Towing with the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 11 Old Jul 26th, 2016, 10:15 pm Thread Starter
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Towing with the LT

I have been busy riding, working, sleeping, repeat. The new clutch and Wilbers have been a delight and now I am wondering how well does this bike handle the popup trailers like a Bunkhouse or similar? Anyone out there using a camper and do you have advise for hauling one. I've never pulled more than a small trailer that didn't need brakes, and I'm curious if electric brakes are useful and safe. The wife would like to try motorcycle camping, but insists she is getting to old to sleep on the ground, well maybe we both are.
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post #2 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 4:22 am
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Re: Towing with the LT

I have towed this for the best part of 100.000 km. The hardest part is getting the trailer rolling at very low rpm then throttle up. if you ride the clutch to take off you will burn it out in no time.
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Regards Linton
From the land of Kangaroo's and Koalas
and no koalas are not Bears



2002 K1200LT
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2004 Cub Kamparoo Sprint
My Toys
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post #3 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 6:54 am
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Re: Towing with the LT

This is my new (to me) Bunkhouse Queen. It does not have brakes but has not been a problem. I also have a Bunkhouse LX that I have well over 50,000 miles on it. Most of the miles were with a K1100LT. I have about 18,000 miles on it being pulled with my K1200LT. This one has electric brakes (not hydro electric) and I have worn out the magnets and had to replace the backing plates (7" diameter available at Northern Tool). I just recently had a transmission failure but I have not torn it down yet to certain the cause.

Robert
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They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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2000 K1200LT "Latifah"
1994 R1100RSL (wife's)
1981 R80GS
1976 R90S
1965 R80/2 Frankenbike (wife's)
2001 Bunkhouse LX (given to son)
2011 Bunkhouse Queen

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post #4 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 5:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Towing with the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axle View Post
I have towed this for the best part of 100.000 km. The hardest part is getting the trailer rolling at very low rpm then throttle up. if you ride the clutch to take off you will burn it out in no time.
I hear that! I am in know hurry to do another clutch job. Things can get very hilly in Wisconsin (Driftless Area). What would you suggest for a maximum weight to tow?
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post #5 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 5:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Towing with the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scouter-50 View Post
This is my new (to me) Bunkhouse Queen. It does not have brakes but has not been a problem. I also have a Bunkhouse LX that I have well over 50,000 miles on it. Most of the miles were with a K1100LT. I have about 18,000 miles on it being pulled with my K1200LT. This one has electric brakes (not hydro electric) and I have worn out the magnets and had to replace the backing plates (7" diameter available at Northern Tool). I just recently had a transmission failure but I have not torn it down yet to certain the cause.

Robert
I have been eyeing an Aspen Classic that is 10 yo and $2500.00. The fellow is unable to ride his GWing or even camp, so he is selling everything. I think the Bunkhouse is about the same size and weight so by your account, I should have no trouble towing the Classic. Maybe I should take a look at this camper.
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post #6 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 6:00 pm
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Re: Towing with the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheezNbeer View Post
I have been busy riding, working, sleeping, repeat. The new clutch and Wilbers have been a delight and now I am wondering how well does this bike handle the popup trailers like a Bunkhouse or similar? Anyone out there using a camper and do you have advise for hauling one. I've never pulled more than a small trailer that didn't need brakes, and I'm curious if electric brakes are useful and safe. The wife would like to try motorcycle camping, but insists she is getting to old to sleep on the ground, well maybe we both are.
I am not a fan of towing with a motorcycle or of Gold Wings, but if I was going to tow a camper with a motorcycle I would buy a Gold Wing and reserve the LT for rides not involving the trailer.

Why? Several reasons:
1. The LT's dry clutch won't take abuse like the Wing's wet clutch. Towing a camper will abuse the clutch, particularly if you tow in other than flat country.
2. The LT is geared too tall in 1st for the motorcycle itself. Adding load makes a bad situation worse.
3. Towing favors torque and displacement over horsepower and RPM. The Wing engine is one step removed from that in a John Deere. It is suited to towing.

