Weird noice while riding!!! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 11:39 am Thread Starter
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Weird noice while riding!!!

All, I need your K1200LT expertise here. I bought her about a year ago. On my first rides I didn't notice it as it had a bad final drive bearing. After I replaced it I noticed that when on highway speeds and while leaning both sides I hear a continuous whining noice like when the tires touch rough road surface. Returning at the vertical drive position the noice clears off.
Initially I suspected my tires but a car engineer told me it may be the wheels bearings because when it is at leaning position the bearings load changes.

Any thoughts? Did anyone have the same problem?
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 11:54 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

I would suspect a cupped front tire. Quite noisy when they get bad.

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post #3 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 12:04 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
.... but a car engineer told me it may be the wheels bearings because when it is at leaning position the bearings load changes.

That engineer is mistaken. The loading on motorcycle wheel bearings is always radial, that's why it uses deep groove ball bearings and not taper rollers or angular contacts. The magnitude of the load may change, but not the direction.

The noise you hear is a result of the wear on the front tire. The shoulders of the tire is prone to feathering, and manifests as a whine when leaning over.

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post #4 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 12:04 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Tire noise is the most likely answer. Tire noise can get especially loud if there is any cupping of the tread. A worn bearing is a possibility but please know that tire noise is perfectly normal.

You can put the bike on the centerstand, weigh down the rear to lift the front wheel off the ground and torque it side to side and see if you can detect any looseness of the bearings. If there is none, I would be pretty certain that tires are creating the noise.

I am sure that some of the guys, more expert than I am, will jump on here pretty quickly and offer great advice.

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post #5 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 12:42 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres View Post
That engineer is mistaken. The loading on motorcycle wheel bearings is always radial, that's why it uses deep groove ball bearings and not taper rollers or angular contacts. The magnitude of the load may change, but not the direction.

The noise you hear is a result of the wear on the front tire. The shoulders of the tire is prone to feathering, and manifests as a whine when leaning over.
No, the engineer is not mistaken, but it is a matter of degree. A motorcycle had much less lateral force than a car, but it isn't zero. In a turn, the contact patch is not on the tire centerline hence the force is not completely radial. And the wider the tire, the greater the distance that the force is offset from the center of the tire.

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post #6 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 1:40 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
All, I need your K1200LT expertise here. I bought her about a year ago. On my first rides I didn't notice it as it had a bad final drive bearing. After I replaced it I noticed that when on highway speeds and while leaning both sides I hear a continuous whining noice like when the tires touch rough road surface. Returning at the vertical drive position the noice clears off.
Initially I suspected my tires but a car engineer told me it may be the wheels bearings because when it is at leaning position the bearings load changes.

Any thoughts? Did anyone have the same problem?
Thanks in advance.
MAY be bearings, but most likely tires. IMO, 95+% chance it's tires.

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post #7 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 1:48 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

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Originally Posted by hallzee View Post
MAY be bearings, but most likely tires. IMO, 95+% chance it's tires.
I agree. At least 95% chance and probably closer to 99%.

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post #8 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 2:27 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

has everyone forgoten the transmission wine on the 1200. Leaning over may just change the angle he is listening from. If it is tires should show visible cupping of chafing.

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post #9 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 3:01 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

It is TIRES! This is a classic. How many times have we heard this same question?

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post #10 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 3:06 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Another vote for tires. Mine did this until I replaced them.

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post #11 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 5:04 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Cupped front tire.

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post #12 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 5:38 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

To prove it is the problem, check the tyre closely for feathered edges. Then, if this is the case, take a 4" angle grinder fitted with a polyfan (flapper disc) wheel and lightly grind off the proud rubber. Take a test ride and the noise / vibration will be gone. I did it recently on a badly feathered Metz 880 rear, worked a treat. Your risk though of course, typical crazy Aussie fix

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post #13 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 6:19 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
No, the engineer is not mistaken, but it is a matter of degree. A motorcycle had much less lateral force than a car, but it isn't zero. In a turn, the contact patch is not on the tire centerline hence the force is not completely radial. And the wider the tire, the greater the distance that the force is offset from the center of the tire.
My comment was intended to convey the principle that a motorcycle wheel doesn't have nearly the same axial loading as a car wheel and cannot be compared to a car wheel. Fact remains that the axial load is very close to zero, and if not zero then insignificant compared to the radial load. I really didn't want to argue about the relative magnitude of the loading, but after constructing a vector force diagram it seems the axial loading is only about 10% of the radial loading banking at 45degrees. So I concede there is a small axial loading on the wheel bearings, but not nearly enough to get excited about.

