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Discussion Starter #1
First post, so first, I wanted to say hello.

I recently sold my Goldwing. Great bike but I was getting a bit bored on it.

Always wanted a K1200LT so I found an 02 in great shape with low miles for about $6k or an 08 at a dealer with very low miles. Still working on a price but somewhere in the $13K area. It is decision time.

So here is my question. Don't rip me apart. I am seeking advice from those of you with the knowledge.

The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on one of these fine machines is my concerns with the FD issues. I have read about the numerous failures, but I have not read much from those of you without any issues.

How many of you seasoned LT riders have NOT had any issues?

The cracked frame issues on the Goldwing were well publicized but I never found anyone who actually had a problem. So I am wondering how likely the FD failures really are. Is the 4% failure rate an accurate figure?

Thanks in advance for your advice and for not flaming me for bringing this up again.
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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The FD issue should not be a show stopper. They do happen but are almost non-existent on the later models. Easy to do a preemptive rebuild as the failure is due to an assembly issue of over shimming at the factory. This appears to have been corrected by 2003. Several on this site will do a rebuild at very reasonable prices and repeat failures have yet to surface compared to dealer rebuilds.

The bottom line is these are a hoot to drive on the slab as well as the twisties. 10 years and 88 K happy with mine.
 

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you will most likely not hear any/many posts from people with out problems they are all happy and riding. Don't let these issues dissuade you in your decision, it's a big world out there with a gazillion LT's floating around, if it breaks then fix it. The amount of $$ I have saved from the information here "from people with problems" has well and truly covered any maintenance/breakdown cost on my bike, and my first major problem occurred at 105k trouble free km not bad.
 

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Do not get the '02 - the '99 -'02's have the highest FD failure rate.

Get them down on the '08 - good luck!!
 

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The FD issue should not be a show stopper. They do happen but are almost non-existent on the later models. Easy to do a preemptive rebuild as the failure is due to an assembly issue of over shimming at the factory. This appears to have been corrected by 2003. Several on this site will do a rebuild at very reasonable prices and repeat failures have yet to surface compared to dealer rebuilds.

The bottom line is these are a hoot to drive on the slab as well as the twisties. 10 years and 88 K happy with mine.
If you find an early model LT that has had it's FD rebuilt and replaced by competent hands, I would think that you should include a '99 - '02 in your purchase decision. :cool:
 

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Had 12 (or is it 13) LT's now.....never had an FD issue.
Fabulous bike, love 'em!
Simon
 

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...
Always wanted a K1200LT so I found an 02 in great shape with low miles for about $6k or an 08 at a dealer with very low miles. Still working on a price but somewhere in the $13K area. It is decision time...

The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on one of these fine machines is my concerns with the FD issues. I have read about the numerous failures, but I have not read much from those of you without any issues.

How many of you seasoned LT riders have NOT had any issues?

The cracked frame issues on the Goldwing were well publicized but I never found anyone who actually had a problem. So I am wondering how likely the FD failures really are. Is the 4% failure rate an accurate figure?
...
The final drive concern shouldn't stop you from buying a K1200LT, nor should it be the deciding factor between the 02 and the 08 bikes.
There have been message threads on this site in the past about who has not had a problem; the majority have not have problems. In fairness however, these bikes do have more issues than a comparable Honda, just as the Beemer cars have more issues than do Honda cars. But the performance that is engineered into these bikes is remarkable and does bring on a grin. :)

My suggestion would be to research the differences between the 02 and the 08, there are many, and make your decision based on those factors. The price differential between the two is pretty significant. If I were to buy the 02, I'd plan on pulling off the final drive and having Saddleman or JohnZ (both are on this site) do a rebuild on it. The 02 would then have a final drive with great reliability. The final drive on the 02 could be just fine, but since this is the period known to have badly assembled drives, a preemptive rebuild brings great piece of mind.

Look into differences between the 02 and 08: brake systems, handling characteristics, engine power, hydraulic center stand. All that info is here on this site.

Have fun, welcome to what is still the best touring motorcycle available, and the best forum.
 

