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Hi there,
greetings from Tigre (20 Km north from Buenos Aires, Argentina).
About two months ago I bought a 2001 LT with 50,000Km on it. My previous bike was a 1150GS, but had to sell cause my wife hated her seat. I bought a silicone mat, a lambskin with wool on it.... but this did not make her feel more comfortable. Soon i realized that if she decided not to come along on my rides any more, it also meant I soon would have to retire from biking as well! Having this in mind, we went to a BMW dealer to look for a new bike for HER. The search criteria was quite simple: the pillion' s seat had to be comfortable: no matter if new or used nor Oilhead or K series... we were JUST looking for a SEAT :rolleyes:
First bike we made a test ride on was a brand new 1200GS (I was reluctant to give up the GS' s !)... but she disliked it. When I was about to get on a 1200 RT she saw the 1200LT, pointed her finger on it and said: THAT IS THE BIKE I want to ride on from now on! To make a long story short: that very day we drove off on board of this super cruiser. That very weekend we made a short trip (400 KM) to the sea. Every time we came to a stop or slowed down she kept telling me how comfortable her seat was and how much she hated the GS' s. I smiled assuming that each comment added bonuses to my "motrocycle driver life expectancy". The trip was great, but every time I drove at low speed or braked to a full stop I felt unsecure with the handling of the bike. I remembered having had the same feeling with a 2001 Suzuki Marauder. The worst part was when I had to make a sharp turn (actually a "U" Turn) on a street, here I thought: this is it.. it's doing what IT wants and not what I want!!! The disaster I predicted did not happen, but sooner or later it will fall. Now, after having made a 9 days / 4,000Km trip I must say I like this bike a lot... but still feel unsecure and a little frightened when making sharp turns ! Question: how he heck do YOU do it???? Or is there an aftermarket HINGE to be placed in the middle of the bike for making it behave properly on turns?
Best regards!
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Welcome to the world of the LT Cosme,

I successfully avoided the "The Drop" for almost five years. Concentrate and never hit the brakes with the front wheel turned. Practice tight turns in the parking lot until you are comfortable with the clutch in the "feathered zone" and the RPMs up but not overly pulling the bike in the slow, high tilt manouvers. Do this first one up to gain confidence then persue two up.

I did finnally drop it - two up while attempting a bit of a U-turn from a parking lot onto a two lane. Looked to my left - all clear then a quick look right followed by the lean to the left and another look - there was a car. Had to hit the brakes while leaned and down she gently went. Wife did a four point landing and we were both fine. Bike was OK as well but my pride was a bit damaged and so was my no-drop record.

Enjoy the LT
 

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Here's what I do for slow speed control:
Increase rpms and slip the clutch and drag the rear brake.
I basically control the bike's speed with the rear brake.
This allows much finer control of speed and balance making slow speed handling with two people on board easier.

Practice that, you may find it helps.
Enjoy the ride.
 

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CharlieVT said:
Here's what I do for slow speed control:
Increase rpms and slip the clutch and drag the rear brake.
I basically control the bike's speed with the rear brake.
This allows much finer control of speed and balance making slow speed handling with two people on board easier.

Practice that, you may find it helps.
Enjoy the ride.
Absolutely.

Hold RPM at 2500 by slipping the clutch, right foot controls the speed.

Oh yeah, keep YOUR HEAD UP and look where you are going - not where you ARE. Relax and take a deep breath, it works just great.

I could SWEAR you get some gyroscopic help from the engine, even though the physics of our Brick says it ain't so. :think:
 

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RonKMiller said:
Absolutely.

Hold RPM at 2500 by slipping the clutch, right foot controls the speed.

Oh yeah, keep YOUR HEAD UP and look where you are going - not where you ARE. Relax and take a deep breath, it works just great.

I could SWEAR you get some gyroscopic help from the engine, even though the physics of our Brick says it ain't so. :think:
Alright Shealey - don't read further! :rolleyes:

I agree, Ron. It may not be gyroscopic, butt instead hygroscopic, microscopic, telescopic, or just plain scopic, butt more twist in the grip or sumpthin', helps me git around the bend.
 

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Tight turns? Like in the ERC box? Turn your head, second gear, clutch fully released, and drag the rear brake. I don't tease the tigers with the dry clutch; brake pads are cheaper.

Just my technique and $0.02
 

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Watch this..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsdzdm35lbI

Next, you "go where you are looking"... so do not look down..

on an ABS motorcycle, the brakes do not "engage" really hard at low speeds.... but, if you press the brake "quickly", the ABS senses that as being a bit of a "panic" and has a tendency to overapply..

So, "drag" the brakes BEFORE you enter the turn and keep pressure "steady" ... keep RPM high enough such as over 2500 RPM to have the power "reserve" to move the bike when you release the clutch...

Next, use the clutch to adjust your speed in the turn...and try to keep it steady..

I went to a parking lot and started with a "wide" turn and kept working my technique until comfortable with the radius.

Another tip is to move your weight onto the pegs.. yes, stand just a bit.. that will also help lower the center of gravity....

Hope this helps..
 

