Beautiful but right for me? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 5:19 pm Thread Starter
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Beautiful but right for me?

Disclaimer -- I've never ridden an LT. My current bike is an R1200c. That bike has met any and all needs, from long-distance touring (including an 8500 mile loop around the USA this summer) to daily commute in heavy traffic. Its one drawback (no, this isn't a call for your comments and additions to the list) is lack of pillion comfort, which really isn't a problem for me 90% of the time, but is a big problem the other 10%.

So I've been looking at other bikes, and come across a couple of LT's. I know it would be a huge improvement in the 2 up comfort category, but I'm interested in its utility the rest of the time. I worry about the weight and how hard it might be to manage in freeway bumper to bumper, city stop & go, etc. I've never owned an 850 lb bike. I've spoken with a couple of guys who commute in similar conditions on goldwings and don't seem to have issues, and anything a wing can do a bmw can do better, but I'd like to hear from anyone who does this kind of riding with words of wisdom/reassurance before i plunk down this kind of $ on a bike that might or might not suit my needs.

thanks in advance

ps...because i do think size matters, at least when it comes to riding comfort, i'm about 6'4/175.
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post #2 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 5:30 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Nobody but you can answer that one. Might take a test ride for you to decide.
Can you afford two bikes? That was my answer. I bought the LT singularly for the wife's comfort. I have another (2) bikes for me to ride solo. But as it turns out, I take the LT on long distance solo trips, and when it's really cold out. It's a great bike, but I never wanted anything this big for pushing in the city. But that's me.

Oh, should add that when I do ride solo, even long trips, I take the trunk off. Much more fun.
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post #3 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 5:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Affording two bikes isn't the issue. The C is paid for, and insurance is nothing, so there's no cost of ownership there. The issue will be that one will live on the east coast, and one on the west coast. Since I'm more often solo when I'm east and we're together when I'm west, I was thinking of the LT for the left coast. But even there, I'll be using whatever I get as my primary transportation, which is where its flexibility becomes an issue.

So, while I appreciate your comments, still looking for other daily riders with thoughts?
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post #4 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 6:07 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I have read that lane splitting (common in CA) can be done with an LT but you will likely whack a mirror on occasion.

Loren

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post #5 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 6:29 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Being 6'-4" you should have no problems riding in stop light traffic. I',m much shorter than you and that top heavy feeling that you keep hearing about isn't has bad as some people make it sound. After the first couple rides, you'll forget all about it.The LT's are also alot quicker than a lot of people think they are, so again traffic shouldn't be a problem at all. Good Luck!
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post #6 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 6:29 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Any bike is going to be a pain in stop and go, more stop than go, traffic. The LT is quite heavy and no fun when "walking". Even moving slowly in 1st gear isn't bad if you're able to work the clutch to maintain 5-15 mph. Slower than that and you'll get aggravated fast. Shoot, I get aggravated if that happens and I'm in the car! My commute takes me though a growing town north of Charlotte, NC that seems to love traffic lights. They have a bunch of them in just a few short miles and are adding more! That 5 miles isn't enough to make me give up riding 30 miles to work.

Best thing would be to beg, borrow, or steal an LT and go play in traffic. Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.

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post #7 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 6:30 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmsamson
Disclaimer -- I've never ridden an LT. My current bike is an R1200c. That bike has met any and all needs, from long-distance touring (including an 8500 mile loop around the USA this summer) to daily commute in heavy traffic. Its one drawback (no, this isn't a call for your comments and additions to the list) is lack of pillion comfort, which really isn't a problem for me 90% of the time, but is a big problem the other 10%.

So I've been looking at other bikes, and come across a couple of LT's. I know it would be a huge improvement in the 2 up comfort category, but I'm interested in its utility the rest of the time. I worry about the weight and how hard it might be to manage in freeway bumper to bumper, city stop & go, etc. I've never owned an 850 lb bike. I've spoken with a couple of guys who commute in similar conditions on goldwings and don't seem to have issues, and anything a wing can do a bmw can do better, but I'd like to hear from anyone who does this kind of riding with words of wisdom/reassurance before i plunk down this kind of $ on a bike that might or might not suit my needs.

thanks in advance

ps...because i do think size matters, at least when it comes to riding comfort, i'm about 6'4/175.

