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I read and hear a lot about the weight of our LTs. I still struggle with mine. When I move it in my garage I still have to be on the bike with my toes barely touching the floor. I am 5'7". I have ridden this bike (99 LTC) 25K in the two years I have owned it and I am still afraid I will drop it, especially when riding two up, which is quite often. That said it is still my bike of choice and I own seven bikes. Here is where I am going with this: Last fall I was riding on I-40 outside of Knox. Tenn. It was pouring the rain and just about dark. I had to pass two big rigs running about 70mph. At that time I was happy for all 800 and some pounds of my LT. I also doubt the bike could be as comfortable as it is if it weighed less. What do others think?
 

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I agree 95%

For commuting/around town, short trips, I prefer my GS.

Out on the highway, nothing beats the LT !!
 

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Motorcycles are the epitome of the inverse relationship (trade-offs)

That's exactly right; it's an inverse relationship between substantial bike weight and comfortable, confidence inspiring freeway riding speeds. Reduce the bike weight and you lose some integrity and comfort at freeway riding speeds. These things have all been considered in the engineering trade-offs of the bike, as well as the profitability of what is being engineered into the product. Many still think they can do better and make it more reliable and blah blah blah... of course they'll want to be spending someone else's money to test it and achieve it too; always looks easier when you're watching from the outside than when you're actually involved in the process. Motorcycles have a lot of requirements from people that contradict one another in the law of physics but that doesn't keep them from asking anyway. :bmw:
 

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We do not have as many K1200LT's in The Netherlands as there are in the US. But, we know that the KLT is hard to handle, so it seems. That is why we organize a training course for beginning KLT drivers (1 day) and one for experiences riders (4-days mountains with at least 3000 curves in it) each year.

If you have learned how to deal with the weight, it will never be hard anymore. Turning is easy, even with two people on it, you know where to be on the road, how to turn around the bike, how to emergency-brake and many things more. Handling at high speed is part of that training as well as training to ride at night.

We do that as Dutch KLT community, it is worth while doing, you get some discount on insurance fees and it is very nice be around with other KLT drivers.

It should be possible to do that in the US as well, some east, some west, some north ... Just get it done, it is truely helpful. I have albums full with photo's of our group and we are just about to organize the one for 2006.
 

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a full-featured touring bike will be heavy, but it does not have to be TOP heavy. there are lots of directions BMW could go in to minimize the top heaviness:

1) move at least a portion of the fuel cell lower ... perhaps under the seat, like the wing.
2) redesign the engine shape so that the footpegs can be positioned closer together ... this will allow you to lower the engine in the chassis.
3) jettison the telelever front end and use conventional telescopic fork. this will never happen because telelever is a sacred cow at BMW that someone has built a career on, but sometimes "advanced technology" is not "better technology." i think telelever adds up-high weight and complexity, and it makes the bike clumsy at low speeds.
4) make the bike narrower between the knees so that it does not "feel" as bulky, and so that shorter riders can get a more firm footing.
 

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KBandit said:
a full-featured touring bike will be heavy, but it does not have to be TOP heavy. there are lots of directions BMW could go in to minimize the top heaviness:


3) jettison the telelever front end and use conventional telescopic fork. this will never happen because telelever is a sacred cow at BMW that someone has built a career on, but sometimes "advanced technology" is not "better technology." i think telelever adds up-high weight and complexity, and it makes the bike clumsy at low speeds..

Not mean to flame but IMHO... Just about the dumbest thing I have read on this site in a long time.
 

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Bayliner2052 said:
Not mean to flame but IMHO... Just about the dumbest thing I have read on this site in a long time.
feel free to disagree. we all have opinions. but out of respect and common courtesy i will not call you "dumb" for having one that is different from mine.

i find it interesting that the new dirt-ready R bike has conventional forks.
 

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Look closer, he did not call you dumb, he called your idea dumb. big difference.

Now, could you explain why you think the design is bad?
 

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rixchard said:
Look closer, he did not call you dumb, he called your idea dumb. big difference.

Now, could you explain why you think the design is bad?
sure. as i understand it, the telelever design puts a damper at the top of a very complex series of pivots and linkages. the whole idea behind the system is to create a shock that does not "dive" under braking.

and it works. slam on the brakes and you will see. the forks do not dive.

but it also feels "wooden" in my opinion. it does not react as smoothly to pavement ripples. and it feels harsh to me when i slam on the brakes.

maybe i'm old school, but to me telescopic forks feel much smoother, and less harsh when you lay on the binders. i also believe modern, inverted forks (with sliders attached to the axle tubes in the triple clamp) is much lighter and less bulky, freeing up space that can be used for electronics and other stuff.

like i said, i find it interesting that the new competition dirt R bike uses conventional forks. if telelever is so great, and in light of how long it has been refined, why wouldn't they use it in their latest, greatest bike?

my opinion, anyway. i knew it would ruffle some feathers.
 

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KBandit said:
3) jettison the telelever front end and use conventional telescopic fork. this will never happen because telelever is a sacred cow at BMW that someone has built a career on, but sometimes "advanced technology" is not "better technology." i think telelever adds up-high weight and complexity, and it makes the bike clumsy at low speeds.
HUH?? I sure would not want that! I love the way the bike handles with the Telelever, especially the anti-dive aspect of it.

Maybe the new front end that is on the new K bikes, but have read both pro and con about that. One large motorcycle magazine did not like it at all, said it isolated the feel TOO much, and made handling feel sluggish. I would have to see for myself.

I would NOT want to go back to telescopic forks on an LT.

