fork play? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 1:26 am Thread Starter
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fork play?

as I brake I can feel there is play in the front fork as if the main fork bearing would be loose, allowing the wheel to play back and forth.

now I obviously don't like this and I can't really see where it comes from as it is covered with 1000 fairings, so that's why I need to ask where most likely to be coming from and where do I start taking it apart....

thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 8:05 am
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Re: fork play?

I also have a little bit of play in my front end. I suspect it is the ball joints in the fork bridges showing signs of wear. I can feel it when I apply the front brakes. I expect I will have to eventually replace them unless someone else has a different explanation. I imagine worn front wheel bearings could also cause some play if bad enough.

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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post #3 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 8:11 am
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Re: fork play?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radu Georgescu View Post
as I brake I can feel there is play in the front fork as if the main fork bearing would be loose, allowing the wheel to play back and forth.

now I obviously don't like this and I can't really see where it comes from as it is covered with 1000 fairings, so that's why I need to ask where most likely to be coming from and where do I start taking it apart....

thanks
I have not heard of this problem often here on the forum. I would start at the brakes and work my way to the less accessible components.

Check that both calipers are tight with no loose bolts or play in the pads. Might want to have someone apply the front brake and then try to turn the front wheel back and forth. Obviously, need to slightly raise the front wheel with a jack under the engine.

If calipers and pads look good, check the wheel bearings. Have someone hold the forks straight and try to move the wheel side to side where it passes between the fork legs. If this looks good, then I would grab the fork legs at the axle location and try to shake them front to back. If there is any significant play you should feel it. Be sure the bike is well supported and held by straps so you don't topple it off the centerstand and jack.

If there is play, it could be in one of, I think from memory, four places. Either side of the rear of the "A-arm" (I don't have the fiche in front of me to get the BMW name for this), the ball joint at the front of the A-arm or the steering head bearing. You may need a second person to look at, or hold their hand near, each of these locations to look for and feel for motion. I suggest you first review the fiche diagrams at Max BMW or Bob's BMW to confirm the joint locations I referenced here. It has been nearly a year since I had my LT stripped down so my memory may not be precise.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #4 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 1:45 pm
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Re: fork play?

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I have not heard of this problem often here on the forum. I would start at the brakes and work my way to the less accessible components.

Check that both calipers are tight with no loose bolts or play in the pads. Might want to have someone apply the front brake and then try to turn the front wheel back and forth. Obviously, need to slightly raise the front wheel with a jack under the engine.

If calipers and pads look good, check the wheel bearings. Have someone hold the forks straight and try to move the wheel side to side where it passes between the fork legs. If this looks good, then I would grab the fork legs at the axle location and try to shake them front to back. If there is any significant play you should feel it. Be sure the bike is well supported and held by straps so you don't topple it off the centerstand and jack.

If there is play, it could be in one of, I think from memory, four places. Either side of the rear of the "A-arm" (I don't have the fiche in front of me to get the BMW name for this), the ball joint at the front of the A-arm or the steering head bearing. You may need a second person to look at, or hold their hand near, each of these locations to look for and feel for motion. I suggest you first review the fiche diagrams at Max BMW or Bob's BMW to confirm the joint locations I referenced here. It has been nearly a year since I had my LT stripped down so my memory may not be precise.
Just looked at the fiche and I can see where the rear A-arm ( trailing arm) supports could be one possible cause area of play with the bearings mounted back there. I have not had that area apart yet so it didn't come to mind. One more place for me to check when I get to it. it is very slight for me but it is noticeable when I tap on the front brakes that something is moving that shouldn't be.

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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post #5 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 3:18 pm
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Re: fork play?

I don't require much fork play. I'm always ready to jump on and ride!
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post #6 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 3:49 pm
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Re: fork play?

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I don't require much fork play. I'm always ready to jump on and ride!
Don't quit your day job just yet.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #7 of 9 Old Mar 14th, 2017, 8:28 pm
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Re: fork play?

My 04 LT has had some fork play for the last 150,000 miles. I've never bothered to find out why.
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post #8 of 9 Old Mar 15th, 2017, 9:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: fork play?

what a solution: I lifted the bike, checked the play, had some loose screws, tightened those -> no more play.

haha!
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post #9 of 9 Old Mar 16th, 2017, 9:48 am
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Re: fork play?

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Originally Posted by Radu Georgescu View Post
what a solution: I lifted the bike, checked the play, had some loose screws, tightened those -> no more play.

haha!
Which screws were loose?
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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