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Excuse the rant but here goes... I just took a nice long 3 day ride into PA, Maryland, W.V. and Ohio. I've had my LT for about two years now. I always knew it was top heavy and had some close calls before with it tipping. With this latest trip there was quite a few hills all around me so parking was a new found challenge. On even the slightest hill, you have to put a lot of thought into how you are going to park this beast. For starters, I rarely use the side stand because it leans so much it just makes me nervous it's going to fall over after I leave. So now onto the centerstand. If you use the centerstand on a slight incline, the bike is parked solidly except when you get on it to leave you look like you are making love to the bike (more like rape) trying to get it off the centerstand uphill. Conversely, using the centerstand on a downward incline always makes me nervous that the slightest touch like getting something out of the back will send it traveling on it's own without me. God forbid you use the centerstand at an angle on an incline. When you come off that centerstand, you are a better man than I am if you can keep it upright. So on this trip I laid it down twice and almost a third. I was riding with 12 other bikes on this trip. I was the only one with a BMW. Talk about looking like an inexperienced idiot. At one point I felt terrible and did some soul searching. I thought about taking the bike to my friend who owns a body shop to repaint the scratches, etc. I thought about what other bikes are out there that might be more suitable for me. Possibly trading this one in. Goldwing? Nah, I don't want a Lazyboy on wheels. Harley? Got one already but not a long distance cruising vehicle (at least not for me). In the end it came to me like an epiphany. I'm not going to get those scratches fixed because it will just happen again. This bike is a top heavy pig but I like it so much. I'm leaving it as is. I'm going to ride it like I stole it, as the saying goes. I'm going to ride up to my parking spot and just jump off and let the bike fall wherever it falls. lol. (ok not quite). In the end, I'll keep this pig and ride the hell out of it. If it falls it falls.

Btw, newest editions to the bike:
Grip puppies and throttle rocker: cheap but what a difference. Nice !
Air Hawk seat cushion: worth the money. I can go much further without needing a break.
Mick O Pegs: worth the money.
 

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Agree with you, this beast deserves respect. But she is a lovely beast... more like big boned as apposed to obese.

Mugz
 

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I discovered all this business at the MotoGP in Laguna Seca over the Fourth of July weekend.

Amazingly and coincidentally, I'm taking a break from putting on the new (used) parts I needed after trying to park on 2" of pine needles on a hill, which I was traversing when I thought I found a flat enough spot. WRONG! I put my foot down only to have it pop out from under me due to the downhill slope and the pine needles. I've learned not to stop it from falling so I just stepped off figuring the 45 degree pieces would catch it. WRONG! It ended up on it's side. I did, in fact, step off so it didn't even graze me. It did, however, end up completely on it's side, on a downhill slope.

In moments, 6 guys were around me asking if I was OK. I assured them I was and they couldn't believe it. Then they asked me how I would like them to pick it up and we devised a strategy in 10 seconds and got her upright. They asked me where I wanted her and I pointed to a flat spot about 75 feet away - the closest I could find. They rolled it over there and someone gave me a puck for under the kickstand, which is all I did with these guys, put the puck under the kickstand while they set it down onto it.

So I've had this now for 2 years and I've been all over the South West (around the Grand Canyon, up to Oregon from Los Angeles, etc.) and it's the 3rd time I've dropped her - the first two times came during the first two weeks when I didn't know about turning the wheel and hitting the front brake. So this is the first "experienced" drop.

What'd I learn? Well, first of all, over the MotoGP weekend, I noticed that all the big bikes were parked by the side of the road on very flat, easy in, easy out ground. So that taught me you've got to park her on solid, flat ground.

I love this bike dearly and now ride it more than my ZX-12R Ninja 1200 - a bike I love dearly.

Gotta go - I'm putting a new (used) left mirror on because I disintegrated the original at MotoGP. There literally wasn't a usable piece left of the old one. The only thing that didn't break was the glass, and I broke that trying to get it off!
 

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You need to trust the side stand, then she will only embarrass you as she smokes on the start-up. Seriously use the side stand, park the rear down hill and let it lean. Some put it in 1st gear, I'm always in neutral out of habit and have never fallen over.
 

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I always park with mine in gear and I push it forward in gear until it stops. It's never fallen over. My bike is always in gear unless I have it on the centerstand working on it. It's a little rule my MSF coach taught me years ago. It has served me well. The sidestand is a little tricky. It does seem to lean too much but it's short and strong. I trust it and I carry a 4" servo cover in my sidebox to go under the sidestand in softer ground. Parking in neutral is just asking for it. It's leaving too much to chance.........jmho.......... :)
 

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Ised8m said:
If you use the centerstand on a slight incline, the bike is parked solidly except when you get on it to leave you look like you are making love to the bike (more like rape) trying to get it off the centerstand uphill.

I can just imagine standing around laughing at someone trying to do this.... must be awfully humiliating. :histerica :histerica :histerica
 

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SCltc said:
You need to trust the side stand, then she will only embarrass you as she smokes on the start-up. Seriously use the side stand, park the rear down hill and let it lean. Some put it in 1st gear, I'm always in neutral out of habit and have never fallen over.
Yes the side stand IS more stable. The thee points suppoting the bike using the side stand are much further apart, than the center stand. I use the side stand exclusively if the bike is not in my garage. Parking up hill using the side stand is now a good thing and you don't have to resort to rape. :histerica
 

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SCltc said:
You need to trust the side stand, then she will only embarrass you as she smokes on the start-up. Seriously use the side stand, park the rear down hill and let it lean. Some put it in 1st gear, I'm always in neutral out of habit and have never fallen over.

