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Howdy all. This is my first post on the site and I'm looking for some guidance about transitioning to a bigger/heavier bike. Read on . . .

I just purchased a '04 K12 GT with 7200 miles after owning a '76 R90/6 for over 31 years which I sold recently. Flew out 1K miles to get it and rode it home. Unfortunately I learned that I've got a lot to learn about transitioning to a bigger/heavier bike. After riding it all that way home with no problems I dropped it on my driveway at 0 speed trying to navigate around my wife's car on my way to work, something that would have been a piece of cake on the /6. My first reaction was to pick it up, of course, but then I strained my back and had to have a neighbor come help me pick it up off the pavement (sickening I know!). After a couple of visits to the chiro I'm OK with strained muscles but can't get back on for 4 to 6 weeks at his order.

Does anyone have any lessons learned about transitioning to a bigger/heavier bike that would be useful? I'm half spooked now about getting on thinking I'm going to be falling over with it about every 5 days, something I cannot afford! I'm having real doubts now that I bought this bike because of its size. Perhaps riding it to work in heavy traffic is not the best use for this machine. I'm not that big a guy at 5'9" and 160lbs. Perhaps a older version RT is what I should have done but I'm also thinking a V-Strom, KLR or F650 may be the order for guerilla city riding.

Anyway, can anyone give me some ideas on next steps to either help in the transition or opt out for something more within my range of control? Are there any videos or books that I can consult about the transition?

I appreciate your opinions and thoughts. Ciao!
 

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Sorry to hear about your bad luck and hope your back gets better.

I had the very same fears when I got my KRS, having moved up from a KAWA 550. I read a lot of posts here about 'tipovers' and learned that even the experienced riders have occasionally been unfortunate. Here's a few things I learned but others will chime in.

Tipovers can be very expensive, apart from injuries.

Always regard the bike as 'heavy' and if it moves away from vertical, be very certain what you are doing.

Put the side stand down when moving it and push from the left side. Personally, I think it's better to sit astride the bike (with side stand down) and walk it about with motor running. It needs more effort, but it's safer

Learn where the grab rail is on the frame left side under the seat.

Keep well away from gravel on a road or driveway surface.

Watch out for 'ramps' or inclines when pushing, as even 1/2" can be hard to get up.

When parking up, lower the side stand whilst still on the bike, but then look down at how far the 'foot' is away from the tarmac, dismount left side. Some curbs have a very steep slope. In those cases I park up at 90 degrees to the curb edge. I always felt my side stand was a bit short for our road camber in UK, so I lengthened mine a bit.

If you go to new places and park up, eyeball the road surface before dismounting. Be very careful on grass - use a piece of ply under the stand foot to spread the load.

Beware of hot sun and melting asphalt. You can park up and return to find the bike tipped over.

The muffler can gets very hot so you and pillions need to be careful. Wear your riding gear!

Don't carry a pillion until you've got a good feel for the bike - they don't know how much weight you are handling - the squirmy pillions are the worst! Before a pillion mounts up, you sit on the bike first both feet firmly planted, then get them to mount right side away from the muffler (mine's on the left).

Do not attempt slow tight turns or a 360 until you get a better feel for the weight. I can't remember the speed but somewhere around 5-10mph. I now have a built in plumb line in my brain and that warns me first.

If you've been off the bike a couple of weeks, say on vacation, remind yourself to 're-learn' the bike and weight for the first hour.

Wear proper riding boots, even when pushing the bike around your garage - they have very soft rubber soles like your tires, and won't slip in the wet.

When you pull up at a stop sign waiting a few minutes, you can get overconfident and not realise you might be leaning over. I keep both feet well planted and legs locked at the knees.

Be careful if you use a rotor/disc lock security product.

Finally, if you have a tipover, try and get help, or learn how the girls can pickup a fallen superbike bike single handed. There's a brilliant link I can't find, so somebody help me out. But here's a couple for starters:

http://www.clutchandchrome.com/Articles/HT fallen bike.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng1KT5bTG50

Hope you get back on the bike soon - Vox



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Vox covered the high points. I had an 04 GT and loved it! I'm a bit bigger than most but the bike got away from vertical on me a few times. The only time it went all the way over was in the grass in my front yard....oh wait, then when I took it off road and got stuck in the mud a dozen times.

When the bike starts to get a few degrees of lean it gets exponentially heavier. Try to avoid that situation at all costs.

If it gets too much, don't risk hurting your back again. Tupperware is expensive and easy to replace. Your back? Not so.

Best of riding to you,

Gravity
 

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big heavy bike

2 things contribute to the slow maneuvering of the kgt. one is weight, the other is seat height. u have to counterlean when maneuvering this bike at slow speeds. unlike a harley which is also heavy, this bike sits up high. so remember, instead of leaning into the turn at slow speeds, counterlean for balance. i did exactly the same thing the first month after i bought my kgt. dropped it in the front yard in the sand in a slow turn. good luck
 

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Welcome to the IDMB (I Dropped My Bike) club. Sorry to hear you had the experience.
Vog did a great job in his post, I am sure that will help you.

