Two-up trouble on the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:12 am Thread Starter
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Two-up trouble on the LT

"Hi, my name is Jason, and I'm having trouble riding two-up on my LT"

Had the LT for approaching 2 months now, and it's not my first "big bike". I routinely commute on an RT-P (smaller, but not small), and have previously owned a Road King for 4 years before abandoning HD. Just finished an "aluminum-butt" this weekend (530 miles) with the wife, and it's apparent to me that I've got some issues riding the LT two-up.

I'm 5'8", with shortish legs (29" inseam), so the LT is right at the outside of what's possible for me. Once I learned the handling eccentricities of the bike, she's not giving me much trouble solo. However, when I throw the wife on the rear, low-speed maneuvering is a whole different ball of wax, and I'm finding myself intentionally avoiding stops and tight turns as a result.

I know that part of this (and maybe most of this) is "the nut behind the wheel"...that is, me, the rider. While my low-speed handing is not quite motor-officer quality, it's not bad when I'm solo, and can control all of the weight on the bike.

I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing on the technique here, and since there are a lot of people here who crunch lots of miles two-up on LTs, I'm hoping some of you can help me find it. One terrible habit I know I've picked up with the LT two-up is extending the landing gear way too soon when coming to a stop....that is, popping both feet off the pegs so I can "fight for the landing" as I'm coming to a stop. This introduces all kinds of problems, especially when the feet touch-down prior to stopping, and you're now duck-walking the bike....especially when two up an calves are banging into the rear pegs.

However, the laden handling feels so twitchy at low speeds, that it feels like the bike wants to dive over (while stopping in a straight line), so I know I'm sticking the damned legs out to try and compensate for this. Although I'm not a weak guy, I've never had much faith in the "casually stick one leg off the pegs as you stop" method...and less so with 800+ pounds of bike, and 450+ pounds of riders. However, I know that the duck-walk method is going to spell trouble sooner or later.

Any constructive suggestions on slaying the two-up beast (short of getting a divorce)?

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post #2 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:31 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
One terrible habit I know I've picked up with the LT two-up is extending the landing gear way too soon when coming to a stop....that is, popping both feet off the pegs so I can "fight for the landing" as I'm coming to a stop. This introduces all kinds of problems, especially when the feet touch-down prior to stopping, and you're now duck-walking the bike....especially when two up an calves are banging into the rear pegs.

However, the laden handling feels so twitchy at low speeds, that it feels like the bike wants to dive over (while stopping in a straight line), so I know I'm sticking the damned legs out to try and compensate for this. Although I'm not a weak guy, I've never had much faith in the "casually stick one leg off the pegs as you stop" method...and less so with 800+ pounds of bike, and 450+ pounds of riders. However, I know that the duck-walk method is going to spell trouble sooner or later.

Any constructive suggestions on slaying the two-up beast (short of getting a divorce)?
I think you nailed your bad habit.
Wait until you are almost stopped to pop your left leg, and your left leg only. As you do this you need to slightly countersteer by turning your front wheel to the right, hence tilting your bike to the left where you just deployed your left leg. Practice this on your won before trying it with the pillion.
Also while you are stopped with the bike gently resting (yes, with both tons! ) on your left leg, keep the bike in 1st gear with the clutch depressed and your eyes peeled to the mirrors. This will give you the chance to take off if someone is coming too fast behind you. This will also limit the foot on/foot off otherwise required to put the bike in gear when the light changes, etc...
If you feel your short inseam is really a problem try some boots with a bit of a heel. Nothing wrong with that!

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post #3 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:41 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Don't DUCK walk as you stop, but instead put out BOTH your landing gear (feet) right down to within 1/2" of the pavement the last few feet before you ACTUALLY stop. This way any stop made before or after your intended target has your legs ready to catch the weight no matter what side the weight shift go's too at time of stop.

With that done and what Zippy has said, you have the best chance in not getting surprised stopping 2 up or by yourself.

