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Thread: Need buying advice

  1. #1
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    Need buying advice

    I took my wife out on a short ride for the first time in 8 years. We actually rode 3 of my bikes, a '67 Bonneville, a '72 R75/5, and an '04 Bonneville. The /5 was on the chopping block as part of our agreement in me getting the '67. During the 10 mile circle, she decided that she liked the bike and told me I would be stupid to sell it. On the other hand, after 2 kids and some back pain, she was really uncomfortable on all 3 of them. Still in shock from the wind change over the /5, I looked into options for a bigger bike for the two of us. I'm 6'1", 250lb. I think I've settled on the K1200LT. There are a number of them available around me in my price range, which Ideally is in the $3500 range (can buy today), and tops out at $6K (need a few months to save up). They are all '05-07 models. One is low miles, but bone stock. The rest are in the 70-100k range with a variety of aftermarket items. One has Ohlin shocks and Cee Bailey tall windshield. Another has additional lighting, GPS with mp3 player (not sure how important music is on a bike), and an extra rear tire. The 07 has had the rear final drive replaced, and has 100k on the clock. It also has a GPS, intercom, spare rear wheel with tire, and mostly new tires.

    Is mileage a huge concern with these bikes? My R75 has 47k on it, and other than a little oil leaking past the left piston rings when on the side stand, it runs like a top. What sort of things should I take into consideration?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMUTT View Post
    I took my wife out on a short ride for the first time in 8 years. We actually rode 3 of my bikes, a '67 Bonneville, a '72 R75/5, and an '04 Bonneville. The /5 was on the chopping block as part of our agreement in me getting the '67. During the 10 mile circle, she decided that she liked the bike and told me I would be stupid to sell it. On the other hand, after 2 kids and some back pain, she was really uncomfortable on all 3 of them. Still in shock from the wind change over the /5, I looked into options for a bigger bike for the two of us. I'm 6'1", 250lb. I think I've settled on the K1200LT. There are a number of them available around me in my price range, which Ideally is in the $3500 range (can buy today), and tops out at $6K (need a few months to save up). They are all '05-07 models. One is low miles, but bone stock. The rest are in the 70-100k range with a variety of aftermarket items. One has Ohlin shocks and Cee Bailey tall windshield. Another has additional lighting, GPS with mp3 player (not sure how important music is on a bike), and an extra rear tire. The 07 has had the rear final drive replaced, and has 100k on the clock. It also has a GPS, intercom, spare rear wheel with tire, and mostly new tires.

    Is mileage a huge concern with these bikes? My R75 has 47k on it, and other than a little oil leaking past the left piston rings when on the side stand, it runs like a top. What sort of things should I take into consideration?
    Mileage is not a big deal on these bikes if they have been WELL maintained. I put 370,000 miles on their little cousin, the K75. A good service history is important.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    In general, without knowing any details about the individual bikes and their pricing, I would get the newest, lowest-mile bike you can afford and forget about accessories. It's not about the bikes being worn out, just about being worn. Everything works more nicely on a newer bike. However, there are a few other things to take into consideration:

    1) If one has new tires rather than old ones, recent service rather than being due for service, etc., then you can translate those things directly into value because they have known costs. Fresh tires save you $450 (installed) over a bike with dead tires. Full service, maybe $600~800. If it has recently had a clutch and main seal, that is ~$2000 that you know you will not be spending in the next ten years. Final drive, same deal but $700. These are retail costs and if you do your own work they may be different. You can make an Adjusted Price column in your comparison spreadsheet to normalize the bikes' condition this way. Then you're closer to being able to just compare cosmetics, age/miles and price.

    2) If none of your bikes had had the RMS, FD or similar repairs done then you could conclude that all of them need it soon and you might as well get the cheapest so you can budget for that. It kind of goes against my original point but it gets you a known-solid bike for the least cost (if none of them start out as known-solid). You still run the risk of encountering more smaller repairs needed on the older, high-mile ones though.

    It's great that you can buy facelift LTs for that kind of money. Test the reverse on a gentle incline. Test the power centerstand. Look for oiliness under the transmission if you can even see that area. If they have hazing on any of the clear plastic, know that you will never remove it. The pre-facelift LTs got this badly on the radio display.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  4. #4
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    What are the chances of a FD failing twice? One of the bikes had a failure, which was replaced.

  5. #5
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMUTT View Post
    What are the chances of a FD failing twice? One of the bikes had a failure, which was replaced.
    It would depend on who did the work and whether they knew what they were doing. If the work was done properly, no reason the drive wouldn't last quite a long time (provided also it's been properly maintained since the work was done). You might ask the question of who did the work.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
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  6. #6

    Push for a low miler with good service records.

    Pay the premium price of 6k if you see great service record history and low miles. One owner K's are still out there. I found one back in March of 2017 with 11k on the odometer and all the service records. Seek and you will find.

  7. #7
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    I talked to a local BMW master mechanic and now I'm casting an even wider net. He mentioned three areas that tend to fail on the LT, and none are cheap to fix. He also said that the passenger sits in a rather wide-spread position, which can cause hip pain after an hour or so. He recommended an R1150RT or an R1200RT model year '08 and higher. I'm told the pre-08 R1200RTs are prone to an expensive failure. I did find an '06 R1200RT near me for a good price, so I'm wondering what the probability of an ABS failure is from across the field. I've also found a couple of R1150RTs around here. I'm reading that the 1150 is more top heavy than the 1200 and that the 1200 has more features. It's that expensive ABS I'm concerned about.

  8. #8
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend earlier that you look at a 2007 or later R1200RT, but refrained since this is the brick-k forum. It would be a lighter bike with potentially lower maintenance costs yet still be a good perch for a passenger. Sounds like you have some more test riding to do. :^)

    Best,
    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST 1984 R80 G/S PD 1993 R100GS 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C 2010 K1300GT
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  9. #9
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    Why an '07 and later RT? I'm hearing they suffer from the same ABS issue as the KLT.

  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARMYMUTT View Post
    Why an '07 and later RT? I'm hearing they suffer from the same ABS issue as the KLT.
    07 and later will not have Servo brakes. Servo brakes is a more complex system requiring more maintenance and cost more to replace.
    You also get the newer style final drive.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #11
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Actually the real final drive update was in 2010.

    2007-on brakes are different than any KLT brakes. All LT brakes are ABS2 or iABS1, and all 2007-on RTs will be iABS2.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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  12. #12
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Actually the real final drive update was in 2010.

    .
    The 2005 K1200S has the new style final drive with the big hole in the center.
    I took for granted the R bikes got the newer final drive by 2007.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  13. #13
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    I see what you meant now: The R12 has a newer FD design than the LT had. I read it like the '07 RT had a newer FD than the older ('05, '06) R12RTs. There were some changes to the EVO FDs in the 2007, 2008 time frame but if you want a really good FD in your boxer you get a 2010-on that has the vented FD. I have a video on my YouTube channel that shows the differences.

    However, since this is the Brick forum... a well-built LT FD is plenty reliable but they are not all well built.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  14. #14
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining, I forgot about the vent.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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