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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Just got an 2005 LT 2 days ago. I've had a very nimble sport bike with a fantastic suspension for the last 3 years.

Here's the problem.

The ramp entrance to my apartment drive way, where it meets the street, is a huge dip (around 8 inches is my guess). There is a very high crown in the road which slopes off very quickly and where it meets the entrance to the parking lot (the ramp through the sidewalk like you see every 100 feet in the U.S.) create a HUGE dip.

On my sportbike, going in was bad but I learned how to do it gently enough to not bottom out the suspension. It required finesse and the exact right speed and angle. Going out was not a big deal if I did it slow and stood on the pegs.

Now I've left the apartment twice on the LT and it's unbearable. Sounds like the bike is going to break in half going out and in. Coming in is so bad, it seems like it will either destroy the bike or cause a crash someday.

I don't see how I can do this at less than a 90 degree angle for fear of the bike sliding down the 8" ramp and crashing.

Who knows how to do this? With all the miles you guys have, someone must know the trick.

Thanks.

Mike.
 

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mrbiker said:
Hi all,

Just got an 2005 LT 2 days ago. I've had a very nimble sport bike with a fantastic suspension for the last 3 years.

Here's the problem.

The ramp entrance to my apartment drive way, where it meets the street, is a huge dip (around 8 inches is my Mike.
go practice slow speed in a parking lot without putting your feet down, I'm talking very slow speeds like you are trying to win a slow race.

keep your RPMS up feather your rear brake if you have to. practice making right and left turns VERY slow (with no feet down) you will be able to handle it in no time, start making tighter turns.

In no time you will be able to turn your lt with steering lock to lock, without worrying about falling over or putting your feet down while your turning even sharp uphill or down hill turns
keep your rpms up look where you are going, do not look down
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got the Motorman DVD and watched it the night before I got the bike.

Sounds like what you are saying. I've roped off my Saturday (tomorrow) to do just that. Going to buy cones in the AM and find a school parking lot to practice.

This helps with turns, will it help with this giant dip/ramp?

Thanks

Mike.
 

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mrbiker said:
Got the Motorman DVD and watched it the night before I got the bike.

Sounds like what you are saying. I've roped off my Saturday (tomorrow) to do just that. Going to buy cones in the AM and find a school parking lot to practice.

This helps with turns, will it help with this giant dip/ramp?

Thanks

Mike.
i have not seen "his" DVD or his Class he puts on, but i have seen moto cops in action, they are good, I'm sure that DVD is good, I'd like to see it myself just to see what is on it that way I could recommend it to others.

so has anyone else seen it?

tom
 

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mrbiker said:
This helps with turns, will it help with this giant dip/ramp?

Thanks

Mike.
it all boils down to balance, confidence and abillity, are the places you can not take a LT . well sure there are.

But yes IMHo it will help greatly with large dips and inclines even in a curve, I take my LT out of a right hand fairly sharpo incline out of my basement regualrly without even thinking about it, (I have no dip in it though)

Once you are feeling secure with the LT in sharp slow turns you will be speeding up a tad here and there pretty soon you won;t even think about it. just ALWAYS remember to pay attention

it is always good to be able to turn your bike sharp without having to lean into it as well, but leaning in to it does decrease your turning radius (smaller circle) than turning in a upright position in a circle.

still there is a place for every technique, I don't know what your drive looks like,
but being able to turn slow and sharp very slow (without
leaning the bike) can help in certain circumstances

leaning the bike far over to obtain either a smaller diamet radius or faster movement may or may not be the asnwer to your particular issue you have, so I would start be beiong able to slow speed ride. BTW it is on of the 1st things I taught my kids make right and left turns exteemly slow without putting your feet down, then I started teaching them leaning to turn sharper, myy SOn was handle a springer softail pretty darn good in two weeks, we then left on a 9 state trip all through the mountain twisties

he did dang good even in bad hilly parking areas
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So far, tmgs' advice is terrific.

I'm going to take a picture and add it to the post by Saturday so you can evaluate the situation.

From what you've said so far, you guys wouldn't even blink at this problem.

Believe me, I'm very nervous riding this thing, and that's with 30 years of mc experience. I've never been on anything approaching this weight.

However, I must say, I bought it for comfort on long trips and so far, it's been nothing but fun (except for the driveway thing).