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post #4 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:46 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Couple of things;

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
Had the LT for approaching 2 months now
Two years on mine and I'm still learning. From what I gather it's a process that will last for a few more years to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
Just finished an "aluminum-butt" this weekend (530 miles) with the wife, and it's apparent to me that I've got some issues riding the LT two-up.
It's also a learning curve for the tail gunner. When the bike goes to slow speed, NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS! I am constantly telling my SO to stay still while at low speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
However, when I throw the wife on the rear, low-speed maneuvering is a whole different ball of wax
And it will always be this way. Higher weight and your low speed handling gets a little twitchy. Best way to handle it is to keep riding and practice, practice and more practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
I know that part of this (and maybe most of this) is "the nut behind the wheel"...that is, me, the rider.
Nope. Just a bit of a learning curve. Hang in there... My first time riding two-up with the SO was a testament to terror. In my first year, I had a "get off" with her once. It happens. After more than two years, I am getting comfortable, not yet fully proficient (and don't know if I ever will be), but comfortable.

Riding two up is a lesson in working together to make the trip fun and safe. It's not just the responsibility of the driver. Keep that in mind.

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post #5 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 12:10 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Jason: You have echoed my sentiments precisely. I am following your thread in hopes of regaining my confidence level on my (our) LT. I have a post going in the RT section regarding riding 2up with a full size passenger. I am so close to trading my LT for an RT. I too fear every time I have to stop when riding 2up. I'm sure it is also quite a sight to see us get it off the center stand.
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post #6 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 12:33 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I have a 29" inseam and use cowboy boots. Try a little bit of a heel or lift in your boots. Also, SO knows that she doesn't move when we are going slow, she knows from experiance Try doing the slow speed manovers with a 1/2 tank of gas then fill here up. I know I have to be MORE careful when I have a full tank of gas, she gets pretty top heavy. Practice is the key. I can now do a U turn on a 2 lane road 2up without going on the shoulder towing a trailer. I had to practice alot to be able to do that.

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post #7 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:12 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Maybe a lower seat can help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
"Hi, my name is Jason, and I'm having trouble riding two-up on my LT"

Had the LT for approaching 2 months now, and it's not my first "big bike". I routinely commute on an RT-P (smaller, but not small), and have previously owned a Road King for 4 years before abandoning HD. Just finished an "aluminum-butt" this weekend (530 miles) with the wife, and it's apparent to me that I've got some issues riding the LT two-up.

I'm 5'8", with shortish legs (29" inseam), so the LT is right at the outside of what's possible for me. Once I learned the handling eccentricities of the bike, she's not giving me much trouble solo. However, when I throw the wife on the rear, low-speed maneuvering is a whole different ball of wax, and I'm finding myself intentionally avoiding stops and tight turns as a result.

I know that part of this (and maybe most of this) is "the nut behind the wheel"...that is, me, the rider. While my low-speed handing is not quite motor-officer quality, it's not bad when I'm solo, and can control all of the weight on the bike.

I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing on the technique here, and since there are a lot of people here who crunch lots of miles two-up on LTs, I'm hoping some of you can help me find it. One terrible habit I know I've picked up with the LT two-up is extending the landing gear way too soon when coming to a stop....that is, popping both feet off the pegs so I can "fight for the landing" as I'm coming to a stop. This introduces all kinds of problems, especially when the feet touch-down prior to stopping, and you're now duck-walking the bike....especially when two up an calves are banging into the rear pegs.

However, the laden handling feels so twitchy at low speeds, that it feels like the bike wants to dive over (while stopping in a straight line), so I know I'm sticking the damned legs out to try and compensate for this. Although I'm not a weak guy, I've never had much faith in the "casually stick one leg off the pegs as you stop" method...and less so with 800+ pounds of bike, and 450+ pounds of riders. However, I know that the duck-walk method is going to spell trouble sooner or later.

Any constructive suggestions on slaying the two-up beast (short of getting a divorce)?

Matt Kas

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post #8 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:14 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I find that stopping takes a little longer with the extra weight and throws my timing off a bit. When solo I can put the left leg down and make quicker stops. Once I adjust to 2 up timing than the solo quick stops need adjusting. Riding 2 up the passenger pegs tend to remind me not to sprawl the legs as much, ( I have a 36" inseam). I am with you on the slow speed jitters, once under way the LT is quite comfortable. It's like driving an empty pick-up truck verses one with a load, just takes adjustments. Riding 2 up makes me a better solo rider in the long run. Good luck with your adventures!
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post #9 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:25 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Had same problems riding two up until wife took the Washington State sponsered motorcycle rider safety course. She learned what to do & what not to do on the bike. She made the choice not to pilot the red beast, but could do so if an emergency presented itself. I noticed a major improvement in her riding ability after she took the course. Most times i don't even know she is back there. She said the most important things she learned are not to move around when we are stopping, or doing slow speed manuvers, & to move slowly when we are under way, in other words, no sudden movements!
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post #10 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:43 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I've always asked my passengers to follow a simple rule. I have them stay upright in the seat with their back against the backrest and just follow what the bike does.

