F800GS vibration at a specific speed

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Tatnall007, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Tatnall007

    Tatnall007 b00b

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
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    My 800GS has a vibration through the handlebars that is quite noticeable at 40mph. It gets better either slower or faster, but it always there.

    Dealer:
    Its the balancing. I static balanced it and then took it back to the dealer for a spin balance. It was the same.
    Its the tire. So, we replaced the tire with another (Tourance). It was the same. I then replaced the Tourance with a like pattern Shinko. It was pretty much the same. I replaced the tube also when I swapped to the Shinko -- the Tourance is back on it now (Tourance on rear).
    Its the truing. They trued it. It was the same. Not sure if they checked the roundness, but there is no visible hop.
    They say that any big dual-sport with a 21" front wheel is going to have some vibration. I buy that explanation a bit, but other GSes I've ridden don't have it and my KLR650 didn't have it.

    Me:
    Initially I thought it was a tire or wheel issue, but it has proved very elusive...
    Tried different tire pressures.
    Checked and retorqued the steering head.
    Checked the brake rotors and axle to make sure they were straight - they are.
    Replaced the front bearings since one was a little notchy at 10k miles.
    I've put about 700mi on it now done the following in that time:
    Rear tire checked for true and balanced.
    Replaced the chain and sprockets going with a slightly lower gearing.
    Added a Scotts under-bar steering damper. [Love it!]
    Changed to Hyperpro springs front and rear with heavier fork oil.
    ...it is still the still the same!

    It is more of an annoyance on road than anything else. Off road, its a non issue. I can pretty much ignore it now, but it just irks me and anyone else that rides the bike notices it pretty quickly.

    They don't all do that, but does anyone else's?

    Any suggestions for next steps?

    I'm thinking:
    Find someone that will loan me a front wheel for a test (Seattle area). I'd hate to go down the below Woody paths and have it be a chassis or rear wheel issue.
    Take it to another dealer and try my luck.
    Send it to Woody for checkup.
    Buy a front wheel from Woody. I don't ride off road aggressively, but when I put the TKCs on it and hit fire-roads and two track, I'd prefer to have something stronger (based on other's reports of bending wheels).
    #1
  2. mapuda

    mapuda Crash Tested

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    All of your investigation and remedies presume a chassis vibration. Have you put the bike in neutral and revved it the same RPM that you are at when you feel the vibration and see if it is present?

    For a cheap solution I bought two pairs of gel grips, cut the ends of the two right hand grips and slid them over my BMW grips. Then I put the left hand grips on my mountain bike. I no longer feel as much vibration through the grips as I did before.
    #2
  3. Tatnall007

    Tatnall007 b00b

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    It is less of a vibration that will numb hands and more of a shimmy (technical terms). At 40mph, the bars shimmy back and forth a bit.

    I can definitely deal with vibration from the motor (even one that resonates through the chassis) or the tires due to the tread blocking, but this is different.

    I am running a 16x41 sprocket setup now which is pretty good for pavement. I have a 17 and a 15 front that I will try for pavement and dirt respectively.
    #3
  4. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I think there were some guys talking about the same issue over on the UKGSERs forum but I can't locate the thread just now ... it is an older thread, or my mind is playing tricks on me ...

    http://www.ukgser.com

    #4
  5. mapuda

    mapuda Crash Tested

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    Tatnall007 have you tried increasing the air pressure in the front tire? I get a shimmy if my Shinko 700 is less than 38 PSI and I am accelerating above 80mph. (don't ask Vegas traffic)
    #5
  6. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I do remember that. I recall he was from Australia and eventually got his engine repaired or replaced. Not much help without the thread, but it was an ordeal for him to get around the "they all do that" syndrome.

    He posted here also.
    #6
  7. bpken11

    bpken11 Back to the Dirt

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    I have the same problem. My shimmy started right after the dealer put on new rotors. Took it back and got the same lame answers you got. Balance, nope, need a new front tire, nope, need to retorque,nope, nope, nope! Nothing works! Mine starts at about 50 and is gone by 60 mph. What makes me crazy is that until those rotors were changed there was no problem. I am just living with it for now, but it would be great if some one had the real answer to make this go away!
    #7
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Who ever the missing Aussie was, I think he finally found a dealer who lent a bike, then the op and mechanic traded back and forth on the bikes.
    #8
  9. Tatnall007

    Tatnall007 b00b

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    I have tried various air pressures. It does change the feel, but the vibe/hop/shimmy is still there.

    If I hadn't checked several times I would swear that the front tire is out of balance, not fully beaded, or out of round.

    The dealer says that the long travel suspension along with the 21" front tire can cause this sensation. Some are better, some are worse, but ... wait for it ...
    "They all do that" I'm still not buying it.

