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I just bought a ’99 K1200LT. This makes three in the garage. I’ve also got a 2000 Triumph Adventurer & a ’70 BSA Thunderbolt I’m restoring.

Considering the resale values and what other used touring bikes go for, these seem to fall somewhere between an incredible bargain and a white elephant. I’m guessing the low resale is due to the stigma from the final drive failures. Mine has @78K on the clock and the final drive has just been rebuilt, so I figured it would be closer to an “incredible deal”. I’ve got about 500 miles on it now. My first impression is that it runs amazingly smooth compared to anything else I’ve ridden. But I’ve also got some questions & concerns-

First, - as smooth as the engine is, the suspension is not. I tend to feel every small bump in the road. Do these bikes have a harsh ride, or should I just expect this from a 16yr old bike?

Second, this is my first bike with ABS. I live on a dirt/gravel road. I stepped on the rear brake hard to activate the ABS and there was a loud clunk from the rear wheel area. Everything looks tight, but there appears to be a lot of lash in the final drive. With the bike on the centerstand, the rear wheel will move back & forth about 15 degrees or 2 inches at the tire. Is this normal?
 

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I just bought a ’99 K1200LT.... has @78K on the clock and the final drive has just been rebuilt, ...
First, - as smooth as the engine is, the suspension is not. I tend to feel every small bump in the road. Do these bikes have a harsh ride, or should I just expect this from a 16yr old bike?

Second, this is my first bike with ABS. I live on a dirt/gravel road. I stepped on the rear brake hard to activate the ABS and there was a loud clunk from the rear wheel area. Everything looks tight, but there appears to be a lot of lash in the final drive. With the bike on the centerstand, the rear wheel will move back & forth about 15 degrees or 2 inches at the tire. Is this normal?
Congrats, I've owned my 2000 since new. Great bike. You have essentially the same bike.

Did the final drive fail, or was it a preemptive rebuild? (And I wonder who did the rebuild.)

Ride smoothness: I upgraded the original shocks to Ohlins somewhere around 40K miles. Big difference! If you have the original shocks an upgrade will be a noticeable improvement.

ABS: I live on a long gravel drive and ride lots of dirt roads. Gravel is a great place to "flex" the ABS and keep things moving in the ABS circuits. Yes, the K1200LT ABS has a "slow" pulse rate and will "thunk, thunk, thunk" when the ABS is activated. Normal.

Driveline lash: again, normal. No worries.
 

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Thanks, lots to learn. I've read some other posts here and see these things all make noises.

I believe the final drive failed. There was a box with a pretty ugly bearing & some other parts in the top box. It was done by a shop called Boxerworks just northeast of Atlanta, GA
 

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You can just replace the springs with HyperPro springs, quite a few have done it, the stock springs are very soft and like all springs weaken with age and load.
 
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You also might want to check the rear spring preload adjuster. If the PO road loaded 2 up all the time, they may have it set very stiff for just you. Also, these bikes run a reinforced rear tire and most people run it at 48 PSI. This can transmit some road imperfections and feel a little harsh sometimes.
BTW there is a great "how-to" on servicing the pre-load adjuster at this link: Maint./ Repair Videos as well as many many other helpful videos to help you service and repair this wonderful bike.
I also have a 2000 and love it. Some of your "clunk" may also be a little "cow Belling", the rear rotor gets loose and makes a clunking ringing noise that might get loud as the ABS does its thing. Annoying, but harmless. Search for Cow Bell, tons of info on it here.
Well, have fun with your new LT, ride safe.
 

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I replaced the shocks with Wilber's from Ted's BMW in North Cal.
You would think the LT would have great everything but the shocks and headlight are crap.
 

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Congratulations on the purchase of a fine machine. THE best two up ride in the WORLD!


Oh yes..............the rear abs klunks on my LT also. (front not so much)

If the ride is stiff, it would be my guess that Your new bike already has some sort after market suspension. What color are the springs?
 
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