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Mods -- Please feel free to move this post if necessary. I've started a new thread here, and maybe it should go in an existing thread, but I couldn't choose the most appropriate one as there are several out there. If it helps, I'm putting a lot more information in this post than I've seen in the others.

My 2020 R9T Pure (with cast wheels by the way) is now over 12,000 miles. While riding around on Saturday I started hearing and feeling a rattle or knocking sound coming from the front end. I pulled over in a parking lot to check it out, thinking something was loose. I checked my brake calipers and a few other bolts but found nothing amiss. I took off again, very perplexed. The noise and feeling through the handlebar got a little worse as I went, and became a little more consistent. I checked once more on the way home, checking around the whole bike, but again found nothing wrong.

To describe the rattle or knock, it sounds and feels like there are a couple small rocks in the handlebar or front wheel. It's a metallic sound, but uneven, like popcorn popping in the microwave. The sound is speed sensitive, meaning it happens more often at a higher speed, and less often at a lower speed. But the frequency doesn't really change, meaning the pitch doesn't go higher at higher speed. It's the same pitch, just happening faster at a higher speed. And it is not a steady sound, as if something were stuck in the wheel and hitting a cable or fork tube every rotation. But it's not exactly random either, as the sound is present most of the time.

When I got home I put the bike up on the rear paddock stand and looked closer. Nothing was loose. I put my floor jack under the bike and lifted the front wheel off the ground to spin it a bit, and didn't hear the rattle or knock. I got the bike back down and rode up the street to a spot where I could coast downhill with the engine off so I could really feel and hear things better. This street was recently repaved and it's very smooth. The rattle/knock was definitely there, and I don't think it's the suspension, because that street is very smooth, so the suspension would barely be working while coasting down that hill.

Back home I removed both front brake calipers, thinking perhaps a pebble got caught between one of the calipers and the edge of the rotor, causing the noise. But nothing came out, and the noise was still there on the next test ride, so that wasn't the issue.

I texted a buddy who is a much better and more knowledgeable mechanic than me. (The same friend who helped me with my old VFR a few times, and who helped me mod my R9T's suspension this summer.) He mentioned a friend he has a Ducati with floating discs (which our BMWs also have) that make a similar noise. He suggested pushing and pulling on the front brake rotors forward and backward, which I did. You can see me do this and hear the noise in the video below. (I have no idea whether this is a normal amount of play for a 12,000-mile BMW.) He also said to coast down the hill again and apply the front brakes and see if the sound disappeared with pressure applied to the discs, and said if the sound wasn't there, we had found the cause. I tried this but unfortunately the noise/rattle remained even while braking.

My buddy said the Ducati owner friend adds a little bit of chain wax to the bolts/rivets to alleviate the noise -- of course being very careful not to let any lube at all end up on the braking surface. I tried this a couple times, including hitting the mounting bolts with a bit of chain wax (applied though the tiny straw that came with the can, to pinpoint the application), and wiping the rotor at each spot just to be sure it was dry. The rattle remained after each try. It's possible it was just a little muted, but it was really hard to tell if there was a difference.

While working on this last night I put the bike back up and tried spinning the front wheel harder to see if I could get the rattle and sound while the bike itself was stationary. I did end up hearing the sound a few times, maybe out of 20 times spinning the front wheel. While the front wheel was off the ground I checked for any side to side movement and there is none. The floating discs have a little side to side play in them, as they should, but they aren't loose or freely moving side to side. You have to apply some pressure to wiggle the rotor, which I think is right.

I should also mention while coasting down that hill I carefully reached down the fork to see if I could feel the rattle more or less in certain spots. I can definitely feel it in the handlebar, and a little more in the fork legs. By contrast, I can't feel it in the side of the fuel tank, so I'm sure it is not anything in or around the tank.

Handling does not seem to be compromised in any way, and braking performance seems normal to me, too. I've checked all the bolts throughout the front end - including the rotors' bolts - and found nothing loose. I checked the axle bolt, dust cap, and my front fork sliders, too. All were fine. Same with the front fender. The brake pads have plenty of life left in them, and the rotors are fine, too.

I took the bike to work today, my normal 6-mile commute. I was curious whether letting the chain wax sit around the front rotors' bolts and washers might have made a difference. I checked the rotors before I took off, to make sure no chain wax had bled onto the braking surface, but they were clean. Before I even hit the street I could hear and feel the rattle, so the chain wax had little effect if any.

