ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > GS Boxers
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-27-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
r'elise me OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
r'elise me's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Venice CA
Oddometer: 243
Front Subrame Bent?

06 R1200GS Adv - Took a pretty small spill the other day (understeered on dirt into a mountain face - hit front first obliquely, not head-on hard) and then noticed that the front forks are not perpendicular to the top fork crown when viewed from the side - equally so on both sides. Bike rides great, handles great, but the handlebars are a little turned left about 1/2 deg despite much futzing around with the fork twist and handlebar clamps. So I'm assuming something is up with the front subframe. Should I tackle this or is it off to the BMW hospital I go?

My assessment is that the front subframe is somehow a bit forward from spec. When I pop the caps off the fork crown the top of the fork tubes are now biased to the rear of the crown bushings rather than centered. Given the handling on or offroad being totally fine, I'm not suspecting damage to the suspension or even misalignment. But I'm new to the GS and not sure how the telelever plays into this equation besides the apparent stiffening of the front end that would transmit all the handlebar loads into the front subframe rather than fork flex (KTM stength/BMW weekness?). Frankly, I'm not happy I'm even talking about this given how mild/usual the incident was. Is this a notorious week point? Any way to fix it easily? Perhaps reinforce it too?
__________________
08 KTM 690E / 06 GSA / 14 500EXC / 06 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE / '10 Duc Hypermotard SP / '14 Duc 1199R (sold) / '82 BMW R100 / 05 Lotus Elise Lotus Cup racer
/ bicycles for every terrain

13 year old boy - baddest-ass toy I've ever had
r'elise me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 PM   #2
simoneau
Biker/Adventurer/Retiree
 
simoneau's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Arlington, Texas
Oddometer: 194
The front forks are not necessarily 90 degrees to the top fork crown. The front forks are actually mounted to the top fork crown in spherical bearings or rubber bushings and require movement plus or minus from 90 degrees during suspension travel. Therefore I don't think you have any problem except with the lower fork bridge. Loosen the fork tube pinch bolts, straighten the handlebars, then re-tighten the pinch bolts per spec.
__________________
Randy
2014 BMW R1200GSA (OLIVE)
Ride it like you stole it, care for it like you'll keep it, never let it cool down and it'll last forever!
simoneau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 05:05 PM   #3
Mike Figielski
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Randolph, NJ
Oddometer: 492
My R1200R had been in a very low speed fender bender before I bought it(10 mph - hit rear bumper of a vehicle) and it turned out the front frame, fork tubes and A-arm all turned out to be tweaked enough that they needed to be straightened. Hard to believe when looking at the bike. I had the exact same issue with the fork tubes not being perpendicular to the upper fork bridge. Once the upper clamp was straightened all was good. I highly recommend The Frame Man in Sacramento for this type of work. He has all of the factory jigs and charges really reasonable fees to straighten stuff. No charge if he can't straighten it.
BMW has made these bikes lighter than the 1150 bikes but they sure don't fare as well in minor acidents. We see many more bent fork tubes, A-arms and front frames on the 1200 bikes than we ever did on the 1100/1150 bikes. Hope this helps.
Mike
__________________
Mike Figielski

Check Out:
beemerboneyard.com
Mike Figielski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
r'elise me OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
r'elise me's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Venice CA
Oddometer: 243
Thanks guys. I just loosened the lower clamps and axle clamp and got the forks parallel and it looks like it's right from the top view. What's concerning me most is the difference in angle between the top crown and the forks. I checked the telelever, ball joint and what I can see of the subframe and it all looks good.

Can someone tell me if the top of the fork moves back or forward as the fork compresses?

Does anyone have a side view of a healthy 1200GS fork crown so I can compare visually? If not, I'm sure I'll see one on the road tomorrow to check out.