Whether we're doing low speed stuff, or going through the twisties on a highway, this makes my compensation for their weight a constant instead of a variable. Effectively, it keeps them from steering or suddenly shifting their weight (which has the same result!)

I've asked my passengers to do this ever since the days of my little 400 with a sissy bar and it works pretty well for me. YMMV.

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post #11 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 1:56 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Perhaps this may be of some help.

I've been riding for some 40 years now, and one of the things I am continuosly reminding myself to do is Look Foward, and Far Ahead.

Example, you riding a slow long curve and find yourself coming to the inside of that curve before its time. Look Foward and Far Ahead. By Far Ahead, I mean 5-7 car lengths ahead. When doing this your peripheral vision takes on a diffent focus and you will begin to notice the bike take a more true path to the curve as appose to falling into tight.

As you perform this task, you will still occasionally make quick glances at closer distances to keep watch for debris and road conditions, but will maintain more constant on the road ahead.

Hopefully this will help you get more comfortable with the balance of the bike, and be more in control.


Coming to a stop... I'm still training myself not to be apprehensive about stopping. Especially with the LT. And especially when riding 2UP.
What I'm finding is I want to get closer to the stop point, but inherently bring my feet out to soon (as mentioned herin).

Practice this to see if it helps... Find a large parking lot (empty of course) and without traffic if possible, preferably one that you can see distances beyond the typical surrounding wall such as in a grocery store lot, perhaps trees and homes far in the background.

Begin driving your bike slowly as though you were in stop and go traffic, from one side in a straight line, towards the other, and again, applying the method of Look Foward, Far Ahead. Practice coming to as slow of a stop as possible, feathering your clutch, gas and rear brake as you creep along.

The problem begins when you start to constantly look closer at the vehicle in front of you, you struggle to keep the bike balanced by twisting the handlebars and shifting your hips. I notice by looking past the vehicle in front of me (as my peripheral vision will pickup the immediate proximity), I have a better tendancy to keep the bike straight and balanced with less effort.

Additionally, sitting alittle more upright, (straightening your back some) has helped me as well.

Last edited by STYLNLT; Sep 3rd, 2008 at 2:01 pm.
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post #12 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 2:45 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
.....I'm 5'8", with shortish legs (29" inseam), so the LT is right at the outside of what's possible for me. Once I learned the handling eccentricities of the bike, she's not giving me much trouble solo. However, when I throw the wife on the rear, low-speed maneuvering is a whole different ball of wax, and I'm finding myself intentionally avoiding stops and tight turns as a result.

I know that part of this (and maybe most of this) is "the nut behind the wheel"...that is, me, the rider. While my low-speed handing is not quite motor-officer quality, it's not bad when I'm solo, and can control all of the weight on the bike.

I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing on the technique here, and since there are a lot of people here who crunch lots of miles two-up on LTs, I'm hoping some of you can help me find it. One terrible habit I know I've picked up with the LT two-up is extending the landing gear way too soon when coming to a stop....that is, popping both feet off the pegs so I can "fight for the landing" as I'm coming to a stop. This introduces all kinds of problems, especially when the feet touch-down prior to stopping, and you're now duck-walking the bike....especially when two up an calves are banging into the rear pegs.

However, the laden handling feels so twitchy at low speeds, that it feels like the bike wants to dive over (while stopping in a straight line), so I know I'm sticking the damned legs out to try and compensate for this. Although I'm not a weak guy, I've never had much faith in the "casually stick one leg off the pegs as you stop" method...and less so with 800+ pounds of bike, and 450+ pounds of riders. However, I know that the duck-walk method is going to spell trouble sooner or later.

Any constructive suggestions on slaying the two-up beast (short of getting a divorce)?
Howdy Jason,

A quick comment on the motor officer slow speed skills. I talked with and got some pointers with a motor officer and his strongest suggestion was practice, practice, practice. He said, no matter how good the motor officer was his skills would diminish with a month if they didn't practice. He said that he practiced at every opportunity to keep his skills up.

I agree with most of what has been offered in response so far, especially Mark and Matt's reply.

