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post #1 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 5:32 pm Thread Starter
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Question Need help guys!

I need some advice on my new-to-me 2002 LTC......The bike is really hard for me to handle. I am 5' 8" and weigh 155lbs. I have rode it about 600 miles. I am unable to get the bike on or off the center stand without the help of my husband. I am thinking that I should have gotten a smaller bike....but I am the type to go all the way when I do something. I love the ride of the bike on the road, but I can't seem to handle it at low speeds. I have "almost" dropped it several times. I want to be able to ride both my kids, but I am terrified of dropping it with them on it with me. I think I should consider another bike, but which one? I have sat on a GT and a RT, both are too high for my inseam, which is 32". Any advice on my situation?

Thanks in advance,

2002 K1200LTC-Sold
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post #2 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 5:56 pm
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When I got my LT, I had problems getting it onto the centerstand also. I found you can move it on rather easily by creating some momentum (backwards) when attempting to put it on the centerstand.

A simple standing lift & step doesn't create momentum necessary to raise the LT. The backward momentum prior to the lift moves it up with little problem.

Good luck.

Mike M

2007 K1200GT Dark Graphite
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post #3 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:03 pm
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Hiya, Lisa...

Well, congrats on buying a great bike.

Now, the tough stuff...

I don't know your riding experience..but this bike is WAY more bike than your Sporty's ever hoped to be.

-You could carve the seat edges so you can gain some inseam reach to the ground.
-get some "taller" boots..
- keep feet pointed about 45 degree angle when you put them down.. (you will be able to tell the precise "strength" point.
-use your legs to hold up the bike... don't forget the tip above about foot position.
-ALWAYS stop with front wheel and your EYES pointing straight ahead... and start that as soon as you can...
-pick your place to finally "stop".. then "carry" a little speed so you can be "stable" up until you decide to "stop".
-use REAR brake for final "stop"... merely "cover" the front brake with your hand in case you need extra help.

We could go on...

-learn that should the bike get away from you, don't hurt yourself trying to stop it... just get yourself clear... you can replace bike parts much cheaper and less painfully than your own "parts".
-learn to pick up the bike from the slumber position.
-when riding kids, always have them look over your shoulder in the direction of the turn... EXCEPT when stopping... they should look directly at the center of your helmet or back... and NEVER try to help steer the bike.
-show them what to do if the bike is falling.

Get the ERC course.... let the instructor evaluate your skill levels...

Remember ATGATT, expecially with kids... and they must be of sufficient age to ride...that is different for each person.. some are great at any age, others, will never have sufficient age (yes, that's a mirror of myself).

Hope you figure it out... there are many other specifics, too numerous to mention here.. just get out and ask someone like an Instructor about your skill levels... then you'll make the right decidision... bottom line, your kiddos will probably "trust" you... make them proud.

EDIT: Some folks have thin boards they ride the bike up on. That raises the bike just enough to help "lift" it onto the CS. I suppose you are using the "grab rail" and trying to "lift" the bike.. when the real motion is to apply more pressure with your foot to 'leverage' the bike onto the CS. Also, it's possible the bike is sitting a bit low due to some "sag" in the spring tension or adjuster... that's something best compared by a fellow LT'er in your area... again... nothing like actually seeing the situation to offer the best suggestions.

Dcn Channing

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post #4 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:23 pm
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Using the centerstand on an older bike can be a problem. The suspension may be set very soft for your size and may be sagging, so you have to roll or lift it higher than a new bike. Older LT's are harder to centerstand than newer LT's for these reasons.

Learn to park it on the sidestand. Leave the bike in gear, turn the ignition off, let out the clutch lever, roll it forward until it stops, put down the sidestand. Keeping it in gear prevents the bike from rolling forward and the sidestand from retracting.

Take the intermediate riders course on your bike. Lots of low speed drills and help should you drop the bike.

Learn the proper way to pick up your bike. After it falls, turn ignition off, put into gear so it won't roll. Put the sidestand down if it fell on the right side to help prevent it falling on the other side in case you over do it. Position the handlebar so that the low grip is near the seat. Facing away from the bike, put one hand on the grip, the other anyplace that feels comfortable like the seat or bag, put your backside into the seat and take baby steps lifting with your legs and pushing your body into the bike. It will slowly rise and you will amaze your friends with this feat of strenth! Your BMW dealer should be able to show you the proper technique.

Get a 2005 or newer LT with the pushbutton center stand. But you may still need help getting off the centerstand with a second person pushing on the trunk.

Practice slow speed maneuvers with a large weight on the back to get the feel of a passenger, without risking a passenger.
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post #5 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:30 pm
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Listen to your own words. "To hard to handle and unable". Research and choose a ride that makes you feel comfortable and safe. There is so much to choose from. Ride Safe and enjoy Your children. Just my 2c
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post #6 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 7:30 pm
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You wrote that you are 5' 8" with a 32" inseam. I am 6' 01", but my inseam is only 31". On my Road King, I set much closer to the ground and FEEL a lot closer to the ground. I can reach the ground and support the LT just fine, I just have to remind myself from time to time after coming off riding the HD.

On my first LT, a '00, I had challenges getting it onto the center stand, but it was also a matter of learning to finesse it rather than muscle it, as the prior posters have pointed out. I almost exclusively used the side stand until I learned the "trick," just in time to have the bike totaled by a DWHUA cager and replaced by an '05 with electric stand.

If you are going to use the side stand, you might want to get a sand pad or similar device to spread out the pressure a tad. I bought the HD Jiffy Pad Coaster a couple of years ago, and it is still about six dollars. Great for using the side stand on un=firm ground or hot asphalt in the summer. You can also make one out of an electric box cover for about a buck. Either way, tie a string on to it so (a) you don't forget it when you leave, and (b) don;t have to bend down to pick it up. I use a flourescent orange string for visibility, and loop the string over my left hand grip.

