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post #1 of 39 Old May 11th, 2009, 10:46 pm Thread Starter
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front wheel shimmy

I have a front wheel shimmy. I changed tires. It is still there.
I took the damper off and replaced it. Noticed resistance in one direction and not the other. I found that the anchor nut that holds the lollypop end of the damper had failed.
Does anyone have a repair for the broken anchor nut??????
I suspect this is a problem that many riders have, as I see it as a POOR design. The anchor nut is a weak rivetnut , and the bolt is too long for the application.
I would appreciate any help.
Don
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post #2 of 39 Old May 13th, 2009, 10:22 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Can't help you on the dampener, but I can on the wheel shimmy. My experience on the shimmy, headshake is that it occurs mainly on deceleration 50-40 mph range and is somewhat noticeable at 5 mph. For me, it has always been a problem with the front tire. I have had it on old tires as well as brand new ones improperly forcibly mounted, stretching the bead, belts etc., bad tire from the factory, or a cupped front tire, (wear dure to braking and under inflation.) I have tried to eliminate it including replacing the rear tire, and various other techniques. The only fix is a good new front tire, properly installed and balanced. Learn to do it yourself. Since I have been installing and balancing my own, knock wood, I have not had a new tire w/ headshake. After heavy braking, over a period of 4-5k miles, it does come back due to cupping. Hope this helps. Keep the tires inflated to max pressure and mount and balance properly w/o overstretching the bead. Hands on bars during deceleration.
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post #3 of 39 Old May 19th, 2009, 12:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I machined a part to fix the damper mount. I took the bike out for a test ride, No shimmy on asphalt or non grooved concrete. The shimmy is there at all speeds on grooved concrete (it is so bad it makes me want to up chuck).
My fix for the damper worked great , the bike is more stable. I can live with the shimmy on the rain grooves, nearest rain grooves are 30 miles away and I can just take a different road.
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post #4 of 39 Old May 19th, 2009, 1:00 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

A fix for that would probably be Radial Tires. They used to come on the LT, but Bridgestone stopped manufacturing them. I have always run these until I couldn't get them this time. I went w/ bias plied and do not like them. The only manufacturer that make the radial rated for the LT is Avon. Next set for me will be Avon radials, but I have a new set of bias plys to wear out first.

Avon Fitments For BMW
K 1200 LT (K2LT) (1999 - 2003)
Front Tyres
» Storm-ST
Size 120/70ZR17 (58W)
2.5 bar (36psi)

Rear tyres
» Storm-ST
Size 160/70R17 79V
2.9 bar (42psi)
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post #5 of 39 Old May 19th, 2009, 2:18 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dminor
I machined a part to fix the damper mount. I took the bike out for a test ride, No shimmy on asphalt or non grooved concrete. The shimmy is there at all speeds on grooved concrete (it is so bad it makes me want to up chuck).
My fix for the damper worked great , the bike is more stable. I can live with the shimmy on the rain grooves, nearest rain grooves are 30 miles away and I can just take a different road.

do tell (or start another thread)

'00 K1200 LTC
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post #6 of 39 Old May 19th, 2009, 7:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Thanks HOGNOT,
I did not notice that the BT 020's were bias. That is why I changed the tires. The old radial BT 020's would only last about 3400 miles, I'll try the Avon's next.


Don
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post #7 of 39 Old Mar 19th, 2010, 10:52 pm
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Unhappy Re: front wheel shimmy

[QUOTE=dminor] I machined a part to fix the damper mount. I took the bike out for a test ride, No shimmy on asphalt or non grooved concrete. The shimmy is there at all speeds on grooved concrete (it is so bad it makes me want to up chuck).
My fix for the damper worked great , the bike is more stable. I can live with the shimmy on the rain grooves, nearest rain grooves are 30 miles away and I can just take a different road.[/QUO



Hello all,
I also am having allot of trouble with the shimmy thing. Scary!!!
I grew up on Suzuki's, had a Harley (just one), Honda 750 Custom, GS 1000 L Suzuki (FAST), and a Gold Wing. I've ridden bikes my whole life but have never been on a bike that does this.
BMW... I expected better!!!
I thought the engineering was supposed to be the best?
So now what??? Is it safe?
I would hate to let my brother's ride it when it starts doing the shimmy thing, let alone the embarrassment of a BMW having this problem.
I remember my dad's OLD 1981 Gold Wing having the problem, He was really mad at Honda, but Honda fixed it shortly after by changing the angle/canter?? of the front forks, at least that’s what they told my dad. It worked whatever they did.
My Brother owns a machine shop, so if there’s a fix, I can do it. Can anyone help me?
Sorry to come down so hard on BMW and all that are so proud of it, but I'm not very happy with BMW right at the moment.
I want to make a long ride from my place in Virginia to Minnesota, but don't know if I can trust it.
Thanks for any help you are willing to give,
Rvs

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Randy S.

