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Discussion Starter #1
I was cluttering up the CCR photos thread with Don's bike evaluations, so started this new.

Here is what he did to evaluate the ergonomic differences between the LT and GT for a serious Iron Butt mount. He was experiencing some uncomfort on the GT that he did not on his LT, so got his daughter to take pictures of him sitting on both. Here is what he did with the pictures.


They are a lot closer than I imagined after my test ride. Looks like bringing the bars back 2-3 inches, and lowering the pegs an inch or two will put him in basically the same position as on the LT, and with the proper seat it should work about the same.

Our favorite Admiral is serious about getting back into the Iron Butt Rally! Now if he can just figure out how to add a fuel cell AND top box, it could work.
 

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Dick,

One small thing I noticed. In the picture of Don sitting on the LT, his arms appears to be very relaxed with a slight bend. In the GT picture his arms appear to be extended as far as they will go. That slight bend could significantly impact comfort.

Amzing what I'm reduced to sitting at home watching CCR on the computer!:(

BB
 

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My LT is one of the last Owners Choice leases from BMW. In April '07 it goes back, it ain't worth keeping. My dilemma, the '07 (new revamped) LT is looking like an '08 or "09. What to do? I really don't want another RT ( I had an '02 RT-P) so the GT was looking good, but I don't like the ARM position (reach) on the GT. Although not a lean over bike, like other sport touring mcy's it is not as comfortable as, say, the LT, Goldwing or big Harleys. I have my fingers crossed the new LT comes a little early. Oh, and I hope I like it.
 

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johnk12lt said:
My LT is one of the last Owners Choice leases from BMW. In April '07 it goes back, it ain't worth keeping. My dilemma, the '07 (new revamped) LT is looking like an '08 or "09. What to do? I really don't want another RT ( I had an '02 RT-P) so the GT was looking good, but I don't like the ARM position (reach) on the GT. Although not a lean over bike, like other sport touring mcy's it is not as comfortable as, say, the LT, Goldwing or big Harleys. I have my fingers crossed the new LT comes a little early. Oh, and I hope I like it.
I was basically in the same position, and went with another LT. I expect the next LT will be an '09 model, early released in '08 after the next Intermot (no, I don't have any "inside acess" -- I'm guessing, too :)) Add in 1/2-1 year waiting to let the usual first year "beta" problems get fixed, and letting the initial demand cool, and I figure I'm looking at 3 years before I even consider switching again -- far enough away that I didn't let the "what's coming" question interfere with this selection process.

Oh, and almost forgot -- Don's GT/LT pics could have been me (after I drop about 50 pounds! :)) The comment on the arm stretch is spot-on -- although the trunk/leg positions are nearly the same, that's only with the arms locked, and the shoulders straining forward; if the arms were bent and shoulders rest naturally, the trunk lean must be more pronounced. I concluded that even with the new Helibar bar-backs, I would still be leaned forward far enough to have more pressure on my wrists, and have my neck holding my head up/back, more than I wanted. Now, the GT may work for Don, as his arms are longer than mine. But, having just barely been able to not give in to the temptation to try to "make" a GT fit, rather than going with the "old" design, I wanted to pitch my $0.02 on the table for consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
vtwinwilly said:
Dick,

One small thing I noticed. In the picture of Don sitting on the LT, his arms appears to be very relaxed with a slight bend. In the GT picture his arms appear to be extended as far as they will go. That slight bend could significantly impact comfort.

Amzing what I'm reduced to sitting at home watching CCR on the computer!:(

BB
Yes, that is Don's evaluation, that he would need to move the bars back about 3" to gain the same ergonomics on the GT that he has on the LT.

With over 300,000 miles on his LT before the accident, it will be pretty important to him that he can get the same multiple long day comfort with the GT, or he will likely get another LT. He has a long re-training time ahead, and has to get quite a bit of LD riding under his belt before the next Iron Butt Rally. He has not ridden at all since the accident until he tried out the GT and new LT Tuesday. Said it felt GOOD though! I know the feeling, as I had not had a leg over a bike for over a year and a half before testing the GT last weekend. Only nervous for about the first mile, after that it felt GREAT to back on the road, even if only for a short time.
 

