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Discussion Starter #1
:bmw: Just bought my first Tourer..... Lifetime Crusier rider. Jumped from a Yamaha Roadstar straight to an LT... WOW what a difference!!! It's now in the shop getting some things done to it. It's an 03 Champagne LT.
Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to get comfortable on this bike? It weighs a ton.
A little more elbow grease and wax, and she'll look like she's BRAND NEW!
Hope to hear some good tips..

Mrdon
 

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If you are asking literally how to get comfortable on a LT, you will likely need a modified or custom-made seat and footpeg relocators. There are also various choices of aftermarket windshields that may or may not be an improvement (for reducing wind buffetting) over the stock unit.

Metaphorically, to get "comfortable", just get on the bike and ride it. You can't do anything about the weight of the LT but the feeling of "mass" disappears when you reach 5mph.
 

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Addendum to "just ride it"...

Practice riding it... Find a vacant lot and do some 40 mph to a panic stop. You'll learn a few things...

Also, slow to a stop... as stated, under 5mph she wants to lay down if you even remotely have the handlebars turned and you hit the front brake. Practice slow speed (parking lot type) drills. Tight u-turn drills, etc. You'll find out a few things about her...

Last but not least... she likes RPM's... Don't be afraid to have her run in the 4 to 6 range A LOT! Use 5th only on the freeway. 4th when you're around town and over 50mph. 3rd would be preferable at that speed. Again, she likes them R's...
 

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Welcome to a new world of riding. I purchased my 2003 Impala Brown (not champagne :histerica ) in Oct.2008. First ride since 1982. I took the safety course and learned many things about riding that I didn't realize when I was young and immortal. I've put 23,000 miles on her since and have loved every mile. She went to sleep on me 3 times in the first 3 months and has been upright since. All drops were either standing still, turned the front wheel, or under 5 mph. You'll learn how to do all your maintenance on this forum and save moocho $'s. Enjoy the ride and practice, practice, practice slow speed and stopping.
 

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Welcome to the asylum. I too am fairly new to the LT world and am right down the street in Lawrenceville. Would be happy to get together or take a ride up to the North Georgia mountains when you are ready. You will be amazed at how the big girl handles in the twisties. Have performed most routine maintenance items myself and would be happy to share tools and tips if you need help.

Ed Flanagan
770-277-5627
 

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BMWTWO said:
Welcome to the asylum. I too am fairly new to the LT world and am right down the street in Lawrenceville. Would be happy to get together or take a ride up to the North Georgia mountains when you are ready. You will be amazed at how the big girl handles in the twisties. Have performed most routine maintenance items myself and would be happy to share tools and tips if you need help.

Ed Flanagan
770-277-5627
This right here is what motorcycle commaraderie is all about. Kudo's to you...Very nice!
 

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Mrdon - congrats on the new ride and welcome... You will find a lot of knowledge and willingness to answer your questions here.

I had an 03 Roadstar LE and it was a great cruiser. At times I wish I had her in the stable.. You will find yourself riding more and shining less and when you do, cleaning the LT is easy.

That said everyone is giving you good advice. Take a little time to get used to your new ride. I have had 3 slow tip overs in 37K and will never take the slow stuff for granted.

Fred
 

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Welcome to the LT world. Two suggestions -1) take an Experienced Rider Course to brush up on skills. 2) when you use the sidestand PUT THE BIKE IN FIRST GEAR or it may roll off the sidestand.
 

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Welcome aboard--my tip is check out the Hall of Wisdom on this forum and do some reading. The majority of years of experience from riders is stored there and can really help alot to answer questions you haven't even thought of yet. Have a blast and be safe.:wave
 

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Welcome.

With a minimum amount of thought to what its doing and where in the street you are when you stop, like you need to do on any Liter+ bike, count on longer trips, smoother rides down the big roads when you need it, and surprisingly good handling in the curves.

Since you come from a big cruiser, I probably don't need to remind you what gravity can do if you don't park it in 1st gear on the side stand.

A good thing to remember is to keep it on the sidestand when you fill the tank. Its meant to be fueled that way and you will avoid several problems found by using the centerstand. If you live or spend a lot of time in warmer climates, or park off the pavement, there are products that expand the size of the sidestand and resist sinking into warm asphault or soil.

Like others have mentioned, the engine seems to love 4 - 5k, fifth gear is mostly for the highway, do remember to keep the rpm up when you are under 5 mph. 4 cylinder engines just don't have the low end torque that 2 cylinder engines do. They are much smoother, but you just compensate for that with higher rpm.

Oh, the longer rides - it just pulls you into that. Its that kind of ride.

Bil
 

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Welcome to the forum Mrdon. You'll meet a lot of nice people here who are willing to share their knowledge and time. I hope you enjoy your new bike. I find that the more I ride mine the more I want to ride it. Its a passion.
 

