K1200LT 2up Manners - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 3:51 pm Thread Starter
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K1200LT 2up Manners

LT Owners,
I'm currently riding an HD Ultra Classic. It's great bike for puttin through the hills and seeing the sites( as long as the road surface is good). If the asphalt is rough, the crappy suspension really shows itself. You definitely need to stay on top of it in the twisties if you are carrying any speed, especially if the road is rough.
It is also a handful in a crosswind mainly because the fairing is handlebar mounted.
The CG is low enough that low speed maneuvers (even when 2 up) are acceptable.

I'm considering making the change to an LT. I've always liked the looks of the LT and IMO is the only BMW with a top bag that looks like it belongs on the bike.
I assume that the suspension, brakes and handling are light years ahead of the HD but will it meet my riding style. I typically don't ride very fast and enjoy checking out the scenery (as much as I dare).
I've never ridden an LT but I've been told that they are a great ridding bike but they can be a handful at low speeds.
I nearly always ride two up with the luggage full.
For what it's worth I'm 5'11", 240 lbs.

So Here are my questions,
1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best.
2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ?
How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded.
3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? Are the highway pegs comfortable? I sat on a use bike at a dealership that had them and they seemed a bit too far apart.
4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions?
5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range?

If anyone takes the time to respond to this, I thank you in advance and appreciate any constuctive input you may have.

Thanks again
Jim
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post #2 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

I guess I will give a go. I am new to the LT although not new to motorcycles. I ride 50/50 2 up on a 2000 LT I have had for 8 months now. As you pointed out slow speed maneuvers are different on the LT because of the higher CG. It takes some practice both 1 up and 2 up. Having said that it is manageable IMHO. All of the following answers are my opinion. I am sure any mistakes I make will be corrected by folks with more time on their LTs.

1. 2 up at cruising speed it's great. I adjust speed to the road conditions but have not had any problems on rough roads. My suspension doesn't bottom out on rough asphalt and I am a little taller and heavier than you. I hate when there is gravel on asphalt but haven't had any issues you wouldn't have on other big bikes.
2. I ride a lot of hills fully loaded and 2 up. The LT is great in these situations. Plenty of gears to use. Get in the right gear and there is very little clutch work. It is still strange to me to run the LT in the higher RPM range (high for me, anyway, above 5000) but the bike seems to love it.
3. I prefer the seating position to other bikes. The GW and especially the HD tourers are uncomfortable for long rides to me becuase I tend to lean back more. I usually stop every 1.5 -2 hours anyway, but I don't have any issues that can't be attributed to my aging knees and abused body. I don't have any extra pegs on mine but the standard pegs are fine for me.
4. My wife loves the bike. She especially loves the heated seats. We have armrests on our LT and she is very comfortable. She doesn't need to stop as often as I do to stretch her knees.
5. Fuels mileage varies according to terrain and load but I run between 42mpg loaded 2 up and 48mpg 1 up loaded.

My wife and I love the LT. It is great for cruising in the hills and hauling butt on the slab. It was the right choice for us.

Good luck with what ever you end up with.

2007 R1200R

2000 K1200LT

1978 R100S (long gone, but not forgotten)
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post #3 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 4:44 pm
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Talking Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

A lot of my miles are back and forth to work. However, my SO loves the LT better then any other bike we have ever had. We have done a couple long trips with SO and baggage. CCR 06 to Atlanta, Over loaded like you would not believe. Honey, can you find room for this package for the grandkids????? The bike was great. The tough part was reloading the bike each morning till gifts and stuff was given to kids. then at CCR I purchased some extra storage for the things we brought home. You can get a lot of stuff on this bike.

In 07 I did a four corner trip 12K miles in 28 days. Wife flew out to Portland (other kids, who moved from TN) and rode back with me to central new york. Used original seats and did some 800-900 + days with no problems. These bikes are Beautiful, 1 up, 2 up, loaded or not you will like this like no other bike ride

Toby in New York
1983 R80RT Red (sold)
'03 R1200CLC (T-boned and replaced with)
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post #4 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 4:48 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget185

So Here are my questions,
1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best.
2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ?
How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded.
3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? Are the highway pegs comfortable? I sat on a use bike at a dealership that had them and they seemed a bit too far apart.
4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions?
5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range?

If anyone takes the time to respond to this, I thank you in advance and appreciate any constuctive input you may have.

