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I've been riding BMW's since '71 and still have the R75/5 that I bought new in '72. I finally decided to upgrade to a 2005 K1200LT last April. I love the bike and all its creature comforts; but I have some questions that I can't seem to get a straight answer on from our local shop.

1. I have just over 7,000 miles on the bike with the original tires. At the 6,000 mile service, the shop mgr tried to sell me on new tires, but there seems to be an awfully lot of tread left on these. One odd thing though -- the front tire is wearing with a series of bumps just to either side of center all the way around the tire. It is a Bridgestone BT020. When I asked the mechanic about this, he said, "It's just a BMW." Has anyone else had this experience?

2. When travelling at highway speeds, my GPS consistently records my speed as 4mph lower than the speedometer does. I suspect that the GPS is more accurate than the speedometer. Am I correct in that assumption?

3. If I take my hands off of the handle bars while it is deccellerating, it goes into a very severe shimmy. Once again, the shop mgr told be that that's just the way the LT is. Doesn't sound right to me. Is this a common problem with LT's?
 

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Here is my take

magyar58 said:
I've been riding BMW's since '71 and still have the R75/5 that I bought new in '72. I finally decided to upgrade to a 2005 K1200LT last April. I love the bike and all its creature comforts; but I have some questions that I can't seem to get a straight answer on from our local shop.

1. I have just over 7,000 miles on the bike with the original tires. At the 6,000 mile service, the shop mgr tried to sell me on new tires, but there seems to be an awfully lot of tread left on these. One odd thing though -- the front tire is wearing with a series of bumps just to either side of center all the way around the tire. It is a Bridgestone BT020. When I asked the mechanic about this, he said, "It's just a BMW." Has anyone else had this experience?

What you are seeing is either called cupping or feathering. It can happen from a couple of things. #1. What tire pressure are you running in your tires. Most here recommend 42 in the front and 48 in the rear. How much straight line riding are you doing? IIRC, running lots of high speed highway can cause this problem. Get it off in the twisties and give it a good ride. ;)

magyar58 said:
2. When travelling at highway speeds, my GPS consistently records my speed as 4mph lower than the speedometer does. I suspect that the GPS is more accurate than the speedometer. Am I correct in that assumption?
Your assumption is corrrect. The speedometer is off. You can search the Hall of Wisdom, HOW, for speedometer and to find out how to correct it or just use you GPS as you are already doing. This has been discussed ad nauseum on the old site and can be found in the archives.

magyar58 said:
3. If I take my hands off of the handle bars while it is deccellerating, it goes into a very severe shimmy. Once again, the shop mgr told be that that's just the way the LT is. Doesn't sound right to me. Is this a common problem with LT's?

Most folks have seen this problem on the LT. Most of the time is has been corrected with either new tires or inflating the tires to the pressures listed above. I believe this is also in the HOW.

Enjoy the ride.
 

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Answers
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Yes

2#
Yes

3#
Yes
 

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1- Yes
2- Yes
3- NO Yes, a few have had that problem, but I think it is far from "common" I think many less have had the oscillation problem than have had rear drive or slave cylinder failures, and even then usually tire related and solved with balance or tire replacement. I have seen only a couple posts that said it was persistent after tire/wheel work.
 

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Yeah, I'd have to agree a bit more with Brother David on Q3. Mine did it with the 'Stones, still does it but to a much lesser degree with the Metzlers. I would highly recommend going to the Metzlers on your next set of tires, inflated to 42 F and 46-48 R. I give you that range only because it was recommended to me from this list to go 48 on the rear, but I'm wearing the rear in the center more than I think I should, so I've dropped down to 46 to see what happens. FYI, I ride solo vs. two up where the 48 lbs might make better sense.
 
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