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SteveS RT

Handle bar shake???

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SteveS RT

Good evening!

I just bought my first BMW this weekend, and then rode it 400 miles home. On the way, i noticed that i'm getting some vibration through the handlebars.

it's not just a buzz, but 1/4" to 1/2" movement at the bar ends at 75 mph.

I'm wondering if anyone has deallt with this?

 

Here are the speciifics:

2014 R 1200 RT with 10500 miles

Dealer put on NEW tires before I picked it up

I just took it to the local BMW dealer and they pulled the front wheel and said it was perfectly balanced.

at 4000 RPM in 3rd gear the bars are calm.

at 4000 RPM in 6th gear they shake, bar ends moving fore and aft.

Tires are Shinko 005 Advance (i have never used Shinko tires and know little about them).

 

Bike is great, except for the shakes.

 

Any ideas where to look first?

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AndyS

You mention shake at 4000 RPM in 6th. but not in 3rd? What about the intermediate gears?

Also does the shake have any correlation to road speed. When you are getting the shake and dip the clutch does it go away?

Are you getting any other symptoms such as vibrations at the footpegs, seat etc.

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SteveS RT

It seems to be entirely speed related. 

It gets worse at higher speeds, and goes away below 50 mph. 

 

The pegs and seat are fine. 

 

I didnt seem seem to have the issue for the first 150 miles, and then it developed. 

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AndyS

Hi SteveS RT, I am a little confused. 

You say it is entirely speed related but you tell us that it shakes a 4000 RPM in 6th but not at 4000 RPM in 3rd?

So what I am asking is is it always there at speeds above 50mph no matter what gear you are in?

I am trying to clarify that it has nothing to do with engine speed, but road speed.

 

The next question is, if you have this bar end flutter and dip the clutch, does the shake go away or remain?

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Bernie

Hi SteveS RT, would you describe it as speed wobble, that slows down as your speed reduces?

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Cap
11 hours ago, SteveS RT said:

...I just took it to the local BMW dealer and they pulled the front wheel and said it was perfectly balanced....

 

Did you ask the dealer to give it a test ride? They can tell you if the vibrations are abnormal. Since this is your first BMW, you may not have any experience with boxer vibrations.  Also, asking the dealer to ride it will give them the opportunity to deliver their standard line, "They all do that, sir."  It's a right of passage.

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SteveS RT

Thanks everyone for the interest and comments.

My example of the 4000 rpm was my proving to my self that it was speed related and not RPM related.

The higher the speed the worse the vibration.

As the speed decreases the magnitude of the vibration lessens, and below 45 or 50 mph it is not perceptible, regardless of gear.

Yes, this is my first BMW, but I did test ride 2 RTs last month and a GS at the dealer demo day and none had this vibration ( we did get on the interstate and see 65 mph or better).

 

Actually, when i initially picked the bike up it was fine and only after the first 100 to 150 miles did the vibration become noticable.

This morning I ordered a Michelin PR4 GT for the front to see what impact that has.  I've run those on my FJR and my KTM with no issues.

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alegerlotz

I had a similar issue (although not as pronounced) when I got a set of Metzeler Interact 01 tires fitted.  I would feel a vibration between about 50 and 65 MPH and engine RPM (or even pulling the clutch) made no difference.

 

I had the tires re-checked for balance.  They were fine.

 

The bike never vibrated with the factory fitted tires, and it never vibrated after this set of tires was worn out and replaced (with another brand), but the *entire time* those tires were on the bike I had that strange vibration.

 

Even though the tires are balanced, there could be some other manufacturing defect with them.

 

Good luck in determining the cause of the vibration.

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JamesW

Hi Steve,  I think you did the right thing ordering that Michelin PR tire.  I had a steering head wobble on my FJR that would begin at about 45 mph and worsen as the speed dropped.  Completely cured 5K miles ago with the PR tires front and rear.  I think if I were you I would also have ordered a PR tire for the rear as well since an issue with the rear section of a motorcycle can have an effect on the front.  Not sure how a front end wobble would appear on a BMW with the telelever front suspension.  

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Skywagon

Steve to just confirm speed related only can you run the bike at 50, 60, 70, etc and when you hit those speeds, pull the clutch in, throttle idle,  and let us know if the vibration is still there.  These wetheads are fine bikes and at 10,000 miles I would be surprised if anything serious.   Not to worry this shouldn't be a big deal.

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bwpsg42

I had a vibration on my 2013 that started at about 80mph regardless of gear.it first started manifesting itself at about 100 and over time the threshold went lower.  Turned out to be a bad front wheel bearing.  I had a hard time getting a mechanic to ride it fast enough to understand what I was talking about.  Had one tell me I shouldn’t ride that fast. No trace since replacement. 

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SteveS RT

Thanks everyone, I’ll ride the bike again on Saturday with comments on the clutch pull  at speeds.  When I pull the front wheel next week for the tire I’ll check the bearings too. 

What about front / rear wheel alignment? Could that be an issue?

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LAF
9 hours ago, SteveS RT said:

Thanks everyone, I’ll ride the bike again on Saturday with comments on the clutch pull  at speeds.  When I pull the front wheel next week for the tire I’ll check the bearings too. 

What about front / rear wheel alignment? Could that be an issue?

Well when you replace the front wheel before you tighten the pinch bolts you are supposed to bounce the front end to make sure everything is seated and to help it seat.

 

I do not see how you can align a RT? 

 

On  chain or belt driven bike you can use the string method to bring the bike into alignment, using the chain/belt adjuster on each side of the rear wheel but I see no way on a shaft driven bike.

 

I think the best you can do is check run out on your rims and tires.  If you have a static balancer like a Mark Parnes it is very easy to set up a dial indicator and see if either is out.  A lot of times you can see a tire that is out or has a defect with your eyes on a static balancer. 

