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Hello!! I am shopping for a new bike and a few weeks ago I test drove a Gold Wing 1800 and was very impressed. Today a test drove a K1200LT and fell in love with a marvelous bike. At this point, I have a few questions. First, while I am not a professional mechanic, I like to do as much work on my bikes as I possibly can. How easy is it to work on this bike?? Besides the BMW service manual, is there some other source for information on how to do the service work on a K1200LT?? Second, all of the other bikes I have owned or even considered purchasing had mediocre suspension and all were vastly improved by upgrading the suspension. Is this also true for the BMW bikes?? for the K1200LT?? If so, what would you recommend??

Thanks for your help.

Mark Hagy
 

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drev53 said:
Hello!! I am shopping for a new bike and a few weeks ago I test drove a Gold Wing 1800 and was very impressed. Today a test drove a K1200LT and fell in love with a marvelous bike. At this point, I have a few questions. First, while I am not a professional mechanic, I like to do as much work on my bikes as I possibly can. How easy is it to work on this bike?? Besides the BMW service manual, is there some other source for information on how to do the service work on a K1200LT?? Second, all of the other bikes I have owned or even considered purchasing had mediocre suspension and all were vastly improved by upgrading the suspension. Is this also true for the BMW bikes?? for the K1200LT?? If so, what would you recommend??

Thanks for your help.

Mark Hagy
Mark,

I believe that you will find that both the Honda and the BMW are somewhat of a challenge to work on, but this should not deter you from buying. As with any bike, certain things are easy :D , certain things are more difficult :mad: . One of the more aggravating factors in working on the LT is removing all the plastic bodywork (tupperware) to get to the smallest things. Once you get the hang of it, it isn't all that bad and all that plastic makes it the easiest bike ever to wash! Not all the nooks and crannies of a bike with an exposed engine. ;)

Besides the BMW manual, which I think is rather lacking, I would suggest the Clymer manual and a lot of study on this site. This site is the most incredible resource I have ever seen for ANY motorcycle. There are folks on this site who are more than ready to help out in any way and are a veritable well-spring of knowledge. I have owned my LT only about 6 months and have already pulled MAJOR services on it...mostly preventative maintenance and have not had to take it to a dealer yet. Guys on this site helped out...with advice and physical assistance.

As for suspension, almost any bike can be improved upon dramatically by aftermarket products and the precious LT is no exception. It is costly and I would suggest riding for awhile and then, if you feel it is needed, upgrade. Frankly, the stock suspension on my LT provides a far superior ride over any other bike I have ever ridden.

One other thing...I love my LT for many reasons...one of which is the fact that you don't see one on every corner. ;) It is a FANTASTIC bike...even though it is large, it handles great, plenty of power, full of conveniences and very dependable. Oh yeah...I LOVE riding now better than ever before...all because of the virtues of the LT! God bless and have a great day.
 

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drev53 said:
Hello!! I am shopping for a new bike and a few weeks ago I test drove a Gold Wing 1800 and was very impressed. Today a test drove a K1200LT and fell in love with a marvelous bike. At this point, I have a few questions. First, while I am not a professional mechanic, I like to do as much work on my bikes as I possibly can. How easy is it to work on this bike?? Besides the BMW service manual, is there some other source for information on how to do the service work on a K1200LT?? Second, all of the other bikes I have owned or even considered purchasing had mediocre suspension and all were vastly improved by upgrading the suspension. Is this also true for the BMW bikes?? for the K1200LT?? If so, what would you recommend??

Thanks for your help.

Mark Hagy
Between the service manual, the Paul Sayegh service CDs, and this site, there is likely nothing one cannot do on the LT. Once you get the fairings off, most of the work is reasonably easy, if sometimes a little time consuming. No matter what you want to do to the LT, someone here has already done it, usually several, so you can get plenty of advice, and in many areas there are tech./service "parties", where you can watch and or do work on your bike and others.

Ohlins or Wilburs shocks are nice, but no need to rush out and get them for a new bike, as the stocks are quite decent, for about 25,000 miles. Save up and be ready to buy shocks about that time. It is not cheap! But neither are the stock ones if you replace them. Figure around $1200. Good thing is that the Ohlins and Wilburs are rebuildable, about $100 each for a full rebuild, or about $20 for a nitrogen recharge, which often is all they will need.
 

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I never worked in a Honda before. Actually, matter of fact I never worked in a bike before my second LT (2002) and I would say that it's not that complicated to do the simple things. There are few services I still going to a shop (valves adjustment and linked brakes flush).
I'm not a mechanic inclined neither, so it can give you an idea that it's not that difficult.
 
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