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Discussion Starter #1
All,

okay, I've owned many bikes over the years from Aprilia's to Zundapp's, including a much loved airhead R100RS.

I am in my late 50's and my wife is right behind me. She is pushing me for a more comfortable bike than my Ducati ST3, and while I love it - she is right. After lookiong at a number of bikes, riding an H-D (hated it) and a couple of Wings (nice but sterile) we started to look at K1200LT's. Haven't ridden one, but heck how bad could it be, right?!

My concern after scanning this forum is all the problems. From final drive problems (even a registry!!) clutch slaves that take out the clutch, electrical problems, etc. - is this a bad move? My Ducati has been unbelieveably reliable - something I would think of the BMW, not an Italian.

Should I limit my searches to certain model years? Any and all advice will be appreciated. I was all ready to buy a pretty pristine looking 2000 with ~12k on it, but now I am really gunshy.
 

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Dave,

Welcome.

As you know, it's mechanical and they break. That being said, my previous 02 K1200LT was the best bike I've ever owned prior to my new 12 K1600GTL. I, like 96% of the owners, never had a serious problem and still smile when thinking about all of the fun I had on it.

Do a "search" for similar questions and you will pull up a ton of the same.

Is your glass 1/2 full of 1/2 empty?

Get on the bike and ride. Have a super time and if it breaks, get it fixed. All of the years have a little good and bad. Pick your poison! I loved my 02, but in 05 a "major" design added a power center stand (useless in my mind and a problem and a reason why I did not upgrade) and slight change in power. I think that prior the brake was a little different.

Others will tell you a lot more. LOOK BELOW: Similar Threads
 

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Dave,

I have owned 2 lt's with a total mileage of 240,000 on the pair. I recently had my first rear drive failure on my current LT at 143,700 miles.

My LT is a 2003 LTE and I have had no electrical problems with it....everything works.

I did put a clutch in it at 134,000...but that was because I had a slight drip from the rear seal and you may as well do it then...it was not slipping.

Things do happen with any bike or car....what you see on the forums is just a sampling of what is out there.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one....but I think I will look at a R1200RT next due to my age and the weight.

HTH,

Ron
 

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I've had my 2001 LT since August 2000.
I've put over 115,000 miles on it.
Can't relate to most of the issues discussed on this forum.
It's a luxury touring bike, but can be a sport tourer, if you want it to be.
Even pulling a trailer.
Not as nimble as my K1600GTl, but very capable.
Excellent platform for my Iron Butt rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Those responses are VERY reassuring!

As I said, I am an avid motorcyclist and currently own 2 Ducs and an MV Agusta Brutale (amongst others) and when I started seeing more "problems and issues" than THOSE bikes have, I got a little nervous.

I also like the advice on the "useless" electric centerstand - a feature I thought I would appreciate, along with reverse.

Thanks all - still listening if others have opinions!
 
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Reverse is a nice feature for a heavy bike, and I confess to using it whenever I was careless and parked slightly down hill, in Florida?

My new K1600GTL doesn't have it and I just have to be a little more aware of where I park.

I do use a center-stand when working on the bike for safety, but that is the only time. To me, the power center stand was extra additional weight, electrical issues and hydraulics I did not what to be concerned with. Got away for keeping it simple.
 

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kellenbenz said:
Dave,

...snip....

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one....but I think I will look at a R1200RT next due to my age and the weight.
HTH,

Ron
Man - made that first pot pretty strong this morning, as an excuse for:

WHOSE WEIGHT? :rotf:
 

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It seems that you and I are in the same place. I presently ride an 08 Adventure and my favorite bike of all time was my R100RS. The bride and I wanted something that would be more ideal for some weekend tourning than the GS. I've had a couple of Electra Glides but have always preferred my BMWs. I considered the Gold Wing but it lacks the coolness factor of the BMW, to sterile as you say. I've searched all of the forums and read a ton of posts about the problems and just pulled the trigger on an 07 LT with 12,000 miles anyway. Picking it up on the 12th in DC and heading back south on the Blue Ridge Parkway, across Tennessee to the Natchez Trace and down to Baton Rouge. Looking forward to a two bike (two BMW) stable...good luck to you.
 

