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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how the LT does in high altitudes, like over 10,000 feet. Reason for asking, thinking about a trip out west into the Rocky Mtns.

tcars
John
 

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I live in Denver and ride in the Rocky mountains as much as possible. There is a big problem when riding the K1200LT through the twisty mountain roads of Colorado. The center stand drags. This happens when going around both left or right hand curves. At first it was so startling that it almost wiped the smile off of my face. I also find the when riding the K1200LT through switchbacks that those little yellow M.P.H. signs that are posted below the curve symbod are more of a guide than the rule.
 

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David,

Put a set of Ohlin shocks on and then you will scrape the lower fairing instead of the center stand:) .

Those signs are important indicators: 10/15MPH means first gear, 20/25 MPH means 2nd gear, 30/35 means 3rd gear etc. Oh that is also at 6-7,000 RPM. :p

I have always noticed better gas mileage at the higher altitudes.
 

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Rode two up, over bear tooth pass to Red Lodge MT. and back. Bike ran great except like Dave & john said the center stand drags.
 

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I've been to Mt. Evans which is around 14K feet a couple of times, and have ridden literally hundreds of times over other passes in the 10 to 12K range, including Independence dozens of times.

Never even a hiccup on the LT except for a noticeable drop in power due to the altitude - which is typical when you've got about half the oxygen at sea level.

Make sure you travel between mid June to mid September for the best weather - the way things are going this year a lot of the high passes will probably be closed until late June. After Labor Day is the BEST.
 

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I also live in Denver and ride in the mountains every chance I get. Have never had any problems with the LT's performance, even above treeline altitudes. But, yes, you will drag the center stand when cornering hard. This might not otherwise be a big deal, but it could cost you your life in these mountains. A lot of the best roads have no guard rails and throughout most of the season you can still find a lot of pea gravel on the road left over from the winter. A few times this gravel has given me quite a scare and I have known two experienced riders who were killed in accidents stemming from gravel on the road. A lot of the roads are also very narrow, especially the Mt. Evans road and the road through Rocky Mountain National Park. Be careful.
 

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I spent 10 days riding the Rockies last June to include Mt Evans. The only problem I encountered during the entire trip was I had to remove the lowering blocks on the drivers foot pegs because I kept dragging the pegs and scuffing the tips and outer edges of my boots. If you keep the revs up the big girl will just beg for more.
 

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I spent May through July in Longont, CO last year and rode ('02 LT) the twisties every weekend. Lots of 10K - 14K passes and I also made sparks with the lower jewelry but never had an engine hiccup due to high altitude and low oxygen content.

I on the otherhand thought I would pass out when dismounting in the parking lot at the top of Mt Evans. Drink lots of water and don't stay too long. I was going to walk to the very top of Mt Evans from the parking lot but only made 100 yards to up the trail - not enough O2 for this old phart.

I also have never before been passed on a motorcycle by a bicycle rider before. I was going downhill doing about 25 MPH and I heard a bell and a whoosh and a train of 5 hardbody bicyclists tore past me.

Have fun - buy the T'shirt (Mt Evans - Got Oxygen?) and be carefull. If you loose it on that road you won't stop tumbling until you hit Kansas.

Regards,
Skozar
 

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I've ridden with several Honda ST1100's and other carbureted motor cycles at high altitudes in the Sierra Madres in Mexico, 10,000 feet and higher. At sea level those bikes could easily outperform my 2000 K1200LT, but I could easily stay with them or be faster than them at the high altitudes. Some of them also experienced difficulty starting their bikes at high altitudes, but I noticed no starting or performance differences on the LT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the good info. I wanted to make sure my experiences with an early CB750 (eons ago) were not repeated (had to maintain 3-5k rpm just to keep engine running). As for scraping the center stand, I'm used to it, wife isn't, nor does she care for it. But as much as it has occurred I think she is getting a bit easier with the scraping. Hard to avoid the scraping two up.

Thanks again!
 

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I can echo the gravel issue. Most of the single bike crashes that happen in the mountains are a combination of speed and gravel. It is very dry in the summers so sand and gravel that were laid down in the winter never get washed away and it remains for a long time. The Mt Evans road is noted for its narrowness and there are no guard rails, or even shoulders, for most of its length but it is still well worth it. Independence Pass and Trail Ridge Road are also narrow and often clogged with RVs driven by terrified flatlanders. No matter how good you think you are and how sticky you think your tires are physics will win when you hit the gravel and your only defense is to be going slow enough to stop before you go over the edge. Mountain roads are no place for excessive speed, and on some of them excessive may be anything in excess of 20.
 

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dqbrown said:
I also find the when riding the K1200LT through switchbacks that those little yellow M.P.H. signs that are posted below the curve symbod are more of a guide than the rule.
I hear there is legislation afoot (within the BMW community) to revise the language regarding the MPH signs to a "suggestion" versus a guide. I'll raise the glass to that one...
 

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doios said:
I climb Mount Washington every year @6,288 ft without a problem
Mt. Washington is a hill not a mountain. :p
 

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If you want to ride the Rockies check out COHCC.org and look at the ride tab. We have great rides mapped out all over Colorado and down loadable maps for GPS's.. Rule for flatlanders,stay hydrated,watch your alcohol intake, try to stay a day in Denver, sometimes there's pea gravel in the twisties, usually an afternoon Tstorm is the norm(usually does not last long) and watch out for long legged rodents....enjoy.
 
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