Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 63 Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 2:41 pm Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

Has anyone experienced a low speed wobble with the new 05 LT? My dealer tells me it is tires, but they are new. A dealer in Idaho has an 05 LT rider with the same problem and that rider also has new tires. This has been occurring since 6000 miles, now have 13000 miles. No one seems to know what is up, any one else, or any suggestions.
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post #2 of 63 Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 2:58 pm
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My '05 does this if my hands are off the bars when decelerating through 40-45mph. All big, top heavy bikes will do this. The solution is to keep both hands on the bars.
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post #3 of 63 Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 4:17 pm
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Most likely the tires. I have had two tires do that with low miles on them (1000 mi). Once they get a bulge or bubble, even if you can't see it, it will cause the problem. Put it on the center stand and spin the tires and look for a bad spot.
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post #4 of 63 Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 4:47 pm
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How slow is the low-speed wobble. My '05 at about 2-3 mph, especially in a tight turn seems a bit wobbly, but then again, nothing unbearable for such a behemoth!
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post #5 of 63 Old Oct 2nd, 2005, 7:03 pm
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Cool Weebles wobble..

Yeah.. replaced tires, properly balanced, rides better than new!

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post #6 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 1:21 am
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When I replaced the tires (Bstones) I had this bad. I check for a bad spot but the tires were very true. I have about 3000 on them now including a 2200 mile trip I just completed and the woble has diminshed to just noticiable as you let the clutch out and pull away. The original tires (bstones) did not do this. The balance is good as it cruises very smooth at 75 to 95 mph. One thing that I did with this set is to keep the air pressure at 42/48 and there is no scalloping of the front tire where the original had scalloped in 1500 miles with the factory a/p of 36 psi.

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post #7 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 1:30 am
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I have got to agree with the tires being the problem. My '04 did this at 35-45mph on Metz's with 7500 miles on the tires. I replaced the tires when they reached 11,000 because I couldn't stand the feathering anymore. OMG!! The girl felt like she was brand new and I lost the front end wobble at low speeds and not to mention the vibes from the feathering. I now maintain the 42/48 psi and am happy.

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post #8 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 8:35 am
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If it occurs between 30 and 45 mph, it is the tires. Changing the tire pressure will change what speed it will occur at.

Put new tires on, the handle bar wobble is gone, ride the bike for 5000 miles and it will be back. I put new tires on before CCR. 5,000 miles and 10 days later the wobble was back.

My recommendation....be aware of it and live with it. Replacing tires every 5000 miles is expensive.
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post #9 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 5:45 pm
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Have an 05 with the same problem. Dealer has even replaced (temporarily) the fron WHEEL AND TIRE with a brand new one off the floor and it still wobbled. Avoiding the speed of 40-45 is a band aid to a serious problem. I've been told "it's the tire wear" "poor inflation" etc. I am finatical on tire pressure (with an excellent, confirmed accuracy gauge) and still haven't seen more than 8,000 miles on bias tires (VERY conservative riding style). It appears BMW is not willing conisder a design flaw so they will not look for one. Are the 2 related? Is there some sort of harmonic thang? Disappointing but .....willing to accept it. Whey does this happen to some but not all K1200lt's?
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post #10 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 9:36 pm
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What is speed you refer to as low... 1-5 MPH or 20 -30 mph?

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post #11 of 63 Old Oct 3rd, 2005, 10:10 pm
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Low Speed Wobble

Funny how this subject keeps coming up. I had 3500 miles on my 05 LT last year and had the EXACT problem you describe. All sorts of suggestions for a cure, but one that took care of the problem....bought brand new tires (880's) air them up to 42/46 and a VERY good balance job. Not just a run of the mill quicky balance job, but a real good one. 7,000 miles later almost no tire wear on the 880's and better yet, no more wobble. Hands on, hands off, no wobble. Ric
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post #12 of 63 Old Oct 4th, 2005, 1:12 am
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I think it is all of the above. The larger touring bike and the tire and the tire condition. What has not been mentioned is the rain groove pattern. Tires like the Bridgestones with a vertical central groove will wobble less. The Metzeler will not have the vertical groove and wooble more. Downsides to the vertical grove, not alot. However, if it has a lot of vertical grooves, like tires in the 1960s, 1970s, they will be less stable on roads that have rain grooves. Remember how wild it was riding on some of the freeways in the 1970s?
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post #13 of 63 Old Oct 4th, 2005, 1:21 am
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Lightbulb Front end wobble can = rear tyre problem too...