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I bought a 2009 LT last April from a private party under 12k on the odo. 13k$$$
 

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Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
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I had a 2000 that i bought in 2006 with 12K on it. I rode it till 2011 & sold it with 72K to a friend. He put another 10K on it before a teenager took the bike out while texting. Never had any problems with the bike. If your really worried about the FD get the bike & send the FD to JZeiler to get it rebuilt. He had done a ton of them.
 

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I just purchased an 09 with low mileage (6525) for 11,500. Love it. Came from California. This is my second LT. I have owned goldwings in the past and like this bike much better. I f you are buying I would suggest an 05 or newer.
Good Luck
Dave

09 K1200lt new 6525 miles
05 K1200lt totaled 34k
08 Goldwing trike 57k
89 Goldwing sold with 205k still going
79 Goldwing bought new sold with 33k in 3 years
76 KZ 750 twin sold with 45k
and many more.
GWRRA member
Former District Educator (retired)
 

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My LT is 2000, final drive rebuilt twice (neither time was I stranded), once I paid, second time was warranty. If it happens within the two year warranty, BMW will do it again, if not, I'll find someone on this site! This site is like a support group-it's a great community who will jump in to help you.

Don't worry about the posts that talk of the problems-which there are as on every bike-but the rest of the LT owners are out riding and don't have time for posting.

I've done over 100K in the past 6 seasons, and while I was cleaning the bike the other day, someone walked by and asked if it was a new model! Get one. If I was looking, I'd be right here in the classified section looking-these guys take care of things.

Dave
 

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My advice would be, not to let the year or mileage for the LT be a deterrent. You'll see plenty of high mileage LTs. And I believe that you're better off buying from a (LT/BMW) enthusiast because it's likely the bike will have been better maintained as well as outfitted with accessories you'll be glad to have. Good luck with the decision.
Scott
 

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The final drive concern shouldn't stop you from buying a K1200LT, nor should it be the deciding factor between the 02 and the 08 bikes.
There have been message threads on this site in the past about who has not had a problem; the majority have not have problems. In fairness however, these bikes do have more issues than a comparable Honda, just as the Beemer cars have more issues than do Honda cars. But the performance that is engineered into these bikes is remarkable and does bring on a grin. :)

My suggestion would be to research the differences between the 02 and the 08, there are many, and make your decision based on those factors. The price differential between the two is pretty significant. If I were to buy the 02, I'd plan on pulling off the final drive and having Saddleman or JohnZ (both are on this site) do a rebuild on it. The 02 would then have a final drive with great reliability. The final drive on the 02 could be just fine, but since this is the period known to have badly assembled drives, a preemptive rebuild brings great piece of mind.

Look into differences between the 02 and 08: brake systems, handling characteristics, engine power, hydraulic center stand. All that info is here on this site.

Have fun, welcome to what is still the best touring motorcycle available, and the best forum.
Your mindset towards basing a decision on which vintage to focus on was the same as mine after my reading well over 100 hrs of information out on the internet. And spending time speaking with 2 independent and factory dealers/repair shops on the subject of the K1200LT.

While very much a Newbie myself to this model I believe I did make a informed decision pertaining to which year was right to fit my needs. Yes, I knew that my (new to me) 2000 w/25k on it needs to be watched more than a much newer model for a few little details, until I yank the final drive out over this coming winter and have it properly refurbished.

But honestly that is NOT that big of deal.

I've helped friends with R1200GS's with final drive issues a few times, trannie issues with them, a clutch exploding for no reason, and other weird poop going on with that model.

So to see a very small percentage of final drives fail on the LT's really did not bother me, too much.

As a wise man once said when I bought my first Porsche 911, buy the newest one you could afford, I guess I was a slow study or very poor, because I've owned 5 over the last 35 years with the latest being the newest.

