Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 69 Old May 31st, 2009, 12:39 pm Thread Starter
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Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I know the K1200LT seems to have a reputation for experiencing "speed-wobble", usually on deceleration without hands on the bars. At least that was the case when I owned my 02' LT. I currently have a 07' LT, and it seems to go into almost a violent tank-slapper without hands on the bars, and almost any speed under acceleration or deceleration. It sets in almost the second you let go, and will leave you scrambling to get a grip again. With at least one hand on the bars, it is very smooth and solid. The front tire is a Metzler, and does have some of the infamous uneven wear on it synonymous with LT's. Any Ideas??? It reminds me of when i rode a CBR954, and used to get the slappers when the front tire was skimming the ground under hard acceleration at 80+ MPH. Yes I did have my hands on the bars .
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post #2 of 69 Old May 31st, 2009, 12:46 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I would change the tire. The only time I ever have that happen on my 05' is when I am slowing and get to around 40, if i take my hand off the bars the bars will start to shake but if I even put one hand lightly back on it goes away. I have never had this happen under acceleration or at a steady cruise.

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post #3 of 69 Old May 31st, 2009, 7:49 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

That's not a good thing to have going on. The bike definately should NOT be doing that.
I'd change both tires and make sure the new ones are balanced correctly. Maybe one at a time. Some have intimated that the rear is the one that sometimes causes that.
If I still had wobble issues the next call would be to the best dealer I knew of to see what is going on...

That is never acceptable behavoir for a bike. My 99 LT never ever had handling issues...


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post #4 of 69 Old May 31st, 2009, 9:19 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

The only time I have ever had front wheel wobble was when the front tire was nearing the end of its life. When I first got the bike, I used the BMW recommended tire pressure, which I believe helped to contribute to this problem.

When I replaced the front tire, I went to 46 front, 48-50 rear, and have not had a problem with wobble since, and front tire seems to be wearing better than previous one.

Kevin
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post #5 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:32 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

What condition is your front shock in? The only time I've had a tankslapper on the LT was when the front shock was blown out and I hit a pothole doing a u-turn. Might also be time to clean your steering damper.

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post #6 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 9:22 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Over 123k miles on my 02 and the ONLY time I've ever experienced tank slappers, with brand new tires and the I-35, was when I had Avons installed on the bike at lonestar, years ago.

and thats the last time I've used any tire but Metzlers, I couldn't wait to wear the Avons out and get them off the bike!! danger wil robinson!
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post #7 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 10:23 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I had a 99 LT and used Dyna Beads and never had that happen. After it got crunched and I purchased a used 05 LT. I experienced it on decel, one time. I took off the weights that were on the front rim and installed Dyna Beads when I replaced the rear tire and have not had the problem since.

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post #8 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 10:54 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Replace and balance front tire. Watch them mount the new tire. If they overstretch the tire w/ a mechanical tire mounting machine you may still have a problem. An experienced tech knows to keep the bead opposite the automated bead guide in the center of the wheel. I have seen others in tire shops just let the tire be forcibly mounted. Mounting your own tires is a pain, but the only sure fire way of knowing the tire was not damaged when mounting. I mount all of my tires myself now and so far haven't had any headshake when new.
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post #9 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 11:44 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
I know the K1200LT seems to have a reputation for experiencing "speed-wobble",.......
Some LTs, like all bikes, can develop a shake or wobble.
Like others have suggested I'd first check tire wear and balance (front and rear).
If new tires, properly mounted and balanced don't fix it, consider: shocks, steering head bearings, brake rotors. There are multiple possible causes, but I wouldn't say that the LT has a reputation for head shake. It does seem from the reports that LTs made after 05 are a little more sensitive to factors that contribute to head shake. I think this is attributable to the change in rake angle made with the intention of improving low speed handling.

After I mount and balance a new set of tires, I go out and test the bike for stability. At different speeds and with hands hovering just above the grips, I give the end of one of the bars a quick, firm push to try and induce a wobble. On a good road surface, the induced oscillation should damp itself out very quickly. Any persistant or worsening wobble is an indication that something isn't set up correctly. In my experience, when things aren't just right, and oscillation is most likely to be noticed when decelerating.

