BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

21 - 40 of 66 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
632 Posts
jzeiler said:
I practice a half U turn every time I leave my parking spot at work.

What is a "half U" John?
Wouldn't that be a J or a L? =-}

I, too, do a U turn leaving my parking spot at the the homebrew store. I've never really thought about what I do, but it is up hill - which may help. I release the clutch to get enough momentum to pick my feet up and go about 10 feet. I then make a right lock with the bars. I really don't lean but do a slow upright turn (the road is sloping downhill from my position). Turning the head helps. The momentum holds me up as I come over the apex and then head down the slope which gives me a little more speed. Unfortunately, I generally have to brake before entering the street which sucks after making such a pretty turn.

I'm generally better to the left than the right, but (nearly) daily practice makes perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Well I will put some input here about making a U-turn on the LT.

First and foremost if you're practicing on the LT start with making a very wide U-turn. As you gain experience in managing your clutch and throttle control, head and eye placement, and confidence you can begin challenging yourself and tightening up the U-turn. I would begin with approximately 18 ft. then begin closing it up over time.

The rider should stay off all the brakes while making a U-turn. Proper feathering of the clutch and imputing throttle will keep the LT from falling over while in the turn.

Here is how I trained riders in the proper method of making a U-turn:
Start in a straight line, reduce speed using a combination braking. Do not use the brakes in the turn. Turn your head and look over the shoulder in the direction of the turn. Lean into the turn, keeping your eyes off the pavement and on the horizon in the direction of the turn.
Feather the clutch as necessary in the turn to maintain control and eliminate any jerky movement.
Keeping your feet on the foot pegs unless it is absolutely necessary to drop your foot down to correct the balance of the bike.
Hope this will help.


 

·
Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
14,341 Posts
alabrew said:
jzeiler said:
I practice a half U turn every time I leave my parking spot at work.

What is a "half U" John?
Wouldn't that be a J or a L? =-}

I, too, do a U turn leaving my parking spot at the the homebrew store. I've never really thought about what I do, but it is up hill - which may help. I release the clutch to get enough momentum to pick my feet up and go about 10 feet. I then make a right lock with the bars. I really don't lean but do a slow upright turn (the road is sloping downhill from my position). Turning the head helps. The momentum holds me up as I come over the apex and then head down the slope which gives me a little more speed. Unfortunately, I generally have to brake before entering the street which sucks after making such a pretty turn.

I'm generally better to the left than the right, but (nearly) daily practice makes perfect.
Yes it is more of a J turn.

I don't lock the bars to the right if that is the way I am going but rather push the bar to the left. That drops the bike's right side down and I pick it back up with the throttle. If I stall the bike she is going down hard on the right side. It is a good no brake technique that I should really practice in a full U in the parking lot more.

You can get the hang of it by starting out rolling slow in a straight line then hit the bars with a "push" as the bike begins to fall over add throttle to bring it back up. Start small and work your way up to some serious lean angle and recovery with the throttle. It is really a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Works okay except when the *^#^ timing retards and the accelleration you expected to pick you back up is a labouring bog, until its almost to late and then away you go :rolleyes:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,886 Posts
A "SEARCH" will pull up a short report that I wrote on the Ride Like a Pro class with Jerry Paladino a while back on my 02 K1200LT. I had difficulty because of the connected brake and found that even though I would only use the rear brake, the front was still putting pressure on the front, making it quite difficult to make the U turn. With the K1200LT, I used the clutch and slow speed to make the turns, but was limited.

I do find that a 1/2 U turn on the K1200LT is very easy though from a complete stop. I do many of these from a parked position. I'm finding that it is much easier and my U turns are smaller on the K1600GTL. I don't think that the brakes are linked and making a U turn while lightly adding rear brake, seems to work best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Humm.??

Here is how I trained riders in the proper method of making a U-turn:
Start in a straight line, reduce speed using a combination braking. Do not use the brakes in the turn. Turn your head and look over the shoulder in the direction of the turn. Lean into the turn, keeping your eyes off the pavement and on the horizon in the direction of the turn.

Just a couriuos question? I've alway been told to counter wieght in a real slow tight U-Turn. Your instructions say "Lean to to the turn". At what point of speed do you "count weight or Lean into the turn?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
bulletbill said:
Humm.??

Here is how I trained riders in the proper method of making a U-turn:
Start in a straight line, reduce speed using a combination braking. Do not use the brakes in the turn. Turn your head and look over the shoulder in the direction of the turn. Lean into the turn, keeping your eyes off the pavement and on the horizon in the direction of the turn.