At 6 4 you won't have any trouble I'm 6 4 as well I've dropped her once when I miss placed my landing spot didn't hurt it or me.... other then ego.

I ride everyday 55 miles as a commuter and cannot be happier I did make a few changes the first a saddle wasn't negotiable the second was shocks I felt better with my second half along between the two ya I'm quite happy. I drive her to the store I drive her for just about everything I can.

Its a handful at lower speed but once you have it figured out you don't really give it any thought.

I looked at GW but that really is a big bike and I think it would have taken some of the fun out of just jumping on and going. The LT gives the best of both worlds IMO sport and Touring getting your groove on is very easy with her and running tame with the lady on back is just as easy. Meh just my thoughts take them for what they're worth

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

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post #8 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 7:53 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I do a lot of city driving with the LT, I'm 5 9, 31 inch inseam, 66 yrs - the K1100LT is also a top heavy bike that requires you to pay attention when stopping, the beauty of the LT is that it is such a nice running reliable bike happy in the city and on the HWY as long as you push it once in awhile. Toronto is one of the worst cities in North America for long slow commutes to and from work

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post #9 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 10:24 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I have both, a 2003 LT and a 2001 R1200C Montana.
The RC is a fun machine for cruising, especially in town. If you added the passenger comfort seat on the C, your wife would like it better.
But when it comes to the open road...the LT is the king, nothing like it and being heavy, it stops just as quick, especially if you have the power assist brakes. At 70, it rides like it was on clouds, smooth as can be.
Thats my take on it, best of luck to you
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post #10 of 27 Old Oct 24th, 2011, 10:59 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I am 5 8 and weight 155 lbs, with my `07 LT stop and go traffic is a bit of a pain with the wife on board, but all is practice and getting used to it. Just try to stop with the front tire as straight forward as possible, hold the handle bars with some pressure, and that bike will be a smooth as you can`t inmagine while coming to a complete stop. Good luck!!!

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post #11 of 27 Old Oct 25th, 2011, 5:17 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Before I purchased mine, I thought it would be heavy and awkward as well, especially since I'm coming off a 2009 Husqvarna TE 250 and riding in the tight signal track woods in WPA.

The first day out felt a bit awkward, but that would make sense, since the Husky weighs 225lb and the Beemer weighs 900lb

The second day ride I felt much more comfortable and had no problems at all managing in stop and go traffic with a little clutch feathering.

The third day ride I put the wife on the back of it and I was amazed at how balanced the bike was in stop and go traffic and how it took the twistees on the back roads. Not to mention on the highway, it's like floating.

I've had some smaller road bikes over the years and won't be going back anytime soon. I've ridden Goldwings and Ultra Glides and the Beemer in IMHO is an all around better suited bike for single short hops, touring and 2 up riding.

I'm a short guy at 5"8 with a 30 inch inseam.
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post #12 of 27 Old Oct 25th, 2011, 5:47 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

The LT is our only bike and we ride in L.A. traffic 2 up but it is a pill to split lanes when they get narrower, especially in construction areas. Once on open roads the LT really shines.
Have you considered an RT? I see that West Hollywood is your left coast location, and a lighter bike will fare better in the congested L.A. area.

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post #13 of 27 Old Oct 25th, 2011, 6:46 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I bought my 2002 KLT last summer when I stumbled upon the only BMW motorcycle dealer on Long Island. I haven't owned a bike since 1990 and was a little nervous about the size of the KLT, but as soon as I saw it I new I had to have it. I ride from Long Island into New York City about 50 miles each way and in plenty of traffic. It can be annoying in traffic, but thanks to a lesson on the KLT from the dealership mechanic who also rides a KLT, I learned how to stop with both feet down at the same time and have never had a real problem. Like others have said, find one to ride in traffic. I think you'll like it. Good luck.

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post #14 of 27 Old Oct 25th, 2011, 7:45 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Evidently you are seeking approval. Yes...go buy it. Don't look back. Your children can sell it when you die of old age. OK?

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post #15 of 27 Old Oct 25th, 2011, 8:00 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Don't try to split lanes on an LT. The mirrors are the same height as most of the cars and you will bash off your mirrors, I've lost four. If you can split lanes you will split lanes and the LT is not the bike for lane splitting.

