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post #1 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:11 am Thread Starter
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k12lt for commuting as well as touring

i have at present a suzuki c50t... it is easy to ride... however when i do long trips on it... i get sore after about 400 miles... i am considering trading it in and getting the k12lt... i hear it is a bit top heavy at slow speeds... i am sure i will get used to this... i guess i need someone to tell me it is not too bad for commuting since i will be using it for everything... any help would be greatly appreciated...thanks...
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post #2 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:35 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I ride mine to and from work every day. About 20 miles and 13 stop lights each way.
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post #3 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Thanks Morley..i take it that is a yes to my question...i really appreciate it...
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post #4 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 2:47 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Well, I'm going to differ a bit on commuting if you also drive in stop and go traffic or need to lane split. The LT weighs 850 pound empty. That's a lot of motorcycle to support in traffic.

A better choice for commuting is an RT. It weighs about 300+ pounds less and if you don't think that makes a difference you are mistaken. It can be used for touring, although for that I use my LT. My wife and I both like the RT for shorter trips on the local roads (a bit twistier than the highway), but prefer the LT for burning up the miles on the highway.

I've had my RT out a couple of times in traffic and can defitely say I prefer it over the LT. I can lane split without any concern for wacking the car next to me or having a low speed manuvering issue. There's a lot more confidence in driving the RT in traffic than the LT. The LT is not somehting I enjoy driving in traffic, although I know there are some that even lane split with them (NOt me though!).

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post #5 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 7:58 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Having only one bike I do everything with it, including commuting and splitting lanes, and long Summer trips. If I had the luxury of a second bike things might be different and a lighter machine could be my choice for short trips in town - Los Angeles. On the other hand the fantastic brakes of the LT saved my bacon more than once and I am not sure I would have the same confidence on another bike (most beemers excluded).

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post #6 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:06 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I use my LT for everything, now I don't have to really worry to much about traffic like in a large city, but I do from time to time end up in a big city during rush hour and I do just fine on it. Would the RT be better, yes, but I take my wife with a lot and she will not give up her LT. It can be done and gets done by many of the riders on this forum everyday. It just takes some practice like everything we do.

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post #7 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:14 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Use it for everything.
My commutes can be 5 miles or 150 depending one way depending on where I am working.
It can also be heavy downtown traffic or country roads

Just ride it.

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post #8 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:17 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I don't know what your commute is like, but I ride about 35 miles +/- each way virtually every day. I put around 20K per year (miles not $$ )

My mix is highway plus back roads and a little stop & go. I don't have a problem with the lights and depending on mood I can stretch my trip another 10 miles or so through some twisties.

Caught a little drizzle on the way in today and it is great to raise the windshield slightly tuck into the fairing and keep dry.

Go for it, you'll love it.

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post #9 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:24 am
 
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I had similar concerns when I traded my HD Road king for the LT. So much so that I also was going to get a scooter for my commute. I live less than a mile from my work in the heart of Chicago. I take city streets or 1 stretch of I90-94. with at least 10 stops along the way. I ended up passing on the scooter and getting a small 250 cc v-twin. I rode the small bike for about a week untill I "got to know" the big girl. Now the 250 will be on Ebay... Sure I want a R1200R it would be better for the short trip, but the LT does JUST FINE.. I am buying lottery tickets though, so hopefully the R1200r or the K1200 r,rs.ect. Or any other lighther BMW finds its way to my garage...

Just ride it...

David
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post #10 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:42 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

25km of city traffic (no freeways!) every day in Sydney... I have no problems, even get to use Bus Lanes

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post #11 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 9:06 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I use my LT for commuting every day, unless torrential rain predicted or risk of ice on roads. Quickest route to work is 20 minutes of light city traffic (several traffic lights), 15 minutes of 55 mph state highway (with median and 1 traffic light) and 15 minutes of 2-lane county road (1 traffic light at end). Depending on mood, I pick different routes home...US highways for 60-65 minute trip at highway speeds for the really hot days, or a somewhat twisty state road for a 55-60 minute trip. Total 35-40 miles one way. I don't have time/funds for much touring, but wanted a bike that would be able to handle more than a few hours on the road. Been to Chicago twice with the LT (1-up, 13 hours away) and hope to visit the Tail of the Dragon (2-up, 8 hours away) in a few weeks. Next year possibly Sturgis (2-up, 27 hours away).