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The beginning of the month I bought an 07. 30k on the odometer, and runs great. Find one that has all or most maintenance records. That's your best resource for recurring issues. They won't predict the future though. I will replace the seat this winter as the stock seat is to soft for me. Still researching that one.
 

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Dick said:
Man - made that first pot pretty strong this morning, as an excuse for:

WHOSE WEIGHT? :rotf:

Just for Dick...I was referring to the bike weight and by that I mean how much the bike weighs and not how much of my ample butt it can carry.

It may be a long time before I make a change though...this bike has plenty life in it.

Ron
 

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I have not stopped laughing since I read Dan's line about moving from the K1200LT to the high tech, electronic state of the art 1600 GTL. "To me, the power center stand was extra additional weight, electrical issues and hydraulics I did not what to be concerned with. Got away for keeping it simple"

Really Dan, that is funny, all things considered.

I have an '07. I use the center stand in the garage to save on space, and on any place where the ground slopes the wrong way for parking. It does spend the rest of its parking time on the side stand, especially when stopped for fuel.

Davewrit, like most of the forum, my wife and I love the LT. I take it to work about half the time, but mostly, we ride 2-up on weekend trips and generally,anything under around 800 miles away. We trailer it on long trips, like the 14 day jaunt to the BMW MOA in Bloomsburg. The LT has a lot of luggage space, but not for two people for two weeks.

I suspect dealers may still have a 2009 or two, so try to schedule a ride. Your need to find out how your wife likes the pillion seat and view. For streets, highways and curves, the LT handles them all well.

At 845 lb. fueled, it is hefty. Exercise the same kind of care you did with the Wing and the Harley. Stop with the wheel straight and mind where feet will go.

My first and best farkle were tether's for the mirrors. They snap on and if you hit a big enough hole at speed, they will pop off. Both Tennessee and Illinois have been kind enough to provide test pads to prove the above, so keep that in mind if you buy.

The BMW engineers did a wonderful job of balancing the bike. You can shift lanes and practically turn corners must shifting your weigh on the seat.. They also seemed to want to make the bike stand on the shortest possible side stand. I don't think they had dirt or gravel in mind, or even hot summer asphalt. You might want to bring a block of wood or plastic (insurance companies are famous for handing them out at shows.)

I would recommend a more recent model LT and you can probably find many used LTs at BMW shops that have taken them in as trades for the 1600's.

In addition to Reverse and power center-stand (post 2005), the electronic windshield is great, and you get heated seats and passenger backrest, heated grips, electronic cruse control, a fairly good stereo with either 1 CD or a 6 CD player, an intercom, and a mount for a GPS. The light on the '07 and newer is pretty good, and its not too hard to replace others with HID lights, or have motolights added tot eh bike.

I only have about 24,000 miles on my '07, which is nothing compared to the rest of the board. We don't ride as much as we would like with two grandkids and a demanding job, but we do get out from March to December most years up here in IL, because the wind vents, wind shield, headed grips and seats and good by not electronic jacket and boots let us. That is long before and long after the Harley's and Winds are out, which is another reason we like the bike.

Bill
 

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I am on my second LT and my wife loves it. I ride it everyday unless it is raining when I leave home, and then I may still ride it.

I have had a few small issues but otherwise the bike has been great. I have a 2000 with 82000 miles on it now and my first one had 58000 before it decided to lay down. (Driver error)

I have bought both used. To me it is the best touring bike around. I would like a few of the 2005 items but in the long run I would rather have my 2000 without linked brakes.

To bad your not a bit closer to me, I would let you take the bike for a ride.

If you are always afraid of stuff breaking I would say then don't buy anything. I don't think you will be disappointed in the bike though. But a test drive I think is a must.
 

