LT buyer with concerns [help!] - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 9:18 pm Thread Starter
 
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LT buyer with concerns [help!]

First time buyer looking for true tourer. Been riding a big cruiser.Getting ready to pull the trigger on a 01 LT. with 32K miles. Here's my concern: every BMW rider tells me how
great they all handle[including the LT],but in the same conversation when I ask them about
the LT being top heavy most say yes they're top heavy. How can it be both? I sence the
seller is selling because he isn't comfortable riding 2 up, which I will be doing. Please
help me here. I love the look but must love the ride without dumping my wife in the
parking lot. Oh, and by the way can, I expect the final drive to fail at some point?

PS: I don't want a harley and the Goldwings apparently make you and your wife gain 50
lbs each.
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post #2 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 9:33 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Funny.....about the 50lbs!

The LT's are top heavy when compared to most other scoots. But this really only comes into play at very low (parking lot) speeds. Once you're accustomed to it, you know not to use the (very effective) front brakes at such speeds. Believe me, you get used to it, and your skills improve as a result. I've owned my LT for about 3 years now, and I feel very stable at all speeds now. At all other speeds, the bike is an engineering marvel. I've owned Harleys and a Goldwing (although I didn't gain the requisite 50 lbs) and can say without a doubt, that this LT is the finest motorcyle I've ever owned. Don't worry about the final drive. Some fail, some don't. Ride it like you stole it, maintain it properly (with the help of this forum). If it fails, we'll help you rebuild. Buy the LT and don't look back.

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post #3 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 9:42 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I also recently purchased a 1200 LT ( coming from a K 1100 LT) and noticed the difference in weight right away when stopped. When moving, it a totally different bike!!
I mostly ride two up and my wife noticed the ride also. It smoother then the 1100 and has a lot more room for her.

YOU WILL LOVE THE BIKE!!!

Don't worry about what you heard about the LT final drive, you have a 96% chance it won't happen to you.

Good luck with your ride.

Bowdon
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post #4 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 9:47 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyt
First time buyer looking for true tourer. Been riding a big cruiser.Getting ready to pull the trigger on a 01 LT. with 32K miles. Here's my concern: every BMW rider tells me how
great they all handle[including the LT],but in the same conversation when I ask them about
the LT being top heavy most say yes they're top heavy. How can it be both? I sence the
seller is selling because he isn't comfortable riding 2 up, which I will be doing. Please
help me here. I love the look but must love the ride without dumping my wife in the
parking lot. Oh, and by the way can, I expect the final drive to fail at some point?

PS: I don't want a harley and the Goldwings apparently make you and your wife gain 50
lbs each.
I think it is much ado about nothing. I've had my 07 for nearly two years now and 10K miles and have yet to drop it. And, yes, gasp, I use the front brake at low speeds sometimes, double gasp, with the front wheel turned! I find no appreciable difference between the LT and my Voyager XII. Both are heavy bikes, especially two-up which is often for me, and you have to ride them properly at low speeds. Keep you feet on the pegs and don't duck walk it. Buy the Motorman videos and practice your low-speed maneuvers and then ride it and enjoy. And don't worry about dropping it or you will probably make that a self-fulfilling prophecy!

As for the final drive issues, yes, that sucks, but if only 4% are failing that means that 96% don't. And you only hear from the 4% who had failures so what you hear is drastically skewed towards the negative.

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post #5 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 9:53 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Hello johnnyt

The LT is 835 Lbs and I thought the HD bikes felt more heavy to me getting one off the side stand . The LT is in my opinion the best handling touring bike so far . If your legs are under 30" long seat height might be a problem , two of my friends with 29" legs fought and gave up and sold their LTs for some "other reason " . They were not hardened riders tho .
My wife is so comfortable on the LT that she fears going to sleep and falling off .


Bob G
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post #6 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:03 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

What Voyager said.

It may be top heavy, but seems less so to me than my '02 Triumph Trophy. And it doesn't handle poorly at slow speeds, but it won't cover up your mistakes. Balance the bike properly and you'll never drop it. Get sloppy with it and you probably will.