Thanks again. Reading the posts here have convinced me that although I'm only 150 lbs, sooner or later I'll be able to master this.

Hey, Mr. TMGS, pm me for more info on the DVD.

Anyone else got any tips (NOT-tip overs!)?

Mike.
 

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Angle of approach

In situations involving irregular terrain the angle of approach also helps to
prevent awkward balance. I guess we all learn which angle is the best when we run into repetative sutations that are awkward.
 

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bghubr said:
In situations involving irregular terrain the angle of approach also helps to
prevent awkward balance. I guess we all learn which angle is the best when we run into repetative sutations that are awkward.
yup we do, it's just kind of hard to give advice for a particular situation withhout seeing it, heck I might benervous going into his drive the 1st several times
 

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Never do this

Never pull into a parking spot laterally that is on a hill ending up with one side of the bike higher than the other side. When you come to a stop the bike will lean toward the low side and when you put your feet down, the foot on the lower side will seem shorter causing that leg to carry a lot of the bike's weight.

If you've been riding for hours and this happens, your legs maybe stiff and not prepared for the sudden weight shift.

Some rest-areas in hill country have these types of parking spots. If you have Sciatic Nerve problems like I have, you may want to find a linear parking spot.
 

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Crank up the Preload

You may get a little more clearance if you crank the preload up all the way. I assume your co-pilot has already dismounted.
 

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Well, too bad you don"t live closer to the east coast. Here in NC, I teach riding techniques with motomark1. This is a 1 day class of modified, motor officer maneuvers. I have been in business with a NC State Trooper, Sgt. Mark Brown for several years. I am a motor officer as well. We teach riders how to control their motorcycle at very slow speeds, in various cone courses. This type of training is exactly what you need to help you steer the battleship known as the LT !

I should know, I have one and it's a bear at slow speeds. Since you're in California, google "motor officer training for civilians" I remember reading an article in Rider magazine about a Sheriffs department hosting a class like ours. I think it was The Alameda county Sheriffs department. If you cant find any training, come on over to the right coast and take our class. Check it out- www.motomark1.com

Brian
Charlotte, NC
 

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Mike -

Tom's advice is sound - keep your feet on the pegs and trust your balance. My previous ride was a Ninja 1000 so I know what you are experiencing, but it won't be too much longer before you are totally comfortable with the LT. Not that you didn't have to think or pay attention on your sportbike, but you just have to pay attention and think ahead a little more on the LT!

Boots w/ good ankle support and grippy soles are also a big plus.

Where are you in LA? Might be able to swing by and look at your parking lot situation.
 

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mrbiker said:
Believe me, I'm very nervous riding this thing, and that's with 30 years of mc experience. I've never been on anything approaching this weight.
When I 1st rode my Lt I was extremely nervous, but I learnt to relax, let the bike do it's own thing and now no problems.

The parking thing - just like the rest of the guys have said - slow speed control using revs, clutch and back brake.

Take care

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Brian-NC said:
Well, too bad you don"t live closer to the east coast. NC
Too bad - my ex-girlfriend now lives in Charlotte and I was there to say hi a few years back. Drove from Boston down to the Skyline Drive on a BRAND NEW 1978 Honda 550 Four (my second bike) with no windshield!

Brian-NC said:
I should know, I have one and it's a bear at slow speeds. Since you're in California, google "motor officer training for civilians" I remember reading an article in Rider magazine about a Sheriffs department hosting a class like ours. I think it was The Alameda county Sheriffs department. If you cant find any training, come on over to the right coast and take our class. Check it out- www.motomark1.com NC
I will. I'll track down something here - and you just reminded me - I've seen ads in the mc newspapers for classes for cruisers only. I guess I now qualify.

gisman said:
You may get a little more clearance if you crank the preload up all the way. I assume your co-pilot has already dismounted.
No passengers until I feel comfortable. I thought about cranking up the preload but haven't tried it yet.

BTW - three days of commuting so far and I'm definitely getting more comfortable - and it hasn't been 200 miles yet.

