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Thread: 2000 K1200 LT.. anything to watch out for on this model?

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    Registered User bmwdiyguy's Avatar
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    2000 K1200 LT.. anything to watch out for on this model?

    Hey yall

    First post here, etc etc.. Loooooong term bimmer club owner and member, now looking to add a beamer to the garage.

    To make 2up riding better for my wife and I, I have been looking at a bunch of local k1200s, including a 2000 model with 67k miles on it. While there is a ton I look for and know what to look for on the cars, I don't have that depth of knowledge on the bikes. I have ridden 12+ years, but japanese sport bikes. I am looking at a K1200 as a cheap way of getting into 2up in style, to see if we really like it and then buy bigger and better in a few years.

    So.. in general.. what should I look out for? Any recalls or gotchas, anything specific to avoid?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdiyguy View Post
    Hey yall

    First post here, etc etc.. Loooooong term bimmer club owner and member, now looking to add a beamer to the garage.

    To make 2up riding better for my wife and I, I have been looking at a bunch of local k1200s, including a 2000 model with 67k miles on it. While there is a ton I look for and know what to look for on the cars, I don't have that depth of knowledge on the bikes. I have ridden 12+ years, but japanese sport bikes. I am looking at a K1200 as a cheap way of getting into 2up in style, to see if we really like it and then buy bigger and better in a few years.

    So.. in general.. what should I look out for? Any recalls or gotchas, anything specific to avoid?

    Thanks!
    My experience is with the K1200RS which is the sport touring version of the same basic bike as far as frame, engine and drive line. The LT is designed for two up touring, and as such has completely different body work. suspension changes, is much heavier, the engine was re-tuned to increase in torque at the expense of horsepower, and it has a reverse gear.

    However, both bikes are the last generation of the "flying brick" classic K-series which was introduced in the early 1980's and has a well earned reputation for a bulletproof engine and transmission capable of hundreds of thousands of miles of service, and overall these bikes have very few weaknesses. Rather, they have some maintenance requirements, just like any machine. However, specific to your question there are three things I would consider worth checking or fixing.

    First, is that a number of K1200LTs had rear drive unit failures. Back in the day there was a lot of buzz on the Internet about this and one could get the impression that every other LT had a failure, which was not true and just the result of the Internet multiplier effect. The K1200RS and even some of the same vintage R-bikes also had rear drive failures. But, it seemed worse on the LTs presumably due to their much greater weigh and typical loads. Debate rages over the cause, but many think some of these rear drive units were not assembled correctly at the factory. There are several third party people who have the reputation for rebuilding these units which then live for a full normal life.

    Sill enough LT's did have problems that you should have your bike checked. A good basic check would be to have the rear wheel unloaded and get positioned where you can grab the tire at the 9:00 and 3:00 o'clock positions and then try to wiggle it sided to side (left and right if you were on the bike) to see how much free play you can detect between the wheel and the rear drive unit. There should be virtually none. The concern is that the large carrier ball bearing which support the rear drive flange the wheel bolts too starts to go and the first sign is free play, the second is gear oil leakage around the large flange seal, and the third is bearing failure. This wiggle test is putting side thrust on a ball bearing over 4" in diameter and as I expect you know, there should be virtually none.

    The second is that the clutch slave cylinder can leak in a way that hydraulic fluid travels along the clutch activation rod to the clutch disk and eventually soaks it requiring a new clutch. A fix is to drill a relief hole (or file a notch) in the receiver for the slave cylinder. That allows any leaking fluid to escape where you might notice it on the ground and this also keep fluid from traveling to the clutch disk. At the minimum, keep a good eye on your clutch fluid level.

    Third (but the first thing I would do) is to check the front brake line where it goes into the front right disk brake caliper. Many BMW's of that vintage had that hose routed such that when the bike was loaded it would cause a 90 degree bend in the rubber line right at the metal fitting which bolts to the caliper. These lines have a semi rigid inner nylon-like center liner which will eventually crack when bent that much over time and then the brake line will fail. You will need a helper to sit on the bike to load it and hold it upright while you inspect that brake line yourself. If it is at very close to a "right angle" bend as it exits the metal flange I would get it replaced immediately. Many people go with steel braided replacement lines.

