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Discussion Starter #1
I am a long time rider and am considering my next motorcycle purchase. I do a lot of long trips and Iron Butts. My '99 Kawasaki Nomad has been an extremely wonderful ride. It is comfortable, reliable and (believe it or not) quite a good long distance bike. But, I think I'm ready for a change.

The LT and RT are my primary focus today. A lot of factors bring me to these two bikes - Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Economy. I have test ridden both bikes. The RT felt light and agile. The motor was pinging along as do most boxer engines. The LT felt was different than any bike I had ever rode. It was like I was in a protective cocoon -- quiet, smooth... very different than my V-Twin Nomad. It has a lot of things that makes sense for long distance riders. I got the sense that I could ride it 1000 miles and still be able to function without a numb butt and buzzing in my head.

I am making this post to seek out the thoughts of those who already own and ride these bikes. Please share what you like and what you don't like about the LT (or RT). I'm considering recent model years, if you could point me to specific years and features I should look for --- that would be very helpful.

Thanks in Advance for your help.

Randy
Acworth, Ga
 

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Since you have already test ridden them then you are aware of the LT's weight and "top heavieness". I've only had my LT for a couple of months but the "drawbacks" would be, having to remove panels to do almost any maintenance. And everywhere I stop it seems people just want to come around and ask all kinds of questions about it, first being..."what kind of bike is that?", followed by questons about all of the switches and controls on it. The HD owners really seem to like the "power windows" option most.
Another drawback would be the cost and avialibility of parts (only from BMW dealers, mostly).
The up side would be its size. You ride it, you don't wear it. It gets seen (if only gawked at). And is a real joy to ride. Has lots of storage room. Plenty of power. And "room for improvement"...read; there are extras you can add/tinker with.
 

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Owned an LT for 4 years, and now have moved onto the new K1200GT. (Have you checked one of those out yet? ;)) The LT really only has one "flaw". It's heavy. Not that it was an issue for me, per se, but it could be an issue for you. Especially if you do a lot of high-mileage days in a row. At the end of long days, you have to be very aware of the LT's weight or you're going to drop it. That last fuel stop, checking into a motel, stopping for a bite to eat. When that fat girl gets tired and wants to lay down, there ain't no stopping her. :D

Good luck on your decision...and welcome to the forum. :)
 

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2 cents

I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.

If that's you, and you don't mind the riding position - perhaps light is better (some folks even like lite beer... :eek: ). I will add, that this is the first bike in over 20 years that my SO LIKES to ride on...

Good luck with your decision. :bmw:
 

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Remember that other riders feel differently about their LT, but you did ask for opinions on likes and dislikes. So here are mine.

Owned my LT for two years. I liked it's sporty lines, electric windshield, ABS brakes, smooth power, excellent comfort for rider & passenger (and if not, plenty of aftermarket seats available), great handling, and a excellent local dealer. Carried me thru multiple states and back without one mechanical problem.

Why I don't still have it? A 800 "plus" pound, high seat height, relatively high center of gravity, motorcycle with rider/passenger/luggage (375 additional pounds) was just too much for me to enjoy manuvering and stopping when traveling below 5mph. Did I ever "drop it" when traveling below 5mph? Nope, I dropped it backing & turning on my gravel path. But when out riding it was always, always, always on my mind. Along with "when will my rear drive fail" and my "shifter break". It got to the point I dreaded saddling up for the weekend.

You might find it more then suitable for your style/type of riding, lots of other riders do.

regards
 

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The LT is a heavy bike but I like heavy bikes. I preferred my 04 RT to the new, lighter RT. I really wasn't sure which new bike I would get but the LT won out.
I've had a GT but prefer my FJR to the GT. It really is a get on and ride decision. My dealer (Sante Fe) let me do an overnight test ride and I was sold. If you act fast BMW has some great deals on 06s through the end of the year although who knows, those deals may only get better in 07. :eek:
 

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K1200lt

I've been riding the LT now for just a year. I really enjoy the bike. I was riding a Yamaha Venture before this one. The venture is not even in the same ball park when it comes to long distance riding. My wife really enjoys the ride on the LT. Only draw back about the bike I find is that it is heavey especially when riding two up with a full load of luggage. As far as handling at slow speeds it just takes practice. On the twisties this bike handles like a sports bike and would leave the GW far behind. I've also driven the RT which I also like and probably would have bought but my wife preferred the ride on the LT. I think you would be happy with whatever bike you buy. Good luck and happy riding. :bmw:
 

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Randy, Welcome.


