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Thread: Opinions pls re: 11LT / 12LT

  1. #1
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Question Opinions pls re: 11LT / 12LT

    I've pretty much had R bikes for almost 40 years, and have been looking for an R1150RT, but my local dealer has a K 11LT for sale at about $3k and I've seen a couple 12LT's nearby on Craigslist with asks around $4k. The 1100 seems more my style, but obviously older. The k 12's seem big and perhaps heavy. I know I like the R11RT series. Should I be patient and keep looking for an R bike? Or give the k's some serious thought? Thanx for whatever opinions you might care to offer!
    Last edited by 26667; 03-26-2019 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Sbelling
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  2. #2
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    The 11LT is a solid series. ABS but not “whizzy” ABS, good ergos and weather protection. The 11LT usually needs a rear main seal replacement on the engine at 70-75k miles.

    With the 12LT you get a smoother engine (counterbalancers), one more transmission gear, telelever suspension up front, a reverse option on some models, and a more integrated luggage setup. Better fuel mileage, too. The biggest downside is the power-boosted brake system, which requires faithful scheduled fluid flushes that are for most riders best done by a dealer. About a $200 operation at least every other year. If that system fails it is very expensive to repair. Also, the 12LT series experienced a much higher failure rate on final drives, a failure almost unheard of on the K11LT bikes.

    Both bikes are significantly heavier and carry their weight higher than the boxer RT. If you’re a long-time boxer rider the transition in feel can be significant and take some getting used to, especially in the garage or parking lot.

    HTH,
    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

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    I sold an R1100RT to buy a 12LT.. I should have just kept the 1100 , but actually like my 09 12lt much better, more comfortable and although yes heavier I find the 12LT handles much better in my opinion than my RT did , like is said the 12LT is just a big sport bike . A Dinosaur in the parking lot and a bomber on the highway . They are a lot of bike and a great value if you find a well maintained one .

  4. #4
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider View Post
    The 11LT is a solid series. ABS but not “whizzy” ABS, good ergos and weather protection. The 11LT usually needs a rear main seal replacement on the engine at 70-75k miles.

    With the 12LT you get a smoother engine (counterbalancers), one more transmission gear, telelever suspension up front, a reverse option on some models, and a more integrated luggage setup. Better fuel mileage, too. The biggest downside is the power-boosted brake system, which requires faithful scheduled fluid flushes that are for most riders best done by a dealer. About a $200 operation at least every other year. If that system fails it is very expensive to repair. Also, the 12LT series experienced a much higher failure rate on final drives, a failure almost unheard of on the K11LT bikes.

    Both bikes are significantly heavier and carry their weight higher than the boxer RT. If you’re a long-time boxer rider the transition in feel can be significant and take some getting used to, especially in the garage or parking lot.

    HTH,
    DG
    Thanx! Very helpful!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  5. #5
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeemer View Post
    I sold an R1100RT to buy a 12LT.. I should have just kept the 1100 , but actually like my 09 12lt much better, more comfortable and although yes heavier I find the 12LT handles much better in my opinion than my RT did , like is said the 12LT is just a big sport bike . A Dinosaur in the parking lot and a bomber on the highway . They are a lot of bike and a great value if you find a well maintained one .
    Thanx! Very helpful!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  6. #6
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    DG's summary is great, and I concur with most of what he posted. A few details are off. Please know I've never owned a K12LT, but have some experience with them.
    I believe they all have reverse. Standard, not optional.
    While the K12RS got 6 speeds, the LT's wide torque band (different engine tuning) necessitated only 5 speeds.
    My recollection of why the K12s are smoother than the previous Ks is that they got a full frame (thus the weight) and rubber mounted engines which masked the vibes of the frame-mounted engines of the previous gens. No room in the engine cases for balancing shafts.
    The early K12 versions got what I recall being called ABS II. The finicky e-brakes didn't come around until the early 2000s.
    The shortcomings of the K12LT as I see them has to do with their design which makes them tougher (and more expensive) to work on. Lots of Tupperware and shear size. When the rear main seals eventually leak they are a REAL PITA to get to.

    The K1100LT feels more than a generation behind. While a solid bike, it will feel very crude in comparison to both the K12 and anything newer. But it's lighter and simpler.

    I too have noticed the low price of used K12LTs. I attribute it in part to the cost of keeping them alive. Plus there are a ton of them for sale. Maybe they appealed to older riders who are now hanging it up? If I were jonesing to ride across the country this year, I'd be tempted to buy a 12 LT and them just dump it when done. They were on Craigslist for $2-3k this past winter.

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