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Discussion Starter #1
So, I’m on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. It’s being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I can’t lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

It’s a great bike for the US roads but man... it’s been tough.


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So, I’m on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. It’s being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I can’t lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

It’s a great bike for the US roads but man... it’s been tough.


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I drilled and tapped a hole through the vent opening on my mirrors and put a screw in them. They will never fall off again unless in a wreck and then they will break off but if they get hit hard enough to come off, they would have been damaged in the fall anyways so I don't worry about that.

As for the preload adjuster, they periodically need service where you take off the hose on the adjuster, pop the internal plunger back down with a thin screw driver or coat hanger wire and then refill it with jack oil. No one knows where the oil goes but it is not uncommon to have it not do anything because of the oil missing from it. You can tell by turning it in from the lowest setting and if it has to go in a long way before you start getting resistance, it is empty so refill it. I think Kirk has a video with that in it but not sure if it is dedicated or in a tips and tricks video from him. I will look for it and add it if I can find it.

EDIT at 14:07 is where the preload refill and check starts.

https://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/service/instructional-videos/15-k-bikes/39-k1200lt-performance
 

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So, I’m on a trip from Managua, Nicaragua to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Guatemala has huge traffic bumps on their highways every 5 km.
Belize has them every mile.
Ridiculous.
The LT has scrapped its bottom on 95% of them.
The roads in Honduras destroyed the right mirror. It’s being held using zip ties.

So, any approach to better fix the mirrors ?

Also, how can I raise this bike? I can’t lean it too much without starting a spark show.

I tried using the preload adjuster but it keeps on turning and never reached a point where I could tell it was doing something. Maybe I need to check that.

It’s a great bike for the US roads but man... it’s been tough.


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I agree with what Gordon already wrote. I have yet to drill my mirrors, but I plan to do that this winter before my next trip. My ride to Alaska was pretty hard on the mirrors. The basic problem is you are riding an LT on GS roads. :grin:
 
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As long as the mirror fixing hardware is in good shape and not broken, a little grease on the ball pins and wires will actually give it better grip. The wires will go farther down the back side of the ball pins.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I drilled and tapped a hole through the vent opening on my mirrors and put a screw in them. They will never fall off again unless in a wreck and then they will break off but if they get hit hard enough to come off, they would have been damaged in the fall anyways so I don't worry about that.

As for the preload adjuster, they periodically need service where you take off the hose on the adjuster, pop the internal plunger back down with a thin screw driver or coat hanger wire and then refill it with jack oil. No one knows where the oil goes but it is not uncommon to have it not do anything because of the oil missing from it. You can tell by turning it in from the lowest setting and if it has to go in a long way before you start getting resistance, it is empty so refill it. I think Kirk has a video with that in it but not sure if it is dedicated or in a tips and tricks video from him. I will look for it and add it if I can find it.

EDIT at 14:07 is where the preload refill and check starts.

https://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/service/instructional-videos/15-k-bikes/39-k1200lt-performance


Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. It’s been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the “worn” plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


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Discussion Starter #6
As long as the mirror fixing hardware is in good shape and not broken, a little grease on the ball pins and wires will actually give it better grip. The wires will go farther down the back side of the ball pins.


I did “fix” the holding wires before. But now the wire plastic support seems to be broken or breaking.
I’ll have to device something different.


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Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. It’s been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the “worn” plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


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Too bad about the tire issue. Ride like you know it is damaged and needing replacement. Hopefully it will get you home with no other issues.
 

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CoolK is right. the heat distroys the tire. If you cut a section out of it and turn it inside out you will see the sidewall is cracked like crazy. With all your adventures, your the man. I'm too soft to do all that stuff. :frown:
 

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I did “fix” the holding wires before. But now the wire plastic support seems to be broken or breaking.
I’ll have to device something different.


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That is the problem I had on both of my mirrors. The ball and spring mounts held, but the plastic holding the springs did not hold. I think Nova Scotia and Newfoundland got one mirror and Alaska (Canada actually) got the other one. The LT will ride on rough roads, but it clearly is not designed for that environment.
 

