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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the K1200LT. Having owned several other BMW's ('04 RT, '12 RT), several Harleys and several big Kawasaki Vulcans, this is my first K bike. I found a mint '06 with only 20,000 miles on it. This past weekend my fiance and I headed out for an afternoons tour from the Seattle area out to the ocean.

At barely 5'9" and with the stock seat, I am perfectly comfortable on the bike alone, however riding two up is another story at slow speed (coming to stops on cambered roads, maneuvering in pkg lots, gas stations etc) certainly ratchets up the pucker factor. I have quickly learned to NOT try and navigate a turn, after starting from a stop, with passenger on board. This bike needs some speed before doing much of anything and you truly have to plan your escape route before stopping somewhere.

Once up to speed this is a wonderful machine that handles beautifully (as many I've read have said, like a sportbike), with or without passenger. In the twisties this big bike comes to life and is feather light and scalpel sharp in its stearing. The RPM's of a 4 cylinder machine is going to take some getting used to however. After loafing along the freeway with a V-twin, the constant 3500 + RPM's do get a bit annoying after a few hours. I really wish this had a 6th gear.

I love the brakes, but dislike the footpegs. After spending the better part of a full day on this bike, my beat-up knees were screaming on the ride home, begging to be stretched out and it left me dreaming of my old Harley's forward floorboards. Somebody please tell me the best fix for a forward hiway peg. The "J" pegs I've seen?

We'll see how I do with the K1200 this summer. Being honest, I'd say there's about a 50/50 chance at this point that this bike will either grow on me or I'll decide it's just not for me. I really do NOT like the slow speed top heaviness.

Any advice or suggestions would be great.

Ride safe everyone.
 

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Get some Ilium works boards. Expensive, but worth it. My knees used to complain. Now they don't. By the way, that little vibration you feel in the motor smooths out nicely at 4000.
 

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I have to agree about the slow speed top heaviness with a passenger on board. I've dropped mine twice when almost stopped, 2-up. I lost my footing both times, but I also find that the passenger really affects the centre of gravity (+70 kgs is a real challenge at slow speeds), so as soon as the bike gets a little off-centre when fully loaded "she's all over", literally. I find this to be very unnerving, but it is the only fault I can find in the handling department. For example, the HD Electrglide Ultra-classic beats the LT hands down in the slow speed fully loaded department, but that's all, everything else, the KT is far superior, handling, brakes, wind protection, fuel efficiency, smoothness,....... As for the pegs, I used a set of Suburban Machinery relocators, the trade off being reduced lean angle, but Wilbers also improved that. It comes down to personal preference, the HD will always have a more relaxed knee angle, that's the style of that bike, not for me, but that's just me.
 

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First off welcome to the Nut House. There is lots of great people & even more info on the K bike here. Yes the LT is a big bike. It took me a good 5000 miles to feel comfortable on it at low speeds. After that everything just became second nature with the bike. I pulled a trailer 2 up for over 35,000 & never had a problem with the weight of the bike. I too am 5'9" & was never able to "Flat Foot" the bike but after a while it did not even matter. As for the cramped legs I too had the same problem so I went with the Suburban Machinery PEG LOWERING KIT for more leg room Plus a custom seat that was a little taller then stock. After those two things I could easily do 1000 mile days.
 

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Everyone unless they are like a Gorilla in stature finds the LT scary and intimidating at slow speeds. I've dropped mine twice since 2008 which is not bad. Not to say I haven't come close several other times. It takes time in the saddle for that fear to pass. The first year I was very aware of the bad tendency for the bike to like dirt naps and was very careful to not give her the chance to take one. Also you can't ride with your head up your *#%$$#(. You need to look and think ahead. Don't put yourself in positions that will cause you stress and attempting to do something the bike will not like. I am constantly planning where I'll park and I'll drive a extra 1/2 mile if it makes turning around easier. I now am very comfortable taking the LT on any roads, terrain and even dirt/gravel when necessary. Good luck
 

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The LT's are remarkable bikes with great comforts. As you ride it more and become more familiar with it, you will find it to be no big deal with slow speeds. If you have a feeling of leaning to the outside while making slow speed turns, it is much easier. Go to a parking by yourself and practice making figure eights but try leaning a little more to the outside of the arc.
I have both the J-pegs and the ****-o-pegs on my LT. I feel I have to dislocate my hips with the J-Pegs but all is very, very comfortable with the ****-o-pegs. They are very easy to install. Just be sure of your measurements. Check out their website. Welcome to the wonderful world of LT Touring. Even when riding two up, the miles just melt under you.
 