Just a couriuos question? I've alway been told to counter wieght in a real slow tight U-Turn. Your instructions say "Lean to to the turn". At what point of speed do you "count weight or Lean into the turn?
Hi Bill, your speed is very slow but with enough momentum to start the turn. From this point you're relying on your head and eyes, and clutch/throttle. If it makes it any clearer for the speed, what I was referring to would be about the same as starting from a stopped position and pulling forward about 2 ft. and start the turn. Maybe 1mph. The lean of the m/c starts as soon as the bike begins making the turning movement. The u-turn is not a fast movement, I basically complete a u-turn at about the same speed every time.

Bill I hope this helps you out .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Maybe I'm stupid and maybe I've done it wrong for 40 years, but tight turns are done in the friction zone, rpm slightly raised and steady rear brake applied, look where you want to go, in other words full head turn. If your engine is turning, you are turning your head so as to look down the road, not down AT the road, you can't fall over. Linked brakes make NO difference in how this gets done.
Now if this scares you and you think you are going to drop your bike, go drop your bike in the grass someplace, but do it while doing what I previously mentioned. Once you get the drop out of the way you'll be far less worried about falling over.
Oh and if you are wondering what the friction zone is? Go to a parkinglot and practice going as slow as you can possibly go in a straight line, rear brake applied and the clutch at just engaged. Once you get it down to an absolute crawl, you've found the zone and it is the same for tight turns. Ride like a pro does a nice job presenting this and providing some good exercises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
Some previous posters have alluded to the opposite lean part of this U turn exercise but no-one appears to have explained that part of the manouvre. I'm an ex trials rider, and, as most will know, we tend to do the odd turn or 2 in that sport, in very confined spaces and conditions, but the theory is exactly the same. When the turn is being executed the centre of gravity must always be vertical through the bike. This means that as the bike leans into the turn the rider must counter the tendency of the bike to fall inwards by shifting his/her weight (mass) outwards. The bike therefore should never fall into the turn, if this is happening then insufficient weight shift is occurring, and yes, keep the head up because where you look is where you go, look down and,............ you'll go down. Remember, the greater the mass of the bike the greater the counter force required to keep it balanced, not always achievable at full lock for some lighter riders. Very easy on a 75 Kg trials machine. Hope this helps explain.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,886 Posts
Teach said:
. Linked brakes make NO difference in how this gets done.
I am not an expert and can only go by my experience and will have to politely disagree with this statement. Maybe if I get better and can learn a different technique, but I personally find that I can MUCH more easily make the U-Turn without linked brakes. The link brake forces the front to grab and for me, that is a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
DanDiver said:
I am not an expert and can only go by my experience and will have to politely disagree with this statement. Maybe if I get better and can learn a different technique, but I personally find that I can MUCH more easily make the U-Turn without linked brakes. The link brake forces the front to grab and for me, that is a problem.
John, I not sure why riders use any brakes at all during the process of making a u-turn...unless the turn is being attempted too fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
Yes Dano, the brake technique only works with an independant rear brake. Front brake must never used to assist with any tight U turn. The rear brake technique (applying slight brake while throttle is also applied) works because the action causes the suspension to be slightly pulled down (compressed) at the rear, thus tending the bike to want to stand upright, this has the effect of stabilising during the turn. It is a very useful technique to use in roundabouts, especially when 2 up. Plenty has been written about it. Google stayupright.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DanDiver

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
DanDive, if you are having an issue related to linked brakes, you are applying too much brake in my most educated opinion. Obviously a linked brake system bike will be a little touchier than a non-linked, but providing you aren't hammering brakes it should be a non-issue. Here is a link showing a GW, also linked brake; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmcjWxNIoP4&feature=related
Here is another linked brake bike, Victory Vision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quwbe4M_Fvo&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL58B9F6A2D5E1950D

I've personally owned both of these bikes and practiced these manuevers just as in the video's. Both are far heavier so you simply need to practice. You'll get it but it takes time.

Now I'm not a great rider, hell don't even claim to be a good rider, many folks I ride with can ride my pants off, probably a good number of folks on this board, BUT I spend a great deal of time practicing basic manuevers like you see in the "ride like a pro" video series every year. So when I say linked brakes make NO difference, they make NO difference if you KNOW your bike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,646 Posts
Teach said:
DanDive, if you are having an issue related to linked brakes, you are applying too much brake in my most educated opinion. Obviously a linked brake system bike will be a little touchier than a non-linked, but providing you aren't hammering brakes it should be a non-issue. Here is a link showing a GW, also linked brake; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmcjWxNIoP4&feature=related
Here is another linked brake bike, Victory Vision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quwbe4M_Fvo&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL58B9F6A2D5E1950D

I've personally owned both of these bikes and practiced these manuevers just as in the video's. Both are far heavier so you simply need to practice. You'll get it but it takes time.

