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Discussion Starter #1
I see a lot of LTs parked on the side stand more than the center stand. I use the center stand because it is easier for me to get off & on. My knees are not the best and being a little robust, it is easier. Any hints as to when to use one over the other? I know if you want to put in the max fuel, use the side stand. But what about other times. Is there some rule of thumb to go by? Thanks for the help. Don
 

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I think the LT came out with the hydro-electric center stand in '05. Push a button and the stand comes down, the bike goes up. My thought would be that the LT's you see on the side stand are possibly pre '05s and the owners just don't want to wrestle the machine up onto the center stand. Also there is the possibility that they are parked on ashalt. It's easy to put a "hockey puck" under the side stand to keep the bike from falling over. I haven't tried getting a support under the center stand. OK. I did once. It wasn't pretty. "Big Kitty" fell over. The board I used was a little too thick. You can be sure I won't try that again.
 

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Interesting that you brought this up. I am still in the process of looking for a LT.
I was looking at an 03 that had cluth problems but the dealer sent it to BMW to have it fixed. I am not going to buy that one but went to test drive it again yesterday after the clutch was fixed. Alot of smoke initially when I started and then took off. The dealer ( not BMW ) said that is normal if you leave a BMW on the side stand because it allows oil into the engine. I seriously doubted that but agreed and left.

any truth to that?
 

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yes, parking your bike on the kick stand will allow oil into the cyllinders, BUT, if you shut the engine off and let the bike sit upright for about 20 seconds the oil will settle out and not usually leak into the cylinders. I like to use the kick stand most of the time. It is more stable that way. I once had a bike (Honda ST 1100) blow over in high winds while on the center stand.
 

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Yep, I can vouch for that too. We bought a 99LT with 41k in November. Didn't smoke on the test drive, but the day after we got it home, I thought we just made the biggest blunder having bought the bike. The smoke just billowed out and filled our entire driveway the next day when I first started it up.

I read up on all the posts about it on this forum. I now keep the bike upright for 30 seconds or so before parking it for the night, and use a board under the side stand as well. Haven't had a problem since. That was 1500 miles ago.

Ditto on keeping it in gear. Almost had it roll off the side stand twice, before I read about having to prevent it from rolling. DON'T rely on the shift indicator! More than once it showed being in first, let out the clutch to park and it rolled, still in neutral.

Might want to take a second look at the bike.
 

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Got an 02

Never use the center stand except to work on the bike. Kinda flat around here to... As others have said, make sure you roll it forwards or backwards before you put the stand down and get off.. Let the bike rest in first gear.
 

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You want to roll forward against first gear then lean it over. Backwards & it might still have enough slack to roll forward & fall.
 

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I almost always use the side stand. I have owned the bike for going on 3 years. And it rolled off the sidestand once 2.5 years ago in a sloped parking lot when I left it in neutral. Always leave it in first gear and take up the slack and have never had a problem since. If I had an '05 or beyond, I am sure I would use the center stand. But, with an '03, it is just easier.

Rule of thumb that I follow: if the ground is iffy, I use the center stand.. Otherwise, I use the side stand.
 

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I almost always use the center stand since my 07 has the powered one and it is more stable for getting on and off. I use it to park on a turntable in my garage every night and just spin it around to head out in the morning.

Regretted one time though. I parked in an open parking lot one day when we were having 50mph wind gusts. I'm a little short so I usually slide left to get my left foot on the ground to kick me off the center stand. Just as I kicked it off the center stand a big gust hit from the left and over she went.

Lessons learned:
1. I can pick it up my self.
2. if you can, park heading into the wind.
3 If can't do 2 then kick off stand with foot opposite wind.
 

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I use the side stand.

With engine stopped and clutch out, I let it roll either forward or backward, whichever way "is downhill" until it stops. If there is no downhill, I roll it forward.

Then I lean it onto the stand.

Works like a charm.
 

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depends upon the slope

Big_E said:
You want to roll forward against first gear then lean it over. Backwards & it might still have enough slack to roll forward & fall.
Should have clarified my remarks. Only reverse when the slop is to the rear and that is rare... I think I got that right. Got to paint a picture....
 

