Trailering a K1200LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 7:12 pm Thread Starter
 
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Trailering a K1200LT

Guys,

I need some help. If all goes well I will be picking up a K1200LT on Saturday and I will be trailering it. My questions are as follows.
What it the minimum size trailer (enclosed) that I could get away with?
What is the best way to tie this bike down without any damage. ( will a canyon strap work on this bike)?

Thanks
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post #2 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 7:39 pm
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Hauling your K1200LT

The trailer would have to be at least 10' long if covered. There are several good pages on tying down on here. I hauled mine just like they suggested and it worked out fine. DON'T use canyon straps on the handle bars...........not a good idea the way these bars are made.
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post #3 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 8:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbbusa
Guys,

I need some help. If all goes well I will be picking up a K1200LT on Saturday and I will be trailering it. My questions are as follows.
What it the minimum size trailer (enclosed) that I could get away with?
What is the best way to tie this bike down without any damage. ( will a canyon strap work on this bike)?

Thanks

Click!

Download the PDF file and print a copy for the saddlebag. Might be a good idea to carry some soft ties (like a lot of us do) in case the tow outfit doesn't have any.


HTH and Good Luck!

Duane

Check the obvious first!
01 LT Champagne "The Starship"
73 Z1 Kawi
and 7 long gone
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post #4 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 9:17 pm
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I "added" a tiedown to front and one to rear wheel. That gives you additional hold points... Just be careful to make a "wrap" of the strap where there is no metal in contact with important parts.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #5 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 9:24 pm
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If you put even the lightest tension on a Canyon Dancer handlebar strap, you're almost guaranteed to bend the handlebars on the first serious bump that your trailer hits. Don't use them on the LT.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #6 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 10:14 pm
 
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Too much ice and/or snow to just ride it?
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post #7 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 10:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbbusa
( will a canyon strap work on this bike)?

Thanks

DO NOT USE THE HANDLE BARS. THEY WILL BEND OR BREAK.

Use soft ties on the forks above the fork brace. Good idea to use heavy duty rachet tie straps, not the cheap ass ones you 'll see at Home Depot

__________
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post #8 of 17 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 10:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbbusa
Guys,

I need some help. If all goes well I will be picking up a K1200LT on Saturday and I will be trailering it. My questions are as follows.
What it the minimum size trailer (enclosed) that I could get away with?
What is the best way to tie this bike down without any damage. ( will a canyon strap work on this bike)?

Thanks
Well, you will need a trailer cavity that is at the very least the size of the bike: 4ft wide, 8ft long and 5-1/2ft high. Realistically though, you will need at least a foot or two more in every direction to give yourself enough workspace in an enclosed trailer.

With regards to strapping: BMW recommends strapping the front wheel tight and pulling the rear slightly (details further on). I do a little more, as I'll describe.

Canyon Straps: as all previous replies correctly stated, you cannot support an 'LT with these. The "tiller" steering bars are not designed to handle such downward stress and you'd risk breaking them. However: I actually do use the Canyons, for an initial setup.

See atached picture. My trailer does not allow me to extend the sidestand and I must somehow temporarily strap the bike after riding up or before riding down - I am usually loading by myself, without any help.

I temporarily hook the Canyon Straps and allow the bike to gently lean eagainst them while I get off the saddle and proceed to cinch the wheel. I do NOT put any more pressure that required to support the bike: I do not compress the front or the handle bars. Once the other straps are installed, the Canyons are loose and I use bungee cords to prevent them from flapping in the wind and messing up the bodywork - as you can see in the photo. (I do not take them off, on the theory that if other straps fail, I may have a busted handle bar, but will not lose the bike).

If you can set your bike on the trailer on a side- or center-stand, all these gyrations with the Canyons are not necessary and I'd avoid them.

Now: the most important strapping is on the front wheel. You should use soft strap extensions (like those made by Ancra) wrapped around the fork cross-bar (just above the fender) - pull them hard down/forward with straps. I use the ratcheting type, although some riders do not like that. Watch the brake line on right fork leg: you may have to route the soft strap around both fork and brake line to avoid bending the hose or coupling. Depending on location of floor hooks, you may have to remove the front fender to prevent straps from scratching it.

