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Discussion Starter #1
I'm relatively new to the world of the LT, I bought my 1999 LT in December. I've put on about 2,500 miles already and have not had any problems. However, I've been reading this forum regularly for a couple of months now and of course, a lot of the questions have to do with what has gone wrong with particular LT's. It seems the LT is prone to certain particular problems, like final drive failure. And I realize there are many more systems that can possibly go wrong on a bike as complex as the LT when compared with less sophisticated bikes.

So my question is, how reliable is the LT when compared to other similar bikes, the the Goldwing, etc.? If I were reading a Goldwing forum, would I find the equivalent? Or is there one luxury tourer that is more or less reliable than the others. Those of you who have owned several brands might be able to give me a comparison.
 

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I've had my 00lt for 5yrs now and what a great ride. You'll find a lot of good info here on how to fix a problem if you have one. I used to worry too after reading some of the stuff here but the LT will earn your confidence. Take her as for as you want to go and don't worry. Like they say here, ride it like you stole it.
 

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mcpsycle said:
So my question is, how reliable is the LT when compared to other similar bikes, the the Goldwing, etc.? If I were reading a Goldwing forum, would I find the equivalent? Or is there one luxury tourer that is more or less reliable than the others. Those of you who have owned several brands might be able to give me a comparison.
Mike,
Respectfully, I don't think you're going to get a lot of replies. This gets dragged over the coals too often.

The general consensus is ALL bikes have issues. ALL. There are no perfect bikes. I have been riding BMWs for almost 40 years. Never had a major failure. My LT has almost 80,000 miles without any serious failures. Yes, I have had a few final-drive scares, but they were seal leaks. I am on my original bearing.

I have friends that ride every marque. They all talk about 'Issues'... It seems to be the nature of the motorcycle forums.

The BEST thing about this forum is the HUGE amount of information about the LT that is available here.

Don't worry about your bike if its running well, if a problem develops, you WILL get SUPPORT here!

I would recommend you try doing your own maintenance. Nothing will get you better acquainted with your 'New LT' than slowly taking her apart and putting her back together.

Ride Safe!
 

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JATownsend said:
Mike,
Respectfully, I don't think you're going to get a lot of replies. This gets dragged over the coals too often.

The general consensus is ALL bikes have issues. ALL. There are no perfect bikes. I have been riding BMWs for almost 40 years. Never had a major failure. My LT has almost 80,000 miles without any serious failures. Yes, I have had a few final-drive scares, but they were seal leaks. I am on my original bearing.

I have friends that ride every marque. They all talk about 'Issues'... It seems to be the nature of the motorcycle forums.

The BEST thing about this forum is the HUGE amount of information about the LT that is available here.

Don't worry about your bike if its running well, if a problem develops, you WILL get SUPPORT here!

I would recommend you try doing your own maintenance. Nothing will get you better acquainted with your 'New LT' than slowly taking her apart and putting her back together.

Ride Safe!
Plus one


Just ride it till it breaks , fix it & ride some more.
I bought a 2000 LT 6 years ago with about 12K on it . Now I have 70K with NEVER any trouble. I have let the bike set for 6 or 8 weeks at a time because of work & just jump on it and ride 1500 miles on a 3 day weekend.
 

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I'll bite for the new guy.

My LT is almost nine years old. The only mechanical repairs done to her are a leaking timing cover and a broken quick disconnect on the fuel line.

I probably would have just let the timing cover leak, but she was covered under warranty. No sweat.

The trunk latch did also break after about seven years of constant use.

The LT is a keeper!
 

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Mike,

you have to remember that on the forums people will post, rant and obsess about problems they have. You will not see the "good behavior" posts. Actually, some joker did start a thread last years, about how nothing happened to him that day...

Therefore you need keep in mind that the contents of the forums are incredibly skewed toward trouble issues.

In reality, the bikes are quite reliable workhorses. "Flying-Brick" K-bikes, in particular, are a very mature technology - basically 2-wheeled cars (did you know that the flat motor started its life as a 1970's Peugeot car engine ?).

