Advice for new K1200 LT Owner - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:51 am Thread Starter
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Wink Advice for new K1200 LT Owner

Hi All,

I will be going to Alabama to buy a 2002 Titan Silver bike. I plan on riding it back to Texas on the 14th and 15th. I have been riding for a while (31 years) but I have never owned a bike this big or this style. Do you have any advice?
Should I take the MSF ERC class on this bike? Is there someone in DFW area that can give me some pointers about riding an LT? You guy have scarred me about dropping this bike, is it really that big of a problem? It didn't feel that top heavy but then I only rode it for about 30 minutes, but that was in traffic, I thought it felt lower than the new R1200 RT.


--Bo
2013 Magma Red R1200GSA
2012 Candy Apple Red R1200R
2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
2006 Graphite K1200GT (sold)
2002 Titan Silver LT (sold)

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post #2 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 11:28 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas42
Hi All,

I will be going to Alabama to buy a 2002 Titan Silver bike. I plan on riding it back to Texas on the 14th and 15th. I have been riding for a while (31 years) but I have never owned a bike this big or this style. Do you have any advice?
Should I take the MSF ERC class on this bike? Is there someone in DFW area that can give me some pointers about riding an LT? You guy have scarred me about dropping this bike, is it really that big of a problem? It didn't feel that top heavy but then I only rode it for about 30 minutes, but that was in traffic, I thought it felt lower than the new R1200 RT.

You have a lot of riding experience, so jumping to the LT will have only slightly more impact than jumping to any other big heavy bike. The LT is a LITTLE more unforgiving than most other bikes this size and weight at slow speeds, but if you just be sure you have the front wheel straight ahead and the bike balanced before you use the front brake at walking speeds you will be just fine. That is what puts most people down when they first start riding the LT, me included. If you are just about stopped, but have the front wheel turned any at all and hit the front brake, you will likely have to learn how to pick the bike back up. DO NOT try to stop it if it does decide to lay down though. You can slow it down a little, but just lay it down. The big lady protects herself very well. Much better to have scratched a $14 tip over wing cover than a pulled muscle.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #3 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 11:29 am
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Good Call

I too have an 02 LTC Titan Silver, I picked it up in FL last year in September and rode it back to Atlanta. You are in for a great ride back to TX.

I mentioned this before in other postings, and I mean no disrespect to anyone on this forum but the whole top heaviness, and dropping it, and issues at parking lot speeds are way way way overrated on this forum man (user error is my opinion), I have never had an issue, never, I do not think is such a big deal, honestly just ride the bike "knowing" how much weight is under you and you be fine. My dad is a small guy, 67 years old, has had 3 LT's, 2 GL's , PC800's and never dropped a single one, neither he or I have ever taken an MSF ERC either.

The only advice I have taken from the "Drop your LT" threads is stop the bike with the handlebars straight, but you know what I thought you had to do that with ALL bikes anyway.

Ride the bike, never under estimate the weight under you and have fun.

Darcy Bastos
2007 FJR1300
2007 Ducati GT1000 Sport Classic
Atlanta, GA
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post #4 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 12:29 pm
 
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Indeed! It is not that hard to learn how to not drop the bike
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post #5 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 12:36 pm
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If you are going to use the side stand, leave the bike in 1st gear at least until you get used to parking her. Quite a few LT's have "rolled" off the side stand. Try to find a place to park that is close to level. You will really enjoy the bike and welcome to the club! Have a safe trip

Brian Ley
WA State of mindless sheep
USA where everything is illegal
2007 K1200GT
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post #6 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 2:12 pm
 
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Talking

Some more advise.

1. ALWAYS leave the tranny in first gear when parking, not just now and then. In addition to parking in first gear, let it roll forward, with the clutch out, to take the slack out of the tranny gears. Then put the sidestand down and dismount. I could care less whether I park uphill,downhill or on the level. I'm on my fourth LT (147,000 miles total) and have yet to have any of them to roll off the sidestand.

