I'm sure this will be long winded, but here it goes . . .
After a full season (finally) on the LT, here is what I think of the beast, some of it good, some of it bad . . .
The 2002 that got into the highway head on:
I found the seat a little uncomfortable, but not too bad. I was only able to put on 3000 km's on her before the pile up, but it impressed me enough to immediately look for a replacement.
I liked the increase in power, especially fully loaded two up. Love the electric/hydraulic center stand. I didn't have any problems putting the first one on the center stand, but lets face it: That hydraulic one is just so damn cool!
I had major issues with the seat. Rather than go out and spend large amounts of money on a custom one, I simply had the seat redone to flatten and widen the seat out, and stiffened up the material. HUGE difference for me.
I wasn't, and I'm still not, happy with changing the upper trim from blace to silver. The black just seemed to have more attitude and looked sharper.
This one seems to be a little finicky going from 1st to 2nd gear, but I just need to be mindful and make sure I'm not lazy on the shift.
I really liked the 6 disc cd changer in the original, until I got this one. I quickly realized that I would have had some major issues with storage capacity for my long trips for my woman and I. I've learned to live with reduced sound quality with an mp3 player. (Sorry, I'm lazy. I don't want to stop all the time to change out cd's in the top compartment lol)
After having the output seal changed 3 times, I'm gonna make some comments on the clutch that might upset a few people, but I hope you will bear with me.
Now, I'm not complaining about having to change the seal! Seals go, that is all there is to it. I work on oilfield equipment so I'm pretty realistic when it comes to items like that. Actually, the first time I changed it probably would have been fine, except I had synthetic oil in the transmission, and I should have changed it over to dinosaur oil right after (I could go into detail, but really, it's not needed I'm sure.)
What I DO have a problem with on the LT's is the pathetic clutch they have. I mean really, you've got this huge garbage barge, that many people are going to load right to the hilt, two up, and they put a single disc, dry clutch in it, and not much of one at that. If there is one thing the Japanese got right, it was putting wet multidisc clutches in their machines. Let's face it, they are damn near indestructable. As any of you know who have done this job yourselves, it is an extremely time consuming process just to get at this thing, and if you make a lot of miles on these bikes, you know that in all likelihood, you will have to replace that clutch at some point. Because it is dry, if you have any kind of oil contamination from the two locations that create the problem, you could end up being stranded a long ways from home.
As for the final drive, it looks like they addressed most of the problems in the later years. I haven't experienced one yet, and if it occurs, I'm probably not going to complain too much, unless it continues to be a problem. I will also be mindful, however, that if the problem reoccurs relatively quickly, that the problem may lie with shop that sets it up (this is one of those jobs I would leave to the "experts" seeing as I don't want to take any chances not having proper backlash.)
Does this make it a machine that is sub-standard to any others? Oh hell no, of course not. You will always run into lemons, no matter what make or model of machine it is. Ride a machine long enough, and parts are going to wear out. I have had incredible luck with Yamaha, but I'm fully aware that at least a fraction of that is LUCK.
All things considered, except for that damn clutch, I consider this to still be the best long haul garbage barge touring machine on the planet.
(I call anything over 750 lbs. a garbage barge, it's not just the LT!)
Now, I turn it over to you to competely tear me apart