The early 2000's LT's had a rash of FD failures, for sure (my previous LT included) - but I consider this an aberration: from what we know, it was caused by quality control issues of bearing shimming, at a particularly long run of production.

There will be other issues as well - after all, these are mechanical beasts and they will break. You could get a super-reliable vehicle, but you could not afford it - and maybe even it would fail.

Personally, I am now on my BMW bikes number 4 and number 5 - a satisfied customer. Plus, over the years, I have rented countless BMW machines for routes ranging from ultra-smooth Alpine twisties through long dirt roads of Swaziland. I've expected and dealt with small problems, just like I deal with breakdowns in my cars, bicycles, etc - no problem.

I think that the ultimate testimony to how these bikes perform is the mileage they achieve in their lifetime - on par with cars. I sold my previous LT at mid-50k miles, my current one is now in mid-40's - only because I mostly ride the GS nowadays, itself in mid-50's. That is low mileage: many forum members here push 100k miles and even higher.

So, don't worry, relax, enjoy the great bike.
 

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Mike,
I'll bite too. My '01 is nearing 80K. Had the rear main seal go, so I replaced it and everything associated with it (clutch, slave valve, tranny seals etc.). Also did an inspection on the final drive and found the bearing cage broken in 4 or 5 places, meaning an impending failure.
None of that has discouraged me from owning this bike. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

As was said before, ride it 'till it breaks, then fix it.
Or you could by a Harley. I think the saying there is: "if it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am heartened to read so many replies attesting to the reliability of the LT. Once I posted this question, I saw how many times similar threads dealt with the same question and the replies, so I think I got the info I need. I expect a lot of things to wear out, it's the nature of all mechanical devices. I was just getting a little over concerned. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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64,000 miles w/o problems that left me stranded........
Only thing is, I wish BMW had as many dealer locations as Honda or harley..........
 

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I recently bought a '99 LT with 92K miles on it. Followed me home like a lost puppy. I currently own a '92 Wing with 120K miles on it. Same thing.....lost puppy.....I gave it a home. Both are great bikes. I've owned....I don't know....well over 25 bikes in the last 18 years (post divorce therapy ....ongoing). The LT is hands down the best handling big bike I've ever ridden. Are there service issues with these bikes? Yep. Can you get paranoid reading web postings? Yep. Almost everyone writes about problems they have....and as long as solutions are offered at some point for all of us to share, that's good.

Much less frequently do folks write and say, "I rode 140 miles today...fine ride...no problems."

Well let me offer the following: I just rode from Harrisonburg, VA back to Fredericksburg on Sunday....the Spotswood Trail section of Rt.33 between Elkton and Standardsville is one of the nicer 2 lane roads in VA....mountains, turns, etc. Nothing overly technical, mind you, but you need gears and brakes, and attention to turn lines. I've ridden that road numerous times on my a number of different bikes. The LT held turn lines better, and was more confidence inspiring fun than I can remember having on any bike in recent years. Would a modern Duc, or a new S1000RR have gotten through the turns faster? Of course. But I was behind a full fairing, had the stereo on, and didn't need to see a chiropractor after getting home.

You can read about rear drives and leaky seals all day here and get your head full of doom and gloom. But damn this is a fine riding bike.

Jeff D
 

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Hi Mike and welcome to the forum. All the above posts pretty well splain everything so I won't reiterate. My 99 is approaching 70 k. The previous owner had furnished me with service records and between those and my experiences, I am not aware of any major failures. I like doing my own renching and am particular about servicing, fluid changes, and preventive maintenance. There are some weak points and problem areas that can be addressed proactively to avoid problems and there is a myriad of information on this forum about those items.

Again, as many have said "ride it like you stole it" (watch out for the leos) you can be doing 100 mph and not even notice it. ;)
 

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My 2006 is very reliable!
 