2. I have never dropped any of my LTs. Knock on wood. Everything said here is important, keeping the front forks straight when coming to a stop, etc. One other technique you might try in addition to keeping the forks straight, is just before coming to a stop (the last 10-15 feet or so) release the front brake and finish the last few feet of your stop with rear brake only. There will still be some amount of front brake applied via the intregated system but not as much as when using the front brake. Just make sure that you don't get in the bad habit of using only the rear brake when coming up to stopping situations.

You'll fall in love with the LT. In my book there is simply nothing better.

Have a safe ride.

Dick
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post #7 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 2:32 pm
 
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Advice

I also have a 2002 Silver K1200lt. I dropped it the first day. I was playing around and trying to see how nimble the bike was . I was doing some cone maneuvers and was coming to a stop - the handle bars were not 100 % straight. Right over she went - couldnt stop it. Now I pay close attention to the angle of the front wheel while stopping - even now if I stop in a peculiar spot I can feel it wanting to get away from me. I have not dropped it again though, dont worry if you do, thats how you learn.
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post #8 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 3:25 pm
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Bo,

As David says, "front wheel straight, little or no front brake." That is the key. I picked my '05 up in Daytona in June and actually dropped it twice on the way to PA. Both times at slow speed with the front wheel turned and the front brake on. I have not dropped it since and don't have any fear of it happening again. One of the big advantages of the '05 is the power center stand, I don't use the side stand.

As far as others in DFW area, check the map or contact eljeffe from the Plano area. Best of luck, and welcome to the funny farm.

Mark

Mark Good
Lancaster, PA
05' K 1200 LT
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post #9 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 9:56 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, it doesn't sound too bad, I will check in when I have it home.

--Bo
2013 Magma Red R1200GSA
2012 Candy Apple Red R1200R
2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
2006 Graphite K1200GT (sold)
2002 Titan Silver LT (sold)

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post #10 of 27 Old Jan 9th, 2006, 11:03 pm
 
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Bo, Did you buy your LT from S. Hebert? I sent him an inquiry on Saturday to see if it was still for sale. He said it was sold so, I made a deal to buy another 02 this weekend in Northern California. I live just down the road from you in Justin. It will probably be a few weeks before I get it home. It's about 1800 miles but I am leaning toward riding it. It will depend on the weather between there and here. We will have to get together after we get both bikes home.

Les
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post #11 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:56 am
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First time I rode an LT it was down a side road behind the dealer. Went back, put her on the side stand, and my wife got on. Away we went for our test ride.

First drop was in my garage. Shut her off. Angled the wheel. Removed the key. Set her on the side stand. Over we went.

Forgot to put the side stand down.

Next time. Started her, straddled walked her backing out of my garage. Rear tire dropped from the cement floor onto the earth. Over we went.

Forgot to retract the side stand.

Remember to set the tire pressure before your trip home.
Trying to figure out the radio while riding is a pain.

Bob
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post #12 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 8:36 am Thread Starter
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Les,
Yes it is a small world. The first bike I started to buy was in MS, but someone else on the forum in Ft. Worth (beemer100) beat me to it, I will pick it up and ride it back this weekend, hopefully the rain will not be too bad. What do you ride now? What color is the LT in CA?

--Bo
2013 Magma Red R1200GSA
2012 Candy Apple Red R1200R
2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
2006 Graphite K1200GT (sold)
2002 Titan Silver LT (sold)

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Last edited by Texas42; Jan 10th, 2006 at 8:45 am.
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post #13 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:04 am
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Taking the ERC Course

As an instructor...i've seen many new Ultra Classic, Wing and other shiny new bikes come through the ERC program. I've seen a few drops that nearly brought the owner to tears...not to mention a cursing fit that you couldn't imagine. There is one particular exercise that seems to cause the most fits. Its the two u-turn exercise completed in a 24'-26' foot wide painted area. (Check out the MSF website for details and exact distances). Many riders, even "experienced" ones, often don't execute proper low-speed turning manuvers and find themselves practicing making bikes vertical by picking them backup. I myself practice it every time i teach and i'm just about to the point where i can complete two u-turn in about a 20' radius and i've owned my LT for a little over a year. Ever rider is different though so what one rider can do is of little consequence.

