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Hello everyone:

This is my first post and i must admit that i'm in the middle of a large dilemma. I purchased a 2002 K1200LT with 13K miles on it a couple of weeks ago. I took the bike in and did a complete 12K service and put new Metzlers on front/back. I had a Valkyrie Interstate prior to this and put 25K miles on the bike in 3 years.

Here is the dilemma. Every since i had the bike serviced the bike whenever i take off on a curve it's like trying to steer a garbage scow. I dropped the bike in the middle of the road while i was taking off since the front end jerks inwards. So...did i buy the wrong bike or is there something inherently wrong with the LT? I'm about ready to say to hell with it sell the bike and cut my losses before i end up a dead man.

Any ideas what is going on?

VernRuth :mad:
 

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She likes to nap

If your front wheel is at all turned while not moving, she'll want to take a nap. There's lots of discussion on this forum about starting and stopping behavior of the KLT. Read as much as you can here, especially in the Hall of Wisdom.
I don't think it's related to the 12K service, other than having release compound still on the new Metz. Those need to be treated carefully for the first 100 miles.

Jer
 

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I never have had the problem of mine jerking inward or any other way taking off. It is true you need to have the wheel straight when you stop. I think I would take it back and have it checked out, esp if you didn't notice the problem before the service and new tires. JMO
 

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VernRuth said:
Hello everyone:

This is my first post and i must admit that i'm in the middle of a large dilemma. I purchased a 2002 K1200LT with 13K miles on it a couple of weeks ago. I took the bike in and did a complete 12K service and put new Metzlers on front/back. I had a Valkyrie Interstate prior to this and put 25K miles on the bike in 3 years.

Here is the dilemma. Every since i had the bike serviced the bike whenever i take off on a curve it's like trying to steer a garbage scow. I dropped the bike in the middle of the road while i was taking off since the front end jerks inwards. So...did i buy the wrong bike or is there something inherently wrong with the LT? I'm about ready to say to hell with it sell the bike and cut my losses before i end up a dead man.

Any ideas what is going on?

VernRuth :mad:
Among several suggestions you'll likely receive, note this one: unlike the Valkyrie, which will climb a tree at low rpm, the LT needs/wants plenty of throttle at take off. High rpms are where it plays nice and becomes manageable at any 'speed'. You prolly will never get to the rev limiter, butt a healthy dose of rpm will bring a smile to ya.

Give you and your scoot some more time to get in sync; practice controlled take offs and work the throttle grip - it'll pay big dividends on the safety side, as well as the enjoyment factor. Best of luck, Vern.
 

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My LT at very low speeds has a loose feeling when turning...but I think it might be my limbs sending vibrations from the bars.
Is that what you are experiencing??

Mike
 

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jers99lt said:
If your front wheel is at all turned while not moving, she'll want to take a nap.
Great description.....and true. The LT is a different beast, early in my ownership I rode up an inclined driveway with another incline turning onto the street. I slowed to a near stop at the end of the drive before proceeding onto the street and she laid down on the right "tip-over wing" JUST LIKE THAT. Wheel turned, not enough momentum...no way to "stop the drop".

Truth is, it could have been avoided with further LT experience. Had I to do it over today, I would come to a complete stop at the end of the driveway, then applied more RPMs before pulling onto the uphill street.

Before "cutting your losses" I would tell you to get more used to the LT and her habits (good and bad), then make an informed decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
jrlakin said:
I never have had the problem of mine jerking inward or any other way taking off. It is true you need to have the wheel straight when you stop. I think I would take it back and have it checked out, esp if you didn't notice the problem before the service and new tires. JMO
Thanks for the input. To tell you the truth the bike scares the hell out of me. I did a search on tire pressure. I'm wondering if maybe the beast should have more pressure in the front tires to make it more nimble. Either that or i need to double my dose of Geritol!
 

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VernRuth said:
Thanks for the input. To tell you the truth the bike scares the hell out of me. I did a search on tire pressure. I'm wondering if maybe the beast should have more pressure in the front tires to make it more nimble. Either that or i need to double my dose of Geritol!
Here are some really good tips from the Hall of Wisdom:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/faq.php?faq=how_misc#faq_how_faq_mistips
 

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The advice given so far is all good. I have two other thoughts.

First, what tires were on the bike when you got it, and how long did you ride on those? I find that the ME880 tires tend to make the LT feel sluggish, and tend to exacerbate the bike's heavy feeling. Even new ME880s can feel worse than old, worn Radial tires.

Also, has anyone else ridden your LT, or have you ridden another one? You may well have some sort of problem that an experienced LT rider will notice immediately. Or you may notice that all LTs handle a bit differently than your Valkyrie, and that you just need more time to get used to the LT. Fortunately, there are a lot of very generous LT folks in the SoCal area.

Spend some time practicing in a large parking lot until your slow speed maneuvers get much more comfortable and predictable. And don't be afraid of the throttle. The LT's engine is much more a sport bike than a V-twin, and the power (and thus control) is much better at higher revs. But be gentle with the front brake at very low speeds, and do keep the front wheel straight when coming to a stop.
 

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VernRuth said:
Thanks for the input. To tell you the truth the bike scares the hell out of me. I did a search on tire pressure. I'm wondering if maybe the beast should have more pressure in the front tires to make it more nimble. Either that or i need to double my dose of Geritol!

the tire pressure notion was going to be my recommendation, in addition to making sure you've "scrubbed" the tires in enough, and get used to running the engine into higher rpm's (my motorcycle experience was all HD road kings and dynas with redlines in the 5,000's, the LT just gets into the powerband at 4,000 RPM, let her scream!).