Whilst our water may go down the plug hole the opposite direction downunder, we still experience the same tyre (tire) problems as you guys...

Twice now I have replaced my rear tyre and immediately experienced wobbling at low speed right through to higher speeds... It wasn't the balancing...as I stood next to the guy who did it and it was perfect.. It was the rubber... Changed over the tyre and it was as good at new...

Just wanted to make the point though that whilst the wobble may feel like it is originating from the front (as that's where it shows), it may well be the rear tyre that is suspect...

cheers,

Ian
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post #14 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 2:52 am
 
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whobble at decelleration

My '05 K1200LT has a severe whobble/shimmy when I am decellerating, regardless of the speed, if I remove my hands from the handle bars even for a second. I agree that it is best to keep at least one hand on the handle bars at all times. But for BMW and their mechanics to say that this is the only solution to this problem is skirting the issue, as far as I am concerned. I think this is a problem BMW had best correct.
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post #15 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 6:57 am
 
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Cool Common problem!

Unevenly worn but especially cupped tires exaserbate and initiate the wobble. New tires will seem to eliminate the problem but all bikes are prone to this wobble decelerating around 40-45mph or so if you take your hands off the bars. DON"T TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE BARS!!!! Ron
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post #16 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 1:09 pm
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I brought in my bike in to the dealer for the exact wooble as descibed at 60-70 KPH's (read 45 MPH)

They found a front Metz tire with a bulge in it, changed out on warranty. the wooble is now only at 70 KPH, it is not as pronounced, and sometimes not even there.

I remain confused, I will change the rear tire, the dealer will replace the steering dampner to ensure it is not that..... and go from there..

Don
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post #17 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 1:41 pm
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I have an 05 and I was very surprised when mine wobbled the first time. I had taken my hands off the bars at higher speeds 50-60 mph but never at 40-45 she did the death wobble.
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post #18 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 1:41 pm
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My 05 does wobble at 40 mph when hands off bars...With new or old tires..
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post #19 of 63 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 3:02 pm
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An article to read that adds to the discussion of m/c wobbles.

http://www.mecc.unipd.it/~cos/DINAMO...s/vibmode.html
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post #20 of 63 Old Oct 22nd, 2005, 1:18 am
 
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I have the same problem. Started about 5000miles Mine occurs during decel at around 45-40 mph. The bars shake violently. If I keep a tight grip, I just feel a vibration. The OEM tires have been changed to Metzelers. I have tried pressures 42 front/46 rear down to 36 front/42 rear. I have adjusted the rear shock preload from soft to hard. No improvement. The dealer had the bike for 2 weeks and advised me that there is nothing wrong with the bike, and that it will wobble. I have searched the web and this appears to be a common problem, with no fix. How can this be a safe condition?
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post #21 of 63 Old Oct 22nd, 2005, 11:07 am
 
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low speed wobble

I have 2005 LT with same decelerating wobble, I upped tire inflation to 40 lbs in front and 46 in rear, seems to have cured the problem, I have 4200 miles on the bike.
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post #22 of 63 Old Oct 22nd, 2005, 11:18 am
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May I suggest that it could also be a badly installed trailer arm on the telelever front suspension ?.
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post #23 of 63 Old Oct 28th, 2005, 10:56 am
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Post I agree that it is the tires

My 03 had the same problem at the same time. Three dealers replaced stuff in the front end until one guy started really looking at the tire and wheel. He dual plane balanced the front and I have never had a problem since. In his investigation, he found that all of the tires that he had in stock and on one other new bike, had balance issues.