I had stopped ridding for 12 years and then bought a new 2002 K1200RS. I found maneuvering it at slow speed to be very challenging especially with my short legs, inseam of 30".
I must have dropped it 4 times in parking lots. I did learn very quickly to pick it up with my back to the bike and lifting it with my legs. It does come up easily that way, well for a 200 lbs. guy. I have gotten the balance of it at slow speed.

I will be glad to loan you my training wheels, But I still need them!

Bazra
Aka: The Flash
 

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Dropped Bike

I also had a small incident (In MY Garage) when first getting my '04 K1200GT. Luckly I was able to let it slide slowly to the garage floor and my SO was close by to help me get it back upright. Cost me one brake pedal and a early lesson learned. You are not alone. Welcome to the club. :tim
 

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Thanks to Everyone!

Hey folks! Thanks you to all for your replies and encouragement. It does ease the pain to know I'm not alone. Special thanks to Vox for his detailed reply . . . thanks brother! I'll read and re-read these so that I'm thinking when I crawl back on the beast. Thank you again . . . ciao!
 

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It will get better. My wife had a bit of trouble with her KRS in the first year but has been drop-free ever since. Couple more pointers, if using the side stand, put the bike in gear first and roll it ahead to take out the drive train lash, then place on side stand. If using the centerstand, to unmount, its better to do so while sitting on the bike, taking it off the centerstand while standing at the side, it can get away from you.

If you do experience a tipover while the bike is running, make sure you turn the engine off as QUICKLY as possible. The oil tube will not pickup oil when the bike is on its side and the engine will become oil starved very quickly.
 

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larrykay said:
See this thread about raising up a fallen bike. I have done it and I am 71 and weigh 200 lbs. not quite a piece of cake but it works.
http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8143&highlight=skerts
Fortunately for me I had read the article quoted above and had no trouble at all lifting my bike after a 0 mph fall over... Funny part of this story is I was picking up a part that had fallen off a friends bike (make and model withheld at owners request :rotf: ). I had stopped the bike, put the bike in neutral, put the landing gear down (kickstand) and had just gotten off the bike when the bike rolled down the slight hill it was on and over. Shut the engine down, picked up the part and then put by 'butt' into the seat to get her upright again.

I did let my friend know what stopping for that part cost me.... :boom:
 

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Something that has seemed to help me with slow speed manuvers is to practice coming to a stop on the road without having to put your feet down first. Sometimes I get 3 seconds...Not that I'm successful that often...

Slowing down for a stop light hoping it turns green before you come to a complete stop is another goofy exercise. You know you can always just stop and keep your balance if things don't appear to be going really well, but the practice seems to help train your aging body to keep a better balance with these somewhat heavy bikes.



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I also have a GT, went from a K100RS, did take awhile to get used to the weight. Just take it slow and deliberate. Going to a R bike may not be any better, my brother dropped his in a parking lot. Forgetting about the lock in the disc did'nt help.
 

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I suggest printing out (or reproducing in a summary way) all the suggestions that have been made and taping it up on the wall near where you park your bike. That way you'll increase the chance you'll actually look at them and remind yourself. I don't have any other gems to add.

I'm on my 4th motorcycle. Yamaha Radian 600, BMW R1100RS, K1200RS and now K12S. I dropped the K12RS 3 times at 0mph, at least once each side to maximize the potential repair costs. I haven't dropped the K12S YET. I am very vigilant when pushing it around and with slow maneuvering. That said despite my efforts I have accepted that there are only 2 kinds of bikes in the world: those that have fallen over and those that WILL. I'm trying to stay out of the first category for as long as possible. Don't despair, it's happened to many if not most of us.
 

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Take the bike out to a local shopping mall on an early Sunday morning. Find a big empty piece of parking lot. Practice circling, u-turns figures eights, pushing the bike, etc. Do it till you get bored. Then do it some more.
 

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Buck said:
Take the bike out to a local shopping mall on an early Sunday morning. Find a big empty piece of parking lot. Practice circling, u-turns figures eights, pushing the bike, etc. Do it till you get bored. Then do it some more.


Good advice, you shouldn't underestimate the value of learning low speed manouvreing.

It is great for practising balance and co-ordination (and may save some potential embarassment in front of onlookers/ friends).

When you can drag the hero knobs on your K whilst doing a 7 metre u turn feet-up then start working on the high speed stuff.
 

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For some reason the last 3 bikes I have bought all were introduced to the ground within the first week. This could be why I avoid buying brand new bikes. They were a '99 Suzuki Bandit 1200S, '00 Kawasaki Concours and then my 02 K12RS. In comparison, the K-bike and the Bandit are lightweights compared to the Dolly Parton top heaviness of the Connie. These were all 0mph tipovers and just a matter of not paying enough attention to what was around me. I have finally learned to pay more attention and pay less for repairs. Bike manufacturers are doing us no favors in making bikes bigger and heavier all the time - except for race-replica's of course. I think it's also a big reason why so many older riders switch to the cruisers because they are lower to the ground and easier to plant your feet.

Thanks for the links to the "how to pick up a bike" pics. I saw this performed at a bmw rally a few years ago and the pics were a great reminder.

Good luck with your back and getting "back" on the bike. You should also keep in mind that with all the great advice given here, if the bike just proves not to be right for you, there is no shame in admitting it. It may save you big health and m/c repair bills...................


Moosedog needs a walk...............c'mon Moose let's go ("ruff, "ruff")
 
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