WAD: Travel dependent Damping - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2017, 8:30 am Thread Starter
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WAD: Travel dependent Damping

In my looking thru the internet i came on a spec sheet for the post 2005 LT's that mentioned something called WAD: travel dependent Damping. Anyone know anything about this? And how do you tell if it's actually doing anything?


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post #2 of 20 Old Apr 17th, 2017, 5:39 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

straight out of dr google:
Travel-dependent Daming (WAD): In addition to BMW's signature Paralever and Telelever suspension systems, the new K 1200 LT features WAD travel dependent damping similar to that of the R 1150 GS. Compression-phase damping in this suspension strut increases at a progressive rate offering enhanced riding comfort, particularly two-up.
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post #3 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 7:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

It's funny i had never heard of it.. i wonder how you know it's properly functioning. My OCD just likes to know these things lol.


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post #4 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 7:39 am
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Originally Posted by BeemerJoe View Post
It's funny i had never heard of it.. i wonder how you know it's properly functioning. My OCD just likes to know these things lol.
Are you comfey riding 2 up? If so, it would appear it is working.
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post #5 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 8:07 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

BMW's explanation.... not sure if it helps let you now if its working or not... lol
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post #6 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 8:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

Excellent explanation. Thank you. Sort of renders the adjustable damper unnecessary as far as i can tell. Perhaps i'm not understanding THAT portion of the suspension system.. Either way. I'm more comfortable on this bike than on any of my previous Harleys, so that says a lot, considering My Ultra Classic was supposed to be top of the line in comfort.


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post #7 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

Don't think it renders it unnecessary.... I read it as being a part of the WAD (W adjustable dampener?) system... not sure what the "W" stands for though...?.. probably a Germanic term.
adjusting the dampening makes the ride more comfortable, or harsher, dependant on the weight being carried... less for 1-up, more for 2-up or additional luggage.
The OEM rear shock and damper only tend to last about 60,000km at most... despite refilling the hydraulic adjuster fluid several times to improve it, I wound up moving to Wilbers adjustable shocks which were a huge improvement, but I guess are principally the same system. Mine needs repair at the moment because I can't move the adjuster... but its still good enough to ride on a big trip if need be.

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post #8 of 20 Old Apr 18th, 2017, 9:28 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Originally Posted by BeemerJoe View Post
Excellent explanation. Thank you. Sort of renders the adjustable damper unnecessary as far as i can tell. Perhaps i'm not understanding THAT portion of the suspension system.. Either way. I'm more comfortable on this bike than on any of my previous Harleys, so that says a lot, considering My Ultra Classic was supposed to be top of the line in comfort.
I have never read anything I so completely agree with! I just came from the Harley world, and also owned an Ultra Classic. That thing was a Sherman tank compared to my LT. I've never been so happy to see a bike leave my driveway with someone else on it, never to have it return. Most of my riding buddies are on Harleys, and I can't even begin to tell you the ribbing I've taken. But last weekend when I left those 100 inchers in the dust, I think I made them believers. The ride is infinitely better and for being a 1200, the power is amazing. I've not felt so comfortable riding 100+ mph since my crotch rocket days of old.

I'm sold on BMW.
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post #9 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 2:21 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Originally Posted by cws View Post
Don't think it renders it unnecessary.... I read it as being a part of the WAD (W adjustable dampener?) system... not sure what the "W" stands for though...?.. probably a Germanic term.
adjusting the dampening makes the ride more comfortable, or harsher, dependant on the weight being carried... less for 1-up, more for 2-up or additional luggage.
The OEM rear shock and damper only tend to last about 60,000km at most... despite refilling the hydraulic adjuster fluid several times to improve it, I wound up moving to Wilbers adjustable shocks which were a huge improvement, but I guess are principally the same system. Mine needs repair at the moment because I can't move the adjuster... but its still good enough to ride on a big trip if need be.
Yes, I find that riding in heavy rain is less comfortable than dry so I try to adjust the dampening toward the dry side.
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post #10 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 2:30 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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I have never read anything I so completely agree with! I just came from the Harley world, and also owned an Ultra Classic. That thing was a Sherman tank compared to my LT. I've never been so happy to see a bike leave my driveway with someone else on it'd, never to have it return. Most of my riding buddies are on Harleys, and I can't even begin to tell you the ribbing I've taken. But last weekend when I left those 100 inchers in the dust, I think I made them believers. The ride is infinitely better and for being a 1200, the power is amazing. I've not felt so comfortable riding 100+ mph since my crotch rocket days of old.