Ted said:
Mike -
Tom's advice is sound - keep your feet on the pegs and trust your balance. My previous ride was a Ninja 1000 so I know what you are experiencing, but it won't be too much longer before you are totally comfortable with the LT. Not that you didn't have to think or pay attention on your sportbike, but you just have to pay attention and think ahead a little more on the LT!
YOU KNOW MY PAIN! :D :D

Ted said:
Boots w/ good ankle support and grippy soles are also a big plus.
I NEVER go anywhere without full Vanson Leathers (with full armor) and Alpinestars SM-X racing boots! I look fast going slow (but I take safety seriously)!

Ted said:
Where are you in LA? Might be able to swing by and look at your parking lot situation.
Right where the 710 and 10 come together, about 3 miles from the 5. Just east of Downtown L.A. in Monterey Park. I get to Camarillo every couple of months. My first job in California (when I moved here in 1986) was managing the Computerland in Camarillo. They build the first In and Out Burger across the stree while I was working there. I still have good friends in Ojai.

Osprey03 said:
When I 1st rode my Lt I was extremely nervous, but I learnt to relax, let the bike do it's own thing and now no problems.

The parking thing - just like the rest of the guys have said - slow speed control using revs, clutch and back brake.
Everytime I get frustrated (at low speeds) things get going and when I hit the highway - WHEEEEEEEE :bmw:

So now when I get frustrated I just say "I'm going to get good at this thing no matter what it takes."

I'm getting more relaxed and I've got to assume, this will really add a lot to my driving the ZX-12R.

Great advice from everyone.

Keep it coming and THANKS!!!

BTW - here's a photo of what the driveway looks like - and this doesn't give you a clue as to how bad it is. Someone tried to turn around there last nigh and hit their car so hard, I came out to see what was going on. The back wheel was off the ground!!! The brown scratches in the middle of the ramp are from cars!
 

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Driveway is "conquerable".

ride in/out at about 45 degree angle. If you go slowly, keep the bike leaning slightly to the closest foot reach then ease over the "tight" spot when ready to complete the exit.

Another "option"... buy a 2x12 long enough to go across the "dip". You'll need to dismount to place it so you don't have to leave it out... but you'll quit banging your fine machine against a stupid design ... (who approved that lousy design anyway?)

You need to manage the beast. Sounds like you're on the right path... only data I have is, NEVER think you KNOW it all... because it is precisely then you will learn a NEW, valuable, painful, expensive lesson.
 

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cfell said:
Driveway is "conquerable".

ride in/out at about 45 degree angle. If you go slowly, keep the bike leaning slightly to the closest foot reach then ease over the "tight" spot when ready to complete the exit.
That's pretty much what I was thinking. I'd also hit the "corners" of the ramp. They look to have a better angle for clearance purposes. Sure, you'd end up on the grass for about two feet, but that is better than dumping the bike.

Personally, I'd move. :histerica
 

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mrbiker said:
I still have good friends in Ojai.
There's your solution. Just ride up to visit those friends, then head home via 33 over the mountains and then east on Lockwood Valley Road. It won't help with your driveway, but you'll sure appreciate the LT a lot more and you'll still be grinning by the time you make it back home. :D
 

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My driveway is similar. Like someone else said, find an angle that works best, takes some experimenting. Momentum is your friend. Usually I angle in in sucha fashion that I will occasionally hear the centerstand scrape, but not enough to upset the bike.

Looking at the pic, I would come in close to the curb, turn in close to the edge of the ramp and keep it going across the hump as shallow as possible, then turn and make a run for the driveway. proabably take the whole width of the ramp area, with a sharp turn at the end. And keep your momentum up, once you get used to it.

If I hit mine too sharply (perpendicular), I bang the skid plate, so I go in shallow, then turn up the drive.

Randy
 

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mrbiker said:
BTW - here's a photo of what the driveway looks like - and this doesn't give you a clue as to how bad it is. Someone tried to turn around there last nigh and hit their car so hard, I came out to see what was going on. The back wheel was off the ground!!! The brown scratches in the middle of the ramp are from cars!
Piece of cake, you will have it mastered soon, jack up the preload some. You could always watch alot of the stunt videos too and learn to come in on one wheel <big grin>

When it's time to get shocks get taller ones like I did.
 

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Maybe I am confused??

You bottoming out on an 8inch deep from your drive to the street? If I understand that correctly, what I would do is put my feet down, if possible and gentle ride down the dip. I do this on my work bike going up and down curbs. No sense in damaging a bike to look cool. :)
 
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