Most comfortable motorcycle for passenger? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 10:23 am Thread Starter
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Most comfortable motorcycle for passenger?

Leaving all other considerations aside, what it the most comfortable motorcycle for the passenger? I am thinking it will be the Honda GL1800 Goldwing, Harley-Davidson FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic or BMW K1200LT. I will explore other options, including older bikes.

The wife and I rented an Electra Glide and put 325 miles on it one day this month. She enjoyed the trip (except when she was cold) and I think there is a window open for getting a tourer. Her comfort is the paramount consideration because it is the factor that will determine how much she will ride with me.

I am posting this on several forums to see what different responses I get from fans of different bikes.

Ron Stewart
Tsawwassen, BC

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post #2 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 10:55 am
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I haven't been a passenger since my dear old dad had me ridding on the gas tank of his honda when I was too young to remember my age. My bother and sister got the back seat cause he liked them more than me.

Best advise is to rent the different bikes and ride them for a day each. I have a sport touring, so I cannot help you with the LT but I know that a back rest, heated 'custom' seat and easy to assess pockets somewhere are important to most passengers.
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post #3 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 10:58 am
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We tried all three of the bikes you mention before searching for a used LT and my wife liked the LT best of all.

Ray Rau
Brewster, NY
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post #4 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 11:00 am
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Ditto! My SO likes the LT by far the best.
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post #5 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 11:16 am
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Thumbs up Lt

We also tried all three mentioned and some others as well and had the same experience, she loves "her" LT, it was the winner by a mile.

Darren & Teresa
2007 BMW R1200GS "Mjölner" - Black and Silver
2006 BMW K1200LT "Gungnir" - Storm Gray Metallic ..."sold"
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post #6 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 11:19 am
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How about a bike with a sidecar?

Scott
Sacramento CA
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post #7 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 11:32 am
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We've ridden Glides and they're comfortable at low speeds. Get much above 50 and two things happen; 1) the passenger gets buffeted pretty badly and 2) the frame starts to wiggle and squirm in the corners. We tried to beat a thunderstorm one day and it wasn't fun pushing the bike at 70+.

I now have an LT and it's stable as a rock. The electronic shield allows me to create a nice air pocket in the back too. She misses the wrap-around style backrest but a pair of arm rests should to the trick. Like the Harley, it's pretty easy to remove the trunk when not needed.

Considered an Wing but a manual shield on a $25K bike was a deal breaker in favor of the LT.

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post #8 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 12:34 pm
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LT....no contast
That's why you never read about tweaking the passenger seat.
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post #9 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 1:20 pm
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The boss and I rented an Electra Glide in Las Vegas. She couldn't wait to get off of it. She said it was a POS. Rented a Road King with good passenger accommodations on Maui and she said that was much better even without a windscreen. We've never tried a Wing but she loves the LT, and it can't get any more comfortable on the road in her opinion without moving to a Volvo. She's been riding pillion with me for 20 years so she has a lot of experience on the back saddle.

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post #10 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 2:28 pm
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Seriously..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronstew
Leaving all other considerations aside, what it the most comfortable motorcycle for the passenger? ....

The wife and I rented an Electra Glide and put 325 miles on it one day this month. She enjoyed the trip (except when she was cold) and I think there is a window open for getting a tourer. Her comfort is the paramount consideration because it is the factor that will determine how much she will ride with me......
Howdy Ron,

By "Leaving all other considerations aside", I assume you are referring to aspects of the motorcycle, such as price, maintenance, etc..

Of course I'm going to say the most comfortable bike for Nancy is the LT, but that's not going to be the answer to the "real" question you're asking.

The "real" question is, "how do I get my wife to ride with me as much as possible? Of course, this assumes that this IS your objective

To some extent it is about the bike. It needs to have a good level of comfort in terms of ergonomics, wind protection, seat position, etc.. IMO there are several bikes that can get you to this point of the solution, LT, GW, HD, the Yamaha Royal Star and probably others. But this is easiest and smallest part of the solution.

When Nancy said she was willing to consider riding pillion, we spent weeks reviewing bikes. While she initially was drawn to the HD because of the image factor, she was open to look at other bikes as well. We looked at virtually all the bikes available and when we got to the GW she dug her heels in; wouldn't even get within 10'. I asked why and let's just say it was "subjective" and leave it at that.

