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Topic: BMW 2014 R1200RT Stability Problem?  (Read 24551 times)

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Mikem9
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« on: April 24, 2014, 12:11:19 am »

Today, a buddy asked me to accompany him to test ride the new 2014 BMW R1200RT. Another buddy also joined us. The dealer let us take the bike for several hours and ride in the mountains. All three of us switched back and forth between a 2014 1200GS that my buddy owns, the other guys 1998 R1150RT, and the dealers 2014 R1200RS.

We took an interstate for approximately 40 miles and then got off and rode on twisty roads and sweeper roads. The new R1200RT is a great bike overall, but we all noticed one significant problem. It seemed to lack stability in the wind at interstate speeds and kind of wobble. It felt at times as if we were riding on a grooved road with wavy grooves. The bike felt "skiddish". Not planted. Kind of like being thrown around in bad buffeting except it felt like the problem was at the point where the rubber meets the road. It was significant enough at times to be disconcerting. We checked the tire pressure and messed around with different suspension settings. Someone at the shop suggested it could just be because it was a windy day. But, we weren't having the problem with the other bikes. The shop said that others had demo'd the bike and they had never heard that complaint. We all 3 definitely felt it today.

Has anyone ever experienced this on the new R1200RT? Or do you have ideas about what it might be? New tire out of round? Computer settings for suspension or traction control messing up? We tested swing arm bearings and wheel bearings and that didn't seem to be it. My buddy did put his GPS unit from his GS on the RT. The RT said there was an error with the ASC system. The dealer said that shouldn't cause this kind of stability problem and is probably just a GPS set up error because of going from a GS to an RT.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 10:57:10 am by Mikem9 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 08:51:02 pm »

What did the dealer have to say when he was informed of the issue?

Paul
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 12:44:01 am »

I read this last night and asked around our shop if anyone had heard of any end user observations along this line... found nothing. I have recently logged a few hours of mixed riding on a windy day on our demo unit (with PR4's mounted), 2 up and didn't notice anything like described above. If anything, I found it surprisingly stable running a short stretch of I-95 in heavy traffic with an abundance of dirty air. My only thoughts would be wheel alignment or tire pressure, but I think those would have presented variability more globally...  Headscratch
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 10:58:28 am »


What did the dealer have to say when he was informed of the issue?

Paul


They just said they would check it.  One employee said that he would ride it home.  If I find out something from them, I will post here.  Note:  One guy in our group has owned BMW's for 40 years.

GRN - thanks for your comment and looking into this also.

Edit:  Just talked to the dealer:  They verified that they had a problem with that bike..  Have not been able to yet figure out what is going on.  He said they loosened everything - brakes, suspension etc and re-tightened it all.  Made sure the alignment was good, but they are still having the problem with that one bike.  They don't have it with others of the same model.  They have been slammed, so haven't changed out the tires yet.  Sounded like that might be next?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 11:12:51 am by Mikem9 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 07:04:33 pm »




They just said they would check it.  One employee said that he would ride it home.  If I find out something from them, I will post here.  Note:  One guy in our group has owned BMW's for 40 years.

GRN - thanks for your comment and looking into this also.

Edit:  Just talked to the dealer:  They verified that they had a problem with that bike..  Have not been able to yet figure out what is going on.  He said they loosened everything - brakes, suspension etc and re-tightened it all.  Made sure the alignment was good, but they are still having the problem with that one bike.  They don't have it with others of the same model.  They have been slammed, so haven't changed out the tires yet.  Sounded like that might be next?



Mike, please let me know who the dealer is so we can tap their experience if we encounter the same gig, thanks man.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 10:39:36 pm »

 Headscratch I did a test ride that included running at Autobahn speeds as well as playing in the twisties. No wobble found.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 01:44:10 am »


 Headscratch I did a test ride that included running at Autobahn speeds as well as playing in the twisties. No wobble found.


I got out for a run last night, heavy winds - was rock solid stable (better than any bike I've owned) even on a couple of long, exposed bridges. I'm very curious to hear what the Atlanta dealer has (will?) figured out.
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 05:34:16 pm »

http://www.motorcycleconsumernews-digitalmagazine.com/mcnews/june_2014d/?pg=12&pm=2&u1=friend#pg12

Here's an interesting opinion regarding PR4 tire performance and handling stability.
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 10:45:49 am »

OT

Damn - just when I figured MCN wasn't really worth the money, they come up with this.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 11:26:29 pm »


http://www.motorcycleconsumernews-digitalmagazine.com/mcnews/june_2014d/?pg=12&pm=2&u1=friend#pg12

Here's an interesting opinion regarding PR4 tire performance and handling stability.


Interesting... my observations of our demo unit with PR4's vs. the bike I bought with the Conti's is just the opposite... I'll have to go rail around on the demo unit for lunch one day next week and resample.