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post #8 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 7:38 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I've been wondering what this "shimmy" talk was all about. I had never felt it with my '03 LT. But the other day I was thinking about it and took my hands off the handlebars while decelerating and there it was!! It stopped as soon as I put my hands back on - thank goodness, but it was pretty scary for a couple of seconds. I've never felt it a bit since then - but I don't take my hands off both grips at the same time either. Does BMW have anything to say about it? Or is it one of those "We neither confirm or deny" things?

Jim

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post #9 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 8:31 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

This has been a great debate since I have been on the forum and long before.

Some swear a tire properly mounted and balanced will solve the issue.

Others say it is the rake change they made to make low speed handling better.

Others say tire type and composition.

My stock Metzlers did it, My Avon's did, my front Azziro a left over older Avon did it, and now my Avon 2 does it.

The wisdom is keep both hands on the bars. I rode no hands about 2 miles yesterday at 50 miles an hour and no issues strait and true.

I have a hyper pro stabilizer on with both of their shocks so not that.

I will on next tire change have my rims checked for true and then I am done worrying about it. I don't ride no hands that much and since it is a deceleration issue I never am no hands when I doing that, usually covering clutch and brakes.

Just one more thing to love/hate about the machine.

As far a BMW addressing it, there is this guy I know who has the slightly used bridge for sale....................

Lee
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post #10 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 10:37 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

How do the others change the rake?


Others say it is the rake change they made to make low speed handling better.

.DON
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post #11 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 6:16 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
How do the others change the rake?


Others say it is the rake change they made to make low speed handling better.

.DON
The 05+ had a change in steering geometry. You can retro fit the parts but my vote is always tire causing this either out of round or out of balance. But then I have only been through 8 sets of rears and four sets of fronts. It has come and gone many times and left after a re-balance half way through the tire life.

John
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2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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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 #12 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 7:55 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Don: I also had a shimmy on my tire as well. To begin with, I just purchased a 2005 LT w/ 8500 miles two weeks ago. To my surprise, I was shocked when the bike began to shimmy around 45 after briefly taking my hands off the handlebars to see how the bike would track as compared to my Roadstar. whew....scary to say the least.

I knew I needed front and back tires so I purchased a set of 880 Metzlers (sp). After taking off the tires, I was shocked how badly cupped the front tires where after a more up close and personal inspection. Nonetheless, I had a local MC shop mount the tires for me and they also recommended that I add Dyanbeads (2ozs) to the tires. After mounting the tires I took the LT for a quick spin....wow, huge huge difference. Not only where the tires quieter and better handling than the old OEM tires, the shimmy was gone.

Hope this helps but all I can say is that after 140 miles today, the bike out handled my buddies Yamaha Roadstar and HD Deluxe. They both had a tough time on the twistees.

Wow...what a feeling today.

Glenn
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post #13 of 39 Old Mar 20th, 2010, 10:25 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Great Glen, now make sure you use 42 front and 48 rear or you will see that cupping again real soon. Nobody here uses the Factory specs for tire pressure.

John
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post #14 of 39 Old Mar 21st, 2010, 8:27 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

It still seems that OTHERS and the factor have not solved the shimmy problem with rake adjustments, but once they do pushing a shopping cart around the store will be a pleasure.

