One more scarry thing - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 8:47 am Thread Starter
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One more scarry thing

Hey Yall, (texan)

I am a new BMW LT rider, been used to an HD bagger for years.

I noticed a few times at 15-20 mph that I get a shimmy (like mini-tank slapping) when I am loosley holding the handle bars. The bike has about 16K miles on it. Is this normal? is sure does not feel normal.
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post #2 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 10:11 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

Don't worry, thats your bike slapping you around for going so damn slow!!

RICH CANNON
2000 K1200LT "a great ride"
2002 GL1800 powerful, but boring..(gone)
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post #3 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 10:46 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

That doesn't happen on mine.

Just Go
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post #4 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 10:53 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

It could be your front tire. If it's got some miles on it and it's become cupped it will do that. My front has a little over 16,000 and has some cupping and my bike does that.

Chuck
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post #5 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 10:59 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

i agree, check the front tire for cupping also tire pressure should be 42
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post #6 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 4:03 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

On top of the fork bridge there is a ball joint that connects to the telelever arm. Just make sure there is no slop in that, but I suspect a cupped tire as well.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
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K4AN

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

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post #7 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 4:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: One more scarry thing

I had the dealer check the tire when I took it in to have the rear tire replaced and a break system flush. He made a comment about the cupping but said the tire was fine. i will take it back to the dealer on Monday and have thenm check the ball joint thing. That sounds like them problemo. Anybody know what that cost to fix?
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post #8 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: One more scarry thing

i checked the steering damper..... there is movement left to right of about 3/4" each way (no up and down just left to right.) This movemnt is allowed by the spherical bearing. I assume that is normal. How much movement does your have?
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post #9 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

My 02 did that more frequently. 07 just started. Check the balance on the front . . .

Jim Taylor
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post #10 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 7:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: One more scarry thing

I checked the steering damper and you can move it to the left and to the right about 3/4" each direction. Not up and down but side to side. Is it the same for your LT? anybody?
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post #11 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 8:40 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithkmb
I checked the steering damper and you can move it to the left and to the right about 3/4" each direction. Not up and down but side to side. Is it the same for your LT? anybody?
Same here. That rubber bushing near the front of the damper has lotsa give - moreso after 130K!
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post #12 of 25 Old Apr 17th, 2011, 9:14 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Just got back from a 2700 mile ride last week. My "09" does it also. Only have 7100 miles on the clock. Going to replace the tires when I go for service later in the week.

Why am I here and what day is it??
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post #13 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 5:21 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

Greetings there

The solution is an easy one. Get rid of those late model LT's and get yourself a 1999 or a 2000 model. The front-end geometry was quite different and has much better manners at all speeds. Totally rock solid as they all should have been until BMW stuffed them right up. Try one...you won't be disappointed.

Cheers and kindest regards

Paul Harrington
AU.

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1983 base K100 "Bavarian Belle"
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post #14 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 7:39 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

Tire

D.Kinsey
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post #15 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 8:38 am Thread Starter
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Re: One more scarry thing

My tire was 6 lbs short on air. (36 lbs not 42lbs) could this make a diff?
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post #16 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 8:46 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

My approach would be:
1) check the tire, no unusual wear, properly inflated?
2) check tire for proper mounting, there is generally a line on the tire next to the rim. Is the line equidistant from the rim all the way around? If not the the tire bead may have been damaged (stretched) during installation. (On tube type rims/tires it is possible to have the tire mounted improperly so that it isn't symmetrically mounted, this is harder to do with a tubeless tire unless the tire is damaged or defective).
3) Tire balanced properly? This is probably the most common cause of front end oscillation.
4) Has the wheel been damaged? Check the rim for axial and radial runout. Within specs? Wheel bearings okay?
5) After eliminating tire and wheel as the problem check for wear or damage to bike's front end suspension, including bearings and ball joint as mentioned above. IIRC some have been reported broken or loose.
6) Rear wheel and tire, unusual I think, because you'd probably sense/feel that something is wrong in back, but problems with the rear wheel can contribute to front end oscillation.
7) Beyond the above, oscillation can be caused by a bike frame out of alignment secondary to a crash.

Steering damper and post 2005 front end geometry: A defective or missing steering damper won't cause oscillation, it just won't help to limit the oscillation which is why it is there in the first place. Under normal circumstances, the damper is just along for the ride.
The post 2005 change in front end geometry likewise doesn't cause oscillation, it does seem to make a bike a little more sensitive to other things like wheel balance, etc. There do seem to be more reports of front end oscillation in the post 2005 bikes, but that's just because improper wheel, tire setup is more noticeable on these bikes.

That what I think I know about troubleshooting oscillation problems. HTH
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post #17 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 1:47 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

This low speed wobble or uneasiness is also a trait of a MC with a high center of gravity. HD's are a very low CG bike so it's handling is quite different at low speeds.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 114 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 #18 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 4:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: One more scarry thing

I just came form the dealer, he road the bike (again) checked the tire and still said everthing is OK.

He said I could put a new tire on and it would stop the woble for about 700 miles but it would come back.

