K1200LT too small for Tall Newbie? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 7:55 am Thread Starter
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K1200LT too small for Tall Newbie?

Hi everyone,

I have been lusting the K1200LT for some time. I've learned so much reading your forums.

I plan on purchasing a bike soon.

My question is over how large a frame can comfortably ride this bike? I am 6 foot 5 inches with a 34" inseam. Will I be too cramped to ride this bike?

I will probably be putting about 20K miles/year on it, so comfort is important to me.

Any experience from you tall guys would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
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post #2 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 8:04 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegottberg
Hi everyone,

I have been lusting the K1200LT for some time. I've learned so much reading your forums.

I plan on purchasing a bike soon.

My question is over how large a frame can comfortably ride this bike? I am 6 foot 5 inches with a 34" inseam. Will I be too cramped to ride this bike?

I will probably be putting about 20K miles/year on it, so comfort is important to me.

Any experience from you tall guys would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
Hi Joe,
Questions? Will this be your first bike or at least your first in quite a while? What type riding will you be doing for the most part, super highway, twisty roads, commuting, or what?
Most BMW dealers will allow test rides to serious prospects who have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driving permit. If you don't have an endorsement, I recommend that you take a motorcycle safety course and get an endorsement before you start shopping for a bike.
The only way to determine if a bike fits is to ride it yourself. BMW also has the GS series which are taller bikes, epecially the GS-A. Enjoy the shopping experience.
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post #3 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 8:09 am
 
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I am 6' 8" and have no problems, can ride all day long.
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post #4 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 8:43 am
 
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Comfort is in the eye of the besitter. I'm 6'3" and found the LT to be very comfortable. But my new GT has less leg room than the LT, and I find it to be even more comfortable for all-day riding. I put 12K in four months on it without a problem. But some guys just can't seem to like to bend their knees...making "comfort" a very relative subject.
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post #5 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 8:44 am Thread Starter
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I have been in a cage for about the past 6 years, long story. Now I'm serious about riding again.

My last bike was a Suzuki Cavalcade, a Voyager before that so I definitely like the tourers.

My primary use for the bike will be one up commuting to work. I go about 35 miles each way, combination of highway and back roads.

Hope to have a trip or two as two up riding for a week per year, but the Boss needs to approve that.

I've been to the dealer near here and have sat on a few, but, never was serious enough to ask for the keys. They have a 99 model now, but, I fear it will be too old. I'd like an 03 and newer, the 05 electric center stand is intriguing.

Thanks
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post #6 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 5:49 pm
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A few changes help

Joe,

Iím the same height and inseam as you and find the LT absolutely the best for two-up comfort. I do have the footpeg relocators from Suburban Machinery.

http://www.suburban-machinery.com/K1200LT.htm

This is a very common addition for tall folk. It is also common that some find the stock LT too tall. They often go to a low seat so if you get a pre-owned bike, be sure to check this (I missed this one and needed to change my seat).

Of course, a stock seat wonít compare to a good custom one in terms of fit and comfort, but that pretty much applies to all bikes. Anyway, good luck and be sure to get a good ride on anything you are considering purchasing.

Dan

Reelman
2006 K1200R (sun yellow)
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post #7 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 6:18 pm
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Ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorbeemer
I am 6' 8" and have no problems, can ride all day long.
6'8" with 36" inseam here.
(Also have suburban peg lowering kit)

comfortable to me.

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post #8 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 6:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegottberg
Hi everyone,

I have been lusting the K1200LT for some time. I've learned so much reading your forums.

I plan on purchasing a bike soon.

My question is over how large a frame can comfortably ride this bike? I am 6 foot 5 inches with a 34" inseam. Will I be too cramped to ride this bike?

I will probably be putting about 20K miles/year on it, so comfort is important to me.

Any experience from you tall guys would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
I have heard a couple tall folks say they were too cramped in the LT, and i do understand why, Go test ride one, find a dealer that will let you take one out for hours

that is the only way you are going to have half a chance to know if it is for you or not


and just to let you know, the LT is borderline for me to be comfortble on it, I'm short (31" inseam 5'9") but can not take my knees bent much these days. It is the reason when I am traveling I run the seat in the high position and have the Highway ottomans installed on it.

Tom

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post #9 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 6:38 pm
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6'8" 230lbs.

No problems...can easily ride 800-1000 miles a day. I have been averaging 25+K a year.

'10 1200 GSA -- Banana!!
'06 CRF450X -- Just trouble
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post #10 of 22 Old Nov 19th, 2006, 11:07 pm
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I'm 6'1" but also have a 34" inseam.

I didn't want to lose clearance so I wouldn't go with the peg-lowering kit. I did feel a little uncomfortable on the stock seat (even in the high position). Felt like my knees were kind of pointing up.

Got a Corbin seat (regular, not low version) and had them build in another half inch in seat height. The bastard was expensive but...Perfect fit.

To me, a custom seat is the most significant modification you can make to a bike.


Mike M

2007 K1200GT Dark Graphite
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post #11 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2006, 7:27 am Thread Starter
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Mike,

Thanks for the advice. I was a little concerned about lowering the pegs as well, but, I'd be willing to sacrifice a little on the clearance to get less knee bend.

How expensive was the seat?

Thanks,

Joe
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post #12 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2006, 7:33 am
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If you think that you are cramped on the LT then don't even bother sitting on a Goldwing. I'm 6'4" and felt that the seating position on the Goldwing was much too cramped. As a matter of fact I read an article that stated that the new GL1800 GoldWing was designed for riders 5'8". The main deciding factor for me to buy an LT was the comfortable seating position. Although I did end up adding $500 floorboards and a $600 seat.