In the slow traffic, crowded city streets, or tight parking lots, I've thought about a small bike. But, on highway, or twisty roads, I've thought it wouldn't be much fun 2-up on a 250cc V-twin.

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post #12 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 9:22 am
 
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Commute on the LT daily, around 40 mi round trip, all surface streets and moderate traffic. Yes, slow speed handling can be dicey. Yesterday was 109 here and I was amazed at how little engine heat there was. Radiator fans were on O.T. though. I hear some people even ride these machines for touring?

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post #13 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 9:22 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I commuted on all 3 of mine over 9 years, roughly 20-25 miles each way, and it was a fine mount for that. Being able to take it out and have a bunch of fun afterwards wasn't bad, either!

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post #14 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 11:48 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Commuted on mine last year, 30+/- miles each way, highway and street. Never had a problem. If you can only own 1 bike, the LT is it IMHO.

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post #15 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 12:14 pm
 
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Test ride both, see what you think! I do regret that I didn't test ride the LT to rule it out when I got my RT. Now the better seats and long distance comfort look tempting. We'll keep the RT, but you should never rule something out because of certain preconcieved notions. For me, I was comming from much smaller bikes, so it was already a big LEAP to the RT, but now that I'm here, and used ot larger machines, I would consider the LT.

I can say that I've ridden in heavy traffic with a fully loaded (stacked to the moon) RT on a camping trip and it was top heavy, but manageable. I suspect the LT feels similar... although with more even weight distribution (my rear was heavily loaded). One thing I learned to do is drag the rear brake to increase low speed stability. I'm still not totally sure why it works...but it makes a huge difference. Sadly, the LT's fully linked brakes prevent this.

Good luck on your decision... have fun test riding bikes!
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post #16 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 5:41 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I like the "bumpers", which have come in handy commuting here in The Republik of Santa Cruz. Really!

Generally dont ride if it's pouring rain...cages here are crazy enough on beautiful daze...have had them try to pass at 90 plus by driving on the edge of the median.

Still negotiating time for a tour of some of my favorite roads and visit old friends in SLC/Park City @ CCR.
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post #17 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 6:38 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I switch from LT to RT because I don't do as many long trips as I do commute and ride around the metro area.

You really need to try both and see what you think.

I could always "Manage" on the LT, but it wasn't always comfortable or fun for me when in heavy traffic and stop/go traffic.

I'm not an iron butt type. My longest day on the LT was 650 miles, the RT 700 miles. Not much different for me, sore and tired after those distances on both.

You've had both sides chime in, now, you need to test ride both and make up you're own mind.

Both are great machines.

If I was gonna do 3-10 1000+mile trips a year, I probably would've kept the LT. As it is I do 1 or 2 400 mile trips a year, and 1 3-5K mile trip every other year or so. Most of my miles are either commuting, or 200 - 300 mile day trips. The RT just fits that bill better for me.

Tough choice for anyone. Have fun making it.

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post #18 of 28 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 8:14 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdovie
i have at present a suzuki c50t... it is easy to ride... however when i do long trips on it... i get sore after about 400 miles... i am considering trading it in and getting the k12lt... i hear it is a bit top heavy at slow speeds... i am sure i will get used to this... i guess i need someone to tell me it is not too bad for commuting since i will be using it for everything... any help would be greatly appreciated...thanks...
Dude! I had to read your post twice to make sure it wasn't an old post of mine.

I have commuted on two wheels 60 miles a day almost every day since April of 2005. I too own a C50 and I put 48K on that bike before I switched. We found ourselves taking regular trips to Austin and OKC to see the kids and decided to go for the finest tourer made. We bought this K1200LT in April 07 and use it for fun and commuting. Racked up 29K on the BMW since then. I drive into downtown Houston and the LT handles perfectly high speed, in traffic and the downtown streets. Still have the Suzi, but there's no comparison to the beemer. After you get used to its top heavy quirkiness, and you do, it is a much better platform for all types of riding. Easier on the body, a lot more fun and the confidence one gets from the sheer power to perform evasive maneuvers. I feel much-much safer on the BMW. By the way, for the heck of it I rode the Suzi to work last week because it looks so lonely. It felt like a Flintmobile compared to the LT.

