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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today while riding my 1999 K1200LT I let go of the handle bars for a second.

The handle bars started shaking from side to side till I grabbed them again.

Tried this few times with more or less the same results, couple of times though there was no shaking.

Is this normal for this bike?

Or does this indicate simply a bad uneven asphalt? or maybe simply a front tire that needs to be replaced ?

How do I know (without spending a lot of money) if the steering mechanicals are OK and not need of repairs?

Thank you.
 

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Under normal wear can this be related to a unbalanced front tire and/or a worn out damper.
If your tire is already more then 7k mi on the bike I would suggest it is the tire, is wobbling and creates somekind of a howling noise in curves.

Hope this helps you,

Manfred
 

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The LT can do this, its designed so close to neutral steering. So #1, don't let go.
Suspension setup, worn suspension, tire condition and inflation, speed can all effect it. So don't let go. Doctor, Doctor it hurts when I raise my arm... then Doctor says don't raise your arm. ;)
 

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BMW_forever said:
Today while riding my 1999 K1200LT I let go of the handle bars for a second.

The handle bars started shaking from side to side till I grabbed them again.

Thank you.
My 2005 does it at about 30 to 40 mph. My steering damper seems fine and my tires only have 2.5k miles on the Metzler brand with 42 front and 48 rear. They seem to be wearing very normally. I have tried to see if it is from the pavement type and other factors but cannot figure it out. I have learned NOT to let go of the bars below about 50mph ( of course you never should let go of them). But it is a bad shake when it does it and could cause the bike to go down I am sure.
 

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Just to give you more input on this. My LT here in Germany with more than 80k km has no wobbling at all. I can ride this bike over quite a distance without any hand on the handlebar it is leaning then a bit to the right side but almost straight. My LT in the states with 22k mi is wobbling up from 30 - 40 mi without a hand on the handlebar. Damper is ok in my opinion, tire was quite new but I think it is coming from the unbalanced or bad balanced front tire.
Have to check this next time back in the states.
But anyhow it is quite dangerous to ride a bike in this condition, it should go straight not wobble at all. If t´here is something you should serge for the reason and fix it, on high speed it could safe your life.

Manfred
 

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If your damper is shot, drop a PM to CochinoSucio. He will swap yours for a rebuilt unit at nominal cost.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Mine has had this come and go (11 Rears and 6 Fronts in 76K miles) and it was always eliminated by replacing (or rebalancing) the front tire. One time a new tire did not fix it and I traced it to the fact the new tire was slightly out of round.
 

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All the LT's will do it when the stars align ie: you let go of the bars around 40 mph decelerating. Just another adorable characteristic of the baby. The fix Don't let go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mreuter said:
Just to give you more input on this. My LT here in Germany with more than 80k km has no wobbling at all. I can ride this bike over quite a distance without any hand on the handlebar it is leaning then a bit to the right side but almost straight. My LT in the states with 22k mi is wobbling up from 30 - 40 mi without a hand on the handlebar. Damper is ok in my opinion, tire was quite new but I think it is coming from the unbalanced or bad balanced front tire.
Have to check this next time back in the states.
But anyhow it is quite dangerous to ride a bike in this condition, it should go straight not wobble at all. If t´here is something you should serge for the reason and fix it, on high speed it could safe your life.

Manfred
I appreciate all the replies.

I don't usually let go of the handlebars but they should not shake either. I think that is simply common sense, that the front end should not shake....it does not make noise, just a shake from side to side.

I do know and I am sure this is a factor, that the roads (most of them) in California suck. I've seen better roads in 3rd world countries. Where the roads in Germany, especially on the Autoban are great. So maybe this is the reason.

There also could be time for a new front tire, it was on the bike when I bought it. I put about 5000 miles on the bike so far. And not sure how long the tires were on the bike when I bought it used.
 

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I am testing driving a 2005 LT with 40K miles. While on smooth and rough roadways the handle bars shake (violently) if I let go of them. Bike does not seem to wobble??? With one finger on the bars it does not happen. Sometimes it does not happen??? Owner says he has ridden without holding the bars with no problem. Front tire is new. Owner is having shop check it out.

I had a 71 75/5 that I could ride without touching the bars with no problem.I cant believe a modern bike would not have shaking handle bars designed out of them. Something must be wrong.
 

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This shake is kind of typical to LT. More typical to newer (after facelift) model as the steering angle was changed to ease handling in low speeds. Normally it seems to be result of worn front tire or there has even been suspicion of certain Metzeler tires (made in Brazil) been more prone to cause it.

I have never experienced it in my -99. I know several LTs having suffered from it. All bikes have been 2005 or newer. Some have experienced it with brand new tire. After switching the tire the shake has vanished. One (very pissed and determined) biker had to try two new tires before getting rid of it.

So something in the newer LT:s geometry makes it prone whatever small faults in tire, suspension or something. So not unusual at all....
 

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I can not add anything smart to this conversation, but watching motorbike races I see violent wobbles that frequently result in total loss of control and crashes.
I would think that these bikes are in perfect condition, before the race starts and as often as this happens, wouldn't the racing team find a solution ?
 

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I have had it come and go over the last 8 years and several sets of tires. New tires almost always make it go away unless you get one that is out of round. Often just a re-balance of a worn tire will eliminate it.
 

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My 2006 LT did it when decelerating, especially from 35 down to 5 miles per hour. If you did not hold both hands on the bars it shook violently. I too thought it was the front tire. I took it to the dealer and he said all 2005 and newer LT's do this. The first time it happened was very unnerving. After hearing it was normal, I'd get it to do it and experiment with how to get it not to do the violent headshake. I found out on mine, it is in the drive. When it starts the violent headshake from a light one hand grip on the bars, shift into neutral and the shake will stop immediately. At least mine did. I could not get it to shake at any speed while it was in neutral. Somehow the drive train causes this shake. I could put mine in neutral at 35 and take both hands off the bars and it would be rock solid until you were going so slow you had to grab the bars to keep from falling.
 

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Greetings,

I just picked up my first LT last night. It's an '02 and had the wobble happen while riding it home. It shook me up pretty good. What's the first order of business in troubleshooting the disorder?

Thanks
 

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99.9 % of it is caused by worn or unbalanced or out of round tires. This is a wobble that appears on deceleration from 50 to 30 with hands off the bars. Easiest fix is don't let go of the bars followed by replace or re-balance the tires.
 

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C-A-D said:
One (very pissed and determined) biker had to try two new tires before getting rid of it.
.. sounds like someone I know... :rolleyes:
 

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I had this same issue when i first bought my LT, tires were Metzlers and had 12,000 on them. installed new tires and just for the heck of it i tried loosing my grip on the bars (hands off) and deceleration from 60 to 10 was just fine. this front Metz has about 16000 on it. 05 with 28,000. just my 2 cents.
 

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My bike had a minor wobble at 45, replaced Shocks, Olins, new A arm, breaks and tires.
Bad shake at 40 returned to dealer they made adjustments, no change, next yr time for new tires, shake is gone. BTW My dampner hasn't been functional and still isnt for a long time.
 
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