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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wondering if I even needed the LT. My wife doesn't like riding, it's big, it's heavy, it's complicated and maintenance is not for the mechanically challenged. So yeah, I've been wondering why I even keep it. I got other bikes, honestly the LT is a bit much. Well, that was until about a week ago.

It was a day like any other, perhaps a bit more overcast than usual for this time of year, but pleasant temps nonetheless. When, quite out of the blue, the wife said she wanted to go for a ride. Well, to say I was surprised would be an understatement, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I did have standards, of course, and told her to put on a good jacket and gloves. I then set about pulling out the bike and getting it ready for us to depart in short order. She showed up in a cute little number, a scant leather jacket and bedazzled knit gloves. She wouldn't budge on the jacket, but I did get her to wear a pair of my spare gloves. I had bought her a cute little pink helmet last year with the hopes it would eventually entice her to ride. It hadn't budged that needle in the previous 12 months, so I'd just accepted it wasn't going to.

It was a nice leisurely 30 odd mile ride, down a couple of country roads, long sweepers, not too fast. Slow, steady and SMOOTH was the name of the game that day. And, it worked. She had fun! She commented on how she didn't know why she didn't take me up on my offers before. So it looked as though the bug had bitten, and I knew I couldn't push it, I had to just let it simmer. Fast forward to this past Friday evening about 9pm, I'm in the basement and she calls my cell; "Is it supposed to rain tomorrow?", "Yeah, I think so.", "Dang, I was hoping we could go for a trip on the bike." <insert fist pump here> "Well, hang on a sec, lemme double check" That tropical depression has been dumping rain on us for like 2 weeks now and Sunday was the first day we were supposed to see sunshine, I'd been watching the forecast all week. But wait, what is this? Sunny tomorrow! "Well, actually, the weather now says it's going to be a nice day! Where would you like to ride?" "I don't know, I'd just like to take a little trip." "OK, lemme see what I can come up with, I'll call you back."

I frantically look high and low, scour all the pages for a good B&B, learn our favorite has closed, stumble across a listing for another just down the road, damn, the website isn't letting me book. Screw it, I'm calling the number, it's only 9:30. A fella by the name of Michael answers and says come on down, we've got the place to ourselves, probably because everyone thought the weather wasn't going to cooperate this weekend. Done deal! I let her know, and we plan on a 10am departure.

I get up, get to work removing the rack off the back and reinstalling the topcase. Get it all ready to go and remembered I had bought the Bestem fitted bags way back when, so pull them down and we pack them for an overnight, one bag per. Well, actually, 1.5 her, .5 me, but hey, who's counting? I had gotten her some proper gear in the interim, proper jacket and gloves, but I still have more to do, need some pants and boots for her next. Anyway, we are rolling at 10am. The sky was overcast when we woke up, but as we are leaving the clouds are breaking up, lots of blue can be seen now. We live south of Charlotte NC and I am heading to Rutherfordton for lunch then to our final stop in Morganton at the B&B.

The ride to Rutherfordton is perfect, once we got past Rock Hill SC we finally got away from all the traffic, I can breath a little. I am worried the whole time she is nervous and not having a good time as we pull into Rutherfordton and park. I ask her how she is doing so far and she say "Awww, are we here already?!?" She is upset the ride may already be over! "Nope, just stopping for lunch" We walk down main street and stop in a deli and order some subs, Market Street Deli as I recall, great sandwiches! Bellies now full we head back to the bike and load up, next stop the B&B. It was a fairly short ride to the B&B and we get in without incident. A new place, not mind blowing but not bad either.

She doesn't want to waste the day just sitting around and the owner gave us some good pointers on where to go. We load back up and head to Silver Fork winery and cop a squat on the back side of the tasting room building overlooking the vines and an absolutely stunning view. We have a few cans of Rose Cider, and it was delish. There is live music and the sky is sapphire blue now. Honestly, I couldn't have dreamed up a better day. It's absolutely perfect. Several hours pass and we depart the winery to head over to the Lake James Grill and order take out then head back to the B&B to eat. We enjoy our dinner and turn in for the night.