You have the older seat configuration, that is, it is wider at the front meaning that you are more restricted in getting down to the pavement. I would get a custom seat that is "cut down" and "narrowed" at the front.

The passenger must learn the seriousness of being still when slow speed maneuvering is happening. I am a tall and fairly strong person but, I damn near dropped the bike at a stop when Nancy bent to one side to scratch an itch on her leg without telling me.

I wouldn't recommend the "cowboy" boot solution unless you make sure the soles are non-skid. I tried cowboy boots once and they are they slide out from under real easy on road oil. There are several motorcycle boots that have an extra 3/4" or so lift to get more of your foot on the ground.

I would practice your solo, one foot stops. Each day switch feet, stop with your right foot down all day, then switch to the left foot the next day. It may not be kosher with purists but, you're on an LT and the brakes are linked so it isn't really an issue. What it will do is force you to get use to the tiniest balance inputs to perform the exercise. Left side only can "bite you in the ass".

I was coming down the Feather River Canyon and they have a series of one lane sections with stop lights. Nancy and I came to a stop on the LT and I put my let foot down and NO PAVEMENT, the road was banked so steeply that I had to slide my ass completely off the bike to the left to get to the ground and hold us up. After that I simply switch down legs to match the banking.

Bill "Omaha"

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Last edited by BillyOmaha; Sep 3rd, 2008 at 3:57 pm.
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post #13 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 2:59 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Wow. Deja-vu here. I had some of the same issues, however, most of them were 'user-errors'. For me, I found I wanted to lean the bike slightly at low speed manuevering in parking lots, etc. This was ok with just me or on my smaller sport touring bikes, but when I put my wife on the back of the LT..., a whole different ball of wax. Now I am quite a bit taller, but I started to make sure I was looking forward, not down and in front, and also trying to keep the bike as neutral as possible (upright) when low speed turning in parking lots, etc with my wife on the back. With those traits fixed, I can pretty much do a full lock turn keeping the bike upright if I needed to. As others stated, practice practice practice, and make sure that she doesn't move around on you when you least expect it. (low speeds or stops) Also, there is a guy in my area who teached two up riding courses. (How cool is that!) http://www.motomark1.com/ Maybe somebody locally in your area does the same?
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post #14 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 3:24 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I am also a new LT rider, with about 2500 miles under my belt in the past two months. I vary much understand your challenges. Others have left good tips and best practices. What I would add is really from the MSF classes, and here in Oregon what “Team Oregon” teaches in their safety course.

When coming to a stop, keep your eyes up; look out at the horizon or the tops of trees. If you look down, you drop your shoulders and then the bike will tip in that direction. Same idea when making U turns or tight corners – Turn your head in the direction you want to go, but keep your eyes up.

The only other real idea I have has already been said. Ask your SO to keep her hands in, and sit still while in the parking lots etc.

Best of luck, practice will get you there.

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post #15 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 3:24 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

First i would like to say i agree with alot of what is said here...look ahead, practice ect....One thing that has helped me also is i dont try to slow and wait for the light to change, and then have to stop at the last second,....i now always assume the light will stay Red and i have to stop...so i just approach the light and stop....the LT is a pig at slow speeds I dont think anyone here will debate that....I am not saying jam on your brakes and stop but learn to have convidence in your stopping. I hope this Helps you


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post #16 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 3:37 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Try having your wife get on the LT with the LT on the side stand. This will force you to get used to righting the bike while you are at a full stop.

Bob

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post #17 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 4:41 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Practice, practice, practice has been emphasized over and over, and rightly so. So I'm wondering, given that the LT is a bike that takes a lot of practice, concentration, and training, is it counter productive or inadvisable to ride another bike occasionally? Does this confuse the mental and physical prowness required to be a good LT rider?

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post #18 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 4:49 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
Practice, practice, practice has been emphasized over and over, and rightly so. So I'm wondering, given that the LT is a bike that takes a lot of practice, concentration, and training, is it counter productive or inadvisable to ride another bike occasionally? Does this confuse the mental and physical prowness required to be a good LT rider?
Howdy Ray,

I'll go out on a limb and say that I consider myself a better than average LT rider, solo and two-up. I also ride the K1200R, primarily solo, and it doesn't present a problem going back and forth....... AS LONG AS.... the time between is not too long.

