1. ADVRIDER Print Magazine!
    We're doing two more print magazines this year. July & November. 144 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase both for $35.
    Dismiss Notice

LBS-Sidecars USA | Trail Reducer Lower Fork Brace for the BMW R1200GS/A & R1250GS/A

Discussion in 'Hack Vendors' started by LBS-USA, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    LBS-NL & USA are proud to announce our first production of a trail reducing lower fork brace for the BMW R1200GS-LC, R1200GSA-LC, R12050GS and R1250GSA!

    As is true for all of our trail reducers, it's machined from aircraft-grade 7075-T6 aluminum alloy, one of the strongest machinable grades available. For superior corrosion resistance, we have them clear anodized. To insure the integrity of the TeleLever, we pre-install a new OEM Ball Joint torqued to factory spec (more on this follows).

    The first run of parts is currently out for anodizing, general availability will be early Jan 2021.

    Here's a top view of the trail reducer, posed on a BOXER body that I'll be receiving soon for our first BMW R18 build. Note the tab to the left for installation of the OEM steering damper:

    WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-17-at-12.45.jpg


    Our very own "spy photos". The brace is designed to retain the stock OEM fender and hydraulic brake line and fittings:

    WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-18-at-8.52.jpg

    WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-18-at-8.54.jpg

    WhatsApp-Image-2020-12-18-at-8.55.jpg


    However, BMW has thrown us a curve. In their never ending quest for cost reduction, the TeleLever Ball Joint on all Liquid-Cooled machines is no longer available as a separate item; it is an integral/non-removable part of the lower fork brace. The new integral Ball Joint for the LC's has a shank diameter of 16mm, 2mm smaller than the 18mm shank diameter of the stand-alone OilHead Ball Joint:

    R1250-LC-Lower-Fork-Brace.jpg

    Here's the Catch-22; the only Ball Joint we can procure from BMW to install in our trail reducer has a shank diameter of 18mm. The LC's have an integral Ball Joint with a shank diameter of 16mm. To install our LC trail reducer, you need to remove the LC's TeleLever "wishbone" (BMW refers to it as a "Trailing Arm") and enlarge the Ball Joint thru-hole from 16mm to 18mm. It's step that wasn't required before, but it is what it is:

    R1250-LC-Lower-Fork-Brace-Mod.jpg

    We strive to design all of components such that no welding, drilling or other permanent modification of the motorcycle is required.

    However, like all manufacturers, BMW strives to reduce the cost of manufacturing, labor, and the number of parts they have to carry in inventory.

    A trail reducing fork bridge is one the least costly, yet robust means to reduce steering effort. A smaller diameter front wheel generally costs more, and comes with its own set of trade-offs. A leading link is roughly three times the cost of a trail reducer.

    We'll continue to research a solution that doesn't require removal and modification of the wishbone, but for now, this modification is required to install our trail reducer for Liquid-Cooled GSes.

    Should you have any questions, please email me at: lbs-usa@outlook.com

    Thanks for the bandwidth,

    MikePa
    #1
  2. steam powered

    steam powered just a regular punk

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1,087
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Because you can't use the BMW balljoint (i.e. people shouldn't be reusing them), why not find a balljoint with the required 16mm shank and alter the thread to suit (if required). It is just a standard automotive balljoint. You won't get the fancy pre-impregnated thread lock that comes on the BMW piece, but I'm sure there will be something in the Loctite catalog that would suffice.
    #2
    brstar likes this.
  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    13,215
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Sure, all you have to do it find it!
    #3
    Bobmws, DRONE and LBS-USA like this.
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,900
    Location:
    Tacoma - ish, WA
    I think the ball joint is BMW proprietary and not sourced from the automotive industry. Only because it's such an oddball. Here's what it looks like without the dust cover --->

    telelever-ball-joint.jpg

    I suppose you could put it in a lathe and reduce the 18mm shank to 16mm, but do you really want to do that? This is, IMO, the weak point in the telelever suspension when converted for sidecar use.
    #4
    brstar and LBS-USA like this.
  5. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    However, this is not the new integral Ball Joint used in the Liquid-Cooled TeleLever's. It is unthreaded. LBS-NL machine done out of the OEM fork brace. Not sure yet how it is retained, the photo I received was bad, but it appears there are no threads securing it to the "trailing link". Shrink fit? Cast in? Adhesive? Don't know. And if I recall correctly, there was no hex flange to put a wrench on.
    #5
  6. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Am pleased to inform that we now have our high-strength 7051-T6 aircraft-grade, anodized trail reducing lower fork brace available for the Liquid-Cooled R1200 & R1250GS and GS Adventures. A new, pre-installed OEM ball joint is pre-installed and included in our product. The fork brace accepts the stock fender and steering damper:

    lc_trail_reducer_01.jpg

    lc_trail_reducer_02.jpg

    lc_trail_reducer_03.jpg
    #6
    davebig, SLACKER, DRONE and 1 other person like this.