GS wheel truing

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Weaverman, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Weaverman

    Weaverman Damaged goods

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    The front wheel on my '94 GS has quite a bit of runout, and I know the spoke pattern used on these bikes requires special skill to get things straightened out. Who does this work? The local BMW dealer didn't have much to offer.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    A spoked wheel is a spoked wheel.
    #2
  3. Weaverman

    Weaverman Damaged goods

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    Well, that's what I'd like to think. But I've read things about the unusual GS spoke arrangement...things like if you break a spoke only replace that one, and do it by tightening the new spoke until it "pings" like the others. Then don't touch anything else. Odd stuff like that.

    It's time for new rubber, and before I order them up I'd like to get the wheel trued. Since I live in Michigan, I'm going to have a couple months of downtime.
    #3
  4. airheadpilot

    airheadpilot Le Poulet du D├ęsert

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    Woody's Wheel Works can do it for you.

    Andrew
    #4
  5. Weaverman

    Weaverman Damaged goods

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    Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about! They provide a short explanation of the pain your wallet is about to feel when you send them one of these wheels here... http://www.woodyswheelworks.com/bmw.shtml .

    But that's what I'm looking for to satisfy my masochistic BMW tendencies! Thanks!
    #5
  6. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    Amen. Preach it brother Don.
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  7. x3300

    x3300 geoff

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    The BMW R100GS service manual covers how to true the wheels. No black magic is needed...
    #7
  8. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    Blasphemy!.

    Black Magic Wheels :eek1
    #8
  9. Weaverman

    Weaverman Damaged goods

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    So now it gets more interesting! I don't actually have a BMW factory manual, only a Haynes, and they don't get into it. But I have owned a lot of motorcycles with spokes, and a lot of bicycles with spokes, and I've messed with a few of them. My sense is that these "cross-lace" aluminum wheels require some sort of special knowledge.

    I have considered building a fixture, dismantling the wheel, and going for a rebuild myself. It look like the first thing Woody's is going to do is take it completely apart. I can do that without damage I suspect, and that at least gives me the chance to polish the wheel before I ship it to them if I can't re-assemble it correctly...WTH.

    Anybody got a scan of the BMW service manual pages where they eliminate the black magic? It would be great if someone could email that to me so I can assess the situation with more data. Snowbum doesn't even get into this one!
    #9
  10. nowhereman

    nowhereman I'm lost -don't follow me

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    I've taken apart a set or two of cross spoke wheels and I can tell you it is kinda a pain in the ass. If the spokes are old, you end up having to cut them off - and not with bolt cutters, but with a angle grinder. Reason being is that the spokes won't want to slide back out of the rim after they've gotten cruddy with years of rust / oxidation.

    However, I'd say do it at least once just to see how they go together. It's kinda a fun project to do once.
    #10
  11. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    I am impressed that Woody's does them. In a long-ago service school, we were advised not to attempt repair of the cross-spoke wheels. The instructor, the late Craig Etzel, told us that Buchanon's had spent 12 hours trying to true one and that "they never wanted to see another one".
    #11
  12. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    This is exactly what I've heard over the years and was surprised to hear that Woody was was repairing and building these.

    So, for those who've built one or a dozen of these wheels: are they as simple as any ole spoked wheel or are they different and possibly closer to the black magic end of the spectrum?

    I've built plenty of bicycle wheels so it doesn't seem like the added angle of the spoke in the BMW wheel would cause too much difference but I'd love to hear from the voices of experience.
    #12
  13. x3300

    x3300 geoff

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    With a normal wheel it is pretty easy to understand what happens when you tighten a spoke because the geometry is simple. Once you understand the geometry of the cross spoke wheel the principals are the same; find the high spot, loosen some spokes, tighten some others. I find it more intuitive to think of getting the hub aligned in the rim, as apposed to getting the rim aligned to the hub as is done with a normal wheel.

    -x3300
    #13
  14. woody's wheel works

    woody's wheel works Built to Last

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    just stumbled onto this thread....

    flashed back to the early days,,when every wheel-smith i respected just gave up on these...after 4 days of tinkering i too surrendered

    years later ,,someone popped a rear wheel on the counter and then i saw them....WTF???..there's lil tiny allen screws in the nipple ends ,,and it all registered ,,why i could only tighten those nipples to a certain point and then no more twisting available...hmmmnnnn

    now i have it down to a science..albeit still on the dark side...:wink:
    our fellow inmates Ricardo Kuhn and John Jen took on the project and reported the following...

    for your perusal...their path to obtain 'the secret''
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tech/OGSWTTv10.pdf

    enjoy the read:wink:
    woody

    OBTW way back in the late 80's i was brought one of the first R80 GS/PD front 21'' X-laced wheels that was out of wack...i spent 4 days trying to disprove the others ,,, unfortunately,,i never saw or KNEW about them lil grub-srews in there.....

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    #14
  15. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

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    Thanks 3dub. That's great info!
    :clap
    #15
  16. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    So on my recent rehab of my R100gs I had the rims polished, bought Woody's Monster spokes, blasted and clear powder-coated the hubs. Laced up the wheels and after giving it some thought I called Woody's and shipped him the wheels. Now I used to own a bicycle shop for 20+ years and I have built 1000's of wheels but I decided that having a wheel come apart under me at 70+ wasn't worth the $$.

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    #16