Hope you find a quick fix to the problem.
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post #10 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 3:05 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Would get this around 40mph on my 02 - was always a balance issue, and usually after cupping had started (Metzlers). NEVER had the problem with my 07.

Jim Taylor
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post #11 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 3:11 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Only time I ever had that problem was with worn tires, Metz, Avon and 'Stones. Never when the tires were new and balanced correctly, even on the ones that we did at tech sessions.

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post #12 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 3:35 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I have had that problem in my 2004 model (2005 in US). It had only 7000 miles in it. Steering damper was ok. Tire brand can't remember. But it did not change after I changed both tires into Me880.

I have had 2000 model and never had experienced any wobble. Regardless if front tire was Pirelli or Michelin.

In any case I drive so that I keep my hands in handlebar.

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post #13 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 3:48 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Well, the weird thing I had with the Avons (and I have no idea why) was, they were brand spanking new and I mean, I could hardly hold onto the bars it was so bad...that was going north on the I-35 in TX for ref, I tryed everything, slow, fast, diff pavement, etc.

Nothing worked, until the tires were half worn, they started acting nice..

did I say weird already??
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post #14 of 69 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 9:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Thanks for all the replies...This forum never ceases to amaze me in the wealth of info. available. I had a chance to really examine the front tire up close, and to my surprise, It is actually worn to the wear-bridges in the tread. Not exactly obvious from normal viewing distances. Probably more significant, is the fact that the tread is raised and lowered (cupped) from side-to-side in a staggered fashion. Going to have replaced soon, and I'll repost the results once I'm there. I noticed my prior LT wore tires with the same pattern. I guess this is common on these.
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post #15 of 69 Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 4:09 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
Thanks for all the replies...This forum never ceases to amaze me in the wealth of info. available. I had a chance to really examine the front tire up close, and to my surprise, It is actually worn to the wear-bridges in the tread. Not exactly obvious from normal viewing distances. Probably more significant, is the fact that the tread is raised and lowered (cupped) from side-to-side in a staggered fashion. Going to have replaced soon, and I'll repost the results once I'm there. I noticed my prior LT wore tires with the same pattern. I guess this is common on these.
My mechanic told me under-inflated tires ( read recommended tire pressure ) will cause cupping. Highly recommend going with 42-46 psi on new front tire & 48 on rear, if you haven't already.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #16 of 69 Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 1:19 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Heavy machine during braking causes the cupping due to the flexing of soft compound tires. minimize by max inflation ( manufactures specs.) Won't eliminate , but will delay cupping.
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post #17 of 69 Old Jun 6th, 2009, 6:04 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I haven't heard many complaints about slapping or wobbling on the LTs. I've tried to think through every possible situation to figure out why you would want to drive any bike without your hands on the bars.....leave those kinds of tricks to the pedal powered bikes. It doesn't impress anyone when you experience and become concerned with wobble when you tell them it happened when both hands were off the bars!!

If it happens frequently or under certain conditions, take it to the shop, explain the conditions (not the no-hands part....they'll probably charge you extra on the repairs!) have the mechanic check your tires, dampers, and shocks for correct mechanical functionality...if it happens across the LT world, I would think there'd be a very large recall or owner's notice that we'd see on MOA or as we visit the shops for the periodic services.

I sincerely hope you never go down because of the risky combo of no hands and getting a case of the wobbles!

Ride Safe!



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post #18 of 69 Old Jun 7th, 2009, 10:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

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Originally Posted by BlauBeeMr
I haven't heard many complaints about slapping or wobbling on the LTs. I've tried to think through every possible situation to figure out why you would want to drive any bike without your hands on the bars.....leave those kinds of tricks to the pedal powered bikes. It doesn't impress anyone when you experience and become concerned with wobble when you tell them it happened when both hands were off the bars!!

If it happens frequently or under certain conditions, take it to the shop, explain the conditions (not the no-hands part....they'll probably charge you extra on the repairs!) have the mechanic check your tires, dampers, and shocks for correct mechanical functionality...if it happens across the LT world, I would think there'd be a very large recall or owner's notice that we'd see on MOA or as we visit the shops for the periodic services.

