Passenger comfort question on the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 3:56 pm Thread Starter
 
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Passenger comfort question on the LT

I purchased a 2007 Lt last year and for the most part love the bike. It is fun to ride. Although I will admit that I would sell it in a heart beat and go back to a Harley Electraglide ultra today if someone offered the right price. You see, my wife hates it! The bike only has 1300 miles on it and sits in the garage because she doesn't want to ride on it. She claims that it is the most uncomfortable motorcycle of the many I have owned. She says that the seat is very uncomfortable with the humped front section jamming into her crotch. She also complains that she sits up much higher than she did on the Electraglide and is getting hammered by the wind. We rode the Harley on a 2200 mile trip and she said that she was never uncomfortable on it. On the BMW I have stop every half hour. I bought an extra high touring windshield with the bend in the middle to deflect the air up (or so the ad claimed) and she said she could not tell the difference. Does anyone know if side wings, similar the Gold Wing, which mount on the windshield would direct the wind off her? Where would be the best place to buy them? Would an investment of $1500 for a set of Corbin seats be worth while? Need some help before I have to sell it.
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post #2 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:11 pm
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Lightbulb

First, welcome to the asylum.

Sorry, and surprised, to hear you r wife does not like sitting on the LT. The comfort is usually the best selling argument with the spousal unit.

I wonder if you got the "comfort" seats on your bike. They actually are more uncomfortable, and the backrest is too thick and pushed the passenger forward, in the process taking some valuable space away. So perhaps before you get a custom seat you should see if you can try the standard seat vs. "comfort" maybe by just swapping with someone local. Swapping seat would only take a few minutes.
Also you may want to move the trunk back. It is held by 4 screws under the liner and the move can be done in less than 15 minutes on your first try. This will give your wife an additional 1.5 inch and make a world of difference.
There is not much you can do about the passenger seat being higher than on the HD.

As far as the windshield, I replaced the stock BMW tall with a Cee-Bailey #2 -2 inches (the minus part will depend on your height) and my 5'9" SO really loves the improvement. The wind is properly deflected for her.
Also a good helmet will help with buffeting. I am not sure what your wife wears but Kathy now uses a Shuberth C1 and is happy with it.
If you can find a Baehr helmet you (your wife) should give that a try.

Bottom line is... if the wife is NOT happy neither will YOU!

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post #3 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:14 pm
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You can try Laminar LIP on the tall windshield

http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=2530

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post #4 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 4:15 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigk825
Would an investment of $1500 for a set of Corbin seats be worth while?
My wife doesn't ride, so no passenger. The lady I bought the LT from, rode with her late husband on many long rides, NC to VT several times and said the Corbin set her husband installed was much more comfortable than the factory seat. I have the factory seats and mentioned to her that I might put them back on, just as a test. "You'll switch them back", was her reply. I haven't changed the seats out yet. She's probably right. Factory seats usually aren't the best.

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post #5 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 5:12 pm
 
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??

I get just the opposite comment from my wife. She likes the LT much better than the last 2 Harleys. She does catch more wind though. I'm ordering a Parabellum windshield soon, that should cure that problem.
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post #6 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 5:39 pm
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I have the standard seat with the trunk moved to the back position. With the fullface helmets on my wife loves the bike. We ride alot of 500-700 mile, 10-12 hr days and I need more breaks than she does. Every 100 miles we stretch and have a drink. Try moving the trunk back and see if which style seat you have. I love everything else about the bike, power, handling,etc. Good luck and try a couple other things before giving up the bike. I know how important comfort for the wife is.

Greg and Melanie
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post #7 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 6:07 pm
 
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bigk825

Sorry to say but you may need to go back to the Harley.....
I know most sites that are not HD oriented talk down about them, especially on the wing sites, but HD's are really good bikes... My last one was a '89 FLHTC, I could ride longer days on it than I can any of the BMW's.... I like the BMW's better, wish I had found them earlier than I did.....

Good luck on whatever you decide,,me I have never understood buying a bike then spending money on it so I could ride it.... I've not changed a thing on my LT and it adjusts to me just fine......... Good luck...........Pete
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post #8 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 10:07 pm
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Mike: Sorry to hear about your dilemma with your wife's comfort with the LT. My wife will ride long distances with me and enjoy it. Having said that ... see further comments below.

But to be fair and balanced in my reporting back to you, my wife does not like the fact that she sits up higher and gets more wind blast. I bought a four inch taller windscreen from Cee Bailey to address this issue and it helps a lot.

In the end, as others have commented, your wife needs to be comfortable riding on the bike too.

Today, I visited a Honda dealer to look at Wings ... something I haven't done in more than 10 years. The Wing offers some advantages to the LT in my view ... better and more comfortable two up riding comfort ... and I'm thinking seriously about getting one and leaving the LT to a single rider bike setup or just selling it. My wife sat on the Wing and did not sit up higher or over my head. She liked that. She also felt more comfortable with the "cockpit" room ... advantages that were clear to me too. To be sure, there's features with the LT that the Wing cannot match ... but I have to address those that are critical to our riding needs.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both bikes. If she won't ride on it with you and that is a primary factor for you (it is with me and my wife) then you might consider trading it for an R1200RT or a different brand altogether.