Today I checked the BMW Motorrad parts fiche online to see what new washers cost, if that's what the problem is. But the parts fiche shows the washers are part of the rotors, with each rotor costing about $400 US. Definitely not something I want to replace, especially at just 12,000 miles!

One other thing I'll add here: In the last month or so, I can kind of feel some friction through the handlebar during some turns. I hadn't thought too much about it, but I think it's possible the rotors' washers have worn a little, allowing enough play that the discs are lightly rubbing the brake pads during turns (not including when I'm applying the front brakes) causing that friction and also causing the front end rattle or knocking. It's possible swapping in stiffer fork springs two months ago had an effect on how the fork legs and brake rotors react to side to side force inputs like turning, but that still wouldn't explain the rattle while moving in a straight line, especially just coasting down a smooth road.

At this point I'm thinking it has to be the floating discs or the washers built into the rotors have just broken in or worn to the point where they are a little looser than factory spec, and that's what is causing the rattle (and the friction I mentioned just above). If this is just the way it is I can live with it, but besides just being plain annoying it's very worrying when you don't know for certain what's causing that rattle and sound.

I'm hoping my friend and I can take a look at this together sometime this week and really determine the cause, but in the meantime I'd welcome any feedback or ideas from my fellow forum members. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Video:
 

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Hi Tim,
I would think that the noise may be the often reported rattle from the tank pendulum weight.
However, if you have conclusively ruled this out I wonder if you have recently power washed your front wheel bearings and water has found its way into them. I had a case of water in sealed radial bearings where it sounded like a metallic rumble.
Could it be related to the fork insert springs contacting the inside of the fork tubes?
Possibly looseness in the brake pads / shims / pins?
 

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BMW R nineT Pure
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Tim,
I would think that the noise may be the often reported rattle from the tank pendulum weight.
However, if you have conclusively ruled this out I wonder if you have recently power washed your front wheel bearings and water has found its way into them. I had a case of water in sealed radial bearings where it sounded like a metallic rumble.
Could it be related to the fork insert springs contacting the inside of the fork tubes?
Possibly looseness in the brake pads / shims / pins?
Thanks for the input!
  • I purposely felt the tank for knocking/pinging or vibrations while coasting and felt nothing. Meanwhile I could definitely feel the knocking in the fork legs while coasting. The fact that I could also get a bit of the knocking sound a few times while spinning the front wheel in the garage leads me to believe this isn't related to the tank issue some people have experienced.
  • I haven't washed the bike in a while, and have never used a power washer. (The bike is overdue for a bath -- I just haven't had the time to spend on it. Actually, I've had time, but I'd rather be out riding it than cleaning it. There will be plenty of time to clean up my bike once the weather is colder and/or wet more often!)
  • I've considered whether the noise could be from the fork's internals, but I really doubt it. As I said above, coasting down a very smooth road with very little if any fork suspension action I was still getting the noise, and it increased and decreased as my speed fluctuated. So it's possible, but doubtful in my mind.
  • Good point about the brake pads and parts. That's the one thing I've thought of but haven't checked yet. I removed the calipers from the fork legs, but didn't check whether the pads or anything else was loose. Unless there's a trick to it, I don't think I can fully remove the calipers from the brake rotors without removing the front wheel, and I just didn't want to go there yet. But I think it's possible to check the pads for any play while the calipers are still mounted. I'll try to check that tonight or tomorrow when I have more time.
 

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Hi Tim, if you think you can somehow hook the pendulum in the tank with a thin cord or something to prevent it moving I think that would be my starting point as it doesn't take much to get it moving and it is a definite rattle culprit and it is magnified with a low fuel level.
 

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2016 RNineT Classic
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Hey Tim, I just went out to the garage and tried the same movement on mine as you show in your video. Same slight movement in the rotors plus the sound, so that’s probably normal. But I haven’t experienced the noise you describe, except when that little lonely screw that holds the entire front light was getting loose, and therefore the heavy light wiggles around. Have you checked that?
 

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Mods -- Please feel free to move this post if necessary. I've started a new thread here, and maybe it should go in an existing thread, but I couldn't choose the most appropriate one as there are several out there. If it helps, I'm putting a lot more information in this post than I've seen in the others.

My 2020 R9T Pure (with cast wheels by the way) is now over 12,000 miles. While riding around on Saturday I started hearing and feeling a rattle or knocking sound coming from the front end. I pulled over in a parking lot to check it out, thinking something was loose. I checked my brake calipers and a few other bolts but found nothing amiss. I took off again, very perplexed. The noise and feeling through the handlebar got a little worse as I went, and became a little more consistent. I checked once more on the way home, checking around the whole bike, but again found nothing wrong.