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GT Experience

As a rider with 135,000 miles on an LT and 10,500 miles on the new GT, I thought that these observations might be helpful.

I really fought the ergos of the bike initially. The whole position just didn't work for me and the seat was an absolute killer. I almost took it back because I truly had my doubts about being able to get it right. However, I really loved the lightness, the power, and the handling of the bike so I persisted and am very glad that I did. I really feel that with the new seat, Cee Bailey's windshield, the bar backs, and the lowered pegs that I have really got it dialed right for me. These four items are exactly the same adds that I needed to do to my LT and RT to make them comfortable for me. I am 6'1" with a 32" inseam and wear a 44 Long coat.

So far I have not had the opportunity, based on itinerary, to do a 1000 mile
day, but have done a couple of 800's with a 600 back to back. I believe that there is some adjustment to riding style that is needed. After 135,000 miles on my 02 LT I was pretty used to that position. I now have 10,500 miles on my 3 1/2 month old GT and feel like I have made that adjustment.

The biggest things that I miss from the LT are the highway pegs and the back rest. We will see if the aftermarket folks come up with something. You really don't need the back rest if you don't have the highway pegs. I do think that highway pegs will be the biggest challenge.

For me it is really hard to get excited about getting back on my LT after being spoiled by the lightness, the performance, and the handling of the GT.

For me I feel lke the GT was the right decision.
 

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It looks like Don's lower leg shrunk a few inches while on the GT! (The distance between his knee and ankle) So might want to adjust the overlay a little.
 

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I'm assuming that the GT's bars are in the "full upright position" in those photos. I'd be curious to see the ergos with the bars fully down - just to see the amount of adjustability there is.

I'm one of those weirdos that actually LIKES leaning forward a tad. I've found it really helps my lower back.
 

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there are also the matters of the seat and passenger accommodations. while the stock LT seat is nothing to brag about the seat pan is much larger, and should allow a better place to sit, with installation of a better seat. plus it looks to me like LT passenger have significantly more room.
 

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dshealey said:
I know the feeling, as I had not had a leg over a bike for over a year and a half before testing the GT last weekend. Only nervous for about the first mile, after that it felt GREAT to back on the road, even if only for a short time.
OK Doc... you getting a little closer to being a new owner? When I get to San Diego sometime, would love to buy you a cup of coffee at the local StarBinks and talk bike trash...

I sat on the GT before I bought the LT. Something about the overall seating arrangement had me off my feed for a bit. I felt stretched out, almost to the point of feeling like I was on a cafe racer. The one odd feeling was in the ankle where the foot was extended (or turned) upward and yet with the LT I almost point my toe when riding.

Looking at the pictures, there doesn't seem to be that much difference. BTW, what's the Admiral's height/weight... At 6'2" and 240#, the LT is much more comfortable for me. :cool:
 

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The Smile Says it All.

Glad to see Don onboard again, that's great. Ergonomics aside, the main difference I see is Don's grin is bigger on the LT. :) :) :)
 

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I went to Bill Mayer Saddles with a friend who got a new seat made for his RT and saw Rocky's new GT. He bought it from Ventura BMW (great deal, couldn't say no thing) and the next day took off for Alaska. He built new seats for it the night before they left and man they are beautiful, and comfortable. He did about 7k two up loaded and said the bike was very comfortable. If i was to get a new GT that would be my first ride, not Alaska but Rockys.
 

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Been wondering how Don is.

Aside from the angles not being the same in each picture, Don looks happier on the LT.
Bob
 

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Just curious Doug, is Rocky's new GT the dark blue?
 

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dshealey said:
I was cluttering up the CCR photos thread with Don's bike evaluations, so started this new.


Our favorite Admiral is serious about getting back into the Iron Butt Rally! Now if he can just figure out how to add a fuel cell AND top box, it could work.
so i take it Don has a GT now, does he have this info on his website?

if so can you point me in the direction?
 

