Head Shake, Tire Wear, Slow-Speeds - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 9:56 am Thread Starter
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Head Shake, Tire Wear, Slow-Speeds

Just passed thru 8000+ miles on my '05 LT and over the last 1,000 miles or so have experienced some issues.

1. At about 40 mph I can 'sometimes' get the dreaded head shake/severe handlebar vibration. Cannot always duplicate, but it has happened twice.

2. During very slow maneuvers, e.g.slow, hard left or right, the handlebars are sending back an awful shimmy like feeling; difficult to explain but almost as if the bars are vibrating back and forth.

I contacted the dealer and they have reported instances of this, to be covered under warranty but recommend new front tire. I'll replace them both. They will replace 'some' part/knuckle that the service manager referred to???

Anyone else have the 'slow-speed' issue with an '05 or newer and did tire replacement solve it? BTW, I visually cannot detect any cupping of the front tire, but who knows.

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #2 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:09 am
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Hey John,

I don't have an '05, but most of the discussion about this subject seems to most of the time boil down to tires. A friend of mine here had something like that going on with his '05, and a new tire fixed it. I should have taken a snapshot of my rear tire (BT020) the other day, but it was the damndest thing I have ever seen when the guy took it off. Looked like somebody had stuffed a hotdog bun in between the inner and outer layers of the tire right at the edge of the tread on the left side but not yet on the sidewall...weird.

Not to complicate things, but whatever head shake I had before on my '03 was COMPLETELY solved with Wilbers shocks.

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #3 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:27 am
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Al,

Forgive my ignorance, I'm not very mechanical. When you say that any head shake was eliminated by going to Wilbers shocks, is that the rear shock or front ? Why did you switch shocks and is this expensive to do ?

Roy
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post #4 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:27 am
 
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Tires. The rear one wearing causes the wobble. The front one wearing causes the strange sensations in the bars. This is all just MY opinion...of course.
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post #5 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:29 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalamaro
Just passed thru 8000+ miles on my '05 LT and over the last 1,000 miles or so have experienced some issues.

1. At about 40 mph I can 'sometimes' get the dreaded head shake/severe handlebar vibration. Cannot always duplicate, but it has happened twice.

2. During very slow maneuvers, e.g.slow, hard left or right, the handlebars are sending back an awful shimmy like feeling; difficult to explain but almost as if the bars are vibrating back and forth.

I contacted the dealer and they have reported instances of this, to be covered under warranty but recommend new front tire. I'll replace them both. They will replace 'some' part/knuckle that the service manager referred to???

Anyone else have the 'slow-speed' issue with an '05 or newer and did tire replacement solve it? BTW, I visually cannot detect any cupping of the front tire, but who knows.
A worn and scalloped, even slightly, rear tire will give the same slow speed maneuvering symptom you describe. Since your rear tire is closer to being worn out, you may want to take a closer look there also.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #6 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 12:21 pm
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I have just turned over 6K on my 05 and have noticed the headshake and slight wobble at slow speeds. I am also of the opinion that it is the tires. My previous ride (ZZR1200) which ran the same brand and type tire displayed the same symptoms until I replaced the rubber.

I wouldnt go replacing suspension componets until you changed out the tires...unless you just have the extra money laying around

Just my 2 cents.

-Ekim
2005 K1200LT (R.I.P.)
Manchester, MD

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post #7 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 12:42 pm
 
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John

I hade the same problem replaced the front tire with just over 4000 miles and sill hade the shakes. went back to the dealer 700 miles later replaced both front and rear with a different brand and now it rides like it's sopposed to.
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post #8 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 12:48 pm Thread Starter
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Any Tire Recommendations? Thanks all of you!

Thanks for the great replies. Any strong recommendations as to what tire(s) are best for the LT? Or, equally, what to avoid. I guess getting 8000 good miles isn't bad for a bike that weight!

Thanks All!

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #9 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 1:17 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalamaro
Any strong recommendations as to what tire(s) are best for the LT? Or, equally, what to avoid. I guess getting 8000 good miles isn't bad for a bike that weight!
Actually John, IMO 8K out of a tire on an LT is low. On a GT or Ninja, it's good. But not on the LT.

I had a rear B'Stone delaminate on me, so I quite using that tire. Otherwise, it's a great tire. If you're going to try the rear B'Stone (radial) 020, match it up with the Avon front tire. A very sweet combination. Stay away from the B'Stone 020 front tire though. That tread pattern can't take the abuse of the LT's awesome brakes. It feathers horrifically.

You might want to try the new B'Stone 020s that are Bias-Ply. That was going to be my next set of tires, but I sold the LT.

My last set of tires on the LT was the Metzelers. I initially didn't like these. What I did differently was that I jacked the tire pressure WAY UP. Their performance wasn't compromised, and I got a LOT of miles out of them. I ran 51psi in the rear, and 46 up front.

