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post #1 of 22 Old Oct 20th, 2006, 11:51 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy Front end shimmy

I have a 2006 LT that has had a front end shimmy present since about 3000 miles Now at 13,000 miles it persists. Occurs most noticeable when I roll off the accelerator. Do not feel when accelerating. ALso feel on grooved pavement, or any rough pavement. Put wrong Metzler (radial) on reat at 9000 miles and it got really bad. Immediately put new set of Metzler 880s on front and back and it calmed down a bit put persists. Dealer replaced steering damper 5 weeks ago with no change. Had a long time BMW mechanic take a peak and he felt the steering damper, new or not, was too weak and recommended to dealer he check the new dampers to guarantee they were not defective or put after market damper on. Dealer called the field engineer who recommended putting dunlop tires and replacing the front ball jount and fork it sits in. Had that done today at the dealer--the shimmy in deceleration is gone but the bike feels squirrely. At 70mph the front end wants to wobble a bit--enough to make me uncomfortable when riding it. ie--if I were test riding my bike I would not buy an LT due to the front end instability at high speed. ANy ideas.
Thanks in advance
greg
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post #2 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 12:38 am
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Shimmy with hands on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorysharp
I have a 2006 LT that has had a front end shimmy present since about 3000 miles Now at 13,000 miles it persists. Occurs most noticeable when I roll off the accelerator. Do not feel when accelerating. ALso feel on grooved pavement, or any rough pavement. Put wrong Metzler (radial) on reat at 9000 miles and it got really bad. Immediately put new set of Metzler 880s on front and back and it calmed down a bit put persists. Dealer replaced steering damper 5 weeks ago with no change. Had a long time BMW mechanic take a peak and he felt the steering damper, new or not, was too weak and recommended to dealer he check the new dampers to guarantee they were not defective or put after market damper on. Dealer called the field engineer who recommended putting dunlop tires and replacing the front ball jount and fork it sits in. Had that done today at the dealer--the shimmy in deceleration is gone but the bike feels squirrely. At 70mph the front end wants to wobble a bit--enough to make me uncomfortable when riding it. ie--if I were test riding my bike I would not buy an LT due to the front end instability at high speed. ANy ideas.
Thanks in advance
greg
Greg, my LT doesn't shimmy, but my brother complains about his '05. His dealer said it's normal. My dealer said it is normal. If it's a hands-off problem, consider trying handlebar weights. Otherwise, you need the help of more experienced LT owners.

Regards,
John
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post #3 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 7:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorysharp
I have a 2006 LT that has had a front end shimmy present since about 3000 miles Now at 13,000 miles it persists. Occurs most noticeable when I roll off the accelerator. Do not feel when accelerating. ALso feel on grooved pavement, or any rough pavement. Put wrong Metzler (radial) on reat at 9000 miles and it got really bad. Immediately put new set of Metzler 880s on front and back and it calmed down a bit put persists. Dealer replaced steering damper 5 weeks ago with no change. Had a long time BMW mechanic take a peak and he felt the steering damper, new or not, was too weak and recommended to dealer he check the new dampers to guarantee they were not defective or put after market damper on. Dealer called the field engineer who recommended putting dunlop tires and replacing the front ball jount and fork it sits in. Had that done today at the dealer--the shimmy in deceleration is gone but the bike feels squirrely. At 70mph the front end wants to wobble a bit--enough to make me uncomfortable when riding it. ie--if I were test riding my bike I would not buy an LT due to the front end instability at high speed. ANy ideas.
Thanks in advance
greg
Greg: I also have a 2006 with 14K on her! The shimmy/shake/wobble has persisted since the bike was new. New tires and different air pressure has not remedied the persistent problem. It is a hands off the bars problem. Seems strange but I guess we have to live with it. There has been many posts and many suggestions.

For one to truely understand the problem they must ride a 2006 model to experience the effects. The symptoms are most noticeably at 25-45 mph with cruise set or when deaccelerating. Rough road surfaces increase the dynamics.

I truely believe the steering damper it the the problem. Hope you find the answer.

