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My new 800 - mildly snatchy, mildly harsh?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by jeffchri, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. jeffchri

    jeffchri Been here awhile

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    132
    Grabbed the first 800 from Ride West in Seattle on Saturday and have been having a hoot of a time. Been doing annoyingly small rides up until today, but left work a bit early today and took the Long Way Home - about 250 miles of mountain riding. :)

    Have LOTS of feedback that is pretty interesting - just love that power and ergos, the seat was fine, mileage was about 50 driving somewhat aggressively (though I'm in break-in period so there were limits), and the wind flow was okay for my 6'1" bod.

    Two issues I'm noticing, however: I'm finding that I need to be very careful on the throttle to not get a bit of snatch off-idle. I finally started figuring out exactly what it took to eliminate it, but it's definitely requiring more thought than any of the other, um, 8 bikes I've purchased in the last, um, short amount of time. My Husky TE510 is the only bike that has it worse. The 800 has so much power that a snatch on the dirt means that rear is more apt to break loose, which isn't ideal - at least when it's not intended. :evil

    The issue is harshness in the ride in front. I dinked with the shock preload and damping and finally got it to stop bouncing around, but of course there are no adjustments on the front fork, and they are hammering me, particularly on anything square-edged. It's like the damping is cranked WAY up. :eek1

    Anybody else experiencing any of this? I'd love to use a simple throttle cam replacement to make the snatch go away entirely. I'm wondering if Ride West might have put too much fork oil in the forks, would that cause it? Is fork-oiling one of the things the dealers do during setup, or do they come already filled?
    #1
  2. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    BMW's stock suspension always leaves a lot to be desired. Phone up Race Tech and see when they're releasing gold valves and springs for your bike.
    #2
  3. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    The fork problem could be as simple as mis-alignment.
    #3
  4. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    That's what I was thinking. Slightly twisted forks causing too much friction.
    #4
  5. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I can't say anything worth saying about the forks, but when brand new my 658 had the same bit of snatch brand new, but it has smoothed out considerably after about 450 miles of riding ...

    Jim
    #5
  6. One Eye Mike

    One Eye Mike Been here awhile

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    If you want the snatch to go away, get married. It worked for me.:eek1
    #6
  7. jeffchri

    jeffchri Been here awhile

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    I was waiting for that one. ;-)
    #7
  8. jeffchri

    jeffchri Been here awhile

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    Good point. A bit of extra stiction would do it. I'll have them check it out at the 600 mile service next week. Something is definitely amiss, the demo bike seemed fine (but then again, the road wasn't very bumpy that I test rode).

    Clever ideas how to check for excess stiction?
    #8
  9. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Unsweetened/Sugar-Free

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    Loosen up the triple clamps (not too much) and stradle the front wheel. Shake the bars back and forth a few times and center the wheel. Tighten equally across the triple clamps and serve with a cold beverage. :clap
    #9
  10. Ditch

    Ditch Long timer

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    The axle end can be pulled together, too. I loose up the pinch side of the axle and bounce the forks to center the axle in the lower end of the fork, then tighten back up.
    Wendell
    #10
  11. Mikey97d

    Mikey97d Been here awhile

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    Another method - if the bike has a center stand to get the front wheel off the ground, I usually spin the front tire while everything is loose and use the front brake. Aligns everything right up after a few spins and retorque all the bolts. Not sure if these have a center stand though...I was just at a dealer drooling over the bike.
    #11
  12. Bigem

    Bigem Long timer

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    The harshness in the initial travel of the forks may be an easy fix.

    First up I would drop the forks out, flush the standard crap out of them and fill em with 5 weight fork oil (I would hazard a guess that standard is 10w??) and initially add 20mm of spacer preload to the springs.

    The goal is to actually stiffen the fork action through the full stroke, because thay are a bit soft overall from my initial impression, but let the valving move the lighter oil a bit quicker initially so that the harshness in the initial stroke is reduced.

    I did this with my Dakar for the same reasons and it transformed the fork action and cost me $15.

    Give it a go, what have you got to lose?
    #12
  13. berkly

    berkly Adventurer

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    your warranty?
    #13
  14. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    warranties are way overated anyway :wink:


    Really, I find it unlikely that simple suspension adjustments like oil weight an a different preload spacer would void a warranty. But even if it did , would you rather have a suspension that doesn't work well for you that is covered by warranty or something that provides a better ride? Fork internals are like tires, you put on the parts that you want as factory stuff usually isn't on the mark for most.

    From initial reports that I've been reading, it sounds like many riders are going to need to adjust their forks, I'll bet it won't be long until we have info on a number of fixes from easy oil change to Gold Valves being available.
    #14
  15. Bigem

    Bigem Long timer

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    Warranty does not come into it at all, its not an issue.

    BMW won't warranty any aftermarket bits you bolt to their bikes and thats what you are doing in effect, changing the oil weight and adding a few spacers isnt "modifying" the integrity of anything, its an enhancement that has no mechanical/operational impact on what they are producing.

    BMW stipulate a "base" setup for the forks, and in most cases I have been told about and from personal experience, they get it wrong!!!

    Why put up with a shit front end when it can be fixed, and in a lot of cases quite cheaply, without effecting the stupid warranty!!
    #15
  16. Gonzodog

    Gonzodog Been here awhile

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    In my experience, every time I've reduced suspension preload and gotten spring rates adjusted to achieve correct sag (usually stiffer than stock), ride has vastly improved.
    #16
  17. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated Supporter

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    +1:nod

    The less preload you can run, the better. The stiffest spring that will get you to proper sag numbers (meaning minimal preload) is going to give the best ride.

    Tons of preload on soft springs leads to a harsh-riding bike that still bottoms too easily.
    #17
  18. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    I've had alignment problems before but it has always been visable. I mean, you could actually ride along and see it. It has always been easily fixable with the aforementioned methods. If it's not visable, it shouldn't be a problem. Unless it's a $50,000 race bike.
    #18
  19. slide

    slide A nation with a future

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    Given the bike was assembled by some trainee or other guy who really either didn't know or didn't care about alignment, I think the suggestions here along that topic are right on. It is so easy to address and costs nothing but a little time hands on your new bike.

    Everybody needs to know the technique for when you need a new tire anyway.
    #19
  20. gordo5

    gordo5 Roadkill

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    On my 650 twin I was surprised at how good the stock front end felt.... until about 3000km when it went soft. The OP is still under 600 miles and might want to just wait and see how it feels after a few more miles. The springs need to be run in too.
    #20