Up bright and early the next day and we are enjoying coffee and slowing stirring. The air is a bit chillier today, that low pressure is well gone now. It's about 10 degrees colder this morning for us, but it's wonderful. We say goodbye, and thank him for the little banana nut bread muffins the owner left for us and headed out. Today we are hitting the BRP and then heading down to Asheville for lunch. Traffic is very light on the BRP, the road condition is wonderful and we start climbing. I had told her to wear the sweater she brought because I know the parkway can surprise you at the top with the temperature drops, and I'm glad I did. It wasn't cold, really, but it was quite nippy. We stop a couple times to enjoy the views and stretch. She is loving it! We then wind out way down into Asheville and the temps climb from the 50s into the low 70s. We park in the center, near the monument, and walk down to Pack's Tavern, get on the waiting list and go sit in the sun. 10 minutes later my phone buzzes and a table is ready for us. We order, I get a burger and she orders Lobster Mac & Cheese. She won this round, that Mac & Cheese is to die for! Bellies full once again we head out. This time I'm going to avoid all the traffic in through Rock Hill, and take us south to Travellers Rest then over to Van Wyck which is only about 20 mins south of where we live.

The ride was long, my butt is hurting now. By the time we get home I'm sure I've pushed too hard on the first trip. Stupid! I just hope I haven't spoiled it and she will give it another try sometime. I ask how she liked it "I don't want to do these kind of trips, I want to go around the world now!" Wow! I am just tickled pink! :grin:

I met my wife 25 years ago and before a week ago she had been on the back of a motorcycle exactly 2 times. I met her while stationed outside London UK where she lived, which was the first time. In hindsight I was probably to young and dumb to have had a passenger and I probably scared her. That also goes for the second time she rode a few years later in the states. Many years have passed and I guess something in her decided to give it another try. Ya know, 20 years has a way of making us all slow down a bit. This time all I wanted to do was make sure she felt safe and enjoyed her ride. There aren't many things about getting old that are positives, but experience is one of them. Anyway now it seems I've finally gotten the riding partner I've been wanting all these years.

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due, and a lot of it goes to the LT. Putting her on the back of that Cadillac made her feel completely safe the whole time. I no longer wonder why I have it, I'm just thankful I do!
 

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That is a great ride tail Nate, and only one of many to come it would seem. The pink helmet is great and tell her I said so. This is exactly what the LT was made for, or at least half made for. The other half is for those twisties be it 2 up or as a single. I do ride a little tamer 2 up on the curves but it isn't any less fun because the company and conversation is great over the intercom. Keep the tails coming, I love to read them.
 

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Very nice writeup of your trip. We spent a few hours on the Parkway yesterday, hiked the trail at Crabtree Falls, and had dinner at Chili's in Asheville. I was expecting the hike to the falls to be like a few of the trails I've hiked on the Parkway. Pea gravel, wide, not too much elevation change. Not so on this one. Lots of rocks, roots, and steps. The view of the falls made the difficult trail worth it.

Keep us updated on where you go and how your wife does on the LT. I had one for many years. Just bought a brand new GTL. She likes it. It's not as comfortable as the LT, but I doubt anything is.
 
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That is a great development. I am lucky that my wife has traveled with me since we got our first touring bike back in 1988. And that is probably the only reason I still have the LT. If I was a solo rider, there is no way I would put up with the headaches of the LT. However, for two-up touring there is simply nothing else comparable. If I traveled solo, there are a lot of options I could choose from. Adding a passenger changes the equation completely given today’s available options.
 

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What a great story, you write really well. My wife has only been on the back of my LT once and I don't think she has any intention of doing it again.
We have the same bike, mines the same color as yours and I also mostly ride with the top box removed. What year is yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What a great story, you write really well. My wife has only been on the back of my LT once and I don't think she has any intention of doing it again.
We have the same bike, mines the same color as yours and I also mostly ride with the top box removed. What year is yours.
It's a 2005 and just rolled over 130,000 miles. Runs like a Swiss watch too. The bike continues to impress me. Two weekends ago I was chasing my buddy on his Multistrada through the mountains, and while he was clearly faster, she held her own. Awesome bike.
 

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I really enjoyed your story and hope you have many more like it. Here is a little something about me and my wife's first trip on the LT!

The first trip with the wife on our LT was a “Trial by Fire” for her and me. We went to Shenandoah National Park which was only about 5-6 hours away for a cabin in the park and overnight stay. We had an early lunch that day and it was fairly late when we arrived. The eatery, which was fairly close within the park, was closed and being unfamiliar with the area and no map or GPS didn’t want to venture out and return in the dark of night. Luckily I had packed a small grasshopper stove, tin cups and some ingredients for making coffee. We were kind of hungry but all I packed for snacking was a pack of chewing gum. So guess what was for dinner, coffee and chewing gum!