AL

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post #4 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 11:53 am Thread Starter
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Question Lt front end shimmy

Thanks for the input guys. It is somewhat comforting to know I am not the only one with this problem. The hands off shimmy is now gone sine the dunlop tires and new front fork part but I am left with instability in the front at 70 plus mph--feels like a slow wobble that is very discomforting to me. any other ideas
greg
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post #5 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 12:07 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorysharp
The hands off shimmy is now gone sine the dunlop tires
greg
Hey Greg, I'm glad you found relief from the shimmy. Please post the Dunlap tire model with load rating that you are using. I looked a while ago and didn't see Dunlaps suitable for the LT.

Regards,
John
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post #6 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 12:43 pm
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I remember someone posting positive results with this damper:

http://www.hyperprousa.com/catalog.p...acement)%2099-
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post #7 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 1:34 pm
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Your answer to question is in the FAQ under Brakes and Tires.

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post #8 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 6:01 pm
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shimmy fix

My '04 would shake so bad I was ready to get rid of it, but I bought a balancer and put some Avons on it and it's fixed. The Avons saved my LT...for now anyway.
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post #9 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 7:48 pm
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Hi Greg,
I've had the front end shimmy since about day-one. No matter what tire pressure and basically hasn't changed with over 10K now. Had the same thing on a 97 GL1500SE. To me its the same old BS from BMW as with the infamous "surging" issue with the pre-2004 R engines. Some bikes were worse than others, some just denied having it and low and behold, BMW finally admitted it and fixed it in 04 with the twin-spark. I predict it will be the same with the "LT Shimmy"! BTW, I also just had my steering damper replaced under warranty and - no change. I have heard that the GL1800 suffers from the same thing shimmy and some have changed the steering head bearing from one type to another (sorry, I forgot the details) and it appears to have resolved the problem. I plan to look into a similar fix if possible over the winter. Until then, I just "hold on"!
Hope this helps,
Lee

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post #10 of 22 Old Oct 21st, 2006, 10:33 pm
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I balanced my tires on my Marc Parnes balancer. Problem resolved for about 3K miles.. now it's back.. but not very severe. Now, I rode it "hard" today, about 350 miles... lots of hard corners and braking...plus some good straight line running. Strange, but now the "shimmy-shimmy-doo-wha" is G-o-n-e... Once I have some "commuting" miles it may return.. that will be interesting to see...

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post #11 of 22 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 1:50 am Thread Starter
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Fixed the shimmy

Al--seems I have fices the shimmy--the dealer replaced the front end Fork just below the ball joint--changed the rake angle I believe. Have gotten used to the much quicker handling. They also put dunlop tires on. Had an experienced LT rider check my bike out today and he feels the rear shocks are shot and that may give me the slight feeling of instability I feel in the front end with higher speeds. I plan to put ohlin shocks on ASAP. Dealer told me it was not unusual for the stock shock to die at 13 to 15 thousand miles.
Thanks for the input--I was really firm with the dealer that I was not going to accept the shimmy--like please fix it or give me a different bike. They called the field engineer to come up with the fix for mine. They did tell me that there is an 06 LT in washington that they have replaced both wheels, tires, shocks, steering damper and still not fixed. Oh well.
greg
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post #12 of 22 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 8:58 am
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Hmmm. I wonder if the Telelever needs it's bearings replaced? Sounds similar to the way my HD acted. The problem with that was movements in the "drive" component seperate from the "frame"...in this case any slack in the telelever pivot would result in 'instability' feel...

Just a thought.

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post #13 of 22 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 12:10 pm Thread Starter
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Smile Dunlop for LT

The Dunlops are D 205 . The front is a touring 120/70 B17 M/C 58V and the rear is a 160/70 B17 79V. Not sure if the 59 and 79 V mean anything. I am a rookie at this stuff. Front is at 42 lbs and the rear at 46.
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post #14 of 22 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 5:31 pm
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2005 LT Shimmy

