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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody. OK, I don't own a BMW. Did once, 05 1200GS. I liked the seating position and handling but didn't like the air flow. (It had a Ceebailies windshield.) I traded for a Yamaha FJR which I liked very much after adding the VStream.

Last April, my wife of 24 years asked me to trade for something with a larger back seat with the promise she would ride with me. (New for our family) I looked at the LT and Goldwing and decided on the wing. A month later, my wife and I traveled 2,000 miles from Florida to Virginia and back. She was comfortable, I was not. I'm 6'3". The stock seat on a wing is set up for someone smaller. I had the seat fixed by moving up and back. My wife moved out. We could not find a comfort compromise.

Frustrated I traded for a Triumph Rocket III Touring model. The low-end tourque is fantastic and the bike is very smooth and vibration free up to 65mph. After that, the vibes hit and the air buffets my helmet. (7" taller windshield) The bikes a lot of fun around town but is not suitable for long distance travel.

I want to trade for something comfortable, capable of long distance but fun around town, low vibration, (another post talks about grip puppies, are they necessary on the LT), good air-flow for a tall rider, plenty of power, and good looking. I have a portable GPS, don't need one built in. Have the J&M portable intercom and radio.

I can't afford a new bike right now because I run a Chevy dealership. I would consider the wing again if I could find a better seat option.

I also didn't like the wing because it was hot in the Florida summer, especially the air off the cyl heads. It also had a shimmy or front end shake from 40 to 55 mph which Honda refused to fix, using the garbage line "it's operating to factory specs". If there were a lemon law for motorcycles, I would have had it re-purchased. It's engine was very smooth and vibration free.

I hate vibes that numb the hands or feet but am willing to install bar end weights, grip puppies, cramp busters, etc. if the bike is exciting otherwise.

Is the LT smooth? Is it too heavy for around town? How is the windshield?

The GT I heard, pulls to the left and the brakes are over sensitive?

What are the maint costs of the LT vs. the wing?

Thanks for your comments.

Nate
Jacksonville, Florida
 

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Every motorcycle design has compromises.

My wife loves our LT. Its so smooth & quiet, she has caught herself nodding off.

I also find it a practical bike, & use it to commute into DC every chance I get. I think I average about 1000 miles a month doing so.

Down side to the bike is it is top heavy, and is in my opinion, high maintenance.

On the 4 wheeler side of things.. I buy American & have no complaints with the two Fords I've bought from new in the last 10 years. Hope to buy a Malibu soon as well. Good luck to you there!
 

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Hi Nate,

Comfortable? Check.
Capable of long distance? Absolutely.
Fun around town? Yes, with the usual precautions regading parking-lot speed.
Low vibration: Check.
Another post talks about grip puppies, are they necessary on the LT? Not in my opinion. I think most users have them to increase the grip diameter, not necessarily to reduce/eliminate vibration.
Good air-flow for a tall rider? Yes, and the adjustable on-the-fly windshield helps.
Plenty of power? I think so. Other BMW models have more of this, but the LT is more than enough for me.
Good looking? Check (subjective, of course).
Is the LT smooth? Yes, although IMO not as smooth as the Gold Wing's engine.
Is it too heavy for around town? NO.
How is the windshield? Adjustable, and awesome.
What are the maint costs of the LT vs. the wing? A dealer-maintained will cost more than a dealer-mainted Gold Wing. Many, many people eliminate this issue by doing it themselves.

Good luck. Sounds like it's time for a serious test ride.
 

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hschisler said:
What are the maint costs of the LT vs. the wing? A dealer-maintained will cost more than a dealer-mainted Gold Wing. Many, many people eliminate this issue by doing it themselves.
The April 2006 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News features a comparison of maintenance costs and "costs of ownership" for the LT, GL1800 and Electra Glide. Based on an assumed five years and 75,000 miles ownership with service performed a dealer, the LT has the lowest maintenance cost total, HD the highest. The costs turn around at the end of the five years when the trade-in value is recouped, HD's lower initial cost and higher trade-in contribute to it having the lowest cost of ownership.
 

