Originally Posted by Stormrider51
I have a possible deal working to trade my '09 Harley Road King for an LT. I haven't actually ridden an LT yet but all the talk about it being top heavy worries me a little. Just how much of a beast is this thing at slow speeds? I can turn my Harley in tight circles by lightly riding the rear brake and feathering the clutch/throttle. Is there anyone with experience with both bikes who can lend some insight? Am I in for a surprise? I've been riding for 40 years and am not as young as I used to be.
Well, I know I am in a very small minority here, but I think the top heaviness is greatly exaggerated. I came to the LT from a Kawasaki Voyager XII. I don't find the LT any more unwieldly than the XII. I think the main issue is the seat height. The LT is probably 2-3" taller than my Voyager. For me, this is perfect, but if your inseam is less than about 32" I can see where the height could be a problem.
I have owned my 2007 for more than 3 years and 21,000 miles and have yet to drop it. The only times I have come close were in very extreme circumstances. Once, I was making a U-turn on a fairly narrow gravel road that had ditches about 6-8" deep on each side. My wife was on the back. My front wheel came within about 6" of the ditch just as I was completing the turn and the loose gravel collapsed and let the front wheel drop into the ditch. My off-roading experience kicked in and I whacked the throttle open and stabbed my left foot down hard. The back wheel spun and slid into the ditch also, my foot stab kept me upright and I powered out of the dtich back onto the road. I am still amazed it worked!
The second time was when I pulled off the main road into my daughter's driveway. I didn't realize that they had just put on about 6" of pea gravel! The front end plowed in and began to slide out. Again, I was riding with my wife on the back and I whacked open the throttle and did a hard foot stab. The bike powered through the 12 feet or so of loose gravel and up the driveway we went.
I find the LT to handle just fine at slow speeds. Just keep your eyes straight ahead and your feet on the pegs. I can ride right up to a stop light and not put my feet down until nearly completely stopped. Same when pulling away. As soon as you start to roll, get your feet on the pegs and look straight ahead.
Yes, you can turn with a little clutch slip and brake drag just as the motor cops do. Works fine.
Many say you shouldn't hit the front brake while turning at low speed. I agree, but not just because it is an LT. This is bad practice with any motorcycle, but worse with brakes as powerful as on the LT and, I will admit, just a little grabby with the power assist. However, I use the brakes (both front and rear together almost always) at low speeds and while turning. Never had a problem.
So, I say, ignore the hype about being top heavy and just ride it properly and don't psych yourself out!