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post #14 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 9:11 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres View Post
My comment was intended to convey the principle that a motorcycle wheel doesn't have nearly the same axial loading as a car wheel and cannot be compared to a car wheel. Fact remains that the axial load is very close to zero, and if not zero then insignificant compared to the radial load. I really didn't want to argue about the relative magnitude of the loading, but after constructing a vector force diagram it seems the axial loading is only about 10% of the radial loading banking at 45degrees. So I concede there is a small axial loading on the wheel bearings, but not nearly enough to get excited about.
A wide tire on a small diameter wheel could exceed 10%, but I suspect 10% is a reasonable estimate for an LT. At gross weight, the rear wheel could have 800 lbs on it. Factor in the "g" load at a 45 degree bank and you are well over 1,000 lbs. 10% of that puts at least 100 lbs of side force on bearings that aren't designed primarily for such forces. This could readily cause a failing bearing to make a different sound than when loaded with a pure radial load.

But, I still think the issue here is the tires.

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post #15 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 9:25 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Run your fingers along the edge of the tires. Cupping, scalloping, feathering, or whatever you want to call it causes the noise you describe and it gets louder as you lean the bike. In other words, compare the tread to a new tire. If it's not smooth, it'll make noise. If the tires are smooth, look elsewhere, but a bearing noise is usually speed dependant and won't change with a simple lean.


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post #16 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 9:43 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Let's end the mystery - I bet you are running Metzlers - also known as howlers!!

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post #17 of 33 Old Feb 24th, 2014, 10:46 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Nothing beats that new tire feel.


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post #18 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:51 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Yep, nothing beats that new tire feel, unfortunately it doesn't last very long.
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post #19 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 11:36 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
A wide tire on a small diameter wheel could exceed 10%, but I suspect 10% is a reasonable estimate for an LT. At gross weight, the rear wheel could have 800 lbs on it. Factor in the "g" load at a 45 degree bank and you are well over 1,000 lbs. 10% of that puts at least 100 lbs of side force on bearings that aren't designed primarily for such forces. This could readily cause a failing bearing to make a different sound than when loaded with a pure radial load.

But, I still think the issue here is the tires.

Good to know we all agree it is the tire, nevertheless I looked into the wheel bearings a little more closely just to satisfy my own mind.

Due to the ratio of the axial to the radial load (<10%) in a typical motorcycle application, the deep groove bearing load calculations treat the axial load as zero. The dynamic equivalent radial load is then determined only by the radial loading. This means that for motorcycle applications the axial loading in general is of no significance for deep groove ball bearings.

However, the LT uses a deep groove ball bearing (6204) on the right, and a double-row angular contact ball bearing (5204) on the left. This is unique to the K1200LT/RS/GT and also unusual since all the other motorcycles I've know use deep groove ball bearings on both sides, even the GW and the newer K12/13/16. Because the axial load on the wheel is very low, a deep groove ball bearing would have sufficed as proven by its use on all other motorcycles. The angular contact surely adds stiffness to the assembly, and has a much higher radial and axial load rating than the deep groove. The BMW axle design actually locates the wheel at the angular contact and leave the deep groove free to float in the wheel. The angular contact wil therefore take care of the entire axial load and the radial load will be shared with the deep groove.

I know this doesn't speak to many, but I thought it was an interesting observation. Just another aspect that distinguishes the LT (and the brick RS/GT) from other bikes.

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post #20 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 11:55 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

If your rear tire is a ME880 you have your answer... Mine used to howl and also make noise while riding over the rain grooves on the freeway.
I now run BT020s and the rear does not howl, and the rain grooves noise is gone.

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post #21 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 12:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Gentlemen,
I greatly appreciate your fast and totall response.
My first suspicion also was the tires but I thought it would be better to get "a second opinion" as we say. Thank you all very much for replying.Checked both wheels bearings for any play/looseness but they seem pretty ridgid. Not even the slightest move. My front tire looks in good shape and no visible cupping on it. The rear one gives me the impression that is worn more than the front one. It looks flat at the centerline like it suffered a burn-out test by the previous owner.
My first move will be to remove the wheels and do one more thorough bearings check(it will cost me nothing) and then after I see that the bearings are ok as I believe I will start asking the tires prices in order to replace them.
I did some clode-ups of my tires to show you. Metzies of course.
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post #22 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 12:21 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres View Post
Good to know we all agree it is the tire, nevertheless I looked into the wheel bearings a little more closely just to satisfy my own mind.

Due to the ratio of the axial to the radial load (<10%) in a typical motorcycle application, the deep groove bearing load calculations treat the axial load as zero. The dynamic equivalent radial load is then determined only by the radial loading. This means that for motorcycle applications the axial loading in general is of no significance for deep groove ball bearings.