My '05 never had a shimmy until I had both front and rear tires replaced together for the first time. My bike came stock with ME 880's and I continued to use them. At 13k I replaced the rear tire and no shimmy afterward. I replaced both front and rear at 26k and I have had a shimmy since. I have adjusted tire pressures up and down with no effect. I even adjusted the rear shock preload, strange I know but a higher preload seemed to improve the condition slightly. I now have 30k on my LT and I have not had a chance to do much riding this year other than day trips but I just returned home last week from 10 days on the road and guess what. NO Shimmy! I put 26k on my LT during the first 20 months of ownership. Draw your own conclusions but I think there is a correlation between the tires, amount of riding and shimmy. Hard compounds causing flat spots from setting for a week between day trips or whatever. I've decided to do as I've always done; keep my tires properly inflated and balanced and just keep on riding.
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post #15 of 22 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 9:52 pm
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Greg,

Since purchasing my bike used a year and a half ago I have run Stones 020 radials. I recently changed over to Metz's and I too experience a wondering type behavior at speeds of 60-80 (afraid to go faster on these tires). Running 42/48 but plan to try a lower pressure to see if there is a change in this unstable handling. I hate it.

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post #16 of 22 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 12:33 pm
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Is it really a shimmy? As a new LT owner, I have noticed a little "instability" in it's handling. My early opinion is that it is simply a ride characteristic of the LT. I've played with the suspension pre-load and found that running higher tire pressures (42/48), I gained stability improvement. Also, since I removed the rear trunk....significantly better handling.

One of the other "big" machines (Honda Valkyrie) I owned really felt like it was on rails. I mean really planted. The Valk's handling was outstanding for a long wheelbased, heavy-ass machine.

I'm guessing the geometry of the LT (and maybe more-so with the new rake/trail on the 2005+), doesn't lend to that planted-feeling handing, as much.

I have owned other big machines (HD Road Glide for instance) that were far inferior to the LT in handling. It all depends on the bike and it's geometry.

I haven't owned the LT long enough to make a definative statement on it yet. My early opinion is it's handling for a big machine is very good, just not great.

Mike M

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post #17 of 22 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 4:55 pm
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Yes, it really is a shimmy or a wobble if you prefer. I have had this condition come and go on my '05 depending upon tires and their wear. I completly lost the shimmy condition when I last replace my rear Metz with a new Metz. I believe most of these shimmy-wobble problems are a tire issue either balance, production quality, inflation or wear. The big bike is just affected more so than a lighter machine. As for handling, with the preload up so the center stand won't touch, she will lay over and hug a corner right down till the pegs are pushed up then touch the fairing without a problem. -Chuck-

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post #18 of 22 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 1:52 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorysharp
I have a 2006 LT that has had a front end shimmy present since about 3000 miles Now at 13,000 miles it persists. Occurs most noticeable when I roll off the accelerator. Do not feel when accelerating. ALso feel on grooved pavement, or any rough pavement. Put wrong Metzler (radial) on reat at 9000 miles and it got really bad. Immediately put new set of Metzler 880s on front and back and it calmed down a bit put persists. Dealer replaced steering damper 5 weeks ago with no change. Had a long time BMW mechanic take a peak and he felt the steering damper, new or not, was too weak and recommended to dealer he check the new dampers to guarantee they were not defective or put after market damper on. Dealer called the field engineer who recommended putting dunlop tires and replacing the front ball jount and fork it sits in. Had that done today at the dealer--the shimmy in deceleration is gone but the bike feels squirrely. At 70mph the front end wants to wobble a bit--enough to make me uncomfortable when riding it. ie--if I were test riding my bike I would not buy an LT due to the front end instability at high speed. ANy ideas.
Thanks in advance
greg
I had the dreaded front end wobble AND a shimmy a low speeds. The original Bridgestones were in sorry shape, thru no fault of my own as I checked inflation frequently. Under warranty the dealer replaced some knuckle/ball-joint in the fork ass'y AND I replaced the tires with whatever Metzelers were recommended. All issue gone . . . bike now perfect again. My '05 has about 8500 miles on it.

