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All, I just bought a 2011 R1200RT. The ride seems a bit mushy (rear end unstable) at highway speeds. I adjust the ESA and can't feel any difference in the ride. Question: With the bike being equipped with ESA, is there a requirement to manually set the damper as outlined in the manual?
 

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lbpilot said:
All, I just bought a 2011 R1200RT. The ride seems a bit mushy (rear end unstable) at highway speeds. I adjust the ESA and can't feel any difference in the ride. Question: With the bike being equipped with ESA, is there a requirement to manually set the damper as outlined in the manual?

I've got a 2011 as well and no manual adjust that I am aware of. My set up when solo is Single plus luggage as I'm a bit larger than most. For highway riding I like the Comfort setting. The bike wallows a bit sometimes but I like the smoother ride over the road surface. Have had no stability issues when riding 80-85, on rain groves or even from passing semi's. For the twisties, I set to sport and can feel the back end tighten up considerably. You may just need to play with the settings a bit more.
 

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An "unstable rear end" is not normal and could even be dangerous. I'd bring it back to the dealer for an inspection right away.

Good luck.
 

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Do the basics (if you haven't already), check the tire pressures. Make sure everything is snug back there. If you weigh 200 lbs or more set the ESA for one helmet and bag. As mentioned if you are a big guy go for the two helmet setting. The comfort rebound is pretty soft and good for the rough freeway but back roads be aware. The bike actually handles very good if you put the suspension at sport and two helmets. But that is for extreme work. If it still is giving troubles check with the dealer. It sounds unusual because the bikes are pretty darn good.
 

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Obviously, how seat of the pants stability feels to anyone is a personal thing but if you think an RT feels unstable - it's time for you to hustle yourself and that bike straight back to the dealer. Something serious may be wrong - for example, rear wheel bolts not properly torqued - that could hurt you. OR as noted, it could be something as simple as a low tire.

If you have TPS on the bike and are using that to verify your pressures, don't. Use a known accurate [reasonably accurate, too many variables to be true] gauge and check it yourself. Put the pressure at 40 or 42 on the rear. Personally, I run 42 front and rear and my bike is rock solid. I run PR2s and the bike is a 2007 with 55,000 on it.

Lastly, take the bags off the bike, grab the wheel at 12 and 6, and move it side to side to see if there's any movement. There shouldn't be any. If there is - dealer time.

Either way, other than the tire pressures, it's dealer time.
 

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Is there a (big) topcase on this unstable bike? If so, you may try without it.
 

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One more thought, if you have Bridgestones on the bike next tires get some Michelin PR3s for a change or Metzler Z6. Check the tire threads for popular tires. (and check your tire pressures36/42 is a good place to start)
 
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