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Thread: BMW's Too top heavy for older riders?

  1. #91
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    I was attending a BMWMOA nationals back around 2000. One of the featured bikes was the K1200LT. I was a mid forties, healthy, 6'2" 200 lb guy. I thought it was pretty cool. They were on display to sit on and ride. I set on one, whoa big! Yep, too big for me. A little later BMWNA was giving rides; they were lining up. A couple pulled up next to me,
    I recognised Sandy Cohen, President of the MOA sitting on the back and her husband in front. Just sittin there waiting, she sees me watching. She says 'What do Ya think.' I really didn't know what to say. Finally answered, 'Big.' She nodded and they were gone. A few months later I was at at the Missouri State Rally. A young strapping guy camped by me was riding one. He was proud as a peacock of his new bike.

    At the end of the rally I watched him ride down to the rally HQ. He came to a stop and dropped the bike. He could'nt pick it up. A couple of guys came over and helped him right the bike. Yep, to big for me. BMW makes several bikes to big for me.

  2. #92
    Registered User 75450's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryg View Post
    At the end of the rally I watched him ride down to the rally HQ. He came to a stop and dropped the bike. He could'nt pick it up. A couple of guys came over and helped him right the bike. Yep, to big for me. BMW makes several bikes to big for me.
    You have to know how to pick up a large bike. This video shows how it's done . . .

    2000 K1200RS, 2004 R1100S
    2005 K1200S, 2016 F800GT
    2018 R9T, 2018 C650GT

  3. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    emwtk... what is wrong with being a Honda?

    Just not a fan of Honda.......
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
    2004 Roadster

  4. #94
    Registered User crna59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    Which one's are you thinking about here. I'm interested.

    I bought a '19 S1000R... put handlebar risers on it, windscreen and bags..... got a sport/tourer that will do 9 sec. 1/4miles and even has cruise control.... at 440 lbs.
    Last edited by crna59; 09-25-2019 at 04:06 AM.
    Bruce A. Brown #212072
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  5. #95
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkjohnson View Post
    Everyone's health is different, so some will ride forever, and some will make lifestyle or bike changes...
    And everyone's level of fitness is different.
    Last edited by Rinty; 09-25-2019 at 10:24 AM.
    Rinty

  6. #96

    Top Heavy

    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    Just wondering if anyone else has had the same thoughts. I'm past sixty and lately have begun thinking it's time to downsize. Twice as of late my R1100RT, which I really like, has started to tip and been a real back straining exercise to get it upright. It's 500+ pounds that just wants to very quickly fall over.The newer BMWs, past the airheads, seem to be designed to be top heavy. Mine certainly is, especially with a full tank of gas. Just a few degrees past vertical, and they just want to go right on down. All it takes is a mishap with the kickstand, some loose gravel under foot, too sharp a slow turn, and you've got a real problem with this big thing laying on the ground, probably with several very expensive plastic parts broken. Much as I like my bike, I think I am ready to shift to a much smaller, easier to maneuver (and possible pick up) machine. I don't know how you ever get those fully loaded GS models off the dirt by yourself. I don't recall my 1976 R60 having this problem. Is it just BMW that likes to put all the weight high up, or are they all like that now?
    After 25 years or so of R100s I bought a K1600 GTL. I had a couple of years off riding with knee replacement surgery and was drawn to the K1600 because of the low seat height. I'm 5'6", 155 pounds and 72 years old and have always felt that most BMW's were too tall for guys my height. The K1600 is damn heavy and damn top heavy. Initially, it scared the s**t out of me and I dropped the thing 10 times in slow and stop situations. I didn't give up however. I got lowering kits for the suspension and seat and got it so that I could flat foot it when stopped. The problem wasn't so much the top heavy nature of the beast but that I couldn't stabilize the thing up on my tip toes especially on slopes, gravel or wet conditions. In addition, with such a heavy bike you have to be careful when navigating parking lots etc that you don't get stuck trying to pull the thing back up any kind of a slope from a stop. I've picked the bike up by myself more times than I care to count but it isn't getting any easier and definitely nothing like the old airheads which I probably only dropped twice in 25 years. My point, if there is one, is that being able to get your feet down and stabilizing the bike is more important than the bike being top heavy. My dealer sells both BMWs and Indians. The Indian Scout with it's 25.8 inch seat height is now looking mighty attractive compared to most BMW's with seat heights over 31 inches. BMW has never been short rider friendly and as I age I am liking less and less the prospect of hiking up a 750 pound bike because I couldn't stand there and keep it vertical. I'm thinking that for most of us, lower and not necessarily lighter, is the key.

  7. #97
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    That would be fine if wind protection wasn't one of your priorities. Also, no luggage. That's going to add at least 20 lbs. More if you want a top box.
    I would just use the Mosko Moto Backcountry bags I have on my Honda Rally...easily transferred to the Africa Twin and not very heavy.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have any plans to change in the near future as I still love riding my 2015 R1200 RT and I have no issues handling the weight. However, it would be hard to "downsize" to the BMW F850GS, when it weighs almost 40 lbs more than the Honda and makes less power. Plus, I have a local Honda dealer and the BMW dealer is 3 hours away.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  8. #98
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by powwow View Post
    I would just use the Mosko Moto Backcountry bags I have on my Honda Rally...easily transferred to the Africa Twin and not very heavy.
    Excellent product.