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You have gotten great advice from the forum members! Make sure you delay your shifts 'till 4K + RPM's, kind of hard to do when you're used to a low reving cruiser. The higher RPM's will really make the big girl dance! 4th on the urban freeways is perfect as it gives you that little extra snap you might need to avoid trouble.

There is a set of DVD's available to help you with service issues. They were made by one of the forum members, Paul Sayegh. Very worthwhile. The DVD's and a Clymers manual and you're in business.

As mentioned earlier the slow speed handling is the only tricky part to ridiung the LT. Practice, practice, practice and it will become much easier

Have a great time with your new ride!

Loren
 

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Hi and welcome. I hope you enjoy your bike as much as the vast majority of us here do. And when reading through postings remember that, like all sites, this one can give people an outlet to vent frustrations while the happy campers just quietly get on with it. The impression can be given that the bike is a basket case ready to let you down at any moment which is totally wrong. It is an extremely competent and enjoyable tourer. Even the infamous FD problem has not affected 96% of owners. It is a machine, and, like any other, parts can wear or break. But this forum is a wealth of knowledge and will help you through any issues.

Now my tuppence worth on your original question - how to get used to it. As well as what the others have said, I would suggest that you have a look at the tyres. If the rear is squared off or the front shouldered it can dramatically affect handling. This will make the transition more difficult for you.

The other thing is that I disagree with the earlier posters who recommended high revs. I personally don't rev the nuts off of it. I enjoy the fact that it has enough torque to allow early gear changes and a relaxed style. And importantly for someone getting used to it, I think that its such a comfortable, competent bike that if you push it you could find yourself arriving into corners a lot faster than you realise, which will lead to problems. I would suggest getting used to the bike first and when you're comfortable on it and with it then push it when the opportunity presents itself - like two up overtaking etc. This is just my opinion - and the others are just as entitled to theirs. No doubt you'll arrive at your own and I hope you have fun doing so.

Kevin.
 

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Welcome to the nut house :wave :wave

As far as tips from us about getting comfortable, the best advice I ever heard was "just ride it". After four or five thousands miles (should only take you a couple of weekends), your body will tell you what you need to do. You might be hunky doory with the seat, though most likely not. You may also find that the footpeg placement is just fine for you too. After that, you may want to experiment with different windscreens. I found the stock one much too tall for my liking so I went with a shorter one and have loved the heck out of it. But much of what I do to my bike vs. what others do to theirs is purely subjective so ride it for a while and your butt will tell you what to do.

As for the revs? I too am not a rev monkey. While I take the short drive out my subdivision to the highway I let the engine warm up by not running it over 3K and only in 2 gear; but I only have a short drive to the main road. Once there, I shift the big girl at 4K. Mind you, I'm not afraid or timid about twisting her tail when need be but (just ask the guy in the Miata that I dogged into submission on the Dragon :D ) I find that I really don't need to. I would though caution against lugging it around like a V-twin. It won't like that. Bottom line though is it's your bike and drive in your comfort zone and you'll be impressed with her in no time at all.

Probably the best part about having a Beemer over a cruiser is that they don't see the need to stop at every bar and rest while you wait on them and have another beer. :histerica

Most of all, thanks for joining our nut house and keep us posted on your new ride. I'm just across the ridge from you in TN and I'll keep my eyes open for you.
 

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Regarding RPM: There is nothing wrong with just cruising around at 3-4K, if that is the type of riding one wants to do. Just don't ride it below 3K. However, suggesting to anyone that this is a "good" way to ride the LT is not responsible either. This engine is designed for and LOVES higher RPM, and has far greater throttle response and power above 4K. Also in the twisties riding 5-7K is better since you have great compression braking when approaching the next curve. No need to use the brakes as much as you have to riding lower RPM, and the roll on power out of a curve at over 5K is addicting.

My suggestion to anyone new to the LT is to first get really comfortable with it, then force yourself to ride it for at least a couple hours in the much higher RPM range, like never letting it get below 4500. You just may find something you never knew, and like it. If you don't try it out for some time, you may never know what you are missing. To me, shifting at 4k is a HUGE waste of performance. I usually shifted so that it never dropped below 3500 after the shift, even around town. Under 3500 the LT is pretty much a dog. As you have already learned, it is no cruiser, and is not very happy acting like one.

The old saying is certainly true, "You don't yet know what you don't know."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks to all the suggestions guy's......

Mrdon
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great suggestion.. I'll do that

Mrdon
 

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I have had my LT for 2 months and have been riding it much like a cruiser. 3k - 4k rpm's the entire time. Never ran it much more than 5500, 6k at the most and that was only a short burst to pass a car. Have always used a high gear and shift at 3k. With all this new info my LT is going to be much more fun. :D Thanks Guys!!!

I did however notice that on the last trip (about 600mi) that when running around 75mph for about 2hrs my fuel economy went up and the bike seemed to run smoother. The things you learn when you spend a few hrs reading on this site. :)

TOM G.
 

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If I may coin the phrase......."Ride it like you Stole it"..............and wipe that grin off your face, (if you can)............... :D
 
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