Steering issue - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-26-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pocatello, ID
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Steering issue

I'm stumped, and I'm hoping someone out there can help. This week while riding the bike to work I noticed when going slow and making turns that it seems harder to turn the handle bars. I would start to turn the bars, then it would get harder, almost like something was grabbing the front tire. Then it would ease up. But the next corner it would do it again. Very weird, it's hard to describe.

I stopped and check my tire. It was low on air. Obviously I thought that was the problem. I filled up the tire and rode on. However, it's still doing it. I keep thinking "is this only in my mind", but it can't be. I'm crazy but not that crazy.

My mind goes to two things. Either I've warped the front tire somehow and now it is handling strange, or I've done something to the steering. I rode some rather rough stuff a few weeks ago, but I didn't notice any issues until a few days ago.

I'm at a loss. How often are the steering bearing supposed to be checked or lubed? I've only got 3100 miles on the green beast, so I can't imagine I've worn something out. To my very untrained eye the tire looks okay, still plenty of tread.

I don't want to have to take it to the dealer, but I'm afraid that might be my next stop. I'm just not sure what in the world I should be looking for.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-26-2011, 09:57 PM
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Check your cables coming off the handlebars.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-26-2011, 10:08 PM
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When my bike was new I chased the steering bearing adjustment for about 10,000 miles. I would adjust it and a few k later it would have a clunk even though the nut was still tight. I think the race was not seated properly so it slowly seat itself with use. I would start with checking the bearing adjustment.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-27-2011, 11:20 AM
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Not sure about the KLR because I'm not done with my first front tire yet, but on other bikes as the front tire wore steering effort became noticeably more demanding; an otherwise neutral steering bike had to be "held down" into lean angle.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-27-2011, 04:21 PM
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Same thing happened to me at about 8k and it was the steering bearings, had to be changed.

"All in all you're just another brick in the wall"

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-04-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses.

Update: In case you're curious, some of the spokes on the front tire were loose. Also, I was still low on air pressure. I used the built-in air pressure gauge on the hose at the local station, but it wasn't very accurate.

In short, keep your spokes tight and your tires inflated. What a huge difference those two items make.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-04-2011, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwatson View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Update: In case you're curious, some of the spokes on the front tire were loose. Also, I was still low on air pressure. I used the built-in air pressure gauge on the hose at the local station, but it wasn't very accurate.

In short, keep your spokes tight and your tires inflated. What a huge difference those two items make.
Glad you figured out what the problem was and thanks for letting us know what it was.

I use and like the Slime digital tire pressure gauge that has the short hose and a double-sided chuck. Makes it easy to get to the valves no matter where they wind up when you park and it's accurate.



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