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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been chasing a noise on my 2017 R1200GS that has bothered me since I bought this bike. With Anakee III's it sounded like a failed turbo bearing. My initial thought was that is was due to the tires. It turns out that it can be induced by various sources (tires, road, engine, engine, wind). The big noise maker was resonating spokes.

The notes below are an edited copy of my reply to another post, which explains what I found and what I did about it:

I found that my spokes resonate at certain speeds - especially bad with Anakee III's, but also happened with Mission and Mutant tires. Given the same sound from three very different tires, I figured that something odd was going on and focused on the spokes. If you tap them, you can hear that they ring very easily when you tap them. I put tiny O-rings between the crossed spokes to absorb some of spoke vibration. When tapped, the spokes ring less. When riding, the howling, resonating sound is essentially gone (at least with the Mutant tires I'm running now). This is a simple fix for a horrible noise. I'm using McMaster O-rings that cost less than $5 per 100 rings (McMaster-Carr). You only need 20 per wheel, and can press them in place without tools. I haven't lost any, but I imagine they could fly off in mud or rain... We'll see when I get more miles on them. At least they are inexpensive. I'll also be curious to see if anyone notices them.

Note that you cold use other things to damp the vibration, including small tie-wraps or safety wire. The O-rings were easy to try and prove effective on my bike. These other choices might not absorb energy the same way (though may be more permanent). I would be careful not to clamp the spokes together, as they are meant to be slightly apart.

Of course, please check your spoke tension regularly. Even though there are grub screws to keep the from loosening, they can still become loose. Truing these wheels is a real art, so be careful out there!

Spokes.jpg


FWIW - Cleaning wheels is not my first priority...
 

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Thanks for the idea, I've experienced howling on A3s and Missions, thought it was the tires wearing. I guess one question I'd ask would be: has anyone with cast wheels experience the same noise? If so, it can't be spokes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I asked that on another forum. Most of the people who responded with “tire” noise had spoked wheels. Also note, I now hear tread noise, but I don’t find it objectionable (it was masked by the spoke resonance before the fix). The noise that reduces is the howl that doesn’t change pitch at different speeds.

Tire wear affects the frequency and amplitude of the vibration tires make, which would change when, and how loudly the spokes resonate. My A3’s induced howl over a wide range of speeds. I think this is due to the variable tread pitch used by Michelin (which was (ironically) intended to reduce tire noise. I’m looking for someone that currently uses A3’s to test this theory (I’m on Mutants right now).
 

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I have cast wheels on my 6 months old 1250GS and Anakee tires. The noise from the front is horrible, just as explained here. I don't want to change my tires yet as they still have a lot of life left but when time comes to change, I'll use Road 5 in hope for less noise.
 

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As I said, I have Anakee tires. The sound is like WHOOOOOOMMMM and it changes the frequency as the speed goes up. It's there from 20mph (more or less) and as speed increases it gets louder.
I used Pilot Road 4 on 3 of my previous bikes and they were excellent and quit. I hope Road 5 will be as quit on GS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Which Anakees? Since the sound changes frequency with speed, it’s not the noise I’m addressing, which is a ringing howl that come and goes at different speeds, but doesn’t change pitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Project update: the 1/8 thick o-rings linked above work, but not as well as the first o-rings I tried (3/32 thick, 1/8 ID. The link to the smaller o-ring is McMaster-Carr

I will continue to look for good solutions and especially, watch for any other ideas for quieting the spokes. In the meantime, these smaller o-rings have made the most improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not that I plan on doing this, just throwing out a suggestion, but what about zip tyes instead of the orings?
Yes, zip-ties, tape, and other things can work to cut the vibration. I ordered some little zip-ties to try, but I don't know if they will provide much damping. It might only make the pairs of spokes ring together... I'm also looking into using self-fusing silicone tape or rubber disks (maybe using zip ties to keep them in place). I may try the zip-ties with o-rings, as well. Blue E.A.R. damping material might be perfect. I've also considered putting silicone sealant into the spoke holes at the rim. I'll be interested to see if anyone else tries these things!
 

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In my experience, having owned three 1200 GS's, Anakie III's are very noisy. My experience particularly relates to the front tyre giving off an increasing "roaring" noise related to speed. I now run Pilot Road 5's on both front and rear and the noise is gone, the PR5 are better in the wet than the Anakie III and wear equally as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In my experience, having owned three 1200 GS's, Anakie III's are very noisy. My experience particularly relates to the front tyre giving off an increasing "roaring" noise related to speed. I now run Pilot Road 5's on both front and rear and the noise is gone, the PR5 are better in the wet than the Anakie III and wear equally as well.
The tread roar, rising and falling with speed is expected, and will also be there with knobbies. I’m working on a sympathetic ringing of the spoke, which adds to the tread noise and does not change pitch with speed. I have only heard it with spoked wheels, and have reduced it with damping of the spokes. Anakee III’s and knobbies likely excite this sympathetic vibration more than street tires, so it can be difficult to identify the various contributions.
Adding damping to my spokes dramatically improved my bike’s noise signature, but may not be enough to noticeably improve bikes with A3’s or knobbies. I’m hoping to test that.