DON
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post #15 of 39 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 8:15 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

NEW in tyre section so my quick question is simple

Can i have W rated tyre from 120/70/B17 Metzeler ME880marathon on front?
in the rear i can find normal and recomeneded V rated but front no,,
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post #16 of 39 Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 9:22 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I was down at the Victory dealership Saturday and ask him if his bikes had the shimmy problem and he acted shocked any bikes still had the problem. He did suggest the Dynabeads might fix the issue.
Another thing he suggested was to fill a new set of tires with Nitrogen. Said the tire pressure won't change with different temperatures. What do you all know about it?
By the way....He wouldn't let me take a bike out for a test ride.
Rvs

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Last edited by Beemor2; Mar 22nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm.
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post #17 of 39 Old Mar 23rd, 2010, 2:19 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

HTML Code:
Sorry to come down so hard on BMW and all that are so proud of it, but I'm not very happy with BMW right at the moment.
I want to make a long ride from my place in Virginia to Minnesota, but don't know if I can trust it.
Thanks for any help you are willing to give,
Guess what, My 2002 goldwing would scare the hell out of you with the shimmy, and it was generally a problem with them also.

RICH CANNON
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2002 GL1800 powerful, but boring..(gone)
1979 XS1100 (gone)
1986 VT500 Ascot (gone)
1972 Honda 500-4 (gone)
1961 Lambretta (way gone)
1962 Allstate Compact (gone but not forgotten)
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post #18 of 39 Old Mar 24th, 2010, 11:40 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Off the showroom floor, my 09 LT shimmies like a hooked tuna from 36mph to 52mph no matter if accecellerating, decellerating or cruising. I'm VERY disappointed in this- probably because I've spent many comfortable hands-off milies on my 07 GS ADV and have gotten spoiled. Anyway, I expected BMW to have eliminated such a common problem by the time they built the 09. I'll try every suggested fix previously posted in order to eliminate it. Thanks to all who have contributed.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
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09 LT

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post #19 of 39 Old Mar 24th, 2010, 11:59 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Everyone can beat this to death but it is always caused by: Tires, Tires, Tires. I have had it come and had it go and the ONLY thing that has ever been changed is the tires in the last 53K miles. Out of balance, out of round (you would be surprized) and feathered.

I'm done (on this thread).

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #20 of 39 Old Mar 24th, 2010, 1:43 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dminor
I machined a part to fix the damper mount. I took the bike out for a test ride, No shimmy on asphalt or non grooved concrete. The shimmy is there at all speeds on grooved concrete (it is so bad it makes me want to up chuck).
My fix for the damper worked great , the bike is more stable. I can live with the shimmy on the rain grooves, nearest rain grooves are 30 miles away and I can just take a different road.
Hey Don;

Don't make that kind of a statement about a machine fix and not show the final product... I personally think the whole damper issue is weak on this large of a cruiser... You just have to share please...

Uncle Mark

BMW '06' 1200LT "Wild Blue"
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post #21 of 39 Old Mar 24th, 2010, 2:17 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Well, whether you want to blame the shimmy on the rake geometry, the tire cupping, tire pressure, tire age, tire blance- whatever, I still feel BMW shoulda fixed the problem awhile back. As I think bout it; it's just that I've never had a bike- since I was 10 yrs old, now 50- that was SO sensitive to the way the tire performed.
I'll try everything you've suggested, Thanks again all.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #22 of 39 Old Mar 25th, 2010, 5:47 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Does anyone have a contact with the engineers at BMW?
Why don’t they ever get on here and help out? I’m sure they have a fix for this problem, they are very smart people!
If you’re on here watching what we are talking about (smart) like my company reads what people are saying on the message boards, please give us a solution or answers.
Many thanks,
Rvs

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post #23 of 39 Old Mar 25th, 2010, 6:24 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Hey Guys
I too had a shimmy when I used light or hands off on the handle bar this was a couple of years ago I found the pivot bearing in the BACK swing arm had some play in it I tightened the bolt and lock nut and no longer have any sway or shimmy in the front end, It took me 2 years to track it down as I was focused on the front end Then the slave cylinder went bad on the clutch and it was during dis assembly that I found the swing arm bearing was loose you could feel the play side to side with the bike on the center stand. It has been tight and shimmy free for 20,000 miles I now have 61,000 miles on it. Hope this helps. Kevin
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post #24 of 39 Old Mar 26th, 2010, 5:48 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Thanks Kevin, I'll get right on it. That rear swing arm bearing is probably the culprit.

