Riding two up - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:33 pm Thread Starter
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Riding two up

I have had my 1999 LT for about a month now, I purchased it used, and am very disappointed in the ride when I have my better half on the back. The ride is very harsh and when hitting a bump it is very jarring. I have tried adjusting the spring rate but nothing seems to work. Any suggestion as to what else to try?
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post #2 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:48 pm
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Re: Riding two up

...on a 9 yo bike, new shocks are in order.


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post #3 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:49 pm
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Re: Riding two up

How many miles on the shocks ?
Stock shocks are only good for 25-35K miles at best.

Also search for filling the preload adjuster.

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #4 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:54 pm
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Talking Re: Riding two up

You didn't tell us the milage the bike has on it, I have to guess that it may need shocks. If the milage is over 35,000 it should have the shocks replaced.

Other will chime in if I am off base on this.

Do a search on the subject, an see what others have done. I have a 2000, with 42,800+ miles. I replaced the shocks at about 36,000. Much better now.

I only have one problem with bike. It is over 8years old, an only has the mile as listed above. It should be near 100,000 miles.

Ride safe, an enjoy the bike. It will get better with new shocks.
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post #5 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:55 pm
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Re: Riding two up

If the bike has the ohlins already on them you may find that they were build for someone heavier then you and your wife. This could also be an issue.

Tom Ress
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post #6 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 1:58 pm
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Re: Riding two up

You probably need new shocks. I've got the same problem on my 99 LT. I've done the research on the site and have decided to go with Wilber shocks. The vendor I'm using is http://www.beemershop.com/index.php.

They come recommend by other members. I called yesterday and Ted spent about 30 minutes with me explaining everything.
Basically the factory shocks are set up for a rider of 185 lbs. So if you are more then that to start with and add the wife on the back you're going to bottom out sometimes. Plus with the age and miles on the bike adds to the problem.

Ted quoted me $1357.00 for both shock and a 3 week turn around. The shock are made to order and he would ask you your weight, the weight of the gear you normally carry when you ride one up, how often you ride two up and the weight of the back seat with all the normal gear, plus some other questions I can't remember. Basically when you get the shocks they will be set up for your normal riding, and then you will have an adjustment for up to 200 lbs of added weight when you add the wife plus gear.

I'm going to go with just the rear shock for now and add the front shock with I have the money. There doesn't seem to be any safe issue doing it this way.
I'm no expert with this, I've just done a lot of searches on this site and made a few phone calls.

Bob Brendel
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post #7 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 2:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Riding two up

The bike has 24000 miles. I find it hard to beleive that I would have to replace the shock with such low milage, if this is the case I may have to rethink my choice of bikes.

Last edited by NewRider; Jul 3rd, 2008 at 2:08 pm.
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post #8 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 2:07 pm
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Re: Riding two up

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewRider
The bike has 24000 miles.
If it's 24000 miles of hard riding, or riding with alot of weight, it is definately time for new shocks. (Assuming factory shocks still on it)

I felt mine start to give out about 20K and they were horrible by the time I sold it.

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #9 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 2:22 pm
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Re: Riding two up

We went through the EXACT same problem! We bought a 99LT with 41.5k last Nov. We had just traded a 99RT with 38k and did a four day drip with it. The RT was so much smoother riding suspension and brakes, but the rest, the LT was far superior.

After complaints to the dealer about the shocks, they found the pre-load adjuster was shot. I paid $75 to have a used one installed. Still did not work.

I studied all the posts for months trying to decide on getting rid of the bike, buying OEM or getting a set of matched Ohlins for our riding weight.

I decided I could not afford the dealer servicing, and went with the Ohlins. I got out the scale, weighed us with our clothes, helmets, fanny packs, water, extra clothes, gear, Cortec pack bags, boots, as much as I could think of.

Total weight was about 425. We are 145/195 without gear.

I called Dan at Kyle Racing, gave him our stats and ordered the Ohlins. The instructions for installing the shocks absolutely SUCK!

