. so the cough kept me awake.. but I do have cable to watch instead....

Man I gotta get a life.. or at least some sleep... :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
KIC said:
It's not a boring life at all. That's why I was in the 42 degree garage this morning at 4am tightening the battery connections to try to fix a radio static noise. OK.. so the cough kept me awake.. but I do have cable to watch instead....

Man I gotta get a life.. or at least some sleep... :rolleyes:
Hope you are feeling better.

I rode in to work this morning and the temp range was between 28 and 31 degrees. I had installed one of my Christmas gifts (a digital 5-function meter) that has a temp function (temp probe and can give ice temp warnings) on the ST. Main reason for the meter is to monitor my voltage since I am using heated clothing and installed higher watt headlamps and my alternator rated about half of what an LT has!

Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Considering the LT

Jon:

In my neck of the woods, BMW arranges demo days in conjunction with local dealers. An interesting route is organized and for a modest donation to charity, usually 10 or 20 bucks, one gets to ride any number of models provided by BMW Motorrad as well as enjoy lunch. That was first introduction to the LT. I was smitten.

I then wanted to get my SO's input. BMW dealers are always open to allowing a test ride. I arranged for a test ride with my SO since our plan was to return to long distance touring, something we did 25 years ago on my old Honda 750 and then a series of GoldWings. If the wife approved, I would buy the LT, and if she didn't, then I was going to get the RT or the GT.

SO loved the LT...I bought my '05 in July '06 and proceeded to put on 35,000 miles since then.

Ironically, the SO has yet to go on anything longer than an hour or so on the LT. Not what I planned....but....I have absolutely no regrets in buying the LT. I know they depreciate fairly quickly, the dealership network is sparse (to put it mildly), that the parts and service can be pricey but with all of the excellent resources available, such as the Clymer manual or the DVD's about servicing the bike, plus this amazing community, my ownership experience has been excellent.

As many have said before: the comfort, handling, styling and performance as well as the capability to carry a ton of stuff -- if you like long distance touring with camping gear -- you could not do better than the LT IMHO.

Every time I get off "Tipsy", I thank my lucky stars that I found the most amazing scoot on the planet. And I am smiling from ear to ear. Way too much fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for your thoughts Paul. I introduced my SO to two-up touring less than a year ago using the just purchased ST1100. She only had been on a bike (a HD) years and once before and did not like the experience. She trusted me and we got the ST. (I was originally thinking of a Connie, but when this ST became available, I went for that.) Wow - what a difference the bike (and your companion) makes! It's hard for us to not go two-up riding as often as we can. We have happily done near 1000 mile tour trips over three day weekends - complete with rain, traffic, heat. Truly wonderful. The ST manages to do the job surprisingly well. Yet there is something missing. Perhaps it could be a little more comfortable? It's the most comfortable and smooth bike I ever had. Although it's about 700 lbs wet (and it does not look it to me), it's very flickable and well behaved. With her on, the handling is hardly different - I actually like having her on! Yet, I'm still a little sore after 500+ days on it. I would like to have tunes and it be a little more quiet in the cockpit. It also feels a tad small riding two-up. Plenty of power though. ALways had sport bikes before and some say the ST is top heavy. I don't think that at all! In fact, I thought many of my sport bikes - especially the older ones where the gas tank area really holds gas - were top heavy.

My SO has never been out west (but I have cycle toured a few times out west - on sport bikes) and she REALLY wants to do it via cycle. Yeah! However, we are looking at two to three weeks on the bike and I want her to be as happy as possible (which aids greatly to my state of mind). So I suggested getting a Wing. Then the LT came along - at the same BMW dealer I got the ST (from a trade in).

She says, if it's right - get it. If not, then we don't. Pretty simple and I love her for that. But no matter what, we KEEP the ST.

Perhaps I am wrong in considering the Wing or the LT? Don't know - never tried either. I don't have infinitely deep pockets either. So, instead of adding a top case and seatback for her, and with my knees still touching the back of the fairing with riding pants on, worrying about the low output oil-colled alternator going belly up because we both are in heated gear, maybe look for a bigger touring rig - but hopefully not so big that it like being in a cage.

Jon
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top