To describe the rattle or knock, it sounds and feels like there are a couple small rocks in the handlebar or front wheel. It's a metallic sound, but uneven, like popcorn popping in the microwave. The sound is speed sensitive, meaning it happens more often at a higher speed, and less often at a lower speed. But the frequency doesn't really change, meaning the pitch doesn't go higher at higher speed. It's the same pitch, just happening faster at a higher speed. And it is not a steady sound, as if something were stuck in the wheel and hitting a cable or fork tube every rotation. But it's not exactly random either, as the sound is present most of the time.

When I got home I put the bike up on the rear paddock stand and looked closer. Nothing was loose. I put my floor jack under the bike and lifted the front wheel off the ground to spin it a bit, and didn't hear the rattle or knock. I got the bike back down and rode up the street to a spot where I could coast downhill with the engine off so I could really feel and hear things better. This street was recently repaved and it's very smooth. The rattle/knock was definitely there, and I don't think it's the suspension, because that street is very smooth, so the suspension would barely be working while coasting down that hill.

Back home I removed both front brake calipers, thinking perhaps a pebble got caught between one of the calipers and the edge of the rotor, causing the noise. But nothing came out, and the noise was still there on the next test ride, so that wasn't the issue.

I texted a buddy who is a much better and more knowledgeable mechanic than me. (The same friend who helped me with my old VFR a few times, and who helped me mod my R9T's suspension this summer.) He mentioned a friend he has a Ducati with floating discs (which our BMWs also have) that make a similar noise. He suggested pushing and pulling on the front brake rotors forward and backward, which I did. You can see me do this and hear the noise in the video below. (I have no idea whether this is a normal amount of play for a 12,000-mile BMW.) He also said to coast down the hill again and apply the front brakes and see if the sound disappeared with pressure applied to the discs, and said if the sound wasn't there, we had found the cause. I tried this but unfortunately the noise/rattle remained even while braking.

My buddy said the Ducati owner friend adds a little bit of chain wax to the bolts/rivets to alleviate the noise -- of course being very careful not to let any lube at all end up on the braking surface. I tried this a couple times, including hitting the mounting bolts with a bit of chain wax (applied though the tiny straw that came with the can, to pinpoint the application), and wiping the rotor at each spot just to be sure it was dry. The rattle remained after each try. It's possible it was just a little muted, but it was really hard to tell if there was a difference.

While working on this last night I put the bike back up and tried spinning the front wheel harder to see if I could get the rattle and sound while the bike itself was stationary. I did end up hearing the sound a few times, maybe out of 20 times spinning the front wheel. While the front wheel was off the ground I checked for any side to side movement and there is none. The floating discs have a little side to side play in them, as they should, but they aren't loose or freely moving side to side. You have to apply some pressure to wiggle the rotor, which I think is right.

I should also mention while coasting down that hill I carefully reached down the fork to see if I could feel the rattle more or less in certain spots. I can definitely feel it in the handlebar, and a little more in the fork legs. By contrast, I can't feel it in the side of the fuel tank, so I'm sure it is not anything in or around the tank.

Handling does not seem to be compromised in any way, and braking performance seems normal to me, too. I've checked all the bolts throughout the front end - including the rotors' bolts - and found nothing loose. I checked the axle bolt, dust cap, and my front fork sliders, too. All were fine. Same with the front fender. The brake pads have plenty of life left in them, and the rotors are fine, too.

I took the bike to work today, my normal 6-mile commute. I was curious whether letting the chain wax sit around the front rotors' bolts and washers might have made a difference. I checked the rotors before I took off, to make sure no chain wax had bled onto the braking surface, but they were clean. Before I even hit the street I could hear and feel the rattle, so the chain wax had little effect if any.

Today I checked the BMW Motorrad parts fiche online to see what new washers cost, if that's what the problem is. But the parts fiche shows the washers are part of the rotors, with each rotor costing about $400 US. Definitely not something I want to replace, especially at just 12,000 miles!

One other thing I'll add here: In the last month or so, I can kind of feel some friction through the handlebar during some turns. I hadn't thought too much about it, but I think it's possible the rotors' washers have worn a little, allowing enough play that the discs are lightly rubbing the brake pads during turns (not including when I'm applying the front brakes) causing that friction and also causing the front end rattle or knocking. It's possible swapping in stiffer fork springs two months ago had an effect on how the fork legs and brake rotors react to side to side force inputs like turning, but that still wouldn't explain the rattle while moving in a straight line, especially just coasting down a smooth road.