Good luck and ride safe.
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post #24 of 63 Old Oct 28th, 2005, 11:21 am
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Tire wobble

At 6000 miles my '03 wobbled with hands off the bars. Bob's in Jessup, MD, said the tires were worn. Didn't make sense, especially with only 6000 on the bike, but---replaced the tires with new Metzler 880s and no more wobble. Please draw your own conclusions. The Metzler 880s are good for about 10,000, or so they say.
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post #25 of 63 Old Oct 28th, 2005, 12:48 pm
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Low speed wobble

[QUOTE=bkglp736]I mounted new tires and filled them to 36 psi, within 1500 miles the tires developed scalloping and a low speed wobble. I increased the pressure to 44 psi and the scalloping wore off and the wobble reduced but not eliminated. The original tires did not have a wobble. I can not recall when I actually began feeling the wobble.
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post #26 of 63 Old Oct 28th, 2005, 2:00 pm
 
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Low Speed Wobble

I get the wobble on my 05 LT up to about 40MPH. I also used to get the same thing on my 83 Honda Aspencade. I was told by the service people at BMW, that it had to do with tire pressure. I am not conviced as the tire pressure was at factory specs at the time. I suspect it's just a design problem. Keep your hands on the bars.
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post #27 of 63 Old Jun 26th, 2006, 10:44 am
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Angry 05 Lt woobles at 40-45

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanugo
My '05 does this if my hands are off the bars when decelerating through 40-45mph. All big, top heavy bikes will do this. The solution is to keep both hands on the bars.
If you bought a BMW Z3 car and you let go of the steering wheel and the front end wobble. Would you want to keep it and just don't take your hand off the steering wheel? I have a 05 LT and it wobbles between 40-45 MPH.
Bloodworth dealer in Nashville Tn. has done everything they can to fix the problem, but it still wobbles. Me and my wife love the LT, but should I have to live with the wobble? Would you if it were a Z3 car? I can return the bike to the dealer and just ride my new K1200GT 06 model. Help me decide, should I do that? Does BMW have a problem? Does it make LT bike value go down? I have read a lot of talk about the wobble on LTs. I know keep both hand on the bars. All of the wobble problems can't be tires.
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post #28 of 63 Old Jun 26th, 2006, 11:22 am
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Tires, Tires, Tires! Did I mention tires? It very well could be a REAR tire. Most people think a front wobble must be a front tire. NOT TRUE! If there is a imperfection in the rear, it will transfer right to the front as a wobble. Just cuz the tire is new, means nothing. Did I mention tires?

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post #29 of 63 Old Jun 26th, 2006, 11:45 pm
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I've experienced the same front end snake and shake when holding really light pressure on the bars. Checked the archives and there is a long thread there. In my first childhood (now well into my second), my first bike, a 1954 Triumph Thunderbird had a knob to adjust the load on the roller bearings in the stearing head to stop the shake. My second bike, a 59 T120 Bonny, had the same pre load available through a wrench. Since that cannot be performed on the LT, it looks like you just live with it and don't ride with a limp wrist on the bars. IMHO, it is a combination of tires, wheels, and stearing geometry. The slightest bit of damping from the hands and the problem stops or never starts.

Chuck
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post #30 of 63 Old Jun 27th, 2006, 1:37 am
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Front end shake

I have just come back from the BMW rally in Oregon and while I was there riding the back roads I noticed for the first time a front end wobble at approx. 50 kph (30mph) when I removed my hands from the bars. I also keep my air at the proper pressure. With all the bikes I've had, both a Yamaha and now the BMW wobble. I thought the steering dampener would take care of the wobble?

Cheers, Bill

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post #31 of 63 Old Jun 28th, 2006, 10:46 am
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Sure glad mine is an 03 rather than the 05! Mine is smooth period. I use the stock Metzeler tires with pressure at 40 front 44 rear. Factory air specs allow cupping of front tire.