So far, I've tried;
1. PRESSURIZING the Metzler tires to 46 & 48psi, then testing,
2. RE-BALANCING (with factory pressures), testing. (Tech. would not send the bike out the door with over-pressurized tires).
Although there was improvement with the shimmy when using over-pressurized Metzlers at highway speeds, the bike still shimmied violently- now at lower speeds (25mph to 44mph). No shimmy above 44.
After the balancing and with pressures at 40 and 44, the bike shimmies from 25mph to 59mph. It shimmies so much now that it'll throw you off if you decide to ride it out without holding on.

Kevin, I sure hope you're diagnosis is right. I really hate to think the BMW design engineers meant for this shimmy to be there.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #25 of 39 Old Mar 26th, 2010, 9:05 pm
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Exclamation Re: front wheel shimmy

Check your rims with a dial indicator. Both front and rear rims had bad run out. Front had two bad lumps of .045" and the rear had lateral runout of . 040" . I can see out of the mirrors now. Person who staightend the wheels said that BMW rims were on the soft side. They are a blessing and a curse (easy to bend easy to repair) I chased the problem for a year. Learned to change the tires and balance them myself. Removed driveline to check for bad u-joint. Never suspected bent wheels. Cost ( 2 front tires, one rear tire, down time for drivline check. THE WHEELS ARE SOFT !

50kmi of normal riding other that pot holes, rail crossings, and run of the mill road hazards...

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post #26 of 39 Old Mar 26th, 2010, 9:30 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I was out riding last week, before our current snow hit, and tried to get my bike ('02 with 68K on it) to shimmy. 50 down to 20, nothing. And I can assure you that my front wheel it bent - hit a pot hole last fall and bent the crap out of it.
The only thing I can attribute the smoothness of my ride is dyna beads. I've used both Metz and Bridgestones, always with the beads, and never experienced shimmy. I know that there are a number of folks that don't believe in them, and that's fine, but I know they work for me, and I'll continue to use them.
Seems to me that if there was some geometry or rake problem with the LT, all bikes would shimmy. As they don't, I can't believe that it's a design flaw.
Just my .02 worth.
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post #27 of 39 Old Mar 28th, 2010, 11:33 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I think that somewhere during assembly, BMW may have left the pivot bearing in the back swing arm less than fully tight on my bike. That would explain why there are so many different "fixes" or bandaids on so many different bikes that seem to cure the problem with a varying degree of success. I would venture to say there are many bikes assembled with loose pivot bearings.
Again, I've tried balancing, and over pressurizing this new bike. And, some improvement has been attained. But, the problem has never been eliminated. And, now that the dealer tech has re-pressurized and balanced the tires, the bike shimmies from 26 to 63 mph.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #28 of 39 Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 1:51 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Well, hopefully this will be my day! I dropped by the bmw shop to check up on my bike's progress with the installation of the intercom system and the shimmy problem.
Short story:
Mechanic test rode after the rear pivot bearing- and everything else- was re-torqued. Still shimmies (25mph-48mph) in all power modes, new or old tyres. (Shimmied out the show room floor with 1 mile odo). Cupping, Balance, Dyna B's, new/ old tyres you say? Well, a lot of peeps'll tell you that one or all are the problem. It very well might be for your bike. But for me, I've change every thing suggested here- except the rake. Still no improvement. Extremely unhappy, I spoke quite frankly with the dealership. They got right on it and called bmw national and was told pre-2005 models will not have the shimmy problem if tyres are balanced, round, and not cupped. But for 2005 to 2009, the rake was changed to make handling at very low speeds easier for grand pappy riders. Since most folks don't ever ride with their mitts off the bars, they thought it a better idea to bring the tyre closer to the frame to enable easier turns.
If you have a 2005 or later, don't frett, there is a fix. You CAN have the rake moved back out (about an inch) to the pre-2005 position. All that is required is the replacement of the lower steering bracket. The tech can easily do this forya. I'm having mine done now and will post the success in about a week.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #29 of 39 Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 2:33 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Thanks for the update. Good read. Keep us posted, always interested.
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post #30 of 39 Old Apr 13th, 2010, 2:15 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

