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post #1 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 1:53 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy Second thoughts

I've ridden my '02 LTe about 1500 miles since purchasing it. I've always had standard and ST bikes in the past and I bought the LT as my only, every day, 2-up touring capable bike. I had extended rides on Glides and Wings in the past and thought I would adjust to the size and weight. While I'm able to operate the bike safely and it's wonderful for 2-up, it's turning out that my limited time has me mostly commuting and riding locally. I find the LT a burden to maneuver in town and the parking lot, especially with my wife on board. On the open road, I enjoy it plenty but it still doesn't really generate the 'gotta ride it' passion and big grins I've had with other bikes. Do I need to keep 'working on it'? Seems to me that riding shouldn't be work.

I'm seriously considering buying or trading for an equivalent value 1100/1150RT or even an RS. I'm wondering if someone in the northern NJ area knows of one that I could try (local dealers only have unaffordable 1200s). Will bring a favorite beverage as compensation...

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 2:19 pm
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Sorry to hear about your situation. The LT is not considered to be an "all round" motorcycle.
I ride mine every chace I get, even if it's a 2 mile milk run....the size of the beast really isn't its nature, just ride it more, and let yourself get used to it, soon enough all will be second nature.

Getting another bike is ok, but you will always gravitate back to the king, you just cannot get something more in a lesser bike IMHO.

I rode my wife's Savage the other day......I doubt I will ever ride it again, I'm just too dambed spoiled.

2000 K1200LT
1981 Honda CBX ( kind of for sale)
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post #3 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 3:17 pm
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It took a while

Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
I've ridden my '02 LTe about 1500 miles since purchasing it. I've always had standard and ST bikes in the past and I bought the LT as my only, every day, 2-up touring capable bike. I had extended rides on Glides and Wings in the past and thought I would adjust to the size and weight. While I'm able to operate the bike safely and it's wonderful for 2-up, it's turning out that my limited time has me mostly commuting and riding locally. I find the LT a burden to maneuver in town and the parking lot, especially with my wife on board. On the open road, I enjoy it plenty but it still doesn't really generate the 'gotta ride it' passion and big grins I've had with other bikes. Do I need to keep 'working on it'? Seems to me that riding shouldn't be work.

I'm seriously considering buying or trading for an equivalent value 1100/1150RT or even an RS. I'm wondering if someone in the northern NJ area knows of one that I could try (local dealers only have unaffordable 1200s). Will bring a favorite beverage as compensation...

Thanks in advance
My previous bikes were small Honda's; 350/450/Shadow and a Harley Sportster. The Big Fat Pig really took about 5,000 miles before I felt comfortable. I now ride it ALL the time and LOVE it. It just takes a while for some people, included me to get used to its different character. It was worth the wait. I too felt, before I was comfortable that maybe it just wasn't for me and wondered why so many others could not stop raving about it's qualities. If you hang in there, you too will not want to be without it.

I use it for short trips to the aquarium several times a week and just got back from a 2,000 mile trip up to WV. I'm always looking for an excuse to ride. Other bike looked good in my garage and the Harley sounded better. My BMW is dirty because I'd prefer to ride then clean.......

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #4 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 3:44 pm
 
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I dont know how tall you are or what your riding history is, but i can say the more i ride my beast the sweeter she is...i have ridden allot of bikes in the years and this one keeps getting better. I am fairly tall so there is no stability issues, i have no problems at very low speeds but thats probably because i rode two huge Venture's for so long. It isnt as nimble as a cruiser or as quick off the line but i travel and ride to work most every feesable day and love it. Took my wifes Vic T/C out Mon and felt like i was on a minibike...give the girl more time...slap her around a bit and you will be amazed at how she responds...
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post #5 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 3:46 pm
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Second Thoughts

Tryder is right. You need to ride it in town more. Try riding alone around town until you really get a comfort level, then go for the two up. You'll still have to go through an adjustment level again for two, however it won't be as dramatic.


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post #6 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 4:45 pm
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Ride it!

Eric, FWIIW, I ride the bike 24/7.

I bought it Memorial Day weekend almost two years ago, and I have put 40+K miles on it. I ride it rain or shine.

I have never had a better motorcycle. It is a delight. Plenty of power and torque if you keep the revs around 4K.

The only drawback is that it is an expensive bike to fix if something goes wrong. When it happens, I just bite the bullet. Life is too short for compromises.

Ride extensibly and it will grow on you, and it will become an extension of your body.

