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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,
First off, this is probably the best motorcycle forum that I have observed over the last couple of years. This is my first post. Thanks to all of you who are very committed to these fine motorcycles.

I am seriously considering a K1200LT (2005 or later due to the increase in HP, steering change and power stand). I have test rode 3 K1200LTs over the last year and have even managed some decent U-terns during the test ride to go back to the shop.

I would like a comfortable bike for me and the Wife to tour Colorado and then later more of the US (as the kids get a little older).

I am concerned about the added weight of another passenger on an already heavy bike and every stop becoming a stressfest on our trips. Is this an issue of practice with the bike or is there still that feeling of possibly dropping the LT at every stop and parking lot?

I weigh 165 and my wife I would put around the same weight. I have been riding streetbikes since 2003 and I have owned a roadstar, softail, roadglide and currently own a 2006 weestrom. The roadglide was also relatively heavy but seemed pretty easy to handle at low speeds.

I have recently sold the softail and would like to try a BMW LT or RT. I like the R1100RT but we like tunes and I am not sure it will very comfortable for the wife.

Thanks
 

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Hi Labrat8

Firstly, welcome, and secondly I would not worry too much about the difference a pillion makes, although I would say the following:

1. As you have already ridden the LT I am sure you know that the bike has a clear point of no return when it comes to going over. With a pillion I find that the margin of safe tilt you have at very low speeds does decrease very slightly, but if you have ridden with pillions before then you will know this. With the LT being heavier it rewards more precise control.

2. Stopping is simple on the LT providing it is controlled and with the front wheel as straight as possible, do not use the front brake to come to a complete stop would be my advice if you are slightly nervy, I do use it but it has to be done veery smoothly as any sudden jolts will unsettle the whole shebang.

Having owned the R1100RT I would say that the KLT is by far the superior pillion wise, being bigger and having more padding. The R was slightly easier to manage with a pillion but to be honest to the experienced rider the difference is minimal in terms of difficulty. If you like music then the LT in infinately better, my RT had radio fitted and it was quite frankly terrible; especially seeing as there were no bar mounted controls so even a change in volume meant stopping, opening the compartment and then using the actual console.

Once you get going on the LT however there really is no difference apart from a little less ground clearence and marginally slower acceleration like all bikes.

Hope this helps...
 

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It's not that bad with a passenger...just watch that front bake when stopping.
 

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extra attention needed when mounting and dismounting.
Make sure passenger knows to not make any sudden weight shifts when you are at near stopped or stopped speeds unless you are forwarned.
A little seat time and diligence in details will make it 80% better than when you first start riding the LT.
Bike is very comfortable for passenger (so my wife says). Have done 1000km day with no complaints from her.
 

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The "issue" of dropping LT's at low speeds is due mainly to poor technique - and there's an easy solution but it does take a bit of practice to master:

1. Keep your chin up and head held high at slow speeds and ESPECIALLY during tight turns.

2. Set the throttle to about 2K rpm.

3. Slip the clutch a bit to maintain that 2K rpm as you move forward and at the same time:

4. Use the rear brake pedal to modulate your speed.

5. Make SURE your pillion understands that it is vitally important to be quiet (literally and figuratively) in the seat when turning at slow speeds. Just like in aviation - minimize talk on take off and landing.

You'll hear all sorts of dire warnings about how weak the LT's clutch is and how it will burn out if you do this - and it's poppycock, pure and simple. I've used the above technique to navigate 170K on two LT's with a pillion rider, full luggage and top case bag, 14 poodle on the tank and towing a 300 lb. trailer.

Have not dropped an LT yet while rolling.

(Although I did manage to get one high centered on the skid plate on a rock resulting in a stationary tip over, and had it blown over by a 70 mph gust.) :D
 

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GBX1200LT said:
Hi Labrat8

Firstly, welcome, and secondly I would not worry too much about the difference a pillion makes, although I would say the following:

1. As you have already ridden the LT I am sure you know that the bike has a clear point of no return when it comes to going over. With a pillion I find that the margin of safe tilt you have at very low speeds does decrease very slightly, but if you have ridden with pillions before then you will know this. With the LT being heavier it rewards more precise control.

