Originally Posted by bobmin
OK, so with my boots on I probably reach 5' 06". I buy 29" inseam jeans 'cause they don't make them any shorter. I've owned a variety of BMW's (air and oilheads) and I've never had a bike that I can flat foot but haven't dropped one in a long tme. I'm thinking about an LT with the hope that my wife will start riding with me again.
Am I crazy or are there some short guys out there that have mastered this skyscraper? I'm considering a low mileage '99 that's being ofered locally. I've read that the low seat on a '99 is 30.3". It must be damn wide because that's probably lower than any bike I've had in 30 years. So, is there anyone on the list as short as me that ride one of these? What's it like? I know EVERYBODY drops these once in a while (heck, by the threads I've read it seems to be a badge of courage around here). I just don't want to buy this thing and find out it's just too much for short guys to handle.
Thanks for any input.
I'm 5'7", 30" inseam, and I've dropped mine plenty of times!
Seriously, I rarely drop the bike anymore, mostly because I've become more attentive -- my only drops were in moments of gross inattention and/or end-of-a-long-day fatigue.
Knowing how to pick up the bike without rupturing anything is (to me at least) the real source of confidence -- I believe that if you know you can pick it up, you'll be let concerned with (and likely less prone to) a drop. The basic idea is to stand with your back to the bike, one hand on the handlebar and the other on the saddlebag grip (arms pretty much straight), butt against the side of the seat -- then walk backwards, using your *LEGS*, NOT your arms, to walk the bike back up to vertical.
The handling of the bike at slow speed is mostly a matter of practice -- anyone can ride a motorcycle at speed -- low speed handling is where you learn real bike control (at least until you're sufficiently proficient to be looking at track classes). The more time spent at low speed in a parking lot, boring as it may be at times, the less likely you'll drop it. I encourage much practice before taking on a passenger, and more importantly, taking the passenger first thing to a parking lot to practice riding together, and to train the passenger (not putting their feet down, rider does all the turning, keep their body at the same lean as yours during turns, look to inside of turn during the turn, etc.). Practice, practice, practice. (subtle enough??
Keep your head/eyes up (looking off at the distance, and *DO NOT* sneak glances at the ground right in front of you).
Have the front wheel pointed straight ahead when coming to a complete stop -- the LT telelever suspension has an anti-dive geometry (i.e., virtually no "dive" built into the front forks). With a conventional fork, if you hit the brakes with the front wheel turned, some of the momentum of the bike is absorbed in the forks, and the main bike/rider motion remains mostly along the longitudinal axis of the bike, or at least is slowed enough to permit operator reaction/correction before toppling. With the telelever, the momentum is not adsorbed in this manner, so the bike tends to want to continue moving -- *right now* (usually before you can react) and in any direction, usually over onto its side away from the direction of the front wheel. Having the front wheel pointing inline with the chassis minimizes the excitement.