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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
RYP
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New Owner Front end float?

I am the new owner of an '03 12GT with 5,000 miles. Previously rode an '02 R1100S Prep. I really like the GT... the power, the ABS/cruise/heat/etc.

However, I have noticed that the front end seems to wander or move a bit, not the result of steering inputs, at least as I can tell. Seems to happen most often between 60-80 mph on open road. Pavement doesn't seem to be the issue. Tires are in good shape with less than 1,000 miles.

Any advice as to what may cause the front end wander/feel light?

RYP
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 9:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYP
I am the new owner of an '03 12GT with 5,000 miles. Previously rode an '02 R1100S Prep. I really like the GT... the power, the ABS/cruise/heat/etc.

However, I have noticed that the front end seems to wander or move a bit, not the result of steering inputs, at least as I can tell. Seems to happen most often between 60-80 mph on open road. Pavement doesn't seem to be the issue. Tires are in good shape with less than 1,000 miles.

Any advice as to what may cause the front end wander/feel light?

RYP
Are you goosing it during roll-on acceleration? That thing has a torquey 130 hp to play with.

2015 Yamaha SMAX (XC155) -- "battle scooter"
Looking at BMW again... what to buy?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 9:45 pm
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Those tyres look less than average, and while having not covered many km's they may be old all the same. The only thing between your ride and the road are the rubber hoops - spend the cash and buy some new tyres. I have run Michelins for the last 6 years - Pilot road 2CT on the rear and a Power up front and have been very happy. Now if you really want it to handle, get yourself a set of Ohlins....
BTW looking at the photos again, the calipers are embossed with BMW - not so on the 2001 model which I believe has Brembo on them.

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 9:51 pm Thread Starter
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Seems to happen at a constant speed. While I realize that I am working with 130+ hp, my previous bike had 90+ and was a good bit lighter, so I don't believe that throttle movement is having an affect.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 10:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingkiwi
Those tyres look less than average, and while having not covered many km's they may be old all the same. The only thing between your ride and the road are the rubber hoops - spend the cash and buy some new tyres. I have run Michelins for the last 6 years - Pilot road 2CT on the rear and a Power up front and have been very happy. Now if you really want it to handle, get yourself a set of Ohlins....
BTW looking at the photos again, the calipers are embossed with BMW - not so on the 2001 model which I believe has Brembo on them.
New Perelli Corsa rubber was put on this past August when the dealer did the 20000 KM service. No problems there. Yeah, I hear you about Ohlins... once the rear shock dies I will go the Ohlins route. Apparently I got "Sport Suspension" as a MSRP option. Not sure how good it is and how well it will hold up. The rear seems compliant.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 10:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYP
Seems to happen at a constant speed. While I realize that I am working with 130+ hp, my previous bike had 90+ and was a good bit lighter, so I don't believe that throttle movement is having an affect.
Your front shock may be prematurely pooched. Also check the play on the front bearings. At 5000 km, both the shock and bearings should be perfectly fine.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 11:03 pm
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Don't notice float at that speed with my k13gt but sure gets light when running to redline in 1st. Feels like I am just barely touching ground.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 2009, 10:20 am
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RYP, these bikes are rock solid at speed even in wind.

When you say the word “wander” do you mean like go everywhere, “wander all over the place.”?

If you mean wander to the right, as in drifts to the right, we all know about that. !

These bikes do as a rule drift “wander” to the right.
Depending on what tires you use it can be very slight to extreme.

Other items look at for wandering, not just a drift to right;
What brand and type tire is on the bike?
Tire pressure, Frt 38 to 40 PSI, Rear 42 PSI
Is swing arm tight, no play to very little play?
Was front tire/wheel installed on the axle shaft to forks correctly?
There is a spacer between the rear wheel and the centering spigot “hub” is it in place?
Are all wheels secured “bolts torque” correctly?
Has this bike been wrecked, is alignment correct?

Hope that helps.

Barry
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 9:02 pm
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RYP,
Do the check on tightness of things. check for wheel play etc. Steering head, steering damper, My first guess would be rear tire pressure.
If nothing else, we might could go for a short ride, and you try my 03 RS for comparison.

It can also be a combination of tires and road surface which I have noticed at times.

I have noticed this wandering but only when the pavement is not smooth but having a variety of ridges running along it from top coat resurfacing.

Good luck with this.

Stephen

NC Piedmont rider
03 K RS
74 Honda CB750
76 Pillion Rider Ver 1.0
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 2009, 6:40 pm
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My front end also wanders, 2003 K1200RS, but only when I am buffeted in the wake of semi trailers. It makes it very interesting when you have to pass 2 or 3 of them at the same time.....! Meeting semis on the highway the bike may give a couple light head shakes.Downshifting certainly helps, you have to get those horses to push you out of it.7,000 RPM+ in 3rd or 4th....Yippeee, I love it....

I have been on the road with all my camping gear for the last week and took the opportunity to experiment a bit. Tire pressure, 36 or 42....no difference. Rear suspension adjustments, also no difference but the rear end is slightly unstable if the dampening isn't set high enough. Normal....!The so called "Steering Damper" is fine and I have absolutely no reason to suspect the ball joint, wheel bearings or anything else, any of those would give other signs if they were at fault.

After all that I was at a loss figuring this out.....but I did....! My bike only wanders when the windscreen is in the high position....I push it down and it stops completely! My best guess on that one is that BMW's accountants only allowed wind tunnel testing time for the windscreen on the low position......! And to think they were so proud of that wind tunnel testing back in 85 when I bought a K100RS, they were even using that fact in their publicity.....! Times change...!

The solution however I do not have.....replacing that crappy front shock may help, or buying my first full face helmet in 25 years and keeping the screen down also could help. Mind you right now I am on the Oregon Coast and would rather keep it up because of the rain.....!

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