I purchased a 2005 model K1200LT via an authorised BMW dealer having previously had an R1200RT,FJR1300,VTR1000,XJ900,R100RT,R80RT, GSX750 Etc. Not a born again Bike, just never gave it up. Having had the R1200RT for 3yrs, it was time to trade up and to be honest, it was the wifes choice because she wanted to join us on our previously(Men Only touring holidays)
The bike was purchase in May 2008 having 8.5k miles, its now September 2008 and she has 16k showing on the speedo. The bike itself I have no problems with, everything you hear about it is true. Munches miles in superb comfy style, is comfy for rider and passenger alike, a good genuine tourer. The downside is its weight and bulk especially if your short in the leg, I only have a 27" inseem so its best to plan where your going to park-up or where your leaving it. However, with reverse being available, that has got me out of loads of problems.
The issues I have are with the POOR QUALITY of the bike and the constant failures on a bike such as I have never heard of before! Briefly I or the bike has suffered the following:- Brake disc wobble. This will be the second pair of discs fitted in under 6k miles! It unacceptable even for a bike not fitted with the fully floating type of discs. Both seats have absorbed water through having stitching at the top of each seat(WHY?) Goodness me, the Brittish Motorcycle engines could not hold their oil with a split crankcase and here we have Top German Engineering trying to keep water out through several stitched seems put at the top of the seats!!!(Madness or what)The electrics and switches are fine as long as you dont ride in the wet, seriously! When ridden in the wet, there have been bulb failures, the Starter Motor was running when the engine was working, if the clutch leaver was pulled in the lights would go out!! Also, when this happened, reverse was out of the question unless you wanted the whole lot to ingest itself, belt driven of course. The electro-hydraulic centre stand failed twice when at the highest point, causing the bike to come down like a chimney thats been blown up by Fred Dymphna.
Rear suspension that seems to enjoy bottoming-out at the smallest of bums causing the bike to change direction when warm or hot. This is enormous fun if your in a car following me, but all it does for me is work as the BEST LAXATIVE known to man. To have 400kg of bike, wife and luggage deciding where IT WANTS TO GO rather than following my intended path is no fun at all. It makes one of those gladiator type chaps ordeal of being fed to the Lions as being positivly more appealing, I would rather face a lion than trying to control that little lot!!!! Of course, you then get the remark from the wife, did you really want to go across those 3 lanes like that? Showing off again!! If only she knew I had just emptied my bowels, been sick had a heart attack, a stroke and was now suffering from appopletic shock(Showing Off!)Sorry about the spelling.
This is a £15 GRAND BIKE for goodness sake and its got as much reliability built into it as an old 1970' Skoda Estelle (Remember the Skip Joke?) Or an eastern block MZ 250!! And for those of you who think that this is purely a 'one-off' situation, most of these faults are shared with a mate who also purchased a 2007 K1200LT in May 2008 His seats leak and hold water, the engine sounds like the Cam shaft or Cam Chain are divorced and want an immediate separation! The rear wheel bearing sounds that its giving notice to quit by grinding its way through bends. Sounding like a pnuematic bag of nails, his dealer told him its OK for your 3k mile trip to Italy, see how it goes. Only to find upon our return that its now much worse than before(Suprise suprise suprise!!!) It presently Lays like mine in a BMW dealers workshop somewhere in the middle of the UK. The dealers obviously either dont care, or are used to this continual streem of returns being put through the system as WARRANTY or GUARANTEE. My question must be, WHAT HAPPEWNS WHEN THE GUARANTEE EXPIRES????? Yes sir that will be £850 + VAT sir. "Sorry, I cant say we have heard of that fault before, they are normally just as reliable as anything from within our range"!
Sorry, Im not convinced that todays BMW's are what they used to be. When previously buying a BMW Motorcycle it stood for Quality, Reliability, Longevity. Top notch engineering and design. You paid that little bit more, but that extra money paid you back over the long term by providing you with Reliability etc. However, that was yesturday, today you get an inferior, poorly designed thrown together item that reminds me of the Dagenham or Longbridge products of old, especially those made on a friday afternoon!! Red Robbo, where are you now?
As you guessed, a thoroughly dissapointed purchase, or a two-off situation, you decide????? I will report back on the dealers response which so far have not been favourable. I was initially told, they could find nothing wrong and that meant that I was gonna have to pay for their time etc in checking over the bike and putting right the damage caused by the failure of the Centre Stand(Incidentally, anyone else had this problem?)
Good luck and keep the rubber side up.