However, the LT uses a deep groove ball bearing (6204) on the right, and a double-row angular contact ball bearing (5204) on the left. This is unique to the K1200LT/RS/GT and also unusual since all the other motorcycles I've know use deep groove ball bearings on both sides, even the GW and the newer K12/13/16. Because the axial load on the wheel is very low, a deep groove ball bearing would have sufficed as proven by its use on all other motorcycles. The angular contact surely adds stiffness to the assembly, and has a much higher radial and axial load rating than the deep groove. The BMW axle design actually locates the wheel at the angular contact and leave the deep groove free to float in the wheel. The angular contact wil therefore take care of the entire axial load and the radial load will be shared with the deep groove.

I know this doesn't speak to many, but I thought it was an interesting observation. Just another aspect that distinguishes the LT (and the brick RS/GT) from other bikes.
Very interesting. Since my wheel bearings have thus far been trouble-free, I have not had occasion to delve into the design details. Looks like belt and suspenders engineering by BMW.

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post #23 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 1:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg View Post
If your rear tire is a ME880 you have your answer... Mine used to howl and also make noise while riding over the rain grooves on the freeway.
I now run BT020s and the rear does not howl, and the rain grooves noise is gone.
Yeah, you're correct. It is a ME880. What brand are the BT020s? I will take the advice from all of you for a good set of tires that you use so I go after them.
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post #24 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 1:20 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
Yeah, you're correct. It is a ME880. What brand are the BT020s? I will take the advice from all of you for a good set of tires that you use so I go after them.
Bridgestone is the BT020.

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post #25 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 1:46 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
Gentlemen,
I greatly appreciate your fast and totall response.
My first suspicion also was the tires but I thought it would be better to get "a second opinion" as we say. Thank you all very much for replying.Checked both wheels bearings for any play/looseness but they seem pretty ridgid. Not even the slightest move. My front tire looks in good shape and no visible cupping on it. The rear one gives me the impression that is worn more than the front one. It looks flat at the centerline like it suffered a burn-out test by the previous owner.
My first move will be to remove the wheels and do one more thorough bearings check(it will cost me nothing) and then after I see that the bearings are ok as I believe I will start asking the tires prices in order to replace them.
I did some clode-ups of my tires to show you. Metzies of course.
Check whatever you like, but changing tires is the solution - if you insist of getting rid of the howling.

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post #26 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 6:48 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

I haven't read where you actually took your hand and ran it over the entire surface of the front tire. In my experience, "cupping" (or whatever it is properly called - there is some disagreement here) is more readily felt than seen. If the front tire is at all worn unevenly (cupped) it can create the strange noise you are hearing.

And that rear tire is definitely worn and due for a change. Look for tread wear indicators in the grooves of the tire.

You will find that you get many more miles on a Metzeler front tire than a rear tire. There are a few exceptions, of course.

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post #27 of 33 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 7:48 pm
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

I can see in your photo that the front tire is cupped. The rear is way past it's safe service life.


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post #28 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 1:19 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

After seeing the pictures, I'm going way back out on that same limb I was before: Tires, 100% (up from 95%).

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post #29 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 2:05 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

If the answer is cupping, would you guys recommend dyno beads be put in the tyres? I only ask as the tyres on my 07 look fairly new when I got the bike last year and would rather preserve their shape now as wait till it's to late. If the answer is a yes for the beads how many ounces per wheel. Thanks and sorry for hijacking the thread

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post #30 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 7:09 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Hey André

" I know this doesn't speak to many, but I thought it was an interesting observation "

I like to know this sort of stuff.

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

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post #31 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 7:23 am Thread Starter
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Ok guys, I 'll take your knowledge as granted and go for the tires. I say this because I 'm only one year on the LT, I don't have your experience. Of course the tires will have to wait a bit as my pocket is sick now. Tires on the first chance. Anyway I 'll put her in the garage now, leaving to Kuwait and Saudi for work soon.
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post #32 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 9:58 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

Don't know about dyna beads but I swear by Ride-On tire sealant and balancer.
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post #33 of 33 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 10:48 am
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Re: Weird noice while riding!!!

The best defense against cupping is to keep the tires aired up to the maximum pressure allowed on the sidewalls. Cupping is caused by "scrubbing" or "squirm" as the contact patch rolls down the pavement. Higher pressure reduces scrub and extends tread life. The drawback is that your tires will wear out in the center of the tread first. Some people misinterpret this as abnormal, without considering how long the tire actually lasted. So while your perception may be that your tire had abnormal wear on it, check the odometer to see how long it actually lasted.


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