BMW K1200, K1300, and K1600 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 :rotf: .

Anyone else experienced this situation or can suggest a fix?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
GillyWI said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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. :D

Let me know if you good folks have any more words of wisdom, I'm willing to check out anything.... :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
752 Posts
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 :D ) 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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,397 Posts
smiller said:
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 :D ) 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
These bike's have very sensitive issue's with tire's like spoiled bitches have with their shoes :rotf:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Interesting. it may be the shocks but is sure doesnt' feel like it. I think I know what a worn out shock(s) feel like. They can pgo but they don't ususally do the wander only at a certain speed.

I think I have eliminated the tires ( 2m new sets) going on 3.

ESA wire , ok will check. What should I be expecting to happen when checking or what should I be looking for? All was good on 5 or 6 front and rear tire changes ...?

:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I'm loving the feedback.

I ride ESA 'sport' mode' and don't believe it is the schocks based on what I can tell.

Others (from different sites) have had their front ball joints and damper etc inspected and all was OK. Some experienced less wandering if they lowerd front tire pressure to 36 from 39psi (more contact patch). I also found more wander riding 2 up (less contact patch on the front). So, could the contact patch profile part of the wander problem?

Well, that and maybe the shocks and ball joints and damper and the wind and the road and the ????

Inquiring minds are a searching....... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
I don't follow the logic of less front contact patch while riding 2 up. MORE in the rear than the front, but a passenger won't "lift" the front end, there will be more weight on the front, not less.

If the passenger sat at some point behind the rear wheel, then I could see it creating less weight on the front wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
As a test, you could try seriously reducing the front pressure, just for a few miles to see if it stop the wandering, I'd suggest trying 30 psi or so, again just for the length of time it takes to analyze, a few miles I would hope. Then again I know I've checked my tires and found them this low.......

:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
What make/model of tires to do have? I've read this online in tire tests for the k-bikes. Seems has though some tires have wander to them and some don't. I also think higher tire pressure can help. I had pirelli angel st's on mine (they suck) and it would wander a bit at slow speeds decelerating/stopping. The pr3's I have now do not at all. May also be tire ware. I haven't been able to find that article again. But wander seems to be common with these bikes on certain tire applications or worn tires of any kind....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I found it again. I googled BT023 review and it was under there. Here's a copy and paste....



One thing that I have noticed is that the front-end does wiggle back and forth at speeds below 10-15mph if you take your hands off the bars; the FJR is notorious for this depending on the tire. All of the Avon tires caused it to happen as well as this Bridgestone. The bike didn’t do it when we ran the Pirelli Angels or the Metzelers we’ve had in the past. It doesn’t really bother me, and if you don’t take both hands off the bars you’ll never feel it, but it is something to mention.

http://www2.2wf.com/index.php/produ...irelli-angel-st-vs-bridgestone-battlax-bt-023

Remember this was an FJR doing the same thing. So it's just charactics of the tires I guess. I believe the Pirelli's wander on my bike too. But they came on my bike when I bought it used so just could be the ware. Maybe you should try Metzelers and let us know what you think......?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I first noticed it starting on half worn PR3's last summer . Also experienced it at the half worn point on the PR2's I have on now. I will be replacing them on monday with the BT023's (heavy rear carcass) so by the end of July I should have an indication if these also start to wander when they get worn.

I'll have to try lowering the pressure on the front and see if this helps. I usually run 39psi, monitored constantly..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
I have been going through the same problem for 2 years on my 2006. Went to 2 dealers and asked them about a ball joint problem. Both said they never heard of a ball joint going bad on a GT. Well 2 weeks ago at 41K, with it on the center stand and someone sitting on the passenger seat to get the front tire off the ground I grabbed the wheel carrier on both sides at the axle and there was for and aft play. Bingo!!!! The bottom ball joint had play in it. I replaced both because it's such a pain to get to them and it's like a new bike. Do your ball joints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
I should add that it started with a slow speed wonder. It progressively got worse to the point of running down the Interstate at 100mph it would wonder all over the place, it got real scary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Been There Too..

:) My '08 had what the dealer called "a notched ball joint" causing trouble just like what has been described. Kind of like having the steering head bearings too tight on my '86 Connie. Really spooky feeling for sure.

Good luck!
Scott
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top