At this point I'm thinking it has to be the floating discs or the washers built into the rotors have just broken in or worn to the point where they are a little looser than factory spec, and that's what is causing the rattle (and the friction I mentioned just above). If this is just the way it is I can live with it, but besides just being plain annoying it's very worrying when you don't know for certain what's causing that rattle and sound.

I'm hoping my friend and I can take a look at this together sometime this week and really determine the cause, but in the meantime I'd welcome any feedback or ideas from my fellow forum members. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Video:
Those floating disks are supposed to do that …and sound that way too… that’s normal.
It’s got to be rims or tires, don’t know how exactly, ..but your going to have to find a way to spin up that wheel while sitting still and see if you can locate the sound. Maybe that will give it away… if not …..what If you got someone to ride beside you ..could they hear the noise?. Last resort, a battery amplifier (small) with earphones attached to a microphone on a wand, something you can hold with your left hand and while riding around move the microphone around the front end resting the mike in different places until you narrow down the source. Put a small piece of foam around the mike to stop the wind noise, I’ve done that and I know it works. It’s like a doctors stethoscope on steroids. That tool was born before the advent of idiot lights when we knew something was wrong but didn’t know what the hell it was … track it down. The suspense is killing me Tim, get back to us soon …. …..Blitz
 

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Hey Tim,

That is a mystery. I don't know what they changed from my 2017 to your 2020 (is it?) Pure, but my bike does not have full floating disks, it has semi-floating. When properly attached to the front wheel, they don't rattle. Listening to your video above, your disks certainly are rattling. Now that is normal for full floating disks, so if that's what your bike came with, then no problem. But they should not have just started making the noise. The full floating disks I had on my GP bike rattled like a son-of-a-b*tch from day one.

I would suspect possibly the internals on your forks, since that is what has recently changed on your bike. I would just open them back up and make sure everything is still fine, no part failures.

As far as getting the calipers off the front brakes, you can do that without removing the front wheel, I've had them on and off my Pure numerous times, it is something you have to do prior to changing wheels, but you remove them completely while the wheel is still attached. Might be something cracked or broken in the calipers.

I would also check the steering head bearings. Might have cracked one of those, and that would reveal itself in the stiffer steering you originally felt, and the rattling you feel now.

Just some suggestions.

Best,
-Tim
 

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It sounds bearing related to me. I would try taking off your front wheel and check the wheel bearings to make sure they are spinning freely. I would also check the torque on your steering stem nut. Loosen the top and lower fork tube pinch bolts, torque the steering stem nut to spec. and then retorque the pinch bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone! I really appreciate the input. (y)

I didn't have time last night to dig around the front end, though I did briefly check the front brake pads to see if one or more was loose, but nothing wiggled. I'm planning to spend some more time with the bike this evening. Will remove the calipers and front wheel to thoroughly check the brakes and front wheel bearing. Should give me a good opportunity to check the steering head as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last night I finally was able to spend some time checking my motorcycle out again.

I removed the brake calipers, which both seem fine, and spun the front wheel. I could swear I heard a slight knock a couple times. I removed the front wheel and inspected the bearings as well as possible without removing them. (I don't have any way to press the bearings back into place, nor do I have any fresh seals to replace the originals, so removing the bearings for closer inspection is not an option at this time.) Both bearings seemed fine, too. I even put the axle back in, held the front wheel up, and had my wife spin the wheel to check for any rough feeling or noise, but this was fine, too.

I reassembled everything, torqued to spec, and did another test ride. The noise was still there. As a last-ditch effort, I tried using a little chain wax on the rotors' rivets again, making sure to wipe any excess off the discs. I let it sit overnight and wiped both sides of both discs again this morning, then took the bike to work. And the noise was still there. Dammit.

I don't think the noise is related to the fork, as I'm getting a little knock just spinning the wheel in the garage. I don't think it's steering head bearings either, as I moved the bars and fork around while the front wheel was off, and it was very smooth.

Though the "tempo" of the noise increases and decreases with speed, the noise is not steady. Also, the noise changes "notes," meaning it isn't exactly the same pitch. Instead it's rather random. It sounds like there are a couple pieces of gravel in the works, and it's pinging around in there.