OK, here it is:
I'm glad to report that steering shimmy with my 09 has virtually gone. The bike only shimmies now at cruise between 40-42 mph, or at decelleration through those speeds. This success is attributed to the new rake geometry. The remainder of shimmy can be eliminated by using new tires- the mechanic says. I am quite pleased with how well the rake change worked.
Again, to eliminate steering shimmy, change the rake by simply installing. a pre 2005 lower steering bracket. This will move the front tire contact point forward almost an inch (I'm told). I didn't notice any difference with effort to steer except to say when entering a turn the bike tends to want to dive-in easier- not an issue for me. At cruise speed, tracking feels much more stable with hands-off riding.
I hope this has been helpful.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #31 of 39 Old Apr 13th, 2010, 3:07 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Interesting about the rake change...
Here's my old video of the problem from a few years back, if you haven't had the fun of "being there"
Went through all the same emotions, new dampener, and several sets of tyres,...
eventually a new tyre set fixed it, must have got some good ones... been happy ever since.. (fingers crossed, getting due for another new front).
Have faith in John Z's comments.. ;-P (PS loved your video's of the weep hole John!)
cheers

Chris
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post #32 of 39 Old Apr 13th, 2010, 10:43 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Interesting about the rake change...
Here's my old video of the problem from a few years back, if you haven't had the fun of "being there"
Went through all the same emotions, new dampener, and several sets of tyres,...
eventually a new tyre set fixed it, must have got some good ones... been happy ever since.. (fingers crossed, getting due for another new front).
Have faith in John Z's comments.. ;-P (PS loved your video's of the weep hole John!)
cheers
CWS,
My shimmy/wobble was much more pronounced and very rythmic- Still is with factory pressures and slightly cupped tires between 40-42mph.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #33 of 39 Old Apr 13th, 2010, 12:08 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronButtOpie
Again, to eliminate steering shimmy, change the rake by simply installing. a pre 2005 lower steering bracket. This will move the front tire contact point forward almost an inch (I'm told). I didn't notice any difference with effort to steer except to say when entering a turn the bike tends to want to dive-in easier- not an issue for me. At cruise speed, tracking feels much more stable with hands-off riding.
I hope this has been helpful.
I applaud your efforts to eliminate your problem and share it with everyone here.

I caution you to quantify that to eliminate the "shimmy" on 05+ bikes is to change the rake geometry is subjective at best and does not apply to ALL 05+ bikes. There are many, including mine that have never experienced what you did but have had the low level shimmy come and go with tires.

I suspect your problem was a unique one, possibly a bad forging of the bridge that you had replaced, and I do urge any one that experiences that same severe level (over a broad range of speeds) of shimmy that you did, to replace those affected components. I suspect that even if you replaced that bridge with another one designed for the 05+ bikes your results would have been the same. I hope BMW stepped up and covered the cost of the defective part.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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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 #34 of 39 Old Apr 14th, 2010, 1:29 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I hope BMW stepped up and covered the cost of the defective part.
Yeah, BMW covered the cost- thank goodness.
And, you're likely correct about the original steering bracket being faulty.
But, for now I'm really glad the shimmy is virtually gone.

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

Jack
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post #35 of 39 Old Apr 14th, 2010, 7:01 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronButtOpie
Yeah, BMW covered the cost- thank goodness.
And, you're likely correct about the original steering bracket being faulty.
But, for now I'm really glad the shimmy is virtually gone.
I am glad you got it sorted out - now go enjoy the great ride she is famous for !!!

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

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

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post #36 of 39 Old Apr 14th, 2010, 8:02 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

What I think I know about front end shimmy, wobble, tankslap, oscillation:

Most commonly caused by out of balance tires or worn tires.
Most often caused by front wheel BUT it can be caused by rear wheel.

Front end geometry is not a CAUSE of oscillation but the newer (post 05) rake angle on the LT makes the bike more sensitive to factors causing oscillation. Changing the rake angle won't eliminate the cause, just make it less noticable, less severe.

A faulty steering damper is NOT a cause of oscillation, the steering damper is there to prevent the severity of oscillation if it occurs. Replacing a faulty steering damper will not eliminate the cause of oscillation, it will make it less noticable, less severe.

Tires are not the only cause of oscillation. Wheels out of true, wheels out of alignment, frame out of alignment, wheel bearings, steering head bearings, swingarm bearings, AND PIVOT Bearings can all contribute to oscillation.

So a properly mounted, properly balanced, new, defect free set of tires is the first best bet to fix an oscillation. After that, chasing down oscillation causes becomes complicated because of all the of possibilities.