You could try taking the mirrors off and fitting some cheap stick type bolt on that would fold in.

I don't commute with my LT, if I did I would loose a mirror at least once a week trying to split lanes here in NorCal.
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post #16 of 27 Old Oct 26th, 2011, 3:48 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I'm 63, 6'2, 230+(+)lb. I bought my LT on a whim.....and it's turned into my daily rider. My commute includes a good bit of stop/go traffic. I love riding this bike. It fits me well and is a great two-up machine. I like the good weather protection. I like listening to the news during my commute. I have a paved driveway and commute on normal suburban asphalt roads and I'm quite comfortable with the bike in this setting.

I have observed that shorter guys "may" at times find an LT a challenge, especially two-up, and/or in stop 'n go environments. Some of my shorter friends have an LT for touring and something lighter as a daily commuter.

The time I find myself the least comfortable on this bike is trying to do a slow turn in a gravel parking lot. My wife and I sometimes visit wineries on the weekend and I hate how many have gravel access roads and parking! For some reason the Virginia winery guide doesn't tell you this detail. Many small wineries have wonderful wine....and lousy parking facilities. But I digress. :-)

Seriously, from my experience, if your not too short, and won't be facing gravel in your commute, you should be fine on this bike as a daily rider.

JD

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post #17 of 27 Old Oct 26th, 2011, 10:00 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandmelanie
Don't try to split lanes on an LT. The mirrors are the same height as most of the cars and you will bash off your mirrors, I've lost four. If you can split lanes you will split lanes and the LT is not the bike for lane splitting.

You could try taking the mirrors off and fitting some cheap stick type bolt on that would fold in.

I don't commute with my LT, if I did I would loose a mirror at least once a week trying to split lanes here in NorCal.
I split lanes 2-up on the LT in the crowded SOCAL traffic and never lost a mirror. The trick is to go between cars when they are staggered and not side by side.

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For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #18 of 27 Old Oct 26th, 2011, 10:39 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I'm a daily commuter in South Carolina. It's about 60 miles a day. This plus a few trips around the beautiful mountains and amazing roads in the area, I've put over 10K on my KLT in less than 10 months. I can't get enough of her. I still crave riding her. I take the long way any chance I get. I'll purposefully eat at the fastest fast-food restaurants so I can ride more during my lunch breaks!

I was sold 80% before the test drive...it was an old '99 model, high mileage, broken radio, broken ABS...so the price was right for me to "see" if I liked the bigger bikes. The test drive confirmed it to 100%. I had always been a cruiser guy, so this was a big risk for me. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

For the record...I'm 5'10" with about 32" inseam. I've taken some dedicated time with some cones and tennis balls in my church parking lot and done some slow speed "Ride Like a Pro" training (from the DVDs). And it has immensely helped my slow speed confidence.

As the other posters said...try to find a way to do a test drive.

She's a great bike. And each day I like her even more. (Is this normal?)

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post #19 of 27 Old Oct 26th, 2011, 8:11 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I put 59k commuting miles on my '05 LT in the last 6 years, riding 70+ miles roundtrip daily. My commute is a mix of township and county roads, two-lane highways, interstate, and city traffic. I haven't had any issues, but the LT is all I've known since I started riding.

Stop-and-go traffic can be a pain (in/on any vehicle), but it's quickly forgotten once traffic frees up... and any other time I'm on the LT.

We don't have lane-sharing in Ohio so I can't help you with that, but others already have.

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post #20 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2011, 12:21 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I too am riding an R1200C and am looking at buying an LT. My wife sat on one at the dealer a couple weeks ago and wants one (wife approval = do it). I will keep the C for running about but accessories for it are out of sight and hard to find, the LT already has all the creature comforts (plus many) that I would like to upgrade my C to have.