The statement that most units will show up in the US fully loaded is off base. The vast majority of units in the pipeline are not, where the following two configs are prolific:

1) Touring Package (heated seats, GPS Prep, dynamic ESA, cruise control), Dynamic Package (Headlight Pro, Ride Modes Pro, hill start control), tire pressure monitor. $20,070

2) Touring Package (heated seats, GPS Prep, dynamic ESA, cruise control), Dynamic Package (Headlight Pro, Ride Modes Pro, hill start control), Technology Package (Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth interface, chrome exhaust, tire pressure monitor, 2nd accessory socket - rear). $21,345

The second option is almost fully loaded, sans shift assist, central locking, alarm.

I opted for the first... don't need chrome exhaust, speakers, or sirius sat radio. With my Zumo and Bluetooth in my helmet, I already have MP3, and FM radio capability.

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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 04:09:34 pm »

Check out the Recall due to some suspension issue.  Wonder if this is related to the weird wobble I felt?  https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/pressDetail.html?title=bmw-motorrad-provides-owners-of-2014-model-year-bmw-r-1200-rt-with-precautionary-information&outputChannelId=9&id=T0183062EN_US&left_menu_item=node__4422
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 10:58:51 pm »

I was suppose to have a demo  RT from Sat. till next Wed. but on Thursday the dealer called to cancle my extended demo ride and told me of the "stop ride". The 1st thought I had, after "WTF BMW" was about this thread and the reported instability.

Paul
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 12:18:41 am »


Check out the Recall due to some suspension issue.  Wonder if this is related to the weird wobble I felt?  https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/pressDetail.html?title=bmw-motorrad-provides-owners-of-2014-model-year-bmw-r-1200-rt-with-precautionary-information&outputChannelId=9&id=T0183062EN_US&left_menu_item=node__4422


If the dampening piston in question fails, the result would be far less subtle than what you experienced.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2014, 01:55:57 am »

Several years ago I experienced something similar to OP's observation. After running Bridgestone BT-020s for years and my K1200RS being rock stable at all speeds I put a Metzeler on the rear the week before a long trip. During the trip the back of the bike would wobble around at highway speeds and above. As soon as I got back from the trip I replaced the Metzeler with a  BT-020 and the problem went away.

Based on the OP's description, I'm suspecting tires.
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 10:58:48 am »

I'm not a great fan of Metzler tires. I was stuck having to use 880's on a C10 Concourse (weird tire size). They were a mess in the wet, even wet grass (resulting in a dump while starting to roll for the road). Anyway, I just replaced the back tire Michelen before leaving on a trip ('03 BMW K1200 RS). It's the same tire (front and rear) as usual. The bike was definitely twitchy in dirty air from trucks, etc. 900 miles later, the bike has calmed back down. The point being, how much of this is new, rounded tire versus the feel from an older tire, with a flat worn into the tread?
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2016, 04:47:00 am »

I just bought a new 2016 r1200rt with dynamic and have the same stability problem. dealer test rode it once and couldn't feel it. Had the same type, PR4, tires on my 2012 rt and they were stable. Did anyone find a resolution to this problem?
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2016, 10:57:00 am »

Er, I just rode a '16 RT with about 800 miles on it (dealer demo). The only gripe I had was the twitchy throttle. I should have tried rain mode to see if that calmed down the throttle. Otherwise, it was a nice ride in a mix of conditions, with no handling complaints. That said, I do find some new tires are seemingly twitchy, but mostly because their profile is still rounded and not worn flat. Bottom line for the RT: no problem found.
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2016, 09:07:18 pm »


I just bought a new 2016 r1200rt with dynamic and have the same stability problem. dealer test rode it once and couldn't feel it. Had the same type, PR4, tires on my 2012 rt and they were stable. Did anyone find a resolution to this problem?


I just joined this forum to respond to this.

I, too, just bought a 2016 R1200RT and on my first ride home I was crossing a bridge over water on a gusty, windy day. I noticed the very same thing - the bike seemed VERY squirrely. I would definitely describe it as disconcerting. Now, I'm a veteran rider of over 40 years so I'm not prone to being freaked out easily. I'm coming off a very large, very heavy HD CVO RGC which is a 900 behemoth that gives stability in wind a whole new meaning.

I chalked it up to the RT being 300 pounds lighter and the gusty winds. I've felt that type of movement on bikes before but was just not prepared for it because of my recent experience with the heavier HD's. I have yet to have the feeling again but I have also not had the same conditions. I generally don't ride highways anyway so it's not a huge deal but I surely would not want to be on a long trip with lots of highway riding in flat areas with gusty wind conditions either. that would get very old, very fast.

I'll be watching this thread closely to see if there is anything that me and the few should check out. I'm surprised that so many of reported rock-solid performance at highway speeds in windy conditions. I would thing performance would be the same across the board.
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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2016, 09:49:18 am »

See my "after action" report on a week with the RT in the Alps. That said, riding over cattle grates, wooden bridges, unpaved roads in a variety of conditions never produced a squirrely feeling. I found the dyna suspension to be almost too responsive, but that setting is intended to make every sensation available to give the rider all the info available about what's going on. The suspension also lets the rider take full control of the finest parts of turning or running straight. The throttle is, of course, downright sudden. Pop it or jerk it a bit, and the bike responds accordingly. I found road mode really was the best bet for charging around on Alpine roads or dealing with tight curves and hairpin turns. YMMV
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