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post #1 of 30 Old Apr 25th, 2009, 11:25 pm Thread Starter
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more capacity?

My wife and I rode two up yesterday, and bottomed out the frame around a corner (not a twisty). Now to explain: we are each 250 lbs+. The spring was turned all the way to high, and I was 36 in the front and 44 in the rear. We were not carrying anything else and the speed was under 20mph. What can we do to prevent the bike from bottoming out again, other than the obvious (lose weight, Ohlins shock) ? We like riding together, but not if it destroys the bike! And we can't get her a bike yet.

Ben Cohen
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post #2 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 1:08 am
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Re: more capacity?

The first time the wife & I rode our 06 LT home it bottomed very easily, then I found this site and read most people run 42 front & 46 to 48 rear. I pumped up the tires and that gave me the clearance needed, although with the electro centerstand you do lose some cornering ability. Add more air and you will be amazed.

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post #3 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 1:48 am
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Re: more capacity?

You mention the 2 things that will avoid this problem; tire pressure has nothing to do with it. The stock suspension on the LT is undersprung for most riders 1-up with a small load. Getting a set of aftermarket shocks that are sprung adequately for you will help alleviate this problem. Weight loss works as well (take it from a guy who dropped 90 pounds and had to recalibrate his Ohlins).

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post #4 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 8:39 am
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Re: more capacity?

We'll bottom out coming in our driveway with one of those curved curbs (we're both just shy of 200 lbs). But I think I finally figured out what's scraping. The previous owner installed a skid plate. BUT it a large rounded one and sits behind the oil sump and in front of the center stand. It really doesn't appear to be protecting anything other than the center stand. It also looks to be designed for a bike with the electric center stand. I guess I'll put some masking tape where I think it's scraping to confirm it.

Now I did hear something a few weeks ago in some of the curves when we went up on the Dragon but I think I know why that happened.

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post #5 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 8:52 am
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Re: more capacity?

Think twice about removing the skid plate. BMW started putting them on in 2000 and would upgrade the 99s for free because people would bottom out the center stand on speed bumps and some broke the transmission housing. It's there for a reason.
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post #6 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 9:10 am
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Re: more capacity?

Losing weight and adding aftermarket shocks are the permanent solutions,
however there is something that you can do "temporarily".

Since your bike is a 2002 the fluid in your shock has probably been squeezed out over time,
you might try adding some fluid,

its pretty simple, just take all the tension of before you do,
one thing you'll probably notice immediately is that it will go on the centerstand easier because it sits higher.


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post #7 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 9:17 am
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Re: more capacity?

NO I didn't want to remove the plate, just confirm where it's scraping. The wieight loss part is already underway. I've already done the top off of the shock fluid here and yes now that I think of it, it did go up on the centerstand easier. But my rear shock isn't even halfway cranked down right now, so next is to crank it down a bit more.

I think I had also seen that there are 2 different skid plates? Ones for bikes with the "Manly" centerstand and one for bikes with the electric centerstand?

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #8 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 9:32 am
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
I think I had also seen that there are 2 different skid plates? Ones for bikes with the "Manly" centerstand
and one for bikes with the electric centerstand?
You are correct that there are two different skidplates 99-04 and 05 and later
because of the "more sophisticated" centerstand.

However if you think it is more Manly to heave the big girl up on the stand rather than push the button,
just think of "what a stud" you could be with a kickstart only motorcycle!
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post #9 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 9:51 am
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
You are correct that there are two different skidplates 99-04 and 05 and later
because of the "more sophisticated" centerstand.

However if you think it is more Manly to heave the big girl up on the stand rather than push the button,
just think of "what a stud" you could be with a kickstart only motorcycle!
I had to joke about the "manly" centerstand. But yes, my first 2 bikes had kickstarters. The second one had both electric and kickstart!

Hans, I have the skid plate in the first image with the less parts. So I'm assuming I have the right one for an '02.

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #10 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 10:50 am
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
Hans, I have the skid plate in the first image with the less parts. So I'm assuming I have the right one for an '02.
Sounds like you've got the right one,
I still limp once in a while in remembrance of a kickstart only Harley,
I was "such a stud" in the early 70's that I pulled all the electric start gear of my 66FLH,
that included swapping out the transmission case and main shaft in order to run the earlier "tin" primary,
cause "a real man" didn't need electric start.

