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post #1 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 12:25 pm Thread Starter
 
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Newbie tips appreciated

Howdy from London

I've been reading from afar for some time and have finally taken the plunge. I'll be picking up an '01 LT SE (that's custom in the US I think) next week. I managed to get a BMW warranty for peace of mind for the first year. It's a fairly big step up for me, coming from a Honda NT650, but I'm hoping it'll be ok as I'm no speed freak and don't wana make love to tree on country lane... I guess the one thing that'll catch me is the weight, the LT being 200 pounds heavier. I'd be grateful for your wisdom on staying upright and any basic golden rules. I've had a read through FAQ's but thought I'd say hello and thank you all for a first class site.
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post #2 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 1:44 pm
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Welcome to the forum, I am sure once you get used to the extra weight and the slow speed handling, you will really enjoy the bike, read through the previous posts on here about handling and you will be fine. Remember no question is a stupid one.
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post #3 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 2:08 pm
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Hey Rory, congrats on the new ride and welcome to the farm <g>.

Best advice I've received was the classics:
Head up
Look where you wanna go
Don't look down.

Once she's moving, she's amazingly stable - no wobbly tendency above say 5mph or so. Do plan your stops. Be sure you know where your feet are going, be aware of surface conditions, etc.

Lay downs I've heard most about were bad surface, wrong gear, look'n down - that kinda thing.

You'll get the hang of 'er in no time. She really is an accommodating gal. And like most ladies, if you're tentative when you start out, she may just rather take a nap instead of getting with the program. (Ok, maybe trying to push the analogy a tad far there)

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post #4 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 2:29 pm
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Yes, pay more attention to what you are putting your foot on. If the bike starts to go over, you have to make a decision pretty quickly as to whether you can recover.

The bike is heavier, and the weight is higher than you are used to now. If it does start to go over, you risk straining a wrist trying to keep it upright. Or you end up with the bike on top of you rather than gracefully allowing it to gently fall over onto the guards as you *very* gracefully step to the side.

In my mind, you are doing the right thing buying a used specimen. You'll be even luckier if it aleady has a few scrapes and scratches on it. Then you won't feel awful if you do let it tip over.


Nearly every tip over will be from a dead stop or slower than a walking pace. And it will likely be that you put your foot down on A) wet leaves, B) loose gravel C) a wet patch of that plastic-y stuff they use for crosswalk (zebra) markings, lane markings, etc., or D) a blob of oily gunk at a gas (petrol) station. All of these are hazards to you today on your Honda... they are just hazards that present a little more danger with a heavier, taller bike.

Also beware that the sidestand has a very short "overcenter", that is, it only takes a couple inches of forward motion to roll the bike off of the sidestand. Most Hondas have a very positive overcenter. When you park the BMW, you are best to be pointed at least slightly uphill, or on the level with the bike in first gear. And when you put it in gear, roll it forward until it stops against the engine compression, *then* put the sidestand down.

Last edited by juggler; Jan 31st, 2007 at 3:02 pm.
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post #5 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 2:42 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roryinlondon
Howdy from London

I've been reading from afar for some time and have finally taken the plunge. I'll be picking up an '01 LT SE (that's custom in the US I think) next week. I managed to get a BMW warranty for peace of mind for the first year. It's a fairly big step up for me, coming from a Honda NT650, but I'm hoping it'll be ok as I'm no speed freak and don't wana make love to tree on country lane... I guess the one thing that'll catch me is the weight, the LT being 200 pounds heavier. I'd be grateful for your wisdom on staying upright and any basic golden rules. I've had a read through FAQ's but thought I'd say hello and thank you all for a first class site.
As mentioned elsewhere, practice low speed handling techniques early on and you will do well as you get to know your bike. I am not trying to be a shill for Pallidino but his video on low speed techniques (Ride Like a Pro IV) is excellent and it is all done on heavy motorcycles.
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post #6 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 2:50 pm
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Hi Rory & welcome -

Make sure you have boots with good ankle support & grippy soles - this will help keep her upright with any mis-footings. Also, make sure the front wheel is pointed straight ahead for all stops and starts. Finally, try not put your foot down until the bike has stopped. The added weight of the LT combined with its width will tend to "pull your feet under" if you put them down too early - trust your balance!

Don't worry - you'll get used to her fast - it's a great bike!

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
IBA# 16554

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post #7 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 3:10 pm
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Oh, one other thought... you won't be so mortified of letting it *gently* fall over if you know how to lift it back up.

On the very first day: Take the bike down to Kensington Gardens, pick a nice, soft grassy spot, lay the bike gently onto the oopsie guards, and learn to pick it up.

