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Discussion Starter #1
The 64 million dollar question/s.....

When researching forums for the info on the bike you love..... You read and read looking for the pitfalls, the common failings, the cost of ownership and the like.

If you are rational, you balance the effect of "my FD has failed" from angry posters, equally you accept that present owners will defend their purchasing decisions to the limit,

The question/s I would like ask are what I think any second hand buyer would like to know.

At what mileage on the clock would you buy?

The figure I have been looking at is the figure that gives you the least expenditure in major repairs/big maintenance costs. For example...

At what mileage does a typical clutch need replacing...... I do my own spattering but when you are retired and money is tight even that expenditure is quite significant.

Do you buy low mileage regardless of age so you know you have some time to go for major repairs etc etc. Do you buy when the service record shows that the clutch has been done, the rear drive bearings have been replaced regardless of mileage??? So many questions...it hurts.

So many of you must have thought about this when purchasing your LT's.

Very few changes have occurred on the LT.... 2005 (2004 in the UK) was a change year, but even that was minimal.... Electric stand , small body mods.

What do I do?... The old model with as few miles on as possible from circa 2000 or the new model with a lot more miles on to get the same sort of price????? Jeez.
What do I do?

Can some of you give me your thought processes on this if you have recently gone through this...... I think this will be my last purchase of two wheels and it is so important to get it right.

HELP

Alcanara :confused: :confused:
 

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Just my opinion.
A Bike doesn't go better if it rest in a Garage. A 01 LT with 5 k miles on the clock and a 05 with 20 - 30 k, I would go for the 05 bike. Take a look if the services are all done, is the Bike clean and without any accident, color and price just what you thought of, you found the right one.

Manfred
 

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IMO buy the newest with the lowest mileage that you can afford other than sheer aging failures the older itis the more you will have which happens on all machines it’s a bit of a crapshoot.

I have yet to seeanything that say's X will fail at Y time in the future.

Some guy's on here have100's of thousands of miles on some of their machines with nothing have gonewrong while others bought new only to have major component failures right off the bat go figure. It’s a given stuff is going to break Buy it ride it enjoy it while you can hope for the best plan for the worst.
 

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Good Question indeed...

I'd say go with what looks right for you at the time, if any discrepencies arise prior to handing your cash over then ignore your heart and use your feet and walk away.

I bought a Pan Euro with 30k on the clock, my trusted mechanic said he knew the bike inside out and that it ws a a good buy.... 3 months later at MOT time he tells me I need a new swingarm !! No longer my trusted mechanic...

When I bought my '99' LT with 11k on the clock last year off Ebay , the seller put all the relevant important info on the advert and his number for questions. I bought it and have never looked back, it is by far the best ride for me having done 15k in a year with the only cost's being boots, brakes and servicing.

I spent nearly £3000 on the Pan just keeping it going over 3 years....

For me the LT does everything I want from a bike and look forward to many more miles on mine, and when she becomes tired I'll look for another LT

:bmw: it's in my blood :bmw:
 

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A personal opinion - do not buy a motorcycle to save money. Buy to ride, if it breaks fix it. Now with over 272,500 miles I have spent money on many items but still completely enjoy being on it and never look back at the $.
 

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You mentioned the clutch. There are guys here that rode their bikes up to a hundred thousend miles--without worries or problems with the clutch. It depends on the riding style. Clutch can be burned out in a short time if you do not handle it properly, and the same may go for the rest. I'd be more concerned about who owned the bike, the care it was given, type of riding it was subjected to....than be concerned about the milage.
 

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Buy an 09 with only 1300 miles on it from someone that dropped it once and is afaid to ride it and kept it in a garage for 2 years.
 

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mwnahas said:
Buy an 09 with only 1300 miles on it from someone that dropped it once and is afaid to ride it and kept it in a garage for 2 years.
... or an '09 with 9,200 miles on it that a gentleman didn't feel confident on and traded for something smaller/lighter. That's what I did... last month. :)

I can't answer your question about when things fail, but I think it's significant that there are many LT owners who have had more than one.
 

