Front End Steering/rake & trail? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old May 18th, 2016, 1:08 am Thread Starter
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Front End Steering/rake & trail?

Hi Guys,

I have a 2004 K1200GT with only 32K miles on her. She is a bare in the corners to keep in the turn and actually pulls to the left unless I hold one hand on the bars pushing/pulling when riding strait. I've had the entire front end apart, inspected the tubes, shock, seals, and pivot points and can find nothing out of sorts.
I am the second owner and she has no record of any mishaps.

She's a beautiful bike to ride BUT if I cant figure this out then she will NOT be taking me on any trips My shoulders get so sore I just wanna get back on my 900SS Duc. I had the dealership take a quick look at a recent service to no avail.
Can I make steering changes similar to the traditional twin fork bikes?
Any thoughts Guys????
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post #2 of 5 Old May 18th, 2016, 3:24 pm
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Re: Front End Steering/rake & trail?

Have you looked at both tires for feathering?
What pressure are you running?
Is your front wheel true? (have it spin and look for out-of-round).
Also check the bearing for looseness. Last but not least, loosen the pitch bolts at the bottom of the fork, bounce the front of the bike a few times on the ground, and tighten the pitch bolts to spec.

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post #3 of 5 Old May 18th, 2016, 10:25 pm
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Re: Front End Steering/rake & trail?

Hi Boulder.
I've got the same bike which I use for daily city commuting, keeping the LT for longer trips.
When I bought my (2004 build) GT with 27k km (~16800miles) it felt like a dog to turn. Tyres were almost gone on it, but I knew the engine was good and tight and everything else was immaculate. Took a punt it was just the tyres causing the problem.
Put some new Michellin PR4's on it (std on front, GT on rear) and it totally transforned the bike's handling.
Now with 38k km (11,000km on the tyres) its starting to feel the way you describe, its also starting to track with road grooves and tar joins quite badly.
Still a fair bit of tread, probably another 5000kms or so left, so I'll keep wearing them down. Oh, and its got 3 plugs in the rear tyre too from 1000km when it got 3 nails stuck in it!
Maybe just time to shell out for new shoes?

Chris
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post #4 of 5 Old May 21st, 2016, 9:59 pm
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Re: Front End Steering/rake & trail?

Just a quick question, when did the forks get a flush and oil change?
I am going to bet never...
That is not finger pointing just one of those realities. Since there isn't a recommendation on when to service forks they usually don't get done, but should.
It has been a habit of mine to service forks at the very first service interval, follows by every two years. As a reference, my 2011 RT had more oil in one leg than it should have, and almost none in the other. It came that way from Bmw. That isn't a shot at Bmw either as I have found similar on every new bike I have purchased.
I have had lots of folks over the years tell me my bikes handle better than their identical bike. It is always the lack of service to the forks.
Just something to consider.
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post #5 of 5 Old May 22nd, 2016, 10:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Front End Steering/rake & trail?

Hey Guys thanks for the suggestions/comments.
I've changed tires twice, I checked the axel to be true and torqued properly. I disassembled the front end completely changed the fork seals and oil. It's obvious theirs a chronic problem as the tire wears down more on the left than the right.

I'm thinking it might be the steering head ball joints?
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