Many on this site have dropped their LTs (me twice), but many more suggest practice and riding within your limits will give you confidence and the skills necessary. My suggestion would be like many others in this thread....ride it for a while, practice the low-speed stuff at your own pace and when your comfortable and confident, if you'd like, take the ERC. It's really not all the difficult of a course. Its main emphasis is advanced braking and turning skills, which are great skills to practice on your own bike, but not with the downer of having dropped yours earlier in the day. Low-speed manuvers are a building block for establishing control over the motorcycle and a necessary, but probably like you, i didn't buy my bike to practice u-turns in the grocery store parking lot.

Best wishes and be safe.
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post #14 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:59 am Thread Starter
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I had trouble with that double U-turn on my Sprint, almost everything else I mastered. The other one that got me was the one-handed steering, it really brought home that you have to practice counter-steering to the point where it is not counter-intuitive any more. I think I will practice on my own for a few months then take the ERC when I start to feel comfortable that's when it gets really dangerous and I need to embarrass myself.

Thank you

--Bo
2013 Magma Red R1200GSA
2012 Candy Apple Red R1200R
2007 (2006 Blue Panels) R1200GS (RIP Poteau, OK)
2006 Graphite K1200GT (sold)
2002 Titan Silver LT (sold)

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post #15 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:54 pm
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20' U-Turn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter20
As an instructor...<snip> There is one particular exercise that seems to cause the most fits. It's the two u-turn exercise completed in a 24'-26' foot wide painted area. <snip> I myself practice it every time i teach and i'm just about to the point where i can complete two u-turn in about a 20' radius ...<snip>
Not to be picky, but you mean you have it down to a 10' radius or 20' diameter correct? That's great BTW!
I am trying to master this exact skill and am having trouble with it on the LT. With a smaller, lighter bike I didn't have any trouble with the U-Turn box. My counter weight was adequate to keep the bike balanced, not so on the LT. I am working through the exercises on the "Ride Like a Pro" DVD and the third skill is a 24' dia circle to get accustomed to leaning the bike in tight turns. (I bought some cones and I'm doing parking lot work on Sat and Sun mornings.) I've tried several approaches and I'm still turning too wide or dropping the bike. Any advice on how to approach this? I can ride just outside the circle OK, maybe 28-30' dia. What do I do to decrease the radius? More lean, more turn? I'm running 2-5mph in the friction zone and putting "slight" pressure on the rear brake and my head is up. Any particular advice would be helpful. About how far are you leaning over and how tight is the wheel turned when your getting the 20' ? Are you up on the pegs? Weight shifted at all? I need to try something different.
Thank you,

Dan
2005 K1200LT - Ocean Blue

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post #16 of 27 Old Jan 10th, 2006, 3:08 pm
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Correction....

You are correct...i misspoke....the "box" is 20' wide...so the diameter would be 20' not the radius...

As far as the turn goes....i'm not sure how fast i'm going...i don't think i've ever actually paid attention to the speed. i'm off the seat just slightly...with lots of counter weight. Turning my head and really forcing myself to look where i want to go helps me. Use lots of friction zone and very little or no break...I used to drag rear brake, but with LT and linked braking...can't do it. I guess the last thing (which you already know) is practice...i teach every third weekend and ride lots of demos on all kinds of bikes including my own. Using a small bike gives me confidence to lean my own....so mentally i feel better about the thing not going down. And to be honest, i don't always complete the 20' turns successfully....many times i get the left (first one) but screw-up the right....don't know what it is...maybe its the throttle on the right grip...maybe its just in my head.

thanks and good luck.

