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K1200 GT - Two Questions


Yellow_Pelican

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Yellow_Pelican

I just purchased a 2004 GT, great bike, so much more than my '03 GS. 1. I seem to get alot of front end buffeting causing the front of the bike to have noticable wobbeling. Is this due to the added hand guards and leg wings on the faring. Do the RS guys get this movement. And what should I do to eliminate the prolem. 2. My wife gets alot of buffing (side to side) on her helmet. What are your suggestions to eliminate this problem (wind screen extender or larger wind screen). Thanks alot for your feed back.

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The front end wobble could be one or a combination of several things. I am assuming you are noticing a wobble at speed?

 

1. Start with the tires. Are you running 36-38 in the front and 42 in the rear? No? Try that first.

2. Are your tires in good condition? Front cupped? Yes? You might want to order a new set. I like the Avons.

3. Are you supporting your weight with your legs or are you carrying the weight of your torso by leaning on the bars? If you are leaning on the bars, you may be inducing some of the wobble you are feeling. Try supporting your upper torso with your legs and maintain light pressure on the bars in a neutral riding position. Look in the ride well section for the master yoda riding position and proper riding posture on the K. Good stuff.

4. The steering damper is good for 20-30k miles. You may want to replace or rebuild the damper if it is north of 25k, but I am betting you'll solve the problem with the other 3 recommendatons.

 

 

 

For passenger comfort, I’d recommend going with Aeroflow’s touring windscreen for the GT. Steve McKinley (smckinley) just purchased one and likes the way it smoothed the air and eliminated the buffeting he was experiencing.

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Limecreek has some good suggestions for places to start. You shouldn't be seeing ANY wobbeling. I've had an 03 GT for 3 riding seasons now and there is no wobbeling. I've had it up to 150mph, and run it at 110mph through s curves which included bridge abuttements... no wobble.

 

Do you have the stock winshield on it? I had purchased a parabellum 25" extended screen for cold weather, but couldn't run the bike over 70mph with that windscreen on as that definately caused severe buffeting and wobble. But check your tires for uneven wear, cupping, inflation pressure. With the stock windscreen and good tires, proper inflation, you shouldn't be seeing any wobble. The passenger getting some wind buffeting is normal. I think even in the highest position, the airflow is still going to hit your passenger to some degree.

 

Good luck! If you're looking at my signature line below any wondering about the GT, I'm trading it this Saturday for a new R1200RT.

 

PS. the Parabellum 25" windscreen is like new and for sale if anyone's interested! (with the caveat noted above)

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I found the Z-Tech short screen reduced buffeting and kept my head in clean air. Also much cooler for wqarm weather.

I use the stock RS screen now that it is colder.

The stock GT screen will cause more buffeting IMO.

The wobble should not occur.

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Dennis Andress

The little ball joint on the front Telelever might be out of tolerance. BMW is replacing them under a recall I believe. Have a dealer look at it.

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Yellow_Pelican, you didn't offer a very detailed description of what's going on. That leaves us to respond with things we've said in the past about events riders have encountered that only sound simlar to what you've related. You'd get more explicit help if you'd describe the event in greater detail, and particularly the circumstance(s) in which it occurs.

 

 

You mention the front end of the bike being buffetted, suggesting that as a cause. That's unlikely. More likely it is you who are beign buffetted, and you are transferring your body motion to to the front wheel. Which is easy to determing.

 

When you feel both "buffet" and "wobble", set constant speed with the cruise control and take your hands off the grips. If it stops, it is you who is transmitting the torso/shoulder/arm motion induced by "uneven air flow", through your arms and hands to the bars, and then the front wheel.

 

If the "wobble" is present at any time with or without the "buffet" there's very likely a mechanical problem or shortcoming. But, absent buffeting, again, with constant speed set, remove your hands from the grips. If it persists, there's a mechanical issue. But, do note, hands-free "wobbling" in the speed range of 25 to 40 mph is very common, often related to tire choice, and should be no cause for further concern: Just apply even the meerest pressure ot one or the other of the grips and it will be damped.

 

Like the K12GT, a K12RS like mine configured like the GT with handguards and comfort screen or larger, and particularly when equipped with bar-backs which encourage a more verical torso, is highly subject to buffeting the rider in a range of wind conditions. So too, with even a stock front configuration for and RS, particularly with a top case in place. It seems to be related to the fact of a more vertical nose section which alternately cleaves the oncoming flow, then gets overwhelmed by its pressure, at which point, a high pressure "glob" of air tumbles off it, and somewhat around behind it, there to strike parts of the rider. Cyclic, a cyclic input deviation can be transmitted to the front end.