Same is true 2 up: Poor technique will make it a slow speed handful. ridden properly, you won't even know she's back there.
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post #7 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:10 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I have two things to offer which I picked up on this forum that has made all the difference for me in the parking lot speed handling of the LT. While I have ridden quite a bit over the years and put a bunch of miles on a Road King, nothing prepared me for the challenges of keeping the LT upright in tight manuevers. First is the advice given on avoiding the front brake at those speeds and second is the remarkable advantage of dragging the back brake a bit while keeping the feet on the pegs. I guess most guys learn this early on but being someone who rides mostly alone I had never picked up this tip before owning the LT. It has taken a ton of anxiety out of gas stops and parking lots--fortunately no drops since.

'02 Silver R1150RT

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post #8 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:22 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I think the old girl is pretty well balanced, once you get used to her. At a dead stop, I can get my weight evenly distributed and the bike straight up, then lift my feet off the ground. If everything is perfect, she'll stand up on her own for a second before starting to tilt. Don't wait to put the feet down! Even though she can be a handful in stop-&-go traffic, I haven't found anything I like better. When stopping, glide in and stop. If you try to crawl to a stop, the top heaviness kicks in fast. Same thing on take-off. Get the rear wheel pulling early and often. She likes to

Lee
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post #9 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:32 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I have a big issue with so many people saying to NOT USE THE FRONT BRAKE AT LOW SPEED! That is not good advice at all. The front brake is the one that does 80% of the work stopping the bike, and with the weight of the LT you need it.

I dropped my LTs a couple of times, but once I learned to be sure to have the front wheel straight ahead for the last couple feet of a stop the problem disappeared completely. I used the front brake far more than the rear, and the last couple years of owning the LT, at over 30,000 miles a year, no drops. You can panic stop with the front brake, and it will not cause you to drop the bike if you get the wheel straight just before you come to a complete stop.

In my opinion, teaching yourself to avoid the front brake is putting yourself at risk of not using it because of that self taught avoidance when you really need it.

Be aware of the problem, teach yourself to get the wheel straight and the bike balanced the last 2 feet of a stop, and you will not have a problem, and stopping with the front brake mostly will become second nature. I rarely used the rear brake because of it's rather small contribution to stopping the bike. About the only time I used the rear brake was trail braking going into turns, and just holding the bike stopped when sitting on it. If I needed to stop really fast I would use both, but normal stopping was almost always front brake only.

Of course it does cost money. I went through 4 sets of front brake pads to one set of rear ones.

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post #10 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:44 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
I have a big issue with so many people saying to NOT USE THE FRONT BRAKE AT LOW SPEED! That is not good advice at all. The front brake is the one that does 80% of the work stopping the bike, and with the weight of the LT you need it.

I dropped my LTs a couple of times, but once I learned to be sure to have the front wheel straight ahead for the last couple feet of a stop the problem disappeared completely. I used the front brake far more than the rear, and the last couple years of owning the LT, at over 30,000 miles a year, no drops. You can panic stop with the front brake, and it will not cause you to drop the bike if you get the wheel straight just before you come to a complete stop.

In my opinion, teaching yourself to avoid the front brake is putting yourself at risk of not using it because of that self taught avoidance when you really need it.

Be aware of the problem, teach yourself to get the wheel straight and the bike balanced the last 2 feet of a stop, and you will not have a problem, and stopping with the front brake mostly will become second nature. I rarely used the rear brake because of it's rather small contribution to stopping the bike. About the only time I used the rear brake was trail braking going into turns, and just holding the bike stopped when sitting on it. If I needed to stop really fast I would use both, but normal stopping was almost always front brake only.

Of course it does cost money. I went through 4 sets of front brake pads to one set of rear ones.
I agree totally so I need to qualify my advice. I am talking about avoiding the front brake ONLY when the wheel is not straight and only in parking lot maneuvers at turtle speeds where stopping is not an issue--getting around the end of the gas pump is.

'02 Silver R1150RT

Lynn
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post #11 of 18 Old Apr 6th, 2009, 10:57 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

"I sence the seller is selling because he isn't comfortable riding 2 up, which I will be doing."

