07 slow speed front end wander - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2012, 6:16 pm Thread Starter
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07 slow speed front end wander

Greetings,
Here is a question for anyone who cares to reply. M/C- 07 1200GT with 65,000km (35 k miles)

Scenario- At between 20 and 35 mph, smooth pavement and steady throttle the front end wants to wander. It feels like going over a rain groove and having to correct for the side to side change. I experienced this with the Mich PR3 last summer and again with the PR2 I have on now. I run matched sets and replace them both at the same time when replacing.

M/c on the center stand with the back end weighted down- the front end is smooth stop to stop. Almost turns too easy.

Front is always at 39psi for both the PR3 and now PR2.

I cleaned and lubed the steering damper. No change to the 'problem'. I know just don't go that speed.

Some have mentioned lube the front end ball joints on the wheel carrier , front suspension. No lube is called for looking at the ball joint replacement fiche.
There is however lube called for when replacing the top and bottom leading link. Grease is used only on the shaft, not on the leading link .

Anyone else experienced this situation or can suggest a fix?
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 2012, 7:00 pm
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I am experiencing exactly the same thing (also a 2007 K-GT, and about the same mileage.) Sometimes a dented ball joint is suggested as a possible cause but if that exists in my case it is impossible to feel, steering (with front wheel off the ground) seems absolutely smooth.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 3:02 pm
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I would guess that if there is a dent in the upper ball (which would be the most likely scenario) that it might not be noticeable on the center stand, try it on a wet garage floor so there will be weight on the front end.

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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 4:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GillyWI
I would guess that if there is a dent in the upper ball (which would be the most likely scenario) that it might not be noticeable on the center stand, try it on a wet garage floor so there will be weight on the front end.
That's a good thought, will try that.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 6:51 pm Thread Starter
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Just tried as suggested- m/c on ther c stand with weight on the front tire. Other than the resistance of the tire on the smooth concrete I can't feel any notchiness.

When riding though at the spped mentioned the front just sort of wants to fall over at constant throttle. It isn't in my imagination.........before putting on 65 kon this bike I put on 270 on my 1100Rt and never experienced anything like this. yes they are different bikes in a lot of ways and the front end is different but??? what am I missing here?

As mentioned earlier I did lube up the steering damper so I am going to eliminate that for now. Removing the other parts that could be lubed (the shaft) or even the ball joints does seem a little extreme but you guys could be right.

I'll see what I can find out when I pull the front rim off to put on the BT023's. Maybe the 3rd different tire set will be the fix.

Let me know if you good folks have any more words of wisdom, I'm willing to check out anything....
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 7:26 pm
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Tires might have a lot to do with it... when I first encountered this problem it occasionally seemed so bad that I was concerned about riding the bike for fear something was loose in the front end (in spite of being repeatedly unable to find anything wrong during inspections.) But the front tire was very worn and knowing how much trouble a worn front tire can cause I replaced it, and the problem almost went away, but not quite. But now I wonder if it wasn't the tire all along and the little bit I feel now is just hypersensitivity because now I am actively looking for it (if you look hard enough for any running problem on a bike you will find it ) If I have the front end apart for something (shock replacement, etc.) I'll probably replace the ball joint just to be sure, but I'm sure not gonna tear the front end apart for it at this point, at least until I am sure that it isn't just some duolever sensitivity to tires or somthing.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 8:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiller
Tires might have a lot to do with it... when I first encountered this problem it occasionally seemed so bad that I was concerned about riding the bike for fear something was loose in the front end (in spite of being repeatedly unable to find anything wrong during inspections.) But the front tire was very worn and knowing how much trouble a worn front tire can cause I replaced it, and the problem almost went away, but not quite. But now I wonder if it wasn't the tire all along and the little bit I feel now is just hypersensitivity because now I am actively looking for it (if you look hard enough for any running problem on a bike you will find it ) If I have the front end apart for something (shock replacement, etc.) I'll probably replace the ball joint just to be sure, but I'm sure not gonna tear the front end apart for it at this point, at least until I am sure that it isn't just some duolever sensitivity to tires or somthing.
There have been several examples of riders with similar problems that went away after changing the tires. Sometimes you can get the tire company to replace the defective product. Give them a call and ask what they think.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 9:10 pm
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I have had the same problem on my 07 gt, through 3 sets of tires, about 24000 mi. One dealer told me twice that they didn't notice the wander.They said the esa wire to the front shock was broken and fixed it they said it was cycling through the three settings and probably what I was noticing was bouncing ,not wandering When looking at for a 3rd time they finally admitted there was a problem,they changed the final drive and said it was fixed,it was still wandering. At the second dealer they said it has worn tires and wouldn't even look any farther for another cause. The third dealer changed the steering dampener. At each dealer I sudgested it may be the ball joints, I was told that they were trained mechanics and I was not. Leave it up to them to fix the problem. So now with 33000mi. it still wanders side to side, about 6". I have lost faith in dealers , and BMW . after problems with my k1200lt and now this, I doubt I will ever buy a new one.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 9:50 pm
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These bike's have very sensitive issue's with tire's like spoiled bitches have with their shoes

i've spent most my money on bike's boat's and broad's the rest i've wasted..
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2012, 10:11 am
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With the front unweighted, if there is no detectable play in any link -not even a millimeter -and the head seings from side to side with no change in resistance, then I doubt it's a problem with any links or ball joints. From my experience with my '07, it's normal for the head to swing side to side with very little resistance even with the damper attached. I think the only other way to rule out the links and joints is to tear them down, which is labor intense/expensive.

Before doing that, consider the possibility that your suspension dampers (front and rear) are worn out. With help, see how quickly the bike returns to a normal attitude after lifting up or pressing down, preferably by comparing to another GT without the symptoms.

Worn shocks on my '07 manifested as a vagueness to the steering that sometimes felt like wandering or even wobbling. I first noticed it at 39000 mi, so it's pretty close to your mileage. I did not notice the usual symptoms of worn shocks such as pogoing, and changing the ESA settings did not affect the vagueness. However, replacing the shocks immediately eliminated the problem.
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