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post #32 of 63 Old Jun 28th, 2006, 9:29 pm
 
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Most of the time the problem will come down to a tire issue, however on my 05, at around 50k, I had a wore out front end part and the large bearing in the rear at the same time which really added to the problem, you should have your dealer check this out. I believe some front end shake is normal once tires start to wear unevenly and cup. If it starts to get too bad I just replace the front tire no matter what it looks like, because it make me happy. This is one of the least expensive sports a person can enjoy so I believe you need to do whatever it takes to make you smile when you ride. RIDE SAFE
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post #33 of 63 Old Jun 29th, 2006, 3:40 am
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My '02 never had this problem until I recently noticed a slight vibration (wobbling) at the handlebars. Turned out my front tire was toasted, about down to the cords. A new tire solved it.

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post #34 of 63 Old Jul 7th, 2006, 1:15 am
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I don't think it's the tires ....... I've had the problem since new...and just a few weeks back changed out the B-020's for a set of 880's. The problem persists.

The GM at my dealer thinks that it is related to the lower fork brace....most of the 05's got the new brace....and others (like mine) didn't. So, they ordered the parts, and will be changing mine out when the rest of the stuff comes in.

He did tell me that the folks back in the "Fatherland" would not believe that there was a front end wobble, until someone sent them a video of it happening....... So...to me it sounds like "something" is being done..... but I won't know until they do the necessary changes. They've only had 2 customers (of which I am one of...) with the problem.

If and when they do the work on mine...I'll let the rest of you know what happens. So....say a few prayers for me...knock on some wood......salt over the shoulder...you know!!

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post #35 of 63 Old Jan 9th, 2007, 6:13 pm
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Wobble Fixed!

I finally got the wobble pretty much fixed on my 05K1200LT! The guys down at Sierra BMW figured it out. Scott in service was quite helpfull, I printed out all the emails in this forum for almost a year, he reviewed them and sought advice from BMW service reps and they installed a new "head unit" in my front forks.

It changes the rake angle by a couple degrees and my problem which was Really bad is 98% solved. I can make it wobble if I really try by hitting the handlebars while having my hands off at just the right speed but under all normal conditions it is fixed.

Thanks Scott for your persistance in solving this, what I consider to be a, major flaw!

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post #36 of 63 Old Jan 9th, 2007, 6:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BushWacker
I finally got the wobble pretty much fixed on my 05K1200LT! The guys down at Sierra BMW figured it out. Scott in service was quite helpfull, I printed out all the emails in this forum for almost a year, he reviewed them and sought advice from BMW service reps and they installed a new "head unit" in my front forks.

It changes the rake angle by a couple degrees and my problem which was Really bad is 98% solved. I can make it wobble if I really try by hitting the handlebars while having my hands off at just the right speed but under all normal conditions it is fixed.

Thanks Scott for your persistance in solving this, what I consider to be a, major flaw!
This is interesting because the rake angle on 05LTs has supposedly changed anyway compared to previous model years in an effort to help low speed manuvering. So it would be interesting to know, if they adjusted yours more than what was normal for 05 models in general, or adjusted it 'back' to match prior model years.

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post #37 of 63 Old Mar 13th, 2007, 7:39 pm
 
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Exclamation LT's wobble & hopefully they don't fall down

I don't know if anyone has any contacts within BMW, but I would really like to see a recall and fix regarding this "wobble". In most cases is doesn't show up until after 3K miles and I realize while there can be a lot of variables, (balancing, tire pressure, condition of road/tires, etc), this really is a SAFETY issue. I bought a 2006 LT for 2 up riding and nothing scares me more than the thought of someone else getting hurt on my bike while I'm driving. I was hit 3 years ago when a driver of an SUV ran a red light and hit me 50mph head on so I guess I am very sensitive to safety issues. I've been riding since I was 8 and have always been passionate about riding and let me say there are enough safety issues out there we riders need to be watching out for and nobody needs the faulty engineering of a front end to add to list.