Just as most four wheeled vehicle drivers tow their campers with a truck or SUV rather than a Porsche, motorcyclists should tow with a Wing, not an LT.
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post #7 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 8:31 pm
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Re: Towing with the LT

FWIW 350 lbs gross is my personal limit to tow with the LT. I did have full hard brake stop from 65 and she tracked straight and true and I missed the deer. Never noticed the trailer.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #8 of 11 Old Jul 27th, 2016, 10:42 pm
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Re: Towing with the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I am not a fan of towing with a motorcycle or of Gold Wings, but if I was going to tow a camper with a motorcycle I would buy a Gold Wing and reserve the LT for rides not involving the trailer.

Why? Several reasons:
1. The LT's dry clutch won't take abuse like the Wing's wet clutch. Towing a camper will abuse the clutch, particularly if you tow in other than flat country.
2. The LT is geared too tall in 1st for the motorcycle itself. Adding load makes a bad situation worse.
3. Towing favors torque and displacement over horsepower and RPM. The Wing engine is one step removed from that in a John Deere. It is suited to towing.

Just as most four wheeled vehicle drivers tow their campers with a truck or SUV rather than a Porsche, motorcyclists should tow with a Wing, not an LT.
I would not tow with the LT you mess up the clutch and I think you mess up the bearing on the tranny by towing
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Gary
2003 K1200LT
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post #9 of 11 Old Jul 28th, 2016, 9:11 am
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Re: Towing with the LT

Although a while ago, I towed a fully loaded KwiK Kamp pop up, 2 up, from Florida to Oregon with my '99 LT back in 2000. The total round trip was over 6000 miles. Also towed that trailer probably an additional 25 or 30K miles with that same bike. As an MSF Instructor that '99 also spent many hours as my demo bike while teaching the Experienced Rider Course which was full of slow tight turn exercises using "friction zone" techniques. I traded that bike at 98,000 miles on an '05 and it was still running with the original clutch. So my take is that unless you really try hard to abuse the clutch, or have a slave cylinder leak the LT clutch should not be an issue.
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post #10 of 11 Old Jul 28th, 2016, 4:56 pm
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Re: Towing with the LT

uh for the cost of the trailer and the cost and time to do a clutch - I would enjoy riding like a free bird with out the trailer and stop in motels on the way - need to grab a shower and put my feet up and rest my sorry old butt
figured that out with my class A motorhome - maintenance and fuel (diesel) camp fees insurance and all the other related cost of running the monster it was cheaper faster to fly and stay in a nice hotel with a pool and food services - don;t get me wrong loved it for many many years. Now when we travel long distances and want he bike, i throw the bike in a trailer tow it to the destination and then ride the bike around. Saves being soaked or cooked while riding to and from the destination
but that's my opinion
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post #11 of 11 Old Jul 28th, 2016, 10:20 pm
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Re: Towing with the LT

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Originally Posted by Tricky_dickey View Post
uh for the cost of the trailer and the cost and time to do a clutch - I would enjoy riding like a free bird with out the trailer and stop in motels on the way - need to grab a shower and put my feet up and rest my sorry old butt
figured that out with my class A motorhome - maintenance and fuel (diesel) camp fees insurance and all the other related cost of running the monster it was cheaper faster to fly and stay in a nice hotel with a pool and food services - don;t get me wrong loved it for many many years. Now when we travel long distances and want he bike, i throw the bike in a trailer tow it to the destination and then ride the bike around. Saves being soaked or cooked while riding to and from the destination
but that's my opinion
That is my calculus also. My wife and I like camping and do that quite often, but we also like traveling and tend to keep the two separate. For the number of days we get to travel each year, it is both more convenient and less expensive to stay at hotels. We generally can find decent hotels for around $80/night and this includes an adequate breakfast. Most campgrounds now are $20 a night or more and many closer to $40. Add in the cost of breakfast, extra fuel to tow the trailer and you might save $40/day over a hotel. We are lucky to get 21 days on the road, so a camper might save me $900 a year. And camping requires at least an extra hour a day for set up and tear down and the inconvenience of towing the camper. For me, hotels and motels just make more sense all the way around when traveling and we get several weeks of camping in also.

However, I realize that many just like to camp and, particularly if you have no other camping outlet, I can understand combining camping with traveling.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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