I'm sold on BMW.
I agree. I am not sold on BMW as I think their reliability, parts cost and dealer network all need a lot of work. However, the bike that currently best meets my riding mission is the LT. I am always looking for the next bike, but so far I have found nothing better for my particular riding needs.

I owned a Voyager XII for 17 years and it was a great bike. My wife still likes it better than the LT. I test rode an RT, LT and Ultra Classic as successors to the Voyager. The Harley was literally laughable. It cost more than the LT and was better in only three areas: 1. Dealer network and friendliness, 2. Launch from a stop - hard to best V-twin torque, 3. Stock seat comfort. It fell short in every measure of performance. And the vibration at idle was simply comical.

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post #11 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 5:43 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Yes, I find that riding in heavy rain is less comfortable than dry so I try to adjust the dampening toward the dry side.
yeah, always gets me that one.... lol

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post #12 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 8:05 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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BMW's explanation.... not sure if it helps let you now if its working or not... lol
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This technology has been around since the 1920s. This article provides a simpler description and the diagrams showing the tapered metering valve make the "travel dependent" damping operation easily understood.

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post #13 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 8:51 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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2. Launch from a stop - hard to best V-twin torque
Yeah, if only BMW had made a fast, comfortable, sporty tourer with much more torque than your average V-Twin.

Perhaps they could add a few more cylinders to smooth out the power delivery and eliminate vibration, and maybe even slant those cylinders forward to show off that beautiful new motor and add to its "cool" appeal...

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post #14 of 20 Old Apr 19th, 2017, 9:29 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Yeah, if only BMW had made a fast, comfortable, sporty tourer with much more torque than your average V-Twin.

Perhaps they could add a few more cylinders to smooth out the power delivery and eliminate vibration, and maybe even slant those cylinders forward to show off that beautiful new motor and add to its "cool" appeal...

I've got close to 5,000 miles on the GTL and the ease of launch isn't even close to a big inch Harley or a Wing.
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post #15 of 20 Old Apr 20th, 2017, 6:33 am Thread Starter
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

Love that reply Voyager. And i love the 1600. The only thing that bothers me about that model, is the trunk. I wish they'd have made it more symmetrical with the rear end. TO ME, it sticks out a little too much. Almost looks like an add on, and not part of the bike like the LT's. I realize it can be easily removed, but when on, it just doesn't appeal to me. Of Course that's my own opinion lol, and i'm constantly removing and reinstalling the trunk on my LT lol.


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post #16 of 20 Old Apr 20th, 2017, 8:41 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Love that reply Voyager. And i love the 1600. The only thing that bothers me about that model, is the trunk. I wish they'd have made it more symmetrical with the rear end. TO ME, it sticks out a little too much. Almost looks like an add on, and not part of the bike like the LT's. I realize it can be easily removed, but when on, it just doesn't appeal to me. Of Course that's my own opinion lol, and i'm constantly removing and reinstalling the trunk on my LT lol.
There is a lot to like about the 1600, but it also has some serious flaws. When I rent in Europe, it is my go to choice because it is the best option available, but that is only because they don't still make LTs.


BMW and Harley owners are different in almost every way, but one. Neither seem able to admit to the flaws in their motorcycles. If you comment about the faults of a Harley, you get a response like "If I have to explain it, you just wouldn't understand." If you comment on the faults of the GTL, you get one or both of these responses, "but it has 6 cylinders, and electronic suspension, and five levels of grip heat, ad infinitum" or "Well you can just buy Aeroflow shields, new windshield, new seats, etc." In other words, the expectation is that if you focus on all the cool features, the shortcomings simply won't matter or you just throw enough additional money at your new $30,000 machine to try to fix all of the issues BMW failed to address.


I admit to being perplexed by this. I like my LT a lot, but I have no qualms telling people about its shortcomings if they ask. I have never understood the "head buried in sand" mentality.
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post #17 of 20 Old Apr 20th, 2017, 10:22 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

It's not quite as simplistic as "head buried in sand".

It's the fact that I can't design, source, and build a motorcycle from scratch (at least not within my time and budget constraints), so I need companies who can do that for me.

But none of them make my perfect bike, so I find one that is as close as I can get, then I do the rest to make it fit my unique needs. Plus I'm an engineer and a gear head, so that part's also fun for me.

Every bike has its flaws, the LT included. You just have to decide what you can live with, and what you can't.

I decided I could no longer live with a bike that weighs damn close to half a ton all by itself, and that has just enough power, but nothing more. Yes, the LT is quite comfortable, although even there I needed a custom seat and aftermarket windscreen to make it really comfortable. And it handles quite well, for a bike of its size and weight. But it still has its limits.