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First, thanks David for posting the info and photos. It's great to hear that Don is back on a bike (and you, too!)!

I had a chance to sit on a GT here at CCR (I'm not quite headed home yet). I didn't actually ride it, so in some respects, my opinion isn't as useful as some of these other folks (like Mitch) who have put some miles on one. However, I can offer a tall guy's perspective (6'5", 34" inseam), and it "feels" like the riding position "Z" (hands to hips, hips to knees, knees to feet) is considerably "tighter" and more strained than Don's photos (and colored lines) suggest. My knees and ankles really felt torqued, and my trunk was definitely not vertical if I had my hands/arms in a reasonably relaxed position (i.e., I would expect some pressure/weight on my hands while riding, and I have LONG arms). Younger riders and those with better knees (i.e., a LOT less years on the basketball court!) might not find this a problem, but for me, that was a deal-killer.

BTW, I watched several women sit on the pillion seat, and while they liked the padding, they were NOT impressed with the angle of the seat. Although it is reasonably soft, it slopes downward toward the rider, and isn't nearly as broadly supportive as the LT's rear seat.

I could see the GT being reasonably comfortable IF it had a custom seat (in my case raising the rider slightly and the passenger seat back, up and flattened slightly), a backrest, after-market peg-lowering, highway pegs of some sort, and definitely maximum bar extension. However, even then I don't think it would be as comfortable (for me) as an LT. So I'm afraid I'll just have to stick with Salsa until '08!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
tmgs said:
so i take it Don has a GT now, does he have this info on his website?

if so can you point me in the direction?
No, he has not made up his mind yet. Evaluating the bikes to decide. He had just about ruled out the GT for the Iron Butt Rally, which he will be tying to do next time. He missed his first one because of 9-11, and had a bad accident on the way to the last one in 2005, so is hoping to finally do it in the one coming up in 2007. He did like the power and handling of the GT enough though to keep it in the short list.

Right now, the LT is still in the lead because of his over 300,000 miles experience on one, and the slight discomforts of the GT in comparison. As he said, his greatest worry is getting 5-6 days into the IBR and finding he then hates the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
messenger13 said:
Naw! I'd rather keep hearing from the "experts". :D
With a bike so new to the market, there are no experts to listen to.

It will be on my very short list of bikes to get since I now know the power brakes are going away. That was the one thing that I would not buy. I like linear control, not the BMW engineer's (bad) decision of when I want to go from light braking to "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD". Sure glad BMW sees the light now and is abandoning that.
 

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Don's

mneblett said:
I was basically in the same position, and went with another LT. I expect the next LT will be an '09 model, early released in '08 after the next Intermot (no, I don't have any "inside acess" -- I'm guessing, too :)) Add in 1/2-1 year waiting to let the usual first year "beta" problems get fixed, and letting the initial demand cool, and I figure I'm looking at 3 years before I even consider switching again -- far enough away that I didn't let the "what's coming" question interfere with this selection process.

Oh, and almost forgot -- Don's GT/LT pics could have been me (after I drop about 50 pounds! :)) The comment on the arm stretch is spot-on -- although the trunk/leg positions are nearly the same, that's only with the arms locked, and the shoulders straining forward; if the arms were bent and shoulders rest naturally, the trunk lean must be more pronounced. I concluded that even with the new Helibar bar-backs, I would still be leaned forward far enough to have more pressure on my wrists, and have my neck holding my head up/back, more than I wanted. Now, the GT may work for Don, as his arms are longer than mine. But, having just barely been able to not give in to the temptation to try to "make" a GT fit, rather than going with the "old" design, I wanted to pitch my $0.02 on the table for consideration.
I too went with a "new" LT, picked up a 2000 with 13k on it. I haven't scored a demo ride on a GT yet, but I always felt the LT bars were too Far Back! So the bars on a GT won't be a problem for me, also the small seat pan can be fixed by Russell. However, the pegs being farther back on the GT could be a deal-breaker, my old knees might not be able to live there.
 
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