Hoping the fork twist excercise straightened out the handlebar angle. I'll ride tomorrow and report back.
__________________
08 KTM 690E / 06 GSA / 14 500EXC / 06 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE / '10 Duc Hypermotard SP / '14 Duc 1199R (sold) / '82 BMW R100 / 05 Lotus Elise Lotus Cup racer
/ bicycles for every terrain

13 year old boy - baddest-ass toy I've ever had

r'elise me screwed with this post 03-27-2013 at 11:44 PM
r'elise me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 03:34 AM   #5
Mike Figielski
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Randolph, NJ
Oddometer: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by r'elise me View Post
Thanks guys. I just loosened the lower clamps and axle clamp and got the forks parallel and it looks like it's right from the top view. What's concerning me most is the difference in angle between the top crown and the forks. I checked the telelever, ball joint and what I can see of the subframe and it all looks good.

Can someone tell me if the top of the fork moves back or forward as the fork compresses?

Does anyone have a side view of a healthy 1200GS fork crown so I can compare visually? If not, I'm sure I'll see one on the road tomorrow to check out.

Hoping the fork twist excercise straightened out the handlebar angle. I'll ride tomorrow and report back.
The top crown and the forks should be perpendicular. Sorry, don't have a pic but this was the same issue I had. After all of the axle losening and pinch bolt loosening I still had the weird angle between the fork tubes and the top crown. I initially thought it would just be fork tubes that got bent (and they were slightly bent) but after they were straightened the angle was still off. Turned out to be the front frame in may case. The froward edge of the frame was bent. This was confirmed when I had a hell of a time geting the center bolt out (the one that goes through the bearing on the top crown). Once I had the frame straightened everything aligned and the angle of the forks and top crown was back to being perpendicular. Not saying this is definitely your situation but it very well might be.
Mike
__________________
Mike Figielski

Check Out:
beemerboneyard.com
Mike Figielski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
Disco Dean
Beastly Adventurer
 
Disco Dean's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: The Great White North
Oddometer: 1,236
I just removed a non bent top triple clamp and it is very difficult and finicky the first time you do it. So that might not be an indication it is bent.

Your forks are supposed to move in the top clamp as noted by others.

I also just went out and checked mine to be sure and the fork tubes - angle back towards the bike slightly from the top clamp perpendicular axis. So when measuring looking from the right side of the bike. The angle between the back side of the tubes (bike side) is less than 90 degrees. This makes sense as the telelever will very slightly push the bottom clamp out so the main part of riding and suspension should be around 90 degrees increasing or decreasing depending on where it is in the stroke.

The way the A arm - telelever works with a bottom clamp moving in space - the top of the forks must pivot in the top clamp. Hence the other Poster who said - they have orbital bearings in the top triple clamp.

I just replaced mine (top bearings) while putting in a new bottom triple clamp - as I wanted the whole thing to be tighter and they are pretty cheap and while it was apart etc.... Those top orbital bearings wear out after a while - and they also seem to stretch if you are not careful putting in new ones.

So while I cannot say that your frame is bent or not - the first thing I would do is if you are concerned - replace the top bearings... in the triple clamp. Then see how it feels. It will not change the angle of your clamp but may tighten it up.

If you have removed the axle and loosened the bottom clamp pinch bolts - and then retightened everything - straight and true down below and the axle glides in etc. Then you should be good.

To check if things are bent - you can remove the bottom bolts of your sub frame and just see if it is bent or fits nicely - or the bolt holes look stressed.

But - I would guess - and I am not there - that if it feels fine - it is fine.

__________________
youmoveyou

As your attorney, I advise you to buy a motorcycle. How else can we cover a thing like this righteously?
Disco Dean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
Britome
Get Free
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Oddometer: 1,117
I'm sure it was just the bolts on your tubes. I've loosened those up and eyeball straightened those suckers multiple times on multiple bikes to get the handlebars to square.