The next morning we were supposed to ride in the park for a few hours but the weather turned ugly and I held off leaving early figuring the rain would soon pass. After several hours and raining more heavily now I said “we’re going.” With no rain gear, only some light denim coats, jeans and inadequate face shield for my helmet we headed for home. It started out with heavy fog at higher elevation but I had a motor homes’ tail lights in front of us which I followed until we came to the park exit. Then it was steady pouring rain with fairly strong winds all the way to the Washington Beltway. At that time, with all the vehicle traffic, it was solid mist with a visibility of about 6 feet.

I followed a tractor and trailer’s tail lights trying to peer through the LT’s almost opaque windshield and looking up over it occasionally only to get pelted in the eyes with the rain, (remember I didn’t have a face shield). The LT is great for providing protection from the elements but only if you’re moving at a certain speed which we were not. So needless to say we were also soaked! Oh, and did I mention it was much cooler too? We stopped at a rest area in Maryland wet, shivering and hungry. My wife and I looked at each other and said we must be friggin’ nuts as we figured most of the people around us must have thought also!

After a bit, the rain seemed to let up a little and then it would only be a couple more hours to home! We’d be chilly but with no rain…….yea right! After about 10 minutes it started pouring again all the way home to South Jersey. When we arrived home I didn’t even unpack or put the motorcycle away. I just left it in the driveway as we were wet, cold, tired and hungry and I was half blind and had to go to work the next morning. We later discovered the rain and wind had been a Nor’easter we followed for 6+ hours.

Moral of the story, check the weather report, familiarize yourself with the area you are visiting if you have no map or GPS and for God’s sake wear or bring proper clothing and gear!

Needless to say our next trip was to upstate NY in absolutely gorgeous weather with beautiful scenery, lodging and riding conditions which negated the first trip and any subsequent forays away from home. That was many years and thousands of miles ago. We still laugh at ourselves and of the first adventure on our then new 2006 K1200LT and as touring rookies.

Note: It was actually Nor'easter like conditions!
 

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It's a 2005 and just rolled over 130,000 miles. Runs like a Swiss watch too. The bike continues to impress me. Two weekends ago I was chasing my buddy on his Multistrada through the mountains, and while he was clearly faster, she held her own. Awesome bike.
Mine is also an 05 and I have about 60,000 miles on it and runs as smooth as silk. I'm a fairly sedate rider so chasing down crotch rockets isn't my thing but I have always been impressed by it's handling and presence on the road.
 

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That is a really cool story and I am happy for you both. My bride says she won't ride with me on two wheels she is just not comfortable. And you cant push them out of that comfort zone. Lucky for me I have another bike with 3 wheels, a Can Am and she will ride on that one. For that reason alone I keep it around but also I have in the back of my mind that some day that might be the only bike I can ride. We tow it on its own trailer behind our camper and it provides our local transport and sightseeing while the big rig is parked. This is from our trip over to Shenandoah a couple of years ago:

 

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I really enjoyed your story and hope you have many more like it. Here is a little something about me and my wife's first trip on the LT!

The first trip with the wife on our LT was a “Trial by Fire” for her and me. We went to Shenandoah National Park which was only about 5-6 hours away for a cabin in the park and overnight stay. We had an early lunch that day and it was fairly late when we arrived. The eatery, which was fairly close within the park, was closed and being unfamiliar with the area and no map or GPS didn’t want to venture out and return in the dark of night. Luckily I had packed a small grasshopper stove, tin cups and some ingredients for making coffee. We were kind of hungry but all I packed for snacking was a pack of chewing gum. So guess what was for dinner, coffee and chewing gum!

The next morning we were supposed to ride in the park for a few hours but the weather turned ugly and I held off leaving early figuring the rain would soon pass. After several hours and raining more heavily now I said “we’re going.” With no rain gear, only some light denim coats, jeans and inadequate face shield for my helmet we headed for home. It started out with heavy fog at higher elevation but I had a motor homes’ tail lights in front of us which I followed until we came to the park exit. Then it was steady pouring rain with fairly strong winds all the way to the Washington Beltway. At that time, with all the vehicle traffic, it was solid mist with a visibility of about 6 feet.

I followed a tractor and trailer’s tail lights trying to peer through the LT’s almost opaque windshield and looking up over it occasionally only to get pelted in the eyes with the rain, (remember I didn’t have a face shield). The LT is great for providing protection from the elements but only if you’re moving at a certain speed which we were not. So needless to say we were also soaked! Oh, and did I mention it was much cooler too? We stopped at a rest area in Maryland wet, shivering and hungry. My wife and I looked at each other and said we must be friggin’ nuts as we figured most of the people around us must have thought also!