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Thank you!
The preload adjuster was stuck and the plastic knob was just turning on the stuck screw.
Got it loose, managed to loose and then find the spring and ball. Proceeded to push the plunger in and refilled.
The adjuster then worked. I think my trip back will be easier and less scraping. The bike was barely two inches off the ground.

The high beam had a Cyclops LED. Much too blue. It’s been raining so everything turned to a blueish haze.
Installed a H11 (with some modding) bulb with yellow light. Much better.
Managed to remember how to adjust the low beam height.
All good.
The mirrors are for now secured with zip ties.
Time to do some GSing tomorrow on my LT.

Also had a flat tire. One of the speed bumps had a rebar coming out and punctured the tire. The damage was pretty large on the outside, but only a smallish hole in the inside.
Before I noticed I ran about 5 miles with no air.
The tire was over 80C. Very hot. But no apparent damage. Not like I had or have a choice to buy another tire. Plugged the tire with the “worn” plugs.
Got to a car tire shop and they patched it from the inside.
Really hope it makes it back.

All good it seems.


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I would be super cautious with your tire. Riding even 100 yards on a flat tire is extremely rough on the casing and and can damage both the rubber and the reinforcing cords. And the damage is likely on the inside where the most extreme bend radius is located. The problem is that in this condition, the tire is more likely to fail catastrophically (blow out) than to simply leak down as in most failures. I would ride it like you expect it to blow at any time as this is a very distinct possibility after riding several miles on the rim.

I am more comfortable than most people when it comes to riding on a patched tire. I have run many patched tires to end of life with no issues. However, once a tire has been run flat more than a 100 yards or so, I consider it pretty much trashed.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
I would be super cautious with your tire. Riding even 100 yards on a flat tire is extremely rough on the casing and and can damage both the rubber and the reinforcing cords. And the damage is likely on the inside where the most extreme bend radius is located. The problem is that in this condition, the tire is more likely to fail catastrophically (blow out) than to simply leak down as in most failures. I would ride it like you expect it to blow at any time as this is a very distinct possibility after riding several miles on the rim.



I am more comfortable than most people when it comes to riding on a patched tire. I have run many patched tires to end of life with no issues. However, once a tire has been run flat more than a 100 yards or so, I consider it pretty much trashed.


The tire ran for at least 5 miles as it was deflating before I noticed.
When I stopped it already under 10 psi.

The first patch at the shop in Belize started leaking badly in Mexico. So, I plugged it and it’s holding.
I read somewhere that the metzelers can be run flat for a few miles. Obviously they’re toast after that.
Since the flat it’s been 800km.
I’m on my way back now.

Question here. If the tire fails. What size of a car tire can I use to make it back.
There are not shops for big motorcycles in this neck of the woods.

Thanks !


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Discussion Starter #12
Another question. While trying to patch the tire. I used “fix flat” for standard tires. Now my TPMS sensor is stuck at 20psi.
Any way to clean it?


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You're likely aware but, keep inspecting that tire closely especially as you get back to civilized highways and run higher speeds. The damage you describe is pretty scary and a high speed delamination would really ruin your day.
I don't think there is any car tire that fits under the LT. The swing arm doesn't leave much clearance for anything but a spec tire. My suggestion would be to find as close to a proper tire as possible, as soon as possible. There is a Harley spec tire that is the correct size but comes a bit short on load rating, but even that is better than riding on the interstate with such a damaged tire. You may be able to find that one locally once you get back to a larger city. The other option is to order a tire and send it to someplace along your route that has the means to install it (and that should be just about any tire shop).

Good luck and we look forward to the trip report and pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have lots of tires back home in Nicaragua.
We’re crossing Guatemala.
A day and a half left.

Below is how the tire looks like.
I noticed a few thin “cracks” that I don’t think I’ve seen.
I’ll try to keep it at 60-80mph and no more.