Last edited by Hunter20; Jan 10th, 2006 at 3:18 pm. Reason: Additional response to question...
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post #17 of 27 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 2:11 am
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New Owners I am One.

Although I have ridden motorcycles before, it was a long time ago. I decided to take the MSF course. I would recommend that all motorcyclists take this course. It taught me a lot of new techniques.

As for the LT, I too think a lot of the comments are blown out of proportion. Maybe some rider inexperience. Here are some helpful hints which I found useful.

Always stop vertical and front wheel straight. Which is true with most bikes but lighter ones you'll be able to hold up...not the LT.

When starting off from a stop at a corner I usually go straight for a few yards before turning. When I first got the bike and was getting use to the friction zone I stalled it while in a turn and almost dropped it.

And for tight U turns and slow speed turns use counterbalance turning techniques. I practice the counterbalance turn and other techniques on a monthly basis in an empty parking lot.

The bike has to be respected. But, that in mind it's a great bike. And practice, practice, practice the techniques.

Good Luck

'Big B"
BMWMOA #127497
1999 K1200LTI "Canyon Red"


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post #18 of 27 Old Jan 11th, 2006, 7:31 am
 
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Small World

Hi Bo,

I'm currently riding a Yamaha, V Star Classic. My wife rides a Suzuki, Volusia. The plan is to get her an RT later in the year. I had a 20 year break in riding and Vicky had never ridden. We got these bikes about two years ago and, immediately took the basic MSF course. It was the smartest thing we've done. We have been planning to take the advanced course since last year but just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe this spring or summer would be a good time, after I get familiar with the LT.

The description the guy gave me on the LT I'm buying is Tan/Silver. I don't think that's BMWs term but it looks good in the pictures. I'm flying out on Friday. I'll pick it up on Saturday and - after a ride around the Sacramento area - I'll store it in my In-Law's garage in Lodi until I can either get it shipped or go out and ride it back. I'll probably ride it if I can find a weekend that the weather looks reasonable along the route.

Good luck on your ride this weekend.

Les
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post #19 of 27 Old Jan 12th, 2006, 8:18 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas42
Hi All,

I will be going to Alabama to buy a 2002 Titan Silver bike. I plan on riding it back to Texas on the 14th and 15th. I have been riding for a while (31 years) but I have never owned a bike this big or this style. Do you have any advice?
Should I take the MSF ERC class on this bike? Is there someone in DFW area that can give me some pointers about riding an LT? You guy have scarred me about dropping this bike, is it really that big of a problem? It didn't feel that top heavy but then I only rode it for about 30 minutes, but that was in traffic, I thought it felt lower than the new R1200 RT.

One other thing i haven't seen mentioned here and I'm not sure it applies to older models but I know on the 05 this is the case--remember that when the key is off on this bike, the brakes are at about 1/3rd their "on" strength. Something to think about when you're considering parking on inclines or moving the bike around....
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post #20 of 27 Old Jan 17th, 2006, 11:17 am
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Les: If your new bike is going to sit for a while (3-4 weeks), you might need your relatives to pick up a "Battery Tender", and plug it into the power port, in the lower left fairing, for you. Because there's a lot of standby electrics going on, the batteries tend to go flat over extended periods of time. I have an '05, and I always keep it on the Battery Tender. I believe any Battery Tender will work with your '02, although I had to buy the BMW model Battery Tender for my '05, because it's a Exide/BMW sealed battery. For whatever it's worth, I wanted to share this info with you.

Ride with Pride,

Capt John
Tracy, CA



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post #21 of 27 Old Jan 17th, 2006, 3:49 pm
 
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Battery Tender

Thanks John,

It should only be about three weeks before I am ready to bring the bike to Texas or, go back to CA for a day-ride somewhere. It has a new gel cell battery. Do you think it's in danger of going dead in three weeks? I'll probably go ahead and get a trickle charger anyway. What do the cost at BMW, do you know?

