LT struggling on Central American roads - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 2:43 pm Thread Starter
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LT struggling on Central American roads

So, Iím on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. Itís being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I canít lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

Itís a great bike for the US roads but man... itís been tough.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #2 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 4:09 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
So, I’m on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. It’s being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I can’t lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

It’s a great bike for the US roads but man... it’s been tough.


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I drilled and tapped a hole through the vent opening on my mirrors and put a screw in them. They will never fall off again unless in a wreck and then they will break off but if they get hit hard enough to come off, they would have been damaged in the fall anyways so I don't worry about that.

As for the preload adjuster, they periodically need service where you take off the hose on the adjuster, pop the internal plunger back down with a thin screw driver or coat hanger wire and then refill it with jack oil. No one knows where the oil goes but it is not uncommon to have it not do anything because of the oil missing from it. You can tell by turning it in from the lowest setting and if it has to go in a long way before you start getting resistance, it is empty so refill it. I think Kirk has a video with that in it but not sure if it is dedicated or in a tips and tricks video from him. I will look for it and add it if I can find it.

EDIT at 14:07 is where the preload refill and check starts.

https://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/se...lt-performance
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Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Ė Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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Last edited by bmwcoolk1200; Nov 3rd, 2019 at 4:17 pm.
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post #3 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 5:37 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
So, Iím on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. Itís being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I canít lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

Itís a great bike for the US roads but man... itís been tough.


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I agree with what Gordon already wrote. I have yet to drill my mirrors, but I plan to do that this winter before my next trip. My ride to Alaska was pretty hard on the mirrors. The basic problem is you are riding an LT on GS roads.
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post #4 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 6:56 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

As long as the mirror fixing hardware is in good shape and not broken, a little grease on the ball pins and wires will actually give it better grip. The wires will go farther down the back side of the ball pins.
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post #5 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 9:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
I drilled and tapped a hole through the vent opening on my mirrors and put a screw in them. They will never fall off again unless in a wreck and then they will break off but if they get hit hard enough to come off, they would have been damaged in the fall anyways so I don't worry about that.

As for the preload adjuster, they periodically need service where you take off the hose on the adjuster, pop the internal plunger back down with a thin screw driver or coat hanger wire and then refill it with jack oil. No one knows where the oil goes but it is not uncommon to have it not do anything because of the oil missing from it. You can tell by turning it in from the lowest setting and if it has to go in a long way before you start getting resistance, it is empty so refill it. I think Kirk has a video with that in it but not sure if it is dedicated or in a tips and tricks video from him. I will look for it and add it if I can find it.

EDIT at 14:07 is where the preload refill and check starts.

https://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/se...lt-performance


Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. Itís been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the ďwornĒ plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #6 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 9:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
As long as the mirror fixing hardware is in good shape and not broken, a little grease on the ball pins and wires will actually give it better grip. The wires will go farther down the back side of the ball pins.


I did ďfixĒ the holding wires before. But now the wire plastic support seems to be broken or breaking.
Iíll have to device something different.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #7 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 11:50 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. Itís been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the ďwornĒ plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Too bad about the tire issue. Ride like you know it is damaged and needing replacement. Hopefully it will get you home with no other issues.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Ė Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #8 of 38 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 11:58 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

CoolK is right. the heat distroys the tire. If you cut a section out of it and turn it inside out you will see the sidewall is cracked like crazy. With all your adventures, your the man. I'm too soft to do all that stuff.
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post #9 of 38 Old Nov 4th, 2019, 6:56 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
I did ďfixĒ the holding wires before. But now the wire plastic support seems to be broken or breaking.
Iíll have to device something different.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That is the problem I had on both of my mirrors. The ball and spring mounts held, but the plastic holding the springs did not hold. I think Nova Scotia and Newfoundland got one mirror and Alaska (Canada actually) got the other one. The LT will ride on rough roads, but it clearly is not designed for that environment.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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post #10 of 38 Old Nov 4th, 2019, 7:01 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. Itís been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the ďwornĒ plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I would be super cautious with your tire. Riding even 100 yards on a flat tire is extremely rough on the casing and and can damage both the rubber and the reinforcing cords. And the damage is likely on the inside where the most extreme bend radius is located. The problem is that in this condition, the tire is more likely to fail catastrophically (blow out) than to simply leak down as in most failures. I would ride it like you expect it to blow at any time as this is a very distinct possibility after riding several miles on the rim.

