Some random musings on the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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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.

Greg

"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.
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post #2 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 5:44 pm
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

You say you had the front seat reworked twice now by reworked are you saying a custom seat or just more stuffing added to the OEM seat?

I'm your size in weight and the stock seat was to the point that I gave some heavy thought to selling the bike because the pain was more then I could bear for longer then 20-45 min's.

My Lady talked me into spending the money for a custom seat the difference is night and day between the two. Now I've done 8 hour's without stopping other then for fuel and even then not getting off the bike. The seat has been the best upgrade I've made to the bike bar none thinking next round will be new shocks.

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.

09 K1200 LT
Project LT:
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post #3 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 5:54 pm
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

If the new GTL doesn't work out for you, strongly consider a new seat and shocks. What a world of difference! I'm not quite your size (yet), but I liked the idea of having a seat built for ME, and the wife. Russell did a great job, as I'm sure others would too. Can not emphasize enough what a difference it makes.
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post #4 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 8:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kra961
You say you had the front seat reworked twice now by reworked are you saying a custom seat or just more stuffing added to the OEM seat?

I'm your size in weight and the stock seat was to the point that I gave some heavy thought to selling the bike because the pain was more then I could bear for longer then 20-45 min's.

My Lady talked me into spending the money for a custom seat the difference is night and day between the two. Now I've done 8 hour's without stopping other then for fuel and even then not getting off the bike. The seat has been the best upgrade I've made to the bike bar none thinking next round will be new shocks.
I've had the seat reworked by a place in Cleveland and that was a complete waste of money. I don't remember the name of the joint, but they rebuilt the seat with foam that wouldn't even make good carpet padding. The last place was SportDrive in Vonore, TN. They did increase the foam density in the stock seat and also put in a gel pad. It did increase the TBAP (Time Before Agonizing Pain) but it still isn't what a great bike should be. If I don't pull the trigger on a GTL I'll be keeping the LT and a new seat will be the first upgrade. I did replace the shocks and don't have any issues there.

BTW, what seat did you go with? I like the idea of being able to cover a tank full of fuel without stopping two or three times.

Greg

"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.
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post #5 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 9:08 pm
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

The only way a guy your size (and mine) is going to be comfortable is with a Russel,
I've owned three on previous bikes and loved them,
unfortunately I listened to the opinions of others and bought a RM seat,
same money but definitely a substandard product.

Also as a long time Bushtec owner,
I would like to suggest that you leave that spare trailer wheel at home
and replace it with a spare inner tube.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #6 of 12 Old Sep 26th, 2010, 9:12 pm
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

After spending a bit under a year contemplating and researching reviews and opinions I went with a Russell Day-long I'm sure the other custom seat makers are equally as good.
I am very happy with the final product there are a few changes that I'm going to have him make next year when I add a backrest to it nothing major just small changes that I think will make it a bit better. There are pictures in my sig if you're interested

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.

09 K1200 LT
Project LT:
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post #7 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 3:01 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

Kevin, I too am thinking that the Russel is the way to go. How do you feel about the way it changes the appearance of the bike? It looks so much wider and bulkier (and more comfortable) than the stock seat. To my eyes it looks like it belongs on a Wing instead of an LT. But it also looks like it absolutely oozes comfort. Kind of like a favorite La Z Boy recliner perched on two wheels.

What covering material did you opt for? Are you pleased with your covering choice or do you wish you had chosen something else?

Loren

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kra961
After spending a bit under a year contemplating and researching reviews and opinions I went with a Russell Day-long I'm sure the other custom seat makers are equally as good.
I am very happy with the final product there are a few changes that I'm going to have him make next year when I add a backrest to it nothing major just small changes that I think will make it a bit better. There are pictures in my sig if you're interested

WAK1200LT
Loren

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post #8 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 7:35 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

Morning Loren
The Seat is quite a bit larger than the Stock Seat I think the reason is the Heavy duty Suspension Iím 265 @ 38x32 with absolutely no ass itís all bone. It does change the appearance which was one of the reason that I choose Russell I liked the look of it you canít help but too see it just scream comfort.

I went with the Vinyl with a Leather insert Black with Light Grey to match the two tone on the bike also to keep the seat cool in the summer.
Some musings on the seat:

Stock seat is absolute garbage lasts 20 mins before I needed to get of the bike (Hip pain leg cramps back pain) Some people donít have a problem with it Iím not one of them.

Russell Seat 8+ hourís in the saddle no problem and when you get off you feel good itís better than most high end car seatís.