A systematic approach would be to start with a new matched set of tires, properly mounted and balanced. If the problem persists, a systematic check of pivot bearings, steering head bearings, wheel bearings, and swingarm bearings would be in order.
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post #37 of 39 Old Apr 14th, 2010, 10:47 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

I am really surprised by the number of people who say they have never experienced headshake or shimmy on a motorcycle prior to their LT. My ST1100 would do it. Tire condition and tire inflation had a big impact (as did the head bearings wearing out). Also the loading of the bike would cause it. My ZRX1200R would be greatly affected by extra weight or load on the back. If I put my big Givi case on back of the ZRX and had lots of stuff in it, or if I had a passenger and then didn't up the preload a couple of clicks, it would mildly headshake under deceleration or on a bumpy or uneven highway. I never considered either bike to be under-engineered in any way.

I ride sportbikes on the track and can definitely say that tire brand, profile, inflation, and condition have a definite impact on stability or twitchiness. On the Supersport, without any suspension changes, Michelin Powers always feel more stable to me than Dunlops.

As the steering geometry gets more "dirt bike like", such as a GS, headshake is much less likely. Relaxed geometry, tall front wheel, and wide wide handlebars make headshake non-existent.

Google "goldwing wobble" or "goldwing shimmy" and see what pops up...

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post #38 of 39 Old Apr 14th, 2010, 11:17 am
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoexplorer
I am really surprised by the number of people who say they have never experienced headshake or shimmy on a motorcycle prior to their LT. My ST1100 would do it. Tire condition and tire inflation had a big impact (as did the head bearings wearing out). Also the loading of the bike would cause it. My ZRX1200R would be greatly affected by extra weight or load on the back. If I put my big Givi case on back of the ZRX and had lots of stuff in it, or if I had a passenger and then didn't up the preload a couple of clicks, it would mildly headshake under deceleration or on a bumpy or uneven highway. I never considered either bike to be under-engineered in any way.

I ride sportbikes on the track and can definitely say that tire brand, profile, inflation, and condition have a definite impact on stability or twitchiness. On the Supersport, without any suspension changes, Michelin Powers always feel more stable to me than Dunlops.

As the steering geometry gets more "dirt bike like", such as a GS, headshake is much less likely. Relaxed geometry, tall front wheel, and wide wide handlebars make headshake non-existent.

Google "goldwing wobble" or "goldwing shimmy" and see what pops up...
Good post, thanks. Your mentioning loading is a good point.
Old touring bikes: too much luggage on a luggage rack with a handlebar mounting fairing on a R90/6.... whoa!

The BMW /5 series, a long distance tourer in its day was oftened loaded with aftermarket luggage and fairings resulting in instabiltiy. /5 enthusiasts know about the earlier "short wheel base" /5s and the later "long wheel base" /5s. The short wheel base bikes are a blast to ride, but BMW make 'em longer to be more stable with all the junk people were piling on them. (At least that's my understanding of it).
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post #39 of 39 Old Apr 17th, 2010, 2:34 pm
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Re: front wheel shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoexplorer
I am really surprised by the number of people who say they have never experienced headshake or shimmy on a motorcycle prior to their LT.
I guess me and my LT are just an enigma- got lucky on every bike and every set of tires I've purchased and installed on every other bike (ridden even on the race track). I've always ridden with my mitts off the bars for a wee bit of time to break the IronButt monotony too (high/low speed). And personally, I like to know the limitations of every bike I own. The 05+ LT seems to have a tighter limit.
That has been aggravating and disappointing for me- although I didn't buy the bike for me, truthfully. I bought it for the wife, who is fearful of "driving" the bike. She'll ride as a pillion though.
Recapping my experience (refer to previous posts):
As to the new tires, BMW techs looked at them at the very 1st. Nothing came from it. They were fine. Rims were next, nothing wrong there. New tire balance was a bit off though. Fixed. Frame geometry, nothing wrong. Rear control arm re torqued, although was initially correct. TEST RIDE. FAILED- NO IMPROVEMENT. Rake was changed back to pre 05 geometry. MARK ED IMPROVEMENT! Then tires inflated to max (42/48) resulting in further improvement. No wobble/shimmy except for around 40-42 mph.
New rake has worked for me!

Kaw ZX12R Ninja
05 GS ADV
07 GS ADV- Iron Butt, Copper Canyon
09 LT

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