Thanks again
Jim
Hi Jim,
I have ridden over 100,000 miles on two LT's. The LT is a very good touring bike for two with good storage, and other comforts. But unlike your HD, the motor is happier at high RPM. It's a high performance engine with dual overhead cams, solid lifters and high compression. You may like low speed sight seeing now, but once you get used to the handling, your riding style will change dramatically. At least that is what happened to me. At first I would wait for my cruiser buds to catch up, but soon became impatient. They didn't like me to lead rides because I set the pace too fast! So my wife and I were soon riding alone, or with the other LT riders in our area.

The bike is heavy, no doubt, and a handful in the parking lot. You will need to practice riding it at low speed, and you may drop it a time or two in the process. That's OK, as almost all of us have done it! See my video at the bottom of my sig for my video demo of the pick up. Once you get the big girl going down the road, you will think you are riding on a cloud. Fully loaded and two up, and running along at 70, you will need to downshift to blast by a line of slower riders, but most times you can just crack the throttle open and go. Low speed cruising without much shifting is easy; just keep the RPM up, like over 4500, where you might feel a buzz, and you will have all the torque you need. As I said, it likes high RPM, so it's all good.

If it has the J-Pegs that swing out from the tip over guards, you may not like the feel. I had Mick-o-pegs on mine that I like much better. Look through the accessories pages on this forum for more info. As for the back seat, this is the only bike that my wife could stand before she had her back surgery (radical scoliosis correction). She could go for hours on end, tank to tank, with no complaints. She even took naps on some long rides! I usually get around 40 mpg here in the Fort Worth area. In the mountains of CO, I got 50.

Please fill in your profile info and let us know where you are from. If there in an LT owner in your area I'm sure he would be glad to give you more info than you can stand!

Blessings!
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post #5 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 6:04 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget185
LT Owners,

So Here are my questions,
1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best.
2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ?
How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded.
3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? Are the highway pegs comfortable? I sat on a use bike at a dealership that had them and they seemed a bit too far apart.
4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions?
5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range?
1. I ride two-up fairly often and the LT handles well two-up and loaded. My only complaint is that even with the rear preload set at its max position, it is still too easy to scrape the centerstand, particularly in right hand turns. I don't have this problem solo as the LT will take a LOT of lean solo before the pegs touch down.

2. No problem here. The low-end torque isn't outstanding, but the rev range is so wide compared to your Harley, that a lot of shifting isn't required. You can go up to 60 MPH in first gear and from 20 to probably 80 in second, so one gear covers a lot of speed range. Starting on grades can be tricky as the LT is geared too high in first gear, in my opinion. However, it will go if you rev it to 3,000 or so, but it can heat up the clutch a little. A lower first gear would be nice, but it isn't an issue very often.

3. I find the pegs work pretty well for long rides as they are. I don't have highway pegs yet and haven't found a huge need for them.

4. The LT seats are a weak spot in my opinion and my wife's also. We get about 1.5 hours before we need a break. I did buy a set of bead riders last fall, but haven't had a long enough trip yet this year to really test them. My only complaint about the bead riders thus far is that in the rain the black paint/dye came off on my Khaki color pants! I hear they are now using ceramic rather than wood beads so that has to be a lot better in this regard. I'm not happy with this color transfer to my pants.

5. I have averaged 48.6 MPG for the 11,000 miles I have owned my 2007. I run 45 - 48 riding solo an somewhat briskly. With my wife aboard and keeping the speed at 60 MPH or less, we routinely achieve 48-53 MPG. Range is pretty close to 300 miles on most tanks. I think we ran as high as 321 one time.

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 #6 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 6:42 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

So Here are my questions,
1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best.
Top heavy when fully loaded 2-up; if you have a short inseam and the suspension is set to compensate for the wife/SO, you will have to master the slow-to-a-stop technique to avoid a spill. Asphalt and top heavy - bad combo, but again, slow-to-stop-technique practice will cure that issue.

2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ?
As others said, wide range of mph and gear selection. I choose 3rd gear for 35mph signs, 4th gear for 45mph signs, etc. Just my gouge that works for me. Brake, and/or down shift, enter the curve and roll on the throttle; you'll hit a straight away before you need to shift again; if not, redline around 8,600 rpm.