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After having three near misses with the centerstand with my 02 - all at service stations filling up - I have learned my lessons.

So now I -

1) Always kill the engine with the side stand and in first gear.
2) Always stay on the bike when gassing her up at the station.
3) Always look for a parking spot with a slight uphill slant and park nose first.
4) Always (OK 95% of the time) put her on the centerstand after I get off.
5) I have a plastic sidestand support plate that I carry with me (the only HD accessory I own) and have used it on gravel but only as a last resort.

With so much practice putting her on and off the centerstand, I am pretty good at it. (I do find its easier when I weigh 200 lbs than when I am in svelt form)

Regards,
Skozar
 

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Two other rules

Look out for either gravel, sand or wet spots when you put your foot down and watch out for cages backing up. I learned both the hard way!
 

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Center stand 90% if level/ flat enough. Side stand on uneven ground.
The side stand seems to me to not afford enough lean to keep it from going to the starboard side if someone (kids, wind, etc) were to get it going that way just a little bit. I haven't had a problem with that happening, but coming off a Harley which leans a whole lot more on the side stand (almost too much seems to me -- like something's gonna break) the LT has much less lean.

The advice on 1st gear is essential, as experience taught me the hard way.
 

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Assuming I am on fairly level hard ground (asphalt or cement) I use the side stand. Always leave it in first, and let it roll into a stop (meaning, backward if facing slightly uphill, forward if slightly down).

I stay on the bike while removing helmet and gloves, which gives oil time to settle out. I never have smoke - unless I space out, and lean her over on the side stand too quickly, which is rare.

When garaged, she's always on the center stand.

I also always fill her up (to the bottom of the fill neck - DON'T overfill, but that's another string!) on the side stand because you can get a little more in without over filling.
 

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sydvicioustx said:
Interesting that you brought this up. I am still in the process of looking for a LT.
I was looking at an 03 that had cluth problems but the dealer sent it to BMW to have it fixed. I am not going to buy that one but went to test drive it again yesterday after the clutch was fixed. Alot of smoke initially when I started and then took off. The dealer ( not BMW ) said that is normal if you leave a BMW on the side stand because it allows oil into the engine. I seriously doubted that but agreed and left.

any truth to that?
Your Dealer was right ... I own a 05 LT and GT and both of them smoke if parked on the sidestand. This is apparently a trademark of the flying brick :)

I rarely leave any bike on the sidestand.

If you use the electric stand on the 05 and later models it is good to remember to pull the brake lever in tight when you mount or dismount.

My bike rolled off the center stand as I stood up to dismount and I just jumped clear ... narrowly missing getting my foot under that bumper ;)
 

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People who have '05 and newer LT's use the center stand almost exclusively... But thats in my limited experience.... Me I have hardly ever used the side stand,,, The button is so cool :) ...Pete
 

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Skozar said:
After having three near misses with the centerstand with my 02 - all at service stations filling up - I have learned my lessons.

So now I -

1) Always kill the engine with the side stand and in first gear.
2) Always stay on the bike when gassing her up at the station.
3) Always look for a parking spot with a slight uphill slant and park nose first.
4) Always (OK 95% of the time) put her on the centerstand after I get off.
5) I have a plastic sidestand support plate that I carry with me (the only HD accessory I own) and have used it on gravel but only as a last resort.

With so much practice putting her on and off the centerstand, I am pretty good at it. (I do find its easier when I weigh 200 lbs than when I am in svelt form)

Regards,
Skozar
DO NOT fill the bike while on the center standd. The manual actually states that. For those that have not removed the can...that is one of the things that cause it to malfunction. ALWAYS FILL THE BIKE ON THE SIDE STAND.
 

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Hi All,
you must also remember that the hydraulic stand is problematic. There are plenty of reports about it failing. I have had this experience on my second LT model with this feature. With a €1000+ replacement cost, the side stand is a far cheaper option and far more reliable.

It's a terrible pity that there is a design weakness in the hydraulic stand and a pity that there's not an option when ordering the bike to have the older manual stand fitted instead :confused:

My opinion is that BMW have screwed up on this big time. The number of people reporting failures speak for themselves :(
 
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