Is an LT too big for me ? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Sep 6th, 2011, 7:45 pm Thread Starter
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Is an LT too big for me ?

Hi, been looking for a 2005 LT in the San Jose area for a while but now begin to wonder if it's too much of a bike for me.
Some background - passed the Safety class 1 year ago and bought a 650cc cruiser. In total have ridden around 500 miles in teh year since, dropped the bike twice at low speeds (the latest yesterday trying to negotiate a steeply uphill, right hand, hairpin on Mt Hamilton Road for any locals).

I have rarely ridden on the Freeway which limits where I ride since you need to get out of town somehow and that involves a freeway.

I realize I may well be a timid rider but I really want to get out for some long weekends etc with the wife as a passenger.

What do you think ?

B
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post #2 of 13 Old Sep 6th, 2011, 7:58 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Hi - have you looked at RT's a bit lower much easier to balance - the LT is a big top heavy bike - if you have only driven 500 miles in the last year I personally do not think you have enough riding experience - I have a V Star 650 that I have taken the sidecar off and riden solo, it's a totally different bike balanced without even thinking about it
my 2 cents worth others will have different opinions

Gary
2018 R1200RT
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
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post #3 of 13 Old Sep 6th, 2011, 8:01 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin
Hi, been looking for a 2005 LT in the San Jose area for a while but now begin to wonder if it's too much of a bike for me.
Some background - passed the Safety class 1 year ago and bought a 650cc cruiser. In total have ridden around 500 miles in teh year since, dropped the bike twice at low speeds (the latest yesterday trying to negotiate a steeply uphill, right hand, hairpin on Mt Hamilton Road for any locals).

I have rarely ridden on the Freeway which limits where I ride since you need to get out of town somehow and that involves a freeway.

I realize I may well be a timid rider but I really want to get out for some long weekends etc with the wife as a passenger.

What do you think ?

B
I don't think a penguin can handle a bike the size of an LT.

Seriously, if you have been riding only a year and less than 1,000 miles, then I would absolutely not recommend an LT. I think you should have at least 5,000 miles of riding experience, preferably wiht a good share of that riding two-up in a variety of conditions.

Having said that, I moved from a Kawasako KH400 to a Voyager XII and then to my LT. However, I had more than 10 years of off and on road riding experience before moving to the Voyager XII.

I would consider something like the Honda NT700V as your first foray into touring with a passenger.

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2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #4 of 13 Old Sep 6th, 2011, 9:04 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Depends on the size of the penguin, don't it???

Big



or little?




Chris
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post #5 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 2:13 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I think whether or not you can ride the bike is more dependent on your height and strength! Can you flat foot it? Do you have the strenth to muscle it around if you have to? It is a heavy bike at rest, and at lower speeds. Once you get her on the road, the handling and ride is second to none. I took the riders course several years ago, and the first bike I got was a Harley Road King--which I did drop twice the first week I had it. However, after that learning curve, I never did drop it again. The point is, a big bike is almost as easy to ride as a small one--once you get the weight and low speed balance issues resolved. The only issues unique or different on the LT is the low speed handling and stopping. Just my opinion
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post #6 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 3:22 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I've been riding a long time but just started riding an LT. My advice is, it's to big and heavy for you right now and you don't want to go down especially with the wife on the back.

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post #7 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 3:23 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I am normally to first to say go for it but with the way you write your concerns I would say hold on and get some more miles on the current bike. You need to really ride more just to get a better feel for riding.

Here is what I have heard, Most accidents happen the first 5000 miles or the first 6 months of a new bike.

If you have doubts then ride your current bike more. Take it work everyday, to the store etc. Get use to it and next year you will maybe be more comfortable on a bike period, then that is the time to go for it. There will still be lots of bikes on the market next year.

I know you want to take your wife but you also want to be safe. The best thing to do is ride more.

As for the freeway. I think they are easier then driving in town sometimes but I tend to get off them as fast as I can.

Tom Ress
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post #8 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 3:24 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I don't know, there's more to it than handling the size of it. If you've been trained....ie: taken a rider safety course, that would go a long way toward making it fit more easily. Cycling is dangerous and takes a lot of extra awareness and defensive driving. Having a 100hp at hand and 850 lbs of bike may make the learning curve more challenging. On the other hand, why not start near the top? I guess it has more to do with your attitude and abilities than anything else. Keep in mind, it's not just the most wonderful feeling in the world, it can be a life or death thing, also. Best wishes.

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post #9 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 4:33 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I have ridden for 42 years & now have both a R1100RT & a K1200LT. You didn't give your size (I'm 6'3" & 220 lbs but 72 yrs old) but I really think you will be biting off more than you and your wife want to chew.

The K1200LT is a handful for me & I have dropped it twice in parking lots (once with wife on board). It has linked brakes where it applies both front and rear brakes with the front brake hand lever. This makes the bike want to roll over & dump at slow speeds when steering. I want to brake at parking lot speeds with just the rear brake but I can't do that on the LT.

It is a wonderful cross country bike, but I developed a lot of respect for its size.
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post #10 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 4:59 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Don't worry about dropping it. That really isn't the issue. It is the skill level of riding that I think you want to think more about. I don't even want to tell you how many times I tipped mine over but it will and does happen.

If you don't right on your current bike I think this bigger bike will be way to much. Once you feel you can ride the other bike well then look at moving up.

Tom Ress
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Minnesota
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post #11 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 6:25 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Depends on the size of the penguin, don't it???

Big



or little?



I like it! Although, even the big penguin looks a little puny for the LT.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #12 of 13 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 9:52 pm
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Depends on the size of the penguin, don't it???

Big



or little?



Not sure if that's a large penguin or a small LT...!!

To keep it on topic, from what I read I would say you may not be ready yet - get a year under your belt on the bike you have, then make the move. You want to be sure you have no doubts about providing as safe an experience as you can for your significant other. The LT is quite top heavy and so at very low speeds it is a little bit fidgety. Someone above mentioned the RT and I have to agree - it's a very capable bike for 2, and much lighter and easier to handle. Thats my 2 cents - hope this helps and good luck with your choices as there are so many good ones.

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post #13 of 13 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 9:43 am
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Re: Is an LT too big for me ?

I agree with all. On the road an LT is second to none. At low speeds or at a stop they are really too big for all of us. If you ever pass center and she starts to go down, I don't think any of us could stop it. I have ridden one for 5 years and have never been down. Then one faithful night with a storm on the way I needed to make room for my car in the garage. While moving my bike to the side i tipped it a little too far and down she went. Didn't hurt anything but my pride but they are heavy. In you defence, I have ridden the small cruisers as well and in my opinion they handel horribly at low speeds so maybe the LT would be an improvement. Just know what you are dealing with before you ride and you will love it.
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