Honestly, I decided to replace my LT after taking it on a track day. Not right away, but that was definitely the start. I was pushing the bike's limits all day long, because I was trying to outride its physical limitations. And when I got back onto the street, I realized that I was still pushing the bike's limits on pretty much every ride, because my skill and comfort levels were simply beyond what the Big Girl could do.

So I found something that suited my needs and my riding style much better. And then made it my own.

I didn't sell the LT right away. It sat in the garage for a few years, and eventually I cleaned her up and went for some rides. And it felt familiar, like an old college girlfriend who'd put on a few pounds, but could still dance. But nostalgia doesn't last, so I sold the LT on to someone who really appreciated it, and they rode the tires off of it.

Good for them, and much better for me to have found something that fits me almost perfectly, after a few small customizations.
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'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 32,690 miles & now rebuilt!
'07 Dark Graphite Metallic K12GT, 138,220 miles & now rebuilt!
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #18 of 20 Old Apr 20th, 2017, 11:01 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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Good for them, and much better for me to have found something that fits me almost perfectly, after a few small customizations.
That is the real point. Even though it may need some things to better suit you, it was better than the LT for you. I am probably one of those who more often speaks up on the shortcomings of the LT to new prospective buyers but I really do love my LT even though I am doing lots of work and updates on it. Some riders are all about the farkles and also enjoy riding , others are more about the riding and also do some farkles. We will see who is who at the Farkle Friday IHML Spring Training/Tame the dragon event in a few weeks ( shameless plug). Two different points of view with an end point in the same direction. We all have different reasons for buying a particular machine regardless of its limitations. We just have to be content with what we end up with or move on to something else if we can't make it into something we will continually enjoy riding.

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post #19 of 20 Old Apr 21st, 2017, 8:58 pm
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

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It's not quite as simplistic as "head buried in sand".

It's the fact that I can't design, source, and build a motorcycle from scratch (at least not within my time and budget constraints), so I need companies who can do that for me.

But none of them make my perfect bike, so I find one that is as close as I can get, then I do the rest to make it fit my unique needs. Plus I'm an engineer and a gear head, so that part's also fun for me.

Every bike has its flaws, the LT included. You just have to decide what you can live with, and what you can't.

I decided I could no longer live with a bike that weighs damn close to half a ton all by itself, and that has just enough power, but nothing more. Yes, the LT is quite comfortable, although even there I needed a custom seat and aftermarket windscreen to make it really comfortable. And it handles quite well, for a bike of its size and weight. But it still has its limits.

Honestly, I decided to replace my LT after taking it on a track day. Not right away, but that was definitely the start. I was pushing the bike's limits all day long, because I was trying to outride its physical limitations. And when I got back onto the street, I realized that I was still pushing the bike's limits on pretty much every ride, because my skill and comfort levels were simply beyond what the Big Girl could do.

So I found something that suited my needs and my riding style much better. And then made it my own.

I didn't sell the LT right away. It sat in the garage for a few years, and eventually I cleaned her up and went for some rides. And it felt familiar, like an old college girlfriend who'd put on a few pounds, but could still dance. But nostalgia doesn't last, so I sold the LT on to someone who really appreciated it, and they rode the tires off of it.

Good for them, and much better for me to have found something that fits me almost perfectly, after a few small customizations.
I agree completely. The important thing is to find the bike that most closely fits your riding profile.

My current profile is all-weather, long distance, two-up, luggage fully loaded touring with a premium placed on passenger comfort. For that profile, I believe there are only two bikes that fit well: the LT and the Wing. Unfortunately, of those only one remains in production.

Track days and at the limit street solo riding isn't part of my profile. So, the extra power, handling and lighter weight of the 1600 offer virtually no value to my mission, whereas, the greatly reduced wind and weather protection and reduced passenger comfort (seat, bouncing trunk, etc.) detract substantially from my mission.

The perplexing part to me is why BMW chose to release two models that are only slightly differentiated in profile (GT vs. GTL). I think they could have satisfied the Meese profile with the GT and could have made the GTL a truly better LT (satisfying most of us here) by making a few changes to the fairing, the windshield, the passenger seat and the trunk.

However, BMW and other manufacturers do lots of things I don't understand. Things like Kawasaki not adding cruise control to the Concours14... I bet they lose hundreds of sakes each year because of that, particularly since Yamaha added cruise to the FJR...
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post #20 of 20 Old Apr 24th, 2017, 1:07 am
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Re: WAD: Travel dependent Damping

...and that thread didn't wander off-track at all....


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