That being said, many hours later I finally had them both installed. I contacted Matt Sage at Ohlins, also an x BMW service manager that understands what is needed. He said one could not compare the suspension between the RT and the LT, for one.

With the new shocks, the rear suspension still sucked.

I asked Matt what the specs the shocks were set for and why, and he explained we needed the heaviest spring they have for our riding weight to keep the bike sitting properly.

The adjustment at the bottom of the shock, which I did not know existed, was set at 16 of 27 clicks of adjustment. I ended up reducing that to 4 clicks. I have maybe two rotations on the pre-load. This is about the best I have dialed it in for two up riding.

Both of us have had a great deal of back and neck surgery, the SO had a $20k surgery last Jan. It was most important the bike ride best for her comfort.

For one up riding, it is still pretty brutal. I just have to post on the foot pegs for the worst of it. Decent back roads, as long as there are no pot holes and major repair joints (rarely seen in Pa....hehehe), are not bad at all. The unexpected, neck jarring, bone crunching jolts are still an issue. We have done what we can. Still not thrilled with it, and had we known this is what we would end up with.......more so after spending $12k on a 99 with 45k.....we most likely would have quit with the RT, sold that and just rented a HD once in a while. Would have saved a small fortune.

So, you may not need shocks with that kind of mileage. Try the adjustments first, crank the pre load just about as far as you can.

May as well figure our what you need, or you will not be happy. If you can afford the dealer service fees, pay it and get it done. It was not an easy job by any means.

If you weight less than we do, it should be that much better.

We also needed new tires, which made a big difference too.

Enjoy your Holiday!
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post #10 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 2:42 pm
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Re: Riding two up

Have had my 2K LT for 5 years now, replaced out the stock shocks at @ 12K miles for WILBERS, riden on them now for @ 25K miles .... BEST UPGRADE TOO DATE !!!

Between the stock shock/spring combo & the Custom spec built Wilbers the bike is a completely different animal !

I ride 2 up 90% of the time or more riding ROUGH Northern California back country twisties.

After market shock/springs are VERY MUCH worth the investment IMO.

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post #11 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 6:27 pm
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Re: Riding two up

If you just purchased a 9 year old LT my guess is that you paid about a 1/3 or less of the cost to buy a new one. If this bike has only 24 k on the odometer you are maybe through 10% to 12% of its useful life. Spend the $$ and get the shocks repaired/replaced/rebuilt. The costs are marginal compared to the amount of life this bike has left in it and the amount of fun you can have on her.
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post #12 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 7:41 pm
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Re: Riding two up

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewRider
The bike has 24000 miles. I find it hard to beleive that I would have to replace the shock with such low milage, if this is the case I may have to rethink my choice of bikes.
The stock shocks are made by Showa. Most bikes come with the same brand of shocks. If you want to rethink bikes, you are going to be hard pressed to find one that that would be different. No bike comes with shocks that will work properly beyond 8 years. If done in the first few years, the LT shocks, just like any other are good for about 30,000-40,000 miles, although if you ride aggressively or two up, you will want them sooner.

Randy Prade
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post #13 of 13 Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 7:56 pm
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Re: Riding two up

I find it hard to believe that with new Ohlins your ride is still classed by you as barely acceptable. I have had had the Wilbers (Ohlins equivalents) on mine since about 36k (now 120k), rebuilt twice, heavily used, mainly one-up, but with solid loads....generally the bike is like butter, though I would class it is needing a very good hand setting it up.

I suspect your Ohlins are no set up correctly. I too went to a specialist here recently, very well know in the Bay area, and the result was aweful. Willie down at SJBMW put me right and gave me the confidence to start playing around with the rebound myself.

I have ridden some big daily mileages with a passenger at high speeds and demanding cornering on back roads thru PA/WV/VA/MD and the bike, when set up, is amazing. It really is a 7 series BMW equivalent.

Ralph
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but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

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