I’ll post a write up of the trip when I get back. (To the daily grind)





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good read LOL keep it at 60 -80 miles an hour, had to have a chuckle. 60 or 100kph is our allowable max speed here and I have new tyres:clapping::clapping:
 
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The tire ran for at least 5 miles as it was deflating before I noticed.
When I stopped it already under 10 psi.

The first patch at the shop in Belize started leaking badly in Mexico. So, I plugged it and it’s holding.
I read somewhere that the metzelers can be run flat for a few miles. Obviously they’re toast after that.
Since the flat it’s been 800km.
I’m on my way back now.

Question here. If the tire fails. What size of a car tire can I use to make it back.
There are not shops for big motorcycles in this neck of the woods.

Thanks !


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This sounds much less extreme than what you wrote before. You said you ran about 5 miles with “no air” which is much different than riding 5 miles on a slowly deflating tire that still has nearly 10 psi when you stop. Even 10 psi will keep the rim off the tire. The tire probably warmed up a little due to the low pressure, but running 5 miles with even 10 psi should not cause significant damage. I once rode 10 or so miles on my Voyager XII with a completely flat rear tire. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had no tire repair kit with me and none of the nearby service stations were open. The bike had a Dunlop K491 which was quite a stiff tire and it actually handled quite well totally flat. I was even riding two-up. By the time I got home though, the tire was pretty darn hot and the sidewall looked pretty distressed so that tire was not patched even though it was less than 50% worn.

I have no darksiding experience so I can’t help you in regard to auto tires, but I will say that a situation like you are in is the ONLY time I would even consider running a car tire on my LT. I think I would trust a car tire more than a potentially damaged motorcycle tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It’s holding ...



I didn’t see a speed bump
Made of metal domes. Hit the front tire pretty hard.
But that pales to the 900km of pure horrible rough roads we just took. Seem like running a speed bump every mile.

Incredibly no bent wheel.

700km tomorrow and I’ll be home.




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It’s holding ...



I didn’t see a speed bump
Made of metal domes. Hit the front tire pretty hard.
But that pales to the 900km of pure horrible rough roads we just took. Seem like running a speed bump every mile.

Incredibly no bent wheel.

700km tomorrow and I’ll be home.





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This latest rear picture appears to be significantly more worn that the earlier one. Maybe it is the lighting or just further away and the tread doesn't look as deep. Keep being safe till you get that last 700km behind you and get a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Actually, looks pretty similar. But the wear is noticeable.
Yeah, I’ll order a new set once I get home.
These Metzellers are truly incredible.
These roads are so coarse, you’d have to see it for yourself. These are not really roads.
My GS meanwhile is having zero drama.


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Discussion Starter #20
This sounds much less extreme than what you wrote before. You said you ran about 5 miles with “no air” which is much different than riding 5 miles on a slowly deflating tire that still has nearly 10 psi when you stop. Even 10 psi will keep the rim off the tire. The tire probably warmed up a little due to the low pressure, but running 5 miles with even 10 psi should not cause significant damage. I once rode 10 or so miles on my Voyager XII with a completely flat rear tire. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had no tire repair kit with me and none of the nearby service stations were open. The bike had a Dunlop K491 which was quite a stiff tire and it actually handled quite well totally flat. I was even riding two-up. By the time I got home though, the tire was pretty darn hot and the sidewall looked pretty distressed so that tire was not patched even though it was less than 50% worn.



I have no darksiding experience so I can’t help you in regard to auto tires, but I will say that a situation like you are in is the ONLY time I would even consider running a car tire on my LT. I think I would trust a car tire more than a potentially damaged motorcycle tire.


Voyager I’ve been mindful of your comment about the highway. I’ve been doing no more than 120kph (80mph) on the highway.
Stop every 60 miles.
The sideway looks intact, no cracks.
Yeah, I don’t want to darkside unless I absolutely have to.

The LT has been outstanding, but not the bike for these roads. Honduras has better roads and Nicaragua, so I hope we’ll have no issues today.


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