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2013 R1200GS Rallye
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

-s
 

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R1250GS 2021
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175 Posts
I think your problem is with tires. Any ADV bike I purchased, that came new with 80/20 tires, gave me some instability on higher speeds. My new GS came with Michelin Anakee Adventure tires and I'm realy surprised how stable and planted it feels on high speeds. But after they get worned I'll fit 100% tires, as i did on all of my previous ADV bikes Because Anakee's are too noisy for my taste.
Now, I can imagine knobby tires being dangerous on higher speeds but I can't be too sure of that as I've never used knobbies.
Just for your information, I took my GS to 125 mp/h with Anakee's and felt no instability. I can't wait to get 100% road tires (probably Michelin Road 5) and get to that speed just to see the difference.
 

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R1200GS 2012 K25
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3 Posts
Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.
If it feels wobbly at 80mph - it's not normal.
  • And it's definitely not your position. I'm around 6'1", riding on the seat in the upper position, no issues whatsoever.
  • Can you still feel it if you take all the panniers off?
  • What tires do you have? In my opinion they are the first to blame. Only when you exclude them check the fork geometry.
 

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I found at speeds north of 80-90 Mph fully loaded (Bumot panniers, Top Box and large bag on the rear seat, 300 Lbs rider 6'5") using Michelin Anakee's with the suspension set to Auto, she had a tendency to wallow very slightly. Putting the suspension in dynamic sorted that out immediately making the bike rock solid at speeds above 100 Mph on the German Autobahns where the bends can be surprisingly sharp and bumpy.

I've just changed tyres to Metzeler Tourance Next for a long trip down to Spain from my home in Austria. On the 200kms done so far in mixed conditions pre trip these tyres are a big improvement, particularly in ride quality and noise, which is greatly reduced. For what it's worth I also have a Puig Touring Screen with fitted aerofoil, which is a great improvement on the OEM screen cruising well above 90 Mph with little or no buffering or handling issues as far as I can detect. As Bearl suggest 'wobbly' above 80 Mph is not normal.

Knobbly tyres would be my first port of call whilst fault finding, followed by wheel balance and rims. Good luck.
 

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2016 GS, 2017 RT, 2019 Triumph Speed Twin
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Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

-s
You and me both. I bought a 4000 mile 2016. The Michelin Anakees were worn and really noisy. I put 90/10 Conti Trail Attacks on. They are smooth and stable but the front tire is too noisy for above 70MPH. I seriously doubt the tires work well off road so I think I ended up with something that's not great at anything. It never feels unstable, just mildly annoying. I'm not going to be off road so if I had it to do over again I'm just put one of many good street tires on it. Like the bike though, it's just all part of getting it dialed in to suit my needs.
 

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When running Shinko 705's the front end will hunt back and forth. Did this on R1200GS's and my old DL650. Dunlop TS's and A'3 were smooth. Just installed Michelin Trail 5's and the ride quality has improved yet again. I've never ridden on a nicer or more expensive tire. Hope longevity offsets the initial cost as I can see myself buying more of these.
 

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stas, have you ridden a big bike at 80 MPH with knobbies mounted before?
 

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2013 R1200GS Rallye
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses, everyone. It's a huge help. I'll start looking into swapping those knobbies for road tires, and getting a proper post-purchase inspection just in case. If anyone is curious, the tires that the bike came with are Heidenau K60s. I'm leaning towards replacing them with Michelin Road 5s.

@Bearl, I took the panniers off as soon as I brought the bike home for the first time, so yeah, instability is felt with just my 6' / 180lb on it.

@BigT, I suppose "wobbling" is exaggerating the problem at bit. Wallowing is probably a better word for it. I occasionally feel the front tire sway from side to side momentarily after riding over a bump or getting slapped by a particularly strong gust of wind, and the swaying stabilizes fairly quickly. But it does feel very unnervingly different from my previous experience of riding a CB599 which felt completely solidly planted on the road well above 90mph, even as I was getting beat up by the wind on top of it. And thanks for the suggestion of a touring screen, I definitely meant to look into replacing the OEM one after riding the bike from San Francisco to LA in coastal winds.

@Pterodactyl, it's my first time riding knobbies, or even riding an enduro bike for that matter, which is why I was inclined to write it off as just needing to get used to the new experience.

Very grateful for this forum already!
 

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I would have suggested you need a little more preload (less sag) in the rear shock/spring due to the wallowing after bumps. But your 180lbs and that should not be the issue. It's likely tires. Every 50/50 tire will drift around in rain grooves and elsewhere at speed when it is new. It can be quiet disconcerting. Run them in for 200 miles and most will track straight afterwards.
I hate the K60's but others love them. I love the Anakee 3's, others hate them. I run Motoz RallZ full time now because I am regularly off road in the sands of southern california. The RallZ is a 80-90offroad / 10 road tire. Regardless, I run all tires at 100mph+ regularly. It is California and you gotta flow with the traffic. After any/all of these tires are scrubbed in, they settle down and track nicely at all speeds.

