Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 3:07 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

I am riding 2-up from West Palm Beach Florida to Georgia on the interstate for a road trip to visit family. I have owned my flawless Black 2003 BMW K1200LT now for over a year and just started riding it 2 months back. Reading many posts, opinions, and articles is a wise way to educate yourself about the process of safely riding your LT, but also instills way to much fear in your mind for a beginner looking to find confidence to ride. The bike is new to you! You fell in love with it! But just assuming that for this articles primary content, you are a perfectionist who is terrified to damage your bike.... get rid of that taunting fear and ride that bike from now on knowing this. I have tipped over now twice and each time I was pissed off. But I immediately used my skills learned from an awesome tutorial on YouTube by the President of the Illinois BMW Club and lifted it up easily to then just keep riding. Don't be afraid. It only scuffs a cheap piece of plastic in my experience and doesn't even show. Just keep riding and stop listening to so may others who are insensitive to the open mind of a new rider! Just ride!
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post #2 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 3:43 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

+1 on your comment

I've got an 2005 LT that I purchased in 2006. Despite 40K miles of riding, she decides to "lay down and rest" at least a couple of times a year, either with, or without my direct assistance. I just pick her up and keep on riding. Despite some minor scratches and feeling kinda stupid, she still runs good and looks good.

Don't sweat the small stuff, keep on riding!

Bob

2005 Blue K1200LT
2010 R1200GS
BMW/MOA 94539


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post #3 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 5:02 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

Ride on And then ride some more
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Ken
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post #4 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 5:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

My daughter and I laughed so hard sitting here at a Georgia rest area picnic table next to the bike. That is hilarious man. See now that's how you build confidence in the beginner. Lol. A little humor, a little encouragement, and a lot of safety.
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post #5 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 8:23 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

I agree with you. I bought my LT and less than 2 weeks later I did a SS1000 ride. My bike had been dropped by the PO several times and so it already had some scuffs and I did not worry about dropping it. I too found that the more I rode it, the lighter it feels. I did come from a 1982 1100 Goldwing that was one fat heavy beast.
These bikes are so great out on the rode and just handle beautifully. And you are right, if it drops, no big deal, just some plastic that gets a little scuff, keep riding.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
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post #6 of 14 Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 10:11 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003BMWK1200LT View Post
I have owned my flawless Black 2003 BMW K1200LT now for over a year and just started riding it 2 months back.
Did work or something keep you off the bike?


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Airwolf - 2018 K1600GTL (planned acquisition!)
2005 Charcoal LT - 48K
2003 Antracite LT - 76K
2001 R1200C 24K
1999 Honda Magna - 5K (RIP)
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post #7 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 7:38 am
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Smile Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

Welcome,

Now you did it, you started riding this great machine, your stuck now, with the most fun you will ever have on a motorcycle. I own 2 BMWs a GS and LT. And as great as the GS is I always go back to the LT for pure FUN. JUST RIDE IT.
Also I noticed you are from Palm Beach, well I live down the street in Loxahatchee.
I have ALOT of miles on mine, if you need ANY assistance drop by.
Now go out a ride. Have fun

Zeke

45 years riding and still more places to see.
2002 K1200LT
2016 R1200RT
IBA # 41935
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post #8 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 9:25 am Thread Starter
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Hey Zeke, I lived in Loxahatchee for years! Let's ride when I get back from my long ride here in Georgia. Slow maneuvering is killing me and I could use help.
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post #9 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 12:30 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

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Originally Posted by 2003BMWK1200LT View Post
Hey Zeke, I lived in Loxahatchee for years! Let's ride when I get back from my long ride here in Georgia. Slow maneuvering is killing me and I could use help.
That is the only real downfall to this bike. It will never be good at slow maneuvers. When I got mine I tried for weeks to use Motorman's methods for slow maneuvering with very little success.

Recently someone posted about having gone through Motorman's live course with an LT. It was stated that Jerry and the other instructors advised against using this bike.
Someone also stated that they have achieved lock to lock turns on it so it can be done.
Just expect to drop it a couple of times and if you are going to do a lot of practice you might consider using a different bike to really hone your skills and then work on the LT some. The dry clutch really doesn't like the slipping thing.

Besides, this bike was designed for High speed maneuvering!

Last edited by Buff8stuff; Jan 4th, 2015 at 12:32 pm. Reason: Add on.
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post #10 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 2:52 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

Okay, it IS possible to do lock to lock turns and maneuvers with an LT. But I too would highly recommend NOT doing it. My reason is the "friction zone" on the clutch. With the dry clutch I don't think it would last long. I was able to do it several times but I had been to a 40 hour motor officer school twice in the 80's. Once on a Kawasaki KZ1000P when I went to motors and then again when I got a new HD FXRP when we switched.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #11 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 5:46 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

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Originally Posted by 2003BMWK1200LT View Post
Hey Zeke, I lived in Loxahatchee for years! Let's ride when I get back from my long ride here in Georgia. Slow maneuvering is killing me and I could use help.

Sent you a PM

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post #12 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 5:51 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

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Okay, it IS possible to do lock to lock turns and maneuvers with an LT. But I too would highly recommend NOT doing it. My reason is the "friction zone" on the clutch. With the dry clutch I don't think it would last long. I was able to do it several times but I had been to a 40 hour motor officer school twice in the 80's. Once on a Kawasaki KZ1000P when I went to motors and then again when I got a new HD FXRP when we switched.

Your right about the clutch. But Im asking why we need to do a lock to lock turn anyways. i can do them but why, never needed too.. Dont do wheelies for the same reason. never learned over 43 years of riding. But sometimes they do look like fun
Just saying. Go do some sweepers at high speed around some wings, then this beauty is like on rails.

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post #13 of 14 Old Jan 4th, 2015, 7:13 pm
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

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Your right about the clutch. But Im asking why we need to do a lock to lock turn anyways. i can do them but why, never needed too.. Dont do wheelies for the same reason. never learned over 43 years of riding. But sometimes they do look like fun
Just saying. Go do some sweepers at high speed around some wings, then this beauty is like on rails.
I agree, the joy of owning the mighty LT is in its high speed handling and the fact that this 800lb beast can corner like a sport bike. I deal with its low speed clumsiness because I rarely need to go slow. I am lucky that I am 6 foot tall and in good shape, it helps a lot to handle this bike. Even so, I take it easy at gas stations of in any U-turns or other slow speed maneuvers.
I love that I can put 77lbs of gear (according to the loading info on the bike) and the LT still handles great. I like to moto camp and this bike is great for that.
Let the sport bike guys have their wheelies, stoppies and other crazy antics, I will enjoy what my LT does best.
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“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
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post #14 of 14 Old Jan 5th, 2015, 9:53 am
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Re: Beginner K1200LT owners Fear Not, just ride!

The key to slow LT riding is to always always think ahead. If you need to stop or do a u-turn, don't force it, just ride on until you find a safe place to do it, stopping on off cambers, steep grades and soft/uneven ground are No-No's. Always try to park dead level or slightly uphill so bike won't roll of side or center stand. Beware of hot soft asphalt and side stand use. Unless you are use to riding on dirt and gravel be very careful mostly due to lack of foot traction when you stop which can cause you to drop bike. Practice steep intersection starts by holding the foot brake and using the throttle with a little higher RPM will slipping clutch to avoid stalling and to get you going. Also try to always park so you do not have to back up. Once you start riding these skills will become second nature. Good Luck and ride safe
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