+1 on the ERC for you and the LT. You've invested the time, energy, and money in selecting and acquiring the LT. Now make a little more investment in learning what it can do in a first-hand and supervised environment. If not for yourself, do it for your children.


Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs

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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 #7 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 7:35 pm
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Same height and inseam, but with more mass here. I gave up trying to use the center stand.

When I need to get it on the center stand, I back the bike onto a 2X4 while I push the center stand down.

Yup. Its unstable a sloooow speed.

We have to be more careful on sloping surfaces, and coming to a stop with the front tire straight, than on other bikes.

Other thing I can't do is push it up-right by placing my back against it and pushing with my legs. I can, however, pick it up by the handle bars, but just barely.

The last time I dropped it, I was in my back yard washing it--couldn't pick it up. SO. I got a shovel and dug a trench for each tire to fall into, pushed and pulled it up-right, and then rode it out of the trench.

Ever since then, been thinking about knobby tires.

Best addition for me would be a hydrolic system for getting the bike upright--my side stand works fine.

Where is our FARKLE creator?

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post #8 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 7:49 pm
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Brett (aka 'pkpr1998') doesn't live too far from y'all. Sounds to me like you need to get him over there and give you some quick how-to instructions. Brett is about 5'8" as well, and handles the LT like a pro. He's currently in Texas...not sure when he returns home. Send Brett a Private Message. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to help a fellow LT'er.
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post #9 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 8:06 pm
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Don't try to muscle the bike onto the center stand, use leverage and momentum and let the bike do the work for you. Standing on the left side with the bike in neutral, put your right foot on the center stand lever and push it down while grasping the left handlebar with your left hand and the "lift handle" with your right. Now, start rolling the bike backwards while stepping on the center stand lever and giving a little lift on the handle. It will roll right up on the stand like it was a much lighter bike.
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post #10 of 13 Old May 13th, 2007, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by jvalny
Listen to your own words. "To hard to handle and unable". Research and choose a ride that makes you feel comfortable and safe. There is so much to choose from. Ride Safe and enjoy Your children. Just my 2c
Ditto, I don't know many men that have any business on a bike like the LT. And I don't know a one I would hand the keys to.
PS: Does your husband sit behind or in front of you?

Ghaison (Jason)
99 K1200RS Silver and Blue (Sold!)
2004 K1200LT FOR SALE!!!
Bluefield, VA
Sometimes you can get so fixated on the fact that you are right that you lose sight of the reality that it doesn't matter.
-some guy named Ghaison circa 2002

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post #11 of 13 Old May 14th, 2007, 5:23 am
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Greetings Lisa

Listen to your gut reaction. You will soon know what's best for you. The LT is not the bike to be feeling "out of your league" with. It isn't the bike for everyone inspite of its many, many great points. It is big, it is heavy, and it takes quite a firm hand at low speeds, especially two or three up. Three up not recommended by the way. I'm in no way casting any doubts on your strength or riding ability, but by your own admittance, you're 5'8" and 155lbs. That's about 70 kilograms and 172 centimetres in metric measurements as we use here in Australia. From those measurements I (my opinion only) suggest the LT is just pure and simply too large a motorcycle for you.

If this bike intimidates you, you won't enjoy riding it, you'll constantly be worrying about dropping it and not concentrating on your roadcraft as you should be.

Perhaps some reconsideration may be the prudent thing to do here. There are plenty of superb BMW bikes available that may be more suitable for you.

Please, please, be careful.

Kindest regards

Paul Harrington

E: [email protected]

1999 K1200LT Champagne "Bismarck"
1983 base K100 "Bavarian Belle"
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post #12 of 13 Old May 14th, 2007, 7:00 am
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Hi Lisa,

I too share your problem of getting my "02" on the center stand, but have mastered that with practice but still only use the centerstand when I store the bike for the winter or when I wash it. Taking it off of the stand still makes me nervous. ( 5'11", 168lbs. and 32" inseam).

As far as slow speed handling it just takes practice. The first thing I learned was to relax, but that was after I dropped it twice. I found I was worrying to much and thus inducing tension into my muscles which made the bike even harder to handle. So relax, take the bike to a parking lot and practice, you might want to bring your husband along to help if you do drop it. Once you learn clutch and throttle control and dragging the rear brake slow speed handling becomes easier.

So just R-E-L-A-X and P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E . If you drop it pick it up and keep working at it. If you still are having trouble after lots of practice then maybe a different bike is your answer.

Hope it all works out for you one way or the other. Good Luck

Pat Rourke
White Lake,MI.
2002 K1200 LTC, Champange

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post #13 of 13 Old May 14th, 2007, 7:27 am
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I am 5'-11 and about 300 lbs with a 30" inseam. At first I was feeling the same about the LT as LIsa apparently is. I was ready to sell or trade the LT for another Vstrom because of the weight and slow speed issues, but I gave it some time and have come to love the LT, even at slow speeds. What the others arte saying about stopping is true. Remember that the most unstable time is when you are crawling. So if you;re just coming to a stop, hold your speed up a little longer and stop in a shorter distance. And make sure the bike is squared up.

Is your seat in the LOW position? At least until you get good and comfortable with it.

Definitely give yourself some riding time BEFORE you put those kids on there. It may take a few month to get comfortable with the LT and it's weight. Or maybe it's not the bike for you. only you can decide. Good luck with it.

As for the centerstand issue, I can't do more than recommend following the procedure in the manual. I don;t know how 155 lbs will do on the C-stand lever.

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