Looking at buying for trike conversion... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 10:12 am Thread Starter
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Looking at buying for trike conversion...

As a previous K75RT owner (bought it new in 91 - had it taken away by a Camero a few years later ) I'm looking at getting back into a BMW. Our friends have 2 Harley trikes and my wife (who hates motorcycles) has ridden with me on both of theirs and has agreed to look into getting a trike. From what I've read and seen Hannigan's BMW kit is the way to go for the conversion. My question is what year LT should I look at to convert? Finding used trikes is tough (although the local dealer actually has one right now). From my reading I gather that there are really just 2 "years" that being before and after 2005. Is that correct apart form cosmetic changes?

The dealer has a 2005 bike with 45K miles that they just installed a new 2010 conversion on. I haven't asked why the decided to do that - guessing it had a problem with the shaft drive that made it a good candidate.

I know a lot of people put way more than 45K on a bike in 5 years is there anything I should check specifically on it before considering it?

Thanks for your input from a hopeful new LT owner.
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post #2 of 18 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 5:15 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Here's to hoping you find the right rig for you and your wife. I just want to toss out a possible alternative for the trike and that is a Hannigan sidecar. I have a 2+2 that I was lucky enough to find when I started looking for an LT.

My wife is scared to death of "tipping" so the sidecar keeps everything nice and flat for her. 15 minutes to take it off and the fun begins! I use the sidecar less than 5% of the time so have the luxury of the LT handling the rest of the time.

Hannigans' trike is GORGEOUS!!! But once she's been converted she am what she am.

Loren

WAK1200LT
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post #3 of 18 Old Jun 14th, 2010, 8:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

I already tried the sidecar idea and she was less than enthusiastic, well I should say that it was a definite no. Being lower to the ground and not able to jump off quickly scares her. We started dating while I was recovering from the K75RT vs Camaro incident where a 17 year old driving her boyfriends car pulled out in front of me. By the way it was a tie both were totaled! It was about a year before I could walk without pain but have no long term problems it was only one broken bone and lots of sprains. But me jumping off the bike just before impact (but not high enough to completely clear the handlebars and windshield of the bike) was what saved me, that and the fill face helmet that had spots ground nearly through the fiberglass by the time I stopped several hundred feet down the road or rather sidewalk. "Spectators" were impressed with the multiple flips in the air! So she wants to make sure she can bail if needed.

We even say an insta-trike on a Goldwing and it wasn't substantial enough for her. We both like the looks of the Hannigan better than anything else we've seen so I'm running with it!

I'm hoping that after riding for a while she will start to drive then I can get another 2 wheeler we'll have to see how that works out. I have to remember to keep telling myself "Baby steps" A year ago I wouldn't have thought that she would have even ridden one let along be talking about getting one.
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post #4 of 18 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 7:58 am
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Hi , Grass Roots has one on there web sight . As I remember they use to be in Carbondale . My sister lives there , and they started out as a lawn equipment store . I was visiting my sister in the early '80's when they came by to work on my sisters stuff . It was at that time they started to do BMW motorcycles . I have no affiliation with them , just FYI .


http://www.grassrootsbmw.com/




2005 BMW K1200LT Hannigan Trike
Gold
45,500 miles
New Hannigan conversion
$23,900




Patric Blackman
2002 K1200LT/Hannigan2+2
2010 R1200GSA ...1987 Helix...
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post #5 of 18 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 9:04 am
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Don't jump again

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosenhauer
... But me jumping off the bike just before impact (but not high enough to completely clear the handlebars and windshield of the bike) was what saved me,....
Get whatever makes your wife happy. I am sure you are well aware that she is the one that has the final say if you want to ride. Heck, the only reason I keep my LT is because it is the only bike my wife will get on.

On the other hand, I hope you are not harboring any illusions about jumping off your bike. You must have been in a very specific situation where you could have attempted a jump-off. I just do not see how you could jump in a typical impact, especially on a big bike and especially with a passenger. Staying with the bike, full-power braking and (possibly) avoidance maneuvers are what saves the riders in most situations. I was in a collision several years back and in that situation, I can tell you, there was no way to jump - but, I wish I did brake harder and earlier.

