Iron Butt Ralley KLT under-represented - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old Nov 30th, 2005, 11:37 pm Thread Starter
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Iron Butt Ralley KLT under-represented

Just had a quick look at the IBR participants. I noticed that BMW was very well represented, but K bikes were in the minority at 9 with LT's accounting for 5 of those. There were over 30 R bikes. Just curious why the disparity. I would think the KLT would be an excellent platform for such a competition, comfortable, smooth, well equipped in stock configuration, good power and torque to handle modifications, i.e. fuel cells, etc...
So why is the R bike more popular? Cost? Fuel mileage? Weight? Durability?
Maybe you Iron Butt guys can enlighten me.
BTW my hats off to the guy who rode his HD Sportster over 12K. I rode one once and had trouble riding around the block.

Adversity builds character.

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My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
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post #2 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 7:20 am
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I was wondering the same thing. Any reason the K bikes aren't used more?

Bill McAllister
St. Louis, MO.
2003 K1200LTE
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post #3 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 8:28 am
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I am not qualified to answer your question with any authority as I have not participated in the IBR, butt my guess is that the K1200LT is heavy, is hard to work on the road (read too much tupperware to remove), and the lack of dealers or shops to effect repairs.
The above said, the K1100LT is/was a popular LD Rally bike in its day. In fact there many still out there in LD land.

Perhaps a more informed answer would come from another site like this one:

http://www.ironbutt.org/forum/default.asp

Subscribing to the LDRiders list could also produce an informed answer.

While my LT has served me well in my own solo LD riding endeavors, it was bought with two up riding in mind. If I were only riding solo and LD exclusively I would own something else. Perhaps an older K1100LT or newer R1200RT.

Just my .02 cents worth.

Mike
IBA #433
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post #4 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 8:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjac
While my LT has served me well in my own solo LD riding endeavors, it was bought with two up riding in mind. If I were only riding solo and LD exclusively I would own something else. Perhaps an older K1100LT or newer R1200RT.
I tend to agree that many who have the LT has a regular pillion and Rallies are a often more of an individual event. Rosie and Tom are notable exceptions. I expect bike choices are as much a function of something in our character that is transferable to the street as it a logical thought process about what we "need" to ride a particular event or style.

After completing last spring's 48++ and a bit over 13K by the time I returned home I know the K12LT is a great over-the-road ride. Multiple K-days are easily strung together. I also know I was a whipped puppy and every pound of my fully loaded bike seemed like five pounds when I slowed my adrenalin-depleted frame to parking lot speeds at the end of the ride.

Edgar Tanner
2009 Piaggio MP3 500
2003 Titan Silver LTC (Angel-returned to the heavens)
2000 Basalt LTC (Down for the count)
Kansas City, MO 64153
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post #5 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 9:00 am
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The final route an entrant may chose to take to accumulate the all important bonus points can take a participant on hundreds of miles of unpaved roads in weather conditions not exactly ideal for the LT and its' road tires. The K1200LT can certainly deal with a certain amount of this, but the BMW GS boxers are built for it: They have a longer suspension travel, greater ground clearance to absorb the bashing from hidden potholes on muddy roads, and dual sport or even knobby tires to fit. This alone explains why so many entrants ride them. The LT is as entirely capable of completing and winning an IBR as has its' predecessor K1100LT and sibling R1100RT. Its' time just hasn't come.
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post #6 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 9:55 am
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The rash of mechnical failures of the K1200LT in the previous IBR might have been part of the reason. I believe there were 9 rear drive failures in the 2003 event. But that was before the new 17-ball bearing pretty much solved the problem. Maybe the perception was lingering and the reason for the lack of K1200LTs participating in the IBR.

Also, I believe that there were a lot more bonus locations on unpaved roads this year. As we all know, the LT is not really well suited for use on unpaved roads.