HTH
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post #10 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 1:20 pm
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Just before CCR, I replaced both tires, which had 11500 miles on them and still had decent tread left. Both were Metzelers. After getting the tires replaced, I didn't ride the bike for a significant distance until trailering up to CCR in GA. On my way to Deals Gap, I was dimayed to find that the front was shaking, as described above, but mostly at 50-60 mph. It felt like an improperly balanced tire, which was confirmed by the dealer upon my return. The tire was rebalanced, and the vibration decreased, but I still felt a shake in the handlebars at around 40-50 mph, which I had not experienced with the original tires. The hop I used to experience between 30 and 40 mph is still there, and I dare not release the handlebars at 40-50 mph or the wobble will be scary. I'm waiting on a new damper, ordered under warranty, and we'll see if the problem is corrected. I thought getting new tires is supposed to give you a better ride, not worse, but I don't think it's directly related to them.

Despite these problems I have described, there is one thing I must say to all who dislike Metzeler tires. I was recently caught in a torrential rain returning from a day ride to Ft. Myers, FL back to Miami on I-75. Visibility was almost nil and the roads were saturated with water. There was no safe place to pull over, so we pressed on. In the 150 mile ride, about 90 miles of it was in this rain. I never experienced any hydroplaning or other pucker events with these tires. Given the mileage I was able to accumulate on the original set, and performance I just described, I would recommend them to anyone who is considering a new set. Just my 2 cents.

Joe
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post #11 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 1:39 pm
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More and more I'm hearing of Metzler stories - more I'm convinced this 'wet weather' issue folks talk of is actually a combination of several issues. Not just the tire, but it may be the one that allows the others to be expressed.

1st - road condition
2nd - weight of our bikes
3rd - tire compound
4th - amount of water on the road
5th - tire pressure

Metzlers do last longer - that implies they use a harder compund. So, in a 'marginal' situation - they're less likely to hold. Now, the window for what we consider marginal is a personal one. And, I'm thinking that due to the size and weight of these bikes, may well be a narrower window overall.

My experience:
Very light rain - glass smooth cement road. Yea - I've felt it.
'Normal' rain - same road - no problem

Very light rain - normal asphalt road - no problem
Normal rain - same road - no problem

And of cousre - heavy rain, anywhere - no problems.

Tire pressure? Yea - we got us a smaller contact patch. Put a heavy bike on that patch, add in the slicker than usual road by very light rain, harder compound - it all adds up to less than expected 'stick'.

Tate

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post #12 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 2:55 pm
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Head Shake, Tire Wear, Slow-Speeds

My '04 would shake so bad I was ready to get rid of it, but after replacing both 020's with Avons this weekend I am happy to report no more head shake. I did the job myself (very easy) I purchased the Marc Parnes balancer and I'm very happy with the outcome.
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post #13 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 4:47 pm
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John, Replacing the rear tire on my '05 solved the 40-45mph no hands on the bars head shake. The new rear or front tires has never changed that ulta low speed, almost to the stop hard turn shimmy. I have just gotten used to it since it is only for just a second before you pull out of the turn. -Chuck-

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post #14 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 5:17 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Tires. The rear one wearing causes the wobble. The front one wearing causes the strange sensations in the bars. This is all just MY opinion...of course.
Sounds right to me! I've got a little shimmy in the bars at slow speeds because my front tyre is worn more on one side than the other. never knew why until some clever person on here told me about turn radius which make my tyres wear more on the right than the left and now I have the slow speed wibbly wobbs in the bars.

Rgds
Mike

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post #15 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 9:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger6

Not to complicate things, but whatever head shake I had before on my '03 was COMPLETELY solved with Wilbers shocks.
Talk to me about the Wilbers Shocks. Were did you get them from and how much? Do the change the height or just stiffen things up?

Lewis

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post #16 of 19 Old Sep 18th, 2006, 10:06 pm
 
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Originally Posted by km5bh
Talk to me about the Wilbers Shocks. Were did you get them from and how much? Do the change the height or just stiffen things up?
$1400-ish. You can custom order them to lower or raise the height. several options, and very adjustable.

I've ridden to LTs with Wilbers . . . WOW! 'Nuff said.
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post #17 of 19 Old Sep 19th, 2006, 7:15 am
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Joe is right...the results from custom shocks like the Wilbers or Ohlins are remarkable. Here is the website for Wilbers. You will have to do a little one-on-one with them so they can gather some information from you, such as your weight, riding style, one up or two up or combination, luggage/no luggage, do you pull a trailer, etc., just name a few and then they custom build the shock to those specifications and ready to bolt on. Great fit and finish and essentially takes the stock suspension to the next level, which is a mediocre level to begin with IMHO.




Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #18 of 19 Old Sep 19th, 2006, 9:55 am
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FWIW - I have an '05 and never had a problem with the shakes or shimmy. I replaced both at 11,500.
Jim

Jim in Dublin, OH

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post #19 of 19 Old Sep 19th, 2006, 8:41 pm
 
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I have read many, many posts about the Metzlers. I am on my second front and third rear. Never had a problem other than the flat I got after just 3,500 miles.

I have never had any problems with the Metzlers in the rain. Recently rode 4.5 hours in pouring rain. Not one slip, slide or loss of traction.

And, I've never had the head wobble that some have mentioned. I've never tried other tires because the Metzler's have worked just fine.

Keith
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