Enough power for the Rocky Mountains? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 6:27 pm Thread Starter
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Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Missus Fender Bunny and I are looking into buying a late model (2005+) LT for long distance touring and weekends in the Rocky Mountains. We live south of Denver, and will probably ride in altitude between 6,000-9,000 feet a lot of the time.

I test drove an 06 model by myself a few weeks ago, and it seemed to have sufficient power above 6,000 RPM. (And a wicked exhaust growl, which made me forget that I was riding an 800+ lb motorcycle.)

How will that tiny engine hold up the strain of higher RPM's over time? I don't plan to drag race the bike, but I will have to use the higher RPM range a fair amount to pass trucks and Honda Gold Wings on the 2-lanes.

Was wondering what you all thought of the engine's longevity, tendency to overheat, etc., when wound up to higher RPM.

Thanks,

ape
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post #2 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 6:32 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Just stay off the Rev Limiter and you will be fine....lol....Actually I have an 03 and have been in Rockies several times...no worries
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post #3 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 6:42 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Welcome to the forum. I toured Colorado back in '04. I should say, about 600 of us toured Colorado. (You can read about that here.) If you're not afraid to run an LT above 5K, it has more than enough power to do anything. In fact, my LT lived in that RPM range a LOT. And this type of riding doesn't phase "the brick" motor at all. You might say that it thrives on it.

For what it's worth, I sold my LT and bought the sportier GT. Then sold it and currently ride a Concours14. But for two-up, long-distance, spirited touring, the LT is still King-of-the-Hill.

- Joe
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post #4 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 7:24 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

I'm in Parker, with about 1000 miles under my belt, it's fast enough to still scare the bejeezus outa me on occasion.

FWIW, 80 mph is 4000 rpm, and it doesn't seem to care at ALL.

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post #5 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 7:31 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

A few people have 100K+ miles on their LTs. A few people have put more than 200K on their Lts.

The fans are very effective for colling of the engine. Typically they don't kick in until the tenp gauge gets very high.

You won't have a problem running her at 5-6K all day. Closer to red line if you like.

I wanted to see what happened to the milage if I ran her in 4th instead of 5th on a recent trip. The gas milage was about the same. at 75-80mph.

If you go down a mountain you can drop a gear lower and let the engine do most of the braking.

Best from tucson
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post #6 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 7:49 pm
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Wink Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Joe says it right here! And a plus is the fact that you will still get excellent mileage due to the thinner air requiring less fuel while at altitude. Many of us have experienced our best mileage while tooling around the Rockies.

John
Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2
Welcome to the forum. I toured Colorado back in '04. I should say, about 600 of us toured Colorado. (You can read about that here.) If you're not afraid to run an LT above 5K, it has more than enough power to do anything. In fact, my LT lived in that RPM range a LOT. And this type of riding doesn't phase "the brick" motor at all. You might say that it thrives on it.

For what it's worth, I sold my LT and bought the sportier GT. Then sold it and currently ride a Concours14. But for two-up, long-distance, spirited touring, the LT is still King-of-the-Hill.

John & Marilyn Fisher
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post #7 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 8:34 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Oh, Hell yeah.......I do recommend the Hyper-Pro Springs........then I don't really know, but I'll put money on if you will be able to get the grin off your face or not............



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post #8 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 8:42 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

The LT is arguably one of the best canyon carvers there is.. Don't be afraid to run it right up to the red line then let the engine slow you down for the next turn...

We typically ran in second gear in the twisties in Missouri... Never got mine to Colorado..

It'll go about 80 in second gear so your speed envelope is pretty wide in that gear...

You only get out of second when you're on the interstate....

John

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post #9 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 8:57 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Welcome aboard Ape...I've been to your state any chance I can and the LT will handle it just fine. In fact, she loves it! My girl loves passing the Goldwings and Harleys...I try to keep her under control...but she has a mind of her own. If you want to do some great reading I would direct your attention to the 'Technical' banner at the top...pull it down and go into the Hall of Wisdom...awesome information.


Wade
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post #10 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 10:41 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

I'm up in NW Denver and have had my LT up to Rocky Mtn Natl park, Dillon, Breckinridge, Estes Park, and Steamboat Springs. All since I bought my bike last August. It never missed a beat at all altitudes.
I have to add that all my riding has been single rider, but I would have to say that even 2 up, it wouldn't have a problem. Mine's an 07.
I agree that riding in the upper ranges of RPM doesn't seem to phase her either.