42 front, 46 rear seems to be the general consensus for 880's on the forum, I personally run 44 front and 48 rear (6'1, 195 lbs, sometimes have a passenger, usually don't, but am what most would describe as a very agressive rider in the curves), anything in that range will be good.

Also, double check the pre-load on your rear suspension (it's under the seat...try dialing it halfway down, then play with it to find what YOU like, some like me prefer it twisted down for a firmer setting, some prefer a softer setting, the firmer the pre-set, generally the less the rear will resist tip-in on curves as well, though 90% of that is front-wheel related).

Finally, your former big v-twin bike handles a LOT differently than your new toy. If you're not VERY familiar with the concept of counter-steering, I URGE you to pick up a copy of "Sport Riding Techniques: How to develop real world skills for speed, safety and confidence on the street and track" by Nick Ienatsch, foreward by Kenny Roberts (David Bull Publishing, $24.95).

http://www.sportrider.com/ride/146_9912_motorcycle_counter_steering/ if you want a quick lesson by the way


I definitely second the advice above about practice in a secure parking lot until you develop more confidence in the beast, while it doesn't have the brute force torque of your old monster, it does have about twice the lean angle, and once you're used to it, you'll be throwing sparks from the centerstand and cackling maniacally from under your helmet as you do!

Pete
 

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Welcome Aboard.

Hello Vern.


First of all the Honda is nothing like this LT. Only reason i have a clue is one of my buddies has a Valkryie and we have switch of a couple of times and he wants no part of my LT. Like one of the other replies in here the honda makes low end power and rolls of easily. I have only had my Lt a couple of months and have become very impressed though overwhelmed at times after putting more miles on this than my other bikes.

I do have to make a concious effort to get rpms up and keeeping wheel straight when taking off. After that follow your line of sight and you should be fine.

My biggest problem with the LT is switching between bikes frequently and not getting absent minded.

like the others in here have stated dont give up ship to soon. We all drop our bikes at one time or another.

I am 5-10 and only weigh 165. the LT bike is pretty much all rider skill to master or fail.

Good Luck and you will fall in love with it especially in the twisties. (off my soapbox)

Way to go triple nickles shadowofshoe.

Later Quohog.
 

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Dick said:
Among several suggestions you'll likely receive, note this one: unlike the Valkyrie, which will climb a tree at low rpm, the LT needs/wants plenty of throttle at take off. High rpms are where it plays nice and becomes manageable at any 'speed'. You prolly will never get to the rev limiter, butt a healthy dose of rpm will bring a smile to ya.

Give you and your scoot some more time to get in sync; practice controlled take offs and work the throttle grip - it'll pay big dividends on the safety side, as well as the enjoyment factor. Best of luck, Vern.
Hi, Dick. I suppose you meant to tell Vern to whack open the throttle after the clutch hooks up to prevent barbequeing the clutch? Then again, having heard about the predilection of you South Texas boys for BBQ hot sauce maybe fricasseed clutch with a good dollop of hot sauce is just the thing. I wonder if Griff would know?????

Karl
 

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Hello from the central valley, Tulare County, currently a cool 99 degrees, where my LT gets off a stop like a pig anytime after April when the temp around here gets to about 85 degrees. There is some information about cutting a brown wire to fix this, but I had been advised for a climate as hot as it is around here to not do the brown wire cut. Instead, when starting off from a stop just give it plenty of throttle and get the revs up over 3K as fast as possible. So far I haven't had problem keeping the front wheel on the ground, but be careful.

I'm no expert, but they are building a Holiday Inn Express just a block away.
 

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As far as tire pressures go for the Metz's. I spoke to a Metz rep at the MOA rally and he said to run the tires at the max pressure molded on the side walls. For a Me880 that would be 42 front and 50 rear.

Also, you may want to check and make sure the tire was mounted with the direction arrow pointed correctly.
 

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I've been very happy with the Metzler's since I switched back towards the end of last summer. I ride with a pillion most of the time and keep the 880s at 44 front and 50 rear. It seems to be a good combination.

Point of order: A Valkyrie is not a V-twin, it's a horizontally opposed six, the same at the Goldwing 1500 during the years it was manufactured with a bit more chrome. They are one sweet cruiser too.
 

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I would think the more relaxed front end on the Valk would feel more "floppy", but I am not the rider in question here. I try to start with the wheel pointed straight and then add turn after rolling a bit. May have to stop a bit earlier to do this, but I really have very few issues at this point (knock wood) with the LT on starting or stopping. I must say, however, that it took a while to get used to. I too was ready to sell or trade it and go back to a Vstrom for a few months after purchasing. Now, the techniques for LT are second nature and I rarely think about it. I do a U turn on gravel every day I ride to work, keeping my feet up, so the LT isn't too much of a beast, it just has it's own nature and like anything, the user must acclimate themselves to it's nature.

randy
 

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Tallyho said:
Point of order: A Valkyrie is not a V-twin, it's a horizontally opposed six, the same at the Goldwing 1500 during the years it was manufactured with a bit more chrome. They are one sweet cruiser too.
I used to have a '98 Valkyrie (standard not the I-State) and it was one of my favorite bikes I've owned. Low center of gravity with the Flat-6, shaft drive and a good handling machine in the twists, too...

Too bad they dropped the Valk....unless you considered this behemoth a Valkyrie :rotf: :

 

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Heya Vern, just keep riding and learning the LT. It IS a different animal, and will test you. Once you've put at least a thounsand miles on the bike, I'm sure you will soon forget about the Honda.

The CG is higher than any cruiser out there, and you will notice the benefits once you get beyond parking lot speeds.

Go find some twisties in your area, relax with the bike and ENJOY !

Owned a Valkyrie eh?
You must own a gas station....
 
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