GSW front end wobble at speed?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Voz, May 15, 2013.

  1. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    So, I took my GSW onto the freeway tonite for the first time and cruised along at 90-140Km/h.

    At around a 100 km/h I felt a very slight wobble in the handlebars. They were pulsing left to right in very small amounts at a low frequency. It was not an issue to control it as it was ever so slight but it was there.

    Is this a boxer phenomenom?

    My bike only has about 150 klm so far, maybe I need to wear the tyres in more or is there some other issue here?

    I don't have much experience with other motorbikes as I have only ridden one other, my Kawasaki Versys 650 over the past year. I never felt this wobble on my Versys.
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  2. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    Like a vibration or...

    A 'wobble' sounds like a tire balancing issue or perhaps an issue with wheel trueness.

    The way the boxer pistons move shouldn't be causing the issue, they move in and out at the same time. The only funny thing that GS bikes are known for physically, is a little bit of torque lean when you rev them while stopped. Of course they also have engine vibration and the engines make all kinds of strange noises you learn to ignore, much like and not as bad as the buzzy Versys.

    A wobble certainly sounds like something isn't quite right with the tires or wheels imo. If you had something like TKC80s I would probably say ride them a little bit more, but stock tires certainly shouldn't wobble broken in or not.
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  3. IB1

    IB1 Long timer

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    Mine also has this, but not always and only at some speeds. I have the metzler tyres. I never noticed this while riding normally, I only notice this when I take my hands of the handlebars and then I can see some ossilation. it however remains stable. Starts at around 70 kph. at around 120 kph I haven't noticed it yet, but then again, I don't often drive around handsfree at 120.
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  4. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    I think your description matches mine. I have only noticed this for the first time today when I took it on the freeway for the first time since picking up yesterday.

    Your description as an oscillation is pretty much spot on. I feel it vibing or slight pulsing Left-Right-Left-Right, etc in my hands, very low amplitude and probably about 500 Hz.

    I have Tourance Next tyres on spoke wheels.
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  5. Mr. Magoo

    Mr. Magoo TeeMarrZee

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    Flappy jacket?
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  6. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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    Nope, it is a feeling thru the handlebars.

    My first thought when I felt it was that it was a very slight high frequency wobble in the front end.

    Do previous R1200 models have a similar vibration or oscillation feeling?
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  7. IB1

    IB1 Long timer

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    Same wheels and tires as on mine, but I can't feel it through my hands (I might have become unsensitive after my 800). But it is visible when riding handsfree.
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  8. ianwalberg

    ianwalberg Been here awhile

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    Mine is rock solid, so far up to 110 mph ...
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  9. Marki_GSA

    Marki_GSA Long timer

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    Put the bike on the centre stand, weight the backend so the front is off the ground and spin the front wheel. Look to see if there are any wobbles in the wheel/tyre. Its not uncommon to get a bad tyre and I would check the back as well although more likely to be the front. Also check tyre pressures. If wheels, tyres and pressures are ok push and pull the front and back to make sure there isn't any play somewhere. If none of that lot shows anything up then its probably time to play with suspension setups. Bikes are setup for Mr average so if your lighter or heavier than this then suspension settings might help a lot.
    Did you have a big jacket on or panniers at the time as these can also affect a bike.
    Failing all that, get it back to the dealer for a check and see what they say.
    No idea about the WC but my 09 GSA runs straight as an arrow at all speeds including max same as any oil head will.
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  10. fractalsource

    fractalsource Adventurer

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    I can't imagine riding my bike without a steering damper. Now that I have one. I had a wobble as well, over 65 mph, (105 km/h) - On my F8gs. I spent money asking the shop to balance the tires, check the spokes, etc.
    I had TKC 80's. The wobble continued well into the tires being worn. (700-800 miles.)
    I couldn't adjust my forks as they are non-adjustable. The problem could not be solved with adjusting the suspension on the back of the bike.
    I weigh a lot more than the average rider.
    The steering damper made my bike feel safer.
    Otherwise. I would have sold it.
    Not much worse - than high speed wobbles.
    I'm running Heidenau tires now. And they are quite a bit smoother on the pavement. But not worth the loss of performance in the dirt. :gerg
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  11. Voz

    Voz Been here awhile

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  12. IB1

    IB1 Long timer

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    At high speeds mine doesn't do that. 120 with 3 cases is rock solid, 135mph is also solid (haven't taken it over that speed). But around 50 to 60 mph it can occur.
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  13. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

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    Would be interesting and of potential value to have reports on tire brand and rim type on these in case we see a pattern with tire/rim combinations.
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  14. pinkius

    pinkius Been here awhile

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    must have the same amount of fork oil in the forks when not leaking
    Make sure it has tight bearing head
    must have both hands on bars when shaking at higher speed
    #14
  15. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    Something's not right. I can ride hands-off at triple-digit speeds and the bike's rock-solid.
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  16. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

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    :eek1
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  17. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    BMW quit balancing the rear wheel from the factory a ways back. Did they quit doing the front too? New bike owners should return to the dealer and ask the wheel/s be balanced.
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  18. justinallen03

    justinallen03 Been here awhile

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    Your first post said wobble, which I would lump in the < 10 hz range, i.e. tank slap or something like that. If that's the case (like the steering shakes when a semi passes), its inherent in the bike geometry and will always be there. You can minimize it with different tires (knobbies make it worse) or add a steering damper.

    Later on you stated that the frequency was 500 hz range, which I would describe as a vibration . This is inherent in the framework and structure of the bike. They all do that :1drink. This is where you can try to attenuate the resonance by checking TB sync, adding vibration absorbers to the handlebars, etc. If you are thinking 500 hz, I would start with the sync. According to the REPROM for 2010 GSs, the spec for sync from BMW is friggin huge, and is definitely noticeable from a vibration standpoint. Also, the engine itself smoothes out quite a bit after about 10k miles.
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  19. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    I was told by dealer there is no TB sync on the Waterboxer and the service sheets don't mention a TB sync.
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  20. marchyman

    marchyman DR and GS

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    Fly by wire. No cables to adjust for an off idle adjustment. Hasn't been an idle adjustment since the hexheads came out. If the balance is terrible you have an air leak or the valves are way out of whack on one side. Possible other causes, of course.
    #20