Give it a chance.

Good ridin'

Alvaro

"Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

Goethe

'02 K1200LT-E "Orca"
BushTech Trailer (Nugget?)
'77 GS750 Suzuki (Red Knight) (To be sold soon)

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post #7 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 4:54 pm
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I find the LT to be a great all around bike, even in the city of Los Angeles with it heavy traffic. Given that I can lane split I much prefer to ride the bike than take the car. I go grocery shopping with the LT, commute to work, and go on weekend rides every chance I get. In fact I only put 18K miles on my Audi in almost 3 years since I predominantly use the LT.
I have to admit that it took me a few months to be comfortable with a passenger on the LT, but eventually I got there and have no issues splitting lanes with Kathy riding pillion.
Keep riding your bike and the comfort level will be there...!

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #8 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 4:54 pm
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I have a hunch that if you get rid of it, you'll be sorry. Especially if your wife likes to tour. My wife wouldn't ride the ST1300 more than 10 miles, but she'll go on the LT ALL day! We're going on a 2,000 miler this Memorial Day weekend - a trip she planned, because she loves it as much as I do.

Brian
CCR: 2008, Midway; 2011, Boise; 2012, Duluth; 2014, Chattanooga. MOA: Billings, 2015; SLC, 2017
CCR-R: 2018, Russellville
'13 K1600 GTL-P - "Eva"
Sold but "beloved" ride: K12 LT - "Pepe"
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post #9 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 5:11 pm
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A Voice from the Dark Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
. . . On the open road, I enjoy it plenty but it still doesn't really generate the 'gotta ride it' passion and big grins I've had with other bikes.

I'm seriously considering buying or trading for an equivalent value 1100/1150RT or even an RS. I'm wondering if someone in the northern NJ area knows of one that I could try (local dealers only have unaffordable 1200s). Will bring a favorite beverage as compensation...

Thanks in advance
Although I agree with, and have experienced, what the others have written, the line that caught my ear is that you're getting no joy even on the open road. The slow speed comfort level will increase with increased experience, but if the LT is not generating even the same smiles per mile that other bikes have generated, I think you should start doing some comparison shopping. If another type of bike sits up and says "let us go then, you and I, while the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon the table" (hmmm, maybe wrong quote, but you get the idea) and you respond with "Yeah, this is what I've been waiting for," buy it and ride it. Ya gotta have the joy.
Another thought: put a request for a comparison ride in both the Northeastern regional forum and in the R bike forum. I bet someone in your area would jump at the chance of a ride with you, swapping bikes.

Bill
Guilford, CT
'99 Canyon Red K1200 LT - Buddah Bike
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post #10 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 6:24 pm
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I commute on the interstate everyday. It's about 25 miles of wonderfully enjoyable riding. Then I have about a 10 block ride through city streets which are very scary on the LT. Not because of other traffic so much but because of city streets with zillions of pot holes and sloping road surfaces so you need a 60" inseam when you stop for a light.

As others have said, your slow speed riding will improve with time and miles. I love the lT on the highway and will gladly put up with the slow speed handling in the city for my short trip.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. My buddy has an RT that he lets me ride and I enjoy it very much.

Dave
Monkton, MD
and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC
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post #11 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 6:28 pm
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I commuted on my 02, plus shopping runs, see the kids, etc.
Then I took the Experienced Rider Course. The LT and I learned a few things about each other, AND I noticed I was having less trouble in parking lots.
Shortly after getting the 07, I rode the police motor course (an abbreviated version).
Each course gave me a big boost in my knowledge of both me and the bike, as well as some exercises to practice. Result? My confidence is higher than ever. AND riding is more fun!!
Short version is: go take a course, then practice.

Jim Taylor
Minneapolis
07 Black LT "Dancing Heart", 03 Quantum "Ice"
02 Black LTC "Raven" (RIP 8/26/06)
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post #12 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 7:56 pm
 
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It's an acquired taste

I got my 2002 LT two months ago and boy, was it an experience. I was not prepared at all for the feel of the bike. On the highway it was fine, but on the country road I was nursing it around every corner. But the bike really fell into each turn like it was born to do it. I'd come out of each corner and I had the feeling that she was looking back at me like a horse, saying "you are such a wimp!"