    Otherwise, these are very solid machines and should give you many, many miles of great riding!
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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    3 Red Bricks
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    Welcome to the Forum!


    Be aware that the LT REQUIRES a special "reinforced" 79V rated rear tire due to its heavy weight and extremely high weight carrying capacity. Many tire companies make tires in the correct SIZE for the rear of the LT, but not in the correct LOAD RATING or with the reinforced sidewall.

    Do not settle for the incorrect tire. It will lower the capacity by over 160 lbs and the sidewall will not have the correct reinforcement.






    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  4. #4
    Nick Kennedy
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    Are these bikes not good for warm/ hot weather riding due to engine heat?
    My K75RT is uncomfortable to ride at say over 85F
    Nick

  5. #5
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickrides View Post
    Are these bikes not good for warm/ hot weather riding due to engine heat?
    My K75RT is uncomfortable to ride at say over 85F
    Nick
    BMW fixed the K-bike heat issue based on my experience with my K1200RS. The 1200s have dual radiators which are vented outside the bodywork ahead of the rider's legs and into the air stream bypassing the legs. I've not ridden an K12LT, but from looking at it, I think it is designed the same way. Naturally, the much more comprehensive LT body work will block more air, but it looks to me like it routes engine heat away from the rider in the same way as my K1200RS.

    All the earlier K's had one radiator with the airflow over the top of the engine, and one all the RT models (and some RSs) the fairing would create a low pressure area around the rider with would suck all that hot air past your legs and torso kind of like how a convection oven works. My first K-bike was a beautify black K100RT that was just like that at speed on any day above 90. I used that bike only fall, winter, and spring.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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    Registered User bmwdiyguy's Avatar
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    Thank you all.. I really appreciate the info on the model.

    Figured I would share the face palm story at this point: I took the LT out for a test ride, with a happy wave from the owner (retired Exec with FAR too many toys) and the guidance of be back in an hour.. or four.. whatever, have fun!

    (insert here, I should have checked I feel stupid)

    15min down the road I am in a parking lot with not one but TWO flat tires. The front tire is half flat, and the rear is completely flat and the bead away from the tire rim.

    (elevator music here)

    Call... wait.. call.. (the owner ran out for an hour and didn't look at his phone)... wait.. 4 hours later he and I recovered the bike and its back at his house. This was NOT how I planned to spend my Sunday, let me tell you.

    So.. I am still interested in the LT though concerned it was not as well maintained as the owner insisted, and also looking at a 2007 RT, and a 2012 RT. Coming from nothing but sport bikes, the RT I looked at feels halfway in between, much more comfortable 2up, but not the giant moving couch that is the LT. I also really like that the RT side and tail cases come off so easily, so I could strip it and ride 1up more easily and lighter. The goal is comfortable 2up riding for my wife and I, to start to adventure this way, but I am intrigued by the RT for sure.

    I will be buying a bike, the question is which one at this point.

  7. #7
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdiyguy View Post
    Thank you all.. I really appreciate the info on the model.

    Figured I would share the face palm story at this point: I took the LT out for a test ride, with a happy wave from the owner (retired Exec with FAR too many toys) and the guidance of be back in an hour.. or four.. whatever, have fun!

    (insert here, I should have checked I feel stupid)

    15min down the road I am in a parking lot with not one but TWO flat tires. The front tire is half flat, and the rear is completely flat and the bead away from the tire rim.

    (elevator music here)

    Call... wait.. call.. (the owner ran out for an hour and didn't look at his phone)... wait.. 4 hours later he and I recovered the bike and its back at his house. This was NOT how I planned to spend my Sunday, let me tell you.

    So.. I am still interested in the LT though concerned it was not as well maintained as the owner insisted, and also looking at a 2007 RT, and a 2012 RT. Coming from nothing but sport bikes, the RT I looked at feels halfway in between, much more comfortable 2up, but not the giant moving couch that is the LT. I also really like that the RT side and tail cases come off so easily, so I could strip it and ride 1up more easily and lighter. The goal is comfortable 2up riding for my wife and I, to start to adventure this way, but I am intrigued by the RT for sure.