How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded.
The clutch is a dry clutch; work on the uphill starts without the wife/SO. I hold the rear brake, ease out the clutch til the engine "lugs", then take off. No problems. Note: rarely do I need more than 1500 rpm to start-off even with my wife. The LT does not have a wet clutch!

3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? Are the highway pegs comfortable? I sat on a use bike at a dealership that had them and they seemed a bit too far apart.
The riders seat can be adjust higher using the hinged "step. under the seat" The top box can be moved back about 2" to add room for the wife/SO. My wife prefers my seat to be down so she can see more than the back of my helmet.

4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions?
Seat is comfortable (has not ridden motorcycles much) but seems satisfied with the comfort of the seat.
5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range?
I calibrated my BC this weekend with a 700 mile trip to Arkansas; the GPS, odometer, and tripmeter gave me 3 different readings so the following figures are based on the GPS. Figure an average of 46-48 one-up at 65 mph; with a little-over-6 gallon capacity fuel cell, at 250 miles, I'm looking for gas. You get the most fuel in the tank on the side stand.

Avatar credit: Curtis Callaway, 2009
Rider of Stahlross
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post #7 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 7:01 pm
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Smile Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Jim,

I too, as many here came from the HD world.. I did the bagger thing 7 times, over many many miles, but after owning several goldwings and not an LT I finally took the leap and bought a 2005 and rode it 20,000 miles in alittle over a 18 months until I discovered gravel roads and adventure touring.

I missed my floorboards on the Ultra, but thats all.. The LT and the HD is the difference between a Lear jet and passenger prop plane ! Talk about power and a level of sophistication not seen on HD's. Harley is the "Less is more" concept". The LT fairing protection is unriveled in the touring class, bar none.

My passenger was much more comfy on the LT then either the Bagger or GW.
Gas milage on my LT was 48-52 MPG on Regular gas. Riding the LT underway is like being on a big comfy 'Sport" bike.. No kidding.. You can really hustle around corners on that bike and inhale freeway miles
without feeling beat up like I did for so many years on the Harleys.

Tho I loved looking at and polishing my chrome on the HD, it took alot less time cleaning up the LT. The ABS brakes, heated seats, grips and adjustable windshield spoiled me forever..Never looked back at the
chromed lawn mower The LT is top heavy-ish and getting underway is different than the HD. I had no problems and I weight alot less than you do managing it and never dropped it. My years of doing my own Maintenace gave me the insight to do my own on the LT and it is much simpler pulling a rear wheel off a bike on the center stand that
has a single sided swingarm.. Minutes instead of hours and needing 3 hands on the Harley for lifting the wheel while trying to slip in ther axel and both spacers . My back would not stand for that now. The only other great thing is that HD has wayyy more dealerships than BMW but that might be a moot point depending on where you live.

There is no perfect bike and the LT has it's drawbacks but it has no equal in the touring class.

Good luck

47+ Yrs Daily Motorcycle Street riding for Therapy

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour

2007 Black Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom - Sold
2007 Red Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 - Sold
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3 BMW's, 8 HD baggers, 3 Goldwings & 860K + miles later
*Ridin steady since 1973

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post #8 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 7:17 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

I really can't add much to what these boys have already told you,
except that the LT will "sell itself" all you need to do is go ride one,

even after everything you've already been told
you'll probably still be surprised by how good this bike handles
(once you get above parking lot speed)

A lot of us came from the HD brand, you'll fit right in.

Just tell your buddies that Harley's are good "starter bikes" for BMW riders!


Hans
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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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post #9 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 10:20 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

HD's a...~~~~SNORT~~ starter bike? Sure to start quite a conversation at the bar....

IT has been the most fun. ALso the RT is a nifty little thriller as well as the GS.
I have sorta converted a few harley friends after letting them ride some of my harem.

Of course they do come around back after parking a block away...


Everyone above has their own opinion and as such some have had Issues as would be expected.

Maintainence is something best learned and shared-(save $$) tech sessions.

Heavy handling- *ride like a pro series video*

OK, IM done..

Don't be afraid to say what you feel, as those that matter DOnt mind and those that mind Dont matter.
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1980 YAMAHA XJ650 MAXIM (RIP)
1982 YAMAHA 750 VIRAGO (SHES GONE)
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post #10 of 16 Old May 25th, 2009, 10:42 pm
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Don't do it.... no matter what these guys tell you... do NOT test ride.. I repeat, do NOT TEST RIDE.... Amazing... I left the dealership following the salesman...