What I am trying to say is that you should get your bike based on your criteria of comfort and safety - and maintain the perception of "jumpability" if it makes your wife feel better. In reality, though, do not plan on any jumping. If you had enough time to jump, you were slow enough for some avoidance and you gave up control while scrambling off the seat.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #6 of 18 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 10:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

To: rdwalker

Believe me there were skid marks (no ABS) up until about 10 feet from impact! But I did manage to get high enough to have the handlebars hit me mid thigh and send me flipping rather than catching my waist and stopping me. But i fully agree that jumping was only a very small part of what saved me. But she's in the medical field and sees what can happen on a regular basis so whatever makes her feel more secure is fine with me.

To: Patric
I actually bought the K75RT from them when they were in Carbondale. I did sorta work for them! Well I actually worked for the computer store that was owned by the same guy so I got the bike at cost. Don't think they will still give me that deal anymore.

I was planning on getting down to see them and test ride the one they have either Fri or Sat. That's the one I mentioned in the original post. According to another friend that was there a few weeks ago they have a brand new black one also, but I didn't see it on the website. Don't particularly like the gold color but it would do. I just missed (well a sale is pending) on one in Peoria so we'll see what happens there also.

But nobody has answered my initial question is getting one really down to pre and post 2005? Does one make a better trike? I know they changed the steering in 2005 but haven't found if it works better or worse for a trike. The other thing is the extra HP. Do you really notice it? It looks like the torque comes in at a higher RPM so it as usable? Or is it more of a numbers game to make it look better on paper?
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post #7 of 18 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 5:07 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

rosenhauer
We converted our 06 Lt. last year. I think there were a couple more horses added after 04 and more light, I would like about 10+ more although we pull a bushtec trailer at slab speed. Love that auxiliary tank. on the fence on the running boards, you cann't stand up at a stop. + on the Steeer-lite kit. The SO loves the stock seat. Check the paint job on the trike finders, they are in sections and high tect bondo togeather, two seams, one at each wheel opening corner.

Dennis
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post #8 of 18 Old Jun 15th, 2010, 7:59 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Quote:
+ on the Steeer-lite kit
I put that on our LT , it makes turning it a lot easer . I didn't put the heavy duty spring on when I did the Steeer-lite kit . But I did shortly after , as by moving the front out , it bottoms out a lot easer .

Patric Blackman
2002 K1200LT/Hannigan2+2
2010 R1200GSA ...1987 Helix...
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post #9 of 18 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 4:11 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

HI, I just thought I'd put my two cents worth, Just had service at Grassroots in my opinion not the best choice. As for sidecars I strongly recommend riding one first. I was worn out riding one recently. Coming off a K12LT Hanningan I may be spoiled but my passenger agrees no more side cars. Hannigan is not to far to ride to from your location and they have Trikes to sell, but call first to find out whats on the floor. They dont update the web site regularly. By the way you emailed me about my trike the other day and its available. Hope you find something you wont be disappointed..

Last edited by RIDEONE; Jun 16th, 2010 at 4:14 pm. Reason: spell
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post #10 of 18 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 6:24 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

I agree with the amount of work needed to ride a hack on local streets. Get it out on the highway and it is effortless. Tracks straight due to the hydraulic camber adjust, stops well with the disk brake. The sidecar definitely looks cool though!

As far as having your wife ride in the side car I wouldn't recommend it. Use the sidecar for the stability factor and have your passenger ride behind you on the bike.

All this being said I think the trike is the best option as it offers a number of advantages over the sidecar. Narrower, more attractive, no final drive, etc.

The real advantage to the sidecar for me is it keeps me from having bruised ribs ("You're tipping too much"), etc. while giving me the option of quick removal which takes the LT back to a standard configuration.