At this point I'm done. I asked my buddy if he's free one night this week to help me look at this. I'm so aggravated it's taken all the moto-joy out of me. I was hoping to take a couple days off and ride later this week, but now I just don't know. Until I can figure out definitively what is causing this noise I'm reluctant to ride the bike more than a few miles. I'm actually hoping it's just the floating discs causing the noise. I could live with that. But the uncertainly right now is killing me.

And there's more bad news, I'm kind of ashamed to admit. I had a slight mishap using the Becker Technik Lifter Stand I bought from another forum member earlier this year. The stand was set up to lift the bike from the right side. I should have switched it around to the left. Somehow when I lifted the bike, the "feet" on the Becker stand did not go down and sit flush with the ground. Instead the bike went up but the stand basically stayed on its front pointy edges. I knew this wasn't right and tried to let the bike down, but it was a little wobbly. So I inserted my rear paddock stand, then used my floor jack (with a piece of 2x4 between the jack's pad and the engine) to lift the front of the bike and remove the Becker stand. When I did that I noticed a small piece of one of the cooling fins at the bottom of the engine had broken off. It was from the right side, just ahead of the hole where the Becker stand gets inserted. Thankfully it didn't damage the engine case itself but I was still incredibly angry. First time I try to use that stand and I broke a small piece of my motorcycle off. Also, the force of putting the bike up and the lever hitting the ground slightly twisted the mounting hole for the lever.

I don't think the small piece of cooling fin missing will cause any issues, but I'm still very, very pissed off. I looked around online a bit last night to see if this is something that can be fixed, but given its location, it's probably best to just leave it alone. If I could replace just the bottom piece of the engine case I'd consider doing it, but from what I can find online I think the engine case is one large piece, and does not have a separate bottom part for the sump. So very, very angry right now.

Ironically, I had something similar happen with my old VFR the first time I went to change the oil and filter. I'd had the local Honda dealer shop do the first oil change after I'd bought the bike from its original owner. The mechanic way over-torqued the oil drain bolt, and when I went to remove it, I had to use so much force that the ratchet hit one of the little fins on the underside of the oil pan, breaking it off. There were no real consequences then either, but I was still angry about it.

Let me tell you, it sucks being a barely average mechanic. Nothing is ever easy for me when working on my own bike. The only good things about yesterday's adventure were a) I didn't hurt myself, b) I didn't lose any of my tools while I was working on the bike, and c) I took the time to clean the front wheel while I had it off. But I'd gladly have shed a little blood or lost a tool in the garage instead of breaking off that little piece of a cooling fin -- and STILL have that damn noise happening. All that work and a damaged bike for absolutely nothing.
 

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Hi Tim,
I would think that the noise may be the often reported rattle from the tank pendulum weight.
However, if you have conclusively ruled this out I wonder if you have recently power washed your front wheel bearings and water has found its way into them. I had a case of water in sealed radial bearings where it sounded like a metallic rumble.
Could it be related to the fork insert springs contacting the inside of the fork tubes?
Possibly looseness in the brake pads / shims / pins?
hey CMC, could you elaborate on the idea of the noise being from the tank pendulum weight? I’m experiencing some odd rattling from my front end and I’ve been thinking that it could be coming from inside the gas tank, but I can’t figure out how I would figure that out or how I would fix it if that was the case. Is this rattling you mention a common problem with R9Ts? Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated! It’s no fun riding around and hearing things rattle on your bike.

thanks!
 

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Hi BroBossy,
The RnineT has a pendulum weight arrangement that is used to open and close a needle valve similar to a carb fuel level float to prevent fuel spilling out the fuel tank vent. Doesn't appear to be their best design as many people report it rattling. See post


Not sure at this point if anyone has got a good solution but some success with shiming the side float may reduce the noise. If you get a fix please let us know.
 

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Let me tell you, it sucks being a barely average mechanic. Nothing is ever easy for me when working on my own bike. The only good things about yesterday's adventure were a) I didn't hurt myself, b) I didn't lose any of my tools while I was working on the bike, and c) I took the time to clean the front wheel while I had it off. But I'd gladly have shed a little blood or lost a tool in the garage instead of breaking off that little piece of a cooling fin -- and STILL have that damn noise happening. All that work and a damaged bike for absolutely nothing.
I expect 99% of all the members here have been in exactly the same position and thought exactly the same thoughts when wrenching on their bike. I find swearing helps but doesn't solve the problem! Its easy to say "know your limits" but you have to push the limits to know where the flipping limits are!