As we approached the first stopsign I managed to find the horn button.. difficult to do through my misty eyes.... and stabbed it for brief "honk"... Pulled next to the salesman and said.. "That is a dirty f....in' trick!"..

How does he respond?... he laughs and rides off!!!!

I had my MC's name.. "Misty"....

I had forgotten my 38 year commitment to the initials, "H" and "D" ....

I had a new lease on my MC life... and have met some fine, fine people... there are, of course, good people in other MC brands..... but I've been blessed ...
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post #11 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 12:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Hey, Thanks everyone for the quick response. I'm hearing you and I'm listening.
I understand that the LT is an excellent touring bike.
but, I see so many reports or posts from riders that have dropped their LTs in parking lots or during stops.
I realize that the LT can be dropped without causing too much damage but My concern is with the passenger. Have any of your passengers been injured when the beasts fall over?
I've dropped bikes before (when stopped) and almost always been able to step off when the bike is on the way down. Most of the time the worst damage is to your pride. It isn't that easy for the passenger to do that. I figure the odds are the passenger will go down with the ship. all the way down. At a minimum I will have a very Pi##ed off wife. I'd just as soon avoid that if possible. I can get in enough trouble without dropping her on the ground. She might even accuse me of doing it on purpose except that she'd know that I'd never purposely drop my scoot.
What are your thoughts?

Thanks again
Jim
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post #12 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 4:51 am
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Yep, I have dropped her maybe 6 times - 4 of them were with pillion. She wears leather and padding and knows how to roll - but the first time she didn't and broke her shoulder. Usually it is down to parking on a slippery surface and not having the bike straight when stopping (on gravel, oil or diesel). She still gets on and says it is the most comfortable seat she has been on.
1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best.
not too much fun unless you have the tire pressure right e.g. higher than the tire and BMW say is right
2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ?
not as good as an ST1100 (no changing gear asfter 15 mph), but better than many others
How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded.
no problem
3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? Are the highway pegs comfortable? I sat on a use bike at a dealership that had them and they seemed a bit too far apart.
all down to your size, but seat can be altered and pegs bought, so it is up to you to make the near perfect bike just right for you
4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions?
loves it
5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range?
200-250 miles 45mpg (uk)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget185
Hey, Thanks everyone for the quick response. I'm hearing you and I'm listening.
I understand that the LT is an excellent touring bike.
but, I see so many reports or posts from riders that have dropped their LTs in parking lots or during stops.
I realize that the LT can be dropped without causing too much damage but My concern is with the passenger. Have any of your passengers been injured when the beasts fall over?
I've dropped bikes before (when stopped) and almost always been able to step off when the bike is on the way down. Most of the time the worst damage is to your pride. It isn't that easy for the passenger to do that. I figure the odds are the passenger will go down with the ship. all the way down. At a minimum I will have a very Pi##ed off wife. I'd just as soon avoid that if possible. I can get in enough trouble without dropping her on the ground. She might even accuse me of doing it on purpose except that she'd know that I'd never purposely drop my scoot.
What are your thoughts?

Thanks again
Jim

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #13 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 5:49 am
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Jim,

My '05 LT has had one drop in 3 years. Me alone, turning from edge of concrete onto grass with bike in wrong gear; gassed it but no giddy up.

My buddy who had a '02 says the '05 and newer LT's are much more stable at low speeds due to changed geometry of the front forks. It's not as light and nimble as my '99 RT was but that could also be dropped at low speeds.

As others have said, always stop with the front wheel straight ahead, especially on gravel or loose asphalt. I like to stand up when I stop and take the weight off the seat, much easier to balance the bike without the old body trying to tip it off to one side or the other. My wife is very good about not leaning when stopping and waits for a solid foot bracing position before dismounting.

When you're underway it's the greatest 2-up bike. If you can tie it on, it'll handle the load. My friends tease about my "Light Truck".