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post #13 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2006, 8:14 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegottberg
Mike,

Thanks for the advice. I was a little concerned about lowering the pegs as well, but, I'd be willing to sacrifice a little on the clearance to get less knee bend.

How expensive was the seat?

Thanks,

Joe

Definitely go with a taller seat!!
Do not use the lowering kit if you like riding fairly aggressive and like twisties at all, mine were on the bike one day, I took them off and made a swap with a flatlander (grin) I also have raised my Bike with wilbers Shocks

Tom

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post #14 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2006, 8:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegottberg
Mike,

How expensive was the seat?
I bought both the driver and pillion, they were $500 each! I have seen several LT's with only the Corbin driver seat, as it will work with the stock rear seat (but leaves about an inch gap between the two seats).

Speaking of the stock seat, it's not that the seat is so much lower (in the high position) but when I put my 207lbs on it the soft foam compresses a couple of inches.

That Corbin is very firm with very little "give" in the foam. That helped in giving me the right fit. I far prefer a firm seat.

Mike M

2007 K1200GT Dark Graphite
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post #15 of 22 Old Nov 20th, 2006, 11:01 am
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I'm 6'3", 34" inseam and weigh 260 lbs. The weight is important because if you're heavy as your trip (ride) gets longer, you start to compress the foam in the seat until you end up sitting on the seat pan. That is the reason so many of us opt for a custom seat. 1 hour on the stock seat, and I begin to squirm, and at 300-400 miles, I can't wait to get off the motorcycle.

BMW builds one hell of a fine motorcycle BUT they don't have a clue about ergonomics. Also, I'm 61 years old and over the years have suffered numerous injuries in my former profession, including numerous knee injuries. Sitting long periods of time with my knees bent in the required riding position, causes excruciating pain in my knees. I tried the Suburban Machinery lowering blocks, but I gave up to much cornering clearance and sold them.

In contrast, my Harley Ultra Classic had a much finer seating position and comfortable seat BUT it's not even in the same ballpark as my LT for handling and performance. FYI: My next changes to my LT will be a Russel or Rick Meyer seat and Ohlin suspension.

For commuting and single up riding, I'd, also, recommend the R1200GS or the R1200RT, but ride 'em all and do what's right for you!

So, there's my .02 for what it's worth.

Ride with Pride,

Capt John
Tracy, CA



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post #16 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 10:27 am
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I think the LT is the best 2 up ride for me. And we usually don't do anything but 2 up. It is the most comfortable for my SO. She suffers from PSS, therefore I had to install armrests. The LT loves the freeways and eats up the miles very nicely and comfortably. But, if I was doing more commuting (35 mile trips) I would serious look at an RT. Plus it is 200lbs lighter. I think better for stop and go traffic. IMHO

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post #17 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 2:44 pm
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joegottberg

I'm 6' if I stand up straight....with a 32 inch inseam. I found the factory seat similar to something invented by Dante.....if you know what I mean? No matter the position...it was a killer. Just felt like it was pushing me too far forward. So I contacted Steve down to Cee Bailey's and had him do me another seat with a 2" buildup, and cut that little BUTTPAD thingy down by an inch or inch and a half (thickness wise). It allowed me to sit further back....and higher!! Made a world of difference to me.

Best of Luck!

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post #18 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 4:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegottberg
....My question is over how large a frame can comfortably ride this bike? I am 6 foot 5 inches with a 34" inseam. Will I be too cramped to ride this bike?

I will probably be putting about 20K miles/year on it, so comfort is important to me.

Any experience from you tall guys would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
Howdy Joe,

I'm 6'4, 34" inseam and my LT is perfect for our size. Of course mine has all the stuff you would want as a taller rider, custom saddle, Ohlins shocks, XL J-pegs, etc..

Here are some pictures of me and the Mrs. on the bike. Click HERE and click the "play" button. We are the first set of images on the Silver LT.

It just so happens that I've been lusting after a GS and so my LT is available over in the classifieds.

.

Bill "Omaha"

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

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Last edited by BillyOmaha; Nov 21st, 2006 at 6:02 pm.
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post #19 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 6:31 pm
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I'm 6'4 with a 34" inseam and the LT is very comfortable. I could never ride a GT - no room to move.

You would never fit on a Goldwing (built for someone 5'8" with a 400# SO), and the only other real option is a Harley, and we all know how underpowered they are.

The real way is to ride the bike- really, no other way
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post #20 of 22 Old Nov 21st, 2006, 9:08 pm
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Joe,

I'm 6'7" with a 38" inseam. I found the LT to be very comfortable on shorter rides like your commute. After longer days, like the 300-400 mile rides, it does feel good to stretch out the legs, but it never made me question my decision to buy the LT.


Steve
2004 LT
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post #21 of 22 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 9:26 am
 
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Yup at 6' 5.5" and a 34" inseam I still love this bike on long rides. 1000 mile days are very doable (caution it's addicting) and the commute is no problem at all.

I run with the Suburban lowers and just live with grinding on the stock foot pegs. Still running the stock seat but with help from beads on the base seat then the use of gel pads which add a good 1/2" to 1" of height (using two). Finally I built my own long distance cruising pegs to stretch out the legs (mandatory for long rides).

I'd say go buy it then enjoy it!
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post #22 of 22 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 4:09 pm Thread Starter
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All,

Thanks to all for your help.

It sounds like a change in seat is a good bet, at least for long term riding.

The pegs (whether extended or not) is another issue. The suburaban pegs seem to help for some, but, others not.

I think the philospohy should be to "just get one" and deal with the potential "fit issues" later.

Thanks,

Joe
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