If it doesn't vibrate at 70, that was your problem. If it vibrates prior to 70, turn around and go home. Don't sweat this.
Britome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
r'elise me OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
r'elise me's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Venice CA
Oddometer: 243
Took the bike out for a spin and it handles fine, no vibes at any speed and it steers straight with hands off the bar. The bar is still askewed left though which is nothing more than an annoyance.

Having looked at another GS, it's pretty obvious that my front subframe got pushed down and forward by the force of impact - which wasn't much force, I assure you!! Very dissappointing - even moreso because BMW has NO subframes in stock worldwide. Zilch. Probably a blessing since so that I'm forced to find an alternative to the $1000 part. Effing crazy for a little steel part like that. But apparently, due to the demand caused by the most popular method of bike destruction - front enders - they can't keep em on the shelf! Add to that fact that none of the dealers I called have the $250k BMW frame jig to realign my bike properly. Feeling kinda SOL. Definitely wondering how many GS front subframes are unknown to be bent. Or if it even matters that they are.

Anyone know where I can find a straight front subframe or someone with a proper jig to straighten mine out?
__________________
08 KTM 690E / 06 GSA / 14 500EXC / 06 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE / '10 Duc Hypermotard SP / '14 Duc 1199R (sold) / '82 BMW R100 / 05 Lotus Elise Lotus Cup racer
/ bicycles for every terrain

13 year old boy - baddest-ass toy I've ever had
r'elise me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2013, 03:34 AM   #9
Mike Figielski
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Randolph, NJ
Oddometer: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by r'elise me View Post
Took the bike out for a spin and it handles fine, no vibes at any speed and it steers straight with hands off the bar. The bar is still askewed left though which is nothing more than an annoyance.

Having looked at another GS, it's pretty obvious that my front subframe got pushed down and forward by the force of impact - which wasn't much force, I assure you!! Very dissappointing - even moreso because BMW has NO subframes in stock worldwide. Zilch. Probably a blessing since so that I'm forced to find an alternative to the $1000 part. Effing crazy for a little steel part like that. But apparently, due to the demand caused by the most popular method of bike destruction - front enders - they can't keep em on the shelf! Add to that fact that none of the dealers I called have the $250k BMW frame jig to realign my bike properly. Feeling kinda SOL. Definitely wondering how many GS front subframes are unknown to be bent. Or if it even matters that they are.

Anyone know where I can find a straight front subframe or someone with a proper jig to straighten mine out?
I gave you the info in my first response. "The Frame Man" http://www.motorcycleframeman.com/ in Sacramento CA has the jigs to straighten the front frame and he does it very reasonably. I think I paid around $350 or $400 and he straightened my front frame, 2 fork legs, and A-arm. Highly recommended.
Mike
__________________
Mike Figielski

Check Out:
beemerboneyard.com
Mike Figielski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 12:15 AM   #10
r'elise me OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
r'elise me's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Venice CA
Oddometer: 243
Thanks Mike. I spoke with them today and they sound very capable of getting this all sorted out. I'll post when all is complete and tested, but they sounded very confident that all would be well.
__________________
08 KTM 690E / 06 GSA / 14 500EXC / 06 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE / '10 Duc Hypermotard SP / '14 Duc 1199R (sold) / '82 BMW R100 / 05 Lotus Elise Lotus Cup racer
/ bicycles for every terrain

13 year old boy - baddest-ass toy I've ever had
r'elise me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 05:03 AM   #11
Mike Figielski
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Randolph, NJ
Oddometer: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by r'elise me View Post
Thanks Mike. I spoke with them today and they sound very capable of getting this all sorted out. I'll post when all is complete and tested, but they sounded very confident that all would be well.
They will fix you up, very competant people. It is kind of a PIA getting the top clamp off when the frame is bent. Also take pics of the wire harness layout and everything else before you disassemble. Makes it easier to get it right when putting it all back together. Good luck!
Mike
__________________
Mike Figielski

Check Out:
beemerboneyard.com
Mike Figielski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 09:20 AM   #12
mike54
You don't get me
 
mike54's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Oddometer: 13,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by r'elise me View Post
Thanks Mike. I spoke with them today and they sound very capable of getting this all sorted out. I'll post when all is complete and tested, but they sounded very confident that all would be well.
Was just over there yesterday dropping off the girl friends track bike. Got to talking to Pat about GS frames and such. They do quite a few front fames on the 1200 GSs. It's not uncommon for them to be bent after a seemingly minor bump.