Take care,


Bruce
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post #14 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 8:39 am
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

I had a major heart attack and really bad stroke 5 years ago and we ride a LT. I have dropped the damn thing i think more than any one i know and my so just steps off. She thinks it's funny, but she always gets right back on again. Chuck
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post #15 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 10:24 am
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

one thing I'll add that I didn't see but I'm around 47k and the stock rear spring is done and never was that great 2 up loaded in the frist place
I would recommend you spend the money on a good aftermarket rear shock like an olins <sp?> there are other to chose from. Get it set for your weight setup and you'll be alot happier. I would also get a front - they just ride alot bette than stock.
Bike handles like a dream 2 up if your rear end isn't sacked out.
Plenty of power - no clutch work ever needed.

TBob
09 R1200 GSA
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post #16 of 16 Old May 26th, 2009, 10:30 am
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Re: K1200LT 2up Manners

Welcome aboard!

The fact you're considering says to me you may be ready to make a switch. The LT (my 2nd) still stirs me like no other bike I've had/ have. It's not that it has a soul, but it seems alive and has spirit... hard to describe... I guess an example is everytime I go to the garage, I can't help but enjoy it (looking, inspecting, etc). Other bikes I've had, the novelty wears off, or I just don't feel like riding it every day (rain, snow, whatever, doesn't matter). I can't wait to get on the LT. And I don't feel the desire or need to replace this bike with anything else (I'd like to have other bikes, but this one has to stay).

1. What are they like when fully loaded, two up and the asphalt isn'tt the best. It's fine 2-up, on any asphalt and hard packed gravel/ dirt.

2. Does the motor (torque) and gear box (ratios) allow the bike to be ridden at a low speeds through the hills (without excessive clutch work) ? Low speeds are fine, but as has been said, you need to learn to ride this bike- high rpm's! Powerband is in the 4600-5600ish rpm range. It really took me a while to get my head around this and use it. Huge difference in handling and confidence, especially in the twisties. I usually never let rpm's drop below 3800 or so now, unless I'm putting down a highway in 5th, which is what 5th (overdrive) is really for. The bike will sing like a sport bike when you're riding it in range which may take some getting used to coming from an HD.

How about starting on steep grades when fully loaded. Gotta rev that clutch. This will put some wear on it, no doubt, but I've never stalled it. Depending on the grade, I still hate the start from a dead stop.

3. What do you think of the seating position for long rides? My wife and I have never had problems or complaints about the seat. Comfy. I'm 6'1", 180 and wife is 5'3" and under 135

Are the highway pegs comfortable? Don't know, they look uncomfortable. I've placed my feet on the tip wings on longer rides just to try it and I agree with you, it is way too wide for comfort.

4. What do your passengers say about their seats and riding positions? She has never complained.

5. What is the average gas mileage and cruising range? 42 mpg's, consistently over time. I usually top off near 200 or more. My riding style- I usually run slightly faster than traffic on highways (just feel it's safer... proactive), so on highways (which is 30 miles of my daily commute) I'm usually at, near, or slightly over 74-80. In town, I go with the flow. On country roads, I cannot follow any cages for too long (if there is room to pass) so I pass and jet ahead as soon as I'm safely able.

On dropping the bike. I dropped my first one (year 2000-2001) about 3 times, always slow speed or from dead stop. Wife was on once or twice. We both just stepped off and I'd pick it up. At the time, Ihad not riddeen for many years so it took me a while to get the confidence/ skills back to some degree. You may not have any problems in this area.

Dropped the one I have now once because of carelessness/ tiredness/ stupidity. We had just left a park we visited in upper VA and the wife says "I didn't get a picture of the sign." So, on a 2-lane country road that is on an uphill grade with the road sloping down to the right, I attempt to do a u-turn. Saw I wasn't gonna make it, so I stop and start to back her up... and before I could realize there was no road under my left foot (due to the slope and grade) she starts to go down... so I rev to get out of the fall... but all that did was pull the bike forward slightly and drop her on the left side. Pinned my wife's leg- I thought for sure it was crushed. Somehow I managed to lift it (even though it's nose was pointing down hill) off LaNett's leg and LaNett pulled out. Found that her leg didn't get crushed at all, it was simply trapped in the curve of the saddlebag under the muffler cover- the muffler cover snagged her boot. When I got the bike lifted (with help this time) I was amazed to find the only scratch is under the left tip-over wing. No chrome off the saddlebags or any other plastic got damaged- that is remarkable. EDIT: I should add, LaNett has never expressed fear to get back on.

So, with all that said, I suggest you not test ride one until you are ready to make the switch. Good luck!
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