You might say: I've mellowed with age.


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post #11 of 30 Old Apr 26th, 2009, 11:00 am Thread Starter
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
I had to joke about the "manly" centerstand. But yes, my first 2 bikes had kickstarters. The second one had both electric and kickstart!

Hans, I have the skid plate in the first image with the less parts. So I'm assuming I have the right one for an '02.
I always make a point of not trying to out-manly anyone who has to carry a gun for a living. And I am not so sure that the centerstand debate should define one's manliness, anyway. Anything that has 50-50 odds of either pulling your back or dropping the big bike should be outlawed. I don't dance with snakes either. Just the Dragon!

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post #12 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 3:15 pm
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Question Re: more capacity?

How involved/difficult is it to check and add fluid to the rear shocks ?
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post #13 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 3:32 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigH501
How involved/difficult is it to check and add fluid to the rear shocks ?
You are NOT adding fluid to the "shocks" - and there is only ONE rear shock on an LT.

You are adding fluid to the pre-load adjuster and ANY hydraulic fluid (like hydraulic jack oil you can buy at a hardware store) will be just fine.

http://seatrider.org/techntips/rear%...%20preload.htm

You may want to spend some time perusing the Technical section above - there is lots of good stuff there...


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post #14 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 3:33 pm
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Re: more capacity?

I found it here..

Shock fluid thingy tech

Just did mine about a month ago, it bought some, albeit very little height..

Time for some new ones, how and where can some decently priced aftermaerket shocks or do i need to start a new thread//?

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post #15 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 3:34 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Missed it by a minute. WOw Ron, your Fasssssst!

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post #16 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 3:39 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBeachLT
My wife and I rode two up yesterday, and bottomed out the frame around a corner (not a twisty). Now to explain: we are each 250 lbs+. The spring was turned all the way to high, and I was 36 in the front and 44 in the rear. We were not carrying anything else and the speed was under 20mph. What can we do to prevent the bike from bottoming out again, other than the obvious (lose weight, Ohlins shock) ? We like riding together, but not if it destroys the bike! And we can't get her a bike yet.
Hyper Pro springs and adding oil to the rear pre-load adjuster will help. Depending on your mileage you probably should consider after market shocks since it is a 2002.

Almost all of the bitching on this site about the shocks has to do with the weak tit springs the factory installs. If you don't increase the diameter of the spring coils no high tech shock - for any amount of money - is going to help.


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post #17 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 5:23 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBeachLT
My wife and I rode two up yesterday, and bottomed out the frame around a corner (not a twisty). Now to explain: we are each 250 lbs+. The spring was turned all the way to high, and I was 36 in the front and 44 in the rear. We were not carrying anything else and the speed was under 20mph. What can we do to prevent the bike from bottoming out again, other than the obvious (lose weight, Ohlins shock) ? We like riding together, but not if it destroys the bike! And we can't get her a bike yet.
Given that the gross weight of an LT is about 1320 lbs and the empty weight about 760, you have only 560 lbs of capacity to start with. Add in 6+ gallons of fuel and you are down to about 520. Add oil, coolant, etc. and you probably have only about 500 lbs of payload. If you and your wife weigh more than this (and it sounds from the + that you do), then you are overloading the bike before you add any luggage or other equipment. This is probably not a good idea for either handling or longer term reliability.

You should definitely consider adding some additional tire pressure with 42/48 being recommended by many and what I've used with good results. You also probably need after market suspension components as I can easily drag my centerstand on my 07 LT and my wife and I weigh less than 400 lbs combined.

So, I would say that your idea about losing weight is definitely the "win-win" solution!

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post #18 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 6:37 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haughty
Time for some new ones, how and where can i get some decently priced aftermarket shocks
You can't. There is nothing decent about the price of any of them. Just give them your custom specs, tighten your rectal sphincter, lay down the credit card, and soon it will all be over.(you might even schedule your colonoscopy that week for the full effect) After about 40 miles with your new suspension you'll wish you'd done it months or even years earlier! In addition to the extra payload you'll find the bike handling characteristics monumentally improved.

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post #19 of 30 Old Apr 27th, 2009, 6:47 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho
tighten your rectal sphincter, lay down the credit card, and soon it will all be over.(you might even schedule your colonoscopy that week for the full effect) After about 40 miles with your new suspension you'll wish you'd done it months or even years earlier! .