    I'll keep trying to find a front wheel to swap in or a dealer that will try mine back to back with another and have an epiphany.
    #9
  10. capt_enduro

    capt_enduro tool whore

    Joined:
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    NW Georgia
    I get the same shimmy - especially if I'm running zero on the pre-load. It can be quite bad if the bike is heavily loaded towards the back with gear.

    Just for fun, crank up the pre-load in 5 turn increments and test. My shimmy goes away as the pre-load is cranked up. I've found that when I've measured sag, the wobble goes away at just about the point where the sag would be about right.




    :D
    #10
  11. bpken11

    bpken11 Back to the Dirt

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    Was in for service yesterday. Tech says that is normal! It's making me crazy!
    #11
    RvGS likes this.
  12. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

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    Get this one up as i get the same vibration (not good) on my brand new F800GS Trophy. The vibration starts at 60km/h and ends after 80km/h.
    I mentionned it to the dealer for the 1000km inspection and he said he only did a balance of the front wheel, but .....Problem is still there.
    After reading the whole thread here i think i will play on my preload (that is at minimum for now) and see if it change anything.
    If nothing change, i will go back to dealer and ask him to fix that, no alternative will be given, the bike is new and this should be considered as a safety issue. Will stay tune! :1drink
    #12
  13. croznogger

    croznogger n00b

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    Just purchased a 2012 F800GS Trophy Edition with Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires. I have only put 400 miles on it and I too have noticed a wobble or shimmy at 40 to 50 mph. It is very suttle but obviously there. Normally this would be a tire/wheel balancing issue and solved by spin balancing the tire, wheel with rotors as a unit. A static wheel balancer does not deal with the dynamic forces as the wheel assembly spins so it will not balance the wheel as accurately. You are still only as good as the person that operates the spin balancer. The wobble/shimmy after replacing the brake rotors that occured to one owner was caused by the wheel assembly not being rebalanced. I am going to re true the wheels then mount up some Heidenau K60 Sport tires and spin balance them. I will let you know if the wobble/shimmy condition exist with new tires or it corrects it. As far as the preload adjustment effect on this problem you are adjusting the amount of rake and trail by raising or lowering the rear of a motorcycle. So the front end is responding by moving the steering wobble up or down in mph. Just my two cents on this as a mechanic.
    #13
  14. señormoto

    señormoto Supermoto Abuser

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    Standard troubleshooting process for vibes:

    Tighten ALL visible bolts to spec
    Check your rear shock mount points
    Check your front fork and bar mount points
    Check your axles for good measure
    Try different tires - some will vibrate at different speeds where others have no vibration at all
    Take luggage off if you have it

    Process of elimination really. My F800 was doing the EXACT SAME THING a month or so ago, turns out my luggage rack mount points were loose. But it did it at the same speed - 40mph in 3rd and only with luggage.
    #14
  15. picard

    picard engage!

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    mine did it with the stock tires. It does not do it with the TKCs. So I wrote it off to the tires
    #15
  16. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

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    I went to my dealer today and explained about the vibration that is still here. While in the shop i saw they had a demo F800GS with 1400km only (similar to mine) on the clock and the same Pirelli Scorpio on it. I asked to do a test ride with it in order to see if the same bike same tires results in the same vibrations.

    Result: Yes it does have the same vibration, to tell the truth it is with a bit less intensity but it was there. So either it is the general bike problem or it is the front tires.
    #16
  17. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    +1 on that ....
    Also there is a bolt on top of the catalytic converter that has been loose or missing on some bikes and caused a weird vibration...
    #17
  18. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

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    I have planned a RdV with my Dealer for tomorrow morning for fixing that issue.
    1-Will swap front wheel with another F800GS same year model, same milleage and same tyres (he has that bike and i have tried it already).
    2-If problem disapear will change front tyre on my front wheel and reinstall it on my own bike.
    3-If problem remain the same after wheel swapped, will then swap the rear wheel too.
    4-If problem disapear with rear wheel swapped, will change rear tyre on my own and reinstall it on the bike.
    5- If still have the problem with rear tyre changed, dealer will have to investigate on the wheel bearings and on the rear hub of the rear wheel.

    However, either the problem is fixed tomorrow or dealer will keep the bike until he fixed it .
    If the problem is at wheel level, the clue will be to change the failing one for a complete new one.

    If it happen that the problem is not coming from the wheel i am afraid dealer will have to find myself another bike :D

    Stay tune! :wink:
    #18
  19. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

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    So here is the status:

    1- Swapped the complet wheel with the one from another bike: No more problem.

    2- put a brand new tyre on my own wheel and installed it back on my bike: Problem is back!

    3- Dealer has ordered a new rim for replacing the one of my front wheel bike (hope this will end the story).

    Next step next week (when new rim is arrived and installed :D )

    Stay tune for (no) more vibration ! :wink:
    #19
  20. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Excellent!
    It sounds like the problem has been identified :clap
    #20