 

On a bike like the Blackbird, with very similar riding riding position to the RS, but tighter to the tank, the rider is less exposed to winds. As well, The sharp nose profile, and "flat" windscreen just don't create that kind of effect.

 

My VFR has a slightly more vertical frontal profile than the Blackbird. And while it also offeres a riding position similar to the RS, the arms are lower and hands closer, thus not forming a "scoop" that would enhance the effect.

 

So, in summary, get your own self out of any possible "effect loop". Then, if you have some instability, track down the mechanical reasons, including wheels and tires.

 

Best wishes.

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mAYBE --- tAKE oUT the high shoulder armor in your riding jacket..they catch a load of wind at speed -- might be the trick...

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mAYBE --- tAKE oUT the high shoulder armor in your riding jacket..they catch a load of wind at speed -- might be the trick...
Leave it to you jOHN rOBERT to start telling people to take off their clothes. Plannin' a Party? grin.gif
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Yellow_Pelican

Hello Everybody; Thanks alot for all the feed back, obviously some very knowledgeable riders out there. In responce to more details. 1. The front tire is new, don't know the size as I will be away from home for several wks., it was replaced by BMW for the guy I bought it from (nail), the bike only has 7k on it. 2. It only occurs at higher speeds 70+, it does have orig. screen and bar backs. It may very well be buffiting from my body. I will try several of your suggestions and post the results. Thanks once again. Nice to have positive feed back from knowlegeable riders.

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mAYBE --- tAKE oUT the high shoulder armor in your riding jacket..they catch a load of wind at speed -- might be the trick...
Leave it to you jOHN rOBERT to start telling people to take off their clothes. Plannin' a Party? grin.gif

 

'tIS dA sEASON... dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif

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I strongly recommend you replace your ball joint. My '03 GT wobbled above 60mph until I replaced the ball joint (under warranty). It also had very heavy low speed steering. The new ball joint solved both. Later I tried CeeBailey and Parabellum shields, the latter adding wind sensitivity behind trucks, esp. pickups and tankers.

My latest bulletproof, totally stable to top speeds in all conditions rig is GT comfort shield with screw fastened Laminar Lip and Michelin Pilot Roads. This combo is absolutely great. I've tested it extensively at every speed in every condition. Passing Semi's and tankers in high winds should be noticeably different than clean air, but not unsafe or wiggly. With my current setup, the bike moves around, but smoothly, as it reacts to the turbulance. Before, the movement was scary and unpredictable. Now, it feels appropriate. Only my huge Givi E52 topcase upsets my stability a little bit. No other combination of sidebags, multiple HelenTwoWheels duffles, chairs, tripods, or other crap I strap on causes any problems at all. I bet its your ball joint.

With Laminar Lip, my GT is PERFECT for fast sport touring.

I spent a Sep. weekend in mountain twisties with a Ducati and Honda 994 SuperHawk, both riders with track and Euro experience and we all were in the same groove. The GT, if setup right, will keep up with pretty much anybody with a shred of sanity.

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  • 9 months later...
I strongly recommend you replace your ball joint. My '03 GT wobbled above 60mph until I replaced the ball joint (under warranty). It also had very heavy low speed steering. The new ball joint solved both. Later I tried CeeBailey and Parabellum shields, the latter adding wind sensitivity behind trucks, esp. pickups and tankers.

My latest bulletproof, totally stable to top speeds in all conditions rig is GT comfort shield with screw fastened Laminar Lip and Michelin Pilot Roads. This combo is absolutely great. I've tested it extensively at every speed in every condition. Passing Semi's and tankers in high winds should be noticeably different than clean air, but not unsafe or wiggly. With my current setup, the bike moves around, but smoothly, as it reacts to the turbulance. Before, the movement was scary and unpredictable. Now, it feels appropriate. Only my huge Givi E52 topcase upsets my stability a little bit. No other combination of sidebags, multiple HelenTwoWheels duffles, chairs, tripods, or other crap I strap on causes any problems at all. I bet its your ball joint.

 

Fenno,

 

Two questions for ya.

 

How many miles on it when the defective ball joint was discovered?

 

Did you discover the problem or did the dealer?

 

Thanks

DMilan

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