The dual sport bikes could not use Telelever it because of the limited travel Telelever has by default, but that is not an issue on highway bikes. Apples and oranges.
 

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KBandit said:
like i said, i find it interesting that the new competition dirt R bike uses conventional forks. if telelever is so great, and in light of how long it has been refined, why wouldn't they use it in their latest, greatest bike?

my opinion, anyway. i knew it would ruffle some feathers.
Telelever is limited in travel by design restrictions, but that is not an issue on highway bikes, a BIG issue in dual sport and off road bikes. Cannot compare the two.
 

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dshealey said:
HUH?? I sure would not want that! I love the way the bike handles with the Telelever, especially the anti-dive aspect of it.
i love the way MY bike handles, too ... and have said so many times. but i distinguish between "handling" and "suspension performance."

the handling is super stable for a bike of its size and weight. truly one of the best cornering touring bikes ever.

but the suspension, to me, feels very wooden.

no doubt that it improves if you update the damper to ohlin. but that would also be true if you go to ohlins telescopic forks. i'm just not convinced that telelever technology is worth the added weight and complexity, at least not in its current form.
 

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A few points:
  1. Yes, substantial weight is a "good thing" on a tourer. I just don't think 853 pounds is necessarily "substantial". It's overkill. My Ninja ways just over 520, and it is VERY stable passing semis. I would think that a 750-pound LT wouldn't feel too different than our current LT.
  2. Finding ways to lower the COG would make this bike feel a whole lot lighter, without even shedding one pound. But if BMW found a way to lower the COG and get it around 750 pounds wet...Wow! It would be terrific!
  3. I believe the new LT will have the new front suspension on it. The Hossack-type suspension. That should shed some weight from the front end.
  4. "i find it interesting that the new dirt-ready R bike has conventional forks." That's because it's a DIRT-ready bike. It needs WAY more wheel travel than we'll ever need. You will NEVER see traditional forks on any touring BMW bike...ever again. End of discussion.
  5. "Look closer, he did not call you dumb, he called your idea dumb. big difference." I LOVE IT! :D And...it happens to be "true".
 

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KBandit said:
3) jettison the telelever front end and use conventional telescopic fork. this will never happen because telelever is a sacred cow at BMW that someone has built a career on, but sometimes "advanced technology" is not "better technology." i think telelever adds up-high weight and complexity, and it makes the bike clumsy at low speeds.
This is probably the only thing that saved Don Authur's life. It doesn't feel wooden or clumsy to me. But then what do I know.
 

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"Finding ways to lower the COG would make this bike feel a whole lot lighter, without even shedding one pound. But if BMW found a way to lower the COG and get it around 750 pounds wet...Wow! It would be terrific!"

Got to agree with Joe on this one. I'm never "fighting" my Street Glide at 745lb or my Gold Wing at 820lb in a parking lot. For me the low COG of the other two make them effortless to maneuver with or without a passenger.

But to be honest, since I "live" below 4000 rpm and am not a peg dragging rider, the LT just didn't work for me inspite of all it's excellent features.

regards
 

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Steve_R said:
But then what do I know.
prolly about as much as me. maybe more. but everyone has their own "feel" for a bike. i've been riding and racing bikes for more than 30 years, almost all with telescopic forks. it could be i'm just an old codger who resists change!

don't know what saved don's life, but even with all the LT's fancy suspension and power brakes, it is not the fastest-stopping bike you can buy. Motorcycle Consumer News just published its annual ratings for horsepower, torque, quarter-mile times, top speed and stopping distance. the new K1200S made the top-10 in horsepower, but NO BMW cracked the top 10 for stopping distance.
 

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KBandit said:
jettison the telelever front end and use conventional telescopic fork. this will never happen because telelever is a sacred cow at BMW that someone has built a career on, but sometimes "advanced technology" is not "better technology." i think telelever adds up-high weight and complexity, and it makes the bike clumsy at low speeds.
This design makes the LT so much safer in hard braking conditions, mostly by not allowing the nose-dive common on traditional front forks.
That is one thing I don't want to see gone...
 

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KBandit said:
. . . it could be i'm just an old codger who resists change!
How very, um, conservative of you. ;)

KBandit said:
. . . even with all the LT's fancy suspension and power brakes, it is not the fastest-stopping bike you can buy.
Yet another reason for dropping 100 or so lbs.

Personally, I think the LT handles fantastic in almost all situations. But ride a sub-600 pound bike for a couple of days, then get back on the LT. You will immediately feel like there is a large mass of lead or bricks just in front of your feet. Let's face it, BMWs tend to be over-engineered, which is one reason they last so long. But that comes at the price of thicker castings on the engine, frame, body panels, etc., all of which adds to the overall weight.

I want my bike to be stable but sporty, comfortable but fun, and to have as much advanced technology as possible (assuming it's made reliable, of course). Sure that's asking a lot, but then again if you're happy with the way things are you could choose from a lot of decent touring bikes for a lot less money. The Concours comes to mind, or any of the older Wings.

I'll stick with the LT , thanks. At least until '07/'08. :D
 

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meese said:
The Concours comes to mind, or any of the older Wings.

I'll stick with the LT , thanks. At least until '07/'08. :D
I had a Connie once and loved the performance and agility but hated the lack of comfort. Even with lowered pegs and bar risers it felt cramped, and the blood circulation in my hands would stop in heavy traffic with all my weight on the wrists.
My passenger hated the seat as she felt propelled forward onto me every time I used the brakes. It was an otherwise fun bike to ride solo.
In many aspect the LT was an improvement...:bmw:
 
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