Suspension with stock seat set to 100%
Suspension With Russell set to 25%
The difference owning to the height of the seat. If you have a smaller inseam youíll need to talk to them about making a low profile seat rather than the standard ***I have no idea what those are like I have the heavy duty suspension built into mine

Stock seat construction was ok nothing to complain about.
Russell seat construction is extremely well made seams are hidden very solid at stich lines looks like it will last a long time and for the cost I would expect no less.

Stock seat you sat on it only to have the foam collapse after a short period of time.
Russell you sit on it and in it the seat really does cradle you almost to a fault .

Stock seat amazingly enough you feel every shock from the road.
Russell you feel very little shock.

Heaters work just as well in the Russell as the OEM seat

The only thing I would want to change on the seat is the wing tips which are a bit pronounced doesnít cause a problem while riding but it does make it a little bit uncomfortable while stopped Iím going to find out next spring if they can be cut down just a tad though I suspect by then the seat will be fully broken in and it wonít be an issue time will tell.

Took 4 weeks for mine to get done so plan a long lead time.

Also just a thought on the company as a whole: These guy build seatís they are IMO very solid craftsmen itís what they doÖ.What they donít do is communicate with their clients; you send them you seat panís (Pillion back rest is an extra 100.00) and they build your seatís just donít expect much in the way of communication as to the status of the job. Response to queryís are far and few in-between. Donít let that knock you they build a very solid product. Iím just saying.

Overall the seat made the difference between keeping the bike and getting rid of it for me the stock seat was that bad

Oh and my lady while she didn't have any complaints about the stock pillion seat she loves the new one.

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.

09 K1200 LT
Project LT:
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post #9 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 8:15 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

I also thought of the looks when I put the Russel on my LT, but think of this. No one sees it when your riding, and isn't that what matters?

That said I am in a group buy on the Russel for my FJR. If you want to talk about something looking odd that is it. Two big asses buckets on what is a pretty sleek seat. I am a bit concerned on not only the look of it but the ability to move around on the seat in turn transitions. Not talking about knee dragging but even quarter ass cheek moves are work in a Russel Bucket Seat.

The Russel on the LT was the best seat my ass has ever hit on a motorcycle. However it did sit me higher so windshield height changed a bit. I did add the heavy duty suspension in it and never new it was there but is sure was a nice ride. I was about 220 then.

I go all leather but I don't mind polishing and treating leather. A better combo is vinyl sides leather tops. The vinyl sides will take flexing better and wont develop "stress" cracks like leather does. I just keep them polished and I like the look of well worn leather and the character it takes on.

Take the pictures seriously, have some buddy's steady the bike and make sure you get into your normal ridding posture. No posing!

I think of the Russel as function over form to the ninth degree.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wa1200lt
Kevin, I too am thinking that the Russel is the way to go. How do you feel about the way it changes the appearance of the bike? It looks so much wider and bulkier (and more comfortable) than the stock seat. To my eyes it looks like it belongs on a Wing instead of an LT. But it also looks like it absolutely oozes comfort. Kind of like a favorite La Z Boy recliner perched on two wheels.

What covering material did you opt for? Are you pleased with your covering choice or do you wish you had chosen something else?

Loren

Lee
17.5 R1200 GSW Black Low
15 R1200 RTLC San Marino Blue Metallic (Sold)
10 Liquid Silver FJR1300 (Sold)
O7 Biarritz Blue Metallic LT (Totaled 2010)
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post #10 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 8:28 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

LOL polished the leather once and that's the last time I'll do that!! couldn't keep my rear from sliding all over the damn place made peg dragging a bit tricky to say the least.

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.

09 K1200 LT
Project LT:
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post #11 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 10:11 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

I have the Russell, and really like the look on this bike. I want to put another seat on the FZ1, but for that bike, Russell would look way too big, so won't go that route. I did all vinyl and am happy with it.
Funny about slick seats: I can't get mine slick enough. One reason, and something about the Russell, is that they designed the seat to be wide in back, for comfort, then narrow up front for stopping. In town, it takes a little discipline to remember to slide forward to get your feet down flat, then slide back for riding. Works very well.
And Kra is correct about their communications: they suck at it. Good thing they make a good product! I'd buy again in a heartbeat.
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post #12 of 12 Old Sep 27th, 2010, 11:16 am
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Re: Some random musings on the LT

Thanks all for the responses re: the Russel seat. I'm very glad I asked the specific questions I've been curious about. The answers were all spot on!

Thanks again,

Loren

WAK1200LT
Loren

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