Front and shake/ shimmy front, ... revisited - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 1:55 pm Thread Starter
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Front and shake/ shimmy front, ... revisited

First off: The following is MY opinion only and has nothing to do with the official opinion of ANYONE other than me.

My 06 LT had a front end problem pretty much from the day it eas delivered, or maybe starting around 3k miles, I can say exactly because the first 3k it only ran straight roads from CA to TX.I pretty much started complaining to BMW of North Houston almost the day I arrived in TX with the bike that the front end 'feels loose' and is shimmy and develops the dreaded front end shake at or around 40mph if I did not hold on to the handle bars very sternly. And the last problem was that if I had to apply front brakes hard (read ABS kicked in) the whole handlebars started shaking violently almost like a beginning of a tank slapper.

I believe it should be clear that in a situation where you have to apply emergency brake power you want to deal with the situation and not with the bike staying upright. Well, in Houston traffic I had to do that TWICE. Fighting the bike to stay upright while dealing with some idiot pulling out in front of me.

Anyhow, long story short, since the bike is not even 11 months old yet, and spent a considerable amount of days in the shop since delivery(for other problems, unrelated to the front end), and in my feeling the front end made this bike an accident waiting to happen, I tried one more thing before I was declaring it a lemon. So, even though the front tire still had life left after 13k miles I decided to change it anyways, and then our esteemed Randy told me to check the steering dampener after I bitched to him again on the phone (THANKS for being patient with me Randy!!) Basically checking the steering dampener is very easy. Put the bike on the center stand. Have someone sit on the back seat, so that the front wheel comes off the ground, and then try to move the handle bars QUICKLY left and right. You should feel the steering dampener very distinctly !! Well, I did feel my steeing dampener, but only after the outside of the handlebars traveled about 10 inches give or take. Basically the small movements of the handlebars were completely undampened.

Taking this into consideration it makes perfect sense that the bike had the shake at 40mph, that it almost developed a tank slapper when the ABS kicked in. Now that I have the new steering dampener in (wilbur) the bike is transformend into a new bike. No more shake at 40. No more shake when going into a spirited curve, no more shake with ABS (Yes I tried).

Bottom line: If you bike has a front end that shakes at 40 or any other speed, check two things:

a) Your steering dampener
b) Change your front tire

The only bad taste in my mouth was left by the quality of the techs that were bitched to MULTIPLE times and that supposedly rode the bike and did not feel anything wrong with it. And lastly with the technical understanding of the BMW area rep who also found nothing wrong with how the bike behaves. "Keep your hands on the handlebars" If you are hearing about an area rep called Richard, responsible for the souther region, you know already what to think about his technical expertise. I believe his middle name is "I" for incompetent.
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post #2 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 2:04 pm
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Man, I'm glad you got that fixed!

When Randy and Michelle open their dealership in Muleshoe, TX, I'm going to be first in line.



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post #3 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 2:19 pm
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For a cat herder, I would think you were mad.

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bmwlt.com lately????



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post #4 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 2:30 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
For a cat herder, I would think you were mad.
Oh, I WAS, trust me on that. BMW almost bought the bike back due to the inability of their area rep to diagnose shot steering dampener. But now at the end of the day it would be more hassle than it's worth. And to be completely honest, BMW did make good on the days(72) the bike spent in the shop.
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post #5 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 3:11 pm
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Good sharing for a cat herding man

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
Oh, I WAS, trust me on that. BMW almost bought the bike back due to the inability of their area rep to diagnose shot steering dampener. But now at the end of the day it would be more hassle than it's worth. And to be completely honest, BMW did make good on the days(72) the bike spent in the shop.
Andy,

Your sharing should help lots of riders. Well done. I was talking with some of the Cleveland cops who ride and they are all fussing about the wobble on the department HOGS. They believe one of their buds was seriously hurt when the wobble became a tank slapper.

My GT is smooth as silk. I was going to suggest you get a GT to fix your shaking, but sounds like you got it done.

Can't believe Joe didn't beat me to the punch on this GT fix for your problem.:

Rob Nelson

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post #6 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 4:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas
Andy,

My GT is smooth as silk. I was going to suggest you get a GT to fix your shaking, but sounds like you got it done.
Not to worry, we plodded down that trail.



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post #7 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 6:10 pm
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Andy, did you put in in a Wilbur's brand damper?

I would LOVE to cure this problem on mine... thanks!


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post #8 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 6:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Andy, did you put in in a Wilbur's brand damper?

I would LOVE to cure this problem on mine... thanks!
Yes, he bought a Wilbers damper.

Randy Prade
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Last edited by randy; Jan 12th, 2007 at 1:27 pm.
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post #9 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 6:20 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Man, I'm glad you got that fixed!

When Randy and Michelle open their dealership in Muleshoe, TX, I'm going to be first in line.
So, are you trying to get behind me and push me down the road to financial failure?

Randy Prade
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post #10 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 6:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy
THANKS for being patient with me Randy!!
You're welcome. Patience isn't a problem for me - but you and Eljeffe know that

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post #11 of 13 Old Jan 11th, 2007, 8:06 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Andy, did you put in in a Wilbur's brand damper?

I would LOVE to cure this problem on mine... thanks!
Ron,

Yes I put in a brand new Wilbers steering dampener. If you want to get rid of the problem on your bike, do yourself a favor: New front tire and a new steering dampener *IF* yours is shot. Testing is easy, see my initial post.
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post #12 of 13 Old Jan 12th, 2007, 6:25 pm
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Hi Guys,
I put on a new set of tyres on my 05 LT last October and on the journey home (75 miles)I had my first taste of steering wobble as we call it in the UK.I havent had it seen to yet as I was in a car crash 2 days later and have been unable to get it back to the dealer.I will asap,after reading this post.I asummed it was an unbalenced wheel.Thanks for the post.

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post #13 of 13 Old Jan 12th, 2007, 7:16 pm
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Thanks Randy and Andy - I'll give it a shot since I've been whining about this for (ulp) 6 years now...


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