I spoke with the service department at one of the BMW dealerships and they were very helpful although they said not all of the dealerships were on the same page because the tech info on this subject has not been filtered and passed through all the official BMW channels. From what I'm told there is a "fix" that reduces 95% of the "wobble" and has so far been covered under warranty. The part is a "fork bridge", part# 31422333365, and it's said to change the rake, maybe increasing it, although he wasn't sure by how much and how close it was to pre 05' LT's. It's easily changed out in a couple hours.

As I previously mentioned, if anyone has any contacts within the organization please reach out and get back with anything you find out. I have had several BMW cars in my time and am new to the bike side of their program, that said it blows me away that there are so many complaints regarding this issue and no official response from BMW on it. Maybe we the riders simply need to bring it to their attention? It's just not the BMW that I'm familiar with. Looking forward to a response. If I don't hear anything I'll address this issue further myself and let ya'll know what I hear. cheers ~darren

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post #38 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 1:26 am
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The slightly modified rake on the '05 and later models helped low speed manuverability that was a constant issue with the earlier bikes. As far as I can tell from personal experience and reading all the associated post, keeping at least one hand on a grip will cure the wobble issue. I learned the hard way when I removed both hands once. I won't do that again...and in reality, I won't ever need to.

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post #39 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 3:37 am
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poll time?

Haven't ever created a poll, perhaps someone could assist.
I'd like to know how many owners 05 or later feel/know/think they have the wobble problem. (yes/no/dont know-never experienced it)
I fear that when I go to the dealer here, there'll be no real response, just like the first time I queried a "vibration" from the front end, which I could only describe as feeling like there was a problem with the dampner (dampener? damper - no, that Aussie bread...?) Would love to have some real world stats to throw at them.
Thoughts?

Chris
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post #40 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 11:58 am
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For what it's worth my 05 did not have a wobble until 4K into the front tire. I replaced the front at 11K and the wobble was still there- noticed the front tire was a bit out of round. Decided to live with it as I don't make it a habit to let go of the bars while moving. Fast forward - replaced that front tire at 23K and this new tire is NOT out of round at all and the wobble is gone.

No other changes were made to the bike so I can honestly say it was totally tire related. I do all my own maintenance including tire changes. I check it every 1k to see if the wobble has returned due to tire wear and so far @ 27K (4K into this tire) no wobble. Also these were all Metzler ME 880s.

John
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #41 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 1:47 pm
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Old fork bridge is the fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle
From what I'm told there is a "fix" that reduces 95% of the "wobble" and has so far been covered under warranty. The part is a "fork bridge", part# 31422333365, and it's said to change the rake, maybe increasing it, although he wasn't sure by how much and how close it was to pre 05' LT's. It's easily changed out in a couple hours ..... ~darren

According to the online parts fiche @ MAX BMW, part# 31422333365 is the fork bridge for pre-05 LTs (pre-04 in EU). So it's likely just a retro-fit to the earlier model geometry specs.

I'm willing to bet that BMW doesn't want to issue a bulletin for fear that there isn't enough new old stock to cover the number of units "needing" replacement. It is also an admission that the engineers screwed up by jacking around with something that didn't necessarily need jacking with.

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2005 K1200LT "Rolf"
2007 Moto Guzzi Norge
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post #42 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 2:08 pm
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Sloppy tires and/or sloppy mounting

My 05 LT's wobble also comes and goes as tires are replaced. It once appeared after a period of wear (original delivered new) and twice never showed up even through a couple fronts and one rear BT020s got worn to the indicator bars. Ever since, it's there or not there from the get-go and persists or stays away until maybe the next tire(s) are installed.

Someone else here has surmised that the geometry and dynamics of the LT are just designed "on the edge" or supercritical and the slightest outlying variables will push it past ideal stability.

I think most shops just assume that the valve stem is the heaviest part of all wheels and mount the tire with the heavy side opposite. This isn't always the case. I've had to rebalance my rear wheel by as much as 5 oz. (weights by the stem). And in such a case, I had a wobbly front.