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dirtrider
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 9:42 PM, SteveS RT said:

Good evening!

I just bought my first BMW this weekend, and then rode it 400 miles home. On the way, i noticed that i'm getting some vibration through the handlebars.

it's not just a buzz, but 1/4" to 1/2" movement at the bar ends at 75 mph.

I'm wondering if anyone has deallt with this?

 

Here are the speciifics:

2014 R 1200 RT with 10500 miles

Dealer put on NEW tires before I picked it up

I just took it to the local BMW dealer and they pulled the front wheel and said it was perfectly balanced.

at 4000 RPM in 3rd gear the bars are calm.

at 4000 RPM in 6th gear they shake, bar ends moving fore and aft.

Tires are Shinko 005 Advance (i have never used Shinko tires and know little about them).

 

Bike is great, except for the shakes.

 

Any ideas where to look first?

 

 

Morning  SteveS RT

 

You have pretty well defined where your issue is-- As a rule an engine related disturbance is higher frequency with a decided buzz feeling in the handlebars (higher frequency but low displacement & decidedly engine RPM related, or sometimes both RPM & engine load related).

 

If you are getting 1/4" to 1/2" movement at the bar ends that is more of a high displacement but lower frequency thing with a fairly decent input driving force (more in the wheel rotational RPM range than higher engine RPM operation range).

 

The usual cause of that sort of wheel induced disturbance is a tire that is not completely seated on the rim (sometimes difficult to see by eye with the tire inflated) but can sometimes be seen when the air is removed as the tire bead will usually pull away from the rim in the unseated area.

 

Next, is a tire balance issue, but that usually causes a disturbance that can also be felt in the seat & your body, arms, legs, etc.

 

Next, is a first order radial run out  (usually internal to the tire construction & caused by improper tire manufacturing), like slipped ply or improper layer layup, or rubber thickness variations. (you usually can't see this by just spinning the wheel)

 

Then,  you have an obvious tire deformity problem, like a thick spot (ply overlap) or rubber durometer variation, or broken cord, or improper curing, etc (you can usually see this if you jack the tire off the ground then spin the wheel).

 

Things like wheel bearing issues, axel & spacers not centered, lower forks improperly spaced usually show up at much lower vehicle speeds & usually show as a bearing growl or roughness (wheel bearing  problems), or as tracking issues (fork spacing or axles spacing issues).

 

If your tire is FULLY & PROPERLY seated on the rim then a good chance that you have a defective tire. With the handlebar displacement noted, but nothing felt  in the seat or foot pegs, then most likely a front tire issue.  

  

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SteveS RT

Thanks dirtrider, very well thought out. 

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SteveS RT

today I put on another 140 miles on the RT. Still loving the bike.

on the backroads below 60 i'm really not feeling a problem, but get up on the interstate and it shows up again.

Rolling down the road at 75 and pull in the clutch and no change, still getting the shake. it feels about the same at 90 as it does at 70, just a higher frequency, but same amplitude.

I'm thinking it's the tire.  When the new tire shows up at my local Cyclegear store i'll inspect the brearing when the wheel comes off.

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Skywagon

steve...DR and others will weigh in who are more knowledgeable than me, but what you did today I would think eliminate drive train and point towards tire/wheel.  Let's see what they say.

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SteveS RT

 I just dropped off the front wheel at the local Cycle Gear Shop. They look at the tire and said it was a lightweight sport bike tire and not designed to take the weight of my motorcycle. (  and the cheapest one they Stockett that) 

This could solve the mystery 

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PadG

I suspect that you will have solved your issue, Steve.  I had suspected the front tire as being the culprit from your very first post, since the symptom sounded like tire issue to me.  I was thinking that it was out of balance, but what the shop is telling you sounds very right!

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hopz

I was going to say tires yesterday but didn't get a-round to it... 

My '14 came with the Michelins and they were OK but perhaps with a bit of the vibe you describe. My rears wore down far more than the front but I changed both out for the Pirelli Angel GT's... amazing difference... for the far better ride.

I ordered the Angel's to the house and took both wheels and new tires to the dealer for mounting. Price was fair. Balancing was professional. Old tires properly disposed...

All together an amazing improvement in the ride...

FYI

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SteveS RT
20 minutes ago, hopz said:

I was going to say tires yesterday but didn't get a-round to it... 

My '14 came with the Michelins and they were OK but perhaps with a bit of the vibe you describe. My rears wore down far more than the front but I changed both out for the Pirelli Angel GT's... amazing difference... for the far better ride.

I ordered the Angel's to the house and took both wheels and new tires to the dealer for mounting. Price was fair. Balancing was professional. Old tires properly disposed...

All together an amazing improvement in the ride...

FYI

Thanks, were the tires Michelin PR4 GT's? that is what I ran on my FJR and ordered for the RT as well.

The non "GT" version is a lighter construction.

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AndyS

On my Wethead I really disliked the PR4 and PR4GT's. They performed well for abut 3000 miles and then it was like hitting a switch. They became noisy and buzzy (but DID NOT generate handlebar shake).

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hopz

Yes, they were PR4'GTs....

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John

Have you checked your steering damper?

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SteveS RT

Got the new tires mounted and balanced yesterday. 

It’s all back to normal now. 

Thanks for all the inputs!

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Skywagon

Steve...so no shake?

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SteveS RT

The shake is gone!

all that remains is the pleasant feel of the engine. 

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AndyS

A great outcome.

Thanks for letting us know.

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MichiganBob

I was wondering about "Shinko" tires. Don't know a thing about them but I'm pretty careful about what tires I use due to what they do to keep me safe and snarky.

 

Glad it got resolved successfully.

 

MB

 

 

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