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I bought a 2003 with 10,000 on the clock, servicing up to date and in good condition other than the usual minor "silver paint corrosion"and slightly flaky chrome on the peg hangers, so far I have ridden more than on previous bikes with no issues, I intend to do my own servicing except maybe the brake fluid change, my local dealer can do that when he does cheaper winter rates, I suppose one advantage of the pre facelift model is that it is slightly less complicated to work on although the servo brakes can be a bit grabby,so I think these bikes are well built and the engines bomb proof,the mpg figures are superb for such a big bike and living in the UK the weather protection is first class!
 

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I own a 2008 K1200LT with 110.000 kms on the clock. It's in mint condition. Never dropped, no scratch, serviced every 10.000 km by a dealer. I'd rather buy on of these than a 2005 with 30.000 km that has been upside down a few times, raced with, never properly serviced etc.
 

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I've had over 30 bikes in the last 18 years, so I have a few ideas about buying motorcycles. Most of the one's I've had have been higher mileage, less expensive bikes, because at the time they were what I could afford.

I tend to choose the brand/model/features I'd like to have, then set about finding that bike. With the web being what it is, generally several examples of "that bike" show up within a 300 mile radius within about a month.

As for miles vs big cost component failure predictions....which seems to be the core of your question, I've found that miles on the bike is much less important than the type of owner who's selling the bike. If he's a mechanically inclined enthusiast who has a credible story about the bike's history.....better yet......has receipts for major parts and has shown timely preventive maintenance, I have no problem buying a high mileage bike.

Also, in the past I've belonged to a BMW club for a number of years. In that setting bikes tend to move around within the club. In that circumstance I know both the bike, and the seller. Buying one of those is a no brainer as I know exactly what I'm getting.

About 5 months ago I bought my current '99 LT. At purchase, it had 92,000 miles on it. The previous owner had ridden the bike hard, having gone two up all over the place while towing a tent camper. The rear drive had been overhauled twice, but the bike had had frequent oil changes, the other major services attended to, and the guy had story after story about how good the bike had been for him. I felt comfortable with the purchase, and have not regretted it so far, in terms of condition of the bike and low expectation for imminent big ticket future failure. There's no guarantee, but so far the bike has behaved flawlessly.

Two other bikes in my garage had over 100,000 miles when purchased....one with an unknown history but at a low price, the other, a known history for a fair price. Both run great.

My point is, miles vs purchase price isn't the only criteria for estimating future failure. The personality of the previous owner can tell you a lot as well.

JD
 

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My thoughts, a bike that has sat and not run is just like anything else that sits, it just does not do as good. Oil is not circulated, seals dry out, etc etc. Find the happy medium, the bike that is newer but was not used by an iron butt rider doing coast to coast runs once a month, but was also not just ridden during June, July and August and then put to bed.
 

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Saw your post yesterday and forgot to get back to it...

A few thoughts.... As I am back in the hunt for another (My LT decided it was time to permanently retire) and having been into the bike from all angles to include the inside...

I find that my budget is the biggest determination. There are some pretty good deals out now, and as winter gets closer, they will only get better. Options wise, its your call. Determine what you want and go from there...

From a reliability side, unless the bike has been riden hard (no maint records) AND the owner does not know much of the mechanical I would tread lightly. The major item that is of concern is the FD. While not an exact science, if they go then it will be before 50K typically. If you are looking at a '00 with less than 10K look hard at it.

For me, I'd like an '05. Simply because my dearly departed was an 00 and I look forward to the new fangled gadgets. Miles are not that much of a factor to me. My '00 had 80+K when I got her and I know (I know the prior owners) that she was ridden hard. But taken care of. That and the engines are pretty much bullet proof. The remainder of issues that go are typically one off issues, there is no rhyme or reason to them.