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I just pulled the trigger on an 06 for just under 7K. I love the bike so far ... only 13k miles on it and I got complete maintenance records with it. I would recommend getting one with complete owners manuals ... and ... make sure you have the security system code before you buy ... I'm having a bit of an issue getting mine from the dealer. I think it will work out ... but no joy yet. People on this board have been great so far ... even to the point of scanning a security system manual for me ... I too was worried about the "issues" described on this forum. I'm getting the idea after reading tons of posts that the BMW community is one that does most of their own service, weather this is because BMW service is expensive or they like to work on their bikes ... or both ... I don't know ... it's obvious they crave info about any maintenance item they can think of. I've owned wings and harley's and none of those riders (well maybe some of the hard core harley guys ) would ever tackle the things I've read about here ... i.e. ... final drives ... power center stands ... etc. The good news is ... this forum has more info than I'll ever need ... I used to rebuild nuclear reactors for a living so I'm a fairly competent mechanic ... given the knowledge I get here ... I'm gonna start doing most of my own maintenance ... I think the first thing I'll do is a "tupperware party" (the lingo here kills me) just to see how it goes and to see what tools I'll actually need ... and ... I'm dying to see what's under the plastic that makes the bike soooooo pretty. Good luck and ride safe.
 

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Just having my 2002 for this season I can't speak to the longevity personally, but I bought it with 50K+ on it and the previous owner had no significant issues reported to me.. I was a bit nervous after reading some of the post on this site too on final drive failures and the such, but digging deeper that did appear to be the minority. So taking the plunge I have no regrets, the bike glides through the curves like something half it's size, and the reverse was very handy when I had her at the end of a narrow gravel road that was pointing down hill, 800 lbs is a lot to try and backup a gravel (or any) hill without it. Buying used is always a gamble, thats the case on any bike or car. Personally I find the savings of used to be worth the gamble, but if your not up for the risk go new with a guarantee and put it on the dealer for everything fails, thats what warranties are for...

-Preston
 

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My 03 Lt is my first BMW. It has 47k miles on it now. Precautionary maintainance that I was not willing to tackle(Dealer done) has included--Valve clearance checked once--Replaced plastic with metal quick disconnects for gas lines--Shift linkage upgrade--Wilbur Shocks installed-- one brake flush at 40kmiles--one clutch flush--one battery--one set new spark plugs--updated throttle cables--reseal front timing cover--replaced fuel and air filter--drill holes in bell housing-- 5 new rear tires--3 front-- I do do my own oil changes--32 qts of synthetic motor oil--8 bosch oil filters--3 qts semi-syn trans fluid--3 qts semi-syn final drive fluid--1000 gallons of hi-test gas--3 cans gas treatment-- 2 bottles of car wax. --maybe if had not waited until now to think about the investment I would not have made the plunge.But until a Theme Park can deliver what my LT does whenever I want I'll remain with my current addiction. I have seen the Youtube footage of the knee dragger on a Goldwing so obviously the Hondas are adequate and someday I might try one. But out of the box the Beemer embellishes the non-professional with talents he doesn't possess.Even before the Wilber shock upgrade my shift lever was suffering from road rash and when I forget to keep my foot on top of it in a sharp 1st gear sweeper the road will pop me into neutral dumping adrenalin on top of adrenalin. The left channel is gone from my CD and the Tour pack handle is broke but operational. The kickstand is most of the time too short and she will smoke like a barn fire if left too long so I like to keep it on the center stand which also unloads the suspension. I think with a longer kick stand and all the flat surface area a stiff wind coming from kickstand side has the potential of standing her up. I was sitting side saddle on it one day with kickstand down and both feet on the right hand side using the driver and passenger pegs for rests. I was leaning out to get a better look at something and the next thing I knew she was on her right side--heres your sign. Anyways I hope you end up happy with whatever you get. Me--I'm happy
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tom1200 said:
I am on my second LT and my wife loves it. I ride it everyday unless it is raining when I leave home, and then I may still ride it.

