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Thread: 2013 R1200GS head shake

  1. #16
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    Update

    So I have dropped the bike off to my local dealer. First thing BMW told them to try is a new set of tires. Bike only has 1120mi on it. I'll keep everyone updated as I know something!!

  2. #17
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    First of all, I do not know if there is anything wrong with your bike. Maybe there is. Maybe there isn't. I don't know.

    What I DO know is that taking your hands off the bars is improper operation. This question came up at a Honda motorcycle mechanics school I attended, and that was the answer, and it is correct, because a motorcycle chassis is inherently unstable while decelerating, so when you take your hands off the bars and let go of the throttle, most bikes will (sooner or later) start shaking their heads, so to speak. Some worse than others. Various things can be done to minimize it, but the best thing is to keep your hands on the bars.

    I'll bet you a beer that if you are set on cruise control and let go (so the bike doesn't decelerate), it does not happen.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    I think people are getting confused with what I am talking about. The bike is perfect in every way, love this machine...but if I am going 40-60mph and take my hands completely off the handlebars the handlebars start to shake badly to the point I need to grab ahold or I might go down......
    I know nothing about this particular model but it's not uncommon for a bike to shake the bars if you let go. Were you the gentleman bringing it back to the dealer to have them check it out? If so, did you?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    First of all, I do not know if there is anything wrong with your bike. Maybe there is. Maybe there isn't. I don't know.

    What I DO know is that taking your hands off the bars is improper operation. This question came up at a Honda motorcycle mechanics school I attended, and that was the answer, and it is correct, because a motorcycle chassis is inherently unstable while decelerating, so when you take your hands off the bars and let go of the throttle, most bikes will (sooner or later) start shaking their heads, so to speak. Some worse than others. Various things can be done to minimize it, but the best thing is to keep your hands on the bars.

    I'll bet you a beer that if you are set on cruise control and let go (so the bike doesn't decelerate), it does not happen.
    Just 1 beer? I have set my cruise at 50 and taken my hands off the wheel and it does the same thing!! I just rode the wifes 2009 E1200R to work and it does not have any head shake at any speed whether accelerating or decelerating and neither did my R1200RT. My wifes new Ducati Hyperstrada is smooth as well. I have ridden dirst bikes for years and am used to some amount of head shake on them but then again the tires and rims are not balanced on the bike. Trust me EMOTO, there is something wrong with my new GS. I would have much rather been riding it today than have it in the shop!!

  5. #20
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    Ok, I owe you a beer!





















    but it is still improper operation to take your hand off the bars while riding.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    I think people are getting confused with what I am talking about. The bike is perfect in every way, love this machine...but if I am going 40-60mph and take my hands completely off the handlebars the handlebars start to shake badly to the point I need to grab ahold or I might go down......

    I wasn't at all confused about what you're talking about.

    I suggest your head shake condition might be somehow related to the uber light steering that these bikes display.

    In the video, viewable earlier in this thread, the author demonstrates the bike reaction to him hitting the bar end whilst traveling at speed.
    I didn't try it on all the bikes I've owned, never thought to, but certainly, neither my 2003 K1200GT nor my 2012 Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom react with such oscillation to a thump on the bar end, as evidenced in the video.

    I'm say'n that these bike clearly have a light steering touch. Any chassis anomoly, rotational imbalance , or perhaps, as in your case, even a loading or equipment change (perhaps in combination with a another factor, like a tire/wheel imbalance) MIGHT affect an already light steering effort.

    I can't confirm it, however, I've just today read somewhere, probably over at ADVRIDER, that the 2014 GSWC will have a steering damper as standard equipment. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

    I've owned my share of BMW Motocycles since 2002, 10 or so. I've ridden, and with some reservations like the GSWC...Not knocking your ride. Might buy one down the road...

    d'milan
    Last edited by dmilan; 07-12-2013 at 12:00 AM.

  7. #22
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    New Update

    OK the dealership called me yesterday and believe they found the issue. The swapped out my front wheel with one from another bike on the floor and the problem went away. So my bike came with Metzler Tourance Next tires and they believe maybe the front tire had a defect of some type. They ordered Conti trail attacks that should be in this morning so I will find out later today if my problem has been resolved or not? My only question is why they didn't order a new set of Metzler's?