Now I'm not a great rider, hell don't even claim to be a good rider, many folks I ride with can ride my pants off, probably a good number of folks on this board, BUT I spend a great deal of time practicing basic manuevers like you see in the "ride like a pro" video series every year. So when I say linked brakes make NO difference, they make NO difference if you KNOW your bike.
I think the bigger issue with the LT is the high first gear and lack of torque at low RPMs. My LT idle at 7 MPH. Add any throttle at all and you are going 15+ MPH which is a little fast for really tight turns. Yes, slipping the clutch helps, but nothing like a torquey engine that can idle through turns like this as the man narrating the Vision video says. I think that, more than anything, is what makes the big V-twins so much easier to turn tightly than the LT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Voyager, I think the higher center of gravity is probably more the scare factor for most. When I purchased my RT that was the first change I had to overcome, coming off bikes with a much lower center. I don't want anyone to think I'm suggesting tight turns should be easy to learn, they aren't, they take loads of practice and really getting to know the bike.
For example, to drag boards around a tight turn on the Vision I had to lean slightly forward and raise my elbows. Probably didn't need to do this BUT it was the routine that allowed me to do so without second guessing myself.
All I'm really suggesting is to get out and try different things until you find what works for you and the bike. However a linked brake system won't stop you from doing this manuever, unless of course you've convinced yourself it will. I noticed a couple folks say they do tight turns without the use of brakes... Personally I'd never be able to do that, but it works for them so thats great.
I'll now return you all to your regularly scheduled discourse, and back away. Nice chatting with you folks and good luck with practice. I'm sure you'll work it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,404 Posts
I've been reluctant to enter into the fray given all of the knowledgeable posts about slow speed turns with the LT, but what the heck...

I've always been reluctant to slip the clutch on any vehicle, it goes against the grain. But, after 85K miles on my LT (and countless thousands on bikes which I haven't kept track of) I can say that the LT is pretty unforgiving at low speeds. I may hold the record for dropping the LT two up and over loaded with camping gear. :histerica

I eventually came to terms with slipping the clutch at low speed and now do it regularly. My method has been influenced by many of the posts on this site regarding slow speed maneuvers on the LT.

What I have learned to do:
(BTW, my 2000 does not have linked brakes so I can't speak to the response of the linked brake system on later models).
During slow speed maneuvers, I generally will slip the clutch with the throttle set at some constant RPM (not sure what RPM 'cause I'm not looking at the tachometer) and control speed with the rear brake. With the clutch and throttle pulling, the rear brake controls the speed.

I keep my head up and look where I am headed, not down at the road. I do find myself sitting to the outside of the turn to offset the weight of the bike leaning into the turn.

With this method I am much more confident and the bike seems to be much more controllable. Once I am starting out of the turn I let the clutch out and throttle up.
Whatever the physics of the process, I can say it really works better than any method of trying to control the bike with the the clutch fully engaged and all speed control maintained by the throttle. HDs and Goldwings handle much better at low speeds but I'm happy to accept the limitations of the LT at low speed for what it offers once the real ride begins. (The LT will run with the sport bikes like the HDs and GWs can only dream of).

I haven't practiced in parking lots, nor have I taken a rider's training program. But experience tells me that slipping the clutch, holding the rpm's up, and controlling speed with the rear brake gives much greater low speed control on the LT. I find that I now frequently do turns with the steering head at full lock. I'm not trying to get to full lock of the steering head, it just happens with this method.

Yeah, take an experienced rider course, that's good advice. But if you don't get around to it like me, just practice the clutch slip, throttle up, rear brake method and I think you'll find that the LT becomes much more manageable at low speeds.

This is a WONDERFUL motorcycle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,646 Posts
Teach said:
Voyager, I think the higher center of gravity is probably more the scare factor for most. When I purchased my RT that was the first change I had to overcome, coming off bikes with a much lower center. I don't want anyone to think I'm suggesting tight turns should be easy to learn, they aren't, they take loads of practice and really getting to know the bike.
For example, to drag boards around a tight turn on the Vision I had to lean slightly forward and raise my elbows. Probably didn't need to do this BUT it was the routine that allowed me to do so without second guessing myself.
All I'm really suggesting is to get out and try different things until you find what works for you and the bike. However a linked brake system won't stop you from doing this manuever, unless of course you've convinced yourself it will. I noticed a couple folks say they do tight turns without the use of brakes... Personally I'd never be able to do that, but it works for them so thats great.
I'll now return you all to your regularly scheduled discourse, and back away. Nice chatting with you folks and good luck with practice. I'm sure you'll work it out.
That may well be. I know a lot of people are intimidated by the LT and fear or dropping her. After 4+ years and 27,000+ miles I have yet to drop mine and have no fear (well, very little anway) about doing that. I don't find the CG to feel all that high. It feels little different than did my Kaw Voyager XII, which I may have dropped once in 17 years and nearly 50,000 miles.

