Front-end High speed shake - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old Jul 12th, 2006, 10:43 am Thread Starter
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Front-end High speed shake

I took my brand new LT out for a proper long distance shake down today. Although I have done 3000km on my new bike, today it was a long haul. I was on a twisty section of a toll road (3 lane and great surface) doing 160kays through the sweeps when I noticed to my dismay that into a right hander the handlebars start to shake. Into the next left hander and the shake disappears. It only happened in a right sweeping turn at speed. This never happened on my GT - ever. It was always rock-solid in corners. Is the LT just not supposed to be ridden at speed in corners, or could there be a problem?
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post #2 of 16 Old Jul 12th, 2006, 10:54 am
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Im sure others will chime in with possible problem/solutions, but definately a problem.

LT is rock solid in corners, all the way down to peg scraping.

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
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2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
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post #3 of 16 Old Jul 12th, 2006, 11:13 am
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mmmmmm Peg scraping. I only notice a shake at 40 MPH. New tires should cure that. My front is almost bald. I have 6500 miles on it. I would check tire preasure but not sure why it would only affect right not left. What about a bubble on the right side of the tire?

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post #4 of 16 Old Jul 12th, 2006, 6:33 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman
I took my brand new LT out for a proper long distance shake down today. Although I have done 3000km on my new bike, today it was a long haul. I was on a twisty section of a toll road (3 lane and great surface) doing 160kays through the sweeps when I noticed to my dismay that into a right hander the handlebars start to shake. Into the next left hander and the shake disappears. It only happened in a right sweeping turn at speed. This never happened on my GT - ever. It was always rock-solid in corners. Is the LT just not supposed to be ridden at speed in corners, or could there be a problem?
Most likely your tires are and have been grossly underinflated - 99% of us ride at 42 psi front, 48 psi rear with no problems. (3 bar,3.3 bar - my math could be WAY off...) Blame it on BMW since the recommended pressures in the owner's manual are just plain stupid for the weight of the bike.

Unfortunately once they have been underinflated for a while - and certainly 3000km qualifies - the only solution is new tires.

Read this and weep: http://www.rattlebars.com/valkfaq/tirewear/

but not on your new LT, 'cause underneath you've got a great scooter!


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post #5 of 16 Old Jul 12th, 2006, 10:38 pm
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Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Most likely your tires are and have been grossly underinflated - 99% of us ride at 42 psi front, 48 psi rear with no problems. (3 bar,3.3 bar - my math could be WAY off...) Blame it on BMW since the recommended pressures in the owner's manual are just plain stupid for the weight of the bike.

Unfortunately once they have been underinflated for a while - and certainly 3000km qualifies - the only solution is new tires.

Read this and weep: http://www.rattlebars.com/valkfaq/tirewear/

but not on your new LT, 'cause underneath you've got a great scooter!
You're definitely right on the underinflation deal. I just had to replace the front sneaker on mine, yesterday, at 5600 miles and it burns my butt because the bike isn't even 2 months old! I noticed some cupping at 2000 miles and jacked the pressure up to 42, but it was too late to prevent the cupping from progressing. BMW is way off on their recommendation. [end of rant]

Bill Hanna
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post #6 of 16 Old Jul 13th, 2006, 1:34 am
 
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I have a big wallow in high speed sweeper type corners. Only above 160 kph.
Definately not tyres. Jacking the preload to max helped, but not entirely.
I think it has more to do with the overall weight of the bike - is worse when heavily loaded.
Quite scary the first few times -
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post #7 of 16 Old Jul 13th, 2006, 3:00 am
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I've ridden both my LTs at 100-120 mph for extended periods, through sweepers and straights. No shake at all; both bikes were rock-solid even when two-up and loaded.


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post #8 of 16 Old Jul 13th, 2006, 8:49 am
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Hey birdman.....the only issue I have with LT handling (I'm very positive about its handling otherwise) occurs at exactly 105mph (168kmh) and if well leant over, These circumstances don't happen very often (its an hour to the first corner from where I live) but its quite clear when it does. Its gets a rear-wheel wobble/wallow side-to-side oscillation - shake is too fast to describe it, more like oscillation. Definitely rear wheel - very noticable. This is on a 2000 LT 1 up and 2 up, exactly that speed, both on standard shocks and Wilbers, both high pressures (42/46) and correct pressures (36/42). I've never ridden thru it to see if it disappears again as my speed increases, as I kept it steady while in the corner, then as I straighten up it disappears.

This is not a function of tire wear. I believe it is something to do with the weight of the bike, single-sided rear wheel etc...

The mention by others of tire pressures relates to excessive tire wear which is thought to contribute to a low speed headshake in the new config LT's....and on that point, what year is your LT?

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post #9 of 16 Old Jul 13th, 2006, 10:07 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
Hey birdman.....the only issue I have with LT handling (I'm very positive about its handling otherwise) occurs at exactly 105mph (168kmh) and if well leant over...
Hehe, good old Ralph. If I didn't know you, I'd call BS.