In the rear, look under the sidecases. At their rear inboard ends (i.e., next to wheel), you will see the metal frame that supports them (a metal rod about 3/8" dia.). Slip a strap around that frame and lightly tighten the bike down. This only serves to prevent the bike from bouncing up and down - it is not intended to hold it stiffly. Make sure that there is not much pressure on rear shock or you'll blow it if it is depressed for extended periods of time.

These four straps (front wheel and rear sidecases) are the ONLY ones recommended by BMW. I add the following:

The key to trailering is to stabilize front wheel. On my trailer, I add one more strap around the wheel and pull it hard into the "V"-nose of the trailer. The point here is that you must block the wheel itself, not the steering - pressure must not be applied to front fork/shock.

Finally, I add one more set of straps around the front fork crossbar on top of the fender and attach them to another set of floor hooks. This is only for sake of redundancy, in case the other set around the same brace fails. The front wheel holds the whole bike and I am worried about the consequences of a bad ratchet or strap.

For the road, I retract the stand and make sure transmission is in Neutral: you do not want either to be stressed when the trailer hops over potholes.


So, to summarize, I install the following:

1. Canyon Straps - temporarily, to help me get off/on the bike when loading or unloading. Not needed if you can put the bike on the stand or have a helper.

2. Tightly-pulled straps over top of front wheel (via extensions looped over fork crosss-bar on top of fender).

3. Lightly pulled straps connected to support frame under rear bottom of sidecases.

4. Tightly-pulled strap to lock the front wheel to whatever blocks its movement forward.

5. Extra security set of straps, duplicating those in #2.

This method has served me well for many miles. Contrary to pooh-poohing of our colleagues here in the forum, I do trailer the bike occasionally. By myself I'll do real long-distance; however, on two-up vacations my wife will not go for a multi-day ride, but I can talk her into a motorcycling trip if we trailer the bike to a nice destination and do day-loops there.

You do what you can...

Anyway, I hope that this description is of some use. Regards.
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Robert in Northern NJ

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post #9 of 17 Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:56 pm
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gonna be 50 in Maine on saturday (I am ridingtoday)

but, i would suggest some sort of a wheel chock in your trailer, give yourself something drive into, and tie down into. see below.
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I COULD TELL THEY WERE BIKERS,
IT SAID "LIVE TO RIDE" ON THEIR TRAILER
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post #10 of 17 Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 3:32 pm
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From prior experience, I would not use an enclosed trailer. An open one will be much easier....They usually limit your attachment points. I picked up my Harley police bike some years ago with a large enclosed trailer and it wasn't a smooth event altho we eventually got it to work. Most don't have a high enough rear opening to accomodate a large bike with a windshield. And don't try to ride it up a narrow ramp with your head sticking up over the windshield with a big shit-eating-grin becasuse everything is going so smoothly... you may suddenly find out you're not going to fit as you start to enter the opening and have to immediately stop on a narrow wood ramp with nowhere for your feet to touch down since you're 3 feet off the ground at that point... Don't ask me how I learned this! Once I got the bike inside, I had to drill new holes and reinstall the built-in tie down points.

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post #11 of 17 Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 5:24 pm
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On the other hand, whether you use and enclosed trailer or open trailer will depend largely on A) what is available to you; and B) the trailer itself.

I have a 7.5' x 16' trailer, rear full-width ramp door, side door, floor channels, side tiedowns, v-nose, etc. Fits my both my Harley and LT at the same time, which came in handy taking both bikes to their respective dealers for service on the same day. The enclosed trailer also provides better security as well as protection from the elements.

That said, I appreciate the point about the open trailer being easier to maneuver around to get to the tie downs.

In a pinch, use what's at hand to get the job done.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
-----------------------------------------------

If you want to be happy for a day, drink.
If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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post #12 of 17 Old Jan 4th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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Last March 2 I used a U-Haul open utility trailer to haul my '05 LT from Calais Maine to Saint John N.B. I used the BMW recommended tie down points front and back. Used medium ratchet pressure on the front and made up sliding knots for slight tension on the rear frame directly beneath the rear of the saddle bags. No front wheel chock or any other stabilizing. Just the bike on the deck of the trailer and tied down as BMW prescribes. Absolutely no problems on the trip to Saint John. Towed it with a Toyota Camry. Rode the bike to New Glasgow in 3 degree celsius temp the next day enjoyed every mile of it.