I am more comfortable than most people when it comes to riding on a patched tire. I have run many patched tires to end of life with no issues. However, once a tire has been run flat more than a 100 yards or so, I consider it pretty much trashed.
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post #11 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 7:56 am Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I would be super cautious with your tire. Riding even 100 yards on a flat tire is extremely rough on the casing and and can damage both the rubber and the reinforcing cords. And the damage is likely on the inside where the most extreme bend radius is located. The problem is that in this condition, the tire is more likely to fail catastrophically (blow out) than to simply leak down as in most failures. I would ride it like you expect it to blow at any time as this is a very distinct possibility after riding several miles on the rim.



I am more comfortable than most people when it comes to riding on a patched tire. I have run many patched tires to end of life with no issues. However, once a tire has been run flat more than a 100 yards or so, I consider it pretty much trashed.


The tire ran for at least 5 miles as it was deflating before I noticed.
When I stopped it already under 10 psi.

The first patch at the shop in Belize started leaking badly in Mexico. So, I plugged it and itís holding.
I read somewhere that the metzelers can be run flat for a few miles. Obviously theyíre toast after that.
Since the flat itís been 800km.
Iím on my way back now.

Question here. If the tire fails. What size of a car tire can I use to make it back.
There are not shops for big motorcycles in this neck of the woods.

Thanks !


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #12 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 9:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Another question. While trying to patch the tire. I used ďfix flatĒ for standard tires. Now my TPMS sensor is stuck at 20psi.
Any way to clean it?


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BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #13 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 1:24 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

You're likely aware but, keep inspecting that tire closely especially as you get back to civilized highways and run higher speeds. The damage you describe is pretty scary and a high speed delamination would really ruin your day.
I don't think there is any car tire that fits under the LT. The swing arm doesn't leave much clearance for anything but a spec tire. My suggestion would be to find as close to a proper tire as possible, as soon as possible. There is a Harley spec tire that is the correct size but comes a bit short on load rating, but even that is better than riding on the interstate with such a damaged tire. You may be able to find that one locally once you get back to a larger city. The other option is to order a tire and send it to someplace along your route that has the means to install it (and that should be just about any tire shop).

Good luck and we look forward to the trip report and pics.

Dave
-2000 K1200LT
-------------------------------
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post #14 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 2:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

I have lots of tires back home in Nicaragua.
Weíre crossing Guatemala.
A day and a half left.

Below is how the tire looks like.
I noticed a few thin ďcracksĒ that I donít think Iíve seen.
Iíll try to keep it at 60-80mph and no more.

Iíll post a write up of the trip when I get back. (To the daily grind)





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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #15 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 6:20 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

good read LOL keep it at 60 -80 miles an hour, had to have a chuckle. 60 or 100kph is our allowable max speed here and I have new tyres
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post #16 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 9:11 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
The tire ran for at least 5 miles as it was deflating before I noticed.
When I stopped it already under 10 psi.

The first patch at the shop in Belize started leaking badly in Mexico. So, I plugged it and itís holding.
I read somewhere that the metzelers can be run flat for a few miles. Obviously theyíre toast after that.
Since the flat itís been 800km.
Iím on my way back now.

Question here. If the tire fails. What size of a car tire can I use to make it back.
There are not shops for big motorcycles in this neck of the woods.

Thanks !


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This sounds much less extreme than what you wrote before. You said you ran about 5 miles with ďno airĒ which is much different than riding 5 miles on a slowly deflating tire that still has nearly 10 psi when you stop. Even 10 psi will keep the rim off the tire. The tire probably warmed up a little due to the low pressure, but running 5 miles with even 10 psi should not cause significant damage. I once rode 10 or so miles on my Voyager XII with a completely flat rear tire. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had no tire repair kit with me and none of the nearby service stations were open. The bike had a Dunlop K491 which was quite a stiff tire and it actually handled quite well totally flat. I was even riding two-up. By the time I got home though, the tire was pretty darn hot and the sidewall looked pretty distressed so that tire was not patched even though it was less than 50% worn.

