Tire Pressure and Wobble - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-14-2015, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure and Wobble

Just got a 2009 KLR650 yesterday and taking it on the highway it gets quite wobbly at 70mph, so I'm troubleshooting. For tire pressure, what is ideal for street riding? I've got a Kenda Big Block front tire with max psi of 36 and a Heidenau Scout rear tire with max 44psi. I weigh 130lbs. Any suggestions for tire pressure? I was thinking 30f and 35r.

Other things - I replaced the front fender with a smaller one. I still need to adjust the suspension (I'm much smaller than the person I bought it from), the steering head bearing has just been adjusted.
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-14-2015, 04:19 PM
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If you have the scoop-shovel-inspired stock handguards, try removing them and going for a spin to see if things change.

When I think of "wobbly," I think of the handlebars moving back and forth. The stock hand guards aren't very aerodynamic and can impart forces on the bars, especially behind semis where the air is chaotic and turbulent.

I would suggest doing what you can with the suspension to move more weight to the front wheel. I used raising links and I could really tell a difference on the highway even with the stock handguards and stock front fender.



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post #3 of 19 Old 06-14-2015, 04:44 PM
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I will always suggest 2 psi more in the skinny Front tire as compared to the wider Rear tire, even with a passenger or luggage. (Up to max pressure, front.) But you are even lighter than I, try 28-30 Front / 26-28 Rear, solo.

The few Heidenau tires that I have been around have such stiff sidewalls that they have little inherent damping. How 'squared-off' is it? Or is it fresh and round from side to side?

How loose fitting is your jacket? Try riding with one hand only, you may find you are the cause. Relax a bit.
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-14-2015, 10:32 PM
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After dealing with wobble at 70mph on my gen1 I am pretty confident the problem usually comes from too little weight on the front wheel. In trying to troubleshoot and fix my own problem, I found this video very educational: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3OQTU-kE2s

Check your sag. Are the front forks sitting even with the top of the triple tree? (is that where they belong on a gen2?)

In the end, I bought a fork brace and it relieved all my wobbles. I believe the brace is masking the symptoms and not treating the real problem but I'm ok with that.
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-15-2015, 08:31 AM
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Could possibly be the tyres....On one of my bikes I had mismatched tyres and couldn't figure out why I would get a wobble at about 120kph, When I finally saved a few paychecks and bought a matched set of Bridgestones the wobble went away.

After speaking with the tyre specialist, he mentioned that mismatched tyres or unevenly worn tyres can cause wobbles. Learned something new...
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-16-2015, 12:56 AM
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There's two main factors I know of and have dealt with successfully.
Street tires wobble less, higher pressures make knobbies wobble less.
The other is aero. When mine gets squirrely I spread my knees out a bit and it breaks up
the oscillations. The tall windshield I run and yes, those huge brushguards mess things up
near warp speed. (warp is 90mph on a KLR 140 kph). When I use the highway pegs the
wobble is completely removed. Try a few things, one at a time and you'll get it all
straightened out. Literally. lol

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 03:31 PM
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All good advice so far. I had this issue because I had too much weight in rear vs. Front.
I got a large Touratech tank bag with large "panniers" which just about cover my gas tank. I put my heaviest stuff in them...also I suggest a "less aggressive " tire.
Address this issue---a "tank slapper" can kill you!!

~Things work out best for those that make the best of the way things work out~
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-21-2015, 12:35 AM
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What Masterlink said about a tank slapper and the seriousness.

A cure all is to brake-chirp the back tire for a split second. It breaks up
the weaving and instantly drops the speed 5-10 mph to keep ya vertical
and breathing.

Stiffening up and fighting the wobble is the WORST thing to do. This can easily
send us into a tank slapper (the death wobble)
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-23-2017, 10:18 AM
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Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-23-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakyshan View Post
Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
What problem are you having? Does the bike only act up with added weight?

I'm about 235 all geared up and have carried as much as 65lbs on the rear rack with no issues. I knew it was back there, but it wasn't an issue. Cruised back home through town and 65+mph on the higway. Just saying, the bike can carry a large person+ some weight safely. Though I do agree that riding a passenger is impossible with my bike. Definitely need?s more spring out back.
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