My biggest beef with the LT vis-a-vis low speed handling is that it is simply geared too tall in first for a bike this heavy and with so little low-rpm torque. Starting out on a grade of any significance when two-up and loaded is simply MUCH more work that it should be and requires much more clutch slippage. Just for fun, I compared the speed at idle for my LT compared to my other vehicles. My LT is about 7 MPH (GPS, not speedometer) at idle on level pavement. My Hyundai Sonata is 3.5 MPH. My Chevy truck is about 3 MPH in 1st, but this truck has a creeper low gear and in that gear the speed doesn't even register on a GPS!

The truck is very easy to start out with, even on a steep grade as it has low gearing and a lot of low-end torque, even with the little 4.3L V-6. The Sonata is more work as it has a touchy electronic throttle, little low-end torque from the little 2.5L 4-banger and a light and somewhat touchy clutch. However, the LT is the runt of the litter by far with a first gear that is simply way too tall. You can talk about BMW engineering all you want, but gearing a bike so tall in first that it idles at more than 5 MPH is just bad engineering. Even Germany has mountains and hills to start out on. The entire country isn't autobahn!!

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it! :)

If the LT was geared low enough to idle through a tight turn, I think tight turns would be a lot easier as would generally operation when loaded and on less than level terrain.

I wish I had done the idle speed check on my Voyager, but never thought to do that as starting out was never a high-stress event on the Kawasaki even when loaded and on an upill grade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Ok one last post and I really am staying away from this topic.
You mentioned the guys commentary in the Vision video... but the guy was talking smack. You can hear the throttle being raised and die off as brake is applied. I know this to be true because I've done it on the Vision hundreds of time. Trying to idle would kill the motor and put you on the ground, which brings me to point 2. It actually works to your advantage that the LT idle coasts at 7mph. Remember to do these types of turns you need raised RPM, rear brake applied and clutch in the friction zone.
Maybe I'm not explaining it clear enough, so lets try this. If you wanted to ride in a straight line on your LT, at slower than walking speed, you'd need to brake, raise rpm and feather the clutch. There is a point on the clutch disengagement/engagement where you can rev the snot out of the motor and the bike won't move any faster, that spot is the friction zone. With that point achieved and SLIGHT pressure on the rear brake, the LT will turn tight.
What I see most often when someone cannot get their bike to turn is they cannot balance their bike at ultra low speed either. You have to learn ultra slow before you can master ultra tight turns such as in the video. Balancing the LT and RT at these speeds is far more difficult than I've experienced on GW's and Vision... not to mention HD baggers, it isn't impossible but it does require more practice. Get the balance down and the turns will follow.
Again I appreciate the conversation and I hope some of you will give some of the points discussed a try/look. Lots of good discussion that hopefully someone will benefit from. I know I'm gonna try a turn or two without touching the brakes to see if my RT will let me get away with it. Nice chatting with you fella's.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,646 Posts
Teach said:
Ok one last post and I really am staying away from this topic.
You mentioned the guys commentary in the Vision video... but the guy was talking smack. You can hear the throttle being raised and die off as brake is applied. I know this to be true because I've done it on the Vision hundreds of time. Trying to idle would kill the motor and put you on the ground, which brings me to point 2. It actually works to your advantage that the LT idle coasts at 7mph. Remember to do these types of turns you need raised RPM, rear brake applied and clutch in the friction zone.
Maybe I'm not explaining it clear enough, so lets try this. If you wanted to ride in a straight line on your LT, at slower than walking speed, you'd need to brake, raise rpm and feather the clutch. There is a point on the clutch disengagement/engagement where you can rev the snot out of the motor and the bike won't move any faster, that spot is the friction zone. With that point achieved and SLIGHT pressure on the rear brake, the LT will turn tight.
What I see most often when someone cannot get their bike to turn is they cannot balance their bike at ultra low speed either. You have to learn ultra slow before you can master ultra tight turns such as in the video. Balancing the LT and RT at these speeds is far more difficult than I've experienced on GW's and Vision... not to mention HD baggers, it isn't impossible but it does require more practice. Get the balance down and the turns will follow.
Again I appreciate the conversation and I hope some of you will give some of the points discussed a try/look. Lots of good discussion that hopefully someone will benefit from. I know I'm gonna try a turn or two without touching the brakes to see if my RT will let me get away with it. Nice chatting with you fella's.
It would be far better to have gearing so the bike idled at 3 MPH and took some throttle and RPM to get to 7 MPH. I haven't driven a vehicle yet from car to truck to dozer to semi that didn't work better with proper gearing at the low end. You simply have better control with lower gearing when driving a manual transmission vehicle. Sure, you can slip the clutch to overcome the lack of gearing, but that is a poor solution to a problem easily solved with proper gearing.
 
21 - 40 of 66 Posts
Top