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Discussion Starter #1
In July this year, I bought a 6,000 mile 2008 Lux. It's my third KLT and replaced my 70,000 mile 2005 model, which I'd had from new. Before her, I'd done best part of 100k on a 1999-er.

For all my mileage, I've ridden on Metzler Marathons. The latest bike came with them fitted. First proper ride on the new bike revealed handlebar vibration coming in at about 35mph and lasting to 50mph. If I loosened my grip slightly, there was quite a shimmy going on with the bars. I played around with tyre and suspension settings, but didn't manage to change the shake. I bought the bike over the web, from a BM dealership many miles away and had it delivered, so I'd not ridden the bike before that. It has a BMW used bike warranty for a year.

It's now registered with my local dealership, and I explained the issue to them. They checked the tyre code and said the bike had 2008/9 Metzlers still fitted. To the eye, these looked fine despite possibly having been on the bike from new. The dealership I bought from told me they had never fitted tyres and assumed the previous owner (who they no longer had contact details for) had done these through a tyre specialist - with the possibility that the wheels had not been balanced. Neither wheel had any lead balance weight attached.

So, I was recommended to fit two new tyres. My local BM dealership did this - ME880 front and ME888 rear. They assured me Metzler are happy with this partnership, and that 888 fronts are not yet available, while 880 rears are now just about impossible to source in the UK.

Fitting the new tyres has made no difference to the bar vibration and wobble. It still lasts 35mph to 50mph, despite once again fiddling with pressures and suspension. Habitually I run my Metzlers at around 41 front 46 rear for solo riding.

I was assured that the wheels had been balanced. Rear has a balance weight now, but front seemed not to need one.

I simply do not recall any time when either of my two previous KLTs had this vibration/shake issue. My local dealer is inclined to insult me by saying "they all do that to a certain extent", which I reject.

Any comments. Might the steering damper be faulty, perhaps?
 

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You're right, the LT front is not supposed to shake.
It is my observation that the steering damper is along for the ride most of the time.....only there to stop a tank slapper, not for every day wobble.

I would start by putting a block of wood under the engine & lifting the front with a jack. Give every thing a good touchy - feely.

I think something may be loose in the front.
 

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Hyperpro Steering Dampers

Steering dampener from Hyper pro, RSC model is adjustable.

I would have the front wheel rechecked for balance and possibility of other issues.
 

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I went through the same thing. Dealer said normal occurrence. I have 4 friends that have LT's and they all do it. It is only at low speed that it happens and even the slightest pressure with hands prevents it.
 

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in general terms it is difficult to isolate the cause of a shake or wobble, do not ignore the rear suspension, swing arm. as a possible cause.
Hve the rims been checked for true?
 

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I find that the handlebar wobble is most likely to occur while decelerating in that 35-50MPH area. I first had it happen right near my home. I live near steep hill that has a stop sign at the bottom. While decelerating down the hill, I happened to take one hand of the bars to adjust my helmet visor and had only light hand pressure on the other bar. A bit anxious for a moment. I suspect a steering damper service is in order for me.
 

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You're right, the LT front is not supposed to shake.
It is my observation that the steering damper is along for the ride most of the time.....only there to stop a tank slapper, not for every day wobble.

I would start by putting a block of wood under the engine & lifting the front with a jack. Give every thing a good touchy - feely.

I think something may be loose in the front.
Out of all the posts this post I believe is the best advise, sorry guys, he states accel not deceleration this is not normal its not the damper and anyone who says it is normal is a nut job.
 

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have also heard good things about dyna beads for balance problems might be worth trying in the tyres
 

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Discussed ad-nauseum over the years, its a shit problem... took me 2 new sets of dealer installed Metz 880's over a couple of years to get rid of it after it started with a brand new tyre set. Do a search for threads on "wobble" or 'head shake"... mostly cupping on the front tyre can seem to cause it or maybe a badly manufactured or installed tyre, sometimes the rear tyre can cause it.... nearly always comes back to the tyres.

I did put a Hyperpro RSC damper on mine to help as you can adjust the response (stiffness) of the front a little through that...

Also balance my own tyres now after supplier install using a Marc Parnes balancer, and run "Slime" or similar puncture repair fluid inside which also helps to balance.
 

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I have had at least three self-purchased Metz on the front installed by a multi-brand dealer as well as a Beemer dealer. I have never experienced handlebar shake.
Have 65K on the bike now.
 

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Here is my experience (FWIW) over 10 years and 13 rear tires and 7 fronts. The wobble always went away with new tires EXCEPT one time and that was traced to a new front tire that was out of round. It also went away once with the removal of a front tire for a SmarTire sensor install halfway through the life of the tire and I remounted the same tire and the re-balance cured the wobble. It will always return as the tires wear. Just don't let go of the bars decelerating through 40-35 and it will never happen.
 