Bill "Omaha"

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post #19 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 5:29 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
Practice, practice, practice has been emphasized over and over, and rightly so. So I'm wondering, given that the LT is a bike that takes a lot of practice, concentration, and training, is it counter productive or inadvisable to ride another bike occasionally? Does this confuse the mental and physical prowness required to be a good LT rider?
Maybe...but what fun would riding only one be


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post #20 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 5:33 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I have been riding 2 up with my wife for about 5 years now on the LT. I also have a 28-29 inseam. I can tell when I haven't ridden with the SO for a while because the first couple stops are shaky. I have to get use to the extra weight and top weight. After 2 to 3 stops it comes back. Not that the 2-3 are bad but just not the norm.

It took me at least a year of riding 2 up to get good.

Here is what I use for stops, 1 or 2 up
Look out and straight ahead, don't turn and look at the other cars coming, look straight ahead and now you will stop at x stop.

I use 1 foot 90% of the time. But can stop with either foot or both. Plan your stop. Don't put your foot down until you plan to plant it on the ground. The slight turn of the wheel helps do this 1 foot stop as well.

Down shift into 1st gear before stop.
As someone said, when you do the creep to the stop sign that will help you get use to the slow speed.

Practice everyday.


Slow speeds I do the following:

Wife is part of the bike. if the bike goes over you expect her to still be seated on the seat, back against the rest and feet on the pegs and hands in her lap or grabbing the handles. She may be at a 30% angle but she it part of the bike.

I rev the bike to 3-4 rpms and slip the clutch and feather the foot brake in the parking lot and U turns.

I look out and through the turn. If I do a U turn I turn my head were I want to go. So I be looking behind me while starting the turn but I am looking out not down. Never look down, if you do, that is were the bike will be sitting an a second.

The LT has made me a better 2 up driver. It is a bit more of a challenge but it does make you a better driver if you can 2 up on the LT. Not that it is hard but it just isn't as forgiving at a GW or other touring bikes. My father in-law drove wings for 10 years or more and he tipped his over with the SO on many times do to driver error.

It isn't the bike, it is our skills and abilities that keep the bike up.

2 months just isn't enough time to be good at it yet. Give yourself a good year.

Also stop putting both feet out. You will end up hurt. You know it and now is the time to start good habits.

Have fun and drive safe and practice. Just keep saying to yourself. look out when stopping or turning.

Tom Ress
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post #21 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 5:46 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Go take the ERC with your passenger. The Ridercoach should be able to give her some instructions on being a better passenger.

Tim Barstow

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post #22 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 6:05 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

  • You need more time in the saddle one-up. Take the ERC course one-up when you've got about 3000 miles under your belt on the LT. The rest will come naturally.
  • Gain more comfort, sliding room, and lower position with a custom saddle.
  • Consider custom Wilber shocks made 1.5 inches lower than stock. Between that and the custom saddle you'll probably be able to put your feet flat on the ground and gain confidence. You "do" have the seat in the lower position, right?
  • Now that you've lowered the bike height get a red velvet fringe trimmed pillow to sit on so you can see over the dash. (Just kidding )
  • Use the front brakes gently and learn to finesse them at slow speed. Keep the front wheel straight when coming to a stop.
  • DON'T try to stop a moving 900lb LT with just your legs or try to keep it from going over once it starts. Too heavy and you might hurt something vital.
  • Fall over once at low speed and get it over with!
  • ATGATT on you AND your pillion.
  • Then, practice with your pillion and go west, young man!

Bob Morrow #4204
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post #23 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 6:16 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by azpilot06
"Hi, my name is Jason, and I'm having trouble riding two-up on my LT"

Had the LT for approaching 2 months now, and it's not my first "big bike". I routinely commute on an RT-P (smaller, but not small), and have previously owned a Road King for 4 years before abandoning HD. Just finished an "aluminum-butt" this weekend (530 miles) with the wife, and it's apparent to me that I've got some issues riding the LT two-up.

I'm 5'8", with shortish legs (29" inseam), so the LT is right at the outside of what's possible for me. Once I learned the handling eccentricities of the bike, she's not giving me much trouble solo. However, when I throw the wife on the rear, low-speed maneuvering is a whole different ball of wax, and I'm finding myself intentionally avoiding stops and tight turns as a result.

I know that part of this (and maybe most of this) is "the nut behind the wheel"...that is, me, the rider. While my low-speed handing is not quite motor-officer quality, it's not bad when I'm solo, and can control all of the weight on the bike.