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+1 On ****-O-Pegs they are great. As for floorboards check out the floorboards from Darius (member on the site)
http://www.dodk64.com/
Has both driver / passenger and the drivers can be lowered and forward of stock with the flip up version. Also cheaper and great customer service.

Bobs BMW has Bobs pegs at about $125.00 that are located in a similar location as
J pegs.
 

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I'm sure this isn't the answer you're looking for, but the K16GTL solves all of the problems that you're talking about. :)

Lighter weight, better balance, and updated suspension means that slow-speed maneuvers are effortless, there are multiple options for forward highway pegs, and that Slant/6 motor is so smooth and torquey that it simply beats any old Inline-4 handily (including the LT's venerated Flying Brick motor).

The LT is a great bike, for a big ol' heavy Tourer, but the GTL simply does everything so much better . . . :cool:
 

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After coming off a goldwing 1800, I had to show some respect for the balance and weight of the LT. It takes a little while to learn the do's and don'ts of riding around a parking lot, or 2 up. I don't even think about it any more, I can zip U turns in the tiniest spaces, park it just about anywhere, and haul my wife around with impunity...so to speak! The LT is just so different from a Harley that it is amazing you were able to ride it at all. Once you get all that low slung, exhaust noise, intricate chrome cleaning nightmare, feet up in front of you, with 60 mile an hour wind going up your pants leg, afraid to take a turn faster than 30 cause something will scrape right off, feeling out of your system, you will begin to appreciate the LT for what it really is, a great sporty tourer! Able to take tight corners without losing a part. :histerica
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you guys for the advice, and encouraging words. Sometimes it's just a good thing to hear similar experiences from others so that you don't feel like an incompetent ass :)

Perhaps I'll see you all the CCR in Bend, only about a 4 hr ride from my house.

Scott
 

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meese said:
I'm sure this isn't the answer you're looking for, but the K16GTL solves all of the problems that you're talking about. :)

Lighter weight, better balance, and updated suspension means that slow-speed maneuvers are effortless, there are multiple options for forward highway pegs, and that Slant/6 motor is so smooth and torquey that it simply beats any old Inline-4 handily (including the LT's venerated Flying Brick motor).

The LT is a great bike, for a big ol' heavy Tourer, but the GTL simply does everything so much better . . . :cool:
Hmmm. I currently own both a new GT and first gen LT (among others) and would have to disagree on several salient points:

Fuel economy

Weight ? - you've GOT to be kidding Ken - the 1600 is still a PORKER. :D The next gen LT will be on a serious diet, guaranteed.

Overall wind and weather protection.

Pillion seat comfort.

Pillion seat exposure to buffeting.

Trailer towing ability.

Overall looks.

Ability to self service without paying $100.00 an hour (or more) for glorified computer assisted "technicians". :rolleyes:

Lack of optional equipment like *reasonably* priced passenger armrests.
No doubt a *few* more superfluous aftermarket options will show up in the coming years - but they'll almost all be exclusively cosmetic - and not quality bench made functional products crafted by American or German enthusiasts - they'll be made in China.

BMW made great strides presenting a more capable one up sport tourer and invented a new, sublime catergory - but then again the K1600 has (cough) about 10 years of engineering and technology advances to support it. Hard to believe but the first I-pad hit the consumer scene only 3 years ago this April. Seems like light years, no? :D

The LT has it's folliables, but then again so does the latest and greatest iteration. In spades. Don't they all? On the plus side if an LT falls down and goes boom it doesn't necessarily need to be totaled from a little road rash. :rotf: I've noticed that all new K1600's come standard with crash bars. Duh.

The LT is STILL by far the best two up touring bike on the market - even over a decade later. It certainly takes more skill and focus to operate - which any competent rider can handle with ease. 60% more horsepower is always welcome if your interest is 1/4 mile times or racing full out sport bikes UP a mountain.

For a bike that was first penned around 1995 the LT still represents darned well for anyone wanting to put in some serious mileage hauling a passenger and lots of junk on board.

Make no mistake, I LOVE my GT. It is a rocket that can ridden to the edge of wetness and beyond. However, when Momma wants to go on a trip of more than a few hours duration - with her shoe collection that rivals Imelda Marcos - the LT gets the nod. Every time. :thumb:
 

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Sure, Ron, we can disagree - and you'd still be wrong on most every point. :D

Let's look at the facts, rather than just random rhetoric, shall we?