Jeff

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post #11 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 7:08 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Welcome aboard APE, RPMs (lots of em) are your friend. As they say around here "ride it like you stole it"

Bill
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post #12 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 8:55 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Actually, the bike doesn't even come alive until you get her above 4000 rpms. There are no concerns about running an LT at the higher rpms.
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post #13 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 9:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

That's great to hear, guys. Thank you for the info.

The LT seems to qualify as a sleeper. :-) Years ago I was riding a standard through Vermont in October. And freezing. My riding buddy was on an LT, so he was kind enough to give me a turn on the bike long enough for me to warm up. So I got familiar with the bike's comforting qualities. But I never took a spirited ride on the bike.

A couple of weeks ago I went to BMW of Denver to test ride the new 6-cyl GTL, and I asked the dealership if I could compare it to a 4-cyl GT that they had on the lot, and an LT.

It's tough to do on a short test ride, but I try to find a bike's "sweet spot." The place where the bike feels happiest. On a Harley, for instance, that's at 65 mph on a country 2-lane. On a Ducati, well, it depends on the Ducati, LOL. Ditto for BMW. I owned an 04 K1200RS and an 05 K1200S. On both those bikes, the sweet spot is somewhere between 90 mph and 130 mph. The test ride at the dealership confirmed that.

Fun, but that's not where I want to ride. Too many State and County Revenue Enhancing Patrols around. Not to mention deer. And the occasional elk. So when I test-rode the 6-cyl GTL, I came away with an impression similar to what I got from the RS, the S, and the GT models: too damn fast. It may be the best motorcycle ever designed, but it's too fast for my taste.

Finally I took the LT out for a spin. Just sitting on it, adjusting the mirrors, it felt right. My buddy's bike, the one I rode in Vermont, was a bear to manage in the parking lot, but the 06 I tried at the dealer was a breeze. I did some figure 8's through the parking lanes and the bike was steady and easy to maneuver. A pleasant surprise. On the city streets it was easy to maneuver, as well, though it felt kinda slow after the other bikes. But that was OK. Easier to modulate the power in traffic.

On the freeway it behaved as I expected. A little turbulence around the helmet, but not bad. The air was cleaner on the RS, the S, and the 4-cyl GT, but worse on the GTL. For my size and weight, anyway.

Where I really got to explore its engine and handling was on the way back. I'd kinda taken a bit longer than I should have on the test ride, so I quickly took the next off-ramp, pulled a couple of quick lefts, and got back on the freeway going the other way. That's when I discovered not only how well it turned in a hurry, but how pleasantly it turned. And how much the engine woke up at higher RPM's.

That's when the little hearts starting floating in front of my visor.

Anyway, I'm sold. I just need a few months to put the rest of the cash together. I'd been hoping to get an R1150RT, which costs less, but I think the LT will be worth the extra cash. Hoping to find one I like in April or May.

Thank you for all the info. I'm looking into that Curve Cowboy Reunion. :-) Is there a limit to the number of registrations?

ape
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post #14 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 10:47 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

I've run up 550 (Million Dollar Highway) on my 2000 K1200LT pulling a trailer with no trouble at all. The LT is more the capable to handle almost any road you put in front of it.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #15 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 10:54 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Just wonder'in
"How will that tiny engine hold up the strain . . . "

watcha mean by "tiny"?

The K1200 brick could be dropped into a sports car an lay rubber!

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post #16 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 11:35 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Agree with what's been said about the power and fun of the LT. However, I would also add after having ridden thousands of miles in the Rockies and other mountain ranges, you will notice a distinct difference in available power at higher elevations. Just plan for that "quick pass" at 2000' to take a little longer at 10,000 ft. Just saying.

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post #17 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 11:39 am
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

I've traversed 11,000-foot passes in the Sierras many times, fully loaded and with the missus along for the ride. Never a problem. Unless, of course, you tour with another loaded couple on a Harley. Then you might have to slow down and wait for them to catch up!
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post #18 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 1:34 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

yes, without that tubo charger that engine HP falls off at 12,650 feet.

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post #19 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 3:27 pm
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

I live in Denver and have had no problems with my 03 in the mountains. I am more of the "enjoy the scenery type" so I really don't care who passes me (I've been passed by a VW Bus going up I-70) and the scream of the engine at high RPM sets my teeth on edge. I do keep one eye on the mirror when I got on the 100k Foot Ride as getting passed on the corners can be an unsettling surprise.
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post #20 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 6:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Enough power for the Rocky Mountains?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell

watcha mean by "tiny"?
I seem to recall saying something similar to my wife a few times.

My current bike is an 1100cc 2-valve motor that powers a bike that weighs about half what the LT weighs. I use it to chase some faster riders around the canyons on weekends. So yeah, by comparison something South of 1200cc's did concern me.

But not any more! :-)

ape
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