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Discussion Starter #1
Please excuse any ignorance if this has been addressed before.

I am currently considering purchasing a 2002 K1200LTC, but have a slight problem... my inseam is only 29", which leaves a gap of about 3" per leg that must be overcome before I can "touch down".

I realize that the seat can be shaved and the panels under the seat can be cut away for the seat to sit lower. But, is there any suspension mods that will allow the bike to actually be lowered as on some metric bikes.

I really love these machines, but I just don't understand how anyone under 5'10" or so can safely ride one.

Please help!

Thanks

Tom Davis
 

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Hi Tom
I just purchased a 2002 LT and find the seat a little high even at a 31" leg, the new 05 model here in the UK has the narrower and lower seat fitted, not sure if it can be retro fitted though.

I just bought bigger boots :D

Malki
 

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Old Dawg
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BMW makes a nice lowered seat option which I have and really like. It's about $300.
I would never suggest lowering the suspension on a bike (unless it's a Harley type custom) or you may find that you will be dragging a lot of parts on corners.
 

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Not a problem

I am 5'6 190 lbs with 29 in seam and have no problem on the stock 05 LT seat other than it hurts my butt after 3 hours, so on trips I have to use the wooden bead seat.
 

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Let the air out of the tires? :) Sorry, sometimes I slip into smart ass mode so fast it scares me.
 

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too short

Well....I have a 30" inseam and I'd say I'd be hating life if I was any shorter...
I've had my LT for ? 2 or 3 months now and I almost got rid of it the first few weeks....because Im on tippy toes if I put both feet down.....and the combination of the height and the fact (lets face it) that the BMW K1200LT isnt all that easy to move around at slow speed or by foot.....

but....after riding the bike on the road (ive put over 4,000 miles on since ive had it).....I conclude that the bike is worth the short legged issues....

BUT.....I really am not sure I could say that if I was any shorter at all....

99% of the time its no issue and I just lean it slightly to the left side and put my foot flat down.....but I have had 2 cases where I got off on a gravel road or was in loose sand and I thought I was going to need a tow truck to get it back to pavement.......

So far, knock on something, I havent dropped it......but I have had a few close calls.

I have read every word I can find relating to seats and cutting plastic and stuff like that......I hate to tamper with the "comfort" seat that I have because no matter how far I go my butt never hurts .....so why mess with success......BUT.....I'd love to be an inch closer to the ground!

kip
99 LT
jefferson, ga
 

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Lt Height

I have an '03 and have an inseam of 28". I put a lower seat and cut the side panels.The '05 comes standard with the low seat pan and side panels cut at the factory,but the seat has 1" more foam added to the seat.I have had 7 different seats on my bike,and have finally settled on a Rick Mayer seat and Love it. I also have Wilbers shocks,and had them made -1/2" shorter but really can't tell the difference. Solo I'm on my toes,two up I'm on the balls of my feet. You just have to get used to it.In 22months and 32,000 miles I've dropped it once.I would not lower the bike or you will grind parts.
 

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I had an 02 suspension lowered by about 2 inches by the dealer on Vancouver Island .... excellent dealership :) ......he did a real nice job, it handled really well except for the side stand dragging all the time. I road it for about two years...... I was happy with it but eventually traded for an 05 (my third Beemer from the same dealer) which does not need any mods.... I am 5' 7" with a 30 " inseam and love my 05.
 

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I needed to replace the shocks on my '99 and ordered a set of -1" Wilburs from Klaus at Run-N-Lites. I am extremely happy with the result. One slight issue is that it takes a lot of grunt to get it on the center stand.
 

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I had a 2003 that I had the seat lowered and used a shorter windscreen as well. It worked out fine. If the dealer does the modification to the seat and bike, you will never notice anything cosmetically. HOWEVER: I purchased a 2005 and is it noticeably better-height wise and handling. You still will have to watch for uneven ground and be sure to not lean the bike to the lower pavement side when coming to a stop on a hill and such. I also have a 29-30 inseam. My legs are not too short....they reach the ground.
 

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rixchard said:
Let the air out of the tires? :) Sorry, sometimes I slip into smart ass mode so fast it scares me.
Good idea! It works for semi's on low over passes! lol....or turn the bike upside down.
 

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tdais said:
Please excuse any ignorance if this has been addressed before.

I am currently considering purchasing a 2002 K1200LTC, but have a slight problem... my inseam is only 29", which leaves a gap of about 3" per leg that must be overcome before I can "touch down".

I realize that the seat can be shaved and the panels under the seat can be cut away for the seat to sit lower. But, is there any suspension mods that will allow the bike to actually be lowered as on some metric bikes.

I really love these machines, but I just don't understand how anyone under 5'10" or so can safely ride one.

Please help!

Thanks

Tom Davis
Another 5'7", 30" inseam rider here. I ride my LT with *higher* suspension (front Wilbers and stock rear on full pre-load) -- *and* the seat is currently on the high setting. FWIW, I can't flat-foot the bike, but then I don't need to -- I usually only put one foot down at a time, and can still get the balls of both feet down at the same time. The point? Not to brag, but to point out that 28-30" inseam riders can ride this bike, without modification, and without problems.

So, while you consider going to pretty significant lengths to modify the bike (and have to deal with things like too-tall sidestand, hard-to-centerstand bike), I'd respectfully suggest that practicing to develop your low-speed skills and your confidence will be the best possible investment of your time and/or money -- not to mention likely eliminating the need to live with shortened-bike inconveniences for the life of your ownership of the bike.
 

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RonKMiller said:
Ron, I've found that standard Ohlins shocks set the bike just a bit taller than stock. My bike is now easy to get onto the center stand; with stock shocks, used to be difficult.

- Bob
 

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Lowering LT

I'm 5 ft 6 in with a 28in inseam and I know your problem well. I bought a 2002 and had the same problem. I looked at many options as I ride two up with my wife and dropped the bike numerous times. The best solution was a pair of Harley Davidson riding boots with the thick sole and a low profile Corbin seat. Put on another 12,000 miles and have not droped the bike since.

I love the LT so much that I just bought the 05. The low factory seat fits me perfectly so I now have the Corbin seat for sale.

As a point of interest it took about 35,000 km but I can now handle the LT. just like my 1100 cruiser. Its smooth, simple and I can get into the tightest parking spot with ease. Time in the seat made a huge difference. Don't give up on it, it's the best bike ever built.

Steve
 

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Tom, I have found that narrowing the seat worked the best for my short legs (same inseam as you) as it allows your legs a straighter shot to the ground instead of forcing them "bowlegged" Take a look at my web site for a set of instructions. Also, have you just tried backing off your preload adjuster under the seat??
http://www.sayegh.org/bmw.htm
 
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