  8. #23
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    OK the dealership called me yesterday and believe they found the issue. The swapped out my front wheel with one from another bike on the floor and the problem went away. So my bike came with Metzler Tourance Next tires and they believe maybe the front tire had a defect of some type. They ordered Conti trail attacks that should be in this morning so I will find out later today if my problem has been resolved or not? My only question is why they didn't order a new set of Metzler's?
    I like it when something is actually found. Of course, it could be the tire, or the wheel, or the combination of the two, if each is a little off in some way.

    I would be curious enough to ask them about the tire choice. It could be cost, or it could be that the Next has been involved in too many such issues, or it could simply be what was in a nearby warehouse...
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    I like it when something is actually found. Of course, it could be the tire, or the wheel, or the combination of the two, if each is a little off in some way.

    I would be curious enough to ask them about the tire choice. It could be cost, or it could be that the Next has been involved in too many such issues, or it could simply be what was in a nearby warehouse...
    I'll post an update as to what they say and to why they didn't just put new Metzler's back on the bike.

  10. #25
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    Head shake resolved with new tires!

    Well picked up bike Friday and the head shake is completely gone. Apparently the BMW factory in Munich called my dealer and told them to replace the Metzler tires with Conti attack trail tires. They gave no reason as to why!!! So I am guessing that BMW is seeing some issues with the Metzler Tourance Next tires!!

  11. #26
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    Well picked up bike Friday and the head shake is completely gone. Apparently the BMW factory in Munich called my dealer and told them to replace the Metzler tires with Conti attack trail tires. They gave no reason as to why!!! So I am guessing that BMW is seeing some issues with the Metzler Tourance Next tires!!
    Wow! Veeeeery interesting.
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  12. #27
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    Kudo's BMW

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    Well picked up bike Friday and the head shake is completely gone. Apparently the BMW factory in Munich called my dealer and told them to replace the Metzler tires with Conti attack trail tires. They gave no reason as to why!!! So I am guessing that BMW is seeing some issues with the Metzler Tourance Next tires!!
    Isn't it nice to hear BMW responding to a problem with a solution! Too often we only hear the negative stories. On the other hand now I am going to have to re-think which tires I was going to put on my 09 GS next time.
    P. Monk
    74 R90/6 (also know by bride as the Black Hole). 09 R1200 GS. My wife, 1953 model who has survived aplastic anemia and a bone marrow transplant.

  13. #28
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    2013 R1200GSW Headshake

    Hey guys!

    Interesting thread here. My 2013 R1200GSW with 3,100 miles, vario side and topcases, and Tourance Nexts also has an intermittent head shake on the pavement at highway speeds on deceleration and at steady state cruise control on conditions (not related to the quick steering in the video). No bike I've ever owned has had this kind of head shake unless the steering head bearings were shot from a lot of miles. I've owned 70's, 80,s, and 90's dirt bikes of large and small displacements and 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's street and dual sports as well from Suzuki GS's, to airhead RT's, to K-RT's, to a new R80G/S to a current,F650 Dakar to recently sold Kawasaki Concours, etc.

    I'm getting 1 to 4 inches of rapid side to side handle bar end movement at moderate to increasing frequency during these events with hands off (hands hovering over grips so I'm not the source of the bar movement). Enough to be concerned and counter the movements with more hand pressure. Not a tank slapper yet but looks like it may go there some day. Tire pressures are at spec and the tires do not appear oddly worn. I'm running the spoke wheels.

    So far intermittent and infrequent. If it gets worse I'll have to go see my dealer.

    By the way, the bike rocks and I'm glad I bought it! Just have to get a few things dialed in on this intro model year machine!

  14. #29
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Taking your hands off the bars is improper operation. Many, many bikes, brand new out of the crate will do this. (I set up and test rode lots of bikes fresh out of the crate - Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki). Some will not. It is not a problem unless it happens with your hands ON the bars.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pjohnson387 View Post
    Well picked up bike Friday and the head shake is completely gone. Apparently the BMW factory in Munich called my dealer and told them to replace the Metzler tires with Conti attack trail tires. They gave no reason as to why!!! So I am guessing that BMW is seeing some issues with the Metzler Tourance Next tires!!
    I was wondering if the bike is still working well with the new tires. I just received my vario cases and have exactly the same problem! I'm expecting a "no problem found" found from my dealer. Do you know of any service number or any document I can point my dealer to, to avoid weeks of going back and forth? Thanks.

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