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Relax and enjoy. I still have my '99 and would trust it to me carry across country again without hesitation. Sure, something might break but that's just another story for later. The last actual breakdown I had (wasn't on the LT) ended up being a wonderful adventure, new friends, and a chance to tour Regina, Canada while my bike was being worked on.
 

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mcpsycle said:
So my question is, how reliable is the LT when compared to other similar bikes, the the Goldwing, etc.?
Most guys in here won't admit that the GoldWing is the reliability KING. And, there's a Honda dealer in every major city in the US.

JATownsend said:
The general consensus is ALL bikes have issues. ALL. There are no perfect bikes.
While it is true that not ALL bikes are perfect, I've had more issues with my LT and GT than I had on ALL of my other bikes combined ... which totals 9 Jap bikes. :eek: Just stating facts. You come to your own conclusions. :)
 

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Mike, I just returned from a trip out to Big Bend National Park. approx 1200 miles too and from towing my camper behind my LT. Camper was weighing in at 400-450 pounds. With weight and wind drap I lost about 10 mpg. Put another 500 miles in and around the park. Never had a problem and never figured that I would have a problem. If I would have had a problem that I couldn't have fixed, I would have called the nearest annonymouns contact in my BMWMOA book for help and the tow shop to bring her to the nearest dealer. But basically I ride her like she is a lady of the night and maintain her like she is a goddess. If you are gonna fixate on what could break and let it worry you.......well you will never enjoy any motorcycle, car or truck for that matter. But by far, the BMW motorcycle product is galaxies above any other motorcycle in dependability, comfort, handling and longevity of use. While in the park I met a couple about my age from either Michigan or Wisconson and they were on a white 1978 BMW. A very beautiful machine. With clean lines. It was nice to see this bike on the road and the owners having a great time with her. They were going down side roads that I wouldn't even consider going on my LT.

So enjoy your LT, worry about when you will next get to ride her. Find a member of this forum in your area that hosts tech sessions and learn everything you can about how to maintain your LT yourself. I attended my first tech session this past Saturday at a forum member's house. I made new friends and learned a lot. Thanks Dan if you are reading this post!

Have a great ride next time you are out. Ride like you are eloping with your girlfriend and her dad is a cop!

regards
Karl

Karl
 

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For the dollar value I think the GW is your best bet. But then you look between your legs and you have...........well, a GW. Great bike, great resale, great dealer network. Now if you're looking for the best ride.......... LT it is. Crappy dealer network (too few, too far), not that great for resale, and the best riding machine ever built. Is it worth it? Oh yea, but only if you're more concerned with the riding experience than the other things. I've had two minor issues with mine, a brake line leak and a fuel line quick connect failure. Neither one left me stranded. 37,284 and counting.
 

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How does the big lady like the streets of San Francisco?

I still love my 2003, and have approx 65K virtually trouble-free miles, but she wouldn't be my first choice in the city!
 

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messenger13_ver2 said:
Most guys in here won't admit that the GoldWing is the reliability KING. And, there's a Honda dealer in every major city in the US.
Joe,

Around here, at least, folks who don't work on their own bikes are getting discouraged by the fact that many Honda dealers won't work on the older bikes. To these dealers, that means the carb'd GL1500's! I have a friend with a 2000 GL1500 he bought new. He can't find a dealer to service it! Between the turn over of techs and schools not teaching carb overhauls any more, this is becoming an issue many places.

At least BMW addressed the issue of dealer distribution a bit when they changed their towing agreement for new, warranted bikes for the first three years. Now they'll tow you to the nearest BMW dealer, no matter how far that is, rather than the "up to 100 miles" that was the old towing agreement provision for the first three years of ownership.

But, as you note, not every BMW owner has had a trouble free run of it.

Jeff D.
 

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I have had many bikes since the 60"s. Many miles. Only two bikes ever let me down, had to walk to help on the side of the road. My GOLDWINGS. Things will break. Ride it and enjoy if it breaks fix it and ride.
 
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