I ride an LT and have never rode an RT. I have 35 years continuous M/C experience and I find the LT very comfortable. I think if you find it still comfortable after 1 hour it will be comfortable at 15 hours. But YMMV.. Actually 750 miles is my optimal distance and I can repeat as necessary. I have done 2 1000 mile days back to back and I was glad they were over when I shutdown.

I think one of the reasons the LT works for me is the weight. I'm not intimidated by the weight but you have to always keep the weight in mind when doing low speed maneuvers. If you have a short inseam the LT will probably always be a challenge. She loves to dance in the curves and that is what I love and why I have one. I spend a very small percentage of time parking compared to riding.

I have 55k+ on mine and I believe that is it the easiest bike to ride that I have ever owned. IMHO if you are into long days the LT will not disappoint you but will also allow a sporty feel to same ride.

I ride this bike faster than I ever rode any previous ride and I feel comfortable at high speed even after multiple 750 mile days. I started out worrying about mechanical failures but I have found that good maintenance keeps you on top of some of the problems. Some of the big problems, like rear end, are a relatively low occurence (less than 5%) unless it happened to you. I'm not going to let that ruin my day. All bikes break. Some of the other problems, like slave cylinder leaks, are manageable with a maintenance cycle replacement.

Downsides of the LT.
  • Expensive to buy new.
  • Resale value is not good
  • Expensive to have dealer service.
  • Low volume of dealers especially in low population states.
  • Headlights are poor
  • Accessories are expensive.
  • Accessories are available.. :D
Upsides of an LT.
  • Fun to ride
  • Not a common bike
  • Lots of accessories to personalize
  • If you do your own maintenance this site will be here for you
  • resale value is not good so there are good buys on great bikes
  • If you choose used you can find some that have lots of expensive addons already
  • Fun to ride
  • Fun to ride... ;)
  • Did I mention it is fun to ride? :histerica
 

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I have a 2005 LT and upgraded from an 800cc metric V-Twin... talk about a change, but in my opinion, a change for the better! What everyone has said about the weight is definitely something you have to respect as a rider, but it is managable. I'm only 5'8" w/ a 30" inseam but can handle this bike w/ the seat on the lowest setting. It's actually lower and easier for me to handle than the RT, which was one reason why I chose the LT over the RT. Trust me, when you've got shorter legs, a couple of inches in seat height makes up for a couple hundred pounds in overall weight. The biggest change for me was the sitting position, though. Having been used to a "forward control" foot position and going to the "knee over toe" upright that the LT provides was quite an adjustment, but it didn't take long at all to master it. The biggest benefit the LT has over my old "V" is its handling. I can really lean this big bike over when needed and have all the confidence I never had on my "V" cruiser. The next benefit is the comfort of the passenger. You definitely will enjoy the heated seats and grips the LT offers along w/ the power windshield. I can ride in 32* weather and not be an icecicle at the end of my ride. But, I think you'd be happy w/ either the LT or RT, or even the GT. They're all great bikes. Best of luck and welcome to the world of Bimmer.... the Ultimate Riding Machine!
 

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bflemingor said:
I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.
I'm 6'3" with a 34" inseam. But I've only ridden the GT casually for 12K+ miles in 5 months, and I have a 10K-mile+ ride planned for next April. But thanks for the entertainment. ;)

The bike doesn't put a lot of weight on your wrists...YOU put a lot of weight on your wrists. Then again, I was doing 800-mile days earlier this year on a Ninja. Different strokes for different folks. But a lot of riders simply do not know how to ride a sportbike and/or sport-tourer. The GT is definitely a true blue sport-tourer. :)
 

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Hey Fitch.. I come from a lifetime of mostly HD. The LT is the bike for me. It is a wonderful bike and it is a bit heavy when running slow, sure, but it's not unmanageable. Now, I'm only 6'2", 33 inseam and 280 pounds, just to give you an idea of my perspective.

Whatever you do, don't test ride it... If you expect to run "2 up", do NOT take them with you... you will never hear the end of it.

Motorcycling is certainly personal... as are bike of choice and only you know the stuff that matches your needs.

So, go to a dealer.. spend some time there.. ask lots of questions... Hope your choice is one you are comfortable with.
 