2. Stopping is simple on the LT providing it is controlled and with the front wheel as straight as possible, do not use the front brake to come to a complete stop would be my advice if you are slightly nervy, I do use it but it has to be done veery smoothly as any sudden jolts will unsettle the whole shebang.

Having owned the R1100RT I would say that the KLT is by far the superior pillion wise, being bigger and having more padding. The R was slightly easier to manage with a pillion but to be honest to the experienced rider the difference is minimal in terms of difficulty. If you like music then the LT in infinately better, my RT had radio fitted and it was quite frankly terrible; especially seeing as there were no bar mounted controls so even a change in volume meant stopping, opening the compartment and then using the actual console.

Once you get going on the LT however there really is no difference apart from a little less ground clearence and marginally slower acceleration like all bikes.

Hope this helps...
+1
For the past year and a half I have riding with a pillion who has had prior riding experience on two wheels. I only notice the chatter through the intercom about the sights I don't see and have not experienced any difference in handling.

I've had significant solo riding for 8 years prior to this on this LT and with overseas trips on an RT. :bmw:
 

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Welcome to the forum Labrat8!

I've owned my LT for a year now, and I've never had a problem with the stopping; just keep the front wheel as straight as possible - no stressfest here! Also, I've owned the R1100RT as well, and for creature comforts and overall touring, the LT is your baby! My SO is much happier on the LT - and when the SO is happy... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the input. I feel better about the potential purchase

I also agree that the radio on the R1100RT seems sort of contrived and not real functional.

There are a few bikes in the Denver area that are pre-2005. Many 1999 models that are quite reasonable.
But like I said I have kind of been targeting the 2005 or later models and there is one at a dealer for $10500. It has ~50 miles and they will perform the 50K service before the bike is sold. It seemed like the brakes were quite sensitive and somewhat grabby. I assume this is the ESA or whizzy brakes that I have heard of and will take some time to get accustomed too.

I have a few questions:

Can you fit two large helmets in the top case?

Do all LT's have the CB hook-ups? What is need to use them besides the head sets?

What do you think is a fair price?

Does the 50 K service inspect the clutch?

Are you K1200LT rider all big guys? I would classify myself as thin framed and wiry at 6' 165#.

Thanks again.
 

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It is all about balance pure and simple. I was badly injured while riding back in 2006. I survived and luckily I still have two legs. Because of this I have damaged, weak legs; there is no way I could hold my 2003LT up to prevent a tip over, nor could I pick it up if it should fall. Instead I ride with my chin up and head held high, to balance the bike accordingly. It took me two years of rehab to ride again and another two years of riding solo to gain the confidence to ride with my wife. Since riding with her onboard we have had thousands of safe miles and zero tip overs. Kudos to my wife, she is the ultimate pillion.
 

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I ride 2 up with (ahem) "more weight" than you guys will and on a 2000 which doesn't have the servo assist. I always watch my following distance and leave myself time to decelerate smoothly to a stop - and as others have said - head up and always keep the wheel straight.
 

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Labrat8 said:
Thanks for all of the input. I feel better about the potential purchase

I also agree that the radio on the R1100RT seems sort of contrived and not real functional.

There are a few bikes in the Denver area that are pre-2005. Many 1999 models that are quite reasonable.
But like I said I have kind of been targeting the 2005 or later models and there is one at a dealer for $10500. It has ~50 miles and they will perform the 50K service before the bike is sold. It seemed like the brakes were quite sensitive and somewhat grabby. I assume this is the ESA or whizzy brakes that I have heard of and will take some time to get accustomed too.

I have a few questions:

Can you fit two large helmets in the top case?

Do all LT's have the CB hook-ups? What is need to use them besides the head sets?

What do you think is a fair price?

Does the 50 K service inspect the clutch?

Are you K1200LT rider all big guys? I would classify myself as thin framed and wiry at 6' 165#.

Thanks again.

I think the price is a little high...In May I bought a 2005 with 21000 miles on it for 8200+700 for shipping it to Texas. I think there are always better deals out there away from the dealer, but a lot of folks prefer a little piece of mind buying from the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That sounds like a great deal. Did you check the bike out in person before having it shipped?

Visually the bike appears like new and every thing supposedly works on it.

