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KSUperDuty 04-21-2013 05:51 PM

Help! Stuck in Ft Collins 2 Hours from Home
The front end on my 1000 mile old F800 just developed a shimmy in the front end. I noticed a slight intermittent vibration in the front today, but I chalked it up to uneven pavement. 60 or so miles later I took both hands off the bars at about 40 mph and the bar started oscillating like crazy. Hands on bars it seems fine with only that slight vibration. I'm not experienced enough to know if I should venture home or what I should do. Off the ground, the wheel spins fine, no excessive mud, can't see where the tread is separated or bad anywhere, bead looks fine. I took a couple pictures of both sides of the hub. Am I missing a bolt? What can I check, or what can I do? I have to work in the AM, and I don't really want to overnight here. Waiting patiently in a parking lot.
Untitled by KSUperDuty, on Flickr
Untitled by KSUperDuty, on Flickr

beeper 04-21-2013 06:10 PM

Steering stem bearings loose? With front wheel off the ground check steering stem for play. Also could have tossed a wheel weight. Loose spokes?

If nothing obviously missing or loose I'd continue home.

waxrash 04-21-2013 06:21 PM

Tire pressure?

KSUperDuty 04-21-2013 06:34 PM

Thanks guys. Tire pressure is OK, can't find any loose spokes, two wheel weights in place no play between the wheel and the handlebars. I couldn't remember if there was a bolt through the center on each side or not.

sorebutt 04-21-2013 08:36 PM

Check to make sure the forks are tight in the triple clamps and there is the same amount of tube above the top clamp.

Also if you have tools, loosen the pinch bolts on one side of the axle and then bounce the front wheel up and down. Then tighten the pinch bolts again.

CheckerdD 04-21-2013 09:39 PM

Just curious. Is the tread on the front tire cupping? Could the tire be out of round. By now you have most likely eliminated mechanical faults. Dave

KSUperDuty 04-21-2013 10:33 PM

Thanks for the replies. I checked everything I could think of up front, and everything is tight. Visually nothing is different on one side or the other. No cupping on the tire either. I did have a substantial load on the bike, so I took everything off and went for a short spin on some smooth asphalt. The vibration and the handle bar wobble weren't as pronounced with less weight on the bike, but it was definitely still there.

In the end, I decided not to ride the bike back home in the dark. I couldn't get the thought of some kind of high speed wobble debacle out of my head. Its great to be back on a bike, but my 10 year motorcycle ownership hiatus was the result of a burst fracture of my L1 vertebra. I guess I'm still on the cautious side. I rode it to a nearby BMW dealership, and I'll let them fix it on the warranty.

Because of this, I did learn that I need to start packing a better set of tools around. I'm sure there's a post on suggested tools to carry....

_cy_ 04-21-2013 10:38 PM

bummer .. failure on a brand new bike :cry

JRWooden 04-22-2013 02:46 AM

How much preload did you have dialed in to rear shock?

basketcase 04-22-2013 03:07 AM

A "tankslapper" oscillation of the handlebars is usually a loose steering head bearing issue.

On a bike that new I expect you are good to ride home without fear. But some bikes just don't take to hands off riding, so I wouldn't tempt fate by trying it every five miles.

Tor 04-22-2013 06:10 AM

What kind of tires do you have up front?

Loutre 04-22-2013 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by Tor (Post 21241513)
What kind of tires do you have up front?

I read scorpion trail :deal

_cy_ 04-22-2013 01:49 PM

update ... what caused your problems?

KSUperDuty 04-22-2013 06:17 PM

They must actually ride at the dealership where I dropped it off. They are closed on Mondays, so I won't know anything until tomorrow. I should have ridden it home....

KSUperDuty 04-25-2013 08:43 AM

Dealership called. They confirmed the bar shake. They also said they tightened up the steering bearings which minimized the shake, but it did not eliminate it entirely. Apparently they rode their demo F800 and it has a similar shake at 50 mph. The service advisor said that it is just a characterization of the bike because of the rake angle. OK? Sound like a reasonable explanation?

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