In other words. he bascially said all was normal.
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post #19 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 4:41 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

I'd bet there is a dynamic (and not static) balance problem. Find someone who can spin balance the entire wheel & that puts different weights on both sides (L & R) of the rim & at slightly different positions.
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post #20 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 4:59 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithkmb
I just came form the dealer, he road the bike (again) checked the tire and still said everthing is OK.

He said I could put a new tire on and it would stop the woble for about 700 miles but it would come back.

In other words. he bascially said all was normal.
Holy crap! Front end wobble is normal ?!? Holy crap!
Sure wish I was as smart as all those BMW Service guys. I mean, dismissing a fundamental flaw in a motorcycle as "normal". Jeez.

When I mount and balance a new front tire on any of my bikes I'll do the following test.
With the cruise control or throttle lock set to maintain about 30 mph, I take both hands off the bars, keeping hands close above the grips to grab the bars if any wobble occurs. If all is normal I'll give the end of one of the bars a good firm push to try and induce a wobble. If all is correct the bike will damp out the oscillation. If it gets progressively worse, I know there is a problem with mounting or balance. If it passes the test I'll hit the bar a little harder. Then I do the same test at differing speeds. Lastly, I'd do the hands off, bar bump with the bike decelerating from 50-60 mph on a downhill grade. Again, the wobble should damp itself out relatively quickly.
Not that I recommend it, but a properly set up bike should be able to be ridden for miles with hands off the bars, using only weight shift for steering.
For those who consider such a wobble "normal", all I can say is "well, that's convenient."
Wobbles, oscillation, tank slappers, can be dangerous. I wouldn't accept the condition as "normal".
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post #21 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 8:51 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithkmb
I just came form the dealer, he road the bike (again) checked the tire and still said everthing is OK.

He said I could put a new tire on and it would stop the woble for about 700 miles but it would come back.

In other words. he bascially said all was normal.
The only time I have wobble is when the tire is shot, no tire should cause a bike to do this after 700 miles. I have 8k on my front tire right now with no shake at all. At this point it does not tack like it did for the first 7k but that is to be expected as it is getting pretty worn. When I first got the bike the dealer set the tire pressure lower and it cupped and wobbled after 4,000 miles. After reading posts on this site I keep the pressure up and have had no problems.

Dave Oehler
2005 LT Dark Graphite - "K-Ship"

BMW-MOA 121422

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post #22 of 25 Old Apr 18th, 2011, 9:18 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Why do you feel it is necessary to take your hands off of the handlebars of a 900 lb motorcycle, while riding down the road? This is not a bicycle gents.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #23 of 25 Old Apr 19th, 2011, 4:26 am
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Re: One more scarry thing

Is your goal to fire up the previously beat to death debate about the wisdom of riding your LT with no hands?

Charlie wrote: "When I mount and balance a new front tire on any of my bikes I'll do the following test".............

........... "Not that I recommend it, but a properly set up bike should be able to be ridden for miles with hands off the bars, using only weight shift for steering".

Sorry Charlie for sticking my snout in your business but I would hate to see this thread degrade into a petty debate about the wisdom of riding an LT hands off, over broken glass and discarded nails, with screws thrown into the mix, etc. Last time there were some mighty graphic images painted of hoards of LT's being ridden hands off and crashing due to riding with no hands.

Loren



Quote:
Originally Posted by sheldan2
Why do you feel it is necessary to take your hands off of the handlebars of a 900 lb motorcycle, while riding down the road? This is not a bicycle gents.

WAK1200LT
Loren

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post #24 of 25 Old Apr 19th, 2011, 2:59 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithkmb
Hey Yall, (texan)

I am a new BMW LT rider, been used to an HD bagger for years.

I noticed a few times at 15-20 mph that I get a shimmy (like mini-tank slapping) when I am loosley holding the handle bars. The bike has about 16K miles on it. Is this normal? is sure does not feel normal.
Hi Keith...

Is it possible that the bike had been stored for a while before you got hold of her and the tyres have become mis-shaped ??

Without sounding stupid... Have you looked at the rear tyre at all ?? Last year I had a new rear tyre replaced + valve. I rode her to work and parked her up for a week on the side stand, when I came back on the following friday it was almost flat. Pumped her back up and went back to my mechanic who fitted it to check it... Turned out it was a faulty valve and here is the crux of my tale. My bike developed a front end wobble at 20-30 mph and only vanished once the rear tyre was changed again...

Chris
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post #25 of 25 Old Apr 19th, 2011, 8:00 pm
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Re: One more scarry thing

Loren, it was not my intention to butt heads with anyone with my comment. Obvoiusly it was taken out of context . Maybe people should use dynabeads and see if that wil help with the shimmy thing, as tires wear then the balance would not be right anymore. I use beads and in 111000 miles have never had to deal with a tank slapper, but then again I always ride with both hands on the bars at all times.

Sorry Charlie for sticking my snout in your business but I would hate to see this thread degrade into a petty debate about the wisdom of riding an LT hands off, over broken glass and discarded nails, with screws thrown into the mix, etc. Last time there were some mighty graphic images painted of hoards of LT's being ridden hands off and crashing due to riding with no hands.

Loren[/QUOTE]

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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