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bflemingor said:
I'm new to the LT, but have ridden about everything else - and I hate - read HATE - the riding position found on the GT and it's "R" cousin - continue that on to the Honda 1300, etc.

However, I'm 6'4" with a long torso - putting a lot of weight on my wrists - and in some cases, my head past the windshield. These bike are made for the inseam challanged.
I have to agree that the GT is not by any means as comfortable then the LT. I did a weekend swap with a friend and was glad to get mine back. He commented on the much higher comfort level of the LT also. And I'm a strapping 5'7" :rolleyes:
My biggest con of the LT and BMW in general is the dealer support. We are planning on moving in the near future, and I fear I'll have to sell my LT as the nearest dealer is +60 miles and I'm not sure how much longer they will be there.
 

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I am not familiar with the GT but with the RT, you can adjust your riding position in many ways. Lowering the foot pegs, a taller seat, different windscreen, handlebar pull-backs and risers are just a few of the options. I have a friend who rides an RT (and taks LONG trips) and is your size. He had several of these items installed on his RT and is very satisfied. Of course, I am partial to the LT, weight challanged as it may be.
 

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If your mission is cover a lot of miles multiple days in a row while staying off long stretches the gravel (I did a 30 mile stretch last summer and it wasn't fun) and skipping the dirt roads, you won't regret riding the LT. If you pay to have the work done, it'll be expensive to own.

BTW, I thought about replacing my LT with a R1200GS or GSA. However, I can't part with it (at least yet), so for the first time in 34 years of riding I'm the proud owner of two bikes. The second being an '07 R1200GS.
 

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I rode my friend down to the BMW dealer to rent an RT this morning. He is a Harley rider and wants to get a bike that is a true long distance bike. We picked up the RT and then rode the rest of the day. We switched bikes because he was thinking about the LT also but thought it might be to heavy. By the end of the day with 150 miles of freeway and 100 of city with some twistys thrown in and he is convinced of one thing the RT is not for him. He is going to look at an LT tomorrow. He was very supprised how the LT felt, although the RT felt smaller he said the LT was much smoother and shifted and was much easier to turn. I rode the RT and felt very much the same. I had a 1200GS for a few weeks as a loaner and put a lot of time on it and liked it. The RT I had to push to get it to turn my LT I only look, slight pressure on the bar and it's turning. It has good power but has lots of vibes even in the sweet spot it is no where near as smooth as the LT. I have small feet but i had trouble shifting, very cramped. The mirrors are lousy much worse than the LT's. I did like the ESA but what happens when you want to add Ohlins or Wilbers? I am glad I rode it as I have thought of what would it be like going from the LT to an RT now I know. He is 6'2" so he had no problem flat footing the LT and the weight didn't bother him coming from the Harley.
 

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LT thoughts

RFitch said:
I am a long time rider and am considering my next motorcycle purchase. I do a lot of long trips and Iron Butts. My '99 Kawasaki Nomad has been an extremely wonderful ride. It is comfortable, reliable and (believe it or not) quite a good long distance bike. But, I think I'm ready for a change.

The LT and RT are my primary focus today. A lot of factors bring me to these two bikes - Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Economy. I have test ridden both bikes. The RT felt light and agile. The motor was pinging along as do most boxer engines. The LT felt was different than any bike I had ever rode. It was like I was in a protective cocoon -- quiet, smooth... very different than my V-Twin Nomad. It has a lot of things that makes sense for long distance riders. I got the sense that I could ride it 1000 miles and still be able to function without a numb butt and buzzing in my head.

I am making this post to seek out the thoughts of those who already own and ride these bikes. Please share what you like and what you don't like about the LT (or RT). I'm considering recent model years, if you could point me to specific years and features I should look for --- that would be very helpful.

Thanks in Advance for your help.

Randy
Acworth, Ga
hey Randy....

if u want to ride an LT im over in Jefferson....come on over and u can take her for a spin.....

in your post u said "reliability, comfort, performance, and economy"

i wonder if u put those in a specific order by priority?

i have mixed feelings on the reilability issue of the LT......of course i have to weigh what i say against the fact that my bike is a 99 that i bought used with 70k+ on it......since then i have put another 25K on....in about a year and a half......in that time i have had to replace the rear drive main bearing, and the transmission.......the rear drive bearing job cost me about $500 and I took the drive out and put it back in myself....i found a used tranny for $800 that i replaced myself.....so......is that reliable? i dont know....on one hand i dont know any other bikers around me who have remotely near 95K on their bike to start with.....so maybe it is extremely reliable :) engine wise....it runs like new........

