Too much bike??? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 10:28 am Thread Starter
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Too much bike???

I have been riding the K1200GT for about a year now. I love the way it handles and rides, and while I'm spending most of my time commuting around town (Austin, TX), I do look forward to my business trips to Dallas/Houston and it gives me an excuse to get her out on longer trips.

I feel very confident and in control once the bike is in motion, especially 2UP. I've taken the MSF course and it's methods have helped.

Here's my challenge: I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam and even with a custom lowered seat, I my heels remain a good inch or so off the ground, which makes stops with certain terrains tricky. I'm very good a one-footed stops for nearly all situations, but find every six months or so I find myself where my 600 lb beast wants to roll (typically in an inclined situation) and once she's past the tipping point, all I can do is ease her pain.

Yesterday, I was pulling out of my work parking lot onto a busy street where I needed to go down on my left foot (low side, up hill banked entrance), and at the last moment, wind and balance tilted me to he right, and once my right foot got planted, the resulting tilt took her down. Thankfully, the adrenaline of the situation produces super human strength and I could clean-jerk her upright.

Once again, it will cost hundreds of dollars (if not more) to fix her up and that's something I cannot keep paying for. I've considered sliders to reduce damage, elton-john like riding boots to get a better inseam, and already purchased a custom made, low seat. The bottom line question: Is this bike just too big for me? I cannot afford these drops.

MSF teaches not to purchase a bike when you can't firmly place your feet on the ground while riding. I fell in love with this bike and allowed the salesperson to convince me that I'd get used to it. What I didn't know is it would cost me $1,000's of dollars.

I'm seeking advice from you all. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 11:00 am
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How long have you been riding?
How many times have you dropped the bike?

Everyone who rides either has, or will drop thier bike, but if this is a habit with you maybe it is to big for you.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 12:46 pm
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I didn't buy a GS because it was too tall for me. I rode one once, and I felt like I needed training wheels. It sounds to me like you are never going to be comfortable riding that bike, and for sure, it's way too expensive to fix when it falls over. I've often thought the designers of motorcycles should do a better job of building in protection from falls. My vote is that you should think about selling it and getting something you are happy with and comfortable riding.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 12:46 pm
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I agree with the statement: anyone who rides, will at one point drop the bike. Hopefully this will be at 0mph. Personally, after dropping my GS due to daydreaming and believing that my side-stand was extended, I stopped using the kill switch and switch off the engine with the side-stand. That's why I suck my teeth in disapproval when I read fellow bikers disable the side-stand kill switch.

With respect to height issues, unfortunately I cannot comment, I am 6.4 with 35 inches inseam. But I agree with the advise if you cannot touch the ground with both feet flat you risk dropping the bike. This bike is heavy and can easily tip over. The S has a lower seat if I am not mistaken. Doing an exchange might sound expensive now, but a couple of drop repairs will pretty much come up to the same cost (I am not aware of US prices, so I might be mistaken)
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 12:52 pm
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Unfortunately for guys with shorter inseams, this bike is fairly tall and has a higher center of gravity. Even with a custom lowered seat, if you are still dropping the bike, it indeed might be too much as there is nothing else you can really do as far as equipment. The only thing you can do as a rider is prevention of getting into situations that would have the bike exceed this "critical angle" if you will, for it to drop.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 2:20 pm
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Time to get a Harley or Gold Wing if you are that short of inseam.

Don't feel bad, my inseam is longer by 2-3 inches and I still manage to do an annual $2000-$4000 drop. Some of which are due to others. Now I just buy some plastic stuff from Hammersley BMW and keep quiet to the insurance company. Never had a drop issue on the RT I owned for 10 years and I think they are the same height. Dunno why, maybe lower CG or just a demon-possessed bike?

Higher-heeled boots may help, but once the GT begins to go on a slow-speed, it gets ugly really quick. My attempts to upright it only adds to more $$$ bodywork damage and I cannot afford another hike to the insurance as last hike wanted $1000 for a drop. Next will be "What coverage?" and I may need to adopt the "other citizens" idea of "What's an insurance?" concept.

Aside, it's been in the shop more this riding season so I haven't been as brutal on the $$$ dropping stuff.

Might be interesting if Consumer Reports did some "Just knock the motorcycle over and see how much it costs to fix" stuff like they do on the cars into a wall at slow speed.


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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 3:25 pm
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I can flat foot with a 28" inseam with the BMW low seat, I have the Sargent low seat which allows a bent knee, you do need to move to the forward portion of the seat and you are more standing than sitting. The standard seat does have me with heels up.

Sitting and trying to hold the bike up does not work very well.

Think about how you stop with the mountain bike and how you hold it up when stopped..

I am on tippy toe with my FZ1 but again I am not sitting.

You really do not have a good position to balance the bike if you are sitting down.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 4:44 pm Thread Starter
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It's been dropped 3 times thus far, twice on my own accord, and once while walking away and watching the sidestand melt into the Texas pavement. First time the insurance company picked up the tab under comprehensive so it doesn't affect my rates.

Nonetheless, I rode a Honda 750 shadow beforehand and while there have been times of tipsy, it was usually while standing next to it pushing it around the garage - never while riding.

Thanks for the advice - it's very sound and consistent. The bike is solid as a rock when moving, but that 1% of the time she's 600lbs up high and I'm a meek 180lbs a lot lower. I need to get it painted up first and then I'll know where to go. Possibly a similar, but less heavier BMW.

If anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears. Enjoyed BMW and have a great dealer here in Austin, but we have a great big and tall men's clothing store too, but it's not necessarily for me!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 5:29 pm
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Straddle an K12/13S or K12/13R. I think both of those sit lower than the GT. Good luck with your search. Never fun to tippy toe a bike and it's usually in a place that is uneven, has loose gravel, etc.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2009, 6:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarcoux
It's been dropped 3 times thus far, twice on my own accord, and once while walking away and watching the sidestand melt into the Texas pavement.
et tu?

The asphalt stuff I can related to. The bike seriously needs a "Fat Foot" as standard issue. It will really poke holes in stuff, even at low temps.

Mine was leaning into a tree once when I came out of a restaurant. Left a nice hole in their asphalt. Minimal damage to the bike or tree.

While at Street Vibrations in Reno a couple of years ago, the Hampton Inn and Suites in Carson City, Nevada had a box of 12" squares of plywood to put under motorcycle kickstands which was a nice touch. They also had some towels to clean off the bikes in their lobby as well. I'm sure we paid for it as the rates were really high then (~$175 per night vs. normal $99/night now which seems to happen at events in general). It's a nice place though.


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