Steve_R - Thanks for the video. Yes, that is the correct way to pick up any bike. I have seen 90 lbs women pick up H-D tour bikes. Same technique.
SteveL: Yes, that steel rod in the wing and the trim on the baggage does a darn good job of keeping the LT driver and passenger legs, plus the brake and shifter and footpegs out of harms way on flat ground. Three cheers for the BMW design team!
I almost alway extend the sidestand when my wife boards, just in case. I do stand with the bike straight up, both feet planted, wheel straight. And if it means that my wife has to walk a few feet to flat ground, she has never complained.
If you have not had a lot of experience with big bikes at slow speeds, they can be a lot to handle. However, giving up the comfort of the LT for a lighter bike is not the right answer for everybody. You will be giving up touring range and carrying + luggage capacity as well.
You did a very brave, some might say foolish thing trying to stay between 840 Lbs of BMW iron and where gravity was taking it. Oilmen have a phrase for it that amounts to "let the iron drop". I hope that all is well and you did not have the same mishap cccpastorjack did.
In general, the answer to slow speed operation of an LT is practice. Practice keeping the engine RPM up and the clutch in the "sweet spot" where the gears are just starting to engage. The engine's gyro motion helps stabilize the bike. Whether or not feathering the foot brake helps on the LT or any modern bike with linked front and rear brakes is still up for contention, but linkage is supposed to drop off at low speeds to make lightly braking the rear wheel possible. That also seems to stabilize the beast at low mph. Learning to lean (as a team) and even letting the bike lean opposite from you work for low speed turns, but like getting to the Met, practice, practice, practice.
You might want to check out the "Ride Like A Pro V" DVD. Yes, Palladino is a real ego maniac, but I think he has something to say about how to do U turns, and improve slow speed handling. Get about four to eight small orange cones with the DVD if you do, and practice at the high school parking lot, or any of that sadly growing number of empty parking lots the economy is turning out.