After two months, I'm doing much better. It's become terrific fun. Riding two up hasn't been a problem either, largely because my SO weighs all of 105.
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post #13 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 8:35 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement. Guess I need to give the bike (and me) a little more time. Must have become a wimp riding sub-500 lb. bikes all my life

Two things that do bug me though:

1) the brake servo seems to kick in pretty hard at low speed. I'm rolling to a stop and there's either little braking or 'whump' you stop NOW - even with one finger. The rear isn't too bad but habit has me using the front 95% of the time. Are the brakes usually that grabby? Can I adjust the level of assist or front/rear bias?

2) the handlebars seem an inch or two too low. Not as bad as a Wing but still feels like I'm turning a rudder instead of a wheel. Can the bar be rotated up just a little?

Maybe I need to try a couple egro mods. Shaving the saddle a little would help my 30" inseam. A lower shield would open up the front of the bike a bit for me - I can just see over the stock shield when it's down. Any suggestions on a shorter sheild that offers decent protection when raised?
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post #14 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 8:37 pm
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I've been riding my 02 LT for almost 5 years now, have over 121,000 miles on it. It did take a while to get used to the weight at parking lot speeds, but anything over that, it's no problem. Have I dropped it? Yes, but I know that I'm not the only one. I use my bike for everything, work, shopping, touring, weekend rides, etc. Keep at it, practice, you will become more confident in your abilities. Take a training course if you haven't already.

Tommy
02 K12 LT - 251,000 Miles and counting
442,000+ BMW Miles and counting
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post #15 of 21 Old May 22nd, 2007, 8:45 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
On the open road, I enjoy it plenty but it still doesn't really generate the 'gotta ride it' passion and big grins I've had with other bikes. Do I need to keep 'working on it'? Seems to me that riding shouldn't be work.
I'll be the first to admit that the LT isn't for everyone. I would also add the 1500 miles isn't enough to be completely familiar with a new ride.. I will add that it should be enough to have a serious test ride.. to know if your going to like it. If you have some basic problem like short legs or a physical impairment that makes balancing the LT a chore then the LT just may not be your cup of tea. If it was the best bike for everyone Honda would sell one just like it.

I personally could not ride a HD... I like the looks.

I don't like the riding position. After a half hour I need to get off..

Not my cup of tea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
I'm seriously considering buying or trading for an equivalent value 1100/1150RT or even an RS. I'm wondering if someone in the northern NJ area knows of one that I could try (local dealers only have unaffordable 1200s). Will bring a favorite beverage as compensation...

Thanks in advance
I think your taking the right approach. Maybe you went too big. You need something with a little less weight and easier to move at slow speed. Fortunately you bought used and you shouldn't take a large hit if you need to trade..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #16 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:22 am
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Sell it for a smaller bike. If your still tentative after 1500 miles, It's probably not for you. BMW makes wonderful smaller bikes. 850'ish LBS is not for everyone. I have a whopping 7 mile commute to work and enjoy all 12 minutes of it. I've ridden it across the country, Rode an SS 1000 iron butt and lately just short runs around the house.....It works for me on all counts but that's just me.

Get the bike you WANT, not the one you think your stuck with.

2005 LT AKA:"PHAT BOY"
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post #17 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 8:41 am
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I have to say that after 1000 - 1500 miles, I was about ready to trade the LT for another Vstrom. I didn't like it much at that point. But, I had little choice but to stay with it and am happy to say that I am quite enjoying it now, after 3000 miles, even on my 5 mile commute to work. Around town, I have become accustomed to it and it really doesn't cause any second thoughts. Yes, it's big and heavy.

I also have begun adjusting my riding posture to a more "aggressive" or sporting posture and the bike feels much better. And on the slab, it's as good as anything I've ever ridden. I am still getting accustomed to the LT in the twisties, but have been practicing with it on the MSF range when possible. The last exercise of the new ERC is a "multi-radius curve" exercise, which gives me a chance to drag the c-stand and get used to swinging it from side to side. It's not the bike my Vstrom was in this, but still fun enough for me. I think my sportier days have passed.

I would say give the LT a bit longer. If it doesn't get better to ya, trade it for something else.

Randy
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post #18 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 8:50 am
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I have had my LT now for about a year and a half, and have put approximately 17,000 miles on it, and I love the way it rides and handles. By now I am even use to the low speed handling--althought I really never thought it was that bad to begin with. My commute is 40 going to work, and 60 miles on the way home (just love the ride so much I don't want to go home). I would say it did take me about 5000 miles or so to really become accustomed to the handing and feel of it. I would say to give it a few more miles and then if you still don't like it, then look for something smaller.
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post #19 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 9:26 am
 
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egs, my solution to a similar problem was to get a maxi-scooter in addition to my RT. I don't believe there is such a thing as a bike that does everything.