DOne which one, _______or the tighten the sphincter?

Oh its the same effect as you said
LMAOooo

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post #20 of 30 Old Apr 28th, 2009, 10:34 pm
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Re: more capacity?

You can go for 42 front and 50 rear for your configuration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBeachLT
My wife and I rode two up yesterday, and bottomed out the frame around a corner (not a twisty). Now to explain: we are each 250 lbs+. The spring was turned all the way to high, and I was 36 in the front and 44 in the rear. We were not carrying anything else and the speed was under 20mph. What can we do to prevent the bike from bottoming out again, other than the obvious (lose weight, Ohlins shock) ? We like riding together, but not if it destroys the bike! And we can't get her a bike yet.

Matt Kas

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post #21 of 30 Old Apr 30th, 2009, 10:41 am
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Re: more capacity?

Your stock suspension is inadequate. The shocks wear out quickly and stock springs sag out (That isn't new to BMW). You aren't scraping the frame buy you are grinding the stand or the skid plate.

The solution is not just new shocks but also new springs specified for your load. I had similar problems and ordered new shocks and stiffer springs from Ohlins which cured all the issues including getting the bike up on the centerstand.

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post #22 of 30 Old May 1st, 2009, 9:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: more capacity?

So my Dealer says that it would be $1100 to install the rear Ohlins, and that this is the only solution short of my wife and I going on Starvation diets. Is this really the only choice, and should I just bite the bullet and fork over a small fortune just so I can ride with my wife? I'm interested to see if the response is anything other than "we already told you to buy the damn shock!"

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post #23 of 30 Old May 2nd, 2009, 4:34 am
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Re: more capacity?

Ben, I'm sorry to say this, but shocks with heavier springs is going to be you ONLY option. Now that doesn't mean to say you need to buy Ohlins, Wilburs, Works, or even HyperPro to get them, but it does mean you'll have to find someone that will rework your shocks to take the weight. In the long run, I think you'll be happier with one of the after market sets.

I switch between my originals and Ohlins whenever I have to have the Ohlins rebuilt, and there is a marked difference in the how the bike handles and how it sits loaded. I'm always glad to get the Ohlins back on, especially 2 up.

What I have given is what you've asked for, an opinion.

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post #24 of 30 Old May 5th, 2009, 6:11 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Ben,

I have a lift table in the garage. If you can wait until the winter, we can load your LT and take a crack and installing the new shocks our selves. From reading the threads and looking at the install directions, it doesn't look that difficult.

I am thinking about new shocks/springs also.

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post #25 of 30 Old May 5th, 2009, 7:03 pm
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBeachLT
So my Dealer says that it would be $1100 to install the rear Ohlins, and that this is the only solution short of my wife and I going on Starvation diets. Is this really the only choice, and should I just bite the bullet and fork over a small fortune just so I can ride with my wife? I'm interested to see if the response is anything other than "we already told you to buy the damn shock!"
I think you're about to find out that most BMW dealers don't have a fraction of the knowledge that many of the members on this forum have regarding the LT. They will NOT give you decent advice since most of the time they don't have a CLUE what they are talking about. They go "by the book".

You've already been given the absolute best advice by myself and Steve R: Get heavier springs or upgrade the shocks.

For MANY riders with heavier weight issues ( I weigh 220, the missus 130, I pack heavy and tow a 350 lb trailer) the Hyperpro springs for front and rear at $239.00 was an excellent solution. I don't scrape anymore and even my solo high speed handling is dramatically improved, no more wallowing. This set up is not as good as the Ohlins - but its probably 80% there.

http://www.hyperprousa.com/catalog.p...type=COMBI-KIT

If you do this you'll ALSO need to make sure your rear pre-load adjuster is topped off - which takes all of 10 minutes to do. This will give you maximum clearance.

Either that or you can spend the big bucks on the Ohlins... your choice!
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post #26 of 30 Old May 6th, 2009, 11:16 am
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Re: more capacity?

I'm saving my pennies for the Shock upgrade but based on what Steve said, should i do both the combi kit for the old BMW shocks and the aftermarket so that I have a ride while the shocks are periodically rebuilt? Which aftermarkets can be rebuilt and who does that? I remember last year or the year before there was a group buy for Wilbers. Any chance of another similar group buy?