I have had a few small issues but otherwise the bike has been great. I have a 2000 with 82000 miles on it now and my first one had 58000 before it decided to lay down. (Driver error)

I have bought both used. To me it is the best touring bike around. I would like a few of the 2005 items but in the long run I would rather have my 2000 without linked brakes.

To bad your not a bit closer to me, I would let you take the bike for a ride.

If you are always afraid of stuff breaking I would say then don't buy anything. I don't think you will be disappointed in the bike though. But a test drive I think is a must.
Tom, thanks for the advice. I am now looking at a 2000 with 21,000 on it, for $7500. Pretty clean. Did smoke when started - but I guess I am learning they all pretty much do that when left on the side stand. The LCD for the radio station is either dim, or it needs polishing - I can't tell.

Is there a trick to getting it on the center stand? I've put heavy bikes up before, but this one seems daunting.
 

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davewrit said:
Tom, thanks for the advice. I am now looking at a 2000 with 21,000 on it, for $7500. Pretty clean. Did smoke when started - but I guess I am learning they all pretty much do that when left on the side stand. The LCD for the radio station is either dim, or it needs polishing - I can't tell.

Is there a trick to getting it on the center stand? I've put heavy bikes up before, but this one seems daunting.
I first over lubed the center stand.Those pivot points get dry.And it did help.After standing bike straight up. Left hand left grip--right hand on provided grab handle--right foot pushes center stand down. I lift straight up with my right arm while pushing straight down with my right leg and only use the left grip to keep bike from tipping. Have someone spot you from the other side until you are comfortable with your technique. The exhaust super heats the side stand and it can get real sticky when touring but I'm shy about introducing too much lube without knowing how oil will impact the electrical sensor associated with it.
 

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davewrit said:
All,

okay, I've owned many bikes over the years from Aprilia's to Zundapp's, including a much loved airhead R100RS.

I am in my late 50's and my wife is right behind me. She is pushing me for a more comfortable bike than my Ducati ST3, and while I love it - she is right. After lookiong at a number of bikes, riding an H-D (hated it) and a couple of Wings (nice but sterile) we started to look at K1200LT's. Haven't ridden one, but heck how bad could it be, right?!

My concern after scanning this forum is all the problems. From final drive problems (even a registry!!) clutch slaves that take out the clutch, electrical problems, etc. - is this a bad move? My Ducati has been unbelieveably reliable - something I would think of the BMW, not an Italian.

Should I limit my searches to certain model years? Any and all advice will be appreciated. I was all ready to buy a pretty pristine looking 2000 with ~12k on it, but now I am really gunshy.
I am a little schizophrenic when it comes to my 2007 LT which I bought new. I really like most things about it such as handling, power, braking, features such as power wind shield, center stand, heated grips and seats, etc. There are a few things I don't like such as the too tall first gear which makes starts going uphill quite a challenge, particularly when two-up and fully loaded. Also, the lack of low-end torque is inconvenient for a luxotourer, but one adapts to the need to keep the revs up.

The things I don't like are the lack of dealers. My nearest one is 110+ miles away and I had an experience there a couple of years ago that has caused me to not return and I can't recommend this dealership. The next closest one is 120 miles away.

The accessories and parts costs are crazy.

Simple maintenance items such as air and fuel filter are half day jobs if you are experienced at tupperware R&R. You have to strip the bike and remove the fuel tank to change the air filter! :confused: What insane Bavarian engineer dreamed up that design? This was a 10 minute job on my Kawasaki Voyager XII if I moved really slowly.