I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing on the technique here, and since there are a lot of people here who crunch lots of miles two-up on LTs, I'm hoping some of you can help me find it. One terrible habit I know I've picked up with the LT two-up is extending the landing gear way too soon when coming to a stop....that is, popping both feet off the pegs so I can "fight for the landing" as I'm coming to a stop. This introduces all kinds of problems, especially when the feet touch-down prior to stopping, and you're now duck-walking the bike....especially when two up an calves are banging into the rear pegs.

However, the laden handling feels so twitchy at low speeds, that it feels like the bike wants to dive over (while stopping in a straight line), so I know I'm sticking the damned legs out to try and compensate for this. Although I'm not a weak guy, I've never had much faith in the "casually stick one leg off the pegs as you stop" method...and less so with 800+ pounds of bike, and 450+ pounds of riders. However, I know that the duck-walk method is going to spell trouble sooner or later.

Any constructive suggestions on slaying the two-up beast (short of getting a divorce)?
I'm 6' with 32" inseam so I can't claim to know exactly what you are up against, but I'll offer these two tips that have worked for me. So far I have 9,000 miles on my 07 and not a drop yet. About 3,000 of those miles are two-up and loaded.

I was paranoid at first after reading the horror stories, but soon realized I was just pysching myself out. So, I found the following to help a lot.

1. Stop worrying about riding at slow speed and dropping the big girl! I now ride slow whenever I get the chance and when approaching a red light and try to do a "slow race" for the last 50' or so and see if I can keep from putting down my feet until the light changes green (assuming not a lot of traffic behind me). I've found now that I can ride at walking speed or less pretty much indefinitely. To do this, I pull in the clutch and coast until I can't maintain balance. I then engage the clutch a little with the engine idling to gain back a little speed and then repeat as necessary.

2. Don't use your feet as outriggers! Keep them on the pegs until the bike is nearly stationary. Then I drop them both quickly although I can often now just drop the left foot as someone else already suggested. And when i pull away from a stop, I pick up both feet quickly as soon as the bike begins to roll and well before the clutch is fully engaged. Convince yourself that you don't need your feet as long as the bike is moving at all and ride that way all the time to remain in practice.

Others have already given good advice regarding having a still passenger at low speeds, etc.

Good luck!

Matt

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #24 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 8:11 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

The advice to keep your head up and your point of reference in front of where you intend to stop is the key to smooth stops. It is natural to target fixate on the vehicle, or intersection line directly in front of you, and you'll find yourself micro adjusting your line of travel as you get closer to the stop, which can induce a bad case of the wobbles.

Low speed handling and the LT can be challenging, indeed. The best informational product I have seen is the DVD "Ride like a Pro" by Jerry Palladino. http://www.ridelikeapro.com No affiliation, just a happy customer.

-tom

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post #25 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 9:18 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

It took me a couple of seasons to get comfortable putting just one foot down on a stop. One thing the helped was to use only the rear break to stop. The bike is much more stable that way and forces you to put the left foot down. I know the breaks are linked but just using the rear only duing the last few feet of the stop most of the breaking if not all of it is just on the rear and the bike won't hunt with the front tire. Try it and practice, keep the head level don't look down because the bike goes where you look. Worn shocks will also contibute to the bike being unstable at slow speed.

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post #26 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 9:35 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I feel your pain, man. The difference between 1-up and 2-up on the LT is significant. Some of it is related to what your passenger may be doing as you're gliding into the 'perfect' stop. (Waving to the nice couple on the HD in the next lane, reaching out with the fob to open the parking garage, etc.) Some is related to fact that 2-up generally implies luggage, not always perfectly balanced, and the even higher COG that comes with that loaded top case. Some is related to the greater surface area that you expose to cross winds at intersections. Add it all up and you'll see that elevated heart rate is not surprising.

The best advice I ever read, I got on this board: Keep your feet on the pegs until you stop! It's counter-intuitive, but you'll see what I mean if you practice it. The short answer is, make the LT carry it's own weight. Don't plan on trying to catch it before it drops. If you can come to a stop with the bike balanced, you've solved your problem. Some coaching for the pillion will have to be included: No checking to see if her boot laces are tied, no waving at the shirtless guy mowing your neighbor's lawn, etc. as you make your final approach. I'm afraid there's not much you can do about the cross winds.

Good luck!

