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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm looking to buy a used touring bike and was wonder if there are any major differences between the 2003 and current models. By major I mean something that would really sway my thinking of just buying a newer bike. I am more familiar with the KS,RS,& GT.
I am looking at a 2003 LTE and just wanted to know if there is a reason to look at any different year or model.
 

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The three main versions of the LT are '99-'01, then '02-'04 added power Integral brakes, and '05-'07 added more horsepower, hydraulic centerstand, and split the low & high beam. There are other differences, and incremental improvements along the way, but those are the main ones.

More info can be found here and here.
 

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If you are going to keep it for a while then I do suggest the '05 solely for the hydraulic center stand. If you think that you may want to upgrade in a year or two for the "new" ,hopefully, LT, then live with the '03, pocket 5k and enjoy the ride.
 

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There is another perspective to the newer vs. older: warranty coverage or lack thereof. Newer bikes will likely comes with 12-24 months left of the warranty period. A 2003 or even 2004 bike is probably out of warranty (not counting the a rare extended warranty).
It's a gamble: you either pay a few thousand extra up front for piece of mind when you buy a newer bike, or save the same few thousand with an older bike and pay eventual repair costs out of pocket.
If you add the warranty coverage and new feature together then a 2005 LT at the right price might actually look tempting.
BTW, for me the most appealing new feature of the 2005 model was the narrower seat and narrower body below the seat which gives you an extra inch or more of inseam and thus much better traction when you put your feet down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Steve,
Thanks, I need the lowest to the ground bike I can get. Inseam is important to me. I will definitely sit on a 2005 and see.
Robert
 

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As indicated previously the changes continued as time went on. By the time you get to later model 2006 bikes, you have the halogen headlight, alarm system, remote locking, and intercom system standard. And most of the warranty left. The 2007 models again modified the standard seat (softer) and power brake operation (less powered).

Of course the most important thing is the color changes every year or two. :)
 
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