RonKMiller said:
Fuel economy
No practical difference in real-world fuel economy between my LT, Slant/4 GTs, or Slant/6 GTL (high 30's when ridden hard, and 50's when ridden sedately). Except maybe that the GTL is much more fun to ride at the limit. :bike:

RonKMiller said:
LT - 853 lbs (387 kg) wet
GTL 767 lbs (348 kg) wet

That looks to me like damn near close to a hundred pounds . . .

And, if you're talking GT, you can take another 64 lbs off of that, to save a full 150 lbs over the LT, but you do lose that spiffy trunk. ;)

Plus, as already mentioned, the K16 carries its reduced weight lower, with better overall balance, so it feels much, much lighter than that old porker of an LT. ;)

RonKMiller said:
The next gen LT will be on a serious diet, guaranteed.
I'll believe it when I see it. And by "it" I mean if an LT-replacement ever shows up at all, and if they can manage to maintain all the bells & whistles and reduce the weight more than the GTL? Nope, just not gonna happen . . .

RonKMiller said:
Overall wind and weather protection.
For bone stock bikes, I'll give you that one. But my AeroWings work wonders, and even my LT needed a better windscreen, so practically, it's a wash. (And I've ridden my GTL through Hurricane Isaac, so I know exactly how much "protection" it gives.)

RonKMiller said:
Pillion seat comfort.
I'll give you the backrest on the LT is better placed, but the GTL passenger seat is pretty damn comfy (and much better than the GT seat).

RonKMiller said:
Pillion seat exposure to buffeting.
Again, even my LT needed a better windscreen for true passenger comfort, and the AeroWings solved the rest of the buffeting on the GTL. Plus, the slightly-skinner GTL makes it much easier to split lanes . . . :bike:

RonKMiller said:
Trailer towing ability.
Torque, torque, and more torque means the K16 beats the LT hands down here. Besides, I just added a hitch to my GTL, which took maybe an hour . . .

RonKMiller said:
Overall looks.
Subjective at best. Sure, the LT is a pretty bike, but it looks (and feels) rather bulbous. The GT/L is the new face of BMW, and those Angry Owl eyes do stand out . . .

RonKMiller said:
Ability to self service without paying $100.00 an hour (or more) for glorified computer assisted "technicians".
I've done all the major services on my Slant/4 GTs, and the Slant/6 motor isn't any more complicated than a couple more cylinders. And yes, Stephen at Hexcode is currently engineering a new GS-911 to work with the MOSS/ISTA CanBus protocols on all the new Beemers (including the newest water-cooled GS), just as easily as the old GS-911 can work with the older MoDiTeC and GT1/Komet protocols on those older, "obsolete" Beemers. ;)

RonKMiller said:
Lack of optional equipment like *reasonably* priced passenger armrests.
Really? BMW never produced an armrest for the LT, even though they promised. And it took a few years for the aftermarket to catch up, on armrests and many other farkles that we now consider essential.

Now BMW does have an (admittedly pricey) factory armrest option, plus you can go aftermarket for about half that cost.

And our own Steve Shreeve fitted armrests to his GTL for well under $200 and a bit of ingenuity.

RonKMiller said:
No doubt a *few* more superfluous aftermarket options will show up in the coming years - but they'll almost all be exclusively cosmetic - and not quality bench made functional products crafted by American or German enthusiasts - they'll be made in China.
Now you're just talking out your äss, Ron. ;)

I've personally spoken to and worked with several American manufacturers on K16-specific farkles, including windscreens, dash shelves, seats, tank bags, backrests, aux light mounts, fuel cells, and more. And I've simply dug in and designed/made/tested my own options where the aftermarket didn't quite fit my needs (much like you tend to do yourself). Just the same as I did with the LT, and the older GTs, actually. :)

RonKMiller said:
BMW made great strides presenting a more capable one up sport tourer
Well, that's just your opinion. ;)

RonKMiller said:
and invented a new, sublime category
Now that we can agree on. A Sport-Tourer that's equal parts Sport and Tour . . . :D

RonKMiller said:
The LT has it's foibles
Yes, yes it does. And I have a box of old, broken final drives, clutches, slave cylinders, and broken shift linkages to prove it. ;) Fortunately, I never lost a $2,300 power-ABS unit . . .

RonKMiller said:
but then again so does the latest and greatest iteration.
Of course it does: it is a BMW, after all . . . :bmw: But all of the GT/L's first-year "faults" are being addressed, and none of them are actually keeping the bikes from being ridden . . .

RonKMiller said:
On the plus side if an LT falls down and goes boom it doesn't necessarily need to be totaled from a little road rash.
And there are factory and many different aftermarket engine and saddlebag guards already available that do a damn fine job of protecting that precious Slant/6 engine, even on a very high-speed get-off. I've seen K16's that went down at highway speeds, and though they definitely looked a bit rough for the ride, they were able to be ridden away.

