Honda Goldwing Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I picked up a 2003 K1200lt BMW just for fun. I have never owned a BMW before and figured I should give one a try and see how it compares to a wing. Well first off it doesn't even come close. Now I am not taking ride as this one does not currently run. I did get it for almost nothing as it needs a fuel pump. Well I got into the maintenance and what it takes and here is where you find the faults in anything European. In order to service the fuel pump, air filter and just about anything else you have to remove all the front plastic. Unlike the wing where an experienced person can do a air filter change in under an hour the Beemer is a full day job at best. Holding true to my experience with VW and Audi cars everything is upside down and backwards. I was thinking Harleys were hard to work on but this thing is the ultimate in goofy. I hope to have the new pump installed next week and get it all cleaned up.


BTW 2003 BMW K1200lt for sale - perfect bike, never been raced. 0:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
Fire Eater -

Hey ETC - I think you'll like this bike. The K1200LT has beautiful lines and was designed to be a serious and comfortable long distance fire eater. Get a copy of a "Clymer Maintenance Manual" to help keep her on the road. They can accumulate some serious trouble free mileage but maintenance wise - there are a few areas to monitor,

1 The rear crank main seal and clutch disc often must be replaced @ 60 - 70k miles because of oil contamination.

2 The ABS brake warning light will come on intermittently with no system fault.

3 The Final Differential and Driveshaft can fail early from a lack of lubrication.

NOTE: According to one BMW Warranty Denial "Over Filling the Differential Can Cause An Early Failure". A higher than recommended volume of oil will cause bearing cavitation at highway speeds which starves the unit of proper lubrication.

4 The fuel injection computer is very reliable but the wiring harness can be a problem area. Also expect the idle control valve to need cleaning often -

After a fuel injected bike has been off the road for extended periods of time - the fuel pump and injectors can need attention. You might try soaking the fuel pump in carb cleaner, then blow through the inlet and outlet lines using a spray can of carb cleaner. Fill the pump in diesel (for safety) and apply +12 volt power to the (Pos/Neg) wires in both directions. By spinning the pump motor forward and in the reverse direction - the original fuel pump can often be brought back to life.

5 Contaminated fuel injectors can be easily cleaned at home using this simple set up. I've successfully used this procedure many times.


Good Luck With Your K1200LT - Michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did read about many of the problems with the K1200 but my main purpose is to fix and sell. I have to admit there is nothing about this bike I like so far but that may change after I sell it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
Never Been Raced -

Hey ETC - Sorry, I thought you had bought this bike as a fun project for yourself and were just joking about "BTW 2003 BMW K1200lt for sale - perfect bike, never been raced"..... :)

The K1200LT is fairly complex and breathing life back into it enough to sell may be difficult without a maintenance manual.

Best of Luck - Michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well it's a fun project I guess I also like dropping rocks on my toes :) Manuals are easy to find and that is usually step #1. None of the manuals actually show how to remove all the plastic but there are many good videos on that so I have not looked at the manual so far. It is quite amazing the mass of screws that must come out, I filled a 1qt can almost half full of screws removed. On the plus side they are torx and not phillips so a power tool works nicely. The fuel pump was seized and not worth trying to free up as the pump they use is a generic off the shelf unit and I have a few in the shop. BMW wants $339 for the pump which I buy for $23 you can get them on eBay for as little as $14.

While at it I am going to flush the coolant and replace the air filter. Also hose it down with engine cleaner as it's pretty dirty all around.

Here is a video of today's progress.

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,751 Posts
I have a friend who bought a used one a few years back. It was a 1999 that had been sitting for about 2 years. It took him about 6 months to get it up and running. He had get a used gas tank because of all the sludge in the original one from sitting. He loves the bike but says new parts are $$$ so he goes the ebay route when he needs them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
A riding buddy had 2 of them. A 99 and I think it was an 03. he loved them. But as I remember they were always in the shop for scheduled maintenance or tires. They are very expensive when new but you can get a used one for a lot less than a used Wing of the same age. A lot of iron butt riders ride them but the main failure is with the final drive, which happens often
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
Precautionary Steps -

Hey ETC - Great K1200 LT Video. You sound like you have a good handle on things. I'd forgotten what a pain-in-the-A$$ working on this bike had been. I dug out some of my notes from a similar project and saw where during disassembly I'd cracked one of the two plastic fuel line disconnects for the fuel tank. They can be brittle with age.

Also my intermittent ABS warning light was solved by flushing out the front and rear ABS brake units a couple of times with new fluid. Your ABS system may not even be an issue but - while everything is apart you might consider this as a potential preventive maintenance step.

Good Luck - Michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fuel pump in and it lives! so now I have to get rid of the brake warning light which involves pulling more plastic off and purging the fluids. Once done the 900 bolts can go back in and the entire bike can be reassembled. The journey continues....... :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
26,312 Posts
Labor of love buddy...
 
  • Like
Reactions: ETC

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Now that I know everything there is to know about the K1200lt I felt I should post this final video by a gentleman who loves BMW as much as I do - This is pretty funny in parts but I will caution some colorful language included. I agree with Chris 100% on all counts

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,635 Posts
Some things just aren't made to be worked on by regular technicians, someone should make the engineers who designed the thing work on it. Years ago you could easily access the oil filter on most cars and trucks, now you have to figure out where they hid it and then get at it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Things are getting harder and harder to work on but then again things seem to be built better also and require less maintenance than previously built machines. I guess I was expecting this K1200 to be somewhat parallel to the GL as they are both high end luxury tour bikes. The K1200 is sportier and comfortable but sits very high so much like the ST11 and ST13 it's a bit top heavy. The general layout with the long wheelbarrow style handlebars takes a while to adjust to also. I purchased this bike for only two reasons, one was to see how it is built and if I can use this type of motorcycle in the conversions and second I got it really cheap. Now I am looking at selling it and wonder how much of a loss I will encounter as they are not worth much used. As I recently discovered BMW motorcycles are as unreliable as the Pre-1980 Harley and Triumphs. Clutch spline issues, rear drive spine issues, engine crank seals and a host of other known problems encountered in the 70k range. I guess once you own a Goldwing you are spoiled for life :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Update - all done and road ready. Here is a video on the final test ride and my surprise opinions.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
Success -

Hey ETC - Great video documentation. These BMW K1200 are nice road bikes. I rode one for a few years named "Long Legs La Rue"..... Wish you the best of luck in selling her. :)

Ride Safe Michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
645 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
OK today was a good day. in all I have owned well over 100 different bikes and this BMW was without a doubt the worst of the worst. Grabby brakes, smokes everytime it is started (they all do) and zero resale.

Sold it today and only lost $400 so feeling good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
BMW cars aren't much better. Have two friends that owned them. One hated his so much he finally sold it and purchased a Honda CRV. The other friend still has his top of the line BMW which has numerous issues with the electronics on board. He has kept his since he is willing to put up with it and keeps hoping the dealer, who is 180 miles away, will finally get the factory to fix it under warranty. From what I have noticed over the years is that German engineering can't keep things simple, that principle seems to elude them. KTM is kind of the exception to German engineering, I currently own one of their adventure bikes, is much better at applying that principle but concentrating mostly on off road machines naturally makes for a simpler machine.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top