My question is mainly what year to buy, I am looking at a couple '01s and an '06, all with about the same mileage on them. The dilemma is that the '01s are just about 1/2 the price of the '06. I know the '06 has a power center stand but not sure if I need that. Is there anything else I should know about the '06 vs. '01 or should I save the $5k and put it toward future bike #3 in a few years (S1000RR???)?
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post #21 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2011, 3:37 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

There are essentially 2 different '01 s. Bikes manufactured before 1/1/2001 are the same as the 1999's and 2000's. They have ABS brakes but they aren't linked or power assisted. They are not as touchy brake wise and if the ABS unit fails you still have excellent brakes but no ABS. After 01/01/01 the bikes have BMW cast into the calipers where before the casting said BREMBO.The difference between the later 01's and 05 on is the center stand and the 05's and later have a little more horsepower. 13 -15 more HP depending on who you talk to. I am quite happy with my non-linked 01. Maintenance is easier and I'm not left strand by an ABS failure. I know of at least one rider who wishes he still had his '99 because of how touchy the brakes are on his newer model bike.

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post #22 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2011, 8:50 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

yikes, glad I asked the experts! Not a big fan of linked brakes, for that matter ABS isn't really my favorite thing either. I think that settles it for me, go with the '01 (the ones I looked at said Brembo) and put the $5k toward the acquisition of future bike #3
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post #23 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2011, 9:26 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Ahhhh Grasshopper. Good choice!

ABS is nice but if I lost it on my bike I would try to fix it by performing multiple flushes but if it didn't work I would take out the ABS wig wag lights on the dash and continue to ride. The LT is the first and ONLY bike I've owned with ABS brakes. If the ABS unit goes out on the newer bikes you have no choice but to replace the unit if flushing doesn't clear the issue.

The force required to stop the newer bikes with a defective ABS unit is similar to trying to stop your power brake car with the engine not running. Not so with the oldies. The non-linked brakes have impressive stooping power in their own right.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperstatetour
yikes, glad I asked the experts! Not a big fan of linked brakes, for that matter ABS isn't really my favorite thing either. I think that settles it for me, go with the '01 (the ones I looked at said Brembo) and put the $5k toward the acquisition of future bike #3

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post #24 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2011, 9:46 am
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I removed tour trunk and built a smaller replacement for around town solo. Takes away some of the top heavy especially at crawl speeds. Takes about 20 minutes to change out
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post #25 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I've been trying to sell our '05 LT for about 4 months, no takers. Plus I see a lot more for sale since the 1600 came out. Picked up an '87 K75S over Labor Day which I've been riding ever since. My SO LOVES the LT, (any pillion would!!) but to me, and since I'm the rider, that's what's important, the LT is too heavy and non-responsive, I don't connect with it. It's a great long distance bike, but with the both of us working full time, we can't take advantage of what it's designed to do. Looking for an K1200RS.

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post #26 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2011, 4:15 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by copperstatetour
yikes, glad I asked the experts! Not a big fan of linked brakes, for that matter ABS isn't really my favorite thing either. I think that settles it for me, go with the '01 (the ones I looked at said Brembo) and put the $5k toward the acquisition of future bike #3
So, ABS is not your thing ?
I never gave it much thought eighter, untill I ran into a situation-riding my Harley years ago, when I had nothing but a very split second to try to come to a stop or see my self plastered on the back of a car's trunk. In that panic situation, it is extremely easy to lock your brakes-which is what I did. The bike was skidding sideways and I will never know how I managed to stay on the bike upright, much less come to stop--as there was no other way to avoid the collision.
That is when I started looking for a bike with ABS and BMW was the only manufacturer that offered it.
I hope you'll never need it, but if you did, you'll be glad for it.
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post #27 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2011, 5:23 pm
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Re: Beautiful but right for me?

I have a 2001 LT. The ABS is a great option, I've had no problem with the ABS.

Don't be old school about ABS.

I've had two accidents that probably would have been avioded if I had ABS, one on a GS and one on a CBR 1000RR. Totaled the GS trying to dodge a deer, I didn't get a scratch, ABS would have saved the bike. Broke my collar bone on the CBR in stop and go traffic when I hit the brakes on a tar snake. The bike had almost no damage but my collar bone was toast.

I'll take ABS any day.

I had a CBR 1100XX with nonABS linked brakes, the brakes were great.

I'm getting too old to ride sport bikes anymore but if I was so inclined I would NOT get one WITHOUT ABS.

01 vs 06? All depends on the service record and milage. Buy a one owner bike with the lowest miles and the oldest owner.
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