As for pre or post 2005 that is an easy question to answer. Get an older one because they are the only ones painted pretty purple! The advantages of the 2005 and later is a few more horsepower, better forward lighting and the electro-hydraulic center stand.

The horsepower might or might not be missed my old one seems to have enough HP. The lighting can be fixed with aftermarket upgrades, HID etc and te electro hydraulic centerstand? Not much of a factor once it has been triked.

I would look for the best value for your money, old or new, and enjoy the dickens out of it.

I want to see pictures of your new trike when you get it!

Loren

WAK1200LT
Loren

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post #11 of 18 Old Jun 16th, 2010, 6:31 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Saw a triked out LT the same color of Patric's last Sunday at the Wrangler cafe in Pinedale. I was up there on my LT pulling a tag-along trailer I'd just completed on a shake down ride...............was curious if it was any one from the board.........?................
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post #12 of 18 Old Jun 17th, 2010, 12:27 am
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

I have a 2000 LT with Hannigan conversion. I think BMW added 15 more hp a few years later, but no matter.

The Hannigan conversion is great. Be sure to get the rake on the front forks, and get the aux fuel tank.

You and your wife will be very happy with the result! Is great!

Don't wait, get going!


Jerry

BMWMOA # 134919
2000 LT Hannigan Trike
1986 Suzuki TM400 (gone)
1957 BSA 500 cc Twin (long gone)
1955 BSA Golden Flash (longer gone)
1950 or thereabouts HD 165 cc 2 stroke! (gone in 1954)
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post #13 of 18 Old Jun 17th, 2010, 2:18 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

I ride a 07 LT that was converted over to a trike. Hannigan did the conversion. I love
it and it is the only way I can ride the LT since it is such a large bike.

Hannigan is having their Open House tomorrow and Saturday. They will allow everyone to tour the factory to see how these conversions are made. My husband and I are leaving tonight to go down to the festivities for the weekend.

They are located in Murray Kentucky.

Jo Ann
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post #14 of 18 Old Jun 17th, 2010, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Only 2.5 hours from me!

Alas we already have plans and won't be able to make it

Have fun without us and report back on how much fun you do have.
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post #15 of 18 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 4:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

If anyone is interested. We did end up going to the Hannigan open house and test drove the LT. It wasn't really on the list of available test rides but they let us take it anyway. My wife really liked it - apart from the price tag!

We went to GrassRoots on the 2nd to test drive the Gold one in the earlier post. It's been kept outdoors far too long. But they had a used 08 in black (it's now on their website) that we ended up buying. After our ride on Sunday that ended up in 30+ miles of riding in the rain my wife said that she enjoyed it and was looking forward to our next trip. Even the raid wasn't enough to damper her enjoyment. I only got the slowdown poke one on the whole ride

I think she'll like it even more when the armrests come in and we get a GPS. She's a map watcher and I don't think paper will work so good on the trike.
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post #16 of 18 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 5:17 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Cool!! , have fun riding it .

Patric Blackman
2002 K1200LT/Hannigan2+2
2010 R1200GSA ...1987 Helix...
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post #17 of 18 Old Jul 16th, 2010, 12:31 am
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Congrats! You will love it!!

Jerry

BMWMOA # 134919
2000 LT Hannigan Trike
1986 Suzuki TM400 (gone)
1957 BSA 500 cc Twin (long gone)
1955 BSA Golden Flash (longer gone)
1950 or thereabouts HD 165 cc 2 stroke! (gone in 1954)
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post #18 of 18 Old Jul 26th, 2010, 8:45 pm
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Re: Looking at buying for trike conversion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosenhauer
But they had a used 08 in black (it's now on their website) that we ended up buying. .

The black on looks great. I have a 07 black LT and am thinking of the trike conversion. Would want to test drive on before I make the plunge. How was the handling?

Hanshi
Reading, PA
Current Bikes:
2007 BMW K1200LT (Black)
2008 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic (red)
HF Tag-Along Trailer
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