Les
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post #22 of 27 Old Jan 17th, 2006, 3:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark
Thanks John,

It should only be about three weeks before I am ready to bring the bike to Texas or, go back to CA for a day-ride somewhere. It has a new gel cell battery. Do you think it's in danger of going dead in three weeks? I'll probably go ahead and get a trickle charger anyway. What do the cost at BMW, do you know?

Les
If it is an AGM, like Westco or Odyssey, no need to put a charger on it. I never charged my Odyssey batteries. They will hold charge for MONTHS! I don't know about the BMW gel battery though. I know the standard lead'acid batteries should be trickle charged if they are going to be down for more than 2-3weeks.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #23 of 27 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 1:28 am
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My BMW Gel battery easily lasts a month and the bike starts right up. Of course, I always lock the forks when parked. Certain items (radio, etc.) have power when the key is OFF, but not when the key is turned counterclockwise to LOCK. Just don't go too far to PARK, or you'll ignite the parking lamps, which will drain your battery faster.

Ken
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post #24 of 27 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 1:16 am
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Les:

The BMW "official" Battery Tender runs about $70.+/- If the gel cel battery is not an Exide/BMW battery, you can probably get by with using the Battery Tender Junior, which they advertise good for gel cells. For some reason, the Exide BMW gel cell uses a different sine wave and is not compatible with the generic Battery Tender Junior. If the battery is fresh, it should be o.k. for 3 weeks. If not, give one of the Nor Cal members a call in the Lodi area, Hal "Lodi Hal" Singer or Doug Holck. They could probably lend you a Battery Tender to juice up the battery overnight.

Congrats on your purchase!

Ride with Pride,

Capt John
Tracy, CA



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post #25 of 27 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 9:10 am
 
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Thanks everyone,

I'll probably fly out on a Friday afternoon and head East on Saturday morning. If the battery is low when I get there I will, for sure, be looking for a way to charge it.

Any thoughts on motel security? My initial plans are to stay in Blythe, CA the first night and El Paso, TX the second night. I'm a little aprehensive about parking the bike outside at night in a strange place, even with the security system. Is there anyone in these areas that knows of biker friendly motel/hotels?
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post #26 of 27 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 9:39 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark
Thanks everyone,

I'll probably fly out on a Friday afternoon and head East on Saturday morning. If the battery is low when I get there I will, for sure, be looking for a way to charge it.

Any thoughts on motel security? My initial plans are to stay in Blythe, CA the first night and El Paso, TX the second night. I'm a little aprehensive about parking the bike outside at night in a strange place, even with the security system. Is there anyone in these areas that knows of biker friendly motel/hotels?
Hey Les - have a wonderful trip back home. Ride safe.

Re; motel/hotel parking. I have found that if you converse with the manager or the desk clerk and tell them that you are concerned about leaving the bike in an area that is not protected, most of the ones I've talked to have let me leave the bike right up front in view of the lobby. Maybe under the port-a-cache. Also, I leave Toad in the reverse gear mode when parked at a motel overnight. Bike won't start in reverse (butt you gotta remember that you left it that way, otherwise a moment of panic when it won't turn over!!!! damhik!

Enjoy the trip, Les. Holler up when you git back and lettuce know how thangs went.
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post #27 of 27 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 12:27 pm
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I've parked in front of random motels all over the country without any problems. Just use common sense. Park the bike in a well-lit area, or right in front of your downstairs room if you can, or in front of the lobby. I take everything out of it (another plus of a downstairs room), put the Geza cover on, and set the alarm.

Otherwise, don't worry too much.

I can remember the new bike apprehension though. I spent a summer rebuilding a Yamaha XS11 into a full touring bike with factory fairing and saddlebags, plus after market trunk and stereo. The first night of a two-week trip I pulled into a cheap motel, and was actually measuring out the door to see if the saddlebags would fit through, when I spotted a security guard and panicked. Then I realized - the hotel had a security guard. So I just covered the bike and left it. Never had a problem since.

Enjoy the ride.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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