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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so with my boots on I probably reach 5' 06". I buy 29" inseam jeans 'cause they don't make them any shorter. I've owned a variety of BMW's (air and oilheads) and I've never had a bike that I can flat foot but haven't dropped one in a long tme. I'm thinking about an LT with the hope that my wife will start riding with me again.

Am I crazy or are there some short guys out there that have mastered this skyscraper? I'm considering a low mileage '99 that's being ofered locally. I've read that the low seat on a '99 is 30.3". It must be damn wide because that's probably lower than any bike I've had in 30 years. So, is there anyone on the list as short as me that ride one of these? What's it like? I know EVERYBODY drops these once in a while (heck, by the threads I've read it seems to be a badge of courage around here). I just don't want to buy this thing and find out it's just too much for short guys to handle.

Thanks for any input.
 

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bobmin said:
I'm thinking about an LT with the hope that my wife will start riding with me again.
Very Good thought!!!

Welcome to the LT World!! FWIW, I am 5'8" tall and wear jeans with a 30" inseam too!! I haven't been able to "flat foot" the bike on both feet either. The Corbin seat doesn't make it any easier, but I have now got used to this.

The lower seat from BMW is a good option. I sat on a bike at the dealer with the lower seat and was able to flat foot the bike.
 

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5'6

I am 5'6 with a 28 inseam and so far (knock on wood) I have not dropped her yet. Most of my riding is 2 up on the LT and have ridden approximately 21,000 miles on my 05 LT. In addition to the height I ride sitting on top of the Beadrider wooden beads because the stock seat sucks. So I am up there. The only problem I have "sometimes" is precarious stops. I always look at where I park and stop whenever possible. Honestly I really have not had much problem handling the bike. At first I did have trouble getting it off the center stand. I would stand beside the bike and push it off and was always scared doing it until I saw another short guy rock his off the centerstand. It is a piece of cake now. When I am traveling and have the bike fully loaded and a mag bag on the topcase rack and park on the sidestand sometimes I ask my wife to assist in getting her upright.
 

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bobmin said:
OK, so with my boots on I probably reach 5' 06". I buy 29" inseam jeans 'cause they don't make them any shorter. I've owned a variety of BMW's (air and oilheads) and I've never had a bike that I can flat foot but haven't dropped one in a long tme. I'm thinking about an LT with the hope that my wife will start riding with me again.

Am I crazy or are there some short guys out there that have mastered this skyscraper? I'm considering a low mileage '99 that's being ofered locally. I've read that the low seat on a '99 is 30.3". It must be damn wide because that's probably lower than any bike I've had in 30 years. So, is there anyone on the list as short as me that ride one of these? What's it like? I know EVERYBODY drops these once in a while (heck, by the threads I've read it seems to be a badge of courage around here). I just don't want to buy this thing and find out it's just too much for short guys to handle.

Thanks for any input.
I'm 5'7", 30" inseam, and I've dropped mine plenty of times!


Seriously, I rarely drop the bike anymore, mostly because I've become more attentive -- my only drops were in moments of gross inattention and/or end-of-a-long-day fatigue.

Knowing how to pick up the bike without rupturing anything is (to me at least) the real source of confidence -- I believe that if you know you can pick it up, you'll be let concerned with (and likely less prone to) a drop. The basic idea is to stand with your back to the bike, one hand on the handlebar and the other on the saddlebag grip (arms pretty much straight), butt against the side of the seat -- then walk backwards, using your *LEGS*, NOT your arms, to walk the bike back up to vertical.

Pre-fall stuff :):

The handling of the bike at slow speed is mostly a matter of practice -- anyone can ride a motorcycle at speed -- low speed handling is where you learn real bike control (at least until you're sufficiently proficient to be looking at track classes). The more time spent at low speed in a parking lot, boring as it may be at times, the less likely you'll drop it. I encourage much practice before taking on a passenger, and more importantly, taking the passenger first thing to a parking lot to practice riding together, and to train the passenger (not putting their feet down, rider does all the turning, keep their body at the same lean as yours during turns, look to inside of turn during the turn, etc.). Practice, practice, practice. (subtle enough?? ;))

Keep your head/eyes up (looking off at the distance, and *DO NOT* sneak glances at the ground right in front of you).

Have the front wheel pointed straight ahead when coming to a complete stop -- the LT telelever suspension has an anti-dive geometry (i.e., virtually no "dive" built into the front forks). With a conventional fork, if you hit the brakes with the front wheel turned, some of the momentum of the bike is absorbed in the forks, and the main bike/rider motion remains mostly along the longitudinal axis of the bike, or at least is slowed enough to permit operator reaction/correction before toppling. With the telelever, the momentum is not adsorbed in this manner, so the bike tends to want to continue moving -- *right now* (usually before you can react) and in any direction, usually over onto its side away from the direction of the front wheel. Having the front wheel pointing inline with the chassis minimizes the excitement.
 

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Welcome.

One of my installers who is a riding buddy is 5'7" and maybe 110 lbs ,drove my LT when I first got it. He had a very stable center of gravity and never really seemed to stop all that much. He started a slow down well before a light and just seemed to balance at a slow speed until the light changed. In a parking lot he just pulled in slow and let the bike down to the left until he hit flat on his left foot. Reverse was the only issue trying to ride tip toe and turn the bike coming out of a parking spot. Other than that it didn't seem to be an issue. Enjoy.
 

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I am 5'and an optimistic 6" and have a 27" inseam. I too have always ridden bikes that don't fit me.
Some years ago I bought a too tall R100T BMW and went to the dealer too see if he could lower the bike. His answer;...You don't need the bike lowered, just think tall. I did and have bought and ridden many Beemers since, including the too tall R1100GS.