I’m also looking for alternative solutions. Adding tie-wraps to my wheels (with o-rings) did not help significantly, so I’m looking at other ideas that might work for all tires.again, I’m not expecting to affect tread noise, but I am removing a piercing sound that I have heard on all spoked r1200gs’s I’ve tried.
My newest idea is to add constrained layer damping to the spokes (small patches of aluminum tape, or maybe wire labels tape). I’m open to any ideas you all can share.
 

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I have cast wheels on my 6 months old 1250GS and Anakee tires. The noise from the front is horrible, just as explained here. I don't want to change my tires yet as they still have a lot of life left but when time comes to change, I'll use Road 5 in hope for less noise.
I had road 5's on mine and it did not really make a difference in the noise. So don't get to much f hope up...
 

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I've been chasing a noise on my 2017 R1200GS that has bothered me since I bought this bike. With Anakee III's it sounded like a failed turbo bearing. My initial thought was that is was due to the tires. It turns out that it can be induced by various sources (tires, road, engine, engine, wind). The big noise maker was resonating spokes.

The notes below are an edited copy of my reply to another post, which explains what I found and what I did about it:

I found that my spokes resonate at certain speeds - especially bad with Anakee III's, but also happened with Mission and Mutant tires. Given the same sound from three very different tires, I figured that something odd was going on and focused on the spokes. If you tap them, you can hear that they ring very easily when you tap them. I put tiny O-rings between the crossed spokes to absorb some of spoke vibration. When tapped, the spokes ring less. When riding, the howling, resonating sound is essentially gone (at least with the Mutant tires I'm running now). This is a simple fix for a horrible noise. I'm using McMaster O-rings that cost less than $5 per 100 rings (McMaster-Carr). You only need 20 per wheel, and can press them in place without tools. I haven't lost any, but I imagine they could fly off in mud or rain... We'll see when I get more miles on them. At least they are inexpensive. I'll also be curious to see if anyone notices them.

Note that you cold use other things to damp the vibration, including small tie-wraps or safety wire. The O-rings were easy to try and prove effective on my bike. These other choices might not absorb energy the same way (though may be more permanent). I would be careful not to clamp the spokes together, as they are meant to be slightly apart.

Of course, please check your spoke tension regularly. Even though there are grub screws to keep the from loosening, they can still become loose. Truing these wheels is a real art, so be careful out there!

Spokes.jpg


FWIW - Cleaning wheels is not my first priority...
One thing to check is how true your rim is. And just as a note dont try straighten the rim yourself unless you are 100% sure you know what you are doing. My front rimm is buckled a bit and I tried to straighten it and f'ed it up proper. I actually need to replace the rim but its extremely expensive and looking around for second hand one. That might cause the excessive noise from the front also listen when you ride on different tar surfaces on mine I pick up the smoother the surface the less the noise sometimes it actually is totally gone at around 110km/h and at 60-80km/h its unbearable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I’ve been using small zip-ties around the spoke crossing, with the o-rings still in place. I still hear some of the sound, so not better than the small o-rings. My next test will be small o-rings with self-fusing silicone tape wrapped around. I’ll try a few different wraps to see if I can ID the best method. This will be a bit tedious, so I hope it works great.
The good news is that every method I’ve tried is much better than letting the spokes sing. Is anyone else trying this???
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In my case (spokes), I hear tread noise and spokes. You may be hearing tread noise. Tread noise will rise and fall in pitch as you change speed. The spoke sound rises and fall in sound level, but the pitch, and character of the sound don’t change. I tried three different tires on my bike and had the same spoke sound (very different tread and construction). With my modifications, I hear the tread noise more cleanly, which is far more livable than hearing both sounds. It’s also worth noting that there is another resonant aspect to tires - the air volume within the tire. Honda has patented a sound absorber that goes inside the tire to combat this source of sympathetic vibration. I don’t think it’s available yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I should add that I have ridden, briefly, cast wheels on a GS and did not notice the same effect (though I heard tread noise). I don't know if there are audible resonances in the cast wheels. You could tap on the cast spokes to see if this may be true... If the cast wheels resonate, it would be very difficult mitigate safely.
 
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