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Steering characteristics


ChrisHvelplund

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ChrisHvelplund

As many of you presumably already know, the R1100RS takes a rather powerful hand to manoeuvre. It is great for going straight, but turning is difficult. It need to be tilted rather heavily. In my very subjective opinion R1100R is much easier to handle. I have no experience with the RT.

 

Furthermore I have replaced the original low “clip-on” handlebars with the RT-ones. Se picture:

 

R1100RS.jpg

 

This has worsened the situation because, I suppose, the combined centre of gravity has raised.

 

The solution to this problem, as I see it, is to decrease the steering assembly angle. On RS and S with their relative low handlebars it is 65.9 and 65° respectively, and on R and RT with high handlebars it is 63 and 62.8°.

 

The question is whether this is possible or not. When I look in the Parts Fiche for front steering and suspension, most parts seems to be the same for all models. Part numbers are the same. Except for Lower fork cross brace and Upper fork cross brace, the only difference seems to be the Trailing arm.

 

Is there anyone here who can spot a problem that would prevent that I replace the Trailing arm to a RT-one?

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As many of you presumably already know, the R1100RS takes a rather powerful hand to manoeuvre. It is great for going straight, but turning is difficult. It need to be tilted rather heavily.

 

Umm....no.

 

First off, welcome to the board. Back to the quoted statement. I have never ridden a BMW that requires a powerful hand to direct. The worst of the lot are the big K bikes due to their wheelbase, but even those handle incredibly light once they are moving. Sounds to me like you are fighting the bike into corners versus counter steering and letting the bike do what it was designed to do. If that is the case, I would suggest you should be investigating some proper riding instruction instead of trying to modify the bike.

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The RS will handle better than the RT due to the lower bars. You should return to stock bars. My RS handles like a dream.

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The RS will handle better than the RT due to the lower bars. You should return to stock bars. My RS handles like a dream.

 

My RT handles like a dream, so i can only imagine what the RS is like! Hell my old R75 handled like a dream too....

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The place to start with most MC handling problems is with the rubber. First, are your tires newer than 5 years old? Do they show indications of unusual wear patterns? Are they suitable to the bike?

 

It is amazing how new rubber makes a bike feel so much easier to handle. Good luck.

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Clive Liddell

I agree with 4wheeldog,

 

I recently fitted a new front tire and on the first ride it felt as if I had fitted power steering - so much so that on the first roundabout I nearly oversteered onto the center island :>)

 

 

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The RS will handle better than the RT due to the lower bars. You should return to stock bars. My RS handles like a dream.

 

See the 3 bikes in my signature ... the best handler by far is the bike with the widest bars, i.e. the G/S.

 

Compare top-grade racers of the '80s or earlier to today's MotoGP, etc., bikes. Clipons are no more--most look like S-bars.

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As many of you presumably already know, the R1100RS takes a rather powerful hand to manoeuvre. It is great for going straight, but turning is difficult. It need to be tilted rather heavily.

 

Umm....no.

 

First off, welcome to the board. Back to the quoted statement. I have never ridden a BMW that requires a powerful hand to direct. The worst of the lot are the big K bikes due to their wheelbase, but even those handle incredibly light once they are moving. Sounds to me like you are fighting the bike into corners versus counter steering and letting the bike do what it was designed to do. If that is the case, I would suggest you should be investigating some proper riding instruction instead of trying to modify the bike.

 

 

 

Ummm, what Keith say.

My RSL would go fast and turn as well as any BMW and I found myself riding faster and easier.

 

My K GT I love.

Comfort, speed, smoooooth, and for 2 up it excels.

But, I'm not the rider it needs to go like my RSL did in the turns.

 

My suggestion is return to stock, go MYRP, keep tire pressure correct (for you and roads, 40/42 worked great for me at my size and 2 up),

and enjoy the ride.

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The place to start with most MC handling problems is with the rubber. First, are your tires newer than 5 years old? Do they show indications of unusual wear patterns? Are they suitable to the bike?

 

It is amazing how new rubber makes a bike feel so much easier to handle. Good luck.

 

Rubber AND pressures! I recently bought an R1100S. during the test ride I had to force it to lean over, if I let off on the counter steering, it stood straight up again. Checked pressures and found 15/22 WOW!!!!! With proper pressures it was a great leaner. Now anytime I feel an odd sensation in the front of the RT or the S I know the front tire is a little low. 3-5 lbs can make enough of a difference to feel. The S during test ride was 21/20lbs LOW. Check the pressures first, if the tires are old or squared off, replace them and keep an eye on pressures with the new tires.

 

Hawk

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My 1100RT handled very much like that when I first bought it Hawk, it had reasonably good looking Bridgestones on it at the recommended pressures so for a while I just assumed that's the way RT's feel! Some time later fitted Avon Storms, what a difference that made, a really unbelievable improvement in steering and general handling, (36psi front, 42 psi rear)

 

Dave

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First, you've gotten good advice. An R11S is a very good handling bike. It's no Ducati, to be sure, but it does handle very well.

 

So, first follow the advice you've gotten. Evaluate and replace the tires if needed. Put the bars back to stock. Etc.

 

Once you've done all that, you'll find that there's no way to change the front fork rake by working at the front of the bike. You have to raise the rear by using a shorter Paralever anchor arm. I could be off on the measurements, but I believe the stock length is 385mm. There used to be some aftermarket ones that were 360mm, and if I'm not mistaken, you can also buy one from BMW. It would be the one for the R1100S Boxer Cup. However, the best alternative would be the adjustable one from Verholen. It's pricey (about $400+), but it has a center turnbuckle that will let you adjust it until you find the responsiveness you like balanced by an increased sensitivity you can tolerate. It's all up to you where you set it, so don't take my word or any previously mentioned measurements. You're going to have to work at it judiciously until you find what you're happiest with.

 

Last U.S. importer for Verholen was Keith Simms at Creative Cycle Concepts. If he no longer handles the line, he may know who does.

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I have read of people putting an RT front paralever on an S model because it changes the geometry.

 

Investigate this well, its only hearsay. You read it on the internet :)

MY RT handles heavy at low speed steering when the tire is worn out. I just removed a shot Metzler 880 and put on a Michlen Pilot Road 3. What a difference.

 

They all feel great with new rubber.

 

Best of luck

David

 

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