Handling problem - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Handling problem

I'm about ready to sell this thing although I really like the bike!!
1999 KLR.
New problem is that the bike does NOT want to make a turn!!! VERY SCARRY!!
Feels like the front tire is flat. Is worse at 35 MPH but get a little (lot) better with speed.
Things I've looked at:
1. Adjusted fork head bearings (were a little tight)
2. Replaced front wheel bearings although they were OK
3. Removed all plastic and fuel tank to check for a cracked or broken frame
4. Tightened the sub-frame bolts. The top two were a little loose.
5. Changed the front tire to one with less knobs
6. Swing arm feels tight as does the rear wheel.
7. Alignment of the wheels is good
8. Tried running different air pressure in tires
9. Checked all motor mounts for cracks and torque

The ONLY thing that is different than before is that I installed a new front rim cause the old one had a crack.
The rim is as true running as new and all the spokes are tight
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 07:10 AM
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You didn't mention what tire pressure you're running, or what you tried.. The lower the pressure, the more sluggish it'll be to turn.. I ride on the road with my front tire at 35psi, and the rear at 38psi..

My only other suggestion, if everything else is good, it to try a fork brace.. My KLR is a BLAST in the twistys, and I ride for the curves.. If the bike were a pain to ride in the curves, or wasn't safe to do it, I wouldn't have owned it for 7 years now..

So, while you've given us some good info, you didn't say what pressure you run, and you say it feels like the tire's flat.. Just like fixing a bike and working on the simple stuff first, solving a problem requires all the info, including the simple stuff.

Oh, and what tire did you install, and what size?
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 09:55 AM
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If you don't mind doing some investigative reporting, we might be able to find the problem. Remember, you are the eyes, ears and seat of the pants response for us....we will be limited by and to your descriptions. A digital camera might be useful. A picture being worth a thousand words and all that. Typing hard. Pictures easy. I'm game if you are. I gar-un-tee if something is amiss, it'll get pointed out.

What kind of replacement rim did you use, who did the re-lacing of the wheel?

Has the rear wheel been off recently? All spacers on the rear axle in the correct order and configuration?

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post #4 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 07:48 PM
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So it's happening right after a wheel swap..

it's real bad at low speed but not as bad at higher speeds.

I'd be checking brake line runs, and speedo cable run to make sure it's routed properly. If any of these two things are binding you are going to have problems steering I'd think.
( also make sure that the little tabbed plate in the speedo apparatus in the hub is installed correctly)

It sounds to me like cables or something is binding making it hard to turn the handlebars. This would make sense that it's more pronounced at lower speeds.

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post #5 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 09:20 PM
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Odd, I'll be interested to see what happens.

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post #6 of 30 Old 03-30-2011, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabrito View Post
So it's happening right after a wheel swap..

it's real bad at low speed but not as bad at higher speeds.

I'd be checking brake line runs, and speedo cable run to make sure it's routed properly. If any of these two things are binding you are going to have problems steering I'd think.
( also make sure that the little tabbed plate in the speedo apparatus in the hub is installed correctly)

It sounds to me like cables or something is binding making it hard to turn the handlebars. This would make sense that it's more pronounced at lower speeds.
+1. if you messed the cables up, she'll drag.

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post #7 of 30 Old 03-31-2011, 12:07 AM
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Is the front wheel wider than stock?
What exactly happens when you try to turn?
Is this in the dirt or on the street?

Bill
W6BJD

2009 KLR650, black (the fastest color), Moose luggage racks - Happy Trail skid plate, crash bars, engine guard, highway pegs, and fork brace - IMS Pro footpegs - Dynojet stage 2 jet kit - Airbox mod - WOW led tail light - Top Gun 7.4Kg rear spring - Top Gun Progressive front springs - ThermoBob - Temp overlay
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-31-2011, 12:29 AM
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Check the rear shock. If it is set on 1 (the softest) that could be your problem.

Tim

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2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
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post #9 of 30 Old 03-31-2011, 01:15 AM
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Only thing I can think of to add is to look at the height of the forks in the triple clamp. I have noticed that the further up they are set the less free feeling at low speed.

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post #10 of 30 Old 04-01-2011, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your thoughts so far.
Tire pressure..........tried 25----30------35-------40
Had a fork brace on and took it off...........no change
Rim is the same size as stock and was laced by a shop.
Rear shock is all the way stiff
Was running the forks up 3/4 inch. Put back to stock........no change
Nothing binding anywhere........rear wheel is fine
Borrowed a complete KLR wheel from a buddy today....going to try it tomorrow.
Nothing really to look at if I took a pic.....just another KLR
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