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #19 of 22 Old Oct 25th, 2006, 12:28 am Thread Starter
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Red face Replaces part

John--thanks for the input. I found out the dealer replaced the lower ball joint fork bridge with the stock part. The new tires were not the only part of the fix or I am sure they would not have popped for about $850 worth of warranty work not counting the tires. ANyway--I am a happy camper now--she rides like a big rocket like I expected her to when I bought her.
greg
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post #20 of 22 Old Oct 26th, 2006, 9:02 am
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GREGORYSHARP

I might be the other Washington bike that they told you about. Went from the OEM tires to 880's (fantastic mileage!!) Changed out shocks to the Ohlins....had the front end work done......to no avail. They called (So. Sound) and want me to come in for the Dunlops now, which I will do....but I'm getting such good mileage on the 880's (13k Miles), I'll run them on out for a while yet. I was told that out of the 12 05's they'd sold, that 4 of them have this problem.....and that your problem had finally been resolved with the Dunlops. Just turned 22k miles last night (10 months 2 weeks) and was doing the "hands off" thing.....and had to really hunt for that "spot" where it'd get all "jiggy".....anything outside that (above or below) the wiggle would quiet down right away.....completely the opposite of what it'd do when the tires were new. I keep my tire pressure at the high end of things (F46-R48)....

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post #21 of 22 Old Oct 26th, 2006, 5:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderland
I remember someone posting positive results with this damper:

http://www.hyperprousa.com/catalog.p...acement)%2099-
It still doesn't sound right to have to purchase a brand new $300.00 damper for a brand new bike.
Could this phenomenon be related to the different camber used to make the bike handle easier at low speeds?

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post #22 of 22 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 10:43 am
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Front End Wobble

Being an engineer, I am intrigued at all of the responses regarding the causes for front end 'wobble' or 'shimmy'. Having wrenched on many vehicles and bikes over the years, I feel that I have a unique perspective on the causes of this phenomenon.

In this case, I am convinced the wobble/shimmy problem is due to any one of the following (in order of likelyhood):

1) Front tire out of balance or wheel out of round - Can be caused by sitting for a long time, low air pressure, hitting an object hard, bad bearings, tire defect (internal delam), or worn out tire. A problem with the rear tire could also cause a similar issue. Don't assume that the tire is balanced unless you actually check it again at the time you are performing your analysis. As it is spinning, check for a hop or distortion in the tire or wheel. Heavy, rotating assemblies are notorious for creating harmonic type vibrations or movements. If your wobble goes away at a certain speed, you have certainly identified a rotating assembly balance problem - no question.

2) Steering Damper - Worn out seals or no fluid inside damper. This damper is designed to dampen lateral road input and/or rapid user input to the pivot of the steering forks. If not enough resistance is offered during a frequency input, it will allow a harmonic 'shimmy' to develop. One way to test the damper is to raise the front wheel off the ground and rapidly cycle the handlebard right to left. If you feel a significant resistance doing this fast versus slow, then the damper is probably working. If you see evidence of a leak around the piston rods, you should replace the damper.

3) Front Shock - Worn out, no damping effect. If the roadwheel is not kept from bouncing on the pavement, this 'hopping' may feel like a wobble or cause a shimmy. Leaking shocks are a giveaway, but are not the only way to tell. If you drive slowly along and stop suddenly using only your rear brake, it will cause the front end to dive. The bike should only bounce 1X (down-up-stop). If it goes for more than that, the front shock should probably be replaced.

4) Front Telelever - Worn or loose ball joint or other main suspension component. Same as #3

If all of these areas/components truly check out ok, there is a likelyhood that there may be a problem with your rear suspension or frame alignment.

Balancing tires requires a good, repeatable technique. In the case of a shimmy being solved by balancing of a front tire, and then its return 3K miles later, I would remove and rebalance the tire/wheel again. Spin the tire multiple times to validate the balancing before mounting it back in the forks. Tire characteristics change over time and may cause out of balance condition. Riding style and road conditions play a big part of why this happens. Sometimes a balance weight is thrown off and there is no evidence that you may notice (i.e. no adhesive residue). You might think that the weights that are there are the weights that were applied at the last balancing. Sometimes the tire is just defective due to belting defects or compound thickness uniformity issues.

I hope this helps shed light on these hard to diagnose issues.

Good Luck!

-Larry

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