We all tend to get a little twitchy about funny noises and vibrations with a new-to-me bike. Usually, it's nothing. Usually.
I've been known to take a recent purchased bike into my local dealer and ask them to give it a good tight look, and it's always been money well spent for peace of mind.

Hope that helps.
 

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First time on knobbies, plus 80 MPH could certainly be an eye opening experience.
 

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2013 R1200GS Rallye
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@bosnjo, I do have ESA, which I generally leave set to SPORT, though I honestly haven't noticed any difference riding one-up with no luggage.
 

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I have ESA on my 2021 GS Adventure TE. I normally ride in Road mode with the suspension in Auto even when I'm fully loaded with camping kit etc. I'm also a tad heavy at 300Lbs. Auto gives me a super smooth and accurate ride until I really start going especially on the Autobahns when I slip her into Dynamic, which most certainly firms up the ride and more importantly stops it from a tendency to wallow just a little in the long very high speed curves at 80 to 100++ Mph.

I have to say having come from a 2018 GTL the ride on the GSA is by far the best in all conditions and very importantly is rock solid. It will be interesting to see how the new Metzeler Tourance Next's (replacing the very noisy Anakee's) perform on my next long trip departing on Thursday. I just took delivery of a new Russell Day long seat this morning, which again will be interesting comfort wise. I had an RDL on my GTL and it was fantastic allowing 15 hr 'Iron Butt' riding days with ease and no soreness whatsoever. I'm going to give a test today to work out the Hi/Lo Front/Rear settings ready for Thursday. Best regards, Tony
 

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Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

-s
I suggest you have someone with a similar model and experience give the bike a good ride, this may save you a lot of time, money and worry. This is quiet an old bike now and may have had a hard life.
 

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Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

No offense to anyone here but I have had a 1200 GS for 14 years now (07 and 11 models) and my best experience has been with Metzler Tourance Next tires, bar none! High speed? Bring it! Fire roads? Bring it! Colorado BDR? Ok, ok, leave it at home and take the WR250R!!
 

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Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

-s
Hi, i have a R1200GS for more than 2 years, and up to 110 mph it feels very well planted to the road. Above that i don't know, i'm a slow rider. Mine uses Michelin Anakee3, which i think are very good tires.
Regards,
Renato
 

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2018 R1200GS
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When running Shinko 705's the front end will hunt back and forth. Did this on R1200GS's and my old DL650. Dunlop TS's and A'3 were smooth. Just installed Michelin Trail 5's and the ride quality has improved yet again. I've never ridden on a nicer or more expensive tire. Hope longevity offsets the initial cost as I can see myself buying more of these.
Agree. I believe the unstable feel comes from the knobbies. I have both Shinko 705 and Michelin Anakees and definitely can tell a big difference at higher speeds between the two.
 

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I found at speeds north of 80-90 Mph fully loaded (Bumot panniers, Top Box and large bag on the rear seat, 300 Lbs rider 6'5") using Michelin Anakee's with the suspension set to Auto, she had a tendency to wallow very slightly. Putting the suspension in dynamic sorted that out immediately making the bike rock solid at speeds above 100 Mph on the German Autobahns where the bends can be surprisingly sharp and bumpy.

I've just changed tyres to Metzeler Tourance Next for a long trip down to Spain from my home in Austria. On the 200kms done so far in mixed conditions pre trip these tyres are a big improvement, particularly in ride quality and noise, which is greatly reduced. For what it's worth I also have a Puig Touring Screen with fitted aerofoil, which is a great improvement on the OEM screen cruising well above 90 Mph with little or no buffering or handling issues as far as I can detect. As Bearl suggest 'wobbly' above 80 Mph is not normal.

Knobbly tyres would be my first port of call whilst fault finding, followed by wheel balance and rims. Good luck.
+1 on Metzeler Tourance.
 

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On my old ‘05 R12GS, the Conti TKC-80’s were great as high as I took them (110-115mph).

if you did a ride-off with a rotor lock in place, then I would definitely get a mechanic to check it out. The fronts are floating rotors, so there could be some irregularity that the float can handle up to ~80mph, but then it becomes unmanageable above that speed.
 

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Hi all,

I am new to GS ownership, and was somewhat surprised by its ride quality at highway speeds. It's an absolute dream on country roads at 60mph, but when I get up to 80 on a highway I find that I don't feel nearly as planted on it as I used to on my old middleweight naked Honda. Maybe this is expected given the upright riding position or the knobby tires (which I plan on swapping for a proper road set), but I was surprised that heavy wind gusts and road bumps can make the front wheel feel slightly wobbly.

Could this be an indication of a wheel alignment issue, or something even more serious? I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried to ride away with a lock on the front brake rotor in the first week of ownership – could that have damaged the front fork or thrown the wheel out of alignment?

Appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Best,

-s
Hi just to check do you have a steering damper on your Beemer? they not the best but it might help a bit. Secondly you did not mention the tyre pressure you currently running, Lastly what suspension setting you are using, soft road or hard.

Could also be tyres not running true due to wear and it might cause some sway.

I found soft to be spongy for lack of better word. road or hard. I am about 1.8m and about 103kg's.

Other than that hope you get sorted as they are stable bikes...
 
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