  9. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by powwow View Post
    I would just use the Mosko Moto Backcountry bags I have on my Honda Rally...easily transferred to the Africa Twin and not very heavy.
    I tested a set of Mosko’s Backcountry bags as part of my Always an Adventure column.... when they were first introduced. (See my pic showing Punkin down earlier in this thread... I was “crash testing” them!!). They are and exceptionally good product.

    However, you’re going to be surprised, when I weighed a set of them + the required mounting hardware, the difference between them and Jesse Luggage hard bags + mounts was just over 5 pounds. I was truly amazed.

    Ian

  10. #100
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    I tested a set of Mosko’s Backcountry bags as part of my Always an Adventure column.... when they were first introduced. (See my pic showing Punkin down earlier in this thread... I was “crash testing” them!!). They are and exceptionally good product.

    However, you’re going to be surprised, when I weighed a set of them + the required mounting hardware, the difference between them and Jesse Luggage hard bags + mounts was just over 5 pounds. I was truly amazed.

    Ian
    Yes, they were a bit heavier than I expected, but I guess high quality ain't light. Ha! Personally, I would never have hard bags on a bike that I ride off pavement. With the MM bags on my Honda Rally, when it goes down, no harm, no foul, no dents and no broken ankles/feet.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  11. #101
    Lone Rider semi rigid [ hypalon ]. The racks for my GS 1200 weigh 3.5#' per. The LR bags weight 13# each. Bringing the total weight of racks and panniers to 33#'s.

    BMW Vario cases. One is 13#'s, the other 14.5#'s and with their attachments weigh about 29-30 #'s.

    Thing is, I can fit 40#'s of gear into each of the LR bags and the Varios are rated for 22#'s each.. On my trip to Ak. last summer I couldn't get more than 17#'s into each Vario. So, 34#'s of kit vs 80#'s of kit for both bags.
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  12. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by bobw View Post
    Just ordered two of them yesterday. One heading to my brother on the east coast. Thanks for the heads up. As an FYI, they are very friendly on the phone and ordering was straight forward. Both will be here Monday.

    Thanks again for the link
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  13. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    I am 72 years young, now down to 5'6", weighing 150 pounds, with a short inseam and I am quite comfortable on my R1100RT (even though a set of crash bars might be in the bike's future).

    Having said that, a friend, the same age as me, but 6'2" and weighing in at 225 or so, found his R1100RT to be too heavy when he was 67. That's when he moved to smaller bikes.

    If you are thinking that the bike has become too heavy and the thought to downsize has happened, then, in my opinion, it is time to downsize.
    Good to hear I am 61-1/2 lol and just now bought my first BMW, a 2015 RT, I love the hell out of it. Spent the last 40 years riding Harleys so the BMW was an adjustment, I have a high seat in the high setting and can flat foot it but after my Softail and Sportster, I still have both, I was very concerned about the height so I am very encouraged to hear of your 72 years young still doin it on an RT. I am fine with the height just wouldn't want to get past the tipping point which feel like it would be easy to do. Thus far loving the bike, loving it. What a machine.

  14. #104
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I'm 65 years old & still ride my K1200LT's they are about 855 lbs. unloaded. This past July I rode to Texas loaded with tools to work at a friends home that had a stroke. Total weight full of fuel with me on the bike was around 1250 lbs. the ride was just over 1100 miles & little over 18 hours. The last three hours was in the dark on two lane roads & every time I had to come to a stop the extra weight was a handful for me. I realized I'm finally at the age where on a long trip I need to pull a trailer & keep the bike lighter.
    Dave Selvig
    2008 Black LT
    2004 Black LT
    2000 Canyon Red LT

  15. #105
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usablue View Post
    Good to hear I am 61-1/2 lol and just now bought my first BMW, a 2015 RT, I love the hell out of it. Spent the last 40 years riding Harleys so the BMW was an adjustment, I have a high seat in the high setting and can flat foot it but after my Softail and Sportster, I still have both, I was very concerned about the height so I am very encouraged to hear of your 72 years young still doin it on an RT. I am fine with the height just wouldn't want to get past the tipping point which feel like it would be easy to do. Thus far loving the bike, loving it. What a machine.
    I think you might be confusing seat height with total weight and CG. Sure, the RT isn't built in the Barcalounger style, but that doesn't mean the CG of the bike unladen bike is higher. True, the CG of the bike and rider will likely be higher. The Sportster is likely heavier than RT (not knowing the specific year and model) and the softail is another ~150-lbs above that.

    IMHO, does one feel more comfortable balancing the MC while seated in a low position or a higher one with less knee bend. For me, a straighter leg provides more support. But, that all depends on the height of the rider.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
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