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You've been given several good tips. When I first got mine I was terrified. I flew from California to New York to pick up my LT from a friend who lived in Manhattan. Without so much as a test ride or any LT experience I started my cross country ride home during Manhattan rush hour in a rain storm on a street covered with large steel construction plates. My friend just shook his head, I don't think he expected me to make it in one piece. As soon as I crossed the New Jersey border I encountered the worst cross winds I have ever ridden in and they literally followed me across the country without letting up until I crossed into Arizona. I was miserable and ready to sell it the day I got home. 100K later the only way I'd part with my LT is to make room for a new one. It's 90% mental, once you learn to trust the bike you will be amazed at what it can do. Low speeds aren't a real issue, neither are spirited rides through the canyons. With a little practice and a few of the listed tips here and you will be amazing yourself and the friends you ride with. Have fun.
 

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My biking days were almost over when I first dropped it with the Lass on the back - it broke her shoulder!
Dropped it twice more with her on - she knows how to fall properly now.
It is a LONG way up from that pillion seat.to the floor
 

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Just remember...

The wings on the sides are very durable.
Do not try to save her when she goes down.
Just guide her heavy a$$ to the ground.
No need to strain your back and get hurt over a drop.

You are going to eventually drop it.
It will be OK we all get to experience this when owning one of these large monsters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to all!!!!

Next Monday you will get some news from me! I will spend the entire weekend doing turns on an empty parking lot. In order to get relaxed enough I figured out that a sequence like 1 right turn / 1 pint of beer / 1 left turn / 1 pint of beer might help. What´s you idea about this???? :) :)

What about the body attitude? you only advised to keep the head up and look to the point I am driving to. Should I keep one foot down and drag it during the turn or is it better to keep it on the pegs once the bike started? Body straight or slightly bent to the inner of the curve?

Thanks, Cosme
 

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neurodoc said:
Thanks to all!!!!

Next Monday you will get some news from me! I will spend the entire weekend doing turns on an empty parking lot. In order to get relaxed enough I figured out that a sequence like 1 right turn / 1 pint of beer / 1 left turn / 1 pint of beer might help. What´s you idea about this???? :) :)

What about the body attitude? you only advised to keep the head up and look to the point I am driving to. Should I keep one foot down and drag it during the turn or is it better to keep it on the pegs once the bike started? Body straight or slightly bent to the inner of the curve?

Thanks, Cosme
Using your feet during a turn is known as "paddling". Its a substitute for good riding technique and a sure way to eventually injure yourself.

The first thing I think of when I see a rider paddling is :corn: ,

the next thing I usually hear is :wow:

followed by :kaboom:and :wtf:

and me :clapping:

Just relax, keep breathing - its amazing how many people unconsciously hold their breath when trying to learn a new skill - and concentrate on being smooooooooth.

Nuttin' to it!

Oh yeah, did I mention KEEP YOUR HEAD UP? :toast:
 

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Good job, Ron. I never knew one could tell a story with the smilies! :thumb: :D
 

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"I agree, Ron. It may not be gyroscopic, butt instead hygroscopic, microscopic, telescopic, or just plain scopic, butt more twist in the grip or sumpthin', helps me git around the bend." :rotf: :histerica

Now thats a great lead in for a high school science class!! arharh, gawd thats funny...

I don't understand either, did a woman design the LT??

Never heard it run, only saw it in person once before in a parking lot at work, never thought about buying one...it took the wife 10 SECONDS to say "this is it"...and I'm sure she was waiting only so I thought she actually thought about what she was saying. :rolleyes:

Didn't matter, she made the decision in the showroom from the pillion seat of that sliver 02 sitting under the spotlight. She's never looked back either, still loves it after 126k miles.

And thats on the stock seat!

Regarding drops, my approach...don't worry about it. I've dropped my bike so many times I've lost count. I only did damage once when I lowsided (bent the brake lever). Its made to drop. It ain't made to catch on the way down however, let it go:)

If doing a u-turn is a problem at all, I revert back to the y-turn, much easier on iffy roads/dirt,etc. You'll come to grips with it over time..and miles.
 

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Hi Cosme,

Great advice above. The bike is actually easier to handle than she seems capable of.

If you want my advice drop her as soon as you can, with your wife onboard. She only falls to about a 45º angle, and there is no point in trying to stop her. The first time is always the most difficult and embarrasing, after that it´s part of the ride.

P.S. I sent you an e-mail regarding the spanish language LT site.

Simon
 

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Two years driving two-up on the LT and she tipped once. The wife quickly jerked to the right at a stop light. Caught me unexpectly, but if i were on a smaller, lighter bike i could have easily countered the weight.

But you get used to it, and better at it. This really is the best bike in the world, but it's a bit much to handle.
 

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Welll....the last drop I had, the wife was trying to get on the back. I was trying to keep the two cups of fresh, hot coffee in-tact while they were sitting on the console :D

So the wife starts to get on the back, before I can say anything over it goes, arharh...I lost BOTH cups of coffee! what a tragedy....had one sip before the demise.

some guy ran over to help us get the bike up (on a slightly angled park lot), all I could do is say thanks and whine about the spilt coffee....fresh, hot, mmmm...gone!

not a scratch on the bike from that one by the way..

None of this was nearly as much fun as dumping the wife in the #2 lane of I-20 in Dallas at the I-20/W-35 interchange last Nov, unexpected ice storm. She didn't even know what hit us, she was just on the ground, arharh..I won't be trying that again anytime soon :cool:
 
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