Slow speed shimmy/wobble - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 11 Old Mar 5th, 2018, 2:54 pm Thread Starter
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Slow speed shimmy/wobble

New tires & front brake pads - (ME880/BT020). Now I've got a slight front wheel shimmy, noticeable when I first start moving. Didn't feel it before the new tires. I've checked the wheel & the brakes, both appear OK. However, the steering damper doesn't have any resistance when I turn the wheel. Is this the likely culprit? I assume I should feel at least a little friction. Is this unit rebuild-able?
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post #2 of 11 Old Mar 5th, 2018, 3:13 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

The damper would not come into play for slow speed stuff. Easy way to test. On the center stand (some one hold the top case down so the front wheel is off the ground) move the bars slowly from side to side. You should feel nothing. Now move them as fast as you from side to side - you should feel resistance to the rapid movement. If you feel none it has leaked out its oil.

With two new tires she should be smooth as glass.

John
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post #3 of 11 Old Mar 5th, 2018, 5:07 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

While you have the front tire off the ground checking the damper, spin the front wheel and make sure it looks true ( both tire and wheel) as it spins. As John said, new tires should be smooth as glass unless something was bent during changing or you have a bad tire. Also, make sure the front wheel is properly mounted and not lose in any way.

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post #4 of 11 Old Mar 5th, 2018, 9:11 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

Is it possible that the front tire bead is not set properly? The combination of tires you have here are the same as I have used for several years with no issues.

Scott and Theresa
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post #5 of 11 Old Mar 5th, 2018, 9:29 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

I have the same issue. I thought it's just me but I feel it when I pull off with the front wheel turned. I feel it worse when I make a u-turn when parking and I have to go very slow. At speed if I take one hand off the handlebars it wobbles slightly. God forbid I loosen up the other hand it wobbles very bad then.
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post #6 of 11 Old Mar 6th, 2018, 1:26 am
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

Every bike is a little different and may react to tire conditions differently. Of course it is the tires or installation, as that is what you just changed. And I have nothing good to say about mixing brands and types. But to lighten things up, here is a tank slapper you don't want to match:
https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/lif...k-crash-video/

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post #7 of 11 Old Mar 6th, 2018, 6:30 am
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

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Originally Posted by eelmgren View Post
New tires & front brake pads - (ME880/BT020). Now I've got a slight front wheel shimmy, noticeable when I first start moving. Didn't feel it before the new tires...
My first bet is wheel balance. I'd remove the front wheel and recheck balance.

This is assuming that the tire is not defective and is properly seated on the rim. Inspection of the tire/wheel assembly while rotating should reveal any problem here.

HTH
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post #8 of 11 Old Mar 6th, 2018, 9:55 am Thread Starter
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

Tire selection/mix - This appears to be the most common choice among those on the forum here. I've used them before with no problems. I also don't feel any wobble at higher speeds. Once I felt a slight wobble with the old worn tires, but this was with both hand off the bars at @40mph.

With the brake calipers removed the wheel rotates freely and looks true. I checked it on the top & sides (as best I could) with a caliper and it doesn't appear to be out of round. I considered balance, but wouldn't think that would be a factor at 5-10mph.
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post #9 of 11 Old Mar 6th, 2018, 7:48 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

I had a brand new tire that was slightly out of round (I could see it) but it never really bothered me at all.

John
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post #10 of 11 Old Mar 6th, 2018, 9:07 pm
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

Some times a tire will hang up on the bead of the rim flange a tiny bit. this makes a dip in the tire. Hard to see and hard to fix, re mounting with some good tire lube is the trick. I have seen it twice and it is a pain. Clean the rim bead carefully. Older bikes like the LT's have corrosion and junk build up and if your tire man is in a hurry minimal cleaning is on the table. Ocassionally I have to spend twenty minutes with scotchguard abrasive cloth and some solvents of various seriousness to successfully clean the inner rim area. Not saying your tire was not faulty, keep in mind that the quality of motorcycle tires shows in their price. Every effort is used to make good tires by the manufactures.
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post #11 of 11 Old Mar 7th, 2018, 7:33 am
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Re: Slow speed shimmy/wobble

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
Some times a tire will hang up on the bead of the rim flange a tiny bit. this makes a dip in the tire. Hard to see and hard to fix, re mounting with some good tire lube is the trick. I have seen it twice and it is a pain. Clean the rim bead carefully. Older bikes like the LT's have corrosion and junk build up and if your tire man is in a hurry minimal cleaning is on the table. Ocassionally I have to spend twenty minutes with scotchguard abrasive cloth and some solvents of various seriousness to successfully clean the inner rim area. Not saying your tire was not faulty, keep in mind that the quality of motorcycle tires shows in their price. Every effort is used to make good tires by the manufactures.
I'm with JZ and Beech. I would check for improperly seated bead first and then remove tire to check balance. If no issues here, then I would suspect slight tire imperfection.

Most tires have a ridge/ring of rubber just away from the bead to help visually confirm unifirm seating. Spin the tire slowly and check that this ring has uniform distance from the rim all the way around. Maybe make a video and post to youtube where John "Eagle Eyes" Zeiler can take a look.

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Last edited by Voyager; Mar 7th, 2018 at 7:39 am.
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