After a bit, the rain seemed to let up a little and then it would only be a couple more hours to home! We’d be chilly but with no rain…….yea right! After about 10 minutes it started pouring again all the way home to South Jersey. When we arrived home I didn’t even unpack or put the motorcycle away. I just left it in the driveway as we were wet, cold, tired and hungry and I was half blind and had to go to work the next morning. We later discovered the rain and wind had been a Nor’easter we followed for 6+ hours.

Moral of the story, check the weather report, familiarize yourself with the area you are visiting if you have no map or GPS and for God’s sake wear or bring proper clothing and gear!

Needless to say our next trip was to upstate NY in absolutely gorgeous weather with beautiful scenery, lodging and riding conditions which negated the first trip and any subsequent forays away from home. That was many years and thousands of miles ago. We still laugh at ourselves and of the first adventure on our then new 2006 K1200LT and as touring rookies.

Note: It was actually Nor'easter like conditions!
I never leave home without all of the gear. One nice thing about the LT is it has the capacity to leave things like rain gear on the bike at all times. That way, we’re never caught unprepared. With my mesh jacket and pants and Frogg Toggs rain suit, I can ride in relative comfort from 40 degrees to 100. I need a little more than the Frogg Toggs for an all day ride below 50, but I can go several hours at 45 with pretty good comfort with just a t-shirt, mesh jacket and Frogg Toggs. Made it to Alaska and back with that. Only had one day where I almost had to put on another layer (43, overcast and gusty winds all day long).
 
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I never leave home without all of the gear. One nice thing about the LT is it has the capacity to leave things like rain gear on the bike at all times. That way, we’re never caught unprepared. With my mesh jacket and pants and Frogg Toggs rain suit, I can ride in relative comfort from 40 degrees to 100. I need a little more than the Frogg Toggs for an all day ride below 50, but I can go several hours at 45 with pretty good comfort with just a t-shirt, mesh jacket and Frogg Toggs. Made it to Alaska and back with that. Only had one day where I almost had to put on another layer (43, overcast and gusty winds all day long).
Yep, we've never left home without it too............."since then!"
 

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Thank for the inspiration. A great story!
Sold a touring bike last year due to non use. Just couldn’t stand to be down to only 4 bikes, so picked up a nice low mile 99 lt.
Wife likes to ride again. The lt is great for the mountains.
Many happy rides to you two!!
 

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Great story and congratulations. I am lucky my wife has been a pillion for 48 years and she was the one that MADE me get the LT new in 2004.

We had a friend that had "died" in the saddle during a ride and went off the road so we discussed at length what to do if that should happen to me while we were riding. She knows how to ride but chooses not to and she really could not easily pilot the LT absent me very well. We did agree that she should at least try to get past me to the bars to attempt to bring the bike to a controlled stop (crash) any way that she could to try and save her life.

Well fast forward to about 4 years ago on a long cross country trip I had a crick in my neck and was trying to shake it out. I had dropped my left arm to a limp position and gradually tilted my head and upper torso to the right trying to stretch out the crick. I had said nothing to her about the crick and the next thing I knew she is grabbing my shoulder shouting over the intercom "are you alright". I am very lucky she didn't toss me off the bike. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
 

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Great story and congratulations. I am lucky my wife has been a pillion for 48 years and she was the one that MADE me get the LT new in 2004.

We had a friend that had "died" in the saddle during a ride and went off the road so we discussed at length what to do if that should happen to me while we were riding. She knows how to ride but chooses not to and she really could not easily pilot the LT absent me very well. We did agree that she should at least try to get past me to the bars to attempt to bring the bike to a controlled stop (crash) any way that she could to try and save her life.

Well fast forward to about 4 years ago on a long cross country trip I had a crick in my neck and was trying to shake it out. I had dropped my left arm to a limp position and gradually tilted my head and upper torso to the right trying to stretch out the crick. I had said nothing to her about the crick and the next thing I knew she is grabbing my shoulder shouting over the intercom "are you alright". I am very lucky she didn't toss me off the bike. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

I'm not getting any younger and I have been recently thinking about what I would do if I had some kind of medical event while riding.
I hope to die like my grandfather, peacefully in his sleep, not like the passengers in his car, screaming and pleading for their lives.0:)
 
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