Emergency Advice Needed! Front End Problem?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by JJJZJ, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    I am supposed to be leaving for a 3000 mile, 10 day trip in 10 hours. My bike has developed a front end shake in the last 2 weeks, but it is pretty pronounced now.

    I searched and tried a few things to fix it:

    1. Head bearing adjustment
    2. Tire pressure
    3. Adjusted the preload with gear on
    4. Took gear off and reset preload

    None of these things cured the problem. The shake isnt so bad i cant ride the bike. But this thing has 5k miles on it, what possibly would the problem be??

    So any other ideas I can do here? I can roll up to the dealer fully loaded tomorrow and beg for help so i can stick to the schedule or should i just go on the trip?

    I am pretty stressed as this is my first big trip, I would appreciate any help.

    -Jon
    #1
  2. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Is the front tire worn funny?
    #2
  3. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    The wear path seems to be ok.

    The tires themselves are the Pirelli Scorpion Trail Tires that came on the bike. One thing i have noticed is there seems to be some cracks (ie dryrotting) in the lug grooves.

    I boosted the PSI to 42 and reduced the preload with the bike empty. This seemed to have helped with the wobble.

    Then i took it for a spin with the luggage on. Once again, bad wobble.

    The top of the fork tubes also rest on the top of the fork clamp. I read there should be something like 7mm of exposed tube. Should I lower the forks in the clamps maybe?
    #3
  4. GoFar

    GoFar My butt hurts.

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    You reduced the springload? let's crank up the preload, and let's try RAISING the forks (or lower the top triple) to about 5mm. I have NO idea what it should be...I saw your post and it said emergency.

    Try this and see what it does unloaded and then loaded. Send me a PM. I can help you set it up if you need more help.
    #4
  5. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    Check PM.

    Sorry about the emergency part, but i have been planning this trip for 4 months and im a little freaked this happens the night before I have to go.

    i should revise it to "urgent" perhaps:rofl
    #5
  6. GoFar

    GoFar My butt hurts.

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    Nah...any trip that might get screwed up because of a mechanical is an emergency in my book!:eek1
    #6
  7. spafxer

    spafxer Long timer

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    You didn't mention tire balance. Since it is now an emergency, I'd replace the front tire (includes balance of course) with a Mefo or Heideneau.

    Good Luck. These things happen, since it's a long trip, you are all set to replace your own tires and tubes anyway. All you need to buy is a tire. Right?:ear
    #7
  8. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    I just want to give mad props to GoFar. He just spent 25 minutes on the phone talking shop with me. He helped me set up my suspension and it feels awesome now.

    Buutttt, the wobble is still there. The more I think about it, the more I think it might be the front tire. The pirelli scorpion trail tire that is on there has cracks between the lugs and I think when they are separating, the are heaving and creating a bad contact pattern. I think this is why i can ride it out under acceleration, but not when it is decelerating at 40 mph.

    I enclosed some pictures of the front tire. Does my theory make sense at all and has anyone seen anything like this before? Will BMW warranty the tire at all or no?

    But most importantly, big thanks to GoFar. I really appreciate his time and help. Totally classy guy.

    Pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

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    Get the tire changed at the dealer. Have them check the bearings, and whether the rim is bent? New tire, with balance, if this is not the problem, the bike should still be under warranty right, get your dealer on it. Do not risk your life on a Fuc$ed bike. Your trip can wait, so can your friends, make up the time later, or shorten the trip. If you don't find the problem all you will do is worry and your ride will suck anyway besides the risk of a crash.

    My 2 cents

    Good luck and ride safe
    #9
  10. tornillo

    tornillo Motojunkie.

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    42psi? i think is too much, maybe is not enough contact with the ground, try 30 front 34 rear,.
    sometimes when bike is loaded, because aerodynamics are not even on both sides because the shape of your load this can produce vibrations.
    #10
  11. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    I hear ya man, Motorcycling is supposed to be my Zen place, so if I go and dont get this fixed, I will be so worried that the trip will be a waste. I am running the bike to the dealer this morning to see what I can find out. I have accepted that I will shorten the trip if I can resolve this and get my peace of mind back

    Also, ill try bringing the PSI back down in the range of stock. I originally though an unbalanced load would cause the wobbling, but when i ran it without cases, that nixed that idea.