I sincerely hope you never go down because of the risky combo of no hands and getting a case of the wobbles!

Ride Safe!

I'm inclined to defend my "No Hands" Approach to riding. There are moments where no hands while riding is perfectly fine (for short intervals), IE on a straight stretch while briefly stretching your arms. This of course while on a road with no other cars, or side roads, etc. In otherwords an educated risk much similar to riding motorcycles in general. To imply my situations were somehow to impress other people, or writing about them were to impress other people, is just inaccurate. Trust me, I'm the type of person who is not out to impress hardly anyone...certainly not strangers. So to that extent....your assumption is in error.
As to the LT's and speed wobble, I've owned two of them and had the same issue to some degree with both. I've also owned everything from Standards, to Full-On Open class Superbikes, to cruisers. Only reason I mention this is to paint a realistic picture as to riding experiences....lets just say I didn't start riding yesterday. I believe if over half the LT owners tried lightening their grip on the bars, as if to suspend their hands over the grips, they would experience the same effect. Of course If you do...you assume resposibility. Both my LT's also had cupping issues with the front Metzler tires over time....which I'm sure leads to the wobbles...then again, stop and think, why do they seem to wear this way. I've owned other Heavy Touring bikes that the tires wore perfectly smooth, and evenly.
Take Care
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post #19 of 69 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 2:49 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
I've tried to think through every possible situation to figure out why you would want to drive any bike without your hands on the bars....
This is exactly what a senior BMW Engineer said when I asked about this weaving, wobbling behaviour below 60km/h.

I have posted this before ... but just a reminder ... in 2005 they changed the rake on the LT in order to make the bike more nimble in cornering. This turned the LT into an easy rider in mountain passes but the lowspeed wobble was a side-effect. The fact that it only gets serious when you have no hands on the bars did not make it a STOP SHIP issue.

Last week I got caught in a hell of a traffic snarlup in Durban and the lowspeed weaving was extremely irritating. I travelled for around 20 minutes at walking speed or slightly more and lanesplitting was at the order of the day. Fully loaded this bike is no kitten in this kind of situation. I had so many near misses I cannot even count them but all I know is that an inexperienced rider should stay far away from lanesplitting at slow speeds.

My circumstances are changing and it will involve a lot of traffic riding the next few months. I am seriously considering getting a GT for that alone ... the LT and dense traffic was never meant to meet

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post #20 of 69 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 3:00 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I have a similar posting to this effect somewhere on this site, however at 38 mph, fourth gear, the dynamics are just right for a harmonic vibration of those (very long) handlebars. Any LT will do it, and it is not something to be concerned about, as long as you prevent it, or do not let it continue. The slightest touch of one finger will prevent it, and a light grip with one hand will stop it. It does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with your particular LT.
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post #21 of 69 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
I know the K1200LT seems to have a reputation for experiencing "speed-wobble", usually on deceleration without hands on the bars. At least that was the case when I owned my 02' LT. I currently have a 07' LT, and it seems to go into almost a violent tank-slapper without hands on the bars, and almost any speed under acceleration or deceleration. It sets in almost the second you let go, and will leave you scrambling to get a grip again. With at least one hand on the bars, it is very smooth and solid. The front tire is a Metzler, and does have some of the infamous uneven wear on it synonymous with LT's. Any Ideas??? It reminds me of when i rode a CBR954, and used to get the slappers when the front tire was skimming the ground under hard acceleration at 80+ MPH. Yes I did have my hands on the bars .


Problem resolved, had the dealer inspect the front end, as well as, change the front tire. The bike rides noticeably more stable in it's steering, while using a lighter grip, or when briefly releasing grip. What a difference a tire makes. Still has me wondering...Shaking from tire wear, of wearing from some sort of suspension / steering geometry. Anyways, I'm happy with it. Thanks to all for your insight.
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post #22 of 69 Old Jun 13th, 2009, 6:17 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

new02oldlt....please don't take my comment negatively....I just don't like the idea of anyone going down....I've seen two accidents in as many months (didn't know either rider)....one took a life. I'm glad you're challenges were solved and now I know what to do if it does ever happen to me on my LT.