comfort wise.....what i was riding before was either a Honda Shadow 1100 or a Concours.......there is really no comparison going gown the road....the LT is much much more comfortable than either of those....or any of the other bikes ive had.....and my wife loves it too....which is important ;)

performance wise.....when i compare the LT to my shadow.....it is simply no comparison.....the shadow needed to cruise below 80 to avoid excessive vibration or deafness :).......the LT can cruise at any speed you want to cruise at.....ive spent alot of hours with the cruise locked on 88 and it is as smooth and solid as at 60......i cant complain about the performance of the LT at all.....the Concours would outrun it.....but.....the LT will exceed 120 and i dont know too many places here in the east that u can do 120 for very long.......let alone faster...(Joe may disagree with me on this point :))

economy wise.....my LT consistently gets 44 to 46 mpg......i ride pretty fast and pretty hard.....for the size of bike and for all the crap im usually hauling i am usually amazed at the fuel economy.....

anyway.....if you want to check one out in detail come on over.....

im in the Jefferson phone book....Kip Duke
 

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Outstanding Posts

Randy...Welcome!

The Outstanding Posts by the previous esteemed members present many pros & cons of the K1200 LT. I agree with all of their comments and insights.

This forum is one of the main reasons I purchased another Beemer. I have learned from so many!

Additional Pros -

* Performance
* Pleasure to ride
* Safety
* Pleasure to ride (said that)

Cons -

* Weight below 5 mph
* Tire wear

;)

BIG AL
 

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Opinion from the south

jackd said:
Randy, Welcome.


I ride an LT and have never rode an RT. I have 35 years continuous M/C experience and I find the LT very comfortable. I think if you find it still comfortable after 1 hour it will be comfortable at 15 hours. But YMMV.. Actually 750 miles is my optimal distance and I can repeat as necessary. I have done 2 1000 mile days back to back and I was glad they were over when I shutdown.

I think one of the reasons the LT works for me is the weight. I'm not intimidated by the weight but you have to always keep the weight in mind when doing low speed maneuvers. If you have a short inseam the LT will probably always be a challenge. She loves to dance in the curves and that is what I love and why I have one. I spend a very small percentage of time parking compared to riding.

I have 55k+ on mine and I believe that is it the easiest bike to ride that I have ever owned. IMHO if you are into long days the LT will not disappoint you but will also allow a sporty feel to same ride.

I ride this bike faster than I ever rode any previous ride and I feel comfortable at high speed even after multiple 750 mile days. I started out worrying about mechanical failures but I have found that good maintenance keeps you on top of some of the problems. Some of the big problems, like rear end, are a relatively low occurence (less than 5%) unless it happened to you. I'm not going to let that ruin my day. All bikes break. Some of the other problems, like slave cylinder leaks, are manageable with a maintenance cycle replacement.

Downsides of the LT.
  • Expensive to buy new. compared to what, right there w/a Wing or full dressed HD
  • Resale value is not good IMO this is not true try to get a 'Steal", not easy. In my area used HD are CHEAP because of flooded market of used bikes.
  • Expensive to have dealer service. IMO, Not much diff than HD or Honda.
  • Low volume of dealers especially in low population states. I agree
  • Headlights are poor Absolutely not true on the new mod's
  • Accessories are expensive. Again not true when compairing, just not alot of aftermarket support like HD or Honda, Chi. BMW gives 20% disc.
  • Accessories are available.. :D
Upsides of an LT.
  • Fun to ride
  • Not a common bike
  • Lots of accessories to personalize
  • If you do your own maintenance this site will be here for you
  • resale value is not good so there are good buys on great bikes
  • If you choose used you can find some that have lots of expensive addons already
  • Fun to ride
  • Fun to ride... ;)
  • Did I mention it is fun to ride? :histerica
Welcome,
Just wanted to give my opinion of the downside. Actually IMO, the only REAL downside I have is the poor torque in 1rst gear due to questionable gear ratio. I am very used to it now but will look into revising the gearbox after the warranty expires!
Also if your inseam is shorter than say 30", make sure the bike can fit you. My brother badly wanted an LT but had to get a different bike because it was silly to modify a new LT to MAKE it fit (shocks, seat etc). But then again if you get a steal on a 2005, 06, or 07?????
 
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