My current bike is an '05 LT. Just a wonderful bike that I enjoy immensely. (love is a word that comes to mind) I have ridden it for about 13,000 miles with no great difficulty. I dropped it once when coming to a stop with the front wheel turned to the right. Those brakes are just too good. Any time I am on the bike I pay attention to my surroundings and when coming to a stop, I really pay attention.

As stated by another, when coming to a stop I will time my stop with the traffic , lights etc. to the point where I might have to put my feet down momentarily. I agree with others, us short ones cannot practice slow speed riding enough.

I do not like or use heavy soled boots and have done nothing to the bike suspension etc. to make it lower. It is entirely stock. EXCEPT The one concession I have made to my height? is I have done everything I can do to lower the stock seat without cutting or otherwise disfiguring the frame or tupperware. I am completely satisfied with the bike and am sure I will enjoy it even more when I get more comfortable with the slow speed handling.

I have a Corbin seat on the rear for my SO. (a carry over from an "05 GW) I firmly believe there is no such thing as a comfortable seat. I DON'T CARE WHO MAKES IT. I have a stock seat on the front, it gives me the best shot at getting my feet down as much as possible.

I don't mean for this to sound like a rant. I believe there is a common thread through all this, it is adapt. Short people on motorcycles know it well.

It's really good to know there are other short people out there enjoying the ride of that big monster too. Welcome and enjoy.

Austin S.
 

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I am 5'9" with a 30" inseam (sounds like an AA meating). On my 05 I lowered the seat by an inch lower than the low setting. I took the lowering adjuster off and the rubber pads that the seat sits on and now the seat sits right above the plastic pannel, looks nice to no gap. The only drawback to this is that if you sell it to a tall guy then your going to have to get a new seat. I don't plan on selling it.
 

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5'6" here too. 2002 LT - I've never 'dropped' 'er - but I have set 'er on 'er side a time or two. More of a 'lay 'er down gently' than a drop. But only once while astride it and that was BEFORE I'd found this site (trying to do a U turn on a dirt road and engine revs WAY too low).

Since, I've been in places I shouldn't have think'n I'm supper man or sumthing, gavity sucks and she's taken a rest a few times. Places like: High angle parking lots, soft sand, another dirt road, etc. Oh, I did set 'er on 'er side in the garage once. Trying to get it up on the center stand - instead of have'n 'er on both feet, had 'er on the one oposite me - my bad. Each one of them I attribute to me be'n stupid and fact that she's heavy - not me be'n less than 'average' tallness.
 

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Custom seat builders can fabricate you a seat that will let you gain (actually, "lose") some height. Maybe Ron Miller (Kontour Seats) will jump in here with info.
 

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I'm 5' 7 3/4" with 30in. inseam. I've never been able to flat foot my LT unless I'm stopped in the bottom of a deep rutt. :) I wear good work boots that improve my reach a bit and help with grip, inspiring more confidence while using either my toes or the balls of my feet for stability. Wearing gym shoes is worse because of the reduction in reach and grip.

In 2.5+ years and 35k miles I've dropped her only once, and that was a stupid mistake doing a U-Turn in reverse in the driveway, falling off the pavement into the grass - duh! Good thing the neighbors were watching so they could witness my awesome flying summersault trick. :)

Good luck!
 

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I, like Mark am not that tall; 5' 8", 31 inseam. But, just to add a bit, practice, practice, practice low-speed handling. Most, if any problems are going to happen at low/parking lot speeds.

Greasy gas station pads can bite you in the butt. Keep a close eye there, especially if wet. Keep an eye on severe crowns in the road, you ain't got much leg and a severe crown and even a minor pothole, you are in trouble. Even seasoned riders fine the LT a bit daunting in the beginning, but practice, practice. Unless you are an MSF instructor, I would recommend the following.

www. ridelikeapro.com and buy the DVD. The techniques are classic and seeing them and practicing the regiman in the order of the exercises, they do indeed build on one another.

Good luck . . . you will NOT find a better touring bike.
 

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bobmin said:
Am I crazy or are there some short guys out there that have mastered this skyscraper? ... I just don't want to buy this thing and find out it's just too much for short guys to handle.
Master is such a big word!

I am >maybe< an inch taller than you and have short, stubby legs. I have been riding the LT since 2002 and feel completely comfortable even though I can't put 2 feet down flat.

When I first got the bike, I had the dropsies, for sure. I had the bad habit of putting both feet down when stopping.

Reading this forum I learned that I needed to improve my skills and stop putting my right foot down. I resisted until a particularly embarrassing drop in the Deal's Gap parking lot with my bride on the back. That cured me of my pig-headed insistance on putting both feet down when stopping.

After that I learned to keep my right foot on the peg/brake, keep the engine revs up a little and feather the clutch for control and that was the almost the last time I dropped it. Actually, the only 2 drops since then were once when taking it off a trailer and once at a gas pump when I got in a hurry and forgot that I had pulled up the side stand. My face still turns red over that one.

Again, I would never claim to be a master. I do feel completely comfortable with the bike in spite of having had major back surgery in 2005.

Go for it!

By the way, I keep the seat in the high position to avoid hip/knee pain.

Jeff
 

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dmatson said:
On my 05 I lowered the seat by an inch lower than the low setting. I took the lowering adjuster off and the rubber pads that the seat sits on and now the seat sits right above the plastic pannel, looks nice to no gap.
I would love to see some pictures does the backup back rest still work since I just spent a weeks pay on it I'm 5'9 also

Tony
 

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As you have read above, there are plenty of guys who do it. In all honesty, I wouldn't do it, particularly if a goal was to involve a passenger. I have a 30" inseam, and if it was an inch less I wouldn't have bought mine. This bike, as you know, are tall and top heavy without a passenger. Someone determined to ride one can certainly do it though.
 
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