Put the bike in first gear. Stand with your posterior to the bike, bend your legs deeply, grab the handgrip on the down side, and either the saddlebag handle or better, the grab handle under the seat if you are on the left side, then lift with your legs. Get the bike completely vertical, then turn to face the bike. If you are on the left side, simply put the sidestand down (although it will probably now sink into the grass and fall over again!). If you are on the right side, throw your leg over just like you normally get on, but from the other side.

(edit: the other directions here, suggest that if the right side is down, put the sidestand down first, then once the bike is up, just ease it over onto the sidestand. In my experience with BMWs and the GL1500 (which also has a sidestand with almost no overcenter), I would not rely on getting the sidestand to stay put, or the bike to stay put on the sidestand while you are getting it upright. So, practice mounting the bike from the right side... now before you need to. Just my two cents.)


Okay, okay... maybe HM Gardeners will be slightly upset with you at Kens. I'm sure you can find a nice patch of grass somewhere else in your loverly city.

Last edited by juggler; Jan 31st, 2007 at 3:18 pm.
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post #8 of 13 Old Jan 31st, 2007, 10:20 pm
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I bought an '06 with 13 miles for $19,000, then dropped it twice before 600 miles, both less then 2 mph. I was amazed that it had happened to me... Not that I am Mister Hotshot rider, but I do have a lot of experience on two wheels and had never dropped a bike in these circumstances before. This thing has a high CG and if you let it get out of a narrow envelope, over it goes and you can't stop it. Very frustrating! Some guy on this forum recommended that I order a DVD on handling large bikes which I, in fact, did (Ride Like A Pro 4). Obviously, I need some instruction on keeping my LT upright at a stop sign.

Would I buy it again? Yep, it is a kick once it gets rolling. My engine sounds like an Italian sports car, has gobs of roll on thrust at highway speeds, unbelievable fuel range, great load carrying ability, and comfortable. In hind sight, I would probably buy a used one to get all the tip overs out of my system.
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post #9 of 13 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 8:48 am
 
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Hi mate,

I'm fairly new to the LT, it's an easy bike to ride if you follow what the others have mentioned - stop & start with the bars straight is a must, slow speed control using revs, clutch and rear brake only. The bike handles fantastically so just enjoy it.

What part of London are you in ? I'm on the South coast so if you fancy meeting up, let me know
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post #10 of 13 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 12:59 pm Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your positive words. I'll get some adavnced training organised with Police riders. Books and DVD's are great but nothings beats someone with athority watching your every move and shouting down the radio at you..
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post #11 of 13 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 3:42 pm
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hehehe, Hi tech training there in the ol country.

They use 'radios' to holler at students. Gonna haffta tell my wife 'bout that one.

Tate

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post #12 of 13 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 9:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roryinlondon
Howdy from London

I've been reading from afar for some time and have finally taken the plunge. I'll be picking up an '01 LT SE (that's custom in the US I think) next week. I managed to get a BMW warranty for peace of mind for the first year. It's a fairly big step up for me, coming from a Honda NT650, but I'm hoping it'll be ok as I'm no speed freak and don't wana make love to tree on country lane... I guess the one thing that'll catch me is the weight, the LT being 200 pounds heavier. I'd be grateful for your wisdom on staying upright and any basic golden rules. I've had a read through FAQ's but thought I'd say hello and thank you all for a first class site.
1. Keep the seat in the lower position for a while til you feel more comfortable.
2. Don't put too much weight in the top box.
3. The good boots suggestion is paramount...you don't realize how slippery the world is til you have the heavy beast to deal with.
4. This may seem obvious, but it was a big deal to me---turn the front wheel at low speed. The large frame mounted fairing essentially obscures the front wheel. After a couple of weeks, I realized that I was trying to do all my turns through leaning...not a great idea at 5 mph. Spend some time at low speeds learning how much bar-turn versus lean is appropriate. You can actually make some pretty tight turns with this thing with the right combination thereof.

At five months I still haven't had it down, but I came of a Honda V-4 that was a bit top heavy in its own right. Knock on wood.

Duane
Mag Black 2006 LT

Three loves - motorcycles, good wine, and contrabassoon...none of which mix. Engineer by day to pay for them all.
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post #13 of 13 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 8:04 am Thread Starter
 
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I take your point Duane.

I'm lucky in that I have an uncontrollable appetite for quality riding gear, I have fours pairs of boots already.

Now the sun's coming back a little we'll start to see the shocking sights in central London as folk commute in sandals and short skirts! Insane behavior, clearly they have no idea what happens to human skin when they get pushed over by a London double decker bus!!!

Last edited by roryinlondon; Feb 2nd, 2007 at 9:36 am.
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