Chuck Ballehr tells a story about testing the top speed on his LT on a rural section of highway 25 in California some years ago. It was straight and slightly downhill with a tail wind. He was in the upper 130's as I recall, and the bike started wobbling. He every so gently starting scrubbing off speed with the rear brake to try to act as a rudder and slowed without further incident. I've hit 118 mph on this bike in a straight, and haven't had any problems, although I'm too chicken to try those speeds in a turn.

I had a Triumph Trident that I used to ride wide-open quite often, and one day it went into a full-on tank-slapper at 105MPH that ended with a high-side crash. So I've seen first hand what happens when you exceed the capabilities of the bike.

The LT is a really big heavy bike and at those speeds there can be some rather hefty dynamic forces at work than can flex frame parts. In all these years, we've yet to hear a report of an LT rider going down because of a high-speed wobble. Still, I don't temp fate any more and rarely exceed 100mph on this bike for that reason.

Just my 2 centavos.
-joel
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post #10 of 16 Old Jul 13th, 2006, 8:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman
I was on a twisty section of a toll road (3 lane and great surface) doing 160kays through the sweeps when I noticed to my dismay that into a right hander the handlebars start to shake. Into the next left hander and the shake disappears. It only happened in a right sweeping turn at speed.
We had a guy from France that crashed at about 140k on an 'A' road and he said that his bike developed a wobble before he went down. We thought he had a bearing issue but he was never able to prove it. If I remember correctly he never rode again... had some issues about his people not wanting him to take those kind of chances...

I have had my bike in triple digits (MPH) last year on the way to CCR but never in sweepers. I have run at 140k (90 MPH) on the Interstate system in the US in the Dakotas and Nebraska for multiple hours at a time and mine has been rock solid.. I have had other bikes... a GL1500 that I would never take above 80 MPH... because I did not trust that bike at speed...

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #11 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 3:00 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input

I have taken heed of evryone that kindly responded to my query. Tire pressures where at 2,9bar and 3,1bar - OK. The wobble was more as you say a wallow with a handlebar oscillation of around 2 cycles per second - scary. In future I will ride the beast at radio listening speed - it's nicer anyway!

Thanks for the input
Regards
Allen
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post #12 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 7:54 am
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wobble

mines got some wobble at 100 mph or higher....
I think its the steering damper and have been going to replace it for a couple of months....if i could get other stuff to quit breaking long enough to fork out the $270 for the steering damper......

mine developed after some pretty hard riding up in NC .....like on the way home it was different.....on brand new tires.....could be a tire balance issue only hitting the wobble at certain speeds....

prior to that it was rock solid at speed in any kind of turns....or on straights

now....even getting close behind an 18 wheeler or up beside one can be a little precarious if over 80 mph

mine's far from new though....89,000 miles

Kip
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post #13 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 11:25 am
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Howdy Allen, aka "birdman",

If the LT is giving you "wobble", or a "shake", or is anything but rock solid when you're operating at average speeds (posted speed limit-including suggested speed for corners) all the way up through triple digits in the straights and corners, then there is a problem. Notwithstanding uneven road surfaces.

Tires? Could be ply separation/failure on the right side.
Wheel? Unlikely since it only happen when turning to the right. Maybe if it was dented severly on the right side only, but you should be spot it easily.
Steering dampener? Maybe, but seems unlikely due to the one side only symptom.
Shock absorbers? If it was on both sides and road surface induced.

Regardless, I would "bird dog it" (pun intended ) until it was corrected.

.

Bill "Omaha"

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post #14 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 1:28 pm Thread Starter
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HD Virus?

Guys, Guys
My bike is BRAND NEW. Little or no visible tire wear, no dents in rims, no scratches on the paint, nicks in the chrome or teeth marks in the seat! It's only done 3800km in 5 weeks since it rolled out the dealer workshop. Steering damper - will check it out.

I only hope that my new LT didn't pick up some sort of wobble virus from the three HD Electra Glides that I passed on the freeway the other day with their riders in usual HD uniform and V twins turning gas into noise, travelling at mandatory and prescibed HD speed. Maybe it's just a passing phase. (ouch)!

Regards
Allen
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post #15 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 9:24 pm
 
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The LT is a rock solid bike and should not shake or make you feel uneasy in any way. However I did run into a situation at about 50k on my 05 LT where cornering became a problem. What my dealer found was a worn part in the front end and in the large bearing rear end. He replaced these and it was like a new bike however with 3k miles it would be unlikely to be a worn part but one of these may not have be torked properly. If it were me and my dealer could not find anything I would replace my front tire. Most all front end issue come done to front tires problems one way or another and many time milage does not matter, it just happens. Be assured the LT is a great handling inspiring bike it's biggest handicap is lack of ground clearance. RIDE SAFE
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post #16 of 16 Old Jul 14th, 2006, 11:19 pm
 
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The age and mileage on your bike would be something I would be telling the BMW service Manager as I told him to fix the problem. No matter how much we all love our BMW's, parts and tires can be defective right from the factory with ZERO miles on them. If this just started I would suspect a tire problem first.
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