Thanks and ride safe and far!


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post #23 of 69 Old Jun 13th, 2009, 6:24 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
Problem resolved, had the dealer inspect the front end, as well as, change the front tire. The bike rides noticeably more stable in it's steering, while using a lighter grip, or when briefly releasing grip. What a difference a tire makes. Still has me wondering...Shaking from tire wear, of wearing from some sort of suspension / steering geometry. Anyways, I'm happy with it. Thanks to all for your insight.
What is your tire pressure?

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #24 of 69 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 5:28 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

This is an issue with the 05 and later LT's. When they changed the rake on the front-end they did it with the Fork Brace as BMW calls it. You cannot use an 04 or earlier part on an 05 or later because of hole size issues. Now ask me how I know. I was at Honda of Hollywood, who also sells BMWs, for a tire issue while on tour. (The issue was a brand new ME880 with 2,748 miles on it cupped so bad you could barely ride the bike) The service manager told me that it was an issue and that BMW had a REPLACEMENT brace for the 05's that moved the front-end back to where the 04's and earlier models was. He installed a new tire and had it balanced to perfection (I watched he and his tech do it).
He told me a story and showed me an 07 with less then 150 miles on it that was bought new from his shop. The customer rode it off the lot and brought it back the same day and told him to fix it. He couldn't get rid of the wobble between 39 and 43 mph. The person who bought the bike has enough money to as he put it "annoy" BMW. The answer is a new replacement Fork Brace designed for the 05 and later LTs.

BMW will not admit it's an issue because if they did it would be a major recall. However they have a new brace for people (like me) that complain. The new part number is 31-42-0-420-680. Bobs BMW installed it on mine on the 23 May 08. They also installed a new ME880, 1 front strut and 1 dampener. The bike had 2.5 inches of fork sag unladen. I had them bring the pressure up to 42 psig. I rode off a happy customer for about 200 miles and then it was back. I had another new ME880 installed in Mar 09 because of cupping issues on the front. So i'm not for sure it's the front brace.
I'm not a collage grad engineer but i'm starting to think it has a lot to do with tire tread patterns, braking and the front spring. When you apply the front brake the tread does all the work to stop the bike and the tread design is allowing the pattern to twist or flex. If it was a out of balance situation the tire would be heavy on one side and you would feel it and the wear pattern would be different. It would be more across the tread and should be pretty equal on both side.
The wear pattern I have experiences is a reduction in the depth of one part of the tread on each one of those tread patterns which gives a sharp edge on the adjoining pattern piece and you can feel it with your fingers. You see the same type of cupping issue on the outer edge of a cage tire which is caused buy alignment of the front tires when turning.

With all that being said I have a 4k plus trip planned for July. I'm going to try and limit my use of the front brake especially when in a turning situation at least for the first part of the trip to see how the front tire responds. After that I'm at a loss.

I did have a 900 Honda SS with the same issue. That was solved by replacing the steering head bearings.

Mike
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post #25 of 69 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 9:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlauBeeMr
new02oldlt....please don't take my comment negatively....I just don't like the idea of anyone going down....I've seen two accidents in as many months (didn't know either rider)....one took a life. I'm glad you're challenges were solved and now I know what to do if it does ever happen to me on my LT.

Thanks and ride safe and far!

Take Care down there in Texas, you live in a Great state. Been there some years ago, we used to take family trips between Virginia and California, using mostly the southern route. I remember a thunderstorm the most for some odd reason, must be the wide open skies down there. The gained field-of-view from the flat terrain made the storm seem alot more intense than ones we see here.
Take care and enjoy every ride!!!

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post #26 of 69 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 9:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnata
What is your tire pressure?
42-46 psi on new front tire & 48 on rear, I got that on here from other postings. Seems to be the overall recommended pressures.

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post #27 of 69 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 10:04 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
42-46 psi on new front tire & 48 on rear, I got that on here from other postings. Seems to be the overall recommended pressures.
Were you running that pressure on the tire that cupped? I ran factory recommended pressure on my first set of tires & eventually got the front tire wobble. Replaced the tire & went to higher tire pressure & so far no wobble problems.