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post #7 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 1:13 pm
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The endurance rallies tend to include the worst roads then the LT can be somewhat of a challenge. You can count on the rally bastards sorry master to throw in bonus locations on dirt roads. Certinally doable when dry but throw some rain in the mix and yellow clay and its like riding on ice. Mapping software does not always tell you if there is a dirt road or washout sections ahead. These tend to be sucker boni only suited for the GS. If we did not have to deal with dirt roads the LT would be the choice hands down. However with that in mind IMHO the GSA is the best rally bike . Example when traveling in heavy traffic the elevated ride height lets you pick the most effective path through traffic . The increased acceleration of the GSA creates openings in traffic that are not present with the LT. You can also bet on a highway closing with total traffic stop and on the GSA hit the median and your gone. I plan on using the LT for 1 more rally season and pick up the 1200 GSA for rally competitions. Then you can have the best of both worlds. We can all be proud of the LT I rode my LT in september successfully completing the intense triple BBG . Thats 4500 + miles in under 72 hours. John Ryan was the first to do this ride I became the second, John rode a 95 K-75 ! You can go to the ride report section to see the details.
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post #8 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 1:27 pm
 
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a friend of mine told me he rode his GS this year but regretted it. he said he wishes he had ridden his LT instead.
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post #9 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 1:40 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBandit
a friend of mine told me he rode his GS this year but regretted it. he said he wishes he had ridden his LT instead.
Gearhard, Sorry to here that, did he go to NB or KW FLA on leg 1? If he went to NB the weather was tough. I would still choose a GSA. Set up is crucial.

Pete Murray
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post #10 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 1:44 pm
 
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dunno which leg he chose. it's paul meredith ... don't think he minds if i name him here. he's a subscriber to the board.
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post #11 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 1:51 pm
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Two of the riders highlighted in the recent edition of BMW Owners News were at my local riding club a few months ago to tell us of their adventure in the IBR. John Ryan and Jim Owen. Given what they told about off road riding for hundreds of miles, riding in streams, etc., I can't imaging riding "The Beast" that way. Although it would be nice to set the cruise control and get 40 winks during that long ride.

Brian
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post #12 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 5:50 pm
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Well, if you know the road is going to be bumpy in places, the parking lots pot holey, and you will be very tired trying to find your bonuses, perhaps you want a lighter bike, but on those 10k+ of open slab, the ride, weather protection, and the cruise control have to be great. For example, I asked one rider when he came in at 6 pm,"When did you last sleep?" "Yesterday morning, got nearly 3 hours!"

Another thing, if you look at these pics...if you have to wire up all that crap, and then troubleshoot it after 50 miles of bad road, in rain, dark, and dog tired, I might want a more accessable bike.

Lastly, whats neat about the IBR is that most guys ride their daily ride, not something brought out of the showroom and customized for the event. I'll post my pics soon of most of the bikes in the event, but these two sorta sum up what some guys do to their "cockpits".
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post #13 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 6:28 pm Thread Starter
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looks like to only thing I'm missing is the redundant GPS.

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
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post #14 of 16 Old Dec 1st, 2005, 10:30 pm
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To ride long distances on a motorcycle the rider needs to figure out what makes him want to get off his motorcycle after a long ride and fix that problem. I rider can do a lot more to fix those problems on the GS then the LT. Case in point, try changing the handle bars on a LT or try sliding back on the seat to change the pressure points on your butt. It is hard to do on the LT. I have a LT and a GSA. I can do longer days on the GSA then the LT. I like the flat seat on the GSA because I can move all around on it compared to the LT seat. There are only two complaints that I have about the GSA for long distance riding. One is at high speed (80mph +) the mileage drops off into the 30's and cruse control would be nice. My wife doesn't like the back of the GSA. That is the reason for the LT. chip
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post #15 of 16 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:17 pm Thread Starter
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This is a good point and I guess one reason I started this thread. The last issue I had with LD riding was the seat. I recently installed a custom Rick Mayer seat and the bike is like night and day. I had had two 8+ hour days and one 12 hour day in the saddle since switching seats and all three were very comfortable easy riding days. I can't imagine a more comfortable riding motorcycle for LD.

Adversity builds character.

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My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
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post #16 of 16 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:41 pm
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Here's Rick doing his thing on the IBR. He rides on what he sells...a lot!
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Pete Jessen
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