Just a coupla things......( and I know it's flat in Falada!) 99% of the time, I use the side stand, parked in gear. After stopping, but before dismounting, (bike is still upright) I remove my gloves, unbuckle the helmet, occasionally remove the key, look where the bike will be resting or napping, turn the wheel and all of this is in slow motion to give the oil time to settle. The bike rarely smokes when I start it up, but if it does, well I fart occasionally too!
 

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Ran into the same problem at the MOA.

I found a slot next to one of the livestock barns that was pitched to the center to let the sh*t slide downhill after an exhibition and washdown. I got her up on the centerstand w/o any problem but knowing there would be an issue when I wanted to leave. Not even contemplating exotic sexual thrusts when I decided to depart after a tour of the vendors booths, I requested some assistance from a couple of other riders passing by. Mounted the gal and they pushed. Their compensation was when I put her in reverse to maneuver out of the close quarters parking. Guess they were not familiar with all of her finer points! :bmw:
 

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I have had one experience with tip-over.

Parked on sidewalk (nose-in from entry) (pwr pole center of sidewalk directly in-front of bike), at fav resturant, next to last car in-line in parking lot. Nope, no other spaces around, as lot was full of bikes parked most everywhere a cage could not !

As I was leaving, backing outwards towards parking lot entry (on my right), instead of backing and turning to my left, I backed straight back, and not thinking ! :eek: my right foot suddenly touched the ground a full 4 or so inches lower than when on the sidewalk, due to the graded entry into lot from main road :wow:

The rest is history.... bike falls past angle of no return towards road. I step out of way and watch it lay down ! A few scratches here and there, but nothing serious.

And yes, there were 4 men, (not bikers) standing in front of resturant door watching and not one offered to help me put her back up-right... :cussing:

The front of the bike was still on the elevated part of the sidewalk when I put her back up. Quite a stretch ! Maybe that day contributed to my double hernia surgery ?

I always pay very close attention to my parking spot and try to avoid spots that may end up with undesired consequences....... ;)
 

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rattler50 said:
I always park with mine in gear and I push it forward in gear until it stops. It's never fallen over. My bike is always in gear unless I have it on the centerstand working on it. It's a little rule my MSF coach taught me years ago. It has served me well. The sidestand is a little tricky. It does seem to lean too much but it's short and strong. I trust it and I carry a 4" servo cover in my sidebox to go under the sidestand in softer ground. Parking in neutral is just asking for it. It's leaving too much to chance.........jmho.......... :)
Good point! Clutches are cheap compared to getting rearended at a light cause you were in neutral. I too learned that at MSF and it has also served me well over the years. Additionally, I never come to a stop if at all possible without sufficient room in front of me to maneurver if a quick escape is needed.
 

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This bike has taught me not to be too proud to ask for help picking it up. :p

This bike was made to go and not to be parked. Ride more, stop less and reduce your chances of dropping it. :D
 

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I only use the centerstand when i work on it, other than that I NEVER use the center stand for parking.

You need to trust the side stand, just put it in gear and dont worry about it, it's not going to tip.

If it really bothers you, consider upgrading to the 05+ LT, there is an hydrolic center stand on those bikes. Just the touch of a button.
 

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Opposite issue in my case - I have a psycho (logical?) reason to shop for an 05 or newer LT - for the power stand.
I've been tossing the old beast onto the centerstand (once I learned how) without problem, so I did that 90% of the time.
About a month ago wife and I rode to an eatery, got off the bike...I toss it back, but failed this time. Bike rolls forward...and starts to keel over, away from me. Stopped it just in time, but have been freaked out ever since. When the pull backwards fails, as it sometimes does, and she rolls forward...whoah!
I've been parking on the sidestand ever since (in gear) and damn the smoke. Too scared to try again, to the point that I postponed adding air to the tires untill I could do it at home, in my (very flat and out of embarassing view) garage. Too weird.
I know it's all in my head, but heck...good excuse to upgrade. :bmw:
 

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Just a hint about the smoke, lean it to the right a few a little while you shut her down with the kick stand, turn off the switch, take off gloves and helmet.
It is what I do and hardly ever have any smoke.
little_jake
 

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I just buy a bunch of those smoke bombs when fireworks season is on and have one at the ready when I start.

I light it, toss it behind me and laff the maniacal laff , ya know, and then start the girl up....NO ONE notices the smoke coming out of the pipes then... HAhahahha
(maniacal laff again) and then ride off

wheres my meds again?

:D
 

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I use the side stand as well as parking in first gear. Center stand seemed unsure of it's footing unless on level ground. Although I've had mine for just a week I almost toppled with my daughter on. Slight decline at a stop sign, still working the clutch on the old honda and as soon as the brake was relieved started going backwards. Anyway, going back down to Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau ( I guess a plug is okay eh?) had my buddy riding my honda. He was going along to pick up a chain for his bandit. We hadn't left town and I asked him if he wanted to drive the LT. Sure! Well, as soon as he got on, he leaned it to far to the right and over it went. He let her down easy. I almost laughed but remembered my embarrassment when forgetting to put the kickstand down once. Naturally he was apologizing as we righted her. No big deal, the guards did their job with just some very minor abrasions on the rubber. He felt so bad he wouldn't get back on her. At least now he knows a dresser is way different from a sport machine. Hey, first week - put about 700 miles on her! Only the beginning.....
 

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Every time I read someone parking in Neutral I cant figure it out.

Would you park your manuel shift car in neutral? What the heck are you guys thinking?

Roll it to the compression, and stick the side stand down, that easy.

And if you are in the habit of finding neutral at a stop instead of first gear you are setting yourself up to get bitten in the ass. The time it takes you to comprehend, pull the clutch, find first, let the clutch out and move, you probably will have been tagged from behind.
 
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