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Thread: slow speed handling k1200 lt

  1. #1
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    Smile slow speed handling k1200 lt

    do most riders have problems with slow speed riding and short trips. stopping and starting very hard or can pratice overcome heavy lt?

  2. #2
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Can't speak for most riders, but it was following a v-e-r-y s-l-o-w car down the switch backs of Nacimiento-Fergusson road (wikipedia) on my K12LT in '01 that cemented the thoughts I'd been having about the bike since I'd purchased it in '99. It took two years, but buyers remorse finally set in. The bike was too damn heavy at slow speeds. I bought an R1150RT right away. It took a year before I could sell the LT (at less than I could have gotten for a trade in when I bought the RT ).

    The LT is fantastic if your goal is to jump on '80 in SF and not stop until you hit NYC. That's not my kind of riding. In '05 the RT went away, replaced by a GS.

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    After 16 years on two RTs, my wife and I were planning a 6 week coast-to-coast trip. While at the dealer's for a pre-trip oil change, we test rode an LT. We rode our new LT home that day and prepped for the trip. Just under 8,000 miles and 6 weeks later mostly on two lane byways, we remained extremely pleased with the LT.

    Fast forward 70,000 miles and 7 years later, and after riding an RT in Europe with Edelweiss, we traded the LT for an RT and haven't looked back. The problem was low speed handling. It's not something you get used to. You just deal with it.

    We loved the LT when it was moving on the open road, including the twisty bits. But the weight at <5 mph got to be too much.

    Good luck, but most of all ... have fun!

    Stan
    Lake Tahoe

  4. #4
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    LT Suggestions !

    Quote Originally Posted by ashley12 View Post
    do most riders have problems with slow speed riding and short trips. stopping and starting very hard or can pratice overcome heavy lt?

    I am not certain what problems you are referring to, but to kind of answer you, a lot of the problem with large cruisers of any kind are slow speed handling issues.

    Yesterday I taught an Experienced Rider course at Harley-Davidson of Hammond, La., and we had bikes ranging from a R1200GS and and KTM 950SM (hot machine!) through mostly full dresser Ultra Classic Harleys. A couple of the Harley riders specifically stated that they had low speed maneuvering issues they wanted to address. The guy on the KTM mentioned that he once owned a K12LT and hated it because it was too top heavy.

    Observations :

    1. Most of the riders on the large bikes were moving along dead-slow in the weave maneuvers, and the limited space ("The Box") maneuvers at the start of the exercises. We slowly convinced them that a bit more speed made for a more stable ride in the slow maneuvers, and most of them did gain sufficient confidence to take the turns at about 5 mph rather than dead slow. They mentioned in the debriefs that the bikes turned around the cones a lot better with a little speed on ! We even convinced several of the Ultra riders that their bikes actually can do a U-turn in the 20 foot wide lane of the "box", to their great amazement and satisfaction when they did it. Seeing a huge grin on their faces is a big reward for we instructors

    2. A very common problem we see in all the classes is that many riders have never been taught to NEVER, EVER touch the front brake when moving at slow speed unless the handlebars are fully square. Any amount of turn in either direction will cause an instant drop in the direction of turn. We had a lot of heads nod to acknowledge this problem from personal experience. Solution: Rear brake only in slow speed maneuvers. Besides, if you lightly load the rear brake, run up the engine rpm and use the friction zone well, you will find you can walk the bike along so slowly that it will amaze your friends with your balance. This is a police maneuver called "walking the line" or the "Slow race" and is a lot of fun to do when approaching a stop signal.

    There is a new book entitled " Maximum Control, Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike" by Pat Hahn that is a great read and gives a lot of very good advise on operation of the heavyweight machines. It also describes a number of good exercises that can be run in a parking lot and give you a lot of confidence in operating any bike.

    Short answer, yes, the LT is a big handful, but it can be mastered with practice. I have several friends that love theirs and throw them around with ease and ride them daily as commuters. Moral here is that daily operation builds a lot of skill quickly. Only riding on occasional weekends does not do much for skill development. Get into a parking lot and practice, practice, practice.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  5. #5
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    Smile low speed handling

    thanks very much for all imput on lt. sounds like lots of practice will make it easier to handle

    again thanks very much

  6. #6
    Bluenoser
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    A lot of folks think low speed riding is nuts and they never practise it. The more time you can spend practising slow speed manouvers the better overall rider you will become.

    BMW's with the dry clutch are not as forgiving as the oil bath clutches when it comes to using friction control. So go easy on the clutch. In the courses we teach up here people really struggle until they get the friction control right. That's the right combination of clutch, throttle & rear brake. With practise you can have the bike under control at a walking speed of 3 mph or so.

    It's really impressive to watch somebody that is really good at doing slow speed manouvers.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  7. #7
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Big heavy bikes like mine are hard to ride slowly because the integrated brakes don't give me the option of using the rear brake only. They have now corrected the problem on the newer ones but it doesn't do me any good.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  8. #8
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by cycleman2 View Post
    A lot of folks think low speed riding is nuts and they never practise it. The more time you can spend practising slow speed manouvers the better overall rider you will become.

    BMW's with the dry clutch are not as forgiving as the oil bath clutches when it comes to using friction control. So go easy on the clutch. In the courses we teach up here people really struggle until they get the friction control right. That's the right combination of clutch, throttle & rear brake. With practise you can have the bike under control at a walking speed of 3 mph or so.

    It's really impressive to watch somebody that is really good at doing slow speed manouvers.
    Exactly!!

    That's why squids zooming past me on crotch rockets don't get me all green with envy - just convenient radar bait for the LEO waiting around the bend.

    Anybody can ride fast - for crying out loud, the Moscow Circus teaches polar bears to ride motorcycles fast.

    Show me a rider with smooth, slow speed maneuvering skills and I will be impressed.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  9. #9
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    I routinely practive slow speed patterns with my GS. So when I got my LT, I took it throught the same paces, kind of. Adapted my thinking to the bike since it does not turn as sharp and I was fine. It is heavy, just take more counter weight and planning. I was stuck in traffic yesterday for an hour, stop and go. Never had an issued, just used the time to practice my slow go and my balance at stop without feet. It may be heavy, but like every other bike, as long as it is up right or you are using the bike's power to control the weight, no issues.
    2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
    2013 Ural Patrol - White
    2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
    2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold

  10. #10
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Really good slow speed maneuvering !

    When you can do this, you are a really, really, good rider

    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

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