You might want to look at the Suzuki Burgman 400 and 650, Honda Silverwing, Yamaha Majesty and the Piaggio and Aprillia offerings. For town riding, the light weight and automatic (CVT) transmission are sweet. Most of these have lots of luggage space. My wife was reasonably comfortable on the pillion of my Majesty until I replaced the back seat with more luggage. Maybe 80 miles on our longest day-ride.

I am considering replacing the RT with an LT for two-up riding. As I say, I don't believe in the one-size-fits-all approach to motorcycling, and I want a super-comfortable ride for my passenger. The RT does not offer that.

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Maxi-scooter links:

Piaggio X9 forum
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Yamaha Majesty forum
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post #20 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement. Guess I need to give the bike (and me) a little more time. Must have become a wimp riding sub-500 lb. bikes all my life

Two things that do bug me though:

1) the brake servo seems to kick in pretty hard at low speed. I'm rolling to a stop and there's either little braking or 'whump' you stop NOW - even with one finger. The rear isn't too bad but habit has me using the front 95% of the time. Are the brakes usually that grabby? Can I adjust the level of assist or front/rear bias?
You need to get into the habit of using the rear brake for low speed handling and leave the front brake alone or you will drop the bike especially if your front wheel is turned. Eventually you will get used to the servo assisted brakes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
2) the handlebars seem an inch or two too low. Not as bad as a Wing but still feels like I'm turning a rudder instead of a wheel. Can the bar be rotated up just a little?
Yes they can. This is what our national Joe (Messenger13) wrote in a previous thread:
This is from memory...don't get mad at me if it's not exact.
  1. Remove upper handlebar trim pieces-parts, left and right (2 Allen screws underneath)
  2. Remove trim piece around ignition (4 big Phillips screws)
  3. Loosen handlebar clamps (4 Allen screws)
  4. Adjust
  5. Reinstall in reverse order
If the trim doesn't go back on easily, you've adjusted them too far. Also, before reinstalling the trim pieces-parts, swing the bar to full-lock each direction to make sure you're not hitting anything.

HTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by egs
Maybe I need to try a couple egro mods. Shaving the saddle a little would help my 30" inseam. A lower shield would open up the front of the bike a bit for me - I can just see over the stock shield when it's down. Any suggestions on a shorter sheild that offers decent protection when raised?
There is a low version of the BMW stock seat. You can place a WTB ad in our classified for a used one, also check www.beemerboneyard.com, and eBay as well.

Gilles & Kathy
BMWMOA# 154719
IBA# 71594
2011 Ostra Gray RT
06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #21 of 21 Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:07 am
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I bought a new 2006 LT last August, and lots of nice his'n her gear, and ride it 42 miles each way to work twice a week, more or less according to the season. I need two solo commutes a week to stay proficient, and a ride of any length two-up once a week to stay on top of that. It took me 4000 miles to really feel comfortable, that is to say not giving constant thought to keeping it upright at stops or tight manuvering. I took the MSF (NJ Rider Safety) Advanced Rider Safety Course on my bike at the 600 mile point, and although I had my doubts on some of the manuvers, that was a big confidence builder. When you are still new to the LT, just don't attempt anything on it that you aren't absolutely sure you can successfully complete.

When two up with a little luggage, we go out near MGVW of 1322 lbs. (tire pressure is important - see my response to the K-bike rear tire thread). Due to height and age considerations, we only get on or off it using the center stand, when going two-up. As far as ever dropping it (hasn't happened YET), I'm thinking of getting a friend to help me lay it down gently, just so I can practice picking it up solo using the butt and legs technique.

I'll have to say, that during the break-in period when the RPMs were restricted, I gave this bike a bum rap for it's low torque. Now that I can occasionally get into the 5500 - 6500 RPM regime, I am beginning to appreciate what high output means, and the horsepower and performance this bike can offer up near the 8000 RPM redline.

BTW, I'm 5' 7" with a 26.5" inseam, and use a sheepskin on the seat in the summer which doesn't help any on the height issue. It looks like, not including long tours, I'll be riding about 7000 miles a year, seasonally adjusted. At 65, I don't know how many years I will enjoy this before I switch to an 800, or something similar. Probably not until I retire, however, I wouldn't want much less that an fully broken-in LT to joust with traffic during the commute on 295 in South Jersey.
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