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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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...


John
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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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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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new02oldlt said:
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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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.
 

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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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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.

Regards
Leiboshi
 

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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?? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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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new02oldlt said:
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.
 

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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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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!

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BlauBeeMr said:
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!

:cool:
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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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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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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