Bad front wheel wobble! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-13-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Bad front wheel wobble!

I have 2009 KLR with 10k miles on it. I always had minor wobbles which didn't bother me. Bigger ones when I would go over 85mph which I was fine with cos I don't like going over that speed anyway.
Now, I'm on the long trip and the wobble today was really bad! As soon as I get over 60-65mph, it's horrible - death threat! It wasn't bad my first few days.
I got kenda 50/50 tires. tusk hand guards and pro taper handlebars, but I had these for several months and didn't have any issues. I also have 100 pounds of gear on me. It's evenly places. My back tire psi is 35 and front 30. I weight 200lbs.
Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-13-2014, 07:36 PM
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Check everything for tightness. Pay particular attention to the steering stem nut. Has the tire been balanced?

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-13-2014, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that I've replaced rear shock 5 days ago and it was running ok. It's rap progressive shock. I've adjusted it to the tightest level cos luggage would make bike stay too straight on side kickstand if shock was any softer. Than knob for shock flew off at some point so can't really adjust it until I get replacement from progressive.
I've also noticed today that my front wheel doesn't have any balance weights on it! Not sure if I had any before, but doubt it would be true just like that, even though it's klr so you never know.
I took off earlier today most of my luggage and front end still feels weird even at lower speeds!?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-14-2014, 12:45 AM
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Might be worth a try to reinstall the original rear shock to see if that improves things.
Regards....justjeff

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-14-2014, 07:52 AM
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Can you remove the luggage and take the bike for a run to see what it does?

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-14-2014, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
Check everything for tightness. Pay particular attention to the steering stem nut. Has the tire been balanced?
Renimus,
Have you checked That steering stem nut, under the handlebars yet?
Seen that problem several times.
Does the front rim run 'fairly' true and is the F. tire bead 'seated' evenly on the rim?
Try 34-36 PSI in the F. tire, I always run +2 psi in the front, compared to back, but not exceeding Max. pressure.

Can you move some of the baggage weight 'forward'? Onto the seat, instead of the rear portion of bags or rack? This is a fairly common issue!

Is the bike 'lowered' for short legs? As in fork legs slid up thru the fork clamps?

pdwestman
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-14-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renimus View Post
I have 2009 KLR with 10k miles on it. I always had minor wobbles which didn't bother me. Bigger ones when I would go over 85mph which I was fine with cos I don't like going over that speed anyway.
Now, I'm on the long trip and the wobble today was really bad! As soon as I get over 60-65mph, it's horrible - death threat! It wasn't bad my first few days.
I got kenda 50/50 tires. tusk hand guards and pro taper handlebars, but I had these for several months and didn't have any issues. I also have 100 pounds of gear on me. It's evenly places. My back tire psi is 35 and front 30. I weight 200lbs.
Any suggestions?

Check the allen bolts holding the front axle. Check the spokes. Check the steering stem, with the front wheel off the ground the front should slowly flop over when given a good nudge. To adjust the steering nut you have to loosen the top clamps, loosen the nut and then turn the adjuster.

If all that checks out look at the weight bias. The bike should be slightly biased towards the front. You've got the preload cranked apparently so either take some weight off the back or raise the forks in the clamps a bit that will put more weight on the front.

I always run more pressure in the back than the front. Typically 34 front 38 back. 30 lbs in the front seems too low for your load. Don't worry about tire balancing especially with 50/50 tires.

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

Last edited by Spec; 03-14-2014 at 09:44 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-17-2014, 10:42 PM
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I've always had a minor wobble at higher speeds on my 2009 as well. The steering stem nut was tight. Wobble was worse when I had my hard case luggage on, so I figured it must be from wind.

What fixed it for me was replacing the front fender. I got one a little more aerodynamic and the bike runs straight now!
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-18-2014, 05:30 PM
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Good advice from the previous posts. This is NOT uncommon:weight MUST be distributed a bit more forward, the hardware all needs to be tight, and using 50/50 tires;I wouldn't exceed 65mph...too dang dangerous!
Good luck. Find the Problem!!

~Things work out best for those that make the best of the way things work out~
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-18-2014, 07:32 PM
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Here is an other thing to look at.....I was returning from a ride with a group of guys last fall. The guy ahead of me was continually fishtailing about 2 inches while traveling down the highway. At a stop we were discussing this and he said it had always been like that from when he had bought the bike used. We checked over the bike and found you could move the swing arm side to side about 1/8". He repaired that later and his troublesome wobble went away.
Check over the rear as well as the front. Wheel bearings could cause this too.
Regards....justjeff

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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