I have no darksiding experience so I canít help you in regard to auto tires, but I will say that a situation like you are in is the ONLY time I would even consider running a car tire on my LT. I think I would trust a car tire more than a potentially damaged motorcycle tire.

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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post #17 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 9:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Itís holding ...



I didnít see a speed bump
Made of metal domes. Hit the front tire pretty hard.
But that pales to the 900km of pure horrible rough roads we just took. Seem like running a speed bump every mile.

Incredibly no bent wheel.

700km tomorrow and Iíll be home.




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BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #18 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 9:58 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Itís holding ...



I didnít see a speed bump
Made of metal domes. Hit the front tire pretty hard.
But that pales to the 900km of pure horrible rough roads we just took. Seem like running a speed bump every mile.

Incredibly no bent wheel.

700km tomorrow and Iíll be home.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This latest rear picture appears to be significantly more worn that the earlier one. Maybe it is the lighting or just further away and the tread doesn't look as deep. Keep being safe till you get that last 700km behind you and get a replacement.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Ė Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #19 of 38 Old Nov 5th, 2019, 11:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Actually, looks pretty similar. But the wear is noticeable.
Yeah, Iíll order a new set once I get home.
These Metzellers are truly incredible.
These roads are so coarse, youíd have to see it for yourself. These are not really roads.
My GS meanwhile is having zero drama.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #20 of 38 Old Nov 6th, 2019, 8:07 am Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
This sounds much less extreme than what you wrote before. You said you ran about 5 miles with ďno airĒ which is much different than riding 5 miles on a slowly deflating tire that still has nearly 10 psi when you stop. Even 10 psi will keep the rim off the tire. The tire probably warmed up a little due to the low pressure, but running 5 miles with even 10 psi should not cause significant damage. I once rode 10 or so miles on my Voyager XII with a completely flat rear tire. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had no tire repair kit with me and none of the nearby service stations were open. The bike had a Dunlop K491 which was quite a stiff tire and it actually handled quite well totally flat. I was even riding two-up. By the time I got home though, the tire was pretty darn hot and the sidewall looked pretty distressed so that tire was not patched even though it was less than 50% worn.



I have no darksiding experience so I canít help you in regard to auto tires, but I will say that a situation like you are in is the ONLY time I would even consider running a car tire on my LT. I think I would trust a car tire more than a potentially damaged motorcycle tire.


Voyager Iíve been mindful of your comment about the highway. Iíve been doing no more than 120kph (80mph) on the highway.
Stop every 60 miles.
The sideway looks intact, no cracks.
Yeah, I donít want to darkside unless I absolutely have to.

The LT has been outstanding, but not the bike for these roads. Honduras has better roads and Nicaragua, so I hope weíll have no issues today.


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----------------------------------------------------
BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #21 of 38 Old Nov 6th, 2019, 8:44 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Voyager Iíve been mindful of your comment about the highway. Iíve been doing no more than 120kph (80mph) on the highway.
Stop every 60 miles.
The sideway looks intact, no cracks.
Yeah, I donít want to darkside unless I absolutely have to.

The LT has been outstanding, but not the bike for these roads. Honduras has better roads and Nicaragua, so I hope weíll have no issues today.


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Yes, traveling is more fun with the right tool for the job. My LT did well on my ride to Alaska, but there were many times I would have been happier on a GS. However, given that half of the trip was on good roads in the lower 48 and Canada, the LT wasnít a bad compromise overall. A GS would have been much nicer on the Alaska highway and parts of Alaska, but south of Dawson Creek the LT was the tool for the job.

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post #22 of 38 Old Nov 6th, 2019, 7:04 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Unless you have a wheel adapter there is NO dark side tire that will fit the stock rim AND clear the swing arm. So be careful out there.

John
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2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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post #23 of 38 Old Nov 6th, 2019, 8:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Made it back !!!

The LT even did 7 miles of loose rock.
This thing is amazing.