    I will be buying a bike, the question is which one at this point.

    I think it is great that you are looking at options before making a decision. Th K1200LT was designed as a direct Goldwing competitor. Going from a sport touring bike to that LT would be a hard transition for me, much less from a sport bike. As you look, see if you can find and ride a K1200GT. That is the more upright version of the K1200RS. The differences are in more wind protection, more upright bars, heated seat, color matched (but removable) bags - so, Grand Touring. But, the frame, suspension, drive train, etc. are identical with the K1200RS. You might find this bike a good transition between a sport bike and a road couch.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  8. #8
    Registered User bmwdiyguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREGFEELER View Post
    I think it is great that you are looking at options before making a decision. Th K1200LT was designed as a direct Goldwing competitor. Going from a sport touring bike to that LT would be a hard transition for me, much less from a sport bike. As you look, see if you can find and ride a K1200GT. That is the more upright version of the K1200RS. The differences are in more wind protection, more upright bars, heated seat, color matched (but removable) bags - so, Grand Touring. But, the frame, suspension, drive train, etc. are identical with the K1200RS. You might find this bike a good transition between a sport bike and a road couch.
    I hope you heard the chuckle in the "couch" comment.. more just coming from a sport bike, strapped to a rocket, exposed to everything.. to this bike 4x bigger and WOAH, you dont even feel the wind if you adjust the windshield. Wait.. you adjust the wind shield?!

  9. #9
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdiyguy View Post
    I hope you heard the chuckle in the "couch" comment.. more just coming from a sport bike, strapped to a rocket, exposed to everything.. to this bike 4x bigger and WOAH, you dont even feel the wind if you adjust the windshield. Wait.. you adjust the wind shield?!
    I get all that. Perspective is an amazing thing, especially when it gets stretched.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  10. #10
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    I would also suggest looking at a K1200RS.
    Another bike to look at is the K1300GT. The K1300 is not a Brick engine bike, it has a transverse four.

    2011-BMW-K1300GTa.jpg
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #11
    Registered User bmwdiyguy's Avatar
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    I am price incrementing myself to death here.. was looking at a $3500 LT, now a $5k RT, but just found a 2012 K1600GTL for 8k.. **uhg**

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    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdiyguy View Post
    I am price incrementing myself to death here...
    I sometimes think of it as: how much of my daughter's money do I want to spend on this...
    Rinty

  13. #13
    Registered User bmwdiyguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinty View Post
    I sometimes think of it as: how much of my daughter's money do I want to spend on this...
    **laugh** Love it!

    Being new to the forums, yall are probably thinking I am the king of random here, and if so I apologize. While I have over doubled the price (from the LT) to the GTL, the payment would only go up $50 from the RT to this GTL. While I havent seen it yet, the description is great and just read all the 2012 GTL reviews, which are GLOWING. Again back to a bigger bike (road couch? hehehe), but maybe the right idea to buy up a little.

  14. #14
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdiyguy View Post
    **laugh** Love it!

    Being new to the forums, yall are probably thinking I am the king of random here, and if so I apologize...
    Don't feel bad: it took me 10 years to figure out that a Ducati 900 SS wasn't the ideal bike for my riding needs.

    And, welcome.
    Rinty

  15. #15
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I would also suggest looking at a K1200RS.
    Another bike to look at is the K1300GT. The K1300 is not a Brick engine bike, it has a transverse four.

    2011-BMW-K1300GTa.jpg
    You'll notice that the K1300GT in this photo has the optional Klingon Anti-Gravity Static Vertical Positioning System (KAGSVPS). This eliminates the need for old school center or side stands - the bike will stay stationary and stand straight up when not being ridden. This feature also allows for the rider to run and jump on the bike cowboy style for a quick getaway! Not many bikes were imported into North America with this feature before the remaining units were seized by U.S. Customs (actually the NSA, but they denied it) and there was nasty talk of "stolen" technology. Not many people know this story.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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