Kevin
'06 K1200LT
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post #28 of 69 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 4:52 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Yes, I run 42 psi in the front and 48 in the rear. If you think about it running a higher pressure would tend to make the tire run more on the very center where there is less tread pattern.

Mike
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post #29 of 69 Old Jun 17th, 2009, 7:06 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Hi,
I just read your note about wheel wobble on your K12LT. I have an '05 LT and I have just installed a new Hyperpro steering damper. I decided to test my K12LT to see how it would react to my riding, "no hands". (This is something that I don't normally do, but for the sake of this experiment) After I had completed the adjustment to the Hyperpro, I rode the bike at 30MPH using cruise control. I then did the same thing at 40MPH and 50MPH. No wobble at all.
My tires, both front and rear are due to be replaced next Tuesday. I'm talking about tires with about 14K of wear.
The Hyperpro, that I chose, is the RCS series. I'm not sure if this is any help but I thought I'd share my experience.
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post #30 of 69 Old Jun 17th, 2009, 7:48 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Hi, Ted - good info, and thanks for sharing.

I've noticed over the past 8 or 9 years, that most of the wobble stories regarding the LT have (1) never resulted in a true tank slapper, and (2) usually occur when the bike is decelerating from ~50 mph down thru to the lower 40 mphs (with hands off the bars). Lotsa folks say it's caused by the design of the LTs front end geometry, while others can quote the phenom also occurring in other brands of bikes, given the right circumstances. I don't have a clue as to the true cause, 'cept I do know ole Toad and me experienced it one time - hands off bars and decelerating from ~55mph to approximately 45. Grabbed bars real fast - end of excitement!!!

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Originally Posted by lawretj
Hi,
I just read your note about wheel wobble on your K12LT. I have an '05 LT and I have just installed a new Hyperpro steering damper. I decided to test my K12LT to see how it would react to my riding, "no hands". (This is something that I don't normally do, but for the sake of this experiment) After I had completed the adjustment to the Hyperpro, I rode the bike at 30MPH using cruise control. I then did the same thing at 40MPH and 50MPH. No wobble at all.
My tires, both front and rear are due to be replaced next Tuesday. I'm talking about tires with about 14K of wear.
The Hyperpro, that I chose, is the RCS series. I'm not sure if this is any help but I thought I'd share my experience.
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post #31 of 69 Old Jun 26th, 2009, 10:38 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Just to update a bit I bought a new 09 LT a few weeks ago and have 550 miles on it the front end wobble has shown up on my bike it wasn't there when I first took it out. Same symptoms decelerating through 50 to 38 the wobble shows up its extreme at around 42.

Took it back to the shop and talked with them it seems that the problem stems from its the tires ( metlezer 880 series) seeing as how the problem wasn't there when I first bought the bike and the fact that the wobble is getting worse over time suggests to me that the front tire is breaking down.

The shop will be replacing both front and rear tire with Dunlop's which was the original tire that BMW used once they are replaced the Shop indicated that there will be no further issues (hopeful) as that wobble take a bit of the fun out of riding,

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
I know the K1200LT seems to have a reputation for experiencing "speed-wobble", usually on deceleration without hands on the bars. At least that was the case when I owned my 02' LT. I currently have a 07' LT, and it seems to go into almost a violent tank-slapper without hands on the bars, and almost any speed under acceleration or deceleration. It sets in almost the second you let go, and will leave you scrambling to get a grip again. With at least one hand on the bars, it is very smooth and solid. The front tire is a Metzler, and does have some of the infamous uneven wear on it synonymous with LT's. Any Ideas??? It reminds me of when i rode a CBR954, and used to get the slappers when the front tire was skimming the ground under hard acceleration at 80+ MPH. Yes I did have my hands on the bars .

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post #32 of 69 Old Jun 26th, 2009, 11:51 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Hey, Kevin - question for ya. You notice the wobble with your hands ON the bars, or OFF? Just curious, as most reports indicate the wobble occurs with the hands OFF the bars, and not necessarily relating to a specific tire brand. That is what happened with me and ole Toad - hands off the bars and decelerating thru the 40mph area on Bridgestone BT020s..