Make no mistake, riding an LT is costly. Especially if you depend on the stealer. If you ride a lot, the cost of maint. Items does mount up.
 

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I bought my first LT, an 00 model, in 2005. It had 26K miles then. I put an additional 40K on it before selling it a couple of weeks ago. I did the preventive maintenance myself and there was only one parts breakage, one emement of the shift linkage which caused a few days of down time, waiting for parts. It was a great ride and practically bullet proof. I would not have hesitated to ride it anywhere even up to the day that it was sold.

Because I am attracted to technology, I had always wanted one of the newer models. So when I and found an 05 at my nearest dealer, I tried to trade but his offer was pretty weak so I advertised it at $1K more than I could get on trade. It sold in 8 days, and that is in the H-D country of rural Kentucky where I thought nobody even knew what a BMW was.

I bought the 05 outright and am enjoying the new features. It is smoother than the 00, and quicker, even though the 00 was plenty fast. The best thing I can say as to the differences is that 05 handles much better at parking lot speeds due to a change in steering geometry.

All in all, you can't go wrong with either the first generation or the second. To echo and paraphrase what others have said so well in previous postings, just do the best you can to figure out how it has been treated and maintained. You generally do get what you pay for, so spend what you can afford. Its all good.
 

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I did quite a lot of research about the LT before taking the plunge and actually buying one. They aren't common in Brazil so that limits the choice a bit. However, I ended up seeing 4 bikes, with 40 K kms, 56K Kms, 75K Kms and 98K kms. All in a 1999 - 2002 range. I'm quite used to buying older vehicles and I actually give preference to overall condition rather than KMs. Surprisingly I found the newer and lower KM bikes quite scruffy in comparison to the one I bought. I actually went for the 1999/2000 bike with 98K Kms on her. She has dealer service history up to 60K, full tool kit, all the manuals and in superb condition. Again, that saying "Buy the best you can afford" was also in mind as I did buy the second most expensive of the four. The priciest had only 40K on the odometer but it's condition said otherwise! As I bought the bike though a multi-brand dealer so I did get some piece of mind, the from brake lines were swapped for aeroquips as the originals were a little tired. The electrics had a full service, I'm just waiting for the new flasher unit to be delivered. On the whole, I'm very pleased with the bike. She is far lighter on fuel than my K100 even though I still ride at the same speeds which came as a huge surprise.

Incidentally, I've actually bought very low KM bikes and had more trouble with them than the higher KM ones. As I said before I look for overall condition not KMs.
 

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My view, not based upon facts, is that the major problems with the LT, FD failure, slave cylinder leaking, engine or transmission seal leaks, are random.

As such, there are just as likely to occur with any year. The exception is probably the FD. I've seen people report their FDs needing repair and 20K-30K miles. I've chatted with one fellow who seems to think most of the issues with the FDs occur after 50K. It depends upon how it was "not assembled correctly" at the factory.

You might consider how many Kms you'll put on a year and how many years you will keep her.

I'm guessing that around 100K miles, I will have to start replacing parts.

Where I am, I have to pay the state a registration fee on my LT. That is based upon the list price of my LT and what the depreciation rate the state uses. Part of my insurance is based upon the market value of my LT.

Also, in AZ if you buy a used vehicle, you have to pay sales tax, even on a private purchase.

I plan on keeping my LT for another 4-5 years, and then look at the model that replaces it. In 4-5 years we should know what major issues the LT replacement has. If the LT replacement does not ride a lot better, or is more stable at 0-5mph, I'll stick with my LT.

Cheers from this side of the pond.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you for a fantastic response.

One feature I had not thought of is "check out the owner"..... I have mainly bought from stealers in the past.... They were generally BMW dealers and pretty good. So I have not had a great deal of experience in buying from private sellers... So that was useful.

Roam rider pretty well summed it up for me and all your thoughts gave me a lot of confidence.....

THANKS. :) :) :) :)
 
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