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post #24 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 8:43 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Maybe the bike had a good rider. Those Central American roads are tough on tires. I had a Honda 600XR and had to put cheap tires on to get home. From Guatemala to sanDiego, three tires. It was so hot I could feel the knobs ripping off. I like changing tires in motel rooms.
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Keep the rubber side down
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post #25 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 9:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by MountianMama View Post
Maybe the bike had a good rider. Those Central American roads are tough on tires. I had a Honda 600XR and had to put cheap tires on to get home. From Guatemala to sanDiego, three tires. It was so hot I could feel the knobs ripping off. I like changing tires in motel rooms.


Yeah, that wasnít me on the loose rocks but my friend Javier. He rode through that stuff faster than me on the GS.

I actually did pretty good. Only ate one pothole and the speed bump.
No bent rim. So, all good.
I donít know if I should keep the LT. Itís probably worth nothing now.
So, dunno.
But what a great piece of engineering.
Not a single failure on both bikes.
The LT definitely exceeded its design envelope.


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post #26 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 3:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Voyager, you were right.
In the end, the loose rocks and the bumps ended the tire. But brought me home.
Delamination started to occur.
Check the photo below. Big crack.




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Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #27 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 3:34 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountianMama View Post
Maybe the bike had a good rider. Those Central American roads are tough on tires. I had a Honda 600XR and had to put cheap tires on to get home. From Guatemala to sanDiego, three tires. It was so hot I could feel the knobs ripping off. I like changing tires in motel rooms.
I can think of nothing worse than having your knob ripped off.
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post #28 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 7:11 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Voyager, you were right.
In the end, the loose rocks and the bumps ended the tire. But brought me home.
Delamination started to occur.
Check the photo below. Big crack.




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Well, I am glad it got you back. Certainly, not an ideal situation, but sometimes the best you can do is to make the best of what you have.

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post #29 of 38 Old Nov 7th, 2019, 8:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Unless you have a wheel adapter there is NO dark side tire that will fit the stock rim AND clear the swing arm. So be careful out there.
Not entirely correct. Many of us with sidecars on LTs run a 175/55-17 car tire. You do need to run either 3 or 4 of the stock spacers or have one made up and use longer lugs bolts. Yes, not really doable in the middle of no where. The only tire available in that size in the USA is the Achilles. Other countries have more brands available.
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post #30 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 9:02 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by Ridn3 View Post
Not entirely correct. Many of us with sidecars on LTs run a 175/55-17 car tire. You do need to run either 3 or 4 of the stock spacers or have one made up and use longer lugs bolts. Yes, not really doable in the middle of no where. The only tire available in that size in the USA is the Achilles. Other countries have more brands available.
Stacking that many spacers or making a thick spacer and using longer bolts would effectively be a " Wheel Adapter" to make something fit that would not otherwise function.

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post #31 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 9:41 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by mondrage View Post
Made it back !!!

The LT even did 7 miles of loose rock.
This thing is amazing.

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I think I just watched a video of you on this rocky road. Riding an LT on that would not be my first choice but I could do it too with a little caution and not too fast. I bet that pavement was warmly welcomed when you hit the end of the gravel.
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post #32 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 11:17 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridn3 View Post
The only tire available in that size in the USA is the Achilles.
I was able to order a 175/55-17 Bridgestone Potenza RE040 Tire from eBay for $95. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks to have a slightly more rounded profile than the Achilles Economist.

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post #33 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 6:34 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridn3 View Post
Not entirely correct. Many of us with sidecars on LTs run a 175/55-17 car tire. You do need to run either 3 or 4 of the stock spacers or have one made up and use longer lugs bolts. Yes, not really doable in the middle of no where. The only tire available in that size in the USA is the Achilles. Other countries have more brands available.
Like I said there is NO car tire that will fit an LT and not rub on the rim, unless you add something that you do not have while on the road. I know what people are using and the guy I was giving advise to was on the road in Central America.
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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
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #34 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 7:00 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Call it darwinian Natural selection...

Sure the LT will be horrible in 3th world country roads, but trust me the heavy mass of ANY shaft driven bike (any bike, any model, any year) will wear out all the components much faster, specially the shock and the final drive..