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Nate,

As you can see from my signature, I owned the LT & GT. SO has been on the back of my bikes since 1971 and she LOVED the GT ride quality. She called it the cloud. She is small and fit. The LT seat bugged her, whereas she was far more comfortable on the GT. Like you, I added the V-Stream which she said cut buffetting by 25%. She really appreciated the V-Stream addition. Even at triple digits, we could hear our iPods! I LOVED the GT brakes. When she is off I am more hooligan and I think the GT is the best. I may get an 09 with ABS & traction control. I loved my LT and ran it hard for 4 years. The GT was lower cost per mile. Regarding vibs, GT is solid at way high speeds. On the LT, after I hit a rock my wobble was a factor. GT is my fav. Far more nimble in low speed situations. Has amazing power to help you play offense in traffic to avoid the cagers on their cell phones as they drift into your lane. I can't do the Honda (too Buick for my blood).

Good luck with your decisions.
 

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Welcome, Nate.

The good news is that BMW allows multiple test rides, so you can try them all and see what fits you best. You can even take your wife along, since that's critical to your buying decision.

BMW's tend to be built for taller riders, especially compared to a Wing or HD. And there are additional things that can be done to help custom fit the bike to you (peg extenders, bar risers, aftermarket windshields, etc.).

The GT will be the closest to your FJR in terms of power and riding position for you and your passenger. You know about the GS, and the LT is closest to the Wing, but a bit more on the "sporty" side. Again, test ride them all and see what works best for you both.

But trust me, take the LT out last. Once you put her on the back of an LT, she won't want to ride on anything else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the posts.

The closest dealer is in Daytona, about an hour and a half away. I'm going to try to get down there this weekend. They have a couple of used LT's, an 06 and 03.

Are there any differences between the, say 01 to 07 models?
 

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In 05 the HP was upped to 116. I believe it was 98HP prior to 05. The electro-hydraulic centerstand was also added in 05. In 06 the HID low beam was made standard.
Hope that helps.
 

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I had an 02' LT and traded it for an 06' Goldwing. All I can say is...the Goldwing is advanced in a few categories (Engine and Braking). It is however, a step backwards in too many other categories (Clunky transmission that's annoying while riding, rattle sounds from fit of panels, slow-to-respond cruise control, and as odd as it may sound...I HATE THE SKINNY CENTER SECTION WHILE ON THE BIKE....FEELS LIKE A DAMN MOPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last part may just be me...but I could not get over it. I now own an 07' LT, and it's just simply the bike I want to get back onto. So much so, it's worth the small list of negatives (Noisy rear brakes, potential clutch and final drive issues) I hands down recommend the LT. I know from my experiences with both.
As for maintaining the LT: I've always done both maintenance and repairs myself, and thought it was still expensive to own. Mostly due to parts being relatively expensive from BMW. I would not consider ownership of this bike if I had to take it to the dealer for such.
I think the LT is more comfortable, however my wife thought the Goldwing rear seat was better...I might add that she did say if the BMW had armrests...she'd like it better. Windshield design of the LT is much better, and it's ability to adjust on-the-run is awesome compared to the Goldwing. The LT does have the reputation of being top heavy, however I personally never seemed to have much issue with it. Double up does require more thought and planning and attention in confined areas although it is overall not to bad compared with the Goldwing. Bottom line for me was I just did not have any level of passion for the Goldwing. The LT I can't stop from riding and just looking back at it. It truly is a nicer overall experience. I would not own one if you plan on a dealer doing your maintenance. Hope this helps you.
 