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Keep the tire pressure to max cold and if memory serves me correctly I have never had this problem with Bridgestone's only with Metzlers.

I think LOL

Later Steve
 

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MOST of the time the problem, for me, has been a worn front tire. Replace it and all should be well.
 

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Do Not overlook the rear tire and wheel. Many times similar situations as yours have been caused by the rear tire and wheel. Look to having your tire/wheel combinations dynamically balanced and not statically balanced.

Rick
 

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I wonder if this relates to the offset of the rear tire from the centerline of the bike. Most bikes you can adjust the centering of the swingarm by adjusting the bearings on either side. On our bikes the one side is fixed and the other is adjusted, thus the swingarm/tire is not adjustable.

Mine is offset slightly to the left and seems to have no affect on my 2000 but the OP is on a later model with the revised front geometry.

Something to think about and is easy to check with the string method.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks you all, for these thoughts.

I first had the problem, as my post said, on 6 year old Metzlers (identified by tyre code) that looked good but may have done as much as 6,000 miles. My dealership checked out all the obvious causes for me, and had the bike up on the bench, so I'm assuming (but will re-check) that they looked for a loose fork issue, or something like that.

It was the dealership who pointed out the possibility that the wheels hadn't been balanced, and they who arranged the new tyres to be fitted. I cannot believe the tyres are the problem, unless I was unlucky to have a maverick one on the bike when I bought it, and a maverick fitted when they were changed.

Thanks for ruling out the damper, too.

To be clear, the wobble comes in under acceleration and back again as I slow down. Always between 35 and 50 mph. Sure, I can live with it by not loosening my grip on the bars, and it goes away at 50+. However, who is to say it won't get worse, especially at speed, and one does, of course, do a great deal of day to day riding between 35 and 50.

I will be back to the dealers soon to ask for a full investigation under the warranty, and will report back.
 

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My 2007 did the front wheel wobble when it was brand new of the show room floor. The later 2005+ models will all do it if the right factors converge when you let go of the bars. It should only occur when decelerating between 35 and 50 mph. When I asked the dealer, the Master BMW tech who also owned a 2006LT said his did the same thing. He said it is most likely due to the more vertical steering head geometry change and will vary in intensity depending on bike loading, pre-load adjustment setting and tire wear (all of which affects geometry/angle of fork contact with road surface) but he also said as long has you have one hand on the bars it will not do it. If it does it under acceleration that is a problem. After seven years on my bike it does not concern me at all. Who rides with there hands off the handle bars anyway?
 

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Was there a warranty with the tires in the event you received a "maverick" tire from Metzler? If not, perhaps you can convince the dealer to install another front tire for a short test ride to rule out a "maverick" tire. It's a long shot, but it would either confirm a bad tire or something is awry with the suspension. A new set of Avons corrected the wobble on my LT.

Rob, 2000LT
Navarre, FL
 

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I'll just throw in my $.02 worth here.

I've not had it on my bike, but there are really only three causes for wobble regardless of the vehicle and all three have been mentioned in one or more posts.

1) if the tire(s) or wheel(s) is not round, out of balance or weak sidewall, you can get acceleration and deceleration wobble.
2) if the steering parts (damper, shock, bearings, etc.) have a weakness you can get wobble, but generally only deceleration (although not always).
3) if the angle of the caster is not positive enough based on the weight, COG, etc., you'll get wobble on both acceleration and deceleration.

In my personally opinion, you should never have wobble on any vehicle if everything is right. My 2000 will accelerate/decelerate and cruise practically with no hands (it will cruise without hands, but you can't really test it during acceleration/deceleration). If I had a mechanic tell me that wobble is normal, I'd seriously consider not returning to them.

Larry
 
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I guess I'll chime in too...
The wobble you describe was not present on my 2001 when I bought it used with 5K miles on it with the original Metzelers. It appeared on my bike after replacing both tires at around 10K miles. It persisted through another two sets of Metzelers, despite several attempts at balancing, re-mounting, etc. The 40 mph wobble disappeared after replacing the front with a Bridgestone BT-020, but a different slow-speed (1-2 mph) wobble appeared. That slow-speed wobble disappeared after replacing the rear Metzeler with a Bridgestone.

I do not believe that the damper is a factor in this at all.

I am not one to be content with "don't take your hands of the bars, and you'll be OK". It shouldn't happen, and it causes unnecessary wear on my bike and my attitude. I will be sure to post here if either wobble returns.

Good luck.
 
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