Hope the switch to Dunlops solve your bike's problem. I remember ole Toad's first set of tires from the factory, back in '99, were Dunlops - back then we had the rubbing-the-swingarm problem with 'em and cured that with an extra shim at the rear lugbolt pattern. They've surely got that problem sorted by now, so take care - ride safe!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kra961
Just to update a bit I bought a new 09 LT a few weeks ago and have 550 miles on it the front end wobble has shown up on my bike it wasn't there when I first took it out. Same symptoms decelerating through 50 to 38 the wobble shows up its extreme at around 42.

Took it back to the shop and talked with them it seems that the problem stems from its the tires ( metlezer 880 series) seeing as how the problem wasn't there when I first bought the bike and the fact that the wobble is getting worse over time suggests to me that the front tire is breaking down.

The shop will be replacing both front and rear tire with Dunlop's which was the original tire that BMW used once they are replaced the Shop indicated that there will be no further issues (hopeful) as that wobble take a bit of the fun out of riding,
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post #33 of 69 Old Jun 26th, 2009, 1:15 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Morning Dick

I can feel a very slight pulsation through the bars both up and down the speed range the wobble has progressed to the point that now I feel it with my hands on the bars I tried hands off the bars once and I'll not do that again though its very weird in that while the bars are swinging back and forth 6" or more the bike tracks perfectly straight.

I get the feeling that if left alone and nothing else upsets the wobble it won't get out of control. You can stop the wobble as the reports indicate by simply placing a hand on the bar though I can feel that it wants very badly to continue to wobble I think the steering damper is helping the situation a great in that it's removing the worst of the problem.

I'll follow this up after the new tires are installed and I'm able to put some time on them.

Have fun see ya on the Road


QUOTE=Dick]Hey, Kevin - question for ya. You notice the wobble with your hands ON the bars, or OFF? Just curious, as most reports indicate the wobble occurs with the hands OFF the bars, and not necessarily relating to a specific tire brand. That is what happened with me and ole Toad - hands off the bars and decelerating thru the 40mph area on Bridgestone BT020s..

Hope the switch to Dunlops solve your bike's problem. I remember ole Toad's first set of tires from the factory, back in '99, were Dunlops - back then we had the rubbing-the-swingarm problem with 'em and cured that with an extra shim at the rear lugbolt pattern. They've surely got that problem sorted by now, so take care - ride safe!![/QUOTE]

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post #34 of 69 Old Jun 28th, 2009, 4:13 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Hi All,

I'm lucky enought to have 2 LT's at the moment. Both 03's. I've had the first one for a few years, and never noticed the wobble before. However, the reason that i found this thread is that the replacement bike DOES wobble - like everyone else, it's decelerating with no hands on the bars (or slightest fingertips) at around 40mph - doesn't happen all the time though, although the first time it did, it scared the shit out of me ! I didn't realise i could move that quick !

In the thread, some said that this only happened to 05 bikes and after (both mine are 03) and some said it was the make of tyres - both my bikes have identical tyres. One does it, the other one doesn;t ??
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post #35 of 69 Old Jun 28th, 2009, 10:04 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

My 07 has done this from day one! Stock Suspension, Hyper-Pro suspension. Metz, Storms. 42/48

Decel down through 40is indicated, with no hands, and you WILL wet your pants if you have never read about it here.

From 50 on I can ride no hands all day long for as many miles as I like to stretch and do wrist/hand exercises. Usually I do this one hand at a time though.

While I agree you should not drive hands off, this phenomena IMHO is a defect/issue which again BMW evades and disavows any knowledge of.

My only thought is if this oscillation is present there, what is going on with the geometry of the bike to cause it? And does it contribute to any thing else we consider endearing on our LT's?