Obviously we settled on the LT. But as I said, that was the easy part.
- I knew entertainment was going to important to her, so I made sure the radio, cd, iPod, sat radio functions were all wired in.
- When I realized the inadequacies of my seat for long distances, I had it replaced. Even though she objected to replacing hers as well, "it's very comfortable", I did hers too. She doesn't want to be fussed over, so she says she doesn't need it, but she's damn happy about it now.
- After a few rides she mentioned in passing that her feet ached a bit. I went and had the large footboards put on....over her objections about not needing them. Best move I ever made and she agrees with that assesment...now.
- Out of the gate, I got her a set of Gerbings heated clothes, jacket, pants and gloves. I confess that we've only used the jacket over the last three years, but what a difference it makes. Turns an uncomfortable trip to the Coast into a great ride that she wants to repeat often. I'm not disappointed that I spent the money on the pants and gloves. They are there when they're needed and when they are needed they will make her trip more enjoyable.
- The places selected to ride is a HUGE part of getting her ride to ride with me. I try to select places that have something that is a guarantee she will enjoy. Recently we went on a GS off-road ride. I knew the off-road part was a gamble, but the destination was to Mendocino and that part was a sure fire hit. I got a little flack during the dirt ride, but the next day in the town at the coast put the skip back in her step.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that motorcycling is about as much a guy thing as there is. In order to get a woman to join us, really join us for long periods of time, then we've really got to make an effort in "negotiating" for there participation.

Nancy and I went on a small group ride with some guys, no other spouses which tends to be the norm, and one of the guy's asked about how I get Nancy to come with me on these rides. I told him it's simple;

"You try to anticipate their every want, need and desire for the ride and then give it to them".

At first the guy asking and Nancy both looked at me with expressions indicating that I was pulling their legs. I added with emphasis, "seriously". At that point their expressions changed to one of understanding.

.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

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post #11 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 2:35 pm
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My wife says she prefers the LT over our 2004 GL1800. She may be just humoring me since I made the decision to sell the GL and by the LT that I had wanted all along.

I think a couple factors are your heights (my wife and I are the same height) and the relative heights of the front and back seats. Also, foot position and pegs vs. floorboards are important factors. My wife says she now prefers pegs in the back because they don't restrict the angles of her ankles.



If you and the missus get down to the Seattle area, if your insurance will cover you riding a U.S. registered bike, if you are interested, I would be willing to let you take my 2000 K1200LT for an extended test-drive.

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post #12 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 2:46 pm
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For passenger comfort the LT wins against all-comers, hands down.
like you said, arms rests to make her feel "nested" and maybe a V-stream to smooth the air, and that's about the best you're going to get without driving the car on vacation.

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post #13 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 3:12 pm
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My wife preferred the GW rear seat over the LT, but I bought the LT anyways.....and she preferred the BMW overall anyways. She liked the built-in elbow rests and the foot boards on the Wing. I've added the boards to my LT and plan to add some type of arm rests....the two together should give the LT the advantage.

As for the rider seat....that's a different story. I put in 5 hours my first day on a Wing with no discomfort and only one stop. 5 hours on my LT with one stop would require putting me in a hot tub for three days afterwards. A new seat is probably my next purchase.

Duane
Mag Black 2006 LT

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post #14 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 3:29 pm
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My wife also likes the comfort of the pillon on a Wing better. In fact, she likes the seat on my old Ultra better than the LT. What she didn't like was the all the heat the Ultra generates, esp in the summer. If she had her way, I would be riding a GW.
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post #15 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 4:34 pm
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My wife didn't like the GW, she's OK with the LT, put her favorite was the Yamaha Venture.

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2001 Yamaha Venture- most comfortable bike on the road- Gone
2004 Honda Goldwing- Didn't like it- Gone
2005 BMW K1200LT- Great bike!- Lives on with another member
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post #16 of 16 Old May 24th, 2007, 5:12 pm
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The question of the century man....

I have a K1200S, and you know why?. Because I have another bike she can ride with me.......LOL.

Goldwing, we rode my dad's..... she got beat up by the wind when I was nice and cosy behind the screen. I guess a taller screen could help that.

Had and LT..... She loved it. The best one she used to say until....

I landed a R1200CLC brand new 2004 remaining from BMW Warehouses... She loves it and prefers it over the LT. The seat on the CL is not as wide so she has a bit more leg room.

I don't know how HD feels.

Now as far as smaller bikes are concerned. wife and I have been looking around and the K1200GT is awsome two up. The R1200RT is nice but a little less room, and the ST1300 from Honda she also liked it a lot because of the position of the grab handles and the Honda Line trunk has a nice shaped backrest.

So if you are open to a two up bike that is not as large as a GW, LT, HD or CLC, got take a look at the 3 bikes I mentioned above.

FJR1300 is "cramped"

Darcy Bastos
2007 FJR1300
2007 Ducati GT1000 Sport Classic
Atlanta, GA
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