Enjoy
M
 

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When I purchased my LT I was looking for the 03 for the 'safe' year. Actually they made process change on the late 02 manufactured April and later. That's when they changed the bearing suppler too. So if that is a concern for you check on the frame for the manufactured dated. My 03 went 97K miles before trade in with no final drive failure. My bike never stranded me but did have failures like anything mechanical. Had I let it worry me I would have missed out on 9 great years of touring the US with my wife on the motorcycle. Our first trip was the 05 CCR in the Grand Tetons.

Seriously I would be more concerned about the low mileage on the bike than the final drive. When did it have it's last 12K maint? Its going to need all the fluids changed and maybe even the brake and fuel hoses. Use that as a bargaining chip to drive the price down.
 

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I worry more about the clutch than the FD.
 

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Hi, Here's a reprint from a post I did years ago...The poster was asking about the comparison of the LT to an GL1800.
Re: K1200LT vs GL1800 Goldwing

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Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents...I owned an GL1800 for 2 years, and enjoyed the comfort, and even more the comfort it gave to my wife riding on the back. The bike is blessed with great gagets and there are tons of aftermarket doodads available for it. But, I seemed to always have this gnawing feeling that I was missing the thrill of riding a motorcycle. It began to seem like I was driving a Civic with 2 wheels. Dude! what ever anyone says about the power of the LT, the GL has torque/power supreme. I mean when you want to go fast, I don't care what speed you are going, or what RPM, when you twist the throttle, the GL just pours on the coals and goes. Not to say that the LT doesn't go like a bat out of hell, it just takes a little more RPM and downshift work to blow by everyone else in the blink of an eye... My wife finally decided to get her own bike, and I thought I would sell the GL, and get a cruiser to ride to work, and for weekend trips. I sold it, and started shopping, with nothing particular in mind. I began to understand that I really wanted all the hard luggage for hauling my stuff to work, and lamented my decision to sell the GL. I no sooner started to whine quietly to myself when I came across the LT on craigslist, for a give-a-way price ($3600)! After some wheeling and dealing (had to pay a little more than asking to get there first) I rode home on my new to me 2000 KLT. I have taken several trips on it to date, 1 up and 2 up, plus 60 miles round trip to work, and I can say from experience that it is definately a more fun ride, gives you a great "Motorcycle" feel, with all the comfort and more than the GL. I would not mean to discount things like dealer network, parts or maintenance costs, or any other ecomomic factor involved in owning a complicated piece of machinery, But for ride factor..I don't think there is any comparison.....LT hands down! I just love riding the big girl!!!! Oh, and I never understood the big deal of an electric adjustable windshield until I got the LT. It is by far one of the best accessories ever! It really allows you to adapt your riding comfort to your speed and riding environment at the touch of a button. Rather than the pull over, manually adjust your windshield, start riding, not right, pull over adjust again, its good now, go faster, not right again, pull over.....etc. Electric adjustable windshield....double extra +++fantastic!
I wrote that about 5 years ago, I love the LT even more now. I prefer it over any car I own, and ride it in all weather except ice storms, and heavy snowfall.
I just had my FD go out, got a rebuilt replacement from a Forum member for $350 plus shipping, and I'm back on the road. Over all, not really what I would call an expensive repair. It sounds weird to say it, but this forum is an actual substitute for a dealer!!! You can buy bikes, parts, accessories, get advise, people will send you things you need, come over an help you. The only thing else you get from the dealer is the part where you drop it off, and pick it up next Tuesday, bring buckets of cash!
Good luck my friend, You WILL enjoy riding this motorcycle!!
 

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I worry more about the clutch than the FD.
Yes and the clutch issue will give you enough warning ie slipping in 5th gear. You won't get yourself stranded with that unless you ignore it.
 

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Bought my 05 over 3 years ago for $10k w/29k on it. About to roll over 45k on the odometer and have been using it as a daily commuter inside the last year. No major issues so far. (Knocking on wood) Good forum here with great people willing to share their expertise. Look forward to seeing your pictures of the new ride.
 

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Just replacing the crown wheel bearing is about a hundred bucks and an afternoon job. Take a look at how much shim is in it and consider taking a small amount out. Probably good for 100,000 miles plus then.
 
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