They'll get you fixed up.
__________________
A genius is the one most like himself. - T. Monk via S. Lacy

Do stand up guys lie?
mike54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 09:36 AM   #13
Lime
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Lime's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Oddometer: 215
I bent the front sub frame on my 2007 GSA. I waited 6 months for one I ordered from BMW. Finally after a nationwide search I found a dealer half way across the US that just happened to have one. I think it was about $550.
Lime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
r'elise me OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
r'elise me's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Venice CA
Oddometer: 243
Just put an hour into the front subframe removal process. WOW - this IS complicated and intense. Unfortunately, I don't have a factor service manual, just a Haynes, which doesn't cover it, so I just stopped. It seems like everything on the front half of the bike connects with this subframe. I'm not so concerned about taking it apart as much as reassembly. Wires, cable, piping, everywhere. Shop quoted a 9 hour job and that's obviously if you know what you're doing or at least have a manual. So I'm off to get one. I'm really wondering how one deals with such minor problems on the road to nowhere. I really want to accomplish this on my own as I'm a beleiver that you have to know how to fix everything as an adv rider.


Anyone have a link to step by step instructions?

Sidenote:
They say these bikes are easy to work on compared to KTM's. Yah - maybe for maintenance, but this sort of issue doesn't come up on a KTM (at least not the ones I have.) What exactly is the huge benefit of a telelever suspension, especially in light of the inherent weakness of cantilevering the headset/top crown over the suspension?! I'm no engineer, but as far as I can tell, putting the extra strength in the fork tubes (ala KTM) would yield an adequately robust front end and eliminate this ridiculous weak point.

On a KTM, you bend a fork (which takes a LOT of force) and you swap em out. 1 hour job max. I'm wondering how all these folks get by riding GS's into the most remote corners of the planet. Between servicabitlity, availability and strength concerns, I'm almost ready to toss this thing aside and get the 990ADV. I'm ranting, I know, but god forbid this should happen again - which really IS a realistic concern IMO.

I need a cocktail.
__________________
08 KTM 690E / 06 GSA / 14 500EXC / 06 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE / '10 Duc Hypermotard SP / '14 Duc 1199R (sold) / '82 BMW R100 / 05 Lotus Elise Lotus Cup racer
/ bicycles for every terrain

13 year old boy - baddest-ass toy I've ever had
r'elise me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #15
Disco Dean
Beastly Adventurer
 
Disco Dean's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: The Great White North
Oddometer: 1,236
Sorry to hear it man... getting the top clamp off is tough enough for sure and there is a lot going on up front.

The beast is complicated in some respects and some not.

The paralever offers so much in handling and anti dive in the front that it is almost singly the main reasons BMW GS's handle so well and comparable many sport bikes.

That said it has limitations - in suspension length etc.

I know it is easier to swap out a tube from a standard fork tube front end... to fix a front end but changing out the subframe on a GS is much easier than changing out a KTM frame - the issue being that you normally don't have to change out a KTM frame when you bend the front end... just the tubes.

As far as I can tell with your bent front end - you would not have a problem anywhere in the world as it is totally ridable - steers straight and has no vibes... so you would keep going until you got home I would guess I would.

Best to buy the cd rep-rom for your usage - it is about $120 and mine has served me so well I cannot even begin to say how much it has saved me.
__________________
youmoveyou

As your attorney, I advise you to buy a motorcycle. How else can we cover a thing like this righteously?
Disco Dean is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014