R100 handling characteristic

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Maxhr190, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Maxhr190

    Maxhr190 Adventurer

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    How should a R/100 handle?. My 83' has no steering damper ( previous owner removed), on tight turns both left and right, the steering is not very neutral, the front end wants to oversteer. I have 'S' bars installed. The bike tracks straight however.
    Thanks
    #1
  2. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    What tires/what sizes/tire pressure on both ends when it misbehaves/how many miles on the tires....:ear

    btw- when the front end tries to go walkabout/ go wider in the corner, it's called understeer; it's only called oversteer when the other end wants to do more than asked for. :1drink
    #2
  3. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    Oversteer? Most would take that to mean that your back tire is stepping out. That just means you are hauling ass.
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  4. Maxhr190

    Maxhr190 Adventurer

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    The tires are new, metzler lazer tec front/rear, air pressure is whatever owners man. Spec.
    When I say oversteer it does more than asked for. I also own a 79R/100 that corners very nimble. I will check specs. Maybe the rake is more relaxed on the 83'
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  5. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    That's what new tires do. There profile is still round. The rake is the same on all airheads frame wise. You might have a bit different effective rake for running different sag, etc. but . . . . Lazer tec's? I can't get those to last more than 1,500 miles in back. One time I wore a brand new one down to the wear bars in one day. No joke! That was my only 1000+ mile day. It was hot and I was hauling the mail but still!

    The book might be a bit low. Most people are running entirely too much pressure these days IMO but . . . .
    #5
  6. R100LT

    R100LT Chasing 11

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    I have metzler lazer tec front and back that I inherited from the PO. Got over 10 000 km's from them so far , which included a 4000 km's (2500 miles) in three day trip. I was meant to replace the rear 3 months ago ... but after every trip now I look at them and think ... maybe I can get another 500 km's out of them.

    I can feel a " Days of Thunder " moment coming on.
    #6
  7. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Perhaps the rear shocks are stiffer and set the back end up? Or maybe the fronts have progressive springs in them?

    Do you have the correct amount of sag? How does sag compare with your other bike?
    #7
  8. carpetburn

    carpetburn Been here awhile

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    try running your tyres at 36 front and 38 rear, makes a huge positive difference on mine from running lower pressures, remember the handbook is the same age as the bike not the new modern tyres.
    #8
  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    As has been said before, front ends don't oversteer. Oversteering is where the back end slides out from the front end
    Like flat track, dirt track, outlaw or drifting.

    Understeer is where the front end "pushes" so that even when you are turning the bike is heading to the outside edge of the corner. Like driving a front wheel drive car, in the snow.

    But handling, it's way more then just tires or a lack of steering damper.
    How's the suspension? including all pivot points?
    Are the wheels in good nick? Decent bearings?
    Are the forks in the triple clamps straight? Fork tubes straight and non binding, there should be only a slight amount of stiction.
    Are the handle bars bent?

    BMW's earned their reputation as rubber cows for a reason.
    Softly sprung suspension, long bikes, carrying a lot of weight, shaft drives, flat twins with a crank that turns in line with the frame all add up to some possible funky handling, mix this with old bits and they can be a handful

    These bikes respond best to smooth operator movements with a steady increase of throttle through a turn.
    Rolling on and off of the throttle will upset the handling something fierce especially for someone coming off riding a chain drive in-line 4 bike.
    #9
  10. Freeagain

    Freeagain Adventurer

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    I had a similar situation on my G/S. I changed the front springs for new (progressive) ones and it dramatically improved the way she would turn in (much more gentle), and held the line.

    Also noticed more stable in a cross wind at speed (ie freeway)
    #10
  11. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    I still have a feeling what max is talking about is the new tires. New tires and/or different tires can completely change the way your bike turns in or change it just a little bit. It all depends on the tires.

    Heavy BMW's? They are around 100lb's lighter than most bikes in their class that had much reliability. As short of shorter than a lot of them too.
    #11
  12. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

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    When was the last time you saw a BMW that didn't have an extra 100 or more pounds of stuff loaded on it?:lol3
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  13. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    :rofl Every time I look at one of mine! Sometimes I forget what a rare breed we are. SO many bikes look like you drug a magnet through a junk yard! :lol3
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  14. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

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    I had a customer come in complaining about "wobbles". R100/7, saddlebags,tank bag, top box, all loaded with "stuff" 20# pressure in the cupped front tire and 13# in the bald rear. It was difficult to convince him that I may have found his problem.
    #14
  15. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Back in 83, there were a lot of bikes that had much better reliability then the airheads.
    It's a stretch to say the BM's were around 100 lbs, more like 30-50 lbs lighter but down some 20 to 30 horsepower.
    In my book, that's heavy.

    Remember this was the height of the superbike wars and you could get some pretty cool bikes from Japan inc by this time.

    The 83 R80ST held the claim at that time of being the lightest bike in 800cc class. Yet much of the Japan inc bikes would out run the ST easily and the ST was thought of as being the "best" handling BMW to date.

    As for tires, sure new tires can easily screw up the feeling of a bike. but 29year old suspension bit's can also do it.
    Especially those bits on bikes that were never known for their razor sharp handling.
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  16. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    I am sticking by what I said but it is my policy to not argue about weights since most go by claimed weights and claimed weights for most brands have almost nothing to do with reality. BMW's are light bikes. Not the lightest but a lot lighter than most (in their classes of course).

    I have worked at a couple of multi-line dealerships. I disagree with you about '83 reliability too but . . . .
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  17. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    For the record the weights I look at when comparing weights typically come from 3rd party weight tests
    most manufactures especially back then were very very optimistic about their claimed weight figures.
    And for that matter the bike's power.

    BMW's have in my 20 year experience with the marque, an unfounded reputation with being overly reliable.

    By the early 80's most of japan incs big bikes, the ones that are in the same class were more reliable then a comparable BMW. If you look at reliability as the amount and cost of maintenance per mile traveled. This is especially true during the mid 80's when these bikes were still new.

    But we both have our views and I'm sure I'm not going to change yours and you won't change mine.

    Back to the OP and what I said.
    BMW's have unique handling characteristics based on the bikes design and intent.
    This is further impacted by the the now current age of these bikes and the wear and tear over the years of the parts of the bike that affects handling.
    Compound this with new tires, tire profiles and tires compounds and you can get some funky handling.
    #17