Cheers,
DaleB

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post #27 of 37 Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:11 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

All the above + take off the top case 2 up for a few months

Scott
Shingle Springs + Redwood City Ca



2008 K1200LT Black, (Big Black Whale)
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post #28 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 12:21 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I ride my LT in manhattan as my commuter bike, and often enough 2 up w the mrs. It's a lot easier now then when I first started earlier this year, but it's a bit more difficult on the LT than on any other bike. It's ok, I don't mind at all, I love the bike. But I'm also 220lb and a body builder
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post #29 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 12:23 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Tonight... I was pulling my LT into a parking lot to retrieve my car (my daughter is taking it for a few days and was riding pillian) and was making a slow right turn... going down into the parking lot, cutting across the grade and then up a slight incline. to a stop... in the middle of the upward turn, I lost forward momentum and with the bars locked in a right turn.. the bike tipped over to the right. I stiff legged it... and felt for sure I was going to lose it, but some how I pulled her from the grips of certain road rash trauma. Why?

A quick assessment of what I feel when right:

1) At the point of tipping, forward momentum stopped and I grabbed the front brake, giving me control to lever the bike back over to the left without losing energy to forward or reverse motion.

2) As noted in a previous post, my pillian (bless her cotton socks) held on tight and did not move, enabling me to resist only one mass and not a vacillating one which certainly would have resulted in a different outcome.

3) I was wearing my riding boots (alpinestars) and my riding gloves. The sole and sides of the boots are stiff, and the leather uppers provide much needed support for my ankles which shouldered the immediate force of impact and gave me gripping power on the pavement. My gloves enabled me to grasp the bars tightly without any chance of slippage (due to sweat or moisture) ... affording me more control to help transfer all my energy into propping up the the right side. My helmet helped contain the expletives that were reverberating off the inside of my visor.

ATGATT -- though on hot days I admit I will occasionally peel off my textiles with armor...(I feel exceptionally vulnerable without it) I am committed to always wearing my helmet, gloves and boots--tonight, I am glad I did.. but not for the reasons I thought.

Asleepless
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post #30 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 1:33 am
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Smile Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I to am challenged with a 29" inseam. Under the seat is the adjustment bar for the high & low height settings. I removed the bar allowing the seat to drop down just a little bit more. This made a differance for me & may be of help for you also. It does cause a little more knee bend,so if you find it uncomfortable you can always put the bar back in place again.
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post #31 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 1:59 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

OK.....I think I've got control of slow speed while solo--regularly can turn the bars to the lock for a U-turn. But I don't seem to have that same confidence 2-up. I was wonder: How can I practice the 2-up handling without actually dragging the wife out for a morning/afternoon of circles/stops/u-turns in an empty parking lot? Is there some other way to simulate the extra weight? Only thing I've though of so far is a life-sized inflatable doll, filled with water maybe....anyone else got thoughts on this?

...Bob
2001 K1200LT der LadungsTräger
1978 GL1000
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post #32 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 7:14 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbarstow
Go take the ERC with your passenger. The Ridercoach should be able to give her some instructions on being a better passenger.
+1.

What he said!

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post #33 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 7:59 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Here is what I do as a shorter rider. I don't try to creep to a stop. I just come up to it and stop with both feet on the pegs and the handle bars straight. As soon as the bike stops, I put my feet down. You can practice this and you will notice the bike sits there for a couple of milliseconds before it starts to lean. If you try to stop slow enough that you feel you need to duck walk it, you are stopping too slow. Do not hesitate when you leave a stop. Both you and your passenger will get used to the firm stops very shortly. If the bike feels like it is going to tip over on a slow speed tight turn, you are going too slow. This bike has the ability to turn tight much faster than you will believe. As others have said, practice, practise. I ride 2 up 70% of the time and also pull a trailer about 20% of the time. I only get in trouble when I am going to slow.

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post #34 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 9:31 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Sparky,

I want to see the picture of you and the doll on the bike. That will be a keeper.

You could strap a heavy duffel bag to the back seat.

Tom Ress
Great White North
Minnesota
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post #35 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 10:33 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky_k1200lt
Is there some other way to simulate the extra weight? Only thing I've though of so far is a life-sized inflatable doll, filled with water maybe....anyone else got thoughts on this?

Max load the top case and rack to get weight as high as possible. Put the balance on the rear seat. Strap everything fast so it doesn't toss around.