I rented the trailer from a U-Haul dealer on Manawoganish Rd. in Saint John. If there is a U-Haul dealer in Fredericton you might check that out if it fits your plans.

A little off the subject of trailering but still to do with the importation of the bike from the U.S. Will you have the necessary paper work to U.S. customs at the point of entry 72 hrs. prior to the bike crossing the border? Very important, otherwise the bike stays on the U.S. side until the 72 hrs. is up.

There are other paper works requirements for Canada Customs as well. If you are not familiar with this feel free to pm me and I may be able to help you out. If you are and have all this in place, Good Luck in your pursuit of one of the best bikes in the world. I am sure you will enjoy it immensely when riding season comes again.
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post #13 of 17 Old Jan 6th, 2007, 1:58 am Thread Starter
 
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Many Thanks

Guys,

Just wanted to say thanks for all of your helpful info. It is getting close to 4 AM on Saturday morning and I am getting ready to hit the road to NH to pick up an 04 LT. If all goes will it should be a smooth trip thanks to your good advice. I will let you all know how the trip goes.

Thanks,
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post #14 of 17 Old Jan 6th, 2007, 4:12 pm
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I just drooped my LT off at a vermont dealer.Used a snow bear 4,5 x 8.0" open.Definitely use wheel chock system Approx$160.00 depending with brand you use,keeps bike upright so you can tie down bike by your self.8,0" is kind of tight for
LT would go bigger next time.LT is not designed to be trailered,otherwise they would
have made better arrangements to use tie downs,rear is a pain.Only way to go with straps, are with ratchet type,they feel more secure but watch out for metal making
contact with the plastic at the rear section. I used two at the forks,two under the rear cases.And one over the seat for peace of mind.The bike and trailer handled very
stable at 65 mph.
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post #15 of 17 Old Jan 6th, 2007, 11:57 pm
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I liked the cross bar that goes under the front seat and has contact points for the frame rails then eye bolts for the tiedowns on the outward points of the bar. This and the front chalk would do fine.

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post #16 of 17 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 12:55 pm Thread Starter
 
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Bike is almost home

Well the trip went pretty well. The bike is sitting in Houlton Maine right now just waiting for the paper work to clear customs. I ended up using a snow bear trailer and used the recommended tie down points. I had one strap let go part way up but I noticed the bike moving a little so I was able to get is secured again with out incident. Within a week or so I should have it home in my garage. When I went to look at the bike I wasn't sure what I was going to find (no pictures available). I have to say that I could not believe the condition of the bike. It is a 2004 with 24K miles on it. It was in perfect condition. After driving for 7 hours I was relieved. I did learn that I would not want to try and put that bike on a trailer like the 8' snow bear without some extra help.

Thanks again...................
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post #17 of 17 Old Jan 7th, 2007, 8:56 pm
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Ditto!

To add my 2 cents' (Cdn) worth...Also picked up a bike this weekend, in the vicinity of Colombus, OH.
Shocker was when I went to file the title with US Customs 3 days before my (long-planned) trip. I filed on Wednesday, to export on Saturday, and was told the process was changed. Customs will only do it out of the truck office - weekdays, business hours only. GAH!! I went ahead anyway, and it all worked out. Begged and pleaded and cajoled, and they 'did me' on a Saturday night.
Got a 99 LT - what a dream machine! I'm 6'4 and it fits me like a scooter.
Trailered it up on a u-haul 5x9 open trailer. Made a quick home-built chock ( a pallet cut in half); two tie-downs in the front above the brace. Back, I only used one, wrapped twice around the rear wheel to keep it in place. 10 hours through rain and some horrendous traffic, it all worked out. I LOVE this machine!! What a relief after that journey and after buying a bike sight-unseen, to have it perched in my garage.
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