Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Boulder, CO, USA
dropped the bike?
Welcome to the group! This is one of the best motorcycle sites on Al Gore's internet! Good to have you aboard!
Dropping our beloved LT???? Yes...like you, I've listened to stories for years about how innocent folks like members here have experienced drops. Most are more embarrassing then damaging. I, like you, have always wondered how anyone could let that happen. Is it carelessness? Is it inexperience? I wondered, as I knocked on wood, if I, an LT owner for over five years would ever have that kind of thing happen to me! I'd be horrified!
Fast forward now to last Sunday morning. Woke up at my sister's place in Owensboro, KY enroute home from a marvelous week in Northern Georgia and the 7th annual Curve Cowboy Reunion. The bike was loaded from our week's trip. Breakfast was enjoyed and it was time to go.
My sister's drive was rather inclined, so I told Reggie to let me back out into the street before she mounted up. The street was still pointing a little downhill, but not bad...and Reggie threw her leg over the pillion seat as she has done hundreds of times before. The bike was heavy that morning with the saddlebags and trunk full, and a Chicane trunk rack bag and tank bag also adding to the packed weight. I suddenly found the bike leaning and went to correct the side movement. BUT CRAP!....it was too late...I was past the point of return...and in slow motion my blue LT...still virgin to any position other than upright...landed on it's right side as my horrified sister and brother-in-law looked on! MORTIFICATION!!!!
Now I've been having fun all week telling folks that my big, fat wife caused the tipover when she mounted the LT. But those of you who are familiar with Reggie, know her to be all of 105 lbs dripping wet! So much for that excuse. Maybe my bars were turned a tad when Reggie climbed on. Maybe I wasn't braced enough when I nodded my approval for her to board. Maybe my packed state made the LT even more top heavy than usual. Maybe, maybe, maybe.....but I really don't have the foggiest idea what had happened...except for the fact that I was now an official member of the Anonymous Droppers Club! OK, not so anonymous now!
No big deal, I thought as I climbed off my steed. The tipover wing cover and the right saddlebag trip had a few gnarled edges from their pavement contact. But most disappointing was the hole punched in the lower right cowling by the tip of my extended jpeg! The extended jpegs, when folded in, follow the lines of the tipover wing, but don't fold in as far as the straight model. When the LT goes down, the jpeg WILL proceed to punch a hole in your lower cowling. Happened to a friend of mine, others I've read about, and now me. Because I'm pretty anal retentive about my precious bike...I've got a replacement cowling on order, along with the tipover wing covers and saddlebag trim (thankfully in black, since that part in chrome is five times more costly than the "schwartz" piece). So...within a couple of weeks, only my pride will remain bruised.
Bottom line? As many have reported, poop happens when you blink sometimes. A moment of inattentiveness, a sloping pavement, a gravelly surface....anything can cause these plump beasts to lean more than they should, and when that happens, you might as well let her go, because gravity, coupled with a 900 (or more) pound tilting cycle is unstoppable!
My advice to myself and anyone else this happens to is: GET OVER IT! My LT, now with just shy of 60,000 wonderful miles on her, it every bit as rideable today as she was last week. The minimally scraped parts, whether repaired or not, do not interfere with the joy I'll still have piloting my LT over the roads of America!!!!
My plan for now is to prepare for my next trip (like this weekend's club ride to Northern Michigan's Leelanau Pennisula). And I'll follow the often repeated advice on this board of Just Ride It!
For the record....the JPegs (the extended model) are now for sale. If the bike falls again, I won't have to worry about the cowling again. And just maybe...the traumatic experience of seeing her go down will be easier as well!
South Bend, IN