Lee
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post #36 of 69 Old Jun 28th, 2009, 10:07 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Just noticed that i'v e a balance weight missing from the front wheel - can't beleive it's anything that simple, reading from this forum, but i'll get it replced and see if that changes anything...
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post #37 of 69 Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 4:55 pm
 
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I'm a bit late to this topic and have only posted to this brilliant LT website three times before but I have an 01 model which used to peform flawlessly on Bridgestone BT020's, especially in the wet (and we get a lot of the liquid sunshine here in England!). At some point which I can't recall, I too began to have these problems and, like all the posts before, went through check after check after check, even getting the dealer to give it the once-over.

Eventually, the culprit was found to be a rear-tyre defect, within the side-wall. As with my '79 Boxer handling problems which appear to be at the front-end, often begin somewhere at the rear.

After a great deal of arguing with the tyre wholesaler via my local garage, Bridgestone did eventually give me a full refund and replaced the tyre (but were careful not to admit liability!). Immediately, the problem disappeared and it's back to the super-smooth mile-eater and consumate touring machine.

Now, all I need to do is search the Forum for fixes in Cruise-control; ABS/Servo problems ...

Keep up the good work!
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post #38 of 69 Old Oct 5th, 2009, 8:41 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

I had this same thing happen to me on my 09. Was slowing down through about 40 mph and quickly took my hands off the bars to adjust one of my gloves and all hell broke loose. Scared the crap out of me. The front tire was badly cupped. I put a new Bridgestone on the front and repeated the same drill and no shake. Here I am probably 4000 miles on the new tire and the L/H side is cupping. I've been running 44 psi in the front this time and it seems to have slowed the rate of cupping somewhat but it's back to the old head shake trick. On my bike at least visible cupping on the front equals scary head shake while adjusting gloves Now if I can only remember that so I can stop scaring my self! I love the bike but this is one front tire eating SOB.

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post #39 of 69 Old Oct 5th, 2009, 11:59 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by LARK
I had this same thing happen to me on my 09. Was slowing down through about 40 mph and quickly took my hands off the bars to adjust one of my gloves and all hell broke loose. Scared the crap out of me. The front tire was badly cupped. I put a new Bridgestone on the front and repeated the same drill and no shake. Here I am probably 4000 miles on the new tire and the L/H side is cupping. I've been running 44 psi in the front this time and it seems to have slowed the rate of cupping somewhat but it's back to the old head shake trick. On my bike at least visible cupping on the front equals scary head shake while adjusting gloves Now if I can only remember that so I can stop scaring my self! I love the bike but this is one front tire eating SOB.
Not to re-open a can of worms, when I got my LT the front tire was badly cupping. Put in dyna-beads & things smoothed right out. Bought new tire & put the dyna-beads in it. I've got 15,000 miles on it now, and its smooth as a baby's arse. If you do a search on dyna-beads, you'll see what I mean by a can of worms.....

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post #40 of 69 Old Oct 6th, 2009, 8:49 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

My '02 developed the shake, also with Metzlers. The front was cupped badly so I replaced the tire. The shake went away after mounting the new tire.
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post #41 of 69 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 2:57 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Ditto on new skins. I went from Metzlers to Bridgestone Battleax. Excellent tires, IMO
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post #42 of 69 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 7:59 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
Not to re-open a can of worms, when I got my LT the front tire was badly cupping. Put in dyna-beads & things smoothed right out. Bought new tire & put the dyna-beads in it. I've got 15,000 miles on it now, and its smooth as a baby's arse. If you do a search on dyna-beads, you'll see what I mean by a can of worms.....
Thanks for the tip but Dyna Beads are already installed. I will say that my last tire at the same level of cupping without the beads was already vibrating above 80 mph. At least with the beads it's still smooth at high speed. I do like the beads!

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post #43 of 69 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 1:56 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kra961
Just to update a bit I bought a new 09 LT a few weeks ago and have 550 miles on it the front end wobble has shown up on my bike it wasn't there when I first took it out. Same symptoms decelerating through 50 to 38 the wobble shows up its extreme at around 42.

Took it back to the shop and talked with them it seems that the problem stems from its the tires ( metlezer 880 series) seeing as how the problem wasn't there when I first bought the bike and the fact that the wobble is getting worse over time suggests to me that the front tire is breaking down.