Those roads are for light strung weight suspensions, aka Chain and somehow lighter tires..

Another Life lesson

"Ride what the natives Ride"
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post #35 of 38 Old Nov 8th, 2019, 10:12 pm
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by Ricardo Kuhn View Post
Call it darwinian Natural selection...

Sure the LT will be horrible in 3th world country roads, but trust me the heavy mass of ANY shaft driven bike (any bike, any model, any year) will wear out all the components much faster, specially the shock and the final drive..

Those roads are for light strung weight suspensions, aka Chain and somehow lighter tires..

Another Life lesson

"Ride what the natives Ride"
Wise words indeed.
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post #36 of 38 Old Yesterday, 12:12 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo Kuhn View Post
Call it darwinian Natural selection...

Sure the LT will be horrible in 3th world country roads, but trust me the heavy mass of ANY shaft driven bike (any bike, any model, any year) will wear out all the components much faster, specially the shock and the final drive..

Those roads are for light strung weight suspensions, aka Chain and somehow lighter tires..

Another Life lesson

"Ride what the natives Ride"
I was privileged to watch the video of Mondrage on the GS 2 up watching his LT ridden by a buddy on that nasty road. I think it was a helmet mount camera by the moving views but it was a very rough road and it was wide too. Whatever was on that road was taking the best path left, right or center and the LT seemed to be handling it well. Granted, roads like that will wear quickly on moving components but it was fun to watch and thank you Mondrage for posting that video on the face book. Stalled trucks, bicycles, cows etc along with a very bumpy rough road with large stones and pot holes in it. Makes me appreciate the sand paper roads i ride here in the US. It was a very bumpy ride by the video on the GS.
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post #37 of 38 Old Yesterday, 10:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
I was privileged to watch the video of Mondrage on the GS 2 up watching his LT ridden by a buddy on that nasty road. I think it was a helmet mount camera by the moving views but it was a very rough road and it was wide too. Whatever was on that road was taking the best path left, right or center and the LT seemed to be handling it well. Granted, roads like that will wear quickly on moving components but it was fun to watch and thank you Mondrage for posting that video on the face book. Stalled trucks, bicycles, cows etc along with a very bumpy rough road with large stones and pot holes in it. Makes me appreciate the sand paper roads i ride here in the US. It was a very bumpy ride by the video on the GS.


Yeah. The LT was not made for those roads. But what a comfy ride it is.

That was a new road under construction and had about 5 miles of very rocky, and bumpy terrain.
Trucks took 30 minutes to cross it. And the blokes at the end of the video seemed to have some suspensiůn trouble. Possibly caused by the road.

My friend is very skilled. He started faster on the LT than I could on that GS !!!

It had deep potholes and very large and loose rocks. I would have been miserable on the LT but would have done it.

The rest of the ride was 600km of smooth roads. The LT really shines there.

I donít regret taking the big girl on the trip. Life on my GS is less comfortable.
But my next trip on questionable roads will be GS only.

And no, I hate riding what the locals ride. 125cc to 200cc bikes. No thank you. Thatís why I have big bikes. Love them. And feel grateful not having to ride those small bikes. Even the DRZ would be terrible on a big trip.



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BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
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post #38 of 38 Old Today, 10:01 am
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Re: LT struggling on Central American roads

If you are in a bind - the following car tires will fit on the LT rim and should miss the swing arm - note however they are the "spare tires" used on cars for temp purposes.

Some of them appear to have more tread than others . . . WARNING due to rock, gravel and overall bad riding conditions in various parts of the world these tires shown in the chart would not be a good selection - these should be considered as a last measure to get you out of trouble and of course you should travel to the next place where you can get the proper rubber on your bike.

Note in the chart if anyone needs to travel in these difficult conditions the required shims and bolts for the Achilles tire that many sidecar hacks, including my own, run on the stock LT rear rim is shown. You could take these along as spare hardware - much like a tire repair kit or pump. I can tell you that the spacers are pricey . . . ask me how I know.

I deleted the previous message as there was an error in the chart and I could not find a way to modify the original post's attachment.
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