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The word motorcycle is a verb.

2005 K1200LT "Rolf"
2007 Moto Guzzi Norge
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post #43 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 7:22 pm
 
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+1 Wobble

06' LT w/ wobble after 3K miles

I may try this "fix" but would really like to know if it is in fact a fix or a bandaid.. Throwing on another set of tires is an option, but who wants to keep throwing out tires prematurely if I don't have to. For me I guess it's better than riding with the fear that I may be running tires that feel like they could desintegrate on me with my S.O. onboard. I just read about a couple who lost their lives as a tire blew out while on the interstate. For this much money, these bikes should possess a lasting secure stability, not one that's here today, gone tomorrow, and back again next month.

Last edited by Seattle; Mar 14th, 2007 at 7:49 pm.
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post #44 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 7:36 pm
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So far, low mileage on the LT (only 1,500 miles in the last few weeks). However, my Fatboy did develop a wobble and it went away with the installation of new tires. This problem is not limited to LT's. It is frequently seen in the FL family of HD's. The larger front tire seems to add to the problem.
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post #45 of 63 Old Mar 14th, 2007, 7:42 pm
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Garage
New tyres at 20,000km didn't fix mine. I've tried the "rotation test" (bike on centrestand, spin front wheel looking for out of round) but couldn't see any problems. Pencil next to wheel rim left an even mark around the wheel.
I'm throwing the problem back to dealer, with the slipping clutch, to look at, hopefully next week.

Chris
Sydney, NSW
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
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post #46 of 63 Old Mar 5th, 2008, 9:11 pm
 
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Re: Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

I bought a used 2005 LT and it has original tires and 8.5k miles. I do not think I have a wobble. Can someone tell me what it feels like without taking my hands off the grips. I do not feel any wobble with one hand off and have no reason to take both hands off and cant see why I would ever take both hands off while rolling. Thanks
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post #47 of 63 Old Mar 5th, 2008, 10:00 pm
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Re: Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiman
I bought a used 2005 LT and it has original tires and 8.5k miles. I do not think I have a wobble. Can someone tell me what it feels like without taking my hands off the grips. I do not feel any wobble with one hand off and have no reason to take both hands off and cant see why I would ever take both hands off while rolling. Thanks
You won't experience it with hands on the bars. Even just a couple fingers on one side will keep it from happening. If you want to see what it is like, take your hands off as you decelerate from about 45 MPH. Keep your hands close though, it is an impressive wobble, and you won't want it to get too severe. Changing tires does seem to fix it for some folks, for a while... I think all the 05+ models will do this under the right conditions. When I replaced my tires, it went away for a while, but was easy to induce at about 45 with my hands off and a quick rap on the bars. There is a video available here:
http://s128.photobucket.com/albums/p...ing_wobble.flv

-Scurrie

2005 LT
ARS NS7C
BMWMOA #113753
All Roads Lead To Roads...
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post #48 of 63 Old Mar 5th, 2008, 10:36 pm
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Re: Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

The way I solved my wobble was to shift my weight back in the seat slightly or lean back a little. I'm not saying this is the answer to everones wobble but it controlled mine. I just don't let go of the bars anymore. I also had a Yamaha Venture Royale the did the same thing.

Cheers, Bill
05 K1200 LT
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post #49 of 63 Old Mar 6th, 2008, 9:28 am
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Smile Re: Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

Its the front tire. Sometimes even a new one will do it. Geometry of the bike is sensitive to flaws with the front tire. A perfectly good tire may eventually lend itself to headshake once it cups a little or wears. My harley even does it when its time to replace the tires. Hang on to the bars.
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post #50 of 63 Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:50 am
 
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Re: Low speed wobble on 05 K1200LT

IMHO tire pressure is the key 40lbs frt. Has anyone tried "tire beads" for balancing? They change the balance as the tire wears unlike weights that remain constant and add to the problem as the tire wears. Just my 2 cents.
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