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I bought a used '05 LT. The dealer maintenance costs and price of parts made me hesitate a bit and I looked hard at the HD and GW. Took my wife to see what she wanted to ride on since she HATES riding on the back of my Ducati 1098. She loved the seat on the GW, but we found the LT at a MUCH better price and she liked the look of the Beemer better. She likes the LT, and all she wants are some arm rests added and she's completely happy. Like others here, there are better BMW sport models out there, but she loves the comfort. I appreciate the great gas mileage (45 mpg avg.), and the handling is great for such a big bike.
Good luck with whatever you buy, and enjoy the ride. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can't help but ask about the maint. The GW requires an oil change every 3,000 miles or so. It's easy to do in the garage. I have changed my own oil and final drive fluid on an ST1300 and FJR. I didn't own the Wing long enough to get to the second service. The Rocket III isn't ready for the second oil change but I would hessitate only because there is no center stand to level the bike and it has 3 oil drain plugs.

What are the maint requirements for the LT and how difficult is it to perform them? How about valve adjustments? (I wouldn't do that myself)

Are there any sources for discounts on parts? Are there aftermarket accessories like cup holders or do you have to buy BMW's $150 one?

I found an 06 with 9,000 miles. It's $15K. An 03 is available for $8,700. Any recommendations?

Sorry, one more question... is an intercom standard equipment? actually, two, how about cruise?
 

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nateskate said:
I can't help but ask about the maint. The GW requires an oil change every 3,000 miles or so. It's easy to do in the garage. I have changed my own oil and final drive fluid on an ST1300 and FJR. I didn't own the Wing long enough to get to the second service. The Rocket III isn't ready for the second oil change but I would hessitate only because there is no center stand to level the bike and it has 3 oil drain plugs.

What are the maint requirements for the LT and how difficult is it to perform them? How about valve adjustments? (I wouldn't do that myself)

Are there any sources for discounts on parts? Are there aftermarket accessories like cup holders or do you have to buy BMW's $150 one?

I found an 06 with 9,000 miles. It's $15K. An 03 is available for $8,700. Any recommendations?

Sorry, one more question... is an intercom standard equipment? actually, two, how about cruise?

The LT is not terribly bad to do maintenance on. The rear final drive is just like the Goldwing (Drain Bolt and Fill Bolt), The engine oil is drained via a bolt, and the engine oil filter is changed by removing three allen screws and using a filter socket to unthread the filter which is recessed into the bottom of the motor. The gearbox/transmission is much the same (Drain Bolt and Fill Bolt)...except a little more difficult to get to, but not too bad. There used to be a dealer by the name of Hammersley BMW that sold parts and Maint. Supplies more cheaply than the others, but he's gone...I think. I've yet to find anyone else. Don't know about the cup holders, but there are some aftermarket companies out there that produce some great things. Probably just Google K1200LT to find the better part of them. Cruise is standard, and both my 02' and now my 07' have the intercom, although I'm not sure if that was originally an optional thing.
Lastly...if you do buy an LT. Research on here the procedure for drilling a weep hole in the clutch slave cylinder mounting area of the gear box. LT's have weak seals on their slave cylinders, and can leak clutch (Brake) fluid along the clutch actuating rod onto the >>>dry<<< clutch plate. This will ruin a clutch, and they are lots of fun to change. And a little money as well. Regular oil changes (Motor, Trans, and Final Drive), and watching the slave cylinder for leaking will usually result in some very high mile enjoyment of these wonderful machines. As long as you're able and willing to do the basic maintenance yourself...it's a highly recommended bike over the Goldwing (My Opinion).
 

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I do all of my own maintenance and it is not very hard. The first time you do it will take a little longer just because you have to learn how to remove the tupperware.

There are always tech days being held and there is also a set of maintenance videos that you can purchase. I found them to be a great help.

I went on a 430 mile ride today through the twisty Farm to Market roads of East Texas and had an awesome time. I must also say that today I averaged 46 miles per gallon. Mine runs between 39 and 47 MPG. I love the bike and she is a head turner. Good luck
:bmw: :bmw:
 
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