You might be able to stick that fin back on with epoxy or similar. Chin-up mate! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks, @BaldyDave !! I appreciate it. (y)

I've not had time this week to dig into the bike again. My next opportunity is probably this coming Saturday morning. It stinks having to wait to work on my bike. Even though I'm not riding at the moment it's making me anxious. I'm sure many of you can relate to that. Motorcycles are very personal things for most of us, and not being able to solve this issue - especially not even being sure what it is - really bothers me.

I've tried to describe the noise above, but going a little further, it's kind of a light clickety-clack, but not in rhythm like a train going down the tracks. The pitch changes constantly. I wish I could record it. If I had a GoPro or a handlebar mount for my phone it might be audible on a recording. But I'm pretty well convinced it's coming from the front end and not the fuel tank, partially because the noise is speed sensitive, meaning the "tempo" of the noise increases and decreases at speed. I just don't think the tank sensor would do that.

I've thought of a way to further isolate the problem since it's so hard to replicate while the bike is stationary. I'm crazy about this idea, but I'm thinking of unbolting the front brake calipers, wrapping them up in small towels, and zip-tie each to the outside of the fork legs. I would take a very short ride in my neighborhood, at no more than say 30 mph since I'd only have a rear brake. if I don't hear the noise, then I'll know it's the front brake discs and/or calipers. But if the noise is still there, at that point I'd lean toward the cause being bearing-related.

Before I do any of that I want to really check the steering head bearing. I don't think that's the cause, because turning the bars is smooth and quiet, plus just coasting straight down a small hill the clickety-clack is still there. If the problem were the steering head bearing I don't think I'd be hearing the noise, or at least it wouldn't be so prevalent. I could be wrong of course, so I'll check it out.

Thanks again for the input, everyone!
 

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Hey Tim, couple things. First, the steering turning smoothly when the front wheel is off the ground (or off the bike) won't tell you if your steering head bearings are okay or not. I mean if they're really boogered it will tell you, but not if they are slightly bad. Best and easiest way to check, sit on the bike, motor off, kickstand up, grab a fist full of front brake, and try forcefully rocking the bike forward and backward and see if you feel or hear anything at the steering head.

Second, do not remove the calipers and ride the bike to see if the noise goes away. By instinct you'll probably pull, or at least touch the front brake lever when you are trying to stop, and that will push your brake pads together and then you'll have to rebuild the front calipers to get them back on the front disks (don't ask me how I know this). It's fine to ride down the road, and stop just using the rear brake, to see if the noise is there, but don't remove the front calipers.

Again, I do not recommend taking off the calipers, but if you must, one thing I do whenever I remove the calipers when working on the front wheel, I take a couple of carpentry shims and slide them in each caliper, between the brake pads, to keep any accidental pressure on the front brake lever from collapsing the pads in on each other. You could try that if you must ride the bike with the front brakes removed.

Good luck. I know rattles can be really frustrating to diagnose and fix.

Best,
-Tim
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Again, I do not recommend taking off the calipers, but if you must, one thing I do whenever I remove the calipers when working on the front wheel, I take a couple of carpentry shims and slide them in each caliper, between the brake pads, to keep any accidental pressure on the front brake lever from collapsing the pads in on each other. You could try that if you must ride the bike with the front brakes removed.
Thanks for the input, @Timmyjoe . I was already thinking of some way to keep the front brake pads apart just in case I accidentally (and instinctively) pulled the front brake lever. Carpentry shims make a lot of sense for that. I'd probably also wrap something around the lever temporarily, as a visual reminder not to grab it.

I have done the check on the front bearing like you said, and could not tell anything was wrong with it. But I read somewhere another good way is to roll the bike up to a wall, place the front tire against the wall at a 90 degree angle, and do the same kind of check. I've not done that yet. There isn't a really good spot for me to do that at home. Maybe the garage door opening, as long as I put a towel between the tire and the wall so I don't mark up the white paint.
 

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Just a verrrrryyyyyyy long shot - the front wheel speed sensor - is there a gap between it and the sensor wheel? If the sensor is too close to the ring it MIGHT momentarily connect with the sensor ring. THIS IS ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE - but is worth a quick visual inspection.
 
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BMW R nineT Pure
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just a verrrrryyyyyyy long shot - the front wheel speed sensor - is there a gap between it and the sensor wheel? If the sensor is too close to the ring it MIGHT momentarily connect with the sensor ring. THIS IS ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE - but is worth a quick visual inspection.
Not a bad guess, but I have looked at that a couple times and the gap looks fine. I'll double-check that nothing is wiggling down there. Thanks!
 
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