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post #27 of 30 Old May 6th, 2009, 3:13 pm
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Re: more capacity?

+1 on that Ron, I used your advice & over the winter did the upgrade to HyperPro, both front & rear. What a difference it makes solo and as you say no wallowing. Took the SO for her first ride this year & only had 1/4 preload & it was great.
Money well spent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I think you're about to find out that most BMW dealers don't have a fraction of the knowledge that many of the members on this forum have regarding the LT. They will NOT give you decent advice since most of the time they don't have a CLUE what they are talking about. They go "by the book".

You've already been given the absolute best advice by myself and Steve R: Get heavier springs or upgrade the shocks.

For MANY riders with heavier weight issues ( I weigh 220, the missus 130, I pack heavy and tow a 350 lb trailer) the Hyperpro springs for front and rear at $239.00 was an excellent solution. I don't scrape anymore and even my solo high speed handling is dramatically improved, no more wallowing. This set up is not as good as the Ohlins - but its probably 80% there.

http://www.hyperprousa.com/catalog.p...type=COMBI-KIT

If you do this you'll ALSO need to make sure your rear pre-load adjuster is topped off - which takes all of 10 minutes to do. This will give you maximum clearance.

Either that or you can spend the big bucks on the Ohlins... your choice!

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post #28 of 30 Old May 6th, 2009, 4:46 pm
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Re: more capacity?

//DISCLAIMER// I am NOT in any way associated, affiliated, nor do I, nor will I receive any compensation, credit, discount nor remuneration from the following endorsement. //END OF DISCLAIMER//

I have gone through the same exact problems as you are experiencing. I myself once weighed in at 285 but after the dreaded Diabetes diagnosis lost 30 pounds so far and the doctor says I have only another 70 to go. I asked for a second opinion and he told me I was ugly as well...so I have that going for me.

Wife is not as skinny as she was when we were married 29 years ago, so the moral of the story is that the stock shocks on the 00 LT were done in. I did take the rear shock to GMD Computrac in Jasper, GA and had Kent do a complete rebuild, revalve and respring of the rear shock. In just a day or two, he had the shock rebuilt to my specifications and for only around $350. The shock retains the remote spring preload and works GREAT and for only a fraction of the cost of a Wilburs or Ohlins.

The front shock, sadly, is not rebuildable so I had to go with an aftermarket shock. Kent does sell Ohlins and Penske shocks and is competitive. I was fortunate to find an Ohlins on eBay for $350 so that helped out immensely.

I am not saying that Ohlins, Wilburs, or any other aftermarket shock are not good; in fact they are great! But since my LT is my secondary bike, and since I could have the rear shock rebuilt for 50% of the cost with equal results I decided it was the best way for me.

Whatever you decide, I think you'll really benefit from an updated suspension both front and rear. The bike will thank you and your SO will thank you.

Good luck and happy riding
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post #29 of 30 Old May 6th, 2009, 6:55 pm
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Location: Rushville, OH, USA
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho
... After about 40 miles with your new suspension you'll wish you'd done it months or even years earlier! In addition to the extra payload you'll find the bike handling characteristics monumentally improved.
+1 on that, except it only took about 5 miles before I started laughing out loud after picking up the LT with the new Ohlins - what a great ride improvement!

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #30 of 30 Old May 8th, 2009, 5:09 am Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA
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Re: more capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennM86
Ben,

I have a lift table in the garage. If you can wait until the winter, we can load your LT and take a crack and installing the new shocks our selves. From reading the threads and looking at the install directions, it doesn't look that difficult.

I am thinking about new shocks/springs also.
ordered the ohlins yesterday from Adventure-decided that if I was goiing to get them to do anything, it would be messing with suspension and engine compnents. I am paying about $150 more to order through them, and I let Rick know that-he logically replied that profit is neccessary to stay in business...tough to argue with, but I am still cheap. At least now I can take my wife to the mountains and corner over 5 mph! Thanks for the offer to help nonetheless-I did not read the rest of the thread until after I ordered-getting the heavy duty setup. Don't know if I willl be able to ride this weekend-will keep in touch!

Ben Cohen
VA Tags BMW LT
2002 K1200LT in black and Chrome
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