High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 11 Old Oct 28th, 2016, 10:09 am Thread Starter
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High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

I recently replaced a worn out Metzeler Marathon rear tire with an Avon Storm. I spend about an hour every day doing about 80 mph. One of the first things I noticed was what I call "wind wobble", either fluctuations in the air or gusts from large vehicles that cause the bike to not just react, which I would expect, but to subsequently "wobble" as if to slowly recover. I've read that this MIGHT be indicative of a worn-out steering damper. I have about 65K miles on it.

Has anybody experienced this as a result of going from Metz to Avon?

How can I tell if my steering damper is to blame?

Thanks,
Steve
Titusville, FL
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post #2 of 11 Old Oct 28th, 2016, 11:22 am
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Before you start looking for causes other than the tire that you just replaced. Tires do not like to be mixed brand wise or even between models.
This is not to say that it can't be done.
I would start by looking at the new tire and if the wheel was mounted properly.
I would think that an easy way to check a steering damper would be to get the front wheel off the ground and see if there is any resistance when you turn the handle bars.
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post #3 of 11 Old Oct 28th, 2016, 2:08 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

To check the steering damper put it on the center stand sit on it & have someone push down on the top case to lift the front wheel up. Turn the handle bars slow then fast back & forth. The damper only works under fast movement & does not work under slow movement. I didn't like my Avons for the same reason.
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post #4 of 11 Old Oct 29th, 2016, 5:21 am
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Anarchosteff

I tried the Avon Storm 3D X-M 'cause I wanted radials and got rid of them after 2 weeks.

I had a crazy wobble at 90 km/t or 55 mph that only got worse at higher speeds. The walls of especially the rear tyre, though of correct load index of 79, are not sturdy enough for the LT.

I tried changing the steering damper first as there was no resistance whether pulling slow or fast but the problem remained. After changing to Bridgestones (Metzeler before Avon) front/rear I got back to a rock steady ride at any speed (well up to 110 mph anyway)

So get rid of the Avons or don't buy them in the first place.

Mike
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post #5 of 11 Old Oct 29th, 2016, 6:58 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

My experience has been the opposite of all those I read. First of all, my LT is a 99. 48K and 12 years of ownership. Years ago, I changed to Avon's and haven't looked back. I believe I've been through 3 sets. Inflation is key, I inflate to rated plus 3 psi. I also have had one tire that came defective. I hadn't even ridden it 10 miles when I went back and had it replaced under warranty. Other than that one incident, I've ridden on Avon's exclusively and personally prefer them.

Stan
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post #6 of 11 Old Oct 29th, 2016, 8:36 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Would be nice if you could include the year bike you put these on so we know if it was pre or post geometry change if that might have something to do with some liking it and some not. I have run Metz and Bridgestone and both have been rock solid on my 01. I know Saddleman has multiple years so we don't know which one he put his Avons on.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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post #7 of 11 Old Oct 30th, 2016, 12:02 am
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

I recently had a highly reputable shop recommend that I not replace my '03 LT's worn out steering damper. The shop stated that the geometry of the bike made it not susceptible to steering wobble and unless I wanted to drop a bunch of cash for piece of mind, I shouldn't worry about it.
I've had it high speeds with no sign of wobble, and wouldn't have know the damper was shot had they not checked it out while doing some other work.

Hope you can sort out your issue.
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post #8 of 11 Old Oct 30th, 2016, 5:41 am
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Would be nice if you could include the year bike you put these on so we know if it was pre or post geometry change if that might have something to do with some liking it and some not. I have run Metz and Bridgestone and both have been rock solid on my 01. I know Saddleman has multiple years so we don't know which one he put his Avons on.
I put the Avon's on my 2000 LT. My other LT is a 2004.

Dave Selvig
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2000 Canon Red LT



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post #9 of 11 Old Oct 30th, 2016, 6:21 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Along some of this discussion, those steering dampers can be owner refilled with oil.
Steering damper rebuild - I-BMW.com
As mentioned folks do remove them from the Lt and the RS. Both very stable bikes (with the right tires )
With an older bike don't completely get side tracked with a tire change. The new tire may have some issues of course but it may also bring out some items that are not well with the rest of the bike. Is the rear swing arm journal adjustment good or is there some slack in it. How are the final drive pivot bearings, are they binding due to old age. Shocks in good shape? Front wheel bearings good? and of course the crown bearing in the back, but that generally does not go un noticed. Error multiplies and something can really bring other issues to light.

Beech
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post #10 of 11 Old Oct 30th, 2016, 8:45 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

I have the Avon Roadrider on the front and Bridge on the back both bais and had over 6,000 miles on them going out west and running in all conditions Then I went to the Ironhorse Lodge with these same tires and raced around the Smokey Mountains with the LT Group no problems

Gary
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post #11 of 11 Old Oct 30th, 2016, 9:16 pm
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Re: High Speed Wobble, tires, and steering damper

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryEm View Post
I have the Avon Roadrider on the front and Bridge on the back both bais and had over 6,000 miles on them going out west and running in all conditions Then I went to the Ironhorse Lodge with these same tires and raced around the Smokey Mountains with the LT Group no problems
Yes you did

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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