By: Niel Manson
A K-LT is a wonderful thing but sometimes proportions are a little odd. Take, for instance, the place where your knees go. BMW graciously shielded us from unwanted heat with a very hard plastic/rubber knee pad which has no give. I found that after a very short ride my knees and right ankle were very uncomfortable. As a side issue, the pocket was deep enough that my knees felt trapped when stopping. I rectified the situation without too much damage to the integrity of the bikes appearance.
First I started off with a closed cell foam pad made of recycled plastic and sold at (shudder) WAL-MART in the camping section as a sleeping pad. Cost, less than $10.
A detour to the fabric section produced about 1/3 of a yard of heavy cordura nylon in a tasteful black and about 30 inches of velcro with adhesive. Some heavy duty contact cement from the hardware section and I was in business.
I first cut the foam to the required shapes. For my purposes the height came out to be 15 inches and the width is about 5 inches. This sketch is of the left side pad. The right is almost a mirror image. I suggest cutting the pad large to start with and then trimming to your needs.
After you are satisfied with the shape of the pads, lay them on the cordura and trim the cordura so that it has about 1 _ inches of overlap all around. Make “V” cuts at all curves. Coat the exposed side, the edges, and about 1 inch of the back of the pad with the contact cement. Coat the back of the cordura with the contact cement. Stick them together, apply pressure, allow the cement to cure and PRESTO.
I mounted the pads to the bike by applying adhesive velcro to the inside of each pad, at the edge closest to the gas tank, hook side of tape on the pad. That way the pad can be removed if necessary and not completely ruin the looks of the bike. This padding keeps the knees from being rubbed raw on all day rides and also helps to hold them out of the “knee well” that the LT is famous for.
Hope that this is helpful to those of you with long legs. Peace