RonKMiller said:
I've noticed that all new K1600's come standard with crash bars.
As they should. Most all fitted by the local dealer, I'll admit, but then again, a good dealer can easily solve many of these sorts of "factory" issues.

RonKMiller said:
The LT is STILL by far the best two up touring bike on the market
Again, that's your opinion . . .

RonKMiller said:
It certainly takes more skill and focus to operate - which any competent rider can handle with ease.
And only competent riders should be riding a $25,000 large-capacity motorcycle. But we know that's not always the case. How many low-speed drops do we STILL see with the LT because someone tapped the power brakes with the forks slightly turned? Good thing it has those built-in crash bars . . .

RonKMiller said:
60% more horsepower is always welcome
Yes, yes it is, in every situation. But it's that massive torque (and excellent balance and low center of gravity) that makes the K16 so easy to ride well, even for those of limited experience. Partial-Integral ABS (none of that goofy, whiny power brakes crap), on-the-fly Suspension changes, rider-programmable Ride Modes, and full Traction Control also help to tame the wild beast, or at least minimize the damage when things do get out of hand.

And yes, I've chased several "sportier" bikes up and down mountains, and held my own . . .

RonKMiller said:
For a bike that was first penned around 1995 the LT still represents darned well for anyone wanting to put in some serious mileage hauling a passenger and lots of junk on board.
Sure, the LT is still a fine bike, and I truly enjoyed the 130K+ miles I put on the two I had over several states, countries, and continents.

But it's still damn near 20-year-old technology . . .

And lest you forget, I do know a little something about putting serious miles on these bikes . . . :cool:

RonKMiller said:
Make no mistake, I LOVE my GT.
Are you sure, Ron? Cause you kinda don't sound like it. ;)

RonKMiller said:
It is a rocket that can ridden to the edge of wetness and beyond.
Yes, yes it is, and yes I do. :D

RonKMiller said:
However, when Momma wants to go on a trip of more than a few hours duration - with her shoe collection that rivals Imelda Marcos - the LT gets the nod. Every time.
So, that's what your ghetto trailer is for! ;) Sounds like you and Momma need to have a conversation, about more than just shoes . . . ;)
 

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To the OP, I too just purchased a 2006 with 22,500 miles and I too find the low speed management something I'll need to become accustomed to. I am coming off a GL1500 which is another BIG bike so I think my learning curve will be shorter than yours as I consider harleys(even the Ultra's) to be "small bikes". After riding a Goldwing when you sit on an Ultra it seems like a mini-bike. :rotf:

So far I do like so many elements of the LT. Having had many Japanese inline fours and recently the Goldwing flat six I have to say the engine isnt my favorite of all that I've owned. No offense to all you BMW faithful but a Kawasaki concours engine in the LT would be incredible!!

As for the K1600, I havent ridden one and I'll take ya'lls word that its incredible but at $25,000+ for a GTL????? no thanks not interested in the least. I'll keep my $8,800 Corbin seat clad LT and invest the $16,200 difference towards my retirement. :histerica
 

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Craigmri said:
A Kawasaki concours engine in the LT would be incredible!!
How about the sportiness of the Concours engine plus the massive torque of the Wing in the same engine, tucked into a package that rivals the LT for comfort and blows it away in handling? That's exactly what the K16 is. :bmw:

Yes, you pay for all that technology. Just as you did when the LT first came out. To many riders, who don't want to wait for tomorrow to enjoy life, it's worth it.

And yes, there are used ones coming online now for under $20K. Give it a couple of years, and the price will drop even further as BMW pushes ahead with newer designs.

Life is for living, not for waiting around until it's "affordable" . . . :cool:
 

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I gotta go with the original post. The LT is just a danger to humanity in a tight space at low speed with two up, and I practice slow speed tight space manuevering every week for at least 30 minutes.
I'm not a little guy, have dropped the LT twice, and picked it up completely off the ground 1 time just from anger, so man handling the bike isn't an issue for me.

On the highway or twisties it's a bike to love even though it's underpowered. Being older with life long abused knees, it is cramped. Peg relocation is on the agenda this spring and will solve that issue though.

For those tight little towns that the wife and I love to frequent we finally found the ideal solution; bought a Suzuki C90 and a trailer. Tow the scooter to final destination and enjoy our in town sight seeing and country side day rides without the need to be followed by a tow truck and EMS bus.

Or was that the excuse I used to buy a second bike :rotf:
 
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