The shop will be replacing both front and rear tire with Dunlop's which was the original tire that BMW used once they are replaced the Shop indicated that there will be no further issues (hopeful) as that wobble take a bit of the fun out of riding,
Did the new tires solve the problem?

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post #44 of 69 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 4:59 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
I'm inclined to defend my "No Hands" Approach to riding. There are moments where no hands while riding is perfectly fine (for short intervals),
NEVER EVER.

It is grossly irresponsible to ride on public roads like that. It's not just the rider don't forget, it is those around you that you kill.

Look at it this way... Would you get prosecuted / ticketed for it? If so, DON'T DO IT.

Just pussin' through.
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post #45 of 69 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 11:35 am
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Morning Joe

New tires did correct the issue though the Pulsation no where near as severe in the front is starting to return the tires have 6K+ on them now so I'm going to wait until spring and take it back into the shop.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJoe
Did the new tires solve the problem?

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post #46 of 69 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 12:39 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by new02oldlt
I know the K1200LT seems to have a reputation for experiencing "speed-wobble", usually on deceleration without hands on the bars. At least that was the case when I owned my 02' LT. I currently have a 07' LT, and it seems to go into almost a violent tank-slapper without hands on the bars, and almost any speed under acceleration or deceleration. It sets in almost the second you let go, and will leave you scrambling to get a grip again. . . . .
Also went from an 02 to an 07. Metzlers on both (LOVE 'em), 42F, 46R. Only one MINOR wobble in the almost 3 years on the 07 - low front pressure seemed to be the culprit. Any wobble on my 02 was always corrected by rebalancing the front. I have a favorite deceleration run that I frequently use to test for wobble. I agree with above - check that front tire, the dampener, the shock.

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post #47 of 69 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 9:40 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

No tank slapping on my '99 LT, ever. I had this problem on a Yamaha Venture and it turned out to be the front tire. I have nearly always run Metzlers on the nearly 30 bikes I've owned. My Yamaha had Avons.
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post #48 of 69 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 10:47 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajlelectronics
NEVER EVER.

It is grossly irresponsible to ride on public roads like that. It's not just the rider don't forget, it is those around you that you kill.

Look at it this way... Would you get prosecuted / ticketed for it? If so, DON'T DO IT.
I would disagree that it is "grossly irresponsible" to ride with no hands on the handlebars. At least for short distances in a reasonably controlled environment. Riding on the rear wheel only, riding without ATGATT, riding on snow and ice would be grossly irresponsible.

I have short arms and short legs and wish that the handlebars were 1-2 inches longer. As such, I have to lean forward slightly and extend my arms fully to reach the bars and my elbows get sore (waaaaaaa!) from the reach. I will occasionally set the cruise control, and take both hands off the handlebars for short distances to let my sore old 'bows take a rest. I have a 2001 with Metzlers front and rear and I have put just over 10,000 miles on them personally. Don't know how many miles they had on them when I bought them but I have never felt a tendency for the steering to enter slap mode.

I run 42 psi front and 48 rear except when I have have the sidecar on. Then I run 50 psi in the rear tire.

It seems like the Great Wet State of Washington has maybe missed out on an opportunity to legislate another part of our lives by not implementing a 'no hands on the handlebars' law. If a LEO saw me riding in an UNSAFE manner, hands on or hands off, a ticket for reckless driving would be awarded but not for simply riding with no hands on the handlebars. Probably something to look forward to some day.

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post #49 of 69 Old Jan 13th, 2010, 3:27 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa1200lt
I would disagree that it is "grossly irresponsible" to ride with no hands on the handlebars.

Well there we will differ.

Circus acts have no place on the public highways.

Just pussin' through.
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post #50 of 69 Old Jan 13th, 2010, 4:47 pm
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Re: Tank Slappers / Speed Wobble

Gad's please don't give this State any idea's damn man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa1200lt
It seems like the Great Wet State of Washington has maybe missed out on an opportunity to legislate another part of our lives by not implementing a 'no hands on the handlebars' law. If a LEO saw me riding in an UNSAFE manner, hands on or hands off, a ticket for reckless driving would be awarded but not for simply riding with no hands on the handlebars. Probably something to look forward to some day.

Loren

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