Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Maryville, TN, US
Some random musings on the LT
Having just completed a wonderful trip to New England this past week, I thought I'd give a few comments on our (the wife and I) perception of a ten year old LT with 90,000 miles on it after spending 2908 miles on it in eight days.
First, we didn't have any destination; we just travelled to where the roads looked good. We stayed on as many state and county roads as possible and avoided four lane and interstate as much as possible. We did do the New Jersey Turnpike and interstate to get us around the Newark/New York mess. We pulled our 1991 Bushtec trailer and by the time we returned had it pretty well loaded. We left with two suitcases for our overnight stays and all our rain gear/boots as well as our TourMaster and Widder heated clothing and all the liners for our Olympia suits. Also we had a spare wheel and tire for the trailer just in case.
The LT did better than expected with the trailer. This was the first time I pulled the trailer any distance or for more than a day. We bought the trailer from another member of this forum but never had a chance to use it. I will most likely never take another long trip without it! It is the best purchase I ever made for travelling long distance with the LT. In the past, we would ship supplies/clothes to a point down line and swap the junk out in the panniers and ship the spent goodies back home. With the trailer, none of that was necessary. The only real evidence that the Bushtec was back there was during high speed interstate travel when the temperature gauge would read about one needle width higher than normal. At speeds of 60 and below, there were no indications that the LT was working harder. Fuel mileage was between 42 and 48 during the whole trip.
The LT gave good weather protection from the elements from 90+ degree heat to 48 degree cold. The heat was harder to deal with though and did make us tire easy. As the temps dipped lower, the heated seats and handlebars along with the closing the wings helped us stay comfortable. We never did put on our heated gear, but we did don the Olympia liners a couple of cool mornings.
After having the rider's seat reworked twice and now with even a gel pad built into the seat and using an Airhawk seat pad, the rider's seat is still a torture device for my 270 lbs body. Twice, I stopped the local constabulary and confessed to being Joseph Mengele and to kidnapping the Lindburg baby. I was ready to confess to anything just to get off the bike after 80-100 miles. The wife was comfortable for hours at a time and had no complaint at all about her pillion.
The BC-3 intercom works much better for us than the Autocom on the RT. The only thing we don't like is that the music is cut completely off when one of us breaks squelch with the intercom. The 50% mute of the Autocom is the only area where it surpasses the BC-3. Again, only my opinion!
Even loaded two up and pulling the trailer, the LT is very smooth and powerful enough for our demands on it. At speeds of 60 or greater, 5th gear is sufficient for most all work. If passing was done with plenty of room, 5th gear was fine. If the speed was slower than 60 and distance was a factor, a drop to 4th or 3rd was usually a good choice. Only on some of the slower and steeper roads did we have to drop down a gear to maintain our speed. Emil climbed Mt. Washington easily in second gear and descent was made in 2nd with an occasional foray into 1st for added engine braking. They of course made us leave the trailer at the bottom of the mountain.
New set of ME-880s put on about 4,000 miles ago and the front is wearing normally. The rear tire on this trip wore very quickly and and is cupping bad. I've run between 46-50 lbs of pressure in it, but I'm not sure if it's due to the trailer or what, but the rear tire did not hold up well at all. The dealer will look at it for me this week prior to my trip to Miami next week.
I did put in one quart of Mobil 1 during the nearly 3,000 mile trip. It was very slightly below the half way mark on the sight glass at the beginning of the trip and fell to the bottom of the sight glass about four days into the trip. I went ahead and added the whole quart and the oil is still at the top of the sight glass now. So oil consumption was normal, in my opinion, for a trip on a bike with this age/mileage.
The LT is a HEAVY bike when loaded down for travelling. Even with the goods loaded in the trailer it is still top heavy. But, it is a remarkable machine even after 10 years and 90,000 miles. Riding it up and down some scenic byways; sometimes in 3rd and 4th gear for hours at a time and then hitting an interstate or 4 lane highway and running 70 or more, the LT handled it all with grace and sophistication. The wife and I were amazed at the number of people we passed who would gaze at our rig and we could read their lips saying "BMW?? Wow" Several folks stopped and talked to us during lunch or fuel stops and queried us about our ride. When they found it was a 10 year old bike or that it had 90,000 miles they were all amazed.
After tipping over during a stop on a gravel driveway, the wife has found how heavy the LT really is. She has authorized a test drive of the GTL when they ever get here. I will tell you, I am somewhat giddy about the prospects of getting a GTL but it will also be a bittersweet trade. By the time the new bikes get here, Emil will have over 100,000 miles on him and I will be sad to see him go. I'll be trading him and the 13GT I just bought in June for the new GTL. I will sorrier to see the LT go than the GT.
"Loud lives save pipes"
00 K1200LT (Emil) 94,840 trouble free miles. Gone, but not forgotten
02 R1150RT (Artie) 109,000 miles. Favorite bike. With me to the end.
10 K1300GT (The Phantom) 10,110 miles. Like flying a T-38 on 2 wheels. Gone.
12 K1600GTL (Johnny 5) 3,500. A great compromise between the LT and GT
A gaggle of Japanese bikes, then I woke up.