There is another 2005 bike with similar miles for $7500 but the power stand does not work and the PO was quoted $1200 just in parts to repair it.

Were there different types of K1200LTs produced in 2005 as far as options go?
 

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Labrat8 said:
That sounds like a great deal. Did you check the bike out in person before having it shipped?

Visually the bike appears like new and every thing supposedly works on it.

There is another 2005 bike with similar miles for $7500 but the power stand does not work and the PO was quoted $1200 just in parts to repair it.

Were there different types of K1200LTs produced in 2005 as far as options go?
You can often have a prospective purchased looked at by a fellow member of this forum. Some are more technical than others, but pretty much all know what an LT should look and feel like when running right.

You will also find that many of us do our own service, and we have tech sessions where we get together, work on our bikes, with the more experienced mentoring the less, who in turn pass it on as they become more comfortable. That is what got me from being afraid to remove the tupperware on my first LT some years ago and replacing my clutch and slave a month or so back. Better support you would be hard pressed to find.

$1200 is buying a new actuator from the stealer. Many times they can be serviced, and you will find many threads here on servicing the hydraulics and even replacing the motor. You can also find a complete center stand assembly from time to time, and they are quite easily retrofitted to pre-2005 models. The savings on the earlier models will often outweigh any slight benefit in HP, IMHO. I have had a '99, a '00, and two '05 LTs, and they were all capable mounts.

Regardless of what you end up with, welcome to the asylum! We are glad you found us.
 

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I installed aftermarket shocks that allow me to adjust the shocks; riding alone; riding packed for a trip; riding with a passenger;

By 50k the shocks should have been replaced.

I recently scanned the USA for LTs being sold by private owners. I was looking for ones with **** O Pegs installed hoping that the seller would sell them to me rather than with the bike. I didn't get any takers.

I found some great looking LTs at reasonable prices; some at above the average prices; a few below most asking prices.

I just typed in K1200Lt for sale.

I would consider buying an LT near where quite a few members live, especially if the LT was in a major airport, and asking them to check out the LT.

Best from Tucson
Bob

There is a 2005 at a dealer in CO in on this site:
http://motorcycles.oodle.com/bmw/for-sale/trim_k1200lt/?o=50
 

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Welcome Labrat8.
I bought an 07 model last Aug for the same reasons you're looking at 05 and newer.

As I had ridden lighter bikes, this was a big step, and I've practiced and took some time to get comfortable on the bike before riding 2 up. I don't ride that way often, but wanted to figure it out.

I paid 12,500 for mine, with mirror tethers, Nav III GPS, and all the bells and whistles that came standard. I added a Corbin seat which for me was a Godsend. The seat is much better than stock, but that's a personal preference.

The riding tips above is good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all of the pointers. I have used the Craglook website and found some slightly lower priced bikes however the logistics are problematic with kids and a job. I had not considered asking a Forum member to look a bike over.

There is a nice bike in Boise with lower mileage (~20K) for $10000. It is 15 hours form Longmont. Are there some members in the Boise area?

The local bike does have a corbin seat on it and the mirrors were connected with a wire. It also has some added LED brakelights. The dealer has all of the service records and I can check to see if the rear shock has been replaced.

If the bike has the intercom connections should there be headsets? I did not look in the topcase that much. The mirror was not broken!

Did all the 2005s come with an intercom?

Southern_NJ,
Your bike looks great with all of the accessories and mechanical improvements but will be well over my limit with a potential fly and ride or shipping scenario.
 

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Both shocks should have been replaced. You'll want to know when so that you can judge when they have to be replaced again. If they are after market ones they probably can be rebuilt.

It might be worth your while to thoroughly check out the bike that needs the electric center stand rebuilt.

A couple of people here have rebuilt the piston and found the motor for waaaaaaay less than through BMW.

As a short term solution you can remove the electric one as a unit and just install a manual center stand till you get the electric one working. There are a few companies on eBay that buy totaled LTs and part them out. I can't imagine there is a lot of demand for the manual center stands.

Last time I checked I could ship my bike via Allied van lines, they have special pallets for motorcycles, from AZ to Maine for around $900.

When I bought my bike it was from a dealer in CA. AT that time, 2001, shipping was around $400.

Best from Tucson
Bob
 
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