Dave
-2000 K1200LT
-------------------------------
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post #36 of 37 Old Sep 4th, 2008, 10:36 pm
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

I've been riding for 30 years and got my LT just over a year ago. I have 3,500 miles on it. I dropped it twice in the first couple weeks before I came here and found out why - yes, the reason I dropped it was clearly explained - that's how good this place is for these questions.

Since EVERYONE has covered almost every important point here, I'll add two more tips and reinforce the others:

First of all, all except the 1,300 mile tour was ridden as a commuter bike in Los Angeles. I figured this would be the best way to get good at this beast.

Tip 1. While learning 2up (read: on the tour), I had to make a couple of U-turns. What'd I do? I had her get off. She (like myself) is a "better-safe-than-sorry" kind of person. I don't get embarrassed, ego deflated, etc. etc., so I don't care. I don't want to drop it, so if it looks stupid for her to get off, neither of us cares. Once I can U-Turn like a pro, I'll practice with her.

Tip 2. I NEVER use the front brake under about 5 or 10 mph. I dropped it by using the front brake while the wheel was turned. The rear brake is linked and I've pulled it to a stop from 80 mph just to see what would happen. NOTHING! Rock solid. Since using only the rear brake at slow speeds makes the bike try to stand up straight, why not? There've been times when I've used the front brake when going slow, but it's about 1 out of 100 stops, and only when the front tire is pointed straight. I'm now consistently making smooth, graceful, confident stops. This only in the last month or two.

Continuing on with confirmation to above tips:

Strange but true; the bike stops before it leans. It's fun! Get the bike to stop then move a couple mm to the side you want to put your foot down on, and it will slowly, gently tip in that direction.

I've found my smoothest stops are when I very gradually bring it to a stop. Then the bike nicely halts and requests you put your foot down. Very graceful.

I got good at this because I'm forcing myself to use the above tip - keep your eyes way up. Try stopping both ways. If I'm looking at the car in front of me at a light, the front wheel weaves from side-to-side. If I keep eyes up, it stops in a straight line - most of the time. Now I'm working on always keeping my eyes way ahead, be it corners or whatever. It's not easy as I've been doing it the old way for 30 years - there were no classes, schools, or books about motorcycle riding back when I learned, so a 30 year habit is hard to break (after a couple years of trying, it's really starting to get natural).

I too, bought the Motorman DVD (http://www.ridelikeapro.com) and I've been practicing that. It's saved my bacon dozens of times. You have to learn how to work the rear brake, throttle and clutch at the same time to get this bike to do what you want it to. But like others above, I can ride it all day next to a person who is walking. Watching Paldino on his metric cruiser and his friends on Harleys do all this stuff was impressive, but I dismissed it because "you can't do that on an LT." Then one of his buddies does it all on an LT! I was pissed . I have RLAP 4 and 5. They are both different. The LT guy is on 4 but not on 5. I was annoyed 5 came out soon after I bought 4, but once I watched it, I see there is A LOT of different stuff and now I'm glad I bought both.

I, too, have started to drop the bike but a quick grab on the front brake allowed me to stop it and lever it back up. HOWEVER, this is not the norm and if you read this board enough, you see dozens of people telling you (here's tip 3): NEVER try to hold this bike up if it starts to go over! It's designed to lay down with very little damage, and the damage you could do to yourself can be lifetime damage. The black covers on the tip-over bars are cheap. I scratched the chrome strip on the saddle bag - which is expensive, but once I replaced it I put the BMR black rubber strips from Rafi on them and that's that.

My other bike is a Kawasaki Ninja 1200 (ZX-12R). A rice rocket of the first order. Although it takes about 5-10 minutes of riding after a switch (from day to day), I've been amazed at how my riding has improved on both bikes (from riding the other), although again, most of it is solo. IT'S FUN to hang off an LT

Lastly, I have a low seat, heated, black, from a 2004 and previous LT. I'm going to put it in the classified section but if you or anyone else is interest, it'll be $100 plus $20 shipping. It's in perfect condition. Anyone who's interested should PM me.

My $0.02.

mike p
2005 BMW K1200LT (got it in July 2007)
2002 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R (parked next to the LT)
1982 Suzuki GS-750EZ (paid $500
for it in 1985, sold it for $450 in 2000)
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post #37 of 37 Old Sep 5th, 2008, 12:30 am
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Re: Two-up trouble on the LT

You can also check out this thread.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...=riding+two-up

Good luck! Practice, practice practice!
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