    Ill keep this post updated.

    Thanks so far everyone.
    #11
  12. rchrds

    rchrds Head Doucher

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    I have the same problem with the same tire. I just rode 9000 miles in 7 weeks, and it was very annoying. If you watch it long enough, standing, peering over the nose, I have noticed that my front tire seems to runout to either side, or in other words, have a side to side wobble. The tire balanced perfectly with weights and wobbled- removed the weights and put dyno beads in and wobbled. I'm sure it is the tire having some sort of manufactured defect in side to side balance. Sigh.

    BTW, also a 2010 F800.
    #12
  13. JJJZJ

    JJJZJ Been here awhile

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    Yah I think I can see the same thing. If my eyes follow one of the groove lines to the outside of the tire, I get the same impression that there will be a side to side wobble.

    Any thoughts if BMW will warranty this if its a tire problem?
    #13
  14. GoFar

    GoFar My butt hurts.

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    DAMMIT!!!! I thought we had you fixed up...

    Hopefully you've got some handles now, but you certainly have some tire challenges. It's only guess, but the overinlation may have caused that cracking condition...or you just got a bad tire.

    One last thing we didn't talk about last night; your head bearings are likely a smidge loose. Don't know if they're tappered or not, but they do loosen up after a while and need to be snicked down a little.

    I'm sorry! I was hoping we had solved it for you.
    #14
  15. Matt W

    Matt W Been here awhile

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    Same thing happened to me before my Blue Ridge Pkwy and Smokey Mountain trip. I was only recently able to tame the wobble, it didn't effect my trip to bad, I mean I was worried at some times in the twisty's but it didn't effect grip. I was in straight down pours to.

    What I ended up doing was lowering front suspension to 10mm, stock is supposed to be 7mm. Mine was actually flush with cap, gee thanks dealership. next after reading thru forums I found that my Tourances were notorious for wobble at about 35-40mph, that is their resonant frequency I guess. So I lower the front tire pressure to about 30-31 psi and it seems to help. When loaded I only had them at 33-34 psi and that seemed to help also. Your tread pattern looks similar so try that. One suggestion from an ADV rider was to put Anakee up front and keep Tourance for rear.

    Hope this helps.
    #15
  16. rchrds

    rchrds Head Doucher

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    I would be interested to find out, but I doubt I have a leg to stand on- I have changed the tire back and forth from my knobbies so many times that I very well could have done something to it- hard to prove it was screwed up to begin with.
    #16
  17. rchrds

    rchrds Head Doucher

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    Matt, I'm new to the motorcycle thing- could you post a picture of where you are talking about here? I would like to check mine for this.

    Thanks!
    #17
  18. Matt W

    Matt W Been here awhile

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    Posted it here, someone else asked same question, hope this helps. :D

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=609900
    #18
  19. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    I think this is what he means. If you look down on your forks, at the very top is an aluminium nut sitting on top of a circular plate. Just below that should be a very small space between the head and the fork themselves. It's easy to see because the colour you will see is the same as the forks themselves i.e. a copper colour. I have just measured the space on mine (a fairly new bike) and the distance between this circular plate and the head is 3mm. In the diagram that Matt W linked to it's the space between the dark colour plate and the light coloured clamp beneath it although, in reality, they are the same colour on your bike. I have Anakee tyres (again almost new) and have suffered no problems with steering or wobble.
    #19
  20. Tradey

    Tradey RTW Traveller

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    I have a major front end wobble as well, from 30-50mph it goes up and down and it's been like that since I rode it out of the dealer. I thought it was the roads here in Las Vegas. I reported it at the first, second and third services and all the BMW dealers were very skeptical I could claim it under warranty.

    Apart from the faulty tyre which I have since replaced, I have discovered a buckled rim and surprisingly it's exactly on the rim weld and surprisingly there is also a white paint dot which I wonder indicates a quality control marker ?

    I am now so tired of the dreadful poor BMW service response on this issue that I have drafted a letter to BMW USA with all my facts and photos. My American attorney is currently reviewing it and it will be off within a week.

    Either the dealer swapped the rim on me or there is a batch of faulty rims in circulation and by the sounds of it I am not the only one with the same issue.

    The rim serial number on mine is: PB74615.

    If you have a similar problem please get in contact with me.
    #20