GSW front end wobble at speed?

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

  1. khones

    khones Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Denver, North Carolina
    I have an identical "wobble" in my front end. 13 GS-WC with cross spoke wheels and Tourance Next tires. Inflation pressure always kept at factory recommended 36/42 psi. First noticed it sometime shortly after the 600 mi. service even though I suspect it was always there and I didn't notice it because of the newness of the bike. It occurs starting around 40mph up to 60mph and then no wobble all the way up to 130mph. The wobble is more pronounced during deceleration than acceleration. It is much more pronounced if hand pressure is lightened or removed from the bars (hand pressure is acting as a damper.) It occurs in all riding modes and damping settings with different loads on the bike and the windshield in different positions. It occurs on straight smooth roads as well as twisty back country roads.

    The bike now has just over 4,000 miles on it. At 1,840 miles I took the bike to my dealer to have the wobble checked out. A very experienced BMW mechanic spent about 2 hours checking it out and test riding it. They rebalanced the front wheel (it was only off by .25 grams) and said they could not find anything wrong. I've recently returned from a trip and am waiting for my dealer to let me know what BMW will do next to correct this. While I was away another customer of the dealer with the same bike as mine reported the same issue. When the dealer contacted BMW and asked them if they were familiar with any issues like this the said NO. They then asked if the wobble occurred around 60mph!!! Guess they HAD heard. BMW is going to try replacing the tires with a different brand for that customer (tires not yet available.) Haven't heard back from BMW yet on my situation. I've owned many BMW's and never experienced a front end wobble in any of them.Got to say I'm a little disappointed, and that wobble is annoying as hell.
    #61
  2. khones

    khones Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Denver, North Carolina
    My cross spoke wheels also have tire pressure monitors. Is any one else experiencing this wobble with this set up?
    #62
  3. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Along the Great Lakes
    Yes

    So did my last cast wheeled sport tourer without TPM.
    #63
  4. m0to

    m0to Under the Big Hard Sun

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    369
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I had this wobble too and I sent my front wheel off to Woody's Wheel Works about 5 years ago and have never had the wobble since. If the wheel is out of true, and some come that way even from the factory, it will wobble like that.
    #64
  5. Aviatordoc

    Aviatordoc BMW R1200 GSA LC rider

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Some folks here have NO clue what the issue is at hand. :(
    #65
  6. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Along the Great Lakes
    Some folks here have nothing to contribute but vague insults. :-(
    #66
  7. atwoodtja

    atwoodtja Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    New England, US
    Maybe related: I found it interesting that BMW factory seemed to use the same large amount of balancing weights, front and rear, on every new GS on the floor at my dealer, regardless of whether tires were Conti, Mich or Metz. This was something I noticed when I took mine in for 600 mile service. Its almost like they don't fully balance them at the factory, just find the heavy spot (maybe not even that) and slap a predetermined default set of 4 weights on it. It hasn't seemed to affect my bike's handling or cause vibrations at higher speeds, but I'll be curious to see if the old tires are actually balanced when I change my tires this winter.
    #67
  8. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    20,820
    Location:
    SE Mass
    I try to stick to my core competencies! :evil
    #68
  9. fennel

    fennel Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25
    Can the "wobble" be related with the spoke wheels only? I'm positive that I don't have any with the alloys.

    Sent from my GT-P7500 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    #69
  10. Ravenslair

    Ravenslair Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    Placer County, California
    I get a shimmy in the handlebars on a particular area of the local freeway. I am running a K60 front that loves to track the rain grooves that are scored into the concrete freeway surface. The shimmy is more pronounced at lower speeds, but is still noticeable at higher speeds. Some sections I avoid because the K60 tracking causes too much wobble.
    #70
  11. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    20,820
    Location:
    SE Mass
    That's an interesting thought. I have not observed any sort of vibration or wobble on my alloys at up to an indicated 100 mph.
    #71
  12. Marki_GSA

    Marki_GSA Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,446
    Location:
    Scotland
    Doesn't look like it going by other posts, seems to happen to both cast and spokes. It also seems to happen when tyres are replaced so the "default amount of weights" doesn't seem to apply either.
    #72
  13. thepopeofchilitown

    thepopeofchilitown Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Wittlich, Germany
    I've only had my GSW for about 300 miles but I haven't experienced any wobble or oscillation in 60-70 range. It feels like it's most stable at those speeds. I have spoke wheels and my tire pressure is at the recommended level. To be fair, I do not have cruise control, so I can't 100% guarantee I have zero wobble as my body could be damping it. At autobahn speeds I get whipped around a lot and just write that off as high speeds/cross winds. I think I'm a bit paranoid due to the bad press from certain reviews of the GSW,
    #73
  14. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Along the Great Lakes
    The reported wobbles (now evident on my spoked/TPM equipped GSW @ 2,500 miles) are mid-speed, around the 40mph range or so. I haven't spent much time with my hands off the bars at 100mph to verify there is no wobble there. Looking for volunteers though....

    I'm not sleepless over it. I'll work to try to reduce it (balancing, tires, etc) but it's not slowing me down or keeping me off the road.
    #74
  15. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,232
    Location:
    Hamilton NJ.
    Osilation in the front points to a light front end. Increasing rear preload or better yet, installing the proper springs for riders weight would go a long way. If your having trouble with the front, fill the gas tank to place more weight on the front and see if that helps.
    #75
  16. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    20,820
    Location:
    SE Mass
    Wait, this is about when you take your hands off the bars??? That is improper operation. Don't care what it does then. I thought the OP was saying it was happening WITH hands ON the bars.
    #76
  17. nwpa

    nwpa Generally amused

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Along the Great Lakes
    Yeah check out the video a few posts above. I can't speak for the OP, but that's what others have spoke of. I don't have issues with hands-on-grips. Honestly, I think the cruise is contributing to the volume of complaints. Without cruise you usually have a hand on the grips, now we have a lot of people riding hands off.

    (Not to imply I'm riding down the highway hands off, but it is nice to re-seat the gloves (or to test for wobble...))
    #77
  18. A10 Wart Hog

    A10 Wart Hog n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I find that I get a vibration starting around 40 mph. I too have the spoke rims with the Metzeler Next tires. I have about 820 miles on the bike and I really believe its coming from the tread pattern design of tires.
    #78
  19. Falco888

    Falco888 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Lake Forest, CA
    Up to 140mph and solid .Stock tires, trunk and 1227miles on the ODO. (If anybody ask, I was going 55mph)
    #79
  20. At adventure

    At adventure AB

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    From reviewing this blog and experiencing the same problem with the same set up as above it appears that the common themes are -

    The vibe is not there when the tires are new. It seems to kick in after about 1-1500km.

    The vibe kicks in at about 60-80km. Some say it disappears at 120 km and all seem to agree it does not get progressively worse.

    Most noticeable in a straight line on a smooth road. Cruise control in these conditions is likely to accentuate it.

    Problem is worse at lower tire pressure.

    Conclusion - likely to be a problem with the new Metzeler Next tire. Mine have now done 5500km and still have good tread. So I think we need to determine what the best tires are for next time!

    PS not spoiling the fun!
    #80