Do buy, do enjoy!
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post #19 of 28 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 1:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

thanks for all the advise, i put money down to hold the k12lt... will be picking it up next tuesday... can't wait... it will take a bit of getting to know it... but i am sure i'll be fine... selling my suzuki c50t since i have no room for it and well... wife is already pissed... don't want to make too many more waves...kirk
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post #20 of 28 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 11:05 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

My LT goes into Houston, TX most days. Fortunately, much of the ride is in the HOV lanes which are protected from encroachment for cell phone users and make up putter-oners. It's 32 miles one way and the 48 mpg even with ethanol blended is bettter than almost any full sized bike. Fridays, I take my Honda Valkyrie with straight pipes, embarassingly loud, but 4 days a week, it's the LT. There's nothing quite like an empty HOV lane at near 3 digits with traffic stopped in the main lanes.
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post #21 of 28 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 11:37 am
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

My daily commute is about 75 miles r/t. The LT has performed admirably. I have a mix of stop and go with some freeway and a short stretch of residential. I've thought about going to a smaller bike but the LT performs so I haven't been able to justify a new ride.

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post #22 of 28 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 12:31 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Ride the LT 50 miles roundtrip through rush hour traffic in St Louis, great ride.
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post #23 of 28 Old Jul 10th, 2008, 10:07 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

I have several BMW's including the LT and R1200RT. I am very comfortable commuting with either one. In fact, the LT wins comfort wise. While it is a big bike it doesn't take long to get used to it. When I first got the LT I was a little nervous but these days lane splitting and feet up stop and go traffic just aren't an issue.
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post #24 of 28 Old Jul 11th, 2008, 2:50 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasPipeliner
My LT goes into Houston, TX most days. Fortunately, much of the ride is in the HOV lanes which are protected from encroachment for cell phone users and make up putter-oners. It's 32 miles one way and the 48 mpg even with ethanol blended is bettter than almost any full sized bike. Fridays, I take my Honda Valkyrie with straight pipes, embarassingly loud, but 4 days a week, it's the LT. There's nothing quite like an empty HOV lane at near 3 digits with traffic stopped in the main lanes.
Welcome aboard and congrats on post #1.

On the Eastex freeway (what I roll in on) the HOV if safer, but not faster at the time I roll in the mornings. And if I fall in behind a bus on the HOV it's a sub-70 MPH ride in a sand storm. Most of the crotches slip around them and I've slipped around a car or two when I was pissed but ain't brave enough to squeeze by busses.
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post #25 of 28 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 6:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

thanks for all the advice...i did buy the k1200lt... the one from dallas on sale on here... i was in heavy traffic leaving allen, tx ...was not that big of a deal... stop and go for about 45min... and that was to get just about a mile or 2... i left dallas, tx on thursday morning at 6:15am to avoid the traffic... and was home in new orleans, la by 2:15pm... a very nice ride... i am already loving the bike... thanks again for all the advice... kirk
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post #26 of 28 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 8:26 pm
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

Hey, Kirk! I hope all goes well with the new LT... I know, should I ever move back to Louisiana that my LT will be needing a plate change.. =)

So what you gonna name the bike/ (don't smash no Dixie beer bottles on her, ok?)

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post #27 of 28 Old Jul 20th, 2008, 12:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

cfell...have not named any bike as of yet... never thought of it... can't say i don't love them though... as far as smashing dixie cans on them..i perfer bottles...and abita beer to dixie... but will reserve smashing them on other vehicles... thanks... kirk
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post #28 of 28 Old Jul 20th, 2008, 12:35 am Thread Starter
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Re: k12lt for commuting as well as touring

cfell... can't say i have a name for the bike... have not named my other bike and i've had it for almost 2yrs... as far as smashing dixie bottles on it...well..i do prefer abita over dixie... and reserve the smashing for other vehicles...preferably someone else's vehicle...lol...take care... kirk
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