I have only 26,000 miles and thus far have escaped most of the well-discussed issues such as trunk latch, slave cylinder, final drive, etc. However, I think my luck is running out. This spring when I was readying the bike for the season, I noticed that the front of the torque link boss on the FD (not sure that is the official terminology, but it is where the torque links attach) was covered with a film of oil. I cleaned it up well and started riding. The bike had about 22,000 on it at that point. Within a thousand miles, the oil was all over the place again. I contacted a well-known BMW expert, Tom Cutter of Rubber Chicken Racing Garage fame, and he suggested removing the synthetic oil and replacing it with Castrol Hypoy C and refilling with 220 cc rather than to the bottom of the fill hole as per normal. The dealer had filled both the transmission and FD with synthetic at the 12K service. Tom said this often will slow or stop the leak. So, I did this and cleaned out the boot well per Tom's suggestion, but the leak persists. I can't say it has gotten any better, but it also appears to not be getting worse at the moment. However, every 500 miles or so I have to clean off the oil to keep it from dripping on my garage floor.

Then, while changing out the engine oil and the transmission fluid a few weeks after doing the FD, I found that the entire underside of the transmission and intermediate housing were covered with oil and dirt. So, I am not sure now if the leaks are from the FD, the transmission or both. Anyway, I cleaned everything up well and have kept on riding. I haven't pulled off the covers to have a good look at the underside of the transmission lately, but I suspect it is oil covered again as I often smell gear oil after a ride. Surprisingly, after 4,000 more miles this year the clutch is still not slipping. However, I have to believe that is in my future.

I also don't like the intense maintenance required. The list of required maintenance has to be at least twice as long as for my Kaw Voyager. Things like having to flush the ABS brakes every year for the wheel circuits and every other year for the control circuits is just ridiculous. Can you imagine if cars required that?

So, I currently have mixed feelings about BMW in general and the LT in particular. I love the riding experience, but I dislike the amount and cost of maintenance required to enjoy that experience. The trouble is, I see the LT as the least of the evils at present. There are very few choices in the luxury touring market and I really don't see myself on a GW which is the only real competition. However, when I have to either shell out $2,000 to have my clutch replaced and seals repalced or spend a couple of weekends of my time doing the job myself and sitll probably spending $600 for parts, I will likely move on to something else. Just not sure what at this point. I am not that enthralled with the 1600 and if I go the sport tourer route I will likely get a Concours 14 where I have reasonable maintenance and a dealer within 30 miles. If the C14 just had cruise control... :)

So, I can't offer you anything to help make your decision easy, but hopefully I at least gave you some things to think about so that your decision is informed. The LT is certainly an intoxicating ride and that is likely what causes the diehards to put up with all of the cost and reliability issues. Any lesser bike and folks would run not walk away after the first $2,000 repair. And don't kid yourself, if you have a major failure with this maching (clutch, ABS, etc.) you will shell out $2K or more OR spend a lot of your personal time in the garage rather than riding. Just some food for thought.
 

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Two things I haven't seen mentioned above:
(2001 K12LT, 60,000 miles)
I occasionally ride with the local Gold Wing group...they spend hours talking about various windshield configurations & positions..I just adjust mine to suit conditions. My wife never mentions buffeting when she rides with me..among the GoldWing passengers it's a common topic. Your wife will love it! The Vancouver dealer told me that bike was designed with the aid of a wind tunnel for 2up riding.
When in the rain, at the right speed, the fairing is so well designed that you stay quite dry.
This spring I did a 5,000 mile ride with 4 buddies: 2-ST1300s, a Suzuki Vstrom 1000, and a 2001 K1200RS...we regularly swap bikes during the trip. Without exception, they all like the LT for its comfortable ride!
The K1200RS has a 6 speed transmission, and about 30 or so more horses...I notice that the 2009LT has a 6speed transmission and a few more horses..If I were looking to replace mine, I'd go for a 2009 or later model.
hope that helps!
 

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I notice that the 2009LT has a 6speed transmission and a few more horses..If I were looking to replace mine, I'd go for a 2009 or later model.
hope that helps![/QUOTE]
I own a 2009 LT and it does not have a 6 speed transmission.
 
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