Maybe he just wants a new play toy, or won't be doing the same kind of riding he bought the LT for?

I've gotten used to mine; never dropped it with my wife on the back.

When I stop, front wheel is straight. When I take off, front wheel straight; sometimes I wander around a little when I get going again.

It's nice going over a small bump while cornering, the wheel base seems to remain stable. I ride with the windshield down a lot locally.

Best from Tucson
Bob 00LT

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post #12 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 1:06 am
 
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Try an RT as well...Nice bike for two up with the top case...
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post #13 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 8:42 am
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I've got 42k on my '02 and I had never ridden a K bike before, as I've been an airhead/oilhead rider most of my life. The dealer talked me into giving it a test ride while I was getting my 2000 RT serviced and I was hooked within 5 miles. It's been great on long trips and riding here in town and in Pittsburgh as a daily commuter. I did drop it a couple of times while stopping before I learned to pay attention (most embarrassing was a stop sign with a guy in a pickup truck behind me laughing at me). I was very thankful of the tip over wings when I did. For the inseam challenged (I have a 29") It might be because I was coming from the RT's but I think the seat height is perfect. Little bit of practice and you'll never look back.
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post #14 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 8:53 am
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I bought my K12LT for 2 up touring. I was stepping up from a midsize cruiser. I had ridden big Kawasaki and HD's with solo saddles in the past (police bikes). I have a 30" inseam and was also concerned. My first test ride was by myself and I did notice it felt top heavy at low speed. BUT I was also able to stop with the handle bars turned and using front brake judiciously. My second test ride was with my wife and there were no issues at all. You get used to it quickly. Just make sure she knows not to squirm around while in parking lot!

My wife said she had more room than the Ultra but less than on the GW. But she was most comfortable on the LT as was I. That combined with the features and cost of the LT (used) made the decision.

Really the top heavy feel goes away when you start to move above just a few miles an hour.

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #15 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 1:05 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I hear your concern, I had the same concern before buying mine. I only have a 28-29 inseam and this was a challenge. I ride mostly 2 up and once I learned to look were I wanted to go, stop with the wheel straight, slip the clutch and use the back break for slow speed turns all things came right in the world. I am a better driver today because of it. It isn't hard, you just have to practice. I have never dropped the bike with my wife on it but the times I have dropped it are all my fault. Sloppy or stupid things I was doing. If you look down at a stop that is were your bike will be. If you look straight ahead and stop the bike will be there as well.

The other thing that helped me was I asked my father in law about dropping the bike (he was a bike GW rider) and he told me that even GW riders drop their bike but they just don't admit it.

Best 2 up bike you will ever ride in my humble option.

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post #16 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 2:06 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Quote:
The other thing that helped me was I asked my father in law about dropping the bike (he was a bike GW rider) and he told me that even GW riders drop their bike but they just don't admit it.

I have quite a few GW riding friends and most have dropped at one time or another. I felt very superior until a couple of weeks ago.(Dont assume the guy in front of you at the stop sign is actually gonna go this time) Oh well, now I'm a member of another club

Jerry
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post #17 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 6:43 pm
 
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

Rode my 05 LT to SanFrancisco last summer along Hwy101...Washington State to California! I wouldn't trade the LT for anything. I dropped it twice and always at a stop, not paying attention to my footing. It was embarassing and fortunately for me I reviewed the forums about picking it up off the ground. Have fun on your LT!
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post #18 of 18 Old Apr 7th, 2009, 7:36 pm
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Re: LT buyer with concerns [help!]

I came off an '86 goldwing when I bought my '06 LT last year. It takes a little getting used the wieght of the LT, but after a couple weeks I was fine. I put over 9k on her last season. I do ride mostly 1 up, and my most frequent passenger is my 14 year old daughter. She probably put 3k on the rear seat last season. The wife quite a bit less (she has her own bike).

I absolutley love this bike. I have also had v-twins, there is no comparison.

As a plus for you, you have a great dealer right in town!!!

Tony

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