Good luck, tom

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post #9 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 10:12 pm
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Mike: I forgot to mention in my last post ... IF you are seriously considering a custom seat for the LT, I highly recommend you contact Rick Mayer. He's been building custom seats for long distance riders in this forum and others for years. In my view, if you haven't tried a Rick Mayer seat you are really missing a treat. See: http://mayercycle.homestead.com/MAYERCYCLE.html

All the best, tom

Tom Talleur
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post #10 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 10:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttalleur
Mike: I forgot to mention in my last post ... IF you are seriously considering a custom seat for the LT, I highly recommend you contact Rick Mayer. He's been building custom seats for long distance riders in this forum and others for years. In my view, if you haven't tried a Rick Mayer seat you are really missing a treat. See: http://mayercycle.homestead.com/MAYERCYCLE.html

All the best, tom
Here is the new URL for the Rick Mayer site:
http://www.rickmayercycle.com/index.html

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post #11 of 22 Old Oct 19th, 2007, 11:00 pm
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RE: Passenger Comfort

The type of helmet your wife wears may have an influemce. If she wears a half helmet she will get a lot more wind than if she wears a full face. I have found that with the windshield up the passenger takes a lot less wind, but there is still some wind to deal with. As others have stated, she has to be happy for you to be happy. By the way, I went to Corbin in Hollister, Ca and had all the seats replaced. THe custom seats are much better than the stock seats which were the comfort seats that came with the bike. I'm not sure how BMW had the nerve to call them comfort seats?
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post #12 of 22 Old Oct 20th, 2007, 2:48 am
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My wife says her seat and riding position are great. In fact, when I told her I was going to get her Kontour seat made up, she told me not to change it..>So I just had it covered in the same material as the front but left the foam stock. She can go a full tank and never complain of comfort. If you wife is tall, I could see how the slightly raised rear seating position would cause for some buffeting over smaller riders. The SO says she prefers to be able to see better on the LT. She takes in more of the scenery. As they say...You can please some of the people some of the time....

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post #13 of 22 Old Oct 20th, 2007, 2:55 am
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Good helmet will probably do the trick.
Bob
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post #14 of 22 Old Oct 20th, 2007, 4:05 am
 
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I understand where you are coming from. I come from a Yamaha Venture which is set up much like the Harley. I could put a barn door windshield with lips on the LT & wear bucket helmets & it couldn't come close to matching the long distance comfort for rider & passenger on the Venture. & I had a shortened windshield on the Venture & wore open face helmets. That said, everything else I like about the LT over rides the one thing the Venture did better. Also she don't ride much & it's not her choice.
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post #15 of 22 Old Oct 20th, 2007, 7:52 am
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A couple of additional points -

A second shield to consider is the V-Stream by Z-technik, it improves airflow and noise for both significantly and keeps the polycarbonate construction for safety considerations.

There are multiple aftermarket seat makers that specialize in the LT - these include the previously mentioned Rick Mayer as well as his brother Rocky Mayer, and Kontour and Russel Day Long. The last two have had the most overall positive feedback from the Forum, but each of the four has its pros and cons.

There is a lot of information in the Ergonomics and Rider Comfort section of this web site. Most seat complaints have been about the rider seat and not the passenger seat. I suspect that moving the top box back will solve 90% of your problem at zero cost, but one of the alternate shields may be needed. If you find that your behind is not happy as well, then start reading the seat posts.

There is absolutely no question that the Gold Wing is a much more comfortable bike out of the box for two up riding, but it gives up a lot in other areas. It largely depends on how and where you intend to ride and whether or not you will have someone on the back.

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post #16 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 2:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane_in_Florida
A couple of additional points -
I suspect that moving the top box back will solve 90% of your problem at zero cost,
I thought that I was in for a big high five from the SO when I moved the top case back a notch...Not so fast my friend. She didn't like it...I still scratch my head on how she couldn't like it, but it is what it is...Moved it back...now she's happy as a clam...go figure. I'd say it's worth a try anyway. About the complaint of discomfort in the crotch area. Rick Meyer can custom work a seat to help with specific pressure points. It'll cost you, but what's some peace and quiet worth?

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post #17 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 2:20 am
 
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I personally agree, the HDs have always been the most comfortable ride. However, I am told by new owners that Harley has changed their seats and they aren't what they used to be. Just FYI. My BMW duffel doesn't much care how the back seat feels, and I sit on a Rick Mayer, so I don't have any problems.
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post #18 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 3:44 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
Good helmet will probably do the trick.
Bob
That's what did the trick for 'er indoors. She started with a "Nitro" and said the wind knocked her head about badly. She was unable to communicate over the intercom at any speed too. The height or type of windscreen made no difference whatsoever. Eventually we went to our BMW dealer and tried their suggested helmet which was the Sport Integral.

What a difference. The buffet has gone and I can hear her clearly at any speed. (OK so there is always a cloud )

As a result, I got one for myself and found a much quieter riding environment with less buffet.

So.... Well worth investigating I think.

Just pussin' through.
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post #19 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 6:58 am
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I know how you feel.

I had a 2001 Honda Goldwing, which of course, the SO loved. So when I got the 2002 LT the SO hated it, seat uncomfortable, buffing, blah, blah etc.................

In 2003 I had to sell the 2002 LT, not my fault, some how the SO got pregnant with twins. Had to sell the toys to build house.

In 2004 I bought a 1999 LT with the comfort seat. I also put on the euro windshield on it. I believe and could be wrong with the taller windshield is she maybe getting to much back pressure.

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post #20 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 9:04 am
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Kill two birds with one stone:

1. Mounting a bag on the top of the trunk rack like a Mag's bag, etc. will virtually eliminate buffeting for the passenger no matter which windshield you use - it creates "clean" laminar airflow over and around the riders minimizing vortices. Its an aerodynamic sort of thing.

2. The bag provides easily accessed cosmetics and walking shoe storage for Momma which will make her extra happy. Next time you want to buy some farkles for yourself remind her of the "special" bag you bought just for her. Its a husband sort of thing.
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post #21 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 10:21 am
 
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Get a new wife....just kidding !